Tin Cup Diplomacy

We are again in the early stages of a new international system, but without a unifying challenge to raise foreign affairs resources much above 1 percent of the federal budget.

Issue: Fall 1997

Fifty years ago the United States entered a new international system armed with resources to meet the new challenge of communism. At the height of the Marshall Plan, for example, some 16 percent of the U.S. federal budget was dedicated to supporting Europe alone. Today we are again in the early stages of a new international system, but without a unifying challenge to raise foreign affairs resources much above 1 percent of the federal budget. Remarkably, with tin cup diplomacy and some triage, the United States has been able to deal fairly successfully with post-Cold War complexity. Our capabilities are now fraying, however, and international leadership cannot be sustained unless the resource slide is reversed.

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