Cold War Patriot and Statesman, Richard M. Nixon

By Leon Friedman; William F. Levantrosser | Go to book overview

of whether automatic change will derive from the predilections and personality structures of different incumbents, or pervasive similarity of basic policy orientation, despite the rhetorical expressions and even the real intentions of the protagonists of a new administration.

Just as the explanation of the behavior of the Nixon-Kissinger Administration turns not on its psychological or moral qualities, a prognosis for the foreign policy of any successive administration depends less on the personality and predilections of its protagonists than on the evolution of the total pattern of challenges and constraints, including the peculiar characteristics of our own political system. Thus, successors to the Nixon-Kissinger Administration, holding much the same objectives for the international system and beset by many of the same constraints, have been likely, despite themselves, to maintain the recognizable structural features of their predecessors' foreign policy, however qualified they might have been by "stylistic" differences. Indeed, although it initially dismantled some of the stylistic "excesses" of its predecessors, even the Carter Administration--and certainly the Reagan Administration--under pressure, recovered and utilized many of the same devices of diplomacy and even internal governance.

Therefore, voters and analysts should discern what "correct" policy means, in objective terms, regardless of who is making it--whether a secretive, reclusive president and a subtle and difficult secretary of state, or an attractive and open president and any of a host of direct and honorable aspirants to the top foreign policy positions. Critics should not try to pass off the foreign policy directions of the past several administrations as products of aberrant or defective personal impulses--with the implication, or the expectation, that "right-mindedness" or "whole-mindedness" will automatically rectify our national policy and restore the American position in the world.


NOTES
1.
It would also be unnecessary, thanks in part to the painstaking and structured list of relevant publications presented by Michael Lerner, "A Bibliographical Note," in Fred I. Greenstein , Personality and Politics: Problems of Evidence, Inference, and Conceptualization ( New York: W.W. Norton, 1975).
2.
Notably A World Restored: The Politics of Conservatism in a Revolutionary Age ( New York: Universal Library, 1964), a work that exalts the structure of Metternich supposedly a static system, based on shared conceptions of political and social legitimacy; and "Bismarck: The White Revolutionary," Daedalus (Summer 1968), a work that leans toward a more dynamic and aggressive concept of power balancing, stressing daring diplomacy backed by decisive force, and resting on no necessary common ground of legitimacy or shared political values, but on pragmatically shifting coalitions and exploited opportunities.
3.
Department of State Bulletin, July 26, 1971, pp. 94-95.
4.
"An Interview with the President," Time, January 3, 1972, p. 15.
5.
In various contexts, Kissinger affirmed, qualified, or denied the existence of a

-209-

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Cold War Patriot and Statesman, Richard M. Nixon
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Political Science ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Part I - Foreign Policy Initiatives 1
  • Appendix 34
  • Notes 38
  • 7 Peace or Oil. The Nixon Administration and Its Middle East Policy Choices 119
  • References 135
  • Part II. The Foreign Policy Process 155
  • 9 The Making of the All-Volunteer Armed Force 171
  • 10 The Nixon Doctrine as History and Portent 187
  • Notes 209
  • 13 Nixon Versus the Congress: The War Powers Resolution, 1973 267
  • APPENDIX B 285
  • APPENDIX B 288
  • 14 The War Powers Resolution: An Intersection of Law and Politics 291
  • Notes 316
  • DIRECTORS' MESSAGE 331
  • Index 357
  • About the Editors and Contributors 371
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