Bush and Truman

The promulgation of The National Security Strategy of the United States by the Bush administration in September 2002 seems to me comparable to the promulgation of NSC-68 by the Truman administration in April 1950. In considering NSC-68, one cannot help but be struck by the extraordinary difficulty of the foreign policy issues that the Truman administration faced in the immediate aftermath of World War II when the temptation to demobilize and rest on our laurels was strong. Yet the president stood up to the Soviet Union in Berlin, Greece, and Korea, and set the course of the Cold War with the articulation of the policy of containment in NSC-68 (then top-secret, now of course available to all on the Internet). I believe that President Bush has faced the foreign policy challenges confronting the United States with at least equal adroitness.
The first column I have read touching on these matters is a good one, occasioned by the president’s speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln, by Gleaves Whitney on National Review Online: “The theme is freedom.”

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