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From 50 Years Ago: In Search of a Role

Vol V, Nos 3, 4 & 5 JANUARY 1970

In Search of a Role

The enormity of the structural changes that have occurred in the world political system in the sixties is best illustrated by the fact that the foreign policies of almost all the important countries of the world have had to suffer severe reverses during the decade. The post-Cuban euphoria in the United States has yielded place to thinly-veiled admission of monumental failure in Vietnam; in fact, America has suffered in the sixties what is probably the most serious setback of the 200 years of its history, with grievous internal and external consequences. The Soviet Union, while it may have derived a few advantages from its conflict with China, has knocked out one of the fundamental postulates of Soviet foreign policy — viz, the inevitability of the solidarity of the communist bloc in a world of growing disarray — and has greatly complicated its political, military and diplomatic tasks. China, while firmly treading the road to power, has witnessed serious debacles in its relations with many countries of the world including those of Asia and Africa. France, which seemed to be pursuing a distinctive foreign policy with great success in the early years of the decade, reached a dead-end in 1968 when events in Paris and Prague showed Gaullist policies to be out of gear. Britain has given up its pretence to being a world power and is busy cutting its foreign policy coat to suit its depleted resource base. […]

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Updated On : 24th Jan, 2020

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