CAN hawks and doves roost in the same nest? Bill Clinton may be
about to find out.
To guide him through the complexities of the post-cold-war era,
the Arkansas governor has gathered birds of various feathers into
his circle of foreign policy advisers. So far they have easily
coalesced around a broad platform that accents economic recovery at
home, promoting democracy abroad, and international engagement to
deal with regional conflicts. But if Clinton is elected, say
diplomatic analysts, they could find devils in the details as they
attempt to hammer out a new American foreign policy.
"The Clinton team ranges from Wilsonian internationalists, who
want to make the world over in America's image, to realists who
have a sharper view of the limits of what we can do overseas," says
John Judis, author of a new book on the American foreign policy
establishment. "There might be tension between those wings."
"The fit will actually be pretty good," responds Harvard
professor Joseph Nye, a Clinton adviser.
"If hawks and doves used to differ on the degrees of disarmament
and relations with the Soviet Union, they don't differ at all on
things like stopping nuclear proliferation, which will be the major
issues now. The kinds of things that used to be so divisive are
Experts from Carter era
Clinton has brought onto his foreign policy team former Carter
administration officials known to favor working through
multilateral institutions like the United Nations, including State
Department veterans Anthony Lake, now a professor at Mount Holyoke
College, and Samuel Berger, a Washington lawyer.
The Clinton circle also includes Rep. Les Aspen (D) of
Wisconsin, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Michael
Mandelbaum, a Johns Hopkins University professor, and others who
are more conservative. Clinton has also reached out to a group of
hawkish Democrats - among them former Reagan State Department human
rights chief Richard Schifter - some of whom broke with the party
during the McGovern era.
At odds back then on issues ranging from the Vietnam War to
military spending to whether to negotiate arms agreements with the
Soviet Union, Democrats now are far less divided and on far less
Cold-war venom removed
"A lot of the venom of the fight has been extracted by the end
of the cold war," says Charles William Maynes, editor of Foreign
Policy magazine. "You can disagree with someone over the trade
issue, but you don't think he's a traitor because he doesn't share
"I wouldn't say that it's healed, but it's knitting," adds Penn
Kemble, a Washington foreign-affairs consultant with ties to
conservative Democrats, speaking of the rift that once divided
Democratic hawks and doves.
Analysts say unity within the Clinton camp would be tested on
four main issues if the Arkansas governor is elected:
* Promoting democracy abroad. Responding to an impulse defined
by Democratic presidents like Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt
- and underscored in a major policy speech delivered by Clinton in
Milwaukee last week - many Clinton advisers say America's primary
mission is to make the world more democratic.
But as conservative journalist Michael Lind and others have
noted, promoting democracy could be hard to reconcile with the
views of key US allies. Turkey and Saudi Arabia, for example, have
solid reservations about the spread of democracy among Iraq's
More troubling is the issue of what to do when democracy
threatens to empower antidemocratic groups, such as Muslim
fundamentalists in Algeria. …