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Toni Schönfelder
A lifetime of innovation

Verschiedenes in Deutsch

Toni Schönfelder
A lifetime of innovation

Published 02.04.02

Foreign Policy Research Institute
A Catalyst for Ideas

by Robert Strausz-Hupe

April 2, 2002

Robert Strausz-Hupe, founder of the Foreign Policy Research
Institute and first editor of Orbis, passed away on February
24, 2002 at the age of 98. He completed this document --
his last -- in December 2001; it is the introduction to the
Spring 2002 issue of Orbis, which has a special focus on the
war on terrorism.

Ambassador Strausz-Hupe founded the Foreign Policy Research
Institute in 1955 and two years later published the first
issue of Orbis. In 1969, he was appointed Ambassador to Sri
Lanka and subsequently served as Ambassador to Belgium
(1972-74), Sweden (1974-76), NATO (l1976-77), and Turkey


by Robert Strausz-Hupe

In 1959 I wrote a book called Protracted Conflict, which
became my most popular work. Perhaps this was because the
central idea spoke to the times and because, although a
professor, I did not let too much learning interfere with
the theme.

What I proposed was simply that after a dozen years of Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, a pattern was in place that would continue until one side or
the other was transformed. Either the United States would cease to be a democracy or the Soviet Union would cease to be a Leninist dictatorship. The ideological divide was too
deep and wide for any lasting peace, and while tensions might grow or diminish, these were tactical decisions
dictated by geopolitical convenience, not strategic changes.
Try as Western statesmen might to bridge this divide with
detente or, from the Soviet side, with the ideological
sleight of hand called "peaceful coexistence," the conflict
would not end until one side or the other triumphed.

I thought it was supremely important for Americans and their
statesmen to understand that we were in for a "protracted
conflict." This ran against our national preference for
quick solutions and our tendency to believe that goodwill
and money would always turn an enemy into a friend. We would
have to stay alert, dispense with illusions about the other
side, and keep ourselves mobilized. It would indeed be a
severe test of our democracy to prevail.

There were times when I feared we might persuade ourselves
that the conflict was over when it was not, and that then
the dangers would remain or even grow in the face of our
weakness. Many wagered against us, impressed only by our
material cravings, political cacophony, and apparent
attachment to foreign policies predicated on avoiding a
fight. But they were wrong. This was one story with a happy
ending. The Soviet Union disappeared and that protracted
conflict was over.

I have never been of an apocalyptic frame of mind, and
so the end of the Cold War did not strike me as the end of
history. The last decade, although peaceful and prosperous,
was still disfigured by ethnic slaughter and the ascendancy
of hostile doctrines, not least the simple envy of American
success. The American people, led by their government,
thought all of this was very far away. After September 11,
we knew that it was not.

This struggle will be difficult and protracted. Our
opponents deem us evil and some of them see an attack on us
as the best and shortest route to paradise. This is a
formidable stimulus to action. Terrorism is the instrument
of the weak, and many of our adversaries are weak. Americans
still want quick solutions, still like to be liked, and
still see force as the very last resort. Our leaders must
keep a psychological balance between despair and euphoria as
the campaign proceeds, as most campaigns do, in fits and
starts, on a field of battle obscured by smoke, some of it
rhetorical. There can be no successful foreign policy
without semantic leadership.

Still, we start with several advantages that the Cold War
generation lacked. There is no serious domestic opposition
to President Bushs strategy, at least not yet, no agitation
for detente and no arguments over arms control with our
enemy. Furthermore, all the major powers are ranged on our
side. That Vladimir Putins Russia has seen fit to ally
itself with us is not an adverse development so long as we
do not take it too far out of gratitude, for instance by
extending Moscow a veto over NATO. As for the Atlantic
alliance itself, this is another challenge to its role in a
post-Cold War world and one that extends beyond welcome
military solidarity to domestic affairs. Our European allies
share with us issues of home security. One hopes also that
this time at least, Turkeys indispensable contributions --
as a member of NATO and a Muslim state that seeks rather
than rejects association with America and the West -- will
be recognized. These are all important assets that must be

My main point, however, is that this protracted conflict,
like the last one, will end only when one side vanquishes
the other. Either the United States, at the head of the
international order - such as it is - will forfeit its
leadership, or international terrorists and the states who
use them will find violence against innocent civilians a
tactic too dangerous to be used.

I have lived long enough to see good repeatedly win over
evil, although at a much higher cost than need have been
paid. This time we have already paid the price of victory.
It remains for us to win it.

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