DEFENDING AMERICA: Toward a New Role in the Post-Detente Worm by Theodore & Others Draper

DEFENDING AMERICA: Toward a New Role in the Post-Detente Worm

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The thirteen contributors to this volume are all drawn from the conservative wing of the foreign policy establishment and international relations specialists in the US and Britain. They include a former Deputy Secretary of Defense (Paul Nitze), a vice-president of the Santa Fe Corporation, two think-tank researchers, eight academics, and a freelance writer (Theodore Draper). Former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger provides a foreword in case the anthology's political orientation is not already clear from the title. As expected, all agree that detente was a bad deal for the US--that while ""our side"" understood detente to include the tempering of all forms of international hostility, the USSR interpreted it to apply only to possible direct nuclear conflict between the superpowers. Consequently, in return for economic concessions, the US got nothing but humiliation in the form of Soviet global subversion. Several articles go to the absurd length of comparing detente to the ""appeasement"" of Hitler, and Soviet support of the MPLA in Angola to the German invasion of Czechoslovakia. The Soviet Union is viewed as evil incarnate, while the US is the bearer of truth, freedom, and Western culture. This is a tune that has been played before, and conveniently oversimplifies international relations into an ""us vs. them"" contest. The ""new role"" promised in the title turns out to be the familiar one of world policeman. An unwelcome throwback to Cold War prejudices and simple-minded analyses; for a more astute and balanced treatment of the subject, see Cassiers' The Hazards of Peace (p. 190).

Pub Date: May 20th, 1977
Publisher: Basic Books