Cover image for The Clinton foreign policy reader : presidential speeches with commentary
The Clinton foreign policy reader : presidential speeches with commentary
Clinton, Bill, 1946-
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Publication Information:
Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, 2000.
Physical Description:
xii, 280 pages ; 24 cm
Strategic outlook for a new world order -- Dealing with Russia -- Nato enlargement: origins and implications -- Dealing with China: friendly competitor or looming adversary? -- United Nations and the United States: rhetoric and reality -- Transitions and nationalism in the former Yugloslavia -- Continuing the American legacy in the Middle East -- Weapons of mass destruction: coping with twenty-first century threats.
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E885 .C545 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



An introduction to the main issues of American foreign policy as it has evolved during the first post-Cold War presidency. There are substantive excerpts from major presidential policy statements to illustrate the points and turning points discussed in each chapter. The collection is intended as a supplementary text in American foreign policy and contemporary international relations. It includes a bibliography and a guide to accessing contemporary foreign policy information on line.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Diplomacy and war are the focus of three current studies of recent U.S. foreign policy. Rubinstein gathers Clinton foreign policy statements to trace policy development in the "first post^-Cold War era" presidency. He groups material by subject: the new world order, Russia, NATO enlargement, China, the United Nations, the former Yugoslavia, the Mideast, and weapons of mass destruction. Within each section, readers will find a mixture of formal policy statements and carefully laid-out speeches with discussions from press conferences or during White House visits by foreign dignitaries. The compilation is intended to allow a more comprehensive assessment of the Clinton administration's approach to foreign affairs as well as "to introduce . . . the principal evolving foreign policy choices likely to dominate the agenda for American policymakers for the next decade or more." Carpenter, Cato's vice president for defense and foreign policy studies, provides an introduction and two essays to the libertarian think-tank's critical volume on Kosovo. Other contributors include Cato-affiliated scholars Doug Bandow, Jonathan G. Clarke, Stanley Kober, Gary Dempsey, and others. There are some key points of agreement between the Cato critique and Noam Chomsky's New Military Humanism [BKL D 15 99]: both note the hypocrisy of bombing Serbs for "genocide" while ignoring Turkey's treatment of the Kurds; both point out how cavalierly the U.S. Constitution and U.N. Charter were treated in NATO's rush into the skies. Their basic premises are quite different, however: Chomsky questions whether this policy is, in fact, humanitarian; the Cato crew questions whether it is in the national interest. With the perspective 20 years and a wealth of interviews and archival materials permit, Strong reexamines the foreign policy of the Carter Administration, specifically the work Carter himself did in setting his presidency's foreign-policy course. Strong examines nine case studies: from drafting two letters on human rights and lobbying to win confirmation of a key presidential appointee to the neutron-bomb controversy and the hostage rescue mission decision. Sometimes Strong chooses a single aspect of a long, complicated process; his focus in discussing the Panama Canal treaties, for example, is Carter's work with then-Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) to achieve treaty language acceptable to both the Panamanians and touchy senators. Rather than proffering a rigid theory about how presidents "do" foreign policy, Strong draws on his thorough research to document how one particular president "did" it. In the process, he demolishes much of the conventional wisdom about the Carter presidency. --Mary Carroll

Choice Review

This useful yet disappointing volume contains a good selection of important presidential speeches on issues ranging from overall strategy to key problems such as China, Russia, NATO, and the Middle East; it concludes with a review of weapons of mass destruction as a 21st-century-threat. The merely scene-setting commentary includes very little critical discussion of the actions provoked or opposition encountered. This is not a balanced review of Clinton foreign policy, but rather arguments offered by the administration in the president's words (one speech by Tony Lake). No discussion delineates the differences between Clinton's words and actions that were undertaken, nor the settings and internal conflicts that produced these foreign policy statements. This reader is perhaps a useful tool for a specialist or a speech writer but not for the beginning student or citizen seeking balanced information. The latest of the speeches, about Serbia, was given in March 1999. There is one surprising omission--Clinton's foreign policy campaign speech given in Milwaukee in late summer 1992, which outlined what Clinton thought his foreign policy was going to be, and might have triggered an explanatory approach. Graduate students, faculty, and practitioners. J. D. Stempel; University of Kentucky

Table of Contents

1 Strategic Outlook for a New World Order
2 Dealing with Russia
3 NATO Enlargement: Origins and Implications
4 Dealing with China: Friendly Competitor or Looming Adversary?
5 The United Nations and the United States: Rhetoric and Reality
6 Transitions and Nationalism in the Former Yugoslavia
7 Continuing the American Legacy in the Middle East
8 Weapons of Mass Destruction: Coping with the Twenty-first Century Threats