225. Editorial Note

During his final week in office, Secretary of State Kissinger continued to speak on the issues of transition and continuity from administration to administration in American foreign policy. In a speech to the Foreign Policy Association of New York on January 11, 1977, Kissinger praised the dedication and devotion of the Foreign Service and expressed the hope that it would retain its “nonpartisan, professional character.” He emphasized that the United States “must have a group of men and women who represent continuity. We cannot pretend to ourselves that the foreign policy of a great nation can change every four or eight years, and that pretense itself is a factor of instability in the world. We must have, with all the tactical alterations that are inevitable, a large amount of continuity that is required, a great degree of tactical knowledge, and I know my successor, Mr. Vance, whom I admire and who deserves our support, will find in the Foreign Service a dedicated able, and brilliant instrument in the conduct of our foreign policy.” (Department of State Bulletin, January 24, 1977, page 88) Kissinger affirmed these sentiments in his final memorandum to all Department of State employees on January 19. (National Archives, RG 59, Transition Records of the Executive Secretariat, 1959–1977, Entry 5338, Box 1, Transition—HAK)