Clinton's World: Remaking American Foreign Policy

By William G. Hyland | Go to book overview

2
Mandate for Change

William Jefferson Clinton was better educated in foreign affairs than many of his predecessors. He had graduated from the prestigious School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University. There he had imbibed the political atmosphere of the nation's capital for four years, serving part-time on the staff of the influential Senator William Fulbright, from his home state of Arkansas, then the powerful chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Clinton also studied abroad for two years at Oxford, where he was occasionally tutored in Russian and Eastern European affairs. Also, as everyone would find out, he had visited Moscow as a student and in London had been an activist in opposing the Vietnam War. Back in the United States, he graduated from Yale Law School and returned to Arkansas.

Over the decades that followed, however, as the attorney general and twice the governor of Arkansas, he had no reason to be at the center of the nation's foreign policy debates. His political timing, however, turned out to be fortuitous. Whereas in 1988 Michael Dukakis's lack of foreign or defense policy experience counted against him, the end of the Cold War made Clinton's inexperience in foreign policy much less important. In the 1992 campaign Clinton wisely chose not to mount a wholesale challenge to Bush's foreign policy; there was little to be gained by playing into his opponent's strength. His campaign, therefore, gave only occasional glimpses of the foreign policy that Clinton would in fact employ. His rhetoric suggested a minimalist approach, spiced with some of the liberalism of the 1960s. In the campaign he did not stray far from the mainstream.

-15-

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Clinton's World: Remaking American Foreign Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • 1- The Legacy 1
  • 2- Mandate for Change 15
  • 3- Intervention 29
  • 4- Nation Building 51
  • 5- South of the Border 67
  • 6- Russia 79
  • 7- European Security 93
  • 8- Asian Tangles 109
  • Notes 124
  • 9- Unsinkable Japan 127
  • 10- Watershed 137
  • 11- Endgame 145
  • 12- Oslo and Beyond 155
  • Notes 168
  • 13 171
  • 14- Crisis Management 185
  • 15- Between Hope And History 197
  • Selected Bibliography 207
  • Index 209
  • About the Author *
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