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Americas Foreign Policy: Drift or Decision by Martin Goldstein

By Martin Goldstein

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Easton, David. The Political System. New York: Knopf, 1953. , ed. International Politics and Foreign Policy. Rev. ed. New York: The Free Press, 1969. ; Bruck, H. ; and Sapin, Burton, eds. Foreign Policy Decision-Making. New York: The Free Press, 1963. Notes 1. The model presented here is only one of several models devised to explain foreign policy. For the sake of simplicity and clarity particularly at the introductory level, the author has chosen to avoid an elaborate comparison of various models.

Carter and his aides fired especially loud verbal salvos against the Kremlin's treatment of dissidents, such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Andrei Sakharov, and restrictions placed on Jews who wanted to leave Russia. The Soviet Union reacted to Carter's criticism with mounting fury. The Kremlin accused Carter of unwarranted interference in Russia's internal affairs, conduct prohibited Page 21 by the Helsinki accords. Such verbal assaults, said the Russians, were just as uncalled for as if the Soviets were to criticize America for having so few black or Hispanic corporate officers.

Nonetheless, the historical approach to the study of foreign policy flourishes and can add much to our understanding of the subject. Clearly, without a knowledge of history, we can understand the present no more than a physician can prescribe treatment Page 9 without knowing the patient's prior diseases. That knowledge alone, however, does not guarantee that the treatment will succeed. Another way of gaining insight into foreign policy is by systematically comparing the foreign policies of various states.

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