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Article Summaries

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  • Our Editorial Aims
    We launch "American Diplomacy" with two primary aims: to air policy-related questions for consideration by an informed readership, and to provide an outlet for scholarly studies that may not fit the needs of print publications.
  • Public Opinion on Human Rights in American Foreign Policy
    by Ole R. Holsti
    Two foreign policy debates stimulated by the Vietnam War impact on how U. S. policies should be formulated: The conflict revived interest in the role of public opinion in making foreign policy and caused doubt to be cast on the idea that strong executive leadership bests serves democracies in a dangerous world, and it contributed to renewed focus on the role that human rights should play in the United States' international relations. Making extensive use of polling data, this article examines the linkages between the realist and the liberal positions on public opinion and human rights. The article will be continued in the second issue of American Diplomacy.
    Dr. Holsti is George V. Allen Professor of International Affairs at Duke University and a member of the executive committee of the Triangle Institute for Security Studies.
  • Three Cold War American Diplomats: A Personal Assessment
    by William N. Dale
    In this commentary, Ambassador Dale surveys the backgrounds and careers of three outstanding U. S. Foreign Service officers who held senior positions during the early Cold War years (when Dale began his own diplomatic career) -- Loy Henderson, George Kennan, and Tommy Thompson. Contrary to received wisdom about American diplomats, none came from élitist origins. All three nonetheless represented the finest the nation had to offer in policy making and implementation.
    (Bill Dale, US Ambassador to the Central African Republic in the early 1970s, served as a career diplomat for thirty years, beginning in 1946.)
  • U. S. Presidents, Military Service, and the Electorate, by Henry E. Mattox
    The Constitution confers on U. S. Presidents the title "Commander in Chief" of the armed forces. Most of the 41 men who have served in the office had prior military service, although only briefly in some instances. Veterans of every major American war except Vietnam have reached the White House. Ten Presidents have been generals, but only three were soldiers by profession. The electorate seemingly has accorded little weight to the candidates' military experience as preparation for supreme command under the Constitution.
    Dr. Mattox, the Editor of American Diplomacy, served in the U. S. Army during the Korean War, rising to the rank of corporal.


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