Keynote Address by Governor Cuomo to the Democratic National Convention
Imagine you are a reporter for a small daily paper and you have been sent to San Frandscc to cover the Democratic National Convention. You have listened to Governor Cuomo's speech and taken the following notes. In the left hand margin you have indicated the main ideas for the different paragraphs of your article.
Now write such an article. Find a suitable headline and begin with a paragraph that not only presents the keynote of Governor Cuomo's speech but also arouses the interest of the reader.
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THE POLITICAL SYSTEM 169
Americans Vote for Divided Government
Find the missing words by choosing from the pairs in the list below.
Although the American voters gave Bush and the Republican Party a presidential victory, they again Î divided government in Washington. The White House and Congress will Î for control of the Î agenda and both parties will search for answers to Î problems—like the budget deficit—which the candidates Î discussing during the campaign. The Î for divided government is due to the voters' Î that Democrats should look after <C> needs while a Republican president and his Î would be more Î at dealing with the economy, defense and foreign policy. According to an Î poll just before the election, the Î of voters found it better for Î parties to control the White House and Congress. Scholars of presidential elections said they were Î that peace and prosperity were the Î forces behind Bush's victory. Six years of Î economic growth, low inflation and Î unemployment, Î with improving relations between the United States and the Soviet Union, C" President Reagan's popularity after its Iran-Contra lows. And as Reagan's O> rose, so did support for his loyal vice-president.
1. Assess the degree of bias (Republican, Democrat, neutral) in the Irving Kristol interview, the Reagan-Bush pamphlet, the address by Governor Cuomo, and the article from the Washington Post—"Americans Vote for Divided Government."
2. Judging from these four texts where do you see the basic differences in the political agendas of the two main parties?
3. Between the Irving Kristol interview and the Washington Post article there is a time span of about eight years. In light of the 1984 and 1988 elections, to what extent did the new conservatism envisaged by Kristol in 1981 as part of a cyclical pattern of political philosophies become the dominant factor in American politics?
4. How do the political philosophies of the two major parties compare with those of the main parties in your country?
þ America's Global Role
PART A Background Information
As a global superpower, the United States exerts wide-reaching political, military, and economic influence. It has strong political and military ties to democratic governments in Western Europe and in other areas of the world. As the leading power of the western hemisphere, the United States plays an active role in Latin America.
America's political and military alliances are backed by its formidable military and nuclear forces.
Military Forces: 1980 òî 1985 [As of Sept. 30]
Army:Divisions........................................ Maneuver battalions.................................. Air defense battalions/batteries................. Special forces groups .............................. Aircraft, number ........................................ Navy:Ship operating force....................... Tactical air squadrons.............................. Antisubmarine air squadrons '................. Marine divisions........................................
16 168 154 3 8,731 538 61 22 3
16 155 135 48,926 639 63 24 3
17 159 127 4 9,025 669 63 24 3
Marine aircraft combat squadrons: Fixed-wing squadrons............................ Rotary-wing squadrons.......................... Aircraft, number ...................................... Air Force:ICBM launchers ................... Selected aircraft squadrons.................... Strategic................................................... Airdefense................................................. Tactical (excluding air-lift)...................... Aircraft, number 2....................................
30 24 4,861 1,054 125 26 6 93 10,116
31 28 5,002 1,031 124 21 5 98 10,297
35 33 5,039 1,023 124 21 5 98 10,427
1 Does not include patrol squadrons. 2Excludes foreign government-owned aircraft.
Over 2 million men and women are members of the armed forces. About one fourth of the United States military personnel serve overseas. The United States operates military bases in strategic areas throughout the world, including Africa, the Middle East, Central America, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Most of its overseas forces, however, are concentrated in Western Europe under provisions of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This military alliance, which includes the United States, Canada, Greece, Turkey, and most Western European nations, guarantees the defense of member nations against Soviet attack. Since 1949, when the alliance was created, the United States has acted as Western Europe's military leader.
While American military involvement has given European nations security against Soviet attack, it has also made them dependent, in many respects, on American foreign policy. Often excluded from superpower arms talks, Western
AMERICA'S GLOBAL ROLE 171
leaders must rely on the United States to negotiate settlements that serve Europe's security interests. A U.S. decision to withdraw troops or missiles from Europe puts pressure on European leaders to strengthen their nations' defense.
America's political and military strength is generated, in turn, by a powerful economy. The U.S. economy surpasses all other economies in overall production. Although it is neither the world's largest nor most populous nation, its economic output, measured by gross national product (GNP), is twice the Soviet Union's, three times Japan's, and six times West Germany's.
A World Power... although it is neither first in size nor in population:
All figures 1983/1984
1. 2. 3. 4. S.
ER. of CHINA
Gross national product
U.S. $ (billion)
ER. of GERMANY
Gross industrial production
U.S.A. E.E.C. U.S.S.R. JAPAN FR. of GERMANY
The United States is not only the world's leading producer, but also the world's greatest importer and exporter of goods. Other nations rely heavily on trade with the United States.
South Asia Southeast Asia East Asia (exceptJapan)
U.S. FOREIGN TRAPE BY REGIONS 1982
Exports in billions of US $ Imports in billions oT US $
172 AMERICA IN CLOSE-UP
America's economic influence is also extended through foreign investment. American businesses and industries operate all over the world. American investment boosts the economies of these nations by providing employment, technology and new products.
American Firms in Foreign Countries
according to economic sectors
according to regions and countries
Western Europe 45%
other 11% Japan 3%
Asia 7% (except Japan)
Latin America 14% Canada 20%
in billions U.S. $
Foreign Investments in the U.S.A.
THE ROLE OF THE DOLLAR
Also contributing to America's economic power is the status of the dollar as the world's chief international currency. The dollar is used for most international trading, and for practically all lending and borrowing transactions. The pre-eminence of American currency is observed in Latin American and Eastern European countries, where the dollar has become accepted as a second currency.
As a leading producer and exporter of technology, the United States contributes to worldwide economic growth. It exports more computer systems and electric machinery and invests more money in technological research than any other country.
Still Leading in High Technology Percentage of world exports of high technology
GLOBAL ECONOMIC INFLUENCE
Great Britain 10
West Germany 17
Given the huge volume of production, trading, and investment, the American economy is bound to have a global economic influence. Foreign investors, traders, and lenders closely watch conditions in the American economy such as the balance of trade, the value of the dollar, interest rate levels, and American investment policies.
AMERICA'S GLOBAL ROLE 173
THE BALANCE OF TRADE
INTEREST RATES INFLUENCE ON THE THIRD WORLD
ECONOMICS AND POLITICS
U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
ISOLATIONISM TO INTERVENTIONISM
In the past years, the United States has experienced massive trade deficits, which meant it was importing more goods than it was exporting. This trade imbalance has promoted growth in the rest of the world: other countries have been able to sell more of their products to the United States, and these sales have provided them with export surpluses. While the U.S. trade deficit has benefited foreign economies, it has created severe economic distress for the American economy. The markets of American manufacturers have been diminished both at home and abroad owing to increased foreign competition.
Many American business and labor groups have called for the United States to adopt a protectionist trade policy. Import restrictions would boost the sale of American goods and reduce the trade imbalance. On the other hand, foreign economies, dependent on export sales to the United States, would suffer.
The high volatility of the American dollar in recent years has created instabilities on worldwide trade markets. Fluctuations in foreign currency rates and the prices of stocks and precious metals are due in part to the dollar's instability.
Because dollars are used for borrowing and lending, U.S. interest rates and dollar values are of particular concern to foreign debtor nations. Third World countries were severely affected by high interest rates charged in the early 1980s. Many developing countries could not afford to pay the interest on their loans.
Third World countries rely heavily on American investment to stimulate employment and industrial growth. These countries' economic gains, however, are accompanied by the loss of economic power and independence. In developing countries, where economic conditions are backward, American firms play a dominant role. Firms can use their economic power to influence foreign governments into adopting policies that serve American political and economic interests rather than local interests.
In industrial countries as well, the United States has often used its economic power to achieve its political aims. Economic aid and economic sanctions are frequently used to implement foreign policy goals.
Understanding the power and influence of the American economy is crucial to understanding America's role in global affairs. America's economic power is what ultimately underlies its political power and gives substance to foreign policy.
American foreign policy, or the set of goals that determines America's relations with other governments and its stance on international issues, has been guided by several principles. First, American foreign policy serves a moral aim in promoting and protecting democratic systems and democratic values such as individual freedom and human rights. This ideal is often referred to as "making the world safe for democracy." Second, American foreign policy is committed to the practical principle of protecting America's political and economic interests. Third, American foreign policy is directed toward maintaining the balance of international power. These principles have guided U.S. policies since the early part of the century when the nation began playing an increasingly important role in international affairs.
In the years between the First World War and the Second World War American foreign policy developed from isolationism to interventionism. Before its involvement in the First World War, the United States had remained aloof from the political conflicts of European powers. It had concentrated
174 AMERICA IN CLOSE-UP
WORLD WAR II
COMPETING SPHERES OF INFLUENCE
THE COLD WAR
CONTAINING THE SPREAD OF COMMUNISM
instead on expanding territories and influence in the western hemisphere. When the First World War broke out, most Americans clung to this old idea of staying out of Europe's quarrels. Yet by this time, the United States had become the leading industrialized nation and could scarcely remain unaffected by world events. In 1917, the United States entered the war as an ally of France and Great Britain, breaking the long tradition of neutrality and diplomatic independence.
After the war ended, the United States tried to return to its policy of isolationism. When war broke out again in Europe in 1939, the United States declared its neutrality. As the conflicts in Europe escalated and entry in war seemed inevitable, Americans were divided on the issue of isolationism versus interventionism. The Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor settled the issue. America entered the war as an Allied power, committing its entire military and economic resources to defeating Germany and Japan.
The Second World War brought the American economy to unprecedented levels of industrial production. Large-scale factories were constructed to produce war materials, and billions of dollars went into technological research for advanced weaponry. The United States spent $2 billion on the development and testing of the atomic bomb.
After the Second World War, the global balance of power became permanently altered and the role of the United States in world affairs changed dramatically.
With the defeat of Germany and Japan, a "power vacuum" was left in Europe and another in Asia. Only two great powers remained in the world — the United States and the Soviet Union. Competing spheres of influence, communist and democratic, soon emerged.
The Soviet Union set up communist regimes in Eastern Europe, and the Chinese later began to spread communist influence throughout Asia. Meanwhile, the United States helped restore democracy in Western Europe and Japan, thereby establishing its own spheres of influence.
To consolidate power and discourage encroachment, both the United States and the Soviet Union established military alliances. The United States and the western democracies, and later Greece and Turkey, coordinated defense in the NATO alliance. The Soviet Union and its eastern satellite nations formed the Warsaw Pact.
The years following the Second World War, known as the "cold war" period, were characterized by mounting tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. During this period, each side tried to establish political strongholds in Europe and Asia. In some instances, armed conflict resulted. At the same time, both powers built up vast military defense arsenals which relied heavily on nuclear weapons.
During the cold war, American foreign policy, known as containment, focused on protecting democracy and containing the spread of communism. Immediately after the Second World War, the United States implemented this policy by supplying both military and economic aid to war-devastated countries that were susceptible to communist takeover.
Pearl Harbor: in a surprise attack on December 7, 1941, Japanese warplanes destroyed American airfields and aircraft and dropped bombs on the ships of the U.S. Navy in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii causing the greatest disaster in American military history.
AMERICA'S GLOBAL ROLE 175
THE NUCLEAR THREAT
THE VIETNAM WAR
In 1947 the United States responded to communist pressures in Greece and Turkey by sending millions of dollars in military aid.
To ensure the stability of western European democracies, the United States began a massive four-year program of economic reconstruction known as the Marshall Plan. Altogether the United States spent over $12 billion in economic aid. The plan brought remarkable recovery. By the end of 1950, Europe's industrial production was up 64 percent, economic activity was well above prewar levels, and communist strength among voters was dwindling.
The United States introduced a similar economic recovery plan in Japan. Both economic programs achieved the American foreign policy objectives of restoring democracy and containing the spread of communism.
During the cold war decades of the 1950s and 60s, the United States frequently used military force to support pro-western governments which were being threatened by communist invasion. One such use of force was in Korea. When the communist-backed North Korean army invaded South Korea in 1950, the United States sent troops to defend South Korea. Similar perceptions of a communist threat led to U.S. intervention in Guatemala in 1954, in Lebanon in 1958, in Cuba in 1961, in the Dominican Republic in 1965, and in Grenada in 1983.
During this period, cold war tensions were increased because of the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union. Each country used new developments in nuclear and space technology to produce weapons of devastating destructive capabilities. In 1962, fears of nuclear confrontation reached a climax. The United States discovered that the Soviets were beginning to install nuclear missiles in Cuba, where they would be able to reach American cities within minutes. President Kennedy imposed a blockade on Cuba and prepared for nuclear retaliation if the Soviets refused to dismantle the site. Soviet Premier Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles in return for an American promise not to invade Cuba.
The Cuban missile crisis proved that the United States was prepared to use nuclear force, if necessary, to respond to a direct Soviet threat to American security.
Throughout the 1950s and 60s, the United States tried to curb Soviet influence by channeling economic aid to unstable governments in impoverished regions of the world such as Africa, Latin America, and Asia. In Vietnam, however, a U.S. policy which began as an economic and military aid program gradually escalated into full-scale war.
Under Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, the United States sent aid to establish and maintain a pro-western democratic influence in Vietnam. Aid was increased to contain the spreading communist influence in the region.
Gradually, America became even more involved. Between 1961 and 1963 President Kennedy sent thousands of military advisers.
President Johnson favored direct intervention. By 1968, 500,000 American troops were fighting, and bombs were being dropped on North Vietnamese
Marshall Plan: Secretary of State George Ñ Marshall (1880-1959) proposed a plan in 1947 to help Europe overcome the economic, social and political deterioration after the Second World War through substantial financial aid. The Marshall Plan was signed into law by President Truman in 1948.
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich (1894-1971): Soviet statesman, first secretary of the Communist Party (1953-64); premier of the Soviet Union (1958-64).
176 AMERICA IN CLOSE-UP
ARMS CONTROL TALKS
targets. President Johnson's policy was continued by President Nixon, who increased bombing raids and sent American soldiers into Cambodia.
Faced with a slim prospect of immediate victory and increasing public opposition to American involvement in the war, President Nixon ended up withdrawing American troops in 1973. In 1975, South Vietnam's resistance broke. In the case of Vietnam, America's use of force to achieve foreign policy goals was neither popular nor successful.
By the early 1970s cold war tensions had eased and the United States began to pursue a policy of detente ("relaxation of tensions") with the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger met frequently with Soviet and Chinese leaders to make agreements that would minimize conflict and encourage trade. Between 1972 and 1974 U.S. and Soviet leaders signed eleven separate agreements to enhance cooperation in space exploration, agriculture, environmental protection, and other fields.
During the period of detente, the Soviet Union and the United States began a series of negotiations to limit strategic weapons. Two major agreements were reached. The first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I), signed in 1972, limited each country's defensive weapons and put a five-year restriction on the making of several types of offensive weapons. The 1979 SALT II treaty, signed by President Carter and Premier Brezhnev, placed restrictions on long-range bombers and missiles. However, the U.S. Senate failed to ratify the treaty because many senators believed the treaty made too many concessions to the Soviets.
Relations between the two nations became hostile again in 1979 when Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan. President Carter responded with harsh economic measures. He imposed a grain embargo and called for the American boycott of the Moscow Olympics. He also strengthened the military by re-imposing draft registration and increasing defense spending.
President Reagan also used economic measures to express disapproval of Soviet policies. When martial law was declared in Poland in 1981, President Reagan imposed economic sanctions not only against Poland, but also against the Soviet Union.
Although President Reagan sometimes used economic measures to achieve foreign policy goals, he believed that the most effective way of dealing with the Soviet Union and other communist governments was through the projection of military force.
In Central America, President Reagan advocated military involvement to stop the spread of communism. In the early 1980s, President Reagan asked Congress to provide aid to the Salvadoran government to stop communist forces from taking over. In 1983, the United States invaded Grenada to prevent a left-wing government from coming to power. President Reagan considered the left-wing Sandinista government of Nicaragua a threat to U.S. national security. Through Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) activities and military
Kissinger, Henry: born 1923, professor in government at Harvard University, National Security Adviser to the President from 1969 to 1975, Secretary of State from 1973 to 1977, Nobel Peace Prize 1973.
Brezhnev, Leonid Ilyich (1906—82): Soviet statesman, general secretary of the Communist Party (1966-82).
Sandinistas: a leftist political force, named after Cesar Augusto Sandino, one of the leaders of the rebellion against the United States Marines from 1927 to 1933.
AMERICA'S GLOBAL ROLE 177
INCREASED DEFENSE SPENDING
aid, the United States supported anti-Sandinista rebels in their fight to overthrow the communist government in Nicaragua. Many Congressional leaders, however, opposed President Reagan's policies in Central America, fearing that increased involvement might lead to war.
In order to project a stronger military presence, President Reagan increased defense spending to an unprecedented level. Between 1981 and 1986, the defense budget rose 45 percent.
In billions of 1982 dollars, fiscal years
1981:12,821 1987: 14,296
7980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988
ARMY NAVY Ø AIR FORCE È OTHER*
'includes expenses for joint services and for the office of secretary of defense
Defense outlays for all services, including the secretary's office,have increased by $89 billion, or nearly 45%
RENEWED ARMS TALKS
As part of his plan to increase U.S. military strength, President Reagan also proposed the development of a new space-based defense, known as the Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars"). This system would be able to shoot down Soviet missiles before they could reach the United States. Critics, including the Soviets, argue that the plan can never be completely effective and fear that development of space-based missiles will only escalate the arms race.
Despite sharp differences on arms control, the two nations reopened arms talks under the Reagan administration. Progress, however, was slow. The Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) were begun in 1982 but ended when the Soviets walked out a year and a half later in response to the NATO deployment of Pershing missiles in West Germany.
178 AMERICA IN CLOSE-UP
THE MIDDLE EAST
In 1985, the United States and the Soviet Union resumed arms control talks in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss medium-range, long-range, and space-based missiles.
Progress toward arms reduction was finally reached in 1987, when President Reagan and Premier Gorbachev signed a tentative agreement to limit intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) in Europe.
Since 1947, conflicts arising out of rivalry between the two superpowers have dominated world affairs. In recent decades, however, global power has become somewhat less polarized as other nations and regions have gained power and influence. Both the Soviet Union and the United States acknowledge a degree of dependence on the Middle East, which supplies most of the world's oil. The delicate conflicts of this region have become an important focus of American foreign policy.
The United States has become involved in Middle East conflicts for several reasons: First, the United States wants to protect the world's oil supply. Second, it wants to maintain a friendly relationship with Israel, its most reliable ally in the region. Third, the United States wants to limit the influence of the Soviet Union in the area.
These interests are difficult to secure. By supporting Israel, the United States may anger Arab oil-producing states. By seeking good relations with Arab states, it compromises its support for Israel.
Nevertheless, the United States has attempted to represent its interests by negotiating peace settlements, supplying arms, and sending military forces. As a negotiator, the United States helped Israel and Egypt reach an historic peace agreement in 1979. American leaders have tried to gain favor with Saudi Arabia and Jordan, two moderate nations in the region, by selling advanced military weapons. The sale of arms to Arab nations was controversial because it meant that the United States was helping sustain Arab-Israeli conflict by appearing to support both sides. In 1982, the United States tried to control fighting in Lebanon by sending military troops to keep peace and distance between feuding factions. This military effort was unsuccessful, and troops were withdrawn in 1984. In 1987, America increased its involvement in the Iran-Iraq War when it sent warships to escort oil tankers through the besieged Persian Gulf.
Global affairs continue to be dominated by the United States and the Soviet Union. Even in the Middle East, where conflicts have little to do with democracy versus communism, the actions of the two superpowers can help decide whether peace or conflict reigns.
Because of its military and economic power, the United States has the potential to impose solutions by the use of force. Yet global interdependence and the threat of nuclear confrontation increase the importance of diplomacy to American foreign policy. The United States bears an important global responsibility as it balances its national security interests with the need for international stability and peace.
Gorbachev, Mikhail: born 1931, Soviet statesman, general secretary of the Communist Party since 1985.
part â Texts
America & the World:
Principles & Pragmatism
AMERICA has perennially engaged in a search of its conscience. How does our foreign policy serve moral ends? How can America serve as a humane example and champion of justice in a world in which power is still often the final arbiter? How do we reconcile ends and means, principle and survival? Today the challenge of American foreign policy is to avoid the illusion of false choices: we must live up to this nation's moral promise while fulfilling the practical needs of world order.