Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

US Foreign Policy Plate Is Full President-Elect May Need `New Vision' to Guide in Complex, Less Stable World. CHALLENGES FOR CLINTON

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

US Foreign Policy Plate Is Full President-Elect May Need `New Vision' to Guide in Complex, Less Stable World. CHALLENGES FOR CLINTON

Article excerpt

NEEDED by Jan. 20: a foreign policy vision. Must be comprehensive, long-term, able to guide United States policy around the world. Suggestions welcome.

If presidents resorted to the classified pages to fill their administrations, that advertisement might well be placed by President-elect Clinton. His domestic-oriented campaign rhetoric notwithstanding, Mr. Clinton may find his administration focusing on foreign affairs.

On Inauguration Day, US armed forces almost certainly will still be in Somalia, and may soon be committed to stopping Serbian aggression against Bosnia or Iraqi aggression against the Kurds and Shiites.

Problems that will continue to simmer include ethnic unrest in the former Soviet republics, US relations with China, Iran's growing military power, and keeping the Middle East peace talks going.

Beyond those immediate challenges, analysts say, Clinton will have to work out a longer-term security system - possibly through the United Nations but almost certainly under US leadership - to preserve peace and stability around the world.

"Clinton is going to need to formulate and articulate and then sell a new vision of US national interests and of the US position in the world," says Jeswald Salacuse, dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

Such a vision is needed, Dean Salacuse and other analysts say, because of the stunning transformations that have swept the world since the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1993, the US confronts a challenge similar to the one it faced after the end of World War II: to forge a new world order under US leadership. Period of `minimal stability'

In some ways, the opportunity today is even greater than it was in 1945, because the US is now the only superpower. But the challenges are also greater, since there is no US-Soviet competition to provide international stability.

"The world is much more likely to be turbulent and tense, creating minimal stability," says Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was national-security adviser to President Carter. Running a foreign policy in that environment, Dr. Brzezinski adds, will be a "full- time job" and "very difficult."

While there is less danger of nuclear war or communist expansion today than in previous decades, there are a host of lesser dangers that will confront the Clinton administration. As Brzezinski puts it: "The 1970s were the period of maximum danger {for the West}. …

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