Walker, Lannon
January 1969
Foreign Affairs;Jan1969, Vol. 47 Issue 2, p309
This article advocates reforms of the organization and administration of foreign affairs of the U.S. for 1969. Recommendations for foreign affairs reforms have been made by high-level committees and task forces on the average of every two years since World War 11. Despite the near unanimity of diagnosis, little has been done to deal with the serious problems uncovered; they are still with us, unsolved and debilitating. The reform agenda for 1969 is already apparent. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has proposed another public commission to take a fresh look into the foreign affairs process. A group of Republican congressmen has recommended that a Hoover Commission be appointed to reexamine the entire structure of the Federal Government. So political pressures and ideas for reform have again converged. Only President Richard Nixon, however, has the power to begin the process of change. He must begin immediately after January 20, taking full advantage of those precious hundred days, or run the risk of being captured by the pressure of other crises as well as by the inertia of the system itself. Moreover, the Congress complains that the agencies in foreign affairs are overstaffed. The Congress is right. But it is also wrong. It is right in the sense that too large a proportion of the human resources are concentrated on too small an aspect of foreign affairs.


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