DEFENSE: Keeping Up with the Ivans

After its misadventures in Indochina, the nation is feeling its way, sometimes truculently, toward a redefinition of its influence, military and otherwise, in the world. The U.S. has taken on a certain bristle, a tendency that was evident last week in Senate debate over the defense budget. In the Mayaguez incident, Gerald Ford, indebted more to McLuhan than to Clausewitz, struck off an image of American decisiveness after years in the Asian morass. Ford also hastened to Europe to reassure the NATO allies of America's steadfastness (see THE WORLD).

Cold Realism. It...

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