153. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Policy Planning Council (Bosworth) to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Eagleburger)1


  • Foreign Policy Coordination

Rather than give you a proposed agenda for the first meeting, I thought it might be helpful to tick off a number of different foreign policy issues that cut across geographical and functional bureau lines.2 Once you have a chance to reflect on these topics, and others that may occur to you during your trip to Yugoslavia, we can put together an agenda for the first meeting.

You might want to consider some of the following issues:

Soviet direct and indirect (proxy) actions which affect US interests in the Third World. This could deal with Cuban, Libyan, Vietnamese and other proxy activities. It also could address how best to support US friends vulnerable to such Soviet supported actions and to raise the cost for the proxies themselves.3
Conventional Arms Transfers. One issue here is how Soviet arms transfer policy undercuts our interests globally and how best to deal with it (counter-transfers, economic aid, etc.). Another issue is the allied dimension.
What has replaced the Nixon Doctrine?4 The Nixon Doctrine focused on support for regional powers with whom we could work to defend [Page 615] US interests (e.g. Iran and Persian Gulf). Having passed through the post-Vietnam period and the fall of Iran, etc, do we have a coherent conceptual approach for dealing with this important and fundamental foreign and security policy problem?5
Non-proliferation Policy. We have a first draft of a paper on non-proliferation for our Foreign Policy Directions project6 and will be sharing it with the Secretary, Ken Dam and you after we have had an opportunity to staff it and talk with Dick Kennedy. That might lay the basis for a useful future meeting of your group on how our non-proliferation and foreign policy interests intersect.
Arms control. How do we move our European allies (especially Germany and the Scandalux countries) away from their near obsession with arms control as the central focus of all security policy, without further undermining the Administration’s credibility in terms of support for arms control? The answer, obviously, is gradually, but we need a fuller answer. More importantly, we need a genuine strategy. A EUR/PM paper is working on this subject in the Foreign Policy Directions project, but so far has a long way to go.
Europe and Central America. Two key issues occur to me: 1) the diversion question (the extent to which US attention and material resources might need to be diverted from Europe to our own backyard should things go badly in Central America); and 2) how to get the Europeans to recognize that scoring domestic points off of us on Central America can weaken support for the Atlantic connection?7
Unilateralism. The most obvious (and deeply troubling) issue here is how American and European (especially German) unilateralist tendencies tend to reinforce each other (despite their mutual antipathy) and thereby undermine allied common purposes and solidarity. The unilateralism issue, however, has its application in US relations with other parts of the world; that might be explored productively with all the regional bureaus.
The US and Europe (and Japan) in the Middle East. Since Suez, US-European discord over the Middle East has been a major irritant in Atlantic alliance relations.8 It also has emerged as a point of friction [Page 616] with Japan. Is there any way we can improve policy management of this problem, or should we basically settle for practical cooperation on specific issues (MFN) while ignoring differences at the level of basic and declaratory policy.9
Engaging the Japanese in our global foreign policy. You recently approved an S/P paper, focusing on aid policy, that the Secretary gave to Foreign Minister Abe on this issue. The Secretary obviously is interested in developing this further. The regional bureaus might be of some help in identifying opportunities for cooperation in their areas.10
US-Chinese strategic cooperation—in and out of Asia. This won’t be easy in light of currently sour relations. However, if we can begin to turn things around (through technology transfer, etc.) there may be greater opportunities.11 We should use our time now to ask ourselves what we would like from the Chinese. For example, would it be feasible in the right political conditions to gain Chinese cooperation concerning reinforcement of the Persian Gulf in crisis situations via Chinese airfields? This may not be the best example but it is one that Chas Freeman once mentioned to Phil Kaplan. I think we ought to look at what might be feasible, and in the mutual US-PRC interest.
The Sino-Soviet dialogue. What are the prospects? What might rapprochement portend for US global interests? What are the policy implications now, and depending upon what eventually might come about in that relationship.
Horn of Africa. We should consider here the interconnections among the ostensibly fraying Libya-Ethiopia-PDRY axis, the Soviet connection, the Sudan’s precarious situation, opportunities for Somali-Kenyan reconciliation and potential contributions from the Saudis and other OPEC sources.
Latin American (e.g. Brazil)-African relationships. How important? How do they affect US interests? How could we protect our interests?

This obviously is an off the top of the head list and we will be thinking about it some more. One final rather procedural point might be worth taking up in this first meeting—the need to get the bureaus to focus somewhat more on composite US national interests (which is why you are initiating these meetings) and a good deal less on [Page 617] defending their clients. If you could achieve this out of your exercise, we would give you the Order of the Eagle with three oak leaf clusters.12

  1. Source: Department of State, Executive Secretariat, S/P Files, Memoranda and Correspondence from the Director of the Policy Planning Staff to the Secretary and Other Seventh Floor Principals: Lot 89D149, S/P Chrons 5/16–31/83. Secret. Drafted by Kaplan. A stamped notation indicates that Eagleburger saw the memorandum on May 27. Eagleburger wrote in the top right-hand corner of the memorandum: “Steve: let’s talk (with some of your people if you wish). LSE.”
  2. In a May 19 memorandum to Crocker, Enders, Wolfowitz, Burt, Veliotes, and Bosworth, Eagleburger expressed his concern “over the tendency to look at issues very narrowly with little regard to our overall foreign policy objectives. One reason this occurs is that there is insufficient contact between bureaus, particularly at the policy levels.” Noting that the situation had to be addressed, he wrote: “Therefore, as much as I dislike meetings, I want to schedule regular one-hour sessions every two weeks so that we can discuss foreign policy issues that cut across bureau lines. If you are in town, I expect you to be there. If not, your senior deputy should attend.” Eagleburger also assigned responsibility to S/P to develop the agenda for each meeting. (Ibid.)
  3. Eagleburger placed two vertical lines and a checkmark in the right-hand margin next to this point.
  4. During a tour of Asia in July 1969, Nixon outlined what would become one of the major foreign policy themes of his administration. In reference to the U.S. role vis-a-vis Asia, he declared that the United States would stand by its treaty commitments but expect Asian nations to shoulder their own defense burdens. For additional information on the Nixon Doctrine, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. I, Foundations of Foreign Policy, 1969–1972, Document 29, and Public Papers: Nixon, 1969, pp. 544–556.
  5. Eagleburger placed two vertical lines and a checkmark in the right-hand margin next to this point. He also underlined “do we have a conceptual approach,” placed a vertical line and a checkmark in the left-hand margin next to it, and wrote No to the left of the line.
  6. In January, the “Foreign Policy Directions” project had been assigned to the Policy Planning Council under Bosworth’s direction; see footnote 2, Document 123.
  7. Eagleburger placed two vertical lines and a checkmark in the right-hand margin next to this point. Following the last sentence, he wrote: “Also—how to get them to avoid aid transfers?”
  8. Reference is to the 1956 Suez crisis. On July 26, 1956, Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal. British, French, and Israeli forces invaded the Suez Canal Zone in October. Eisenhower called for these forces to withdraw from the Zone.
  9. Eagleburger placed two vertical lines and a checkmark in the right-hand margin next to this point.
  10. Eagleburger placed a vertical line in the left-hand margin next to this point and wrote: “Also—How to bring Japan into [unclear] in Eur.” He also placed two vertical lines and two checkmarks in the right-hand margin next to this point. The S/P paper has not been found.
  11. Eagleburger placed two vertical lines and a checkmark in the right-hand margin next to this point.
  12. Eagleburger placed a vertical line in the right-hand margin next to this paragraph, drew a line to the bottom of the memorandum, and wrote: “Should [unclear] the [unclear] focus of the 1st. mtg.” He also underlined “the need to get the bureaus to focus somewhat more on composite US national interests,” placed two vertical lines in the adjacent left-hand margin, and wrote “yes. He also placed two vertical lines in the left-hand margin next to the last sentence of the paragraph and wrote: “Amen!!”