Soviet Union President Carter has not given up on detente, although he acknowledges that recent Soviet actions and US responses to them -- particularly the Afghanistan situation -- have "deeply damaged chances for the constructive East-West relationship I would like to see." Carter points out that he took "strong actions to ensure that the Soviets would pay a stiff price for . . . breaking the rules of restraint on which a genuine, workable detente has to be based." As to one of those actions, the embargo on shipment of feed grains to the USSR, Carter says it has been effective and will be continued as long as Soviet troops remain in Afghanistan.
At the same time, the President hopes to be able, early in his next administration if re-elected, to ask the Senate to ratify the strategic arms limitation treaty (SALT II). He says: "SALT II is not a favor we are doing for the Soviet Union. It is a deliberate, calculated move that we are making as a matter of self-interest for the United States." Carter says he still is committed to a proposal for "sharp reductions" in strategic armaments that he made to the Russians in 1977 (it was rejected). He sees the proposal as a possible basis for negotiations on SALT III.
Carter has indicated he is ready to "pursue good-faith negotiations" with the Soviet Union on a wide range of issues "which would contribute to peace." The Middle East
"The . . . policy that led to Camp David and an uninterrupted supply of American economic and military aid to Israel will continue as long as I am president," says Carter. "I cannot assure you we will always agree with every position taken by the government of Israel. But whatever differences arise, they will never affect our commitment to a secure Israel."
On the status of Jerusalem and the West Bank, he says: "Jerusalem should remain forever undivided, with free access to the holy places. We will make certain that the future of Jerusalem can only be determined through agreement -- with the full concurrence of Israel." The President has not embraced the statement in the Democratic platform that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and he does not approve of the recent annexation of East Jerusalem. His position on new Israeli settlements on the West Bank is that they are not in accordance with the Camp David agreement.
The Carter commitment to defend the oil resource in the Mideast and access by the US and its allies to the oil is implicit in his movement of US naval forces into the area, establishment of a new Rapid Deployment Force, his swift commitment to keeping the Strait of Hormuz open for shipping, and his blunt warnings to the Soviet Union regarding any military moves in the general area.
Carter has steadfastly maintained as a major goal the freeing of the US from its present heavy dependence on foreign oil. Asia and Africa
Although strongly criticized by Ronald Reagan and others, the Carter administration defends the change in the US- Taiwan relationship in order to resume diplomatic relations with mainland China -- a policy which has withstood a challenge in the federal courts.
Despite generally smooth relations with Japan, recent administration actions, particularly Carter's new plan to aid the American steel industry, indicate a tougher trade stance toward that staunch Asian ally.
Carter postponed early plans to reduce the number of US troops in South Korea. The administration has expressed its concern over repressive actions by the new regime of President Chun Doo Hwan.
Having recently sidetracked an attempt in Congress to veto the sale of nuclear fuel to India, the Carter administration continues the delicate task of nurturing stonger ties in Delhi while reassuring neighboring Pakistan, whose friendship has assumed new importance in the wake of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
The President pledges to help in the economic reconstruction of Zimbabwe as part of "a coherent development plan for all the cooperating nations of the southern African region."
Policy toward southern Africa includes support for self-determination in Namibia and continuing pressure for the end of the apartheid policy in South Africa. The Americas
Completion and ratification of the Panama Canal treaties was a major accomplishment of the Carter administration. The administration refused to aid the Somoza regime in Nicaragua, which was overthrown by leftist Sandanistas. The Sandanista government is receiving US economic aid.
The President says: "We have identified ourselves in Latin America as a force for democratic, peaceful change, not any longer with support for dictatorship and injustice. All that has put us in a much better position than we used to have to isolate [Cuba's Communist President Fidel] Castro and to play a positive part in shaping long-term changes in the region."
Carter says that his "overall strategy to deal . . . with Cuban expansionism" and "social and economic problems" which Castro tries to exploit "involves enhancing and building up our own defense forces for the region, diplomatic consultation of a regular basis with our friends in Central and Latin America, . . . and greatly increased programs of economic and social assistance."
The President says his policy in the Caribbean is not to resist change, but to "encourage moderate and democratic forces through the area, facilitate economic development and equitable distribution of wealth, promote observance of internationally accepted standards regarding human rights, rejuvenate . . . regional cooperation, and ensure security against external aggression." NATO
The NATO and the European community, the Democratic platform says: "The Democratic administration will be committed to a strong NATO and a stable military balance in Europe. We will pursue both modernization of NATO conventional and nuclear forces and equitable limitations between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. . . .
"We have worked with Congress toward the resolution of differences between Greece and Turkey over Cyprus and other divisive issues . . . . We will give priority to the reintegration of Greece into NATO's military structure and to the strengthening of NATO's southern flank. . . ."
Elsewhere, the Carter administration's assessment of its role in the defense of Europe is put this way: "The US has acted to correct the dangerous military imbalance which had developed in Europe, by initiating and obtaining allied support for a long overdue NATO long-term defense program and proceeding toward the deployment in Europe of long-range theater nuclear deterrents to counter the Soviet buildup of such weaponry in Europe. Our commitment to increase defense spending by at least 3 percent per year is crucial to the maintenance of allied consensus and confidence in this regard."