Press Release

Office of the Historian
Foreign Service Institute
United States Department of State
September 9, 2022

The Department of State released today Foreign Relations of the United States, 1981–1988, Volume I, Foundations of Foreign Policy.

This volume documents the intellectual foundations of the foreign policy pursued by President Ronald Reagan’s administration. Unlike other volumes in the Reagan subseries, the documentation seeks to illuminate the collective mindset of Reagan administration officials across foreign policy issues in the broadest sense.

Rather than exploring the formulation of individual policy decisions or diplomatic exchanges, the volume takes as its canvas the entire 8-year record of the administration, as well as the immediate pre-presidential period, including the transition between the Jimmy Carter and Reagan administrations. Specifically, it documents the ways in which the Reagan administration tried to “reset” foreign policy following the Vietnam War, Watergate scandal, and Iranian hostage crisis and it sought to recreate a world structure hospitable to certain U.S. values. The volume draws upon both the published record of speeches, press releases, press conferences and briefings, interviews, and Congressional testimony and the internal memoranda, correspondence, meeting minutes, and other records generated by administration officials to document the policy positions and assumptions of foreign policy makers. The documentation presented in this volume, drawn from public and archival sources, chronicles the perspectives of not only President Reagan but also Vice President George H.W. Bush, Secretaries of State Alexander Haig and George Shultz, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, and other prominent policy makers.

This volume was compiled and edited by Kristin L. Ahlberg. The volume and this press release are available on the Office of the Historian website at Copies of the volume will be available for purchase from the U.S. Government Printing Office online at (GPO S/N 044-000-02708-9; ISBN 978-0-16-095933-2), or by calling toll-free 1-866-512-1800 (D.C. area 202-512-1800). For further information, contact