Clinton's World: Remaking American Foreign Policy

Clinton's World: Remaking American Foreign Policy

Clinton's World: Remaking American Foreign Policy

Clinton's World: Remaking American Foreign Policy

Synopsis

In this comprehensive and balanced examination of Bill Clinton's foreign policy--the first such book to cover all the global focal points of his administration to date--William G. Hyland brilliantly shows the effects of Clinton's confusion over the nature of the post-Cold War world combined with Clinton's unique personality characteristics. His first term was marked, in the author's analysis, by murky policy, unrealistic goals, and the mishandling of several crises. By the end of that term he had learned some hard lessons, was able to alter his pattern of response, and reversed himself on some major aspects of foreign policy--all to benefit, in the author's view, the country and the world as a whole.

Excerpt

No other modern American president inherited a stronger, safer international position than Bill Clinton. the Cold War was over. the nation was at peace. Its principal enemy had collapsed. the United States was the world's only genuine superpower. the major threats that had haunted American policy for nearly fifty years had either disappeared or were rapidly receding. To be sure, there were problems abroad and threats to national security, but they were manageable. the most intractable problems were at home. the presidential election campaign of 1992 demonstrated that domestic issues were at the center of the nation's attention. George Bush's skills in handling foreign affairs had been less important than the growing concerns over domestic crises. Bill Clinton understood this and capitalized on it.

Nevertheless, Bush's legacy in foreign policy was impressive. Within a year of his inauguration in January 1989 he had confronted a daunting array of problems swirling around the end of the Cold War. Between 1989 and 1991 the core structure of the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe had imploded and disappeared in less than six months. Forty-five years after its defeat in World War ii, Germany was again united. Then the Soviet Union itself had splintered apart. in its place was a conglomeration of independent states, some of ancient origin, some completely new. For the first time in several hundred years, Russia stood alone, separate from Ukraine, from Byelorussia, the Baltic States, and the nations of Central Asia and the Caucasus. It was not even the empire of Peter or Catherine. Indeed, only a tiny sliver of territory, the former German city of Königsberg, tied Russia to . . .

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