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Ralph G.Carter

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus may have been the first person to put in writing the notion that “the only constant is change.”1 Since the days of the Greek city-states, foreign policy has involved reacting to both threats and opportunities that arise in a changing international environment. However, the pace of those changes in the international system has varied considerably over time. From 1947–1989, there were only incremental changes in the issues typically perceived as most important by U.S. foreign policy makers. The Cold War rivalry dominated their discussions, and, regardless of the subjects involved, most foreign policy-related issues sooner or later came down to this question: How does this affect our relations with the Soviet Union and its allies?2

When the Cold War rivalry ...

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