THE WORLD FROM.Washington the End of the Cold War and the Fall of the Soviet Union Are Forcing the Vast Foreign-Policy Machine to Retool

By Grier, Peter | The Christian Science Monitor, December 31, 1991 | Go to article overview

THE WORLD FROM.Washington the End of the Cold War and the Fall of the Soviet Union Are Forcing the Vast Foreign-Policy Machine to Retool


Grier, Peter, The Christian Science Monitor


WATCHING the spread of freedom may be inspiring. And lots of people think there are riches to be made in the former Soviet Union. But Washington is waking up to the fact that the New World Order is not without its hazards.

The end of the cold war means Washington no longer has an easily identifiable adversary - a foreign policy purpose to rally around, a geopolitical problem that doesn't change, a focus for think tanks, policy papers, and interdepartmental meetings.

The cold war was one of Washington's main industries. But its demise doesn't mean there aren't any dangers in the world, as Defense Secretary Richard Cheney keeps pointing out. So the policy class is beginning attempts to reorganize itself.

Case in point: On Dec. 10, the Council on Foreign Relations (an island of Washington based in New York) inaugurated the Project on America's Task in a Changed World. James Schlesinger, former secretary of defense, ex-secretary of energy, once director of Central Intelligence, will serve as chairman.

"We have to examine fundamental changes - political, military and economic - as they have occurred in every region of the world to see how they bear on American foreign policy," said Mr. Schlesinger in a statement.

The Project's 31 members include: Morton Abramowitz of the Carnegie Endowment; Frank Carlucci, former secretary of defense; Adm. William Crowe, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; David Gergen of US News and World Report; and Jessica Tuchman Mathews of the World Resources Institute.

Two days later, the Carnegie Endowment announced its own National Commission on America and the New World. Schlesinger is on this commission, too. So are Abramowitz, Carlucci, Crowe, Gergen, and Mathews. The Carnegie chairman, former ambassador to China Winston Lord, said: "With the end of the cold war, United States foreign policy has lost the moorings that have been taken for granted for almost half a century. …

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