The secretary of state's 'I believe'
I believe now, as I believed a week ago, that the Congress must be a full partner in designing our international posture and must be fully informed on its implementation. The administration, the nation, and our foreign policies are the stronger when the Congress is consulted before major policy decisions are made, and during the course of major negotiations.
I believe in strong American defenses. We must maintain the military balance. We must continue to modernize all elements of our defense forces. Dollars spent on defense, as in any other area, must never be dollars wasted.
I believe in strong alliances -- in our collective defense, in continuing to strengthen our forces, in consulting regularly and with trust.
I believe in a firm and balanced policy toward the Soviet Union. The search for common ground has been disrupted not by American preference but by Soviet action. While aggression continues we must not relent in imposing a heavy price. As Soviet policies allow, we must never be blind to opportunities to work for peace.
I believe that balanced arms control agreements fortify our security. The SALT II agreement is no gift to our rivals; it can serve our own interests by limiting the threats we face.
I believe in a positive diplomacy of active engagement. It is in our interest to work for peace in troubled areas, especially the Middle East. It is to our advantage to improve our relations with nations which have interests in common with us -- including many whose views and values differ from ours. We must build our new relationship with the People's Republic of China. We must continue to broaden our ties to the nations of the third world and of Eastern Europe.
And I believe that America must stand for human progress. Our freedom and rights are more secure when freedom and human dignity are advanced around the world. Our own economy is strengthened by the economic progress of others. We must lead international eforts to surmount an international energy crisis and its consequences; to address the condition of hundreds of millions of human beings living in degrading poverty; and to strengthen an international trading system that is fair to our workers and our farmers, our businessmen and our consumers.
I do not believe there can be unanimity on the great and complex questions before us. But there can be a spirit of cooperation as we address them.