America Abroad: Hot Issues Turn Cold

It's hard to tell the geopolitical tough guys from the softies

IN AN IMPORTANT RESPECT, the presidential campaign of 1992 already marks a welcome break with the past: the issue of America's role in the world is proving to be much less contentious than it was throughout the cold war.

For nearly half a century, the U.S. had two paramount tasks: containing the spread of communism and preventing a nuclear war. Sometimes American Presidents conducted military operations against Soviet surrogates and allies, notably in Korea and Vietnam; sometimes they engaged in diplomacy with their Kremlin counterparts, particularly on arms control. These were the hard and soft dimensions of the same global mission....

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