Looking at the post-war period, it seems obvious that the government of the United States will give more attention to foreign affairs than it has in any comparable period of American history. How can the machinery for conducting foreign relations best be organized to meet these increasing responsibilities?
The conduct of foreign relations in the modern world is no simple matter. Technical experts, intelligence systems, ability to negotiate, national political stability, a large and loyal staff of public servants—these are but some of the national requisites for effective participation in world affairs. The mobilization and organization of the best staff resources in the country, the negotiation of national policies, and then of international agreements, constitute a formidable task under any system of government.
The conduct of foreign relations is, of course, easiest in a completely authoritarian state. It is made immeasurably more difficult by any division of authority. In most non-authoritarian governments, some division of authority has been found desirable, even at the expense of occasional awkwardness of procedure, because thereby the dangers of usurpation of power are minimized. The United States has gone farther than any democratic country in dividing responsibility in foreign affairs. Not only is there the usual distinction between legislative and executive authority, but the independence of the two branches has been so far underlined that the achievement of over-all government policies (as distinct from legislative and executive policies) is extremely difficult unless the party relationships are just right between the two ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.