The United Nations and U. S. Foreign Policy: A New Look at the National Interest

The United Nations and U. S. Foreign Policy: A New Look at the National Interest

The United Nations and U. S. Foreign Policy: A New Look at the National Interest

The United Nations and U. S. Foreign Policy: A New Look at the National Interest

Excerpt

The postwar years effectively dissipated many of the extravagant and utopian ideas which the American people and some of their leaders earlier entertained about the United Nations. But the process of disillusionment, as so often happens, left a void. So long as the earlier notions were not replaced with more serviceable attitudes, the American view of the United Nations in the succeeding years has tended to become increasingly mechanical. We have gone through the motions of pledging support, making speeches, and voting on resolutions. At crucial moments -- Korea, Suez, the Congo -- the United Nations suddenly seemed to dominate American policy making. The remainder of the time it existed in a backwater of policy. But in neither case did American performance reflect an entirely rational view of the place of international political organization in world affairs. The reason for this, I believe, is that we have not as a matter of national concern comprehensively reappraised the United States national interest in the United Nations, nor have we figured the real cost of sustaining that interest. In a period when the Soviet Union has begun to grasp eagerly at the opportunities offered by the United Nations' world-wide forum, the United States has devoted little or no official attention to reviewing systematically the connections that exist -- or should exist -- between the United Nations and other, better understood sources of national strategy.

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