Before the realist Weltanschauung of President Nixon and his national security advisor, Henry Kissinger could function, policymakers needed to analyze, plan, and identify the nation's capabilities, interests, and objectives. Since bureaucratization hindered the thoughtful, yet agile, approach to statecraft favored by the president and his national security advisor, reforming the policymaking process emerged as one of their key goals. This documentary collection outlines the reform of America's foreign policymaking.
This collection provides the intellectual and practical foundations for Nixon's policy formulation. Realism, triangular diplomacy, and linkage-making provided President Nixon with an understanding of world strategy and a negotiating approach that fueled his pursuit of détente and accommodation. Common wisdom within the administration held that the Sino- Soviet split, Soviet-American strategic parity, and certain challenges facing the Kremlin within its own sphere of influence had combined to create a situation in which a lessening of Cold War tensions was in the interest of both nations.
The following are examples of Nixon's diplomatic foundations at work: