The Setting for American National Security in the 1990s

  • John J. Weltman
Part of the Issues in International Security book series (IIS)


The history of international relations since World War II has been filled with proclamations of novel and radical change, yet its course has remained remarkably steady. The Soviet-American relationship has dominated the field. Foreign and defense policy for each superpower has been driven preeminently by the need to manage its relationship with the other. The relationship has never quite flared into open conflict, yet fundamental accommodation of the conflict or resolution of the issues that brought it into being has eluded the protagonists. Two recent American administrations tried and failed to break with the past. A third administration, skeptical of predictions that international relations would undergo a radical break with the past, found itself forced to cope with events that seemed to cast into doubt the primacy of the Soviet-American relationship in world affairs, and all that that primacy had implied for foreign and defense policy.


Nuclear Force Military Force Bush Administration Defense Policy North Atlantic Treaty Organization 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    These arguments reflect those developed by Kenneth N. Waltz in “The Stability of a Bipolar World,” Daedalus 93 (1964).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • John J. Weltman
    • 1
  1. 1.The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International StudiesThe Johns Hopkins UniversityUSA

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