Foreign Relations: The Credibility of Commitment

The war in Viet Nam far transcends Viet Nam. From the Rhine to the Mekong River, 42 nations of the free world have formal military alliances with the U.S. Each rests on Washington's pledge of physical protection. If that assurance has, after two decades, lost much of its immediacy for Western Europe, it is nevertheless an assurance that can not exist if it is half doubted and half believed. If the Pax Americana is to be credible anywhere, it must be credible everywhere.

Secretary of State Dean Rusk pointed out in Paris last week that the American commitment to South...

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