Accession Number:



U.S. Foreign Policy Achievements and Challenges

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The most important development in recent years is that a significant shift has occurred in what the Soviets call the global correlation of forces. During the 1970s, we endured the ordeal of American hostages in Iran, long gas lines reminded us of Americas growing dependence on others for basic resources, divisions appeared in our alliances, and the cumulative effect of inadequate investment in U.S. military modernization began to show. In contrast, the momentum of Moscows strategic modernization effort far exceeded ours. Through the application of their military power, they expanded their influence in the Third World the influence of democratic and free market principles appeared to wane. Much has changed in the 1980s. We have substantially rebuilt our military power and revitalized our economy. There is a new pride in our country, a strong consensus that the United States should play an active role in the world. Our alliances are in solid shape. It is now the Soviets who are encountering growing difficulties at home and abroad. A second trend is the spread of democracy and market economies in the Third World. A third trend is that the Soviets are finding themselves at cross-purposes with the forces of nationalism in the countries where they extended their influence in the 1970s. A fourth development is in the fields of arms control and trade. In Iceland, we proposed, and the Soviets accepted, a 5-year period of reductions in strategic forces in which all strategic nuclear arms would be reduced by 50. We agreed to defer deployment of the Strategic Defense Initiative for 10 years, but we would not stop developing it. Another favorable trend is that public consciousness has been raised regarding two issues of tremendous importance to Americans terrorism and drug trafficking. Regional conflicts that remain include the Arab-Israeli conflict, Middle East terrorism, Central American communism, and South African apartheid.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement: