GEORGE BUSH has set out seven themes for a Bush administration foreign policy, all largely extensions of the Reagan years. National security would continue as the chief focus - nudging a more accommodating Soviet Union on human rights and emigration. Arms control and reductions would be pressed with the Soviets and other countries, with Mr. Bush urging US defense modernization, not buildup. ``Regional flash points'' would be monitored; diplomacy, aid, and military force would be relied on for response.

``Democratic revolutions'' like the contra war in Nicaragua would still be promoted. An international alliance against drugs and terrorism, not all that successful during the Reagan years, would still be sought. Global economic competition would be handled by negotiation. And America's competitive position would be advanced through low taxes, decentralized government, free markets.

Bush's foreign-policy statement, made in Chicago, was upstaged by the President's decision in Washington not to veto a bill providing workers with a 60-day notice of plant closings and his veto Wednesday of a $299.5 billion defense authorization bill for fiscal 1989.

Mr. Reagan was only doing Bush's bidding. On plant closings, he was yielding to the political reality of the bill's popularity with voters. On defense, Reagan said the bill would return the United States to the course of ``weakness and accommodation of the 1970s.'' After all, Reagan has a lot invested in his vice-president's prospects.

Taken together, the foreign policy blueprint and the acquiescence on plant closings and defense suggest Mr. Bush might prove a more pragmatic, rather than dogmatic, Mr. Continuity.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to Continuity
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today