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RIGHT TIMING is in all things the most important factor” Hesiod, the Greek farmer-poet observed some 2,700 years ago. If timing is indeed everything in life, this includes even the world of electronic publishing, an endeavor which requires fairly lengthy lead times for the solicitation, preparation, and presentation of articles and commentaries on the Internet. And American Diplomacy has hit it just right this issue with the publication of several items of unusually timely interest.

These items include Admiral Stansfield Turner’s path breaking proposal on nuclear disarmament, “A New Nuclear TRIAD,” an especially cogent discussion in light of nuclear weapons testing in South Asia, and the analytical discussion by former U.S. consul general at Shanghai Joseph J. Borich entitled “U.S. Relations with a Changing China,” of obvious timeliness, given President Clinton’s official visit to Beijing.

Commentary by two Middle East specialists clearly falls within this category of timely policy consideration: Adam Garfinkle of the Foreign Policy Research Institute writes on “The Next Middle Eastern War” and retired senior U.S. Foreign Service officer Curtis F. Jones, coming at the question from a different perspective, makes an extended commentary about “Trying to Stop the Clock in the Middle East.” Even your humble servant in presenting a personal account of his days as a Fulbrighter in Nigeria some few years ago manages to catch the wave of contemporary events in that troubled nation — that is, the recent change of military governments.

Even though we at American Diplomacy can scarcely lay claim to unusually prescient talents* in the production of a scholarly journal, the content of this Summer issue invites special consideration by an informed readership. We think you will find interesting the above-mentioned items, along with Tom Goodnight’s discussion of the role of “argument studies” in foreign policy determination and an unusual approach to the passing of the Cold War, plus commentaries on Vietnam by Jim Bullington, life in the U.S Foreign Service by Kathryn Schmiel, and an explanation of how Columbus discovered America by Ed Williams.

Our stable of authors this issue includes also Jason Hyland, David Shear, Francis Underhill, and Roy Melbourne, all foreign affairs professionals tried and true.

Back to our timing on topics for discussion. Montaigne opined that wisdom and deliberation follow the lead of chance; if chance for the most part as usual dictated our choice of topics this time out, can wisdom and deliberation be far behind? We at American Diplomacy think not; we hope that such consideration by you will follow closely. We trust, therefore, that you will take the time to peruse and give thought to the journal’s contents in the following electronic “pages.”


*I cannot resist inserting here a 1966 comment by Nobel Laureate Paul Samuelson which bears on predicting future events: “Wall Street indexes predicted nine out of the last five recessions.” – Ed.

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