The Stability of Foreign Policy Amid Political Chaos

In the 1970s, President Richard Nixon stepped into the political and social chaos wrought by the Johnson administration and compounded it substantially. Hence, when I visited Europe during the late Nixon years, all of the talk was about the decline of the United States. This was partly due to the Vietnam War, but it was also due to political crises such as Watergate. From the European perspective, defeat in a seven-year war, coupled with deep divisions in American politics, could only mean America’s decline. (Recall that many Americans continued to support Nixon up until the end, accusing the media and his enemies of trying to bring him down.)


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