LETTERS TO THE NEXT PRESIDENT by Richard G. Lugar

LETTERS TO THE NEXT PRESIDENT

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The ranking member and former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee addresses the foreign-policy choices and opportunities awaiting Reagan's successor. Title aside, these are not intimate letters from one politician to another. Rather, these are nine lengthy essays that both encapsulate Lugar's own conception of events of the past couple of decades and reflect on the possibilities of the short-term future. If there is any emphasis, it is on the past. Lugar, for instance, spends considerable time relating his experiences on the observation team that monitored the Marcos-Aquino election in the Philippines, the background of the ""Nicaraguan quagmire,"" the Guatemalan transition to democracy, and events in South Africa over the past decade. It is in his summary, final letter that he offers some basic priniciples for a coherent foreign policy of the future. Among these, he suggests that the next president always tell the truth, always act in keeping with the Constitution, utilize only the most able ""big leaguers"" for foreign-policy personnel, recognize Americans' aversion to imperialist or interventionary policies, maximize bipartisan support on foreign-policy issues, demonstrate our enthusiasm for nations building democratic institutions, do not do secretly what we can do just as well publicly, do not overstep our capacities for fulfillment of alliances and obligations, create a National Economic Council, and be prepared to defend America against any potential mode of attack. As imaginative policy, Lugar's advice doesn't sparkle with novelty, but as a self-serving jockeying tool for an important foreign-policy position in a possible future Republican administration, it might just fit the bill.

Pub Date: June 28th, 1988
ISBN: 1420807382
Publisher: Simon & Schuster