78. Memorandum From Richard Pipes of the National Security Council Staff to Norman Bailey of the National Security Council Staff1


  • Haig’s Memorandum on U.S. Foreign Policy in 19822

Here, in brief, are my reactions:

The section on “Alliances”, in my opinion, lays far too much stress on the maintenance of the Alliance system as a “major, even often an overriding, goal” of U.S. foreign policy. The overriding objective of U.S. foreign policy is national security: if the Alliance system fosters this objective, then the Alliance system is valuable; if it hinders it, its utility can be legitimately questioned. Nobody wants unilateralism except as a last resort.
The section on “Europe” unmistakably hints at the need to climb down from our “Zero Option” (“we must retain flexibility in these [IMF] talks and negotiate in good faith”).3 This approach is quite contrary to our official position, as enunciated by the President. If such an attitude becomes operative, we will be handing the Russians a weapon for sabotaging our negotiating objectives in Geneva.
“Middle East”: According to this scenario, the main—indeed, only—problem in the Middle East is Israel and its Prime Minister. One might suggest the Arab instability and intransigence, inter-Arab rivalry, Muslim revivalism, and a few phenomena of this nature which have nothing to do with Israel need also to be considered in this context.
In the discussion of Southwest Asia, the drafters seem to have forgotten that the Russians have invaded Afghanistan and are presently ravaging that country.
The part on the Soviet Union lacks serious content. “We are prepared to do business [with the Soviet leaders] if they moderate their behavior” is hardly an inspiring or novel idea: this approach, I recall, has been tried not so long ago under a strategy labelled detente. (S)
  1. Source: Reagan Library, European and Soviet Affairs Directorate, NSC Records, Subject File, Haig, Secretary of State (5 of 8). Secret. All brackets are in the original.
  2. See Document 77.
  3. See Document 69 and footnote 8 thereto.