President Kennedy's former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and coauthor Blight (international studies, Brown U.) offer suggestions as to how the United States could and should change its foreign policy and defense policy to incorporate the core objectives of post-WWI Wilsonian ideals. They suggest that the United States make the end of war a major goal of foreign policy and argue that while the U.S. will have to provide leadership, it must not apply its economic, political, or military policy unilaterally. In order to successfully maintain a peaceful world, they believe that a complete rapprochement with China and Russia is necessary in order to prevent the real dangers of Great Power conflict. In addition they offer suggestions towards strengthening the U.N. in a move towards true multilateralism in the reduction of communal violence and the threat from nuclear weapons. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Woodrow Wilson's vision of a collective international action to resist aggressive conflict after the carnage of World War I failed tragically. Over 160 million people died in war during the 20th century, and in Wilson's Ghost, Robert S. McNamara and James G. Blight put forth a decisive, multi-faceted action program for realizing Wilson's dream during this century. The plan begins with a moral imperative that establishes as a major goal of foreign policy across the globe the avoidance of war. To that end,enforcement entails only multilateral intervention on the part of the United States; full reconciliation with Russia and China to integrate those nations into relations with the other Great Powers; restructuring the United Nations to greater effectiveness; defining and deterring war crimes; creating UN enforcement; and finally, reducing nuclear danger by eliminating the huge arsenal held by the United States and Russia, and by signing into law the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The authors support their plan with specific, achievable steps that can begin now to ensure a more peaceful 21st century.