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Wednesday, October 23, 1996

The Real War

1. No Time to Lose

{p. 9} ...We cannot let Africa become a stage on which Americans act out their psychic traumas...

Nor can we ignore any part of the world as being too far from our concerns to care about. As the 1980's began, this was being vividly illustrated by events in Afghanistan—a fact that provided its own peculiar irony, because for many years American newsmen disparagingly referred to analyses of trends in distant lands as "Afghanistanism." Afghanistan...was treated as a metaphor for all the dull and distant events that glazed the eyes of the American reader.

The King of Afghanistan recalled for me when I visited in 1953 that it was there that Alexander the Great said, "I have no more worlds to conquer." In the nineteenth century Great Britain and Imperial Russia played what Kipling called the "Great Game" in Afghanistan as they dueled all across Central Asia in a struggle for control of the continent. The British knew that Afghanistan's rugged Khyber Pass was the gateway to the Indian subcontinent, and the y fought two brutal wars to deny the Russians control of it.

A bloody Soviet-backed coup in April 1978 suddenly
{p.10} ousted President Mohammed Daoud, who was promptly murdered, and installed in his place a stridently anti-Western Marxist regime under the leadership of Prime Minister Noor Mohammed Taraki. Taraki renamed his ruling party the "People's Democratic Party," and renamed his country the "Democratic Republic of Afghanistan," adopting as its new flag a bright red banner with the party symbol and a star in the corner—almost indistinguishable from the Soviet flag. Soon nearly every government ministry, as well as the 100,000-man Afghan Army, had Soviet "adviser," many of them Tadzhiks from Soviet Central Asia who speak a dialect most Afghans understand.

This abrupt renewal of centuries of Russian pressure against its repeatedly extended Asian borders sent shock waves through Afghanistan's already weakened immediate neighbors, Pakistan and Iran—vulnerable not only because of geography but also because of tribal ties. Baluchi tribesmen range through Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran; Pushtuns through Afghanistan and Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province. Less than ten months later, in fact, the Shah's regime had fallen, and leftist guerrillas staged their first takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on the same day that the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan was dragged from his car and murdered.

...The New York Times headlined an editorial "Keeping Cool about Kabul."

...tribesmen launched a jihad, or holy war...

The government's army suffered from purges, desertions, and defections to the rebels; by late 1979 it had reportedly
{p. 11} dwindled from 100,000 to 50,000, with a hard core of no more that 10,000 to 15,000 effective troops...

In a September 1979 coup, Taraki was ousted and executed by his number-two man, Hafizullah Amin, who installed himself as President. But Amin made little headway in putting down the rebellion. In a carefully prepared and brazenly executed move, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan on Christmas Eve...Amin and his family were killed; a reliable pliant Soviet puppet, Babrak Karmal...was put in as Amin's replacement...

{p. 17} In April 1945, as American and Russian soldiers were embracing at the Elbe River in Germany, Stalin was spelling out his blueprint for a divided world. "This war is not as in the past," he said; "whoever occupies a territory also imposes on it his own social system. Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach. It cannot be otherwise."

...as he later commented, "The reason why there is now no Communist government in Paris is because in the circumstances of 1945 the Soviet Army was not able to reach French soil."

Korea and Vietnam were battles in that war, as were the coups that brought Soviet satellite regimes to power in places as remote as Afghanistan and South Yemen. So, too, have been the struggles to keep Communist parties from taking control in Italy and Portugal, and to contain Castro's export of revolution in Latin America.

{p. 18} On August 1, 1944, Polish freddom fighters rose up against the nazi occupiers in Warsaw as the Soviet army approached...instead of aiding the liberation of the city, the Soviet forces sat outside for week after week and watched as the Nazis threw five divisions against teh trapped Poles, finally crushing their heroic resistance after sixty-three days. The Soviet government even refused to allow the Western Allies the use of Soviet airfields to fly supplies to the beleagured Poles until the uprising had been going on for seven full weeks. At the end of Septemeber the Soviet army marched west, bypassing Warsaw altogether. On October 3, cut off and abandoned, the resistance forces surrendered to the Germans...In March 1945 the Soviets followed this up by inviting the commander of the Polish Home Army and several other leaders of the underground resistance to Moscow for political talks...they were arrested and imprisnoed. All this while the war in Europe was still going on, while the Soviets and the Western Allies—and the Polish underground—were still fighting together to defeat the Nazis.

{p. 24} The boundaries of most present-day African states make little sense from a nation-state point of view. They do not correspond to natural of tribal lines; they remain drawn where the armies of the colonial powers halted or where mapmakers in Paris or London chanced to place them. African countries often consist of twenty or thirty tribes, a mishmash of many mini-nations, while many tribes have been cut in two by inherited colonial boundaries. The resulting lack of national unity makes democracy almost an impossibility, economic development a distant dream, and internal tension a constant fact of life. Many African heads of state want only to maintain themselves in power and to keep their nations from disintegrating.

...As Edward Luttwak, a senior fellow at Georgetown University's Center for Strategic and International Studies, has pointed out, postcolonial African politics are not the "politics of prosperity" that we are accustomed to, "but rather the politics of power accumulation."


Terrorism

{p. 37} Many of those who romanticize revolution prefer to view terrorism merely as one of the ills of modern society, or as an outraged response to intolerable social conditions. But "senseless" terrorism is often not as senseless as it may seem...

{p. 38} The Soviets, Libya, and the PLO were all heavily involved in the campaign to overthrow the Shah. The quasi-anarchy that followed his downfall in Iran provided the perfect culture medium in which fanaticism and terrorism together could flourish, and could be exploited by those whose calculated policy it is to exploit fanaticism and terrorism. The "students" who took over the American Embassy and seized the American hostages were clearly taught by experts in things other than the Koran, and the manipulators of that exercise gave international terrorism new dimensions of subtlety and effrontery. They also demonstrated what we invite when, like the baby and the bathwater, we mindlessly throw out authority along with authoritarianism. The guns are not put away; they simple are taken over by the mob.

Even as the American hostages were being held, across the Persian Gulf another terrorist team staged a meticulously prepared attack, breathtaking in its sheer audacity, on the holiest shrine of all Islam: the Grand Mosque at Mecca. The 500 who took part were led by a small group, apparently trained in South Yemen, the Soviet proxy state on the Arabian peninsula. Their cover story was religious fanaticism; their real intent was political: to undermine the stability of Saudi Arabia. The terrorists were so concerned with distinguishing their origins that they deliberately burned and mutilated the faces of their dead. Their leaders had been expertly schooled in guerilla tactics, which enabled them to smuggle large quantities of food and modern weaponry into the Grand Mosque, take it over, and hold it for two weeks before finally being ousted with the help
{p.39} of 1,000 members of the National Guard, with hundreds killed in the fighting.

In Nicaragua the Sandinist offensive was aided by what British columnist Robert Moss calls "a miniature international Communist brigade, including 'volunteers' from West Germany's terrorist underground."

Fidel Castro was involved in terrorist activities in South America long before he came to power in Cuba, and he has sponsored them ever since.

...A prominent German journalist, Uwe Siemon-Netto recently provided a vivid illustration of how communist guerilla groups use terrorism to effect their purpose. Siemon-Netto, who accompanied a South Vietnamese battalion to a large village the Vietcong had raided in 1965, reported: "Dangling from the trees and poles in the village square were the village chief, his wife, and their twelve children, the males, including a baby, with their genitals cut off and stuffed into their mouths, the females with their breasts cut off." The Vietcong had ordered everyone in the village to witness the execution. "They started with the baby and then slowly worked their way up to the elder children, to the wife, and
{p.40} finally to the chief himself. ... It was all done very coolly, as much an act of war as firing an anti-aircraft gun." He noted that this was no isolated case: "It became routine .... Because it became routine to us, we didn't report it over and over again. We reported the unusual, like My Lai."

This is how the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong won the hearts and minds of the rural population ....

...60 percent of the terrorist incidents that have taken place in the last decade have occurred in the last three years. Not surprisingly, this huge upsurge in terrorism occurred immediately after the CIA was de-fanged and demoralized in the wake of sensationalized investigations by Congress...


The New Tsars

{p. 60} ... Citing an official document published in 1920 by the Cheka, the forerunner of today's KGB, Alexander Solzhenitsyn estimates that the communists executed more than 1,000 people per month in 1918-1919—before Stalin came to power. Twenty years later, at the height of the terror in 1937 and 1938, Stalin executed 40,000 per month—over 1,000 a day for two full years. Robert Conquest, a renowned expert, estimates that executions during the first fifty years of Soviet rule—under Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev—"were at least fifty times as numerous as over the half century of Tsarist rule."

{p. 61} These figures tell only part of the story. There were many more deaths in the forced-labor camps, which held an average 8 million people during the 1930's, and between 12 million and 15 million after World War II. In addition, during the artificially created famine in the Ukraine in the early 1930's 3 million to 5 million people are believed to have died, perhaps more. While millions starved, the communist leaders shipped grain abroad to pay for their industrial trade with the West.

In one personal account a former Communist Party official recalls entering a village where people were cooking horse manure and weeds to survive, where the bark had been stripped from the trees for food, and where all the cats, dogs, birds, and filed mice had been eaten. In this town he found a state butter plant in which milk was hoarded so that butter stamped "U.S.S.R. Butter Export" could be shipped overseas. In the same town the Soviet official discovered a granary of "State reserves" stocked with thousands of pounds of grain from the previous harvest—all in a village where in the mornings the wagons rolled to pick up the dead.


During the 1930's, 70 percent of the senior officers in the Russian Army were executed. No one was exempt from Stalin's terror, not even those on the highest levels of the Communist Party; 98 out of 139 Central Committee members in 1934 were later killed. After World War II millions of former POW's were sent directly to forced-labor camps because they had seen the West...

Notes p.61 The statistics on deaths in the forced-labor camps and during the famine taken from Harris L. Coulter and Nataly Martin, trans., Warning to the West by Alexandr I. Solzhenitsyn, Alexis Klimoff, ed. (New York): Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1976), p. 19; and Thomas P. Whitney, trans., The Gulag Archipelago, Vols. I and II, by Alexandr I. Solzhenitsyn (New York: Harper and Row, 1973), pp. 432-435 and 438-439.

{p.62} ...It is conservatively estimated that he killed 20 million Russians, and the killing did not start or stop with him.

{p. 66}True to our isolationist past and to the naïve idealism that infused our approach to world affairs, we approached World War II as if it were a sporting match with no other goal but victory. Churchill and Stalin by contrast, were aware of the cataclysmic changes taking place and had their eyes less on the immediate military task than on the political aftermath. On the Western side, Churchill was overruled. Stalin was able to make a clean sweep through Eastern Europe...We soon had to pay fro ourt carelessness. The failure...to block Soviet expansionism during the war led to a situation in which we had to scramble to do so after the war, when much territory had already been lost.

In Greece and turkey, where the Ottoman empire and then Great Britain had previously held Russia in check, a power vacuum emerged in 1947...We were obliged to respond with the Truman Doctrine...

As it was, Americans were unfamiliar with many of the subleties of dealing with the various peoples of the world and unaccustomed to power on a global scale...

...in the words of one obesrver, " the Untied States was not merely to be a beacon of a superior democratic way of life. It was also to be an example of a morally superior democratic pattern of international behavior. The United States would voluntarily reject power politics as unfit for the conduct of its foreign policy."

...Britain, from its small "sceptered isle" off the coast of Europe, had in its heyday ruled more than one-fifth of the world's land mass and one-fourth of its population....

Generations of British statesmen learned to think naturally, automatically, in global terms. What happened halfway around the globe was news in Britain because it mattered in Britain. To the British mind, empire was not "exploitation," it was destiny...Those who administered the empire sought to curb ancient rivalries and check tribal wars...

World War II radically changed the world situation without radically altering the attitudes of most Americans. After the war only America was left to lead, but Americans had little taste for leadership...
{p. 69} During World War II America's naïveté about the nature of the postwar world was epitomized by Secretary of State Cordell Hull's declaration to Congress that with the creation of the United Nations, "there will no longer be need for spheres of influence, for alliances, for balance of power, or any other of the separate alliances through which in the unhappy past the nations strove to safeguard their security or promote their interest."

World leadership also requires something that is in many ways alien to the American cast of mind. It requires placing limits on its idealism, compromising with reality, at times matching duplicity with duplicity, and even brutality with brutality. After a century and a half of holding the world at length, of declining to be contaminated by contact with its intrigues and its tyrannies, it requires marching onto the field and playing the game of power diplomacy as a contact sport—no matter who is in the lineup on the other team. And it requires doing so even when the rules imposed on the game are rules that we would not have chosen.

Moralizing is always easier from behind the lines than it is at the battlefront, and many have a way of ascribing their good fortune to their own high virtue...America could look with disdain on the conflicts of Europe, while cherishing the illusion that its own security derived somehow from its democratic system. In fact, the Unit-
{p.70} ed States in its younger days was one of the chief beneficiaries of the British Navy. As long as Britain ruled the seas, the "island continent" was secure.

The lessons of world leadership come hard...In earleir days we could take pride in our democratic tradition, secure in our splendid isolation. Now we have to defend that tradition, not only for our own sake but also for that of all others who share this tradition...

The Oil Jugular

{p. 75} ...In 1934, in a campaign to safeguard their port of Aden, the British used flattery, bribery, and no less that 1,400 "peace treaties' with the various rulers in the hinterlands of what is now South Yemen...

{p. 78} ...it was possible to unite the "northern tier" countries, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan, in a military alliance with Great Britain called the Baghdad Pact, and later the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO).


The 1973 Arab Oil Embargo

{p. 82} Britain's withdrawal from "East of Suez" had been announced in 1968 and completed in 1971. When Britain had stated that it could no longer serve as the support for Greece and turkey, Truman had filled the vacuum thus left in the eastern Mediterranean with U.S. power in order to keep the Soviets out. Now this latest retrenchment threatened to leave another vacuum...

Unfortunately, this came at a time when outcries against the war in Vietnam raised serious questions about whether the American public would support another major American commitment in a distant trouble spot such as the Persian Gulf.

Rather than replace the British presence with a direct American presence, therefore, the United States chose to rely on local powers, primarily Iran and Saudi Arabia, to provide security for the Gulf, while we assisted by making arms and other supplies available. This "two-pillar policy" worked reasonably well until one of the pillars—Iran—collapsed in 1979.

{p. 83} Henry Kissinger commented in late 1978 that "one cannot look ar what has happened in Afghanistan, Aden, Ethiopia, and Angola and draw a line between these various countries without coming to certain geopolitical conclusions." A line drawn through these countries passes directly through Saudia Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and the Straits of Hormuz, the strategic choke point through which 40 percent of the free world's oil passes—20 million barrels each day, 800,000 barrels every hour.

The downfall of the Shah was a stunningly ominous event...After the British withdrew in 1971 Iran had taken their place as the military power that guaranteed stability in the Gulf.

In addition to refusing to participate in the Arab oil embargos of 1967 and of 1973, the Shah had continued to recognize Isreal, provided oil for our Mediterranean Fleet, and kept Iraq
{p.84} from playing any significant role in the Yom Kippur War by moving troops to the Iran-Iraq border and by giving covert support to rebellious Kurdish forces, thus tying down the Iraqi Army...

Now that the Shah's rule is over, all these efforts have ended...

... the disintegration of the Iranian army is seen as an accomplished fact that has already caused a seismic shift in the power balance throughout the entire region. For many years, Iran's army served to keep in check Iraqi ambitions against Israel and Kuwait...

When the British left in 1971 only Iran had the trained manpower, the resources, and the will to take over Britain's stabilizing role. With the fall of the Shah, the disintegration of the Iranian Army, massive cutbacks in Iran's military budget, and Iran's descent into chaos, all the forces that the Shah held in check are free to press forward unrestrained. The new Iranian regime has made enemies of its neighbors by pitting Shiite Moslems against Sunni Moslems and reopening territorial disputes the Shah had settled.

The Shah's successors have abandoned work on the Chah
{p.85} Bahar naval base and canceled most of his billions of dollars of projected arms purchases. Dhofari guerrillas based in South Yemen had vowed to rekindle their attempt to bring down the Sultan of Oman. The Russians have invaded Afghanistan, which they might not have dared do if the Shah were still on his throne, allied with the Untied States and in control of the once formidable Iranian Army. Pakistan now feels the hot breath of the Russian bear on its border, and has to expect that the Soviets will soon try to subvert it by encouraging and directing Beluchi and Pushtun rebellions, which could lead to the disintegration of what is left of that country. The whole area is in turmoil and the question on everybody's mind is : Who will replace Iran? Saudi Arabia, with nearly a fourth of the world's known recoverable oil, has a special interest in this question.

Radical Iraq is now the most powerful military force in the Gulf...even without any further Soviet support, the Iraqis could move with impunity anywhere they decided to: in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, or Iran.

Iraqi military forces have already been deployed against Kuwait—in 1961 and again in 1973. In the 1961 incident the British and the other Arabs forced the Iraqis to pull their massed troops back from the Kuwait border. In the 1973 incident, however, the Iraqis did not back down, but took some Kuwaiti territory. Iraq has since settled its border differences with Kuwait, but the possibility of future problems remains.

Iraq is now making a determined bid for political dominance in the Gulf. Although its leftist authoritarian regime had been anti-American, it does not want to see the Russians establish hegemony in the Gulf...


The Big Enchilada

{p. 86} ...In 1976 the Palestinian Liberation organization disrupted Lebanon, plunging it into civil war. During my administration they tried twice within three months to assassinate King Hussein of Jordan, they set off a civil war in that country, and they almost succeeded in bringing about the fall of its government. Terrorism is the
{p. 87} PLO's stock in trade, and Saudi Arabia is extremely vulnerable to terrorist activities; two thirds of the workers in its oil fields are Palestinians.


{p. 89} ...Watching the Soviet Union crush Afghanistan as the 1970's ended, Egypt's President Anwar Sadat commented: "The battle around the oil stores has already begun." Moscow has struck to within 300 miles of the West's oil jugular. From bases in southwestern Afghanistan, MiG fighters can reach the Straits, something that was previously beyond them.

...the front has now been breached...


Needs For the Future

{p. 92} Even the "Islamic Revolution" defies simple categorization. Among the world's 800 million Moslems there are more non-Arabs than Arabs; Moslems form a majority or sizeable minority in seventy countries. The world's most populous Moslem country is Indonesia. There arte more Moslems in India, Nigeria, the Soviet Union, and even China than in most countries of the Middle East.

{p. 95} ...sending F-15 fighter planes to Saudi Arabia as a show of force but making a point of sending them unarmed—gestures such as these are worse than futile. By inviting contempt, they encourage aggression.

5. The Vietnam Syndrome

{p. 98} ...The British, weakened by the enormous exertions of World War II, began the process of withdrawing from "East of Suez."...

...Indochina—Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos—was totally within the French sphere of influence. Because the French would not make adequate guarantees of independence, many Vietnamese who would not otherwise have done so joined the openly communist forces of Ho Chi Minh, a charismatic leader with impressive
nationalist credentials gained by fighting against the French.

Vietnam was partitioned in 1954, with a communist government in the North under Ho Chi Minh and a non communist government in the South with its capital in Saigon. Between the two was a demilitarized zone—the DMZ. Soon Ho's government in hanoi was infioltrating large numbers of agents into the South, where they worked with guerrilla forces to set up networks of subversion and terrorism...

{p. 100} ...the war in Vietnam was being won in the early 1960's. But then three critical events occurred...

The first took place far from Vietnam, in Cuba, in 1961: the Bay of Pigs invasion. That disastrous failure prompted President John F. Kennedy to order a postmortem, and Genera; Maxwell Taylor was chosen to conduct it. He concluded that the CIA was not equipped to handle large-scale paramilitary operations and decided that the American effort in Vietnam fit into this category. He therefore recommended that control of it be handed over to the Pentagon, a decision that proved to have enormous consequences. The political sophistication and on-the-spot "feel" for local conditions that the CIA possessed went out the window, as people who saw the world through technological lenses took over the main operational responsibility for the war.

Another key turning point came the next year, in 1962, in Laos. At a press conference two months after his inauguration
{p.101} Kennedy had correctly declared that a communist attempt to take over Laos "quite obviously affects the security of the United States." He also said, "we will not be provoked, trapped, or drawn into this or any other situation; but I know that every American will want his country to honor its obligation." At the Geneva Conference in 1962 fifteen countries signed an agreement in which those with military forces in Laos pledged to withdraw them and all agreed to stop paramilitary assistance. All the countries complied except one: North Vietnam. North Vietnam never took any serious steps to remove its 7,000-man contingent from Laos—only 40 men were recorded as leaving—and the United States was therefore eventually forced to resume covert aid to Laos to prevent North Vietnam from taking over the country.

North Vietnam's obstinacy in keeping its forces in Laos—which had increased to 70,000 by 1972—created an extremely difficult situation...The communists used the sparsely inhabited highlands of eastern Laos, and also Cambodia, as a route for supplying their forces in South Vietnam. These areas also gave them a privileged sanctuary from which to strike...The "Ho Chi Minh Trail" through Laos enabled the communists to do an end run around the demilitarized zone...

...Hanoi was able to use sanctuaries in Laos and Cambodia as staging grounds for its assault in South Vietnam. In addition to making hit-and-run tactics possible, these lengthened the border the South had to defend from 40 to 640 miles...
{p.102} Our failure to prevent North Vietnam from establishing the Ho Chi Minh trail along Laos eastern border in 1962 had an enormous effect on the subsequent events of the war.

The third key event that set the course of the war was the assassination of Diem....Unfortunately for Diem, the American press corps in Vietnam wore white gloves, and although the North was not open to their inspection, the South was. Diem himself had premonitions of the fatal difference this might make when he told Sir Robert Thompson in 1962, "Only the American press can lose this war."

...On June 11, 1963, the camera provided a very narrow view for the television audience in the United States. On that day, in a ritual carefully arranged for the camera, a Buddhist monk in South Vietnam doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire. That picture, selectively chosen, seared a single word into the minds of many Americans: repression. The camera's focus on this one monk's act of self-immolation did not reveal the larger reality of South Vietnam; it obscured it. Even more thoroughly obscured from the
{p.103} television audience's view were the conditions inside North Vietnam...The fact that Diem was a devout Catholic made him an ideal candidate to be painted as a repressor of Buddhists. They also played very skillful political theater; the "burning Buddhist" incident was an especially grisly form. But the press played up the Buddhists as oppressed holy people, and the world placed the blame on their target, Diem. The press has a way of focusing on one aspect of a complex situation as "the" story; in Vietnam in 1963, "the" story was "repression."

President Kennedy grew increasingly unhappy at being allied with what was being portrayed as a brutal, oppressive government...On November 1, 1963, Diem was overthrown in a coup and assassinated...the most charitable interpretation of the Kennedy administration's part in this affair is that it...did nothing to prevent his murder. It was a sordid episode in American foreign policy. Diem's fall was followed by political instability and chaos in South Vietnam, and the event had repercussions all over Asia as well. President Ayub Khan of Pakistan told me a few months later, "Diem's murder meant three things to many Asian leaders: that it is dangerous to be a friend
{p.104} of the United States; that it pays to be neutral; and that sometimes it helps to be an enemy.

...Coup followed coup for the next two years...

President Kennedy had sent 16,000 Americans troops to Vietnam to serve as combat "advisers"...By 1965...President Johnson in February started bombing the North, and in March the first independent American combat units landed in Danang. As our involvement deepened, reaching 550,000 troops by the time Johnson left office, fatal flaws of the American approach became manifest.

{p. 105} Democracies are not well equipped to fight prolonged wars. A democracy fights well after its morale is galvanized by an enemy attack...But a democracy fights well only as long as public opinion supports the war...

{p. 114}...In the mid-sixties the "best and brightest" told us we could win in Vietnam overnight...as if entire nations operated like a Ford plant. Now the "best and the brightest" told us that there was no way we could win the war and that we should get out as soon as we could, abandoning South Vietnam to its fate...Arrogant even in defeat, with their guilt-ridden carping they poisoned an already disillusioned American public and frustrated all the military and political efforts we
{p.115} made to win the war. Now, shocked by the bloodbath in Cambodia and the tragic plight of the boat people fleeing from "liberated" South Vietnam, they frantically thrash about trying to find someone to blame. All they have to do is to look in the mirror.

In retrospect it is remarkable that the public continued to support our efforts in Vietnam to the extent that it did for as long as it did. As Newsweek columnist Kenneth Crawford observed, this was the first war in our history during which our media were more friendly to our enemies than to our allies. American and South Vietnamese victories, such as the smashing of the Tet offensive in 1968, were portrayed as defeats. The United States, whose only intent was to help South Vietnam defend itself, was portrayed as an aggressor. The Soviet-supported North Vietnamese were hailed as liberators.

...brutal murders of tens of thousands of civilians by the North Vietnamese were virtually ignored. During February of 1968 a Vietcong-North Vietnamese force occupied Hué and 5,800 civilians were executed or kidnapped. Following the city's recapture, as least 2,800 were found in mass graves—many of the apparently buried alive.

{p.120} By inaction at the crucial moment, the United States undermined an ally and abandoned him to his fate. The effect of the millions of Cambodians, Laotians, and South Vietnamese who relied in us and have now paid the price of communist reprisal is bad enough. But the cost in terms of raising doubts among our allies as to America's reliability, and in terms of the encouragement it gives to our potential enemies to engage in aggression against our friends in other parts of the world, will be devastating for U.S. policy for decades to come.

...an Indonesian cabinet minister {said} after the fall of Vietnam, "You Americans have lost your guts. You had the hell kicked out of you in Vietnam. You won't solve your energy problem. We'll make you pay and pay for oil, and you'll pay. You've lost your guts. Vietnam was your Waterloo." And for the Soviets, it meant that in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Angola détente was a one-way street.

In essence, the final climatic battle at the end of the struggle that had been going on for twenty-five years was decided in favor of the communists because when the chips were down, the Soviet Union stood by its allies and the Untied States failed to do so.

{p. 121} The United States got out of the war, but the killing did not stop. In Cambodia, it accelerated massively when the Pol Pot regime launched the most brutal bloodbath in recent history.

Estimates of deaths have been staggering, so too has been the brutalization of the populace. Refugees reported that "serious mistakes, such as stealing a banana ...,you would be executed immediately." Other reports indicated that the Khmer Rouge had set aside a period of two days, once or twice a year, as the "mating period." It was only during this time that men and women were allowed to talk to each other, "except for talk about developing the country." As for those who violated this statute, a refugee reports, "I know of about twenty young men and women caught flirting, who were executed." Complaining about food also became a capital crime in the brave new world the Khmer Rouge was building...So did joking; one refugee told of a person who was executed because he was "too jovial." At one point it was announced that holding hands was henceforth a capital crime.

In 1979 a new wave of disaster overcame Cambodia as Pol Pot's scorched-earth tactics and North Vietnam's starvation policy caught the Cambodian people in a vise of horror. The world watched aghast as the communist factions tore the remnants of the country to shreds. Some estimate that half of Cambodia's population may have perished already.

In June 1979 U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, speaking
{p.122} in Bonn, West Germany, stated that "There is no sense trying to cast blame or condemn anyone" for the atrocities practiced by the new communist governments of Southeast Asia. He went on to suggest that these atrocities "automatically" could be traced to America's involvement in Vietnam. This is malevolent nonsense. Worse, it is self-serving non-sense. Many of those who wish to close their eyes to today's horrors in Southeast Asia also wish to close everyone else's eyes to their own sabotage of the American effort there, and the ghastly effects that sabotage has brought about. But like the blood on Lady Macbeth's hand, it is a permanent stain.

The U.S. failure to keep its commitments to South Vietnam led to national tragedies as the countries of Indochina were engulfed in a modern-day holocaust.

{p. 123} ...the United States pulled the rug from under its ally by drastically cutting back supplies while the Soviets poured huge quantities of arms and ammunition into the arsenals of their ally...

As William Colby has pointed out, "In an ironic asymmetry, the Communists initiated the war against Diem in the late 1950's as a people's war and the Americans and the Vietnamese
{p.124} Initially responded to it as a conventional military one; in the end the Thieu government was fighting a successful people's war, but lost to a military assault. The Presidential Palace in Saigon was not entered by a barefoot guerrilla but by a North Vietnamese tank with an enormous cannon.

In Laos they have dropped poison gas on hill tribesmen...



6. The Awakening Giant

{p. 127} China...could emerge during teh twentiy-first century as the strongest power on earth—id it successfully completes its transition to the modern world, and if it continues to move away from doctrinaire communist economic theories.

China is changing, and the changes in China, if they continue, may profoundly change the world.

{p. 128} Historically, the Chinese saw China as "the Middle Kingdom"—as the center of the world, the celestial empire, "all under Heaven."...The Chinese became aware of other civilizations, but these were too remote to be viewed as either threats or alternatives.

{p. 129} Beyond the Great Wall there is not enough rainfall to support agriculture: below it there is. to the north, nomadic tribes have always roamed, developing skills of horsemanship, raiding, and warfare. To the south, sedentary cities and civilizations with all their riches evolved.

For China, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have been a time of shattering collision with the outside world...

{p. 130} Britain went to war against China in part to compel the Chinese to accept the continued sale of opium...in the second Opium War, Britain and France together forced more of China open to foreign trade...

{p. 132} After Sun Yat-sen's death in 1925 the faction led by Chiang Kai-shek and the one that eventually was led by Mao Zedong battled each other until Mao won final control of the mainland in 1949. Meanwhile, China fought a grueling war with Japan and suffered brutally under the Japanese invasion. Since 1949 China also has fought the United States in Korea, it has fought India, it has engaged in border warfare with the Soviet Union, and more recently it has fought its former client state of Vietnam. But more fundamentally, during much of the century China fought China...Mao purged first one faction and then another, launching his Great Leap Forward and his Cultural Revolution, "purifying" the party...—with millions dying in the process of that purification.


The Sino Soviet-Split

{p. 134} The communist victory in China came only four years after the end of World War II...the Chinese government, being Chinese, was not long willing to concede Moscow unchallenged supremacy as leader of the communist world.

{p. 135} Both Peking {Beijing} and Moscow supported North Korea's invasion of South Korea in 1950. But the Soviet Union provided only arms {sic nobs Ed.: Soviet pilots flew MIGs in the conflict}; thousands of Chinese were killed in action, including one of Mao's sons...

Soviet leaders constantly denigrated the Chinese. Russian leaders as far back as Khrushchev privately warned their American counterparts against the Chinese disregard for human life—which, given the Soviet record, invites its own wry commentary ...Brezhnev repeatedly warned me...he urged that "we Europeans" should unite to contain the potential great threat from China.

Hua Guefeng told me of a conversation between Mao and Soviet Premier Kosygin in 1965, in which Mao told Kosygin
{p.136} that the debate between China and the Soviet Union would go on for ten thousand years. Kosygin protested, and as their conversation ended he asked Mao whether he had finally convinced him that ten thousand years was too long an estimate. Mao replied that Kosygin had indeed been persuasive, and that because of this he would knock off a thousand years—but that the debate would go on for at least nine thousand years.

The Sino-Soviet split developed in the late 1950's and early 1960's, barely a decade after Mao took power; by 1961 it was virtually complete. Among the contributing factors were Chinese disappointment at not getting more Soviet assistance in developing their nuclear capacity...

The U.S. and China

...Years earlier, at the
{p.137} Geneva Conference in 1954, Zhou {Enlai} had been deeply offended when he extended his hand to John Foster Dulles at a public gathering and Dulles refused to shake it. This has been one of those small ceremonial slights that may seem justified even necessary, at the time, but that can rankle for years afterward and even have substantial diplomatic consequences. I was determined that my first act on arriving in China would be to undo the act of omission. As I came down the ramp, Zhou began to applaud. I returned the gesture, and then, as I reached the bottom step, I stretched out my hand to Zhou. When he took it, it was more than a handshake. We both knew that it marked a turning point in history.

For years the United States had been the number one enemy, the target of China's most vitriolic propaganda...

In the Korean War U.S. troops fought Chinese troops; in Vietnam China supplied and aided our North Vietnamese enemy.

{p. 139} the hostilities that existed between china and the United States in the 1949-1972 period were the result of politics, not of personality; they stemmed from a clash of national interest, not a clash of national cultures. Therefore, as policies changes and interests shifted, hostility could more readily be replaced by respect, cordiality, even friendship.

{p. 140} China had had a border clash with India in 1962, and more recently had seen the ease with which, with Soviet aid, India dismembered China's ally, Pakistan. Despite the contempt that the Chinese felt toward the Indians, with India on the way toward adding a nuclear capability to its Soviet-supplied arsenal, India's potential had to give China pause.

For China, the new relationship with the United States represented a "great leap forward" into the world of independent great-power politics. It meant accommodating positions that cut directly against the grain of revolutionary communist ideology.

{p. 147} Looking to the future, as China develops its economy, builds its military strength, and becomes, as it may, the world's most powerful nation, the key question will be how it uses that power...China has traditionally been the self-sufficient, self-contained "Middle Kingdom," which had neither need of nor interest in foreign conquests...


7. Military Power

From U.S. Nuclear Superiority to Parity

{p. 156} ...As recently described buy a former CIA analyst, "The U.S. approach under Secretary of Defense McNamara was one of unilateral restraint."

In 1965 McNamara gave this justification for restraint: "The Soviets have decided that they have lost the quantitative race.... There is no indication that the Soviets are seeking to develope a strategic nuclear force as large as ours."


NATO and the Oil Lifeline

{p. 187} ...The situation facing our Western European allies with regard to their oil supply was admitttedly difficult,and their concern over diversion of NATO military stocks had legitimacy. However, in retrospect, neither consideration justified their lack of support of the Untied States. It is not only that their reluctance to support us in 1973 has gained them no appreciable or permanet advantage with the Arab states...Their failure to support the United States when it was acting in accordance with what it beleived to be a major national—and one common to its allies—has ominous implications for the health of the alliance. How viable is NATO if we cannot have a concerted policy to deal with major security problems beyond Europe? Economic and geoplitical considerations, particularly in the PErsian Gulf, are raising problems that, while beyond the normal confines of NATO, withour question concern NATO as an alliance. And so far NATO has shown itself incapable of re-
{p. 188} ponding as an alliance to such problems...


Japan


{p. 189} The threats that alarm the Japanese are essentially...interruption of the sea-lanes between and the Persian Gulf...They could rearm, both conventionally and with nuclear weapons...Or they could continue to rely on the United States. For a few more years at least they will pursue the last course...

{p. 190} ...This free ride on defense helped spur its meteoric economic rise.

...its 42,000-man navy is vulnerable to air attack and incapable of defending the sea-lanes on which Japan depends.

Japan needs more defense, and it can afford it...Japan's leaders will have to work at preparing their people for a greater military effort...

The cornerstone of Japan's defense, however, will continue to its alliance with the Untied States. U.S.-Japanese military cooperation needs to be strengthened; this is in the interests of both countries. A close partnership between the strongest military and economic power inthe free word and the strongest economic power in Asia could provide the basis for Amercian political and military flexibility in the region and act as a restraint on {an opponent}...

By means of more intimate naval cooperation, the U.S. and Japanese fleets could greatly improve their coverage of the sea area...


{p. 209} Most favored nation status is an economic lever we can use for diplomatic purposes. MFN status is something we routinely extend to nearly all our trading partners. In essence, it provides that in such matters as tariffs and trade regulations we will treat that country as favorably as we do any other country. MFN status has the effect of reducing import duties on goods from those countries extended it...


Trade With China

{p. 211} The internal convulsions of the period when Mao and the extreme leftists tried to run the world's largest country on revolutionary rhetoric have now ended, at least temporarily. The present Chinese leaders are trying to tackle China's greatest task-modernization-in a more sensible way. They openly acknowledge that they can learn from the West. The success or failure of their effort over the next few years to bring some measure of modernization to the Chinese people may determine whether China continues in its more moderate stance of reverts to revolutionary chaos, isolation, and belligerence...


Preserving Economic Power

{p. 217} Even John Maynard Keynes, the architect of liberal economics, warned that a level of public spending over 25 percent of GNP would have dire consequences. The budgets of our state, local, and federal governments now amount to 32 percent of the gross national product, up from 21 percent as recently as 1950. The federal budget alone for 1980 is bigger than the gross national product of all but three of the world's 159 other nations. The 1980 budget for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare-nearly $200 billion-was more than that of any other organization on earth except for the governments of the United States and the Soviet Union. The big growth has not been in defense, but in social programs and income transfers...

...There are hidden costs as well: in ideas not pursued, business not started, inventions left undeveloped because the government has been suffocating the entrepreneur
{p.217} under an avalanche of paper. Innovation is the spark that fires economic growth; productivity is the engine that drives prosperity. Overregulation kills both.


Ceiling Unlimited

{p. 226} The cult of the guilt-ridden has imbued us with the notion that we must be apologetic and defensive about our wealth; that because ours is a rich society, it is therefore an evil society. Giving credence to this nonsense is a disservice to America and the rest of the world. The plain fact is that ours is a rich society because it is a productive society, and unless we accept and proclaim that fact, the example we set for the needy nations of the world will be a false one.

Poverty oppresses. The best antidote to poverty is productivity, and the greatest productivity occurs when the economy provides incentives and rewards for hard work, for extra effort, and for increased investment.



9. Will Power

{p. 234} Stalin killed nearly a million people per year in the quarter century of his rule. Khrushchev and Brezhnev both served their apprenticeships under Stalin, not by distributing food stamps of serving in the Peace Corps, but by efficiently eliminating those whom Stalin saw as threats to his power. Khrushchev was sent to the Ukraine by Stalin in 1938 to conduct a political housecleaning. Within a year 163 of the 166 members of the Central Committee there had been liquidated. Khrushchev was then promoted to full membership in the Politburo.


Dulles was right. Anyone who gets to the top in the Soviet Union has climbed over a lot of corpses to get there.

{p. 238} William F. Buckley, Jr., once remarked that he would rather be governed by the first 100 names in the Boston telephone book than by the faculty of Harvard...
...Extremely sophisticated about ideas in the abstract, they can be extremely simplistic and naïve about the realities of the actual global conflict we find ourselves in. "War" is "bad," "peace" is "good," and posturing with words is everything.

The nation's immediate problem is that while the common man fights America's wars, the intellectual elite sets its agenda. Today, whether the West lives or dies is in the hands of its new power elite: those who set the terms of public debate, who manipulate the symbols, who decide whether nations or leaders will be depicted on 100 million television sets as "good" or "bad." This power elite sets the limits of the possible for the President and Congress. It molds the impressions that move the nation, or that mire it.

America lost in Vietnam because this power elite persis-
{p.239} tently depicted first Diem and the Thieu as corrupt and dictatorial and the war therefore as not worth fighting—ignoring how much worse the alternative would be. The Shah of Iran and President Anastasio Somoza of Nicaragua met the same fate, with the United States greasing the skids for their downfall. While still our U.N. ambassador, Andrew Young nominated the Ayatollah Khomeini for sainthood and praised Cuban troops as providing "stability" in Africa...as the New York Times romanticizing of Fidel Castro two decades ago was a major factor in legitimating his revolution and securing his victory.


Even though Mussolini's definition of fascism was a perfect description of Soviet communism, fascism has been identified as right-wing and therefore "bad,' while communism has been identified as left-wing and therefore, if not actually "good," at least to be viewed in a sympathetic light that points up its promise while obscuring its crudities.


The forced collectivization of Soviet agriculture in thee 1930's was one of the most monumental atrocities of huamn history, in many ways the model for the genocidal tragedy of Cambodia in our time. Families were t orn apart, peasants were slaughtered for trying to hold onto a pig or a cow; mil-
{p.240} lions, their few possessions confiscated, were packed into cattle cars and sent to die in the frozen wastelands of Siberia. Children, orphaned or separated from their parents, wandered the countryside starving and homeless. But in the West the leaders of intellectual fashion were so infatuated with the romance of revolution that they closed their eyes to its gore and saw only its glory. Thus George Bernard Shaw. in the midst of the horror, could tell a press conference in Moscow that he was "more than ever convinced" that capitalist countries "must adopt Russia's methods," and write in his hotel guest book, "There is not a more interesting country in the world today to visit than Soviet Russia, and I find travelling there perfectly safe and pleasant.... Tomorrow I leave this land of hope and return to our Western countries of despair."

Reflecting in his days as a Moscow correspondent for the Manchester guardian during the Stalin era, Malcolm Muggeridge recenmtly recalled "the extraordinary performance of the liberal intelligentsia, who, in those days, flocked to Moscow like pilgrims to Mecca. And they were one and all utterly delighted and excited by what they saw there. Clergyment walked serenly and happily through the anti-god museums, politicians claimed that no system of society could possibly be more equitable and just, lawyers admired Soviet justice, and economists praised the Soviet economy." It was this, he said, that "touched off my awareness of the great liberal death wish, my sense that Western man was, as it were, sleep-walking into his own ruin."

William Pfaff of the New Yorker notes those "who beleived in Russian Communism, and went enthusiastically to Moscow a half-century ago to see what the wanted to see, and no more, were not negligible men. They included John Reed, Bernard Shaw, André Gide (for a time), Theordore Dreiser, John Dos Passos, Julian Huxley." More recently, he argues, "With Stalin dead and the Soviet Union discreditied as a society of reform, the communism of Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh assumed the function of 'Beau Ideal' for a new generation of European and American idealists." These people "see in the political character and accomplishments of other countries what they need to see.... For admiring foreigners, Vietnam and China were too often countries that existed mostly in their heads. Since they were imaginary countries, they were pre-

Notes p. 240 Harry M. Geduld, ed., The Rationalization of Russia by George Bernard Shaw (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1964), pp. 30,31.
Malcolm Muggeridge, Wall Street Journal, December 31, 1979.
William Pfaff, "On the Passing of a Grand Illusion," Los Angelas Tiems, March 25, 1979.
{p.241} served from the corrosion of existence, the wear of life. Faith in them could remain; they could be stubbornly beleived societies of justice, warm human cooperation, mutual support, simple honesty, truth-telling.

A comparable blindness in one eye exists with regard to Africa...In South Africa blacks are consigned to certain areas and forbiden certain forms of fraternization; in uganda the heads of black ugandans were beaten in with hammers, their legs chopped off, and they were forced to eat the flesh of their fellow prisoners before they were put to death. But fashionable outrage is directed agaisnt apartheid, not savagery.

Longshoreman-philosopher Eric Hoffer has cemmented:

One of the surprising priveleges of intellectuals is that they are free to be scandalously asinine without harming their reputation. The intellectuals who idolized Stalin while he was purging millions ans stifling the least stirring of freedom have not been discredited. They are still holding forth on every topic under the sun and are listened to with deference.... The metaphysical grammarian Noam Chomsky, who went to hanoi to worship there at the altar of human rights and democracy, was not discredited and silenced when the humanitarian communists staged their nightmare in South Vietnam and Cambodia.



10. Presidential Power

{p. 249} The effective use of power, especially on the world scene, is a skill that only experience can teach. But we can learn from the experience of others. We can draw on the wisdom of others. In the heydey of the British Empire young Englishmen grew up with their eyes on the far corners of the earth...A global view came naturally, and so did a familiarity with the exercise of power and with the ways of the world. In the postwar world America has assumed global responsibilities; we must try to prepare our next generation of carry them...


Private Diplomacy

{p. 251} Ferquently results can be achieved through private diplomacy that could never be achieved through public diplomacy. A classic illustraion of this occurred during my first term, in 1970. In the fall of that year U-2 flights over Cuba revealed that a base was being constructed at Cienfuegos which could be used for submarines armed with nuclear missiles. This violated the 1962 U.S.-Soviet agreement on Cuba. But instead of confronting the Russians publicly...Henry Kissinger informed Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin that we were aware of the base under construction, told him unequivocally that we considered it to be a violation of our agreement, and let Dobrynin know that we were keeping things cool deliberately so that the Soviets could withdraw without a public confrontation.

Two weeks later Dobrynin handed Kissinger a note reaffirming the 1962 understanding about Cuba and stating that the Soviets were doing nothing to violate that understanding. U-2 flights showed that construction had slowed down at the sub site. After some face-saving delays it stopped altogether and the base at Cienfuegos was abandoned...

This episode proved the wisdom of Liddell Hart's dictum:

It is an elementary principle of strategy that, if you find your opponent in a strong postiion costly to force, you should leave him a line of retreat—as the quickest way of loosening his resistance. It should equally, be a principle of policy, especially in war, to provide your opponent with a ladder by which he can climb down.


The "Hole Card"

{p. 253} Diplomacy often requires a delicate and intricate balancing of ambiguity and straight talk, unpredictable and the very predictable. A complex game is played out between adversaries, a game that involves, or should involve, the least amount of guesswork on the part of the American, and tea greatest amount of guesswork on the part of the other side.

In this respect international relations are a lot like poker—stud poker with the hole card. The hole card is all important because without it your opponent—the Soviet leader, for instance—has perfect knowledge of whether or not he can beat you. If he knows he will win, he will raise you. If he knows he cannot, he will fold and get out of the game.

The United States is an open society. We have all but one of our cards face up on the table. Our only covered card is the will, nerve, and unpredictability of the President—his ability to make the enemy think twice about raising the ante. If we turn that card up, it is no contest. We must, of course, have good cards showing. But we must also make {an opponent} think that
{p. 254} out hole card is very good indeed...To be on an equal footing with them our "up" cards must be as good as theirs, and our "down" card—the President—must be every bit as unknown as theirs.

Many examples from recent years illustrate the danger of turning all our cards up, as well as the benefit of keeping one down.

In 1950 the Untied States had overwhelming nuclear superiority. But when Secretary Dean Acheson announced an American view of vital international interests, he excluded South Korea. The North Korean communists thought that our intentions were face up on the board, and that they did not include the defense of South Korea. So they attacked, confident of both Soviet and Chinese support. It was a miscalculation by them, based upon a misrepresentation by us. Had Acheson's statement left doubt in the minds of the communists, the war in South Korea might have been avoided.

During the war Truman again turned up a card by announcing his intention to refrain from using tactical or strategic nuclear weapons in the conduct of the war. The North Koreans, Chinese, and Soviets once again gained full knowledge of our hand, so they felt comfortable continuing to pursue the war at the conventional level. Only when Eisenhower assumed power did the card again become a mystery. Eisenhower was a proven, strong military leader. They had ample reason to wonder about his intentions, and Eisenhower gave them no reason to believe he would not use our strategic superiority. On the contrary, his Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, sent strong hints through diplomatic channels that he might. With mystery restored to the equation, the communists began to negotiate seriously and the war soon ended.

When French and British forces moved into Egypt at the height of the Suez crisis, Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin proposed to President Eisenhower that the Soviets and Americans engage in a joint military action to stop the fighting in Egypt, a
{p. 255} a proposal the White House immediately branded as unacceptable. As the fighting increased, however, and it appeared possible that the Soviets might take some unilateral action, Eisenhower ordered the Joint Chiefs to put American military units on alert. Even after a cease-fire was declared, the Soviets continued to threaten to send "volunteers" into Egypt. While Eisenhower's answer to this was diplomatically worded, NATO Commander Alfred Gruenther was authorized to be blunt: a communist attack on the West would result in the Soviet bloc being "destroyed ... as sure as day follows night." As Eisenhower noted in his memoirs, "The Soviet threat proved to be nothing but words." However, it was clear that Eisenhower's credibility as a strong military leader, combined with our overwhelming nuclear superiority, was the decisive factor that deterred Soviet intervention.

Two years later, in 1958, when the United States confronted Chinese communist threats to take over the Nationalist-held islands of Quemoy and Matsu, Eisenhower explained to me his version of the concept of the hole card. Reflecting on his own experience as a military commander, he said, "You should never let the enemy know what you will do, but it's more important that you never let the enemy know what you will not do."

If the adversary feels that you are unpredictable, even rash, he will be deterred from pressing you too far. The odds that he will fold increase greatly, and the unpredictable President will win another hand. By contrast, statements that appear to rule out the use of force, while perhaps meant to be nonprovacative, will in fact provoke an antagonist to push for more.

Even when you are strong, it is a bad strategy to let yourself appear weak. This can lead to a dangerous miscalculation on your adversary's part. The 1961 Vienna Summit between Khrushchev and Kennedy led to such a miscalculation. Perhaps Kennedy was confident of his own resolve, but he did not project that confidence to Khrushchev. As James Reston has since written, "Kennedy went there shortly after his spectacular blunders at the Bay of Pigs, and was savaged by Khrushchev.... I had an hour alone with President Kennedy immediately after his last meeting with Khrushchev in Vienna at that time," Reston reported. "Khrushchev had assumed, Kennedy said, that any American President who invaded Cuba without adequate preparation was inexperienced, and any president who then didn't use force to see the invasion through was weak. Kennedy admitted Khrushchev's logic on both points."

Khrushchev later called Kennedy's hand by putting missiles into Cuba. A dangerous confrontation with nuclear overtones resulted, one that could have been prevented had Kennedy's conduct in Vienna given Khrushchev a greater impression of strength and determination.

In 1973, when the United States and the Soviet Union were roughly equal in nuclear capability, Brezhnev demanded that the United States join the Soviet Union in sending troops into the Mideast during the Arab-Israeli war. This would have created a potentially explosive situation. And Brezhnev threatened that if we did not agree to joint action, he would send in Soviet forces unilaterally.

When we ordered a military alert Brezhnev backed down. The Alert might not have had this effect had Brezhnev not concluded from his conversations with me in June of that year, and also from the strong actions we had taken to protect our interests in Vietnam in 1972, that I might back up my strong words with strong actions. He was not willing to take that risk.

In 1979 the Carter administration's relatively mild reaction to previous Soviet moves may well have led Brezhnev to conclude that he could send the Red Army into Afghanistan without provoking a strong U.S. response.

Public statements that we will not let {an opponent} push us around are not effective. They dismiss these as bravado, primarily because they engage in that sort of bluster so much themselves. They must always have very serious questions about what a President will do. For example, we should not make statements that we will never launch a preemptive strike. Whether or not we would ever exercise that option, we should always leave open the possibility that in extreme circumstances we might.

The demonstrated will, nerve, and unpredictability of the President become even more important in a period when {an opponent} moves from inferiority to superiority in nuclear arms. If {an opponents} fear that the President might react strongly, they will be less likely to put him to the test. If they conclude
{p. 257} that they can predict his response, and that it will be a weak one, they will test him. Then, if they turn out to be right, they will win. If they turn out to be wrong, they will have made the kind of miscalculation that could lead to a major conventional or even nuclear war. The lessons of history is that wars more often than not come from this kind of miscalculation.

{p. 258}Unfortunately for the nation, breaches of security created especially difficult situations during my administration. The most dramatic came in June 1971, then the so-called Penatagon Papers were suddenly made public. These were 7,000 pages of classified documents relating to the Vietnam War, including material that was still sensitive not only for the United States but also for a number of our allies. They had been leaked to the New York Times months earlier. The Times went to extravagant lengthes to keep an absolute lid of secrecy on the fact that it had them, until it was ready to spring them on us—without even a moment's advance notice, and without giving any responsible official a chance to read them, much less to advise the Times on what parts might be particulaly sensitive. I have always had great respect for the New York Times as one of the world's finest newspapers, and I still do. But I considered this one of the grossest acts of journalistic irresponsibility I had
{p.259} encounted in a quarter century of public life. In his dissenting opinion in the Pentagon Papers case Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote of the Times' failure to consult the government:

To me it is hardly beleivable that a newspaper long regarded as a great insitution in American lives would fail to perform one of the basic and simple duties of every citizen with respect to the discovery or possession of stolen property or secret government documents.... This duty rests on taxi drivers, justices, and the New York Times

The next month on July 23, the morning before we were to present our formal, opening position at the SALT talks in Helsinki, the New York Times carried a front-page story detailing what was allegedly our fallback postiion.

These events took place just as Kissinger was making his secret trip to Peking, the SALT talks were starting, and the war in Vietnam was at a critical juncture. By the fall the CIA reported that we were in the midst of the worst outbreaks of leaks in nearly twenty years, since 1953. Trying to conduct effective international relations in such an atmosphere, much less to lay the cornerstone of a durable structure of peace, was a nightmare and threatened to become an impossibility.

When I made my trip to Peking in 1972 the Chinese leaders were particularly concerned about the possibility of leaks. In Decmeber 1971, during the war between India and Pakistan, columnist Jack Anderson published verbatim minutes of a highlevel discussion of our policy with regard to the war. Referring tothe Anderson leak, Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai commented to me that "the records of three of your meetings were made public because all sorts of people were invited." He was politiely suggesting that he would not like to see the transcripts of our talks suffer the same fate. This was not a farfetched possibility. In the course of tracking down the Anderson leak we discovered that a memo of Kissinger's conversation with Zhou during his first secret trip to Peking had been copied and passed along to others who, fortunately, had not made it public. But the danger remained. I sensed clearly that unless the Chinese were assured that our talks would be kept in confidence they would be hesitant about revealing how far they might be willing to go to reach an accomodation with us. I assured Zhou that where
{p.260} the fate of our two countries—and possibly the fate of the world—was involved, we would be able to talk in complete confidence. Only then were we able to make progress in our negotiations.

A nation unable to protect its own vital secrets will certainly not be trusted with another nation's crucial information. As Cord Meyer has pointed out, "Even the most friendly ally must hesitate to cooperate with the United States if it has fear of exposure of its sources."

...we must quit making national heroes out of those who illegally disclose top-secret information


Summit Meetings

{p. 264} Harold Nicholson, in Diplomacy, sounded a warning about the dangers of summitry. "Such visits," he wrote, "arouse pub-
{p.265} lic expectation, lead to misunderstandings, and create confusion. The time at the disposal of these visitors is not always sufficient to allow for patience and calm deliberation. The honors, which are paid to a minister in a foreign capital may tire his physique, excite his vanity, or bewilder his judgement.

A summit meeting presents other pitfalls as well. When a President negotiates personally, he deprives himself of three major assets:

He loses some of the enormous prestige of his position as head of state andhead of government by talking as an equal with the head of government from another country. Frank I. Cobb made this point in a memo to Colonel House in 1918: "The moment President Wilson sits at the council table with their prime ministers and foreign secretaries he has lost all power that comes from distance and detachment....He becomes merely a negotiator dealing with negotiators."

He reduces the mystery, which is one of his greatest weapons in diplomacy; a President may appear more powerful and less predictable from a distance than in face-to-face encounters.

Probably most importantly, he loses flexibility: an ambassador, or even a foreign minister, can put forth positions that a President can later modify or even repudiate. For example, Dulles, with Eisenhower's approval, would often take a hard line, which would later allow Eisenhower to act as the conciliator. Kissinger, on the other hand, with my approval, would profess to want to be more conciliatory, and use the prospect of my harder line for negotiating leverage. As a veteran British ambassador observed, "Sometimes the function of a diplomat is to fail in a negotiation or make little or no progress. But when a head of state gets involved, his need to look like a winner can do serious damage to a delicate process."


{p. 273} ...Iran had no tradition of democracy, and his government still used what by Western standards were harsh measures to keep its political opposition in check. But the people of Iran had far more progress in
{p. 274} political and human rights than any of their neighbors excepts Israel. Under the Shah, Iran was advancing internally and was secure externally....

...he may have tried to do too much too soon—both economically and politically. The more the people got, the more they wanted. He had antagonized the Moslem leaders by forcing them to give their lands to the peasants, as he had done with his own lands, and by emancipating women. He has enormously increased the availability of higher education; but then thousands of educated young Iranians—particularly those who had gone to school in the United States—joined his opponents and insisted that he abdicate so that democracy and human rights, American style, could come immediately to Iran.

Instead of rights, they got an Islamic dictatorship.

{p. 275} ...the crucial mistake the United States made was not in giving him support or failing to give him support, but in being indecisive. One day, he would receive public and private assurances of all-out support. The next day, a story would be leaked to the effect that second-level U.S. emissaries were in contact with his opposition. The day after that, a statement from the White House would indicate that the United States, in the event that the Shah was overthrown, would accept any government the people wanted. A vacillating United States government could not seem to decide whether to support the Shah unequivocally, force him to compromise with his enemies, or leave him free to maneuver without its support.


The United States and the West have lost a staunch friend in an explosive area of the world where we desperately need friends who will act as a stabilizing force. Countries in the area, such as Saudi Arabia, that have the will to assume that stabiliz-

{p.276} ing role lack the military power. Those, such as Iraq, that have the power may not seek the same kind of stability.
...Iran has lost an effective leader. The world has lost one of those leaders who, far from being parochial, have a better understanding of the great forces that move the world than leaders of most major countries...

There are lessons in the future in this tragic development.

Especially, when a key country like Iran is involved...

Above all, in the future we must stand by our friends or we will soon find that we have none. After seeing what happened to the Shah in Iran and how he was treated by the Untied States after he left Iran, other rulers in countries that are very important to us—such as Saudi Arabia—now wonder if the same thing will happen to them...

{p. 277} We must grasp the distinction between "totalitarian" regimes, which deny all freedoms, and "authoritarian" regimes, which may severely limit political rights but allow personal liberties—for example, the right to free choice in education, religion, employment, marriage, friends, workplace, and familylife, and in some cases that protection of a system of jurisprudence, which while not as advanced as ours, is nevertheless far more meaningful than the purely paper legality of the U.S.S.R or the Koran's protection in present—day Iran.

...By contrast the Cambodian bloodbath was a brutal effort to transform a society and to destroy everyone who resisted change....

exerting more pressure on friendly regimes that provide some rights and not threaten their neighbors than we exert
{p.278} on hostile regimes that provide no rights and do threaten their neighbors is not only hypocritical, it is stupid. Alliances are arrangements of convenience. Allies do not have to love one another or even admire one another.; it is enough that they need one another. Being joined in an alliance neither obliges nor entitles us to deliver condescending lectures in political morality to our partners. The "moral imperialists" who insist that other nations be re-created in our image as the price of our friendship do freedom no favor.

{p. 298} Our friends and adversaries alike are well aware that either a guarantee or a warning by the United States is only as strong as the forces backing it up. Further, it is only as strong as the demonstrated will of the President to use those forces if necessary. When a President repeatedly makes a political issue out of the claim that no American has been killed in combat during his administration, he wins points at home but loses clout abroad; other leaders wonder how far he would let himself be pushed before he would risk that record.




The Real War
Richard Nixon
1980

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