Foreign policy goals

The Dec. 31 article by Robert E. Hunter entitled ``Paying attention to the `hows' of foreign policy'' touches on an extremely important issue that is given much less than the attention it deserves. We hear a great deal about one strategy or another, one foreign policy goal or another, one ideological bent or a contrasting one, all parts of an immensely serious and important effort at finding the ``right answers.'' It is by good fortune, not by good thinking, if we manage to come up with helpful policy out of a poor process for arriving at policy. Generally speaking, the choices and decisions we arrive at cannot consistently be much better than the process we use for arriving at those choices and decisions.

The 1975 report of the Murphy Commission on Organization of the Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy, one of a number of attempts our government has undertaken to improve the process of foreign policy decisionmaking, has received much too little study and consideration. Caught between short-run political pressures and short-run tactical objectives and responses, it appears that our bureaucratic structure feels it must keep running fast in order not to fall over, that it cannot afford to pay attention to how it functions while it desperately grinds out one reaction to emergency, one public relations effort after another, and so on. Samuel Goldenberg Seattle

We have all recently been stirred about the famine in Africa and the unfolding tragedy of starvation, particularly in Ethiopia. It should not be forgotten that until 1973, Israel was actively assisting African nations to develop their agriculture and to make the desert bloom, as in Israel. Because of Arab blackmail and with the threat of oil embargoes, these African nations severed their relations with Israel and thus contributed to the decline of the agricultural progress they were achieving. Samuil Manski Zionist Organization of America Boston

There is no basic rationale for deeper involvement in Mideast problems, as Robert Bowie suggests in the Dec. 28 article ``There's no room for a do-nothing US policy in the Mideast.'' By expanding governmental policies we create obligations which feed the fire with more military aid and dollars. Hasn't the last effort in Lebanon been a lesson? And then there was Vietnam with its waste of life and progress. When will the claimants of foreign affairs expertise learn that the so-called enemy is not out there, but within. L. W. Corbett Mountainside, N.J .

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