The Nation: SHAPING POLICY WITH THE BIG FOUR

"We're just sitting on our asses," Jimmy Carter barked into his Oval Office telephone. On the receiving end, Vice President Walter Mondale listened patiently. Though both men had been in their jobs for less than three months at the time, the President was irate that few new U.S. initiatives toward Africa had been undertaken. Within several days, he sent U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young and Mondale winging their way, verbally and physically, through the continent, where they followed the Carter policy of denouncing white racism and supporting black majority rule.

The incident illustrates several facts about the way the Administration shapes foreign policy....

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