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U.S. Department of State
93/01/13 Statement at Senate Confirmation Hearing 
Office of the Spokesman

                Statement at Senate Confirmation Hearing
                    Secretary-Designate Christopher
                   Senate Foreign Relations Committee
                           Washington, DC,
                           January 13, 1993

Mr. Chairman:  It is a great honor to appear before you as President-
elect Clinton's nominee for Secretary of State.  This hearing room is a 
long way from Scranton, North Dakota, population 300, where I was born 
and raised, and I am deeply moved by being here in these circumstances.

You and the members of this committee have contributed much leadership 
and wisdom to our nation's foreign policy over the past decade.  Let me 
say at the outset that I look forward to a close and cooperative 
relationship with you.  I also look forward to your questions and will 
try to answer them with the ruthless candor for which diplomats are 

In the 3 weeks since President-elect Clinton asked me to serve as his 
Secretary of State, I have received about as much commiseration as 
congratulation.  Friends point to this new world's raw conflicts and 
stress our own limited resources.  They tell me I have drawn an 
important but unpleasant assignment.

I appreciate their concern.  But I dispute their assessment.  I believe 
we have arrived at a uniquely promising moment.  The signature of this 
era is change, and I believe many of the changes work in our favor.  The 
Cold War is over.  Forty years of sustained effort on behalf of 
collective security and human dignity have been rewarded.  Millions who 
lived under the stultifying yoke of communism are free.  The tide of 
democratic aspirations is rising from Tibet to Central America.  Freer 
markets are expanding the reach of prosperity.  The nuclear nightmare is 
receding, and I want to congratulate President Bush and [Russian] 
President Yeltsin on their successful negotiation of the START II Treaty 
[Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty].  We now have the opportunity to 
create a new strategy that directs America's resources at something 
other than superpower confrontation.

Perils of the New Era

Neither President-elect Clinton nor I have any illusions about the 
perils that lurk in many of this era's changes.  The end of the Cold War 
has lifted the lid on many cauldrons of long-simmering conflict.  The 
bloody results are evident in the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere.  Nor 
will this era lack for ruthless and expansionist despots; [Iraqi 
President] Saddam Hussein confirmed that fact.  Yet it is also true that 
we are now relatively more powerful and physically more secure.  So 
while we are alert to this era's dangers, we nonetheless approach it 
with an underlying sense of optimism.

Not since the late 1940s has our nation faced the challenge of shaping 
an entirely new foreign policy for a world that has fundamentally 
changed.  Like our counterparts then, we need to design a new strategy 
for protecting American interests by laying the foundations for a more 
just and stable world.  That strategy must reflect the fundamental 
changes that characterize this era:

--  The surfacing of long-suppressed ethnic, religious, and sectional 
conflicts, especially in the former Soviet bloc;
--  The globalization of commerce and capital;
--  A worldwide democratic revolution, fueled by new information 
technologies that amplify the power of ideas;
--  New and old human rights challenges, including protecting ethnic 
minorities as well as political dissidents;
--  The rise of new security threats, especially terrorism and the 
spread of advanced weaponry and weapons of mass destruction; and 
--  Global challenges including overpopulation, famine, drought, 
refugees, AIDS [acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome], drug-trafficking, 
and threats to the earth's environment.

To adapt our foreign policy goals and institutions to these changes, 
President-elect Clinton has stressed that our effort must rest on three 

First, we must elevate America's economic security as a primary goal of 
our foreign policy.

Second, we must preserve our military strength as we adapt our forces to 
new security challenges.  

Third, we must organize our foreign policy around the goal of promoting 
the spread of democracy and markets abroad.

As we adapt to new conditions, it is worth underscoring the essential 
continuity in American foreign policy.  Despite a change in 
administrations, our policy in many specific instances will remain 
constant and will seek to build upon the accomplishments of our 
predecessors.  Examples include the Middle East peace process, firm 
enforcement of the UN sanctions against Iraq, ratification and 
implementation of the START II Treaty, and the continuing need for US 
power to play a role in promoting stability in Europe and the Pacific.

Nevertheless, our Administration inherits the task of defining a 
strategy for US leadership after the Cold War.  We cannot afford to 
careen from crisis to crisis.  We must have a new diplomacy that seeks 
to anticipate and prevent crises, like those in Iraq, Bosnia, and 
Somalia, rather than simply to manage them.  Our support for democratic 
institutions and human rights can help defuse political conflicts.  And 
our support for sustainable development and global environmental 
protection can help prevent human suffering on a scale that demands our 
intervention.  We cannot foresee every crisis.  But preventive diplomacy 
can free us to devote more time and effort to problems facing us at 

It is not enough to articulate a new strategy; we must also justify it 
to the American people.  Today, foreign policy makers cannot afford to 
ignore the public, for there is a real danger that the public will 
ignore foreign policy.  The unitary goal of containing Soviet power will 
have to be replaced by more complex justifications to fit the new era.  
We need to show that, in this era, foreign policy is no longer foreign.

Practitioners of statecraft sometimes forget [that] their ultimate 
purpose is to improve the daily lives of the American people.  They 
assume foreign policy is too complex for the public to be involved in 
its formation.  That is a costly conceit.  From Vietnam to Iran-contra, 
we have too often witnessed the disastrous effects of foreign policies 
hatched by the experts without proper candor or consultation with the 
public and their representatives in Congress.

More than ever before, the State Department cannot afford to have 
"clientitis," a malady characterized by undue deference to the potential 
reactions of other countries.  I have long thought the State Department 
needs an "America Desk."  This Administration will have one--and I'll be 
sitting behind it.

Guiding Principles For Foreign Policy
I will not attempt today to fit the foreign policy of the next 4 years 
into the straightjacket of some neatly tailored doctrine.  Yet, 
America's actions in the world must be guided by consistent principles.  
As I have noted, I believe there are three that should guide foreign 
policy in this new era.

First, we must advance America's economic security with the same energy 
and resourcefulness we devoted to waging the Cold War.  The new 
Administration will shortly propose an economic program to empower 
American firms and workers to win in world markets, reduce our reliance 
on foreign borrowing, and increase our ability to sustain foreign 
commitments.  Despite our economic woes, we remain the world's greatest 
trading nation, its largest market, and its leading exporter.  That is 
why we must utilize all the tools at our disposal, including a new GATT 
[General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade] agreement and a North American 
Free Trade Agreement that serves the interests of American firms, 
workers, and communities.

In an era in which economic competition is eclipsing ideological 
rivalry, it is time for diplomacy that seeks to assure access for US 
businesses to expanding global markets.  This does not mean that our 
commercial goals will trump other important concerns, such as non-
proliferation, human rights, and sustainable development in the Third 
World.  But for too long, we have made economics the poor cousin of our 
foreign policy.  For example, in nearly all the countries of the former 
Eastern bloc--nations whose economies and markets are on the threshold 
of growth--we have for years assigned only one Foreign Service officer 
to assist US companies.  In the case of Russia, that means one 
commercial officer for a nation of 150 million people.  Other economic 
powers, such as Germany and Japan, devote far more personnel to 
promoting their firms, industries, and economic concerns.

The Clinton Administration intends to harness our diplomacy to the needs 
and opportunities of American industries and workers.  We will not be 
bashful about linking our high diplomacy with our economic goals.  We 
will ask our foreign missions to do more to gather crucial information 
about market opportunities and barriers and actively assist American 
companies seeking to do business abroad.

Second, we must maintain a strong defense as we adapt our forces to new 
and enduring security challenges.  As a result of efforts begun in the 
late 1970s by President Carter and continued under Presidents Reagan and 
Bush, our Administration inherits the best fighting force in the world.  
But the world has changed.

We face a paradox.  The collapse of the Soviet Union enables us to 
reduce our Cold War military forces.  But it also leaves American power 
as the main ballast for an unstable world.  Our ability to manage the 
transition to a more stable system of international relations will 
depend on tenacious diplomacy backed by credible strength.  The 
President-elect and Secretary [of Defense]-designate Aspin have 
described how we must adapt our armed forces to new missions. And I 
agree with President-elect Clinton's statement that we will resolve 
constantly to deter, sometimes to fight, and always to win.

I have spent a good portion of my life practicing various forms of 
diplomacy, negotiation, and problem solving--from the effort to secure 
the release of the American hostages in Iran, to responses to urban 
unrest and police brutality, to the practice of law over 4 decades.  I 
have argued and still believe that diplomacy is a neglected imperative.  
I believe we must apply new dispute resolution techniques and forms of 
international arbitration to the conflicts that plague the world.

I also know from experience that nations do not negotiate on the basis 
of goodwill alone; they negotiate on the basis of interests and, 
therefore, on calculations of power.  As I reflect on our experience in 
the Cold War, it is clear that our success flowed from our ability to 
harness diplomacy and power together--both the modernization of our 
forces and negotiations for arms control; both advocacy for human rights 
and covert and overt opposition to Soviet expansionism.

In the years to come, Americans will be confronted with vexing questions 
about the use of force--decisions about whether to intervene in border 
disputes, civil wars, outright invasions, and in cases of possible 
genocide; about whether to intervene for purposes that are quite 
different from the traditional missions of our armed forces--purposes 
such as peace-keeping, peace-making, humanitarian assistance, evacuation 
of Americans abroad, and efforts to combat drug smuggling and terrorism. 
While there is no magic formula to guide such decisions, I do believe 
that the discreet and careful use of force in certain circumstances--and 
its credible threat in general--will be essential to the success of our 
diplomacy and foreign policy.  Although there will always be differences 
at the margin, I believe we can--and must--craft a bipartisan consensus 
in which these questions concerning the use of force will no longer 
divide our nation as they once did.

However, we cannot respond to every alarm.  I want to assure the 
American people that we will not turn their blood and treasure into an 
open account for use by the rest of the world.  We cannot let every 
crisis become a choice between inaction or American intervention.  It 
will be this Administration's policy to encourage other nations and the 
institutions of collective security, especially the United Nations, to 
do more of the world's work to deter aggression, relieve suffering, and 
keep the peace.  In that regard, we will work with [UN] Secretary 
General Boutros-Ghali and the members of the Security Council to ensure 
[that] the United Nations has the means to carry out such tasks.

The United Nations has recently shown great promise in mediating 
disputes and fulfilling its promise of collective security--in Namibia, 
Cambodia, El Salvador, and elsewhere.  But the United Nations cannot be 
an effective instrument for sharing our global burdens unless we share 
the burden of supporting it.  I will work to ensure that we pay our 
outstanding obligations.

Ultimately, when our vital interests are at stake, we will always 
reserve our option to act alone.  As the President-elect has said, our 
motto in this era should be:  Together where we can; on our own where we 

One of the main security problems of this era will be the proliferation 
of very deadly weapons--nuclear, chemical, biological, and enhanced 
conventional weapons--as well as their delivery systems.  The [Persian] 
Gulf war highlighted the problem of a fanatical aggressor developing or 
using weapons of mass destruction.  We must work assiduously with other 
nations to discourage proliferation through improved intelligence, 
export controls, incentives, sanctions, and even force when necessary.  
Overall, this Administration will give high priority to the prevention 
of proliferation as we enter a new and exceedingly dangerous period.

Third, our new diplomacy will encourage the global revolution for 
democracy that is transforming our world.  Promoting democracy does not 
imply a crusade to remake the world in our image.  Rather, support for 
democracy and human rights abroad can and should be a central strategic 
tenet in improving our own security.  Democratic movements and 
governments are not only more likely to protect human and minority 
rights, they are also more likely to resolve ethnic, religious, and 
territorial disputes in a peaceful manner and to be reliable partners in 
diplomacy, trade, arms accords, and global environmental protection.

A strategic approach to promoting democracy requires that we coordinate 
all of our leverage, including trade, economic and security assistance, 
and debt relief.  By enlisting international and regional institutions 
in the work of promoting democracy, the United States can leverage our 
own limited resources and avoid the appearance of trying to dominate 
others.  In the information age, public diplomacy takes on special 
importance--and that is why we will support the creation of a Radio Free 
Asia to ensure that the people of all Asian nations have access to 
uncensored information about their societies and about the world.

Democracy cannot be imposed from the top down but must be built from the 
bottom up.  Our policy should encourage patient, sustained efforts to 
help others build the institutions that make democracy possible:  
political parties, free media, laws that protect property and individual 
rights, an impartial judiciary, labor unions, and voluntary associations 
that stand between the individual and the state.  American private and 
civic groups are particularly well suited to help.  In this regard, we 
will move swiftly to establish the Democracy Corps, to put experienced 
Americans in contact with foreign grassroots democratic leaders, and to 
strengthen the bipartisan National Endowment for Democracy.

We must also improve our institutional capacity to provide timely and 
effective aid to people struggling to establish democracy and free 
markets.  To that end, we need to overhaul the US Agency for 
International Development [USAID].  The agency needs to take on fewer 
missions, narrow the scope of its operations, and make itself less 
bureaucratic.  As a matter of enlightened self-interest as well as 
compassion, we need to extract lessons from USAID's past successes and 
failures to make its future efforts stronger.

In all this work, we must ensure that the people who carry out our 
nation's foreign policy have the resources they need to do the job.  I 
want to work with you to ensure they have adequate facilities, training, 
information systems, and security.  We also need to take a new look at 
the way our State Department is organized and our policy is formulated.  
In the coming weeks, I intend to streamline the Department of State to 
enhance our capabilities to deal with issues that transcend national 
boundaries and to improve the international competitiveness of American 

The Clinton Administration will put America back in the forefront of 
global efforts to achieve sustainable development and, in the process, 
leave our children a better world.  We believe that sound environmental 
policies are a precondition of economic growth, not a brake on it.

These three pillars for our foreign policy--economic growth, military 
strength, and support for democracy--are mutually re-enforcing.  A 
vibrant economy will strengthen America's hand abroad, while permitting 
us to maintain a strong military without sacrificing domestic needs.  
And by helping others to forge democracy out of the ruins of 
dictatorship, we can pacify old threats, prevent new ones, and create 
new markets for US trade and investment.

Principal Challenges To US Security
Let me take a few moments to consider how this strategic approach 
applies to the principal security challenges that America faces in the 
1990s.  None is more important than helping Russia demilitarize, 
privatize, invigorate its economy, and develop representative political 
institutions.  President Yeltsin's courageous economic and political 
reforms stand as our best hope for reducing the still-formidable arsenal 
of nuclear and conventional arms in Russia and other states of the 
former Soviet Union, and this, in turn, permits reductions in our own 
defense spending.  A collapse of the Russian economy, which contracted 
by 20% last year, could fatally discredit democracy, not only in the 
eyes of the Russians but in the eyes of their neighbors as well.  Our 
Administration will join with our  G-7 [Group of Seven leading 
industrialized nations] partners to increase support for Russia's 
economic reforms.  That aid must be conditioned on the willingness of 
Russia to continue the difficult but essential steps necessary to move 
from a command economy to a more market-oriented one.

We shall also place high priority on direct and technical assistance for 
Russia's efforts to dismantle its weapons and properly dispose of its 
nuclear materials, to provide civilian employment for defense 
technicians, and to house its demobilized forces.  We must say to the 
democratic reformers in Russia that the democratic nations stand with 
them and that the world's experience in coping with similar problems is 
available to them.  We should also orchestrate similar international 
action to help Ukraine, the other Commonwealth [of Independent] States, 
the Baltics, and the nations of Eastern and Central Europe.

In Europe, we remain committed to NATO, history's most successful 
military and political alliance, even as we support the evolution of new 
security arrangements that incorporate the emerging democracies to the 
east.  Our Administration will support efforts by the Conference on 
Security and Cooperation in Europe to promote human rights, democracy, 
free elections, and the historic re-integration of the nations of 
Eastern and Western Europe.  I can also assure you that this 
Administration will vigorously pursue concerted action with our European 
allies and international bodies to end the slaughter in Bosnia--a 
slaughter that has claimed tens of thousands of lives and that threatens 
to spread throughout the Balkans.  Europe and the world community in 
general must bring real pressures, economic and military, to bear on the 
Serbian leadership to halt its savage policy of ethnic cleansing.

In Asia, we confront many challenges and opportunities.  In particular, 
as President-elect Clinton stressed during the campaign, a complex blend 
of new and old forces requires us to rethink our policy toward China.  
On the one hand, there is a booming economy based increasingly on free 
market principles, which is giving hundreds of millions of Chinese 
citizens an unprecedented degree of prosperity and a thirst for economic 
as well as political reform.  On the other hand, we cannot ignore 
continuing reports of Chinese exports of sensitive military technology 
to troubled areas, widespread violations of human rights, or abusive 
practices that have contributed to a $17-billion trade imbalance between 
our two nations.  Our policy will seek to facilitate a peaceful 
evolution of China from communism to democracy by encouraging the forces 
of economic and political liberalization in that great country.

Elsewhere in Asia, the countries of the Pacific Rim are becoming a 
global center of economic dynamism.  In 1991, our trans-Pacific trade 
exceeded     $316 billion, dwarfing our $221-billion trade with Western 
Europe.  We must devote particular attention to Japan.  Japan has 
recently taken important steps to meet more of its international 
security responsibilities, such as assisting in peace-keeping efforts 
from Cambodia to Somalia.  Now it must do more to meet its economic 
responsibilities as well--to lower trade barriers more quickly and to 
open its economy to competition.  Together, Japan and the United States 
account for a third or more of the global economy.  That obligates us 
both to steer clear of the reefs of recrimination and the rise of 
regional trading blocs that could sink prospects for global growth.  But 
we also have an obligation to America's firms and workers to ensure 
[that] they are able to benefit from the growth of Japan's economy,  
just as the strength and openness of the US economy has helped fuel 
Japan's prosperity over many decades.

In South Korea, we will continue to maintain our military presence as 
long as North Korea poses a threat to that nation.  And on Asia's 
subcontinent, our interests include combating nuclear proliferation; 
restoring peace to Afghanistan; seeing an end to communal strife that 
threatens India's democracy; and promoting human rights and free 
elections in Burma, Pakistan, and elsewhere.

In the Middle East, we must maintain the momentum behind the current 
negotiations over peace and regional issues.  President Bush and 
[former] Secretary of State Baker deserve great credit for bringing 
Arabs and Israelis to the bargaining table, and the Clinton 
Administration is committed to building on that historic breakthrough.  
Our democracy-centered policy underscores our special relationship with 
Israel, the region's only democracy, with whom we are committed to 
maintaining a strong and vibrant strategic relationship.  We also 
believe that America's unswerving commitment to Israel's right to exist 
behind secure borders is essential to a just and lasting peace.  We will 
continue our efforts with both Israel and our Arab friends to address 
the full range of that region's challenges.

Throughout the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, we will work toward new 
arms control agreements, particularly concerning weapons of mass 
destruction.  We will assume a vigilant stance toward both Iraq and 
Iran, which seem determined to sow violence and disorder throughout the 
region and even beyond.  In this region, as well, we will champion 
economic reform, more accountable governance, and increased respect for 
human rights.  And following a decade during which over 1,000 Americans 
were killed, injured, or kidnaped by perpetrators of international 
terrorism, we will give no quarter to terrorists or the states that 
sponsor their crimes against humanity.

Nowhere has the march against dictators and toward democracy been more 
dramatic than in our own hemisphere.  It is in our self-interest to help 
Latin America consolidate a decade of hard-won progress.  In the past 
several years, as democracy has spread in the region and market 
economies have been liberalized, our exports to Latin America have 
doubled.  In close partnership with our hemispheric partners, Canada and 
Mexico, we should explore ways to extend free trade agreements to Latin 
American nations that are opening their economies and political systems.  
At the same time, we expect to complete understandings regarding the 
North American Free Trade Agreement as outlined by President-elect 
Clinton.  We also need to make the Organization of American States [OAS] 
a more effective forum for addressing our region's problems.  In Haiti, 
we strongly support the international effort by the UN and the OAS to 
restore democracy.  In Cuba, we will maintain the embargo to keep 
pressure on the Castro regime.  We will strongly support national 
reconciliation and the full implementation of peace accords in El 
Salvador and Nicaragua.  And in the Andean countries, the power of the 
drug lords must be broken to free their people and ours from the 
corrupting influence of the narcotics trade.

In Africa, as well, a new generation is demanding the opportunities that 
flow from multi-party democracy and open economies.  They deserve our 
understanding and support.  We need to assist their efforts to build 
institutions that can empower Africa's people to husband and benefit 
from the continent's vast resources; deal with its economic, social, and 
environmental problems; and address its underlying causes of political 
instability.  We will be equally committed to working with Congress to 
redirect our foreign assistance programs to promote sustainable 
development and private enterprise in Africa.  In South Africa, we shall 
work actively to support those, black and white, who are striving to 
dismantle the hateful machinery of apartheid and working with 
determination to build a multi-racial democracy.

The Triumph of Freedom
As I said on the day President-elect Clinton nominated me to be 
Secretary of State, back when I was in law school, two of my heroes were 
[former Secretaries of State] Gen. George Marshall and Dean Acheson.  
And I am enormously honored by the opportunity to occupy the post held 
by them and by many of the most revered names in our nation's history.  
Marshall and Acheson were visionaries who recognized at the dawn of the 
Cold War that America could not remain safe by standing aloof from the 
world.  And the triumph of freedom in that great struggle is the legacy 
of the activist foreign policy they shaped to project our values and 
protect our interests.

Now, as in their day, we face a new era and the challenge of developing 
a new foreign policy.  Its activism must be grounded in America's 
enduring interests.  It must be informed by a realistic estimate of the 
dangers we face.  It must be shaped by the democratic convictions we 
share.  And, to command respect abroad, it must rest on a sturdy, 
bipartisan consensus here at home.

The ultimate test of the security strategy I have outlined today will be 
in the benefits it delivers to the American people.  Its worth will be 
measured not by its theoretical elegance but by its results.  If it 
makes our people more prosperous and increases their safety abroad; if 
it helps expand the stabilizing and ennobling reach of democratic 
institutions and freer markets; if it helps protect the global 
environment for our children--if it achieves these kinds of benefits, 
then we will have discharged our responsibilities to our generation as 
Marshall, Acheson, and the other architects of the post-war world 
discharged theirs.

They have given us a high standard to emulate as we define anew the 
requirements of US global leadership.  I look forward to working with 
both parties in Congress to construct a new framework for that 
leadership, a frame-work within which healthy debate will occur but 
within which we can also build a strong consensus that will help us 
cooperatively pursue the national interest at home and abroad.