316. Paper Prepared in the Executive Secretariat, Department of State1


Next six months promise to be busiest foreign policy period of your Administration. Recent events have laid to rest “lame duck” carping and period ahead has potential for breathtaking steps that are the genuine stuff of history. Groundwork has been laid by your emphasis on strength and diplomacy and the intense preparation on the details. Now poised to bring these policy lines to full maturity.

INF ratification and a START agreement considered unattainable a couple of years ago are possible by your late spring summit with Gorbachev. Free Trade Agreement with Canada a landmark that sets the course for future world trade.2 Our alliances are strong. [Page 1451] Consolidation of democracy among our friends—Korea the latest example—at the highest point ever. Firm stand in Afghanistan, Persian Gulf, and Central America now showing dividends—we may be turning corner in all three areas.

—Will require intense effort with Soviets, allies, friends, on the Hill, with the American public, and even in facing up to hard decisions internally. Things always can, and predictably will in some cases, go wrong. Pace will be strenuous and require tremendous efforts by you personally and by the rest of us. But we can do it. I want to outline for you my thoughts on how to proceed in months ahead.

Relations with Soviets will be key, with Moscow summit the capstone. Good chance to get START agreement with 50% reductions without crippling restrictions on SDI. Also progress on nuclear testing, new conventional arms talks. Discussions, on regional issues—particularly Afghanistan and Iran/Iraq—reaching critical points. We will put Soviets to test on human rights as they eliminate long-term refusenik backlog and as we enter Vienna end-game.

—Plan and structure in place to get work done by summit: Monthly meetings set with Shevardnadze beginning in February;3 Frank, Colin, and I working closely with Max Kampelman and our arms control team to tackle enormous problems remaining on START and other negotiations; new round of regional discussions set under Mike Armacost’s leadership; and working closely with human rights groups to develop coherent strategy to keep heat on Soviets in months ahead.

—Will require all-out effort and can only be done working against the Summit deadline. Many people around who would prefer nothing happen, they will always argue START treaty can be made a bit better if we only delay further. Some Senators will attempt to kill your efforts by amending INF treaty.

—Must be prepared for other eventualities. Soviets can always be sticky; Gorbachev may have unforeseen internal problems in making necessary compromises. Turmoil in Eastern Europe, escalation in Afghanistan, or something out of blue like the KAL incident can always derail our efforts. But I am optimistic that with hard work and tight control of bureaucracy, we can succeed.

—Intense activity with Soviets will mean need to devote special attention to our allies. Upcoming visits by Kohl in February and Genscher this [Page 1452] month critical.4 Also planning trips here by Evren and Silva, Takeshita, Roh, Mubarak, Shamir, Li Peng and others. Believe the NATO summit pencilled in for March can be major focal point for bringing Europeans along in a strong supporting role on our discussions with Soviets and set alliance’s approach for years ahead on security and arms control issues.5

Free Trade Agreement with Canada is one for the history books. Will require a tremendous effort by you here and Mulroney there to bring it off. No doubt that effort will pay major dividends. Also, when I see Joe Clark in Ottawa on Monday we will sign Northwest Passage agreement and documents on counterterrorism cooperation and extradition.6

—For your May meeting with Mulroney,7 hope we can get the bureaucracy together sufficiently to move on acid rain. Months ahead will show that your special attention to Canada through annual meetings with Mulroney paying tremendous dividends. This often contentious relationship now best in memory.

—With the focus of next few months on US-Soviet relations, must also look to the strategic counter-weight in the Far East. Takeshita visit next week8 will underline fundamental strategic and economic soundness of US-Japanese relationship, develop a personal tie between the two of you, and work on nagging trade questions.

—Need to upgrade visibility of US-Chinese relationship. Want to give Shevardnadze-like treatment to Foreign Minister Wu during March visit.9 Hope can invite Premier Li Peng in April.

Roh will be inaugurated in Seoul in February. Jerry Ford or Howard10 to head delegation. Want Roh to visit you in May.

[Page 1453]

—I will go to Japan, China, and Korea in spring, Southeast Asia in July, and hope to make major address outlining our successes and plans in Asia at end of that trip.11

Mideast will be mostly holding operation since neither Hussein nor the Israelis sure of where they want to go. Will make major speech next month to lay our our positions on progress made, US efforts to construct useful international conference, and give candid picture of where things stand. Mubarak’s visit this month and Shamir’s in March12 will be useful as ways to share ideas, look for ways to engage process.

Latin America will also get a lot of attention. Maintaining our stance in Central America will be key, and votes on Contra aid this month will require major battle. Do, however, detect more realistic view of Nicaraguan actions by other Central American leaders and we will continue closely engaged. Your meeting with de la Madrid in February13 key to maintenance of that relationship, set stage for his successor next year.

—To help shape general debate, hope to lay out in a series of speeches our view of world economic and political trends to complement my December statement on global technological trends.14

—Will use my leadoff testimony on INF ratification for a statement on US strategic policy, the important role played by our allies, and where we are headed in our relations with the Soviets and on arms control.15 Particularly important in this period that we speak with one voice, and [Page 1454] not have bureaucratic foolishness such as the Ikle report muddy waters, provide material for our opponents.16

—If this approach makes sense to you, thought I would use it in a press conference tomorrow to set the public tone on foreign policy for the weeks and months ahead.17

  1. Source: Reagan Library, George Shultz Papers, Secretary’s Meetings with the President (01/06/1988 & 01/08/1988). Secret; Sensitive. Drafted by Pascoe. A notation in an unknown hand in the top-right hand corner of the paper reads: “Mtg w/Prez folder 1/6/88.” The President met with Shultz, Powell, Baker, and Duberstein on January 6 in the Oval Office Study from 1:04 until 1:36 p.m. Weinberger also attended the meeting from 1:04 until 1:06 p.m. (Reagan Library, President’s Daily Diary) Although no minutes of the meeting have been found, in his personal diary entry for January 6, the President noted: “Then a half hour with George S. His report was on foreign policy schedule of travel during this final year.” (Brinkley, ed., The Reagan Diaries, vol. II, November 1985–January 1989, p. 822)
  2. On January 2, the President and Mulroney signed the Free Trade Agreement; see footnote 6, Document 265 and footnote 2, Document 312. The President signed in Palm Springs, California; Mulroney signed in Ottawa. The agreement, scheduled to take effect on January 1, 1989, would eliminate most tariffs between the United States and Canada over a 10-year period once ratified by Congress and the Canadian Parliament. (Lou Cannon, “U.S.-Canada Trade Pact Is Signed: Far-Reaching Accord Faces Opposition in Congress, Parliament,” Washington Post, January 3, 1988, pp. A1, A21) In a statement released on January 2, the President noted that the agreement had “important international implications” and “will encourage supporters of free trade throughout the world by demonstrating that governments can remove trade barriers even in the face of protectionist pressures. We hope that the U.S.-Canada example will help set the tone for the Uruguay round multilateral trade negotiations.” (Public Papers: Reagan, 1988–1989, Book I, p. 4) Documentation concerning the agreement is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1981–1988, vol. XXXVII, Trade; Monetary Policy; Industrialized Country Cooperation, 1985–1988.
  3. Shultz met with Shevardnadze Ryzhkov, and Gorbachev in Moscow, February 21–23. Documentation on the trip is printed in Foreign Relations, 1981–1988, vol. VI, Soviet Union, October 1986–January 1989, Documents 121126.
  4. Kohl’s visit was scheduled to take place February 17–19. Genscher was scheduled to meet with the President and Shultz on January 21. (Robert J. McCartney, “Chemical Arms Treaty Held Unlikely This Year: U.S. Not Satisfied With Verification Rules,” Washington Post, January 9, 1988, p. A14)
  5. Scheduled to take place in Brussels, March 1–3.
  6. On January 11, Shultz and Clark signed the Arctic Cooperation Agreement, which required U.S. consultation with Canadian officials before sending U.S. icebreakers through waters considered to be Canadian by the Canadian Government. In addition, the agreement “provides that ‘navigation and resource development in the Arctic must not adversely affect the region’s environment or its inhabitants.’” Shultz and Clark also signed an amendment to an extradition treaty and a joint declaration on combatting terrorism. (David K. Shipler, “U.S. and Canada Close Extradition Gap,” New York Times, January 12, 1988, p. A3)
  7. Mulroney’s visit to the United States took place April 26–28.
  8. January 12–15.
  9. Shultz proposed that Wu visit Washington, March 7–9, following the NATO meeting in Brussels (see footnote 5, above). (Telegram 13830 to Beijing, January 16; Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, Electronic Telegrams, D880041–0359)
  10. Howard Baker.
  11. Shultz did not travel to Japan, China, or Korea during the spring of 1988. He traveled to Bangkok to attend the ASEAN post-ministerial conference, July 6–9; Kuala Lumpur to meet with Prime Minister Mahathir, July 9; Jakarta to meet with Suharto and senior Indonesian officials, July 9–11; Manila to meet with Aquino and senior Philippine officials, July 11–13; Beijing, July 14–16; Seoul, July 16–18; and Tokyo, July 16–18. At the conclusion of the trip, Shultz delivered an address in Honolulu before the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council and the Pacific Forum on July 21; the address is printed as Document 328.
  12. Mubarak’s visit was scheduled for January 26–29; Shamir’s visit was scheduled for March 14–17.
  13. The President and Shultz met with de la Madrid in Mazatlan, February 13.
  14. Presumable reference to Shultz’s December 4, 1987, address before the World Affairs Council of Washington. In it, Shultz provided a vision of “the world ahead,” noting that current and future “revolutionary changes are of a different nature. They are characterized by greater size and speed; they are both centrifugal and centripetal in their impact, dispersing yet concentrating activities, influences, and decisions.” (Department of State Bulletin, January 1988, p. 3; the complete address is ibid., pp. 3–7)
  15. The Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees were scheduled to hold hearings on the INF Treaty beginning in late January. Shultz and Carlucci testified on January 25, the day the treaty was submitted to Congress. (Helen Dewar and George C. Wilson, “INF Treaty Bolsters Security, Shultz, Carlucci Assure Senate,” Washington Post, January 26, 1988, pp. A1, A4)
  16. Presumable reference to the NSCDOD Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy report; see footnote 11, Document 294.
  17. At his January 7 news conference, Shultz “took reporters on a quick tour of global issues and sketched the prospects for what he described as ‘a very active, productive year.’” (John M. Goshko, “U.S. Support for Israel ‘Unshakeable’: Shultz Cautions Foes Against Misinterpreting Strength of Ties,” Washington Post, January 8, 1988, p. A14) A set of undated talking points entitled “Secretary’s Foreign Policy Overview Press Briefing,” is in the 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 JANUARY 1988. Shultz later provided an overview of the 1988 foreign policy agenda in a February 2 statement before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The statement is printed in Department of State Bulletin, April 1988, pp. 43–48.