The Record of Implementation

Different national and regional circumstances dictate variations in style, speed and substance in implementing the Nixon Doctrine. This past year the sharing of responsibilities was reflected in various ways.

In some areas the Nixon Doctrine resulted in reduced American presence:

In Vietnam we progressively transferred combat burdens in an ongoing war. Vietnamization produced substantial improvement in South Vietnamese forces, the withdrawal of some 260,000 Americans by May I of this year and a decline in American casualties in 1970 to a level 70 percent below 1968.

In South Korea we moved to a more supportive role in the continuing process of deterring a new war. We announced a reduction of twenty thousand in the authorized American troop ceiling, together with modernization of Korean forces through expanded military assistance.

Elsewhere in Asia we cut back our forces to reflect our declining involvement in Vietnam and the increased capabilities of our allies. Troop reductions and base consolidations by this July will lower the U.S. presence by some twelve thousand in Japan, five thousand in Okinawa, sixteen thousand in Thailand and nine thousand in the Philippines.

Worldwide we cut back the U.S. official presence, civilian and military, for a more efficient and less conspicuous approach. A program begun in November 1969 reduced our government personnel abroad by about eighty-six thousand.

In other cases our new approach took different forms:

In Europe we enlisted greater material and intellectual contributions from our allies. We jointly reviewed NATO strategy and agreed to a realistic defense in which the European conventional share will be relatively larger. For the ongoing SALT negotiations we stayed in close touch with our allies not only because of their interest but also for their ideas.

In the Western Hemisphere we have shifted from paternalism to a more balanced partnership. We sought the ideas and initiatives of our neighbors and together strengthened the mechanisms for sharing responsibilities in hemispheric development and diplomacy.

Our foreign assistance program enabled us to help countries who were helping themselves. Congressional passage of a $1 billion supplemental appropriation at year's end was encouraging recognition that the Nixon Doctrine requires substantial American assistance.

In our proposals for a new approach to foreign aid we emphasized multilateral institutions and collaboration. We will work more with and ask more of others in the development process.

In 1970 there were also examples of policies which belied oversimplified interpretations of the Nixon Doctrine as a formula for heedless withdrawal:

The Cambodian sanctuary operations were not inconsistent with the plan for American disengagement. Rather, they furthered the strategic purpose of insuring the Vietnarnization and withdrawal programs.

Maintaining the present level of U.S. forces in Europe does not contradict the principle of self-help and burden sharing in Asia. Rather, it is the best means of eliciting greater partnership in the European theater while recognizing the reality of the security problem.

The discreet projection of American presence in the Mediterranean during the Jordanian crisis did not increase the chances of outside intervention. Rather, it served as a reminder that outside intervention carried great risks.

The Nixon Doctrine applies most directly to our dealings with allies and friends. But it animates all areas of our new foreign policy:

In our economic posture. We look towards increased U.S. economic and military assistance in certain areas to help our friends make full use of their resources and move on to greater self-reliance. International trade and monetary policies will demand mutual accommodations and adjustment.

In our defense posture. We will provide the nuclear shield of the Nixon Doctrine. Our general purpose forces are more and more keyed to our partners' capabilities, to provide truly flexible response when our commitments are involved. And our security assistance program will provide indispensable support to our friends, especially where there are reductions in U.S. manpower.

In our negotiating posture. When we conduct bilateral negotiations with the U.S.S.R., as in SALT, partnership involves close consultations with our allies both to protect their interests and solicit their views. In turn partnership requires our allies in their negotiations to pursue their course within a framework of common objectives. And there are areas of multilateral negotiations in which partnership is most immediately involved.

In our global posture. Nonpolitical world problems call for cooperation that transcends national rivalries. Here, more comprehensively than in traditional realms, there is a need for shared approaches and shared participation.