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I read with interest Paul C. Avey’s review of Brendan Rittenhouse Green’s article in *International Security,* “Two Concepts of Liberty: US Cold War Grand Strategies and the Liberal Tradition” because I read the original article with interest. I think that Green’s article is a real step forward in the analysis of American foreign policy. [For the review, see http://www.h-net.org/~diplo/ISSF/PDF/ISSF-AR22.pdf] Yet, I am not convinced that a work that posits itself as an analysis of grand strategy that largely restricts itself to military policy in Europe is not merely dealing with a security policy in a particular theater despite its broader claims. This restricted military definition allows Green to avoid dealing with any seriousness with the alternative security aspects of the Marshall Plan, the Bretton Woods System, the covert intervention in the 1948 Italian election, or any other grand strategic tactics in Europe that do not fit into a strictly military definition of security. I assume that places me in the “hybrid” school of thought on grand strategy, as he defines it, and that is fine. One can always define things to suit one’s analysis. But Green never reveals why the more inclusive “hybrid” view is wrong other than it does not fit into his restricted view of grand strategy. And if the US was taking alternative measures other than purely military ones to pursue the same balancing goal of securing Europe, how is this “buck-passing”? We did pass the buck, but it wasn’t cheap. If lessening resource burdens is considered “buck-passing,” do not all countries “buck-pass” pretty much all of the time? If not, what is the crossover point into the vague concept of “buck-passing”? And the bucks available were dear. As Gaddis and others have noted, there were not only geopolitical constraints on grand strategy, but resource constraints also. Truman did not choose a $13 billions cap on military spending, or rapid demobilization, they were handed to him. Why, then, cannot the alternative, non-military policies of containment still be seen as “balancing” through alternative (cheaper) means as much as “buck-passing”? And if NATO is not a “continental commitment” to Europe, I am not sure what the term means. Difficult, yes, but it was done. By downplaying the balancing behavior of the Truman administration after 1947, Green misses continuities between it and the Kennedy administration that, for example, Gaddis captures in *Strategies of Containment.*  Moreover, even if the United States was “buck-passing” in Europe in the early days of the Cold War, it was because it believed it had someone to whom it could pass the buck fairly quickly. “Buck-passing” does not explain its willingness after the outbreak of war in Korea in 1950, to make military, economic, and political commitments (all aspects of a “grand strategy” properly understood, in my view) in many areas of the non-European world.  This grand strategic behavior is not captured in an analysis of Europe alone. American grand strategy quite quickly became global. The inclusion of Isaiah Berlin’s concepts into an analysis of that broader global grand strategy also offers insights into US global policies, though with a paucity of viable potential allies elsewhere, “buck-passing” was less valuable as a tactic. And “positive liberty” or “negative liberty” were often non-starters, or at least deeply obfuscated in local doncietions, for American value projection in the non-European world. In other words, the two concepts of liberty approach may be even more analytically valuable than Green and Avey suggest if applied in what I consider a truly grand strategic sense from a global perspective, but also may be a reason for its perceived failure. If seen from a “hybrid” viewpoint on grand strategy and applied also to non-European areas, Berlin’s liberal binary – which as Green notes are ideal types – becomes even more valuable in explaining American foreign policy in the Cold War. Explaining Ideological Oscillation Generally In any modern ideology, especially those with universalistic pretensions, including liberalism, when its proponents obtain power and face the external world, there is a strong tendency to split into proactive (“left”) and reactive (“right’) wings along a spectrum of behaviors constrained by the parameters of the belief system. This spectrum – left to right – is one of the most ubiquitous and useful concepts in the study of politics and political history, and can be applied to polities and groups at many different levels: political parties, unions, governments, parliaments, etc. When universalistic ideologists look externally this split tends to concentrate on whether and how the ideology can best be spread to other societies, whether as a good in itself or as a defense mechanism in creating a regional or global system (for universalistic ideologies, typically regional *then* global, at least as an aspiration) that plays by similar rules and does not have alternative end goals.  Since the end goals of the ideology are broadly similar, argumentation and internal disagreements tend to primarily emphasize means (including the pace of change) over ends. The alternative policies are not only constrained by the ideological content (with a wide variety of tactical flexibility), but also by material realities in the political world. Those relatively pessimistic about spreading the ideology tend toward a cautious and reactive set of policies that counsel patience, or acting as an “exemplar,” as Green properly notes. In contrast, those who see the external realm ripe for potential change in a proper direction, tend towards policies that are more proactive and cost more in terms of resources. Again, this bifurcation is ubiquitous in many areas of political behavior, domestic or international. An ideologist in power, however, unlike those ideologists sitting on the sidelines who will not bear the direct consequences of action or inaction, tends toward reactive caution in normal circumstances because of the competing resource demands and an appreciation of the difficulties of change given the weight of the status quo. That does not mean they abandon the end goals, but rather “satisfice” in an incremental strategy to attain them. They do this through offering the “city on a hill” (Green’s “exemplar”) approach, which amounts to biding your time for the present, and “advancing” where possible When opportunities offer themselves even cautious ideologists are tempted to grasp them. This was the basis, for example, of the ideological debate over Trotsky’s “Permanent Revolution” versus Stalin’s “Socialism in One Country (for now).” When opportunities presented themselves in Stalin’s view in Asia in 1950, for example, he removed his objections to North Korea’s desire to attack south. He apparently thought that the lack of an American military response to the CCP victory in China was an ideologically-defined shift in the “correlation of forces” in the region (the “capitalist crisis” had begun!) and even posited a version of a communist “domino theory” that suggested that a quick victory in Korea might lead to revolutionary successes elsewhere.  This constant trade-off between proactive and reactive approaches is ubiquitous among ideologists of all stripes, but especially those with ideologies that are based on universalistic premises. Thus in the late 1970s, the generally reactive Brezhnev regime in the USSR expanded its activities in Africa and Southeast Asia, and invaded Afghanistan, to project or protect ideological goals based on a view that opportunities and threats had arisen in the international system with a decline in American power. A threatening and opportunistic international environment is one that will imply proactivity in an idealist government, particularly for a “revisionist” power. Yet the same Brezhnev, when he saw opportunities for proactively spreading revolution in Latin America as very limited, if not dangerous to the international socialist movement, sternly lectured the Cubans for having tried to do so regionally: “…we said many times [to the Cuban leadership] that direct interference by Cuba in internal affairs of Latin American countries, the sending of armed groups there, aggravates the danger of the invasion [of Cuba], eases the maneuvers of the imperialists in hammering together an anti-Cuba front. Our representatives stressed that the most weighty contribution by Cuba in the revolutionary movement of Latin America and the task of spreading socialist ideas there, would be the successful construction of socialism in Cuba itself, her successes in the development of the economy and further cultural advance.”  Were they Soviets, this ideological template for action could have been written by John Quincy Adams or George F. Kennan!  To this extent, realists are correct in noting that power realities constrain proactive ideological behavior. They do not, however, destroy it. As Kennan noted in 1995, in defending the “exemplar” model for American foreign policy amidst the prevailing mood of “globalization” of liberal values, Americans needed to prioritize its foreign policies, and tackle nuclear proliferation and an environmental crisis *first.* Only then, could “any efforts we make to solve the problems of humane and civil government in the rest of the world have hopes of success.”  This is not the abandonment of ideological goals, but their postponement, even from one who is ideologically opposed to proactivity. The Uncertainty Within Administrations and Policy Oscillation Green takes a strong stand against linking reactive or proactive policies with party politics: “A word of caution before proceeding: one should resist superficial measurements of contemporary domestic politics. In particular, the assumption that Democrats are all positive liberals and Republicans are all negative liberals is historically false.” (p.17) Yet he offers no systematic historical argument to support this claim (probably impossible in article form.) The key word here, of course, is “all.” I have argued elsewhere that Democrats tend to take a proactive approach to spreading liberal values *initially* when they take office, or at least they did in the Cold War. Subsequently, however, they feel compelled to switch to a more reactive approach because their initial approach is perceived as failing. Similarly, Republicans during the Cold War tended to *initially* take a reactive approach upon taking office, but move toward a more proactive approach eventually because of a perception that their initial approach had failed.  It is a truism, it seems to me, that Republicans, at least since the New Deal, have been the ideological carriers of “negative liberty,” and the Democrats of “positive liberty” in the American political system. That this would not affect their respective approaches to foreign policy is not credible, in my view. Thus Green is partially correct: it is simplistic to state that “Democrats are proactive/”positive” and Republicans are reactive/”negative.” But it is correct to say that they enter office with those orientations and that it affects their policies strongly. Time and space forbid a systematic treatment here, but the historical argument can be found in my earlier work.  There are two major exceptions and some necessary caveats to this claim on my part. The exceptions are the administrations of Lyndon Johnson and that of Richard Nixon. Johnson, despite being one of the major reformers in American history domestically, was skeptical of attempts to spread liberalism to other societies in the short run.. The Nixon administration made something of a fetish of “staying out of the domestic politics” of other countries (with notable exceptions such as Chile.) In this he was supported by his influential National Security Adviser/Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. But it might also be noted that in the brief Ford administration, there was a shift towards a more proactive approach based on a perception that the Nixon policy had failed.. Gerald Ford felt that the Helsinki Accords, for example, was one of the most important accomplishments of his administration. Even Kissinger declared by 1976 that Human Rights were of universal importance. Personally, I do not think he meant a word of this, but the fact that he felt compelled to declare it is indication of a loss of support for the “realism” of the Nixon years. The succeeding Democratic administration of Jimmy Carter made Human Rights a hallmark of its policies, but it also found it had to backtrack after its failures in Nicaragua and Iran, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It is true, as Green claims, that Eisenhower had a generally “negative” or reactive view of liberty when entering office, and he made numerous statements along those lines, as did his influential Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles. But this was also because of their view of the excessively proactive policy of President Truman that, among other things, allegedly helped bring down Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jieshi.) Early in the administration, Dulles testified that: “I recognize full well that there are plenty of social problems and unrest which would exist if there was no such thing as Soviet Communism in the world, but what makes it a very dangerous problem for us is the fact that wherever those things exist, whether it is in Indo-China or Siam or Morocco or Egypt or Arabia or Iran, for that matter, even in South America, the forces of unrest are captured by the Soviet Communists because they are smart at that, just as in this country, for a long while they captured the labor unions. When there is a strong labor situation which led to unrest, you would find immediately the Communist had moved in and gotten control, and that makes it very difficult to concentrate on reforms.” Dulles did not want to back dictators such as Chiang Kai-shek (Jieng Jieshi) and Syngman Rhee, he testified, but “in times like these, in the unrest in the world today, and the divided spirit, we know that we cannot make a transition with losing control of the whole situation.” Thus a period of excessive proactivity in pursuing liberal values had to be corrected by a *temporary* period of reactivity until things settled down enough to move toward change. That change would undoubtedly be less ambitious than the proactive New Dealism of the Democrats, but it would presumably lean toward a form of “negative liberty” over time nonetheless. By the end of his tenure as president, Eisenhower had moved more clearly in that direction. Not only did he start putting pressures on authoritarian allies such as Ngo Dinh Diem in Vietnam, under the influence of his brother Milton Eisenhower the basic ideas for the Alliance for Progress were already in the planning stage when he left office.  His reactivity was, once again, ideology postponed, not abandoned. The caveats to these generalizations are important. First, it is vacant to expect a universal consistency in the behavior of governments, even under ideological assumptions. Critics of ideological politics posit an ideal type of behavior that is nowhere found in the real world and then criticize ideology as an analytical device because the real world does not measure up. Each step backwards is posited as “proof” that the proactive policy was not serious in the first place. No state, no matter how ideologically inspired or powerful, can pursue a “full court press” in every area, never mind in every instance. Secondly, it is crucially important how one defines liberal reform and a proactive policy. I offer a more inclusive definition for “democratic reform” than is usual. Elections or other such “nation-building” measures may be important but not determinative in my view. That is, democratic reform is not necessarily liberal in form. I define reform as any new policy initiative that aims at the devolution of power – military, economic, political or social – in a society. Thus the promotion of land reform in a devolutionary fashion is considered democratic in my version. The inclusion of formally excluded groups into the political life of a nation, or the creation of independent unions, for example, are also democratic reforms as they devolve power in some fashion in a society. I added one more twist: democratic development should be measured by comparison with previous experience in the particular society being examined, not against an ideal type or model based merely on Western experience. Thus democratic development varies from society to society and should be measured historically and culturally for each society. Viewed from such a perspective, there has been much more democratic development in the world than those who rigidly rely on Western templates would suggest. And, I suggested, American policy has been far more successful in promoting such change than it has been credited with.  This view also has some obvious conceptual flaws in retrospect. If democracy is defined as mere leveling of some sort, then it must be admitted that communist Russia was more democratic than monarchical Russia, though its human rights abuses were far worse. It must also be admitted that Nazi Germany was more democratic than monarchical Germany, according to this standard. There are major gaps in democratic theory defined in this way, which also offers positive aspects, without a liberal or humanist component. This points to the fact that democracy is not the only value in play in liberal political development. Moreover, when some groups are included it can cause the exclusion of others, through necessity or choice. In other words, a society can become more democratic and less liberal simultaneously. Those who adhere to a “negative” view of liberty, I think, are more sensitive to these kinds of contradictions, and hence more cautious in promoting this form of democratic leveling. Yet it is this innate caution, in my view, that has made liberalism, for all its limitations, the most humane alternative in the massive material and ideational revolutions involved in the modernist shift from “Agraria” to “Industria,” that is, ideologically from monarchy to mass politics. Nonetheless, I believe my framework is a more useful measurement of democratic/liberal development than that implied in a famous statement, perhaps apocryphal, attributed to Nebraska Senator Kenneth Wherry in the 1940s: “With God's help, we will lift Shanghai up and up, ever up, until it is just like Kansas City." A low standard, I admit. Thirdly, all of the policy shifts are in some ways incomplete. It is not so easy to shift policy, especially toward reforms following a more reactive policy in the past. Even successes were only partial. Fourthly, these policy orientations can only be fully understood by defining grand strategy in a global sense, not by limiting it to one of its theaters, no matter how important. Most ideological competition took place in the non-European world during the Cold War. There was no significant ideological shift from one side to the other in Europe after the Czech coup of 1948 (Yugoslavia did adopt non-alignment and Austria neutrality.) Much of the non-European world, however, appeared to American strategists as in danger and to the Soviets “up for grabs.” There were many situations where there did not appear to be a democratic or, especially, liberal alternative available even in proactive periods. Yet more often than sometimes acknowledged, the proactive approach was attempted by both sides; it was not all realism and caution. In fact, it was often not realism and caution. The oscillation in American, and other countries’, foreign policies can best be explained by this framework. Thus, if Green was to broaden his scope beyond Europe and in a longer time period, I think he would find that the “negative” vs. “positive” liberty model he adopts explains even more of American foreign policy than he may realize. He makes a real advance by introducing it to the European security context, but it has a far greater utility as an analytical framework for understanding American foreign policy behavior if one adopts a “hybrid” and geographically expanded approach to American grand strategy in the Cold War. “Think locally and act globally” may not be a bad shorthand summation of how such grand strategies were often formulated, at least when circumstances appeared to permit. [I would like to thank Ashley Hill for earlier comments. Any mistakes or flaws in the argument are mine.] 1 *Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of American National Security Policy During the Cold War* (NY: Oxford, 2005). 2 For an account of how extended deterrence was extended in the late 1940s in the Truman Administration, see Douglas J. Macdonald, “The Truman Administration and Global Responsibilities: The Birth of the Falling Domino Principle,” in Robert Jervis and Jack Snyder, Eds., *Dominoes and Bandwagons: Strategic Beliefs and Superpower Competition in the Eurasian Rimland* (NY: Oxford, 1991), pp. 112-144. All of the articles in this volume are valuable and written from varying perspectives, and it has a superior overview introduction by Robert Jervis. See also, Bruce R. Kuniholm, *The Origins of the Cold War in the Near East: Great Power Conflict in Iran, Turkey, and Greece* (Princeton: Princeton University, 1980); Russell Buhite, *Soviet-American Relations in Asia, 1945-1954* (Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1981); Robert M. Blum, *Drawing the Line: The Origins of the American Containment Policy in East Asia* (NY: Norton, 1982); Andrew Rotter,*The Path to Vietnam: Origins of the American Commitment to Southeast Asia* (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, 1989). The literature is vast. 3 What follows in the definition of ideology owes much to Martin Seliger, *Ideology and Politics* (NY: Free Press, 1976). In such a short forum I cannot give this remarkable work a proper explication, so this abridged version must suffice. 4 Classifying monarchy and fascism is more difficult since they were not generally universalistic ideologies. Mussolini, for example, while active in a *realpolitik* sense in Austria and elsewhere in Europe, and acting as an ideological “exemplar” in Latin America and elsewhere, did not begin seriously thinking of proactively spreading Fascism as an ideology to other societies until the mid-1930s. See Richard Lamb, *Mussolini as Diplomat: Il Duce’s Italy on the World Stage* (NY: Fromm International, 1999). 5 See Douglas J. Macdonald, "Communist Bloc Expansion in the Early Cold War: Challenging Realism, Refuting Revisionism," International Security, Vol. 20, no. 3 (Winter 1995). 6 “Secret Speech by Leonid I. Brezhnev CPSU CC Plenum, “About Current Problems of the International Situation and the Struggle of trhe CPSU for the Cohesion of the World Communist Movement,” (April 9, 1968), History and Public Policy Program HDigital Archive State Archive on Modern History (RGANI). Moscow, fond 2, opis 3, delo 95, 11. 64-69. Obtained and translated for CWIHP by Sergey Radchenko. (Available at: http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115813.) 7 See Kennan’s promotion of the “power of example” as the best way to spread liberal values, in a paean to John Quincy Adams, in “On American Principles,” *Foreign Affairs*, 74 (March-April, 1995), pp. 116-126. 8 Ibid., p. 126. 9 Macdonald, *Adventures in Chaos*, especially chapter one. 10 For a chart graphically showing the switches in policy orientation, see ibid., p. 28. 11 Ibid., p. 38. For historical evidence of these shifts, see ibid., pp. 33-43. 12 Ibid., pp. 34-35. 13 Ibid., p. 35. 14 For an excellent recent account of the influence of the “New Deal” on American foreign policy, though without an oscillation framework, see David Ekbladh, *The Great American Mission: Modernization and the Construction of an American World Order* (Princeton: Princeton University, 2010.) By concentrating largely on economic development, Ekbladh does not capture the variations in overall approach between the parties adequately. 15 Macdonald, *Adventures in Chaos,* pp. 36-37. 16 Macdonald, *Adventures in Chaos.* 17 For an interesting early article on the international systemic consequences associated with this seismic shift, which is still ongoing, see George Modelski, “Agraria and Industria: Two Models of the International System,” *World Politics* 14, (October, 1961), pp. 118-143. 18 For an excellent overview of the inherently global nature of the Cold War, see Odd Arne Westad, *The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times* (NY: Cambridge University, 2005). --