Toward New Forms of PartnershipThe tangible expression of the new partnership is in greater material contributions by other countries. But we must first consider its primary purpose-to help make a peace that belongs to all.
For this venture we will look to others for a greater share in the definition of policy as well as in bearing the costs of programs. This psychological reorientation is more fundamental than the material redistribution; when countries feel responsible for the formulation of plans they are more apt to furnish the assets needed to make them work.
For America this could be the most critical aspect of the doctrine. To continue our predominant contribution might not have been beyond our physical resources-though our own domestic problems summoned them. But it certainly would have exceeded our psychological resources. For no nation has the wisdom, and the understanding, and the energy required to act wisely on all problems, at all times, in every part of the world. And it asks too much of a people to understand-and therefore support-sweeping and seemingly permanent overseas involvement in local problems, particularly when other countries seem able to make greater efforts themselves.
The intellectual adjustment is a healthy development for other nations as well as for us. It requires them to think hard about some issues that had been removed, or had never appeared, on their national agendas. It is no more in their interest than in ours to place on the U.S. the onus for complicated decisions-the structure of an army, the outline of a development plan, the components of an economic policy, the framework of a regional alliance.
The Nixon Doctrine, then, should not be thought of primarily as the sharing of burdens or the lightening of our load. It has a more positive meaning for other nations and for ourselves.
In effect we are encouraging countries to participate fully in the creation of plans and the designing of programs. They must define the nature of their own security and determine the path of their own progress. For only in this manner will they think of their fate as truly their own.
This new sharing requires a new, more subtle form of leadership. Before, we often acted as if our role was primarily one of drawing up and selling American blueprints. Now, we must evoke the ideas of others and together consider programs that meet common needs. We will concentrate more on getting other countries engaged with us in the formulation of policies; they will be less involved in trying to influence American decisions and more involved in devising their own approaches.
More than ever before in the period since World War II, foreign policy must become the concern of many rather than of few. There cannot be a structure of peace unless other nations help to fashion it. Indeed, in this central fact lie both its hope and its elusiveness: it cannot be built except by the willing hands-and minds-of all.
It was in this context that at Guam in the summer of 1969, and in my November 3, 1969, address to the nation, I laid out the elements of new partnership.
"First, the United States will keep all of its treaty commitments." We will respect the commitments we inherited-both because of their intrinsic merit, and because of the impact of sudden shifts on regional or world stability. To desert those who have come to depend on us would cause disruption and invite aggression. It is in everyone's interest, however, including those with whom we have ties, to view undertakings as a dynamic process. Maintaining the integrity of commitments requires relating their tangible expression, such as troop deployments or financial contributions, to changing conditions.
The concrete results vary. In South Korea fewer U.S. troops are required, but Korean forces must receive more modern equipment. In NATO a continuing level of U.S. forces and greater European contributions are in order. The best way of maintaining stable relationships with our allies is jointly to reach common conclusions and jointly to act on them.
In contemplating new commitments we will apply rigorous yardsticks. What precisely is our national concern? What precisely is the threat? What would be the efficacy of our involvement? We do not rule out new commitments, but we will relate them to our interests. For as I said in last year's report:
Our objective, in the first instance, is to support our interests over the long run with a sound foreign policy. The more that policy is based on a realistic assessment of our and others' interests, the more effective our role in the world can be. We are not involved in the world because we have commitments; we have commitments because we are involved. Our interests must shape our commitments, rather than the other way around.
"Second, we shall provide a shield if a nuclear power threatens the freedom of a nation allied with us or of a nation whose survival we consider vital to our security." Nuclear power is the element of security that our friends either cannot provide or could provide only with great and disruptive efforts. Hence, we bear special obligations toward nonnuclear countries. Their concern would be magnified if we were to leave them defenseless against nuclear blackmail, or conventional aggression backed by nuclear power. Nations in a position to build their own nuclear weapons would be likely to do so. And the spread of nuclear capabilities would be inherently destabilizing, multiplying the chances that conflicts could escalate into catastrophic exchanges.
Accordingly, while we maintain our nuclear force, we have encouraged others to forego their own under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. We have assured those signing the NPT that they would not be subject to nuclear blackmail or nuclear aggression. The Soviet Union has done so as well.
"Third, in cases involving other types of aggression we shall furnish military and economic assistance when requested in accordance with our treaty commitments. But we shall look to the nation directly threatewd to assume The primary responsibility of providing the manpower for its defense. " No President can guarantee that future conflicts will never involve American personnel-but in some theaters the threshold of involvement will be raised, and in some instances involvement will be much more unlikely. This principle, first applied to security matters, applies as well to economic development. Our economic assistance will continue to be substantial. But we will expect countries receiving it to mobilize themselves and their resources; we will look to other developed nations to play their full role in furnishing help; and we will channel our aid increasingly through multilateral channds.
We will continue to provide elements of military strength and economic resources appropriate to our size and our interests. But it is no longer natural or possible in this age to argue that security or development around the globe is primarily America's concern. The defense and progress of other countries must be first their responsibility and second a regional responsibility. Without the foundations of self-help and regional help, American help will not succeed. The United States can and will participate where our interests dictate, but as a weight-not the weight-in the scale.