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FILE ID:97102001.POL

(Says "globalization is a two-way street") (2190)

Washington -- Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott says the
purpose of U.S. foreign policy "is to make sure that we use our
brains, heart, guts, muscle, and wallet to bend the phenomenon of
global interdependence to our national and international advantage."

In a October 20 speech to a conference at the University of Maryland
entitled, "Misreading the Public: Policymakers, Public Opinion and
Foreign Policy in the 90s," Talbott noted that a newly released report
basically confirms that "many Americans recognize and welcome that
proposition" on foreign policy.

The report, released at the conference, is entitled: "The Foreign
Policy Gap: How Policymakers Misread the Public." Its authors have
concluded, according to Talbott, that the American public, while
retaining its fundamentally internationalist outlook, "is deeply
apprehensive about any suggestion that the United States should serve
as a 'world policeman' or an all-purpose global troubleshooter."

The deputy secretary went on to say that although globalization "can
be a dangerous two-way street," there is no substitute for or
alternative to U.S. leadership "in addressing the problems and
capitalizing on the opportunities" that come with it. In his comments
on "Bridging the Foreign Policy Gap," Talbott said American leadership
"sometimes means we must be willing to make tough decisions and act
alone. But it also means that in an interdependent world, it will much
more often be possible -- and certainly desirable -- to pursue our
interests in concert with others."

Following is the text of Talbott's remarks as delivered:

(begin text)

Thank you, Mac (Destler)(of the University of Maryland's Center for
International and Security Studies), both for that introduction and
for the efforts that you, Steve (Krull) and Clay (Ramsay) (of the
Program on International Policy Attitudes) have made to probe the
complexities of American thinking about the world and the United
States' role in it.

For the last several years, the conduct of American foreign policy has
had to contend with the adversity of conventional wisdom. The American
people, it was often and loudly said, are indifferent to world
affairs; they are preoccupied with problems here at home; they are
eager to disengage from long-standing global commitments and reject
new ones.

In part, this perception is rooted in our history, going back at least
to George Washington's farewell address and his warning against
foreign entanglements. Without doubt, there is, in the American body
politic, a nerve of isolationism. It tends to twitch especially after
wars, whether hot or cold. This happened most famously and
disastrously after World War I, when that nerve went into a nearly 20
year spasm. In the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the Berlin
Wall and the shredding of the Iron Curtain, there were voices saying,
in effect, that America had slain the only beast worthy of its global
exertions; they advocated protectionist trade practices and
isolationist diplomacy, or what might be called anti-diplomacy.

For whom did these voices speak? Did a critical mass of public opinion
in this country really want to see the American eagle behave like an
ostrich? There was a lot of pessimism on that score. Why? In part, I
think, it was because many of us assumed -- incorrectly, I believe --
that the nation would have trouble making the transition from an era

in which the main purpose of American foreign policy could be
expressed, literally, on a bumper sticker -- "Contain Communism," or
"Deter Soviet Aggression" -- to one in which it takes at least a
paragraph to explain the purpose of American foreign policy.

The more we thought about how that paragraph should read, the more we
worried that it would lose readers -- and support -- out in the
heartland. After all, it would have to include if not the term then at
least the concept of globalization, the idea that in an increasingly
interdependent world, what happens there matters here, almost no
matter where there is. Throw in the rising importance of economics and
commerce, the need to address cross-border threats like terrorism and
environmental degradation, and the imperative of deepening and
broadening the community of nations that share a commitment to
democracy, rule of law and civil society, and before you know it, the
paragraph would stretch for a page or more. That was worrisome to the
many experts who thought that public support for an American mission
abroad was inversely proportional to the number of words it takes to
express the mission statement.

Well, that's not necessarily the case. To think that the rationale for
American engagement needs to be dumbed down for the sake of public
comprehension and backing is, I believe, to underestimate and
patronize our fellow citizens.

In fact, in this respect, as in others, the country may actually be
out in front of the government. We in Washington tend to be
preoccupied with chapter-headings for history as it unfolds -- and
with neat, fancy-sounding paradigms. For example, here it is seven
years after the dissolution of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact, and we
are still in the habit of talking about this as the "post-Cold War
world." But the American people are, to their credit, more impatient
for what lies ahead than nostalgic for what lies behind. Many of them
may, in their own minds, have already adjusted to what my friend and
colleague Sandy Berger (President Clinton's National Security Adviser)
has called the end of the end of the Cold War. In other words, they
may be ready for a post-bumper-sticker foreign policy.

I hope so. And I suspect so, because in their everyday lives,
Americans ought to be able to see, feel, experience, and often profit
from, the practical realities that define globalization. More and more
Americans are invested in the world, both figuratively and literally
-- through mutual funds, pension plans, common stocks and their own
companies' dependence on exports. Growth in American businesses, large
and small, is increasingly driven by international trade. More
Americans than ever are traveling, working, and studying overseas. Our
schools are now comparing the performance of their students -- and I
should add: the performance of their teachers -- against international
norms. Colleges and universities are expanding their course offerings
in area studies and foreign languages.

And globalization is a two-way street. Even as the United States
exports Disney and MTV to the rest of the world, we are importing and
assimilating a great deal from other popular cultures. American
moviegoers are buying more tickets to see foreign films, and American
record buyers have put music with roots in Mexico, Haiti, and even
Iceland at the top of the charts. And Americans from all walks of life
are linked through the Internet to the burgeoning population of
cyberspace -- more than 30 million people in over 100 countries, who
are in touch with each other literally at the speed of light.

Globalization, of course, is a mixed bag; it can be a dangerous
two-way street; it entails plenty of bad news, plenty of
vulnerabilities and inequities, and plenty of ambiguity.

Americans understand that, too. There is, in the current debate over
fast-track, a growing fear of losing jobs to other nations and of
downward pressure on American wages from foreign competition. There
is, in the debate over NATO enlargement and Bosnia, a fear of our
being sucked into quarrels in faraway countries between people of whom
we know nothing.

Meanwhile, communities across the country are struggling to absorb new
immigrants, including a significant number who are here illegally.
Both our cities and our suburbs are fighting the flow of drugs from
countries like Colombia and Burma, and we all feel more exposed to the
scourges of terrorism and international organized crime than we did
even a decade ago.

Yet despite the downside of globalization, withdrawing from the world
or erecting barriers against it is not an option; there is no
substitute for, or alternative to, American leadership in addressing
the problems, and capitalizing on the opportunities, that come with
globalization. In short, the purpose of American foreign policy is to
make sure that we use our brains, heart, guts, muscle, and wallet to
bend the phenomenon of global interdependence to our national and
international advantage.

I'd like to think the report that is being released as part of today's
conference is correct in confirming that many Americans recognize and
welcome that proposition.

However, the report also makes clear that there are still quite a few
misconceptions out there in the country about what we're doing in
Washington at places like the State Department -- especially in what
might be called the listening area of talk radio. Whether it's merely
misinformation or outright disinformation, it impedes public
comprehension of the world and support for American foreign policy.

For example, many people in your survey, like others, believe that we
spend as much as 15 to 20 percent of the federal budget on our foreign
assistance programs, and they believe something closer to 5 to 10
percent would be more appropriate. In a way, that's heartening, since
in fact, roughly one percent of the budget covers all our
foreign-affairs spending, from assistance programs to the cost of
keeping our consulates and embassies around the world open for
business. That's less than one tenth of what we spend on our armed
forces. Yet in a very real sense, it helps buy national security.
(Former Defense Secretary) Bill Perry used to say when he was at the
Pentagon that he regarded American diplomacy as America's first line
of defense. Coming from the Secretary of Defense, that's a pretty
powerful endorsement of the foreign-affairs account.

Similar myths and misimpressions roil and cloud the current debate
over the United Nations. The U.N., like virtually any institution that
has been around for half a century, is in need of reform. But that
doesn't mean the United States no longer needs the U.N. Quite the
contrary. In this more complicated, post-bumper-sticker world of ours,
we need the U.N. more than ever, not least because it is a bargain: it
allows us to leverage U.S. influence and resources. A relatively few
American dollars or a relatively few American troops can bring many
times more money, and if necessary many times more force, to bear on a

Precisely this advantage of the U.N. resonates with a theme that runs
throughout the report. Steve, Mac and Clay have concluded that the
American public, while still fundamentally internationalist in
outlook, is deeply apprehensive about any suggestion that the United
States should serve as a "world policeman" or an all-purpose global

Here again, I can only hope that public understanding of the facts
will go a long way toward fostering public support for the right
policies -- and the right international institutions. Having strong
multilateral mechanisms for peacekeeping is crucial if we are to
minimize the expense and risk that will come with unilateralism. It's
precisely because we don't aspire to being the Lone Ranger that we've
devoted so much attention in recent years, from the Gulf War to Haiti
to Bosnia, to assembling posses -- a.k.a. "coalitions of the willing."

Leadership sometimes means we must be willing to make tough decisions
and act alone. But it also means that in an interdependent world, it
will much more often be possible -- and certainly desirable -- to
pursue our interests in concert with others.

Anticipating a point that I suspect Jessica Mathews will make this
afternoon, since she has made it powerfully in Foreign Affairs, a
vigorous and adaptive American foreign policy also means working more
with so-called, "non-state actors," such as multinational
corporations, private voluntary humanitarian organizations and think

We in the U.S. government regard these institutions as often our
natural partners -- not always, but often. The same can be said of the
U.N. and international financial institutions like the World Bank and
IMF (the International Monetary Fund), and of regional groupings like
the OAS (Organization of American States) and the ASEAN (Association
of Southeast Asian Nations) Regional Forum. We must remain on the
lookout for situations in which they have objectives that are
compatible with ours and resources that can complement ours.

It was this predisposition for diplomatic joint ventures and
coalition-building that allowed us to respond effectively in recent
years to crises in the Gulf, the Balkans, the Caribbean, and the
Korean peninsula; it's been how we've worked to build support for the
Chemical Weapons Convention and the World Trade Organization. In these
and many other cases, American leadership has often made the critical
difference between stalemate and progress.

I have no doubt it will also make the difference in ensuring that we
are able to advance our national interest in the 21st century --
which, by the way, begins in exactly two years, two months, 11 days
and just over 12 hours. So it's a good thing we're wasting no time to
get ready for it, including in our understanding of public opinion.

(end text)