If the Nov. 4 election manadate from the American people said anything, it was that America should be strong again. The early signals from the Reagan administration clearly are toward a strengthened U.S. defense, coupled with a consistent and coherent foreign policy.
As the Reagan administration takes shapes and America's resolve is demonstrated once again, a corollary U.S. policy will become essential. A time for toughness with our allies will be necessary if the NATO alliance is to stand as a bulwark against the Soviet Union. Rather than "detente," we will need a policy of "determination."
Only when we make our allies see that they are on a collision course with America, which we will not tolerate, will they strengthen their own defenses and act in harmony for the good of the entire alliance. If our European allies are unwilling to increase their military preparedness, to impose trade sanctions that bite against Soviet aggression and defent the cause of freedom, America must be willing to reduce its troop commitment to NATO, give a lower priority to protection of the energy supply lines to Western Europe and initiate bilateral trade and defense agreements with those allies who are willing to cooperate.
Europe needs us more than we need Europe. We will be taken advantage of by adversaries and allies alike until we adopt a new toughness in dealing with the other nations of the world. With isolationism impossible in a world tied together by jet streams and multinational flows of commerce, internationalism is all too often a code word for giving away what is rightfully ours. The time is ripe for a new policy in world affairs.
Isolationism and internationalism must give way to global Americanism: seeing the world as an integrated whole, but approaching it with a toughness to protect America's interests and to be a good neighbor in promoting the causes of freedom and prosperity among those people willing to carry their share of the load.
As America becomes tougher in its dealings around the globe, allies who cooperate will grow in strength along with us. That, perhaps, is the best foreign aid we can give: demanding more from them, that they will rise to meet the challenge.