Clinton's World: Remaking American Foreign Policy

By William G. Hyland | Go to book overview

3
Intervention

Since the attack on Pearl Harbor, no new administration has enjoyed the luxury of a honeymoon, however brief, before being plunged into the real world of policy and politics. Truman had immediately to confront the decision to drop the atomic bomb. Stalin died less than two months after Eisenhower's inauguration; Kennedy ordered the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion in his fourth month in office. Mindful of such examples, new administrations have launched official new studies of issues as soon as possible, in part to assert that the White House would be in charge, but also to get a handle on the policy process. Kissinger, Brzezinski, and Alexander Haig (for Reagan) had been skillful in using this device. Thus, it was no surprise that the Clinton administration announced new studies, called Presidential Study Directives (PSDs). One of the first concerned the situation in Bosnia.

For over forty years Washington had worried about Yugoslavia. The fear had been a relatively simple one: that once the communist dictatorship of Josip Broz Tito was weakened or removed, Yugoslavia would start to break apart into its ethnic components. The Soviet Union would then intervene to restore "order." What would the United States do? No one really knew.

Ironically, when the breakup did come, the Soviet Union was already mortally weakened by its own final crisis. This changed the whole American approach. The greatly diminished likelihood of Soviet intervention allowed the Bush administration to abdicate its responsibilities in favor of the overly eager Europeans, who were determined to prove their independence from American tutelage. The era of Europe had dawned, the foreign minister of Luxembourg exclaimed with relish, at the thought of the end of

-29-

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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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