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Secretary Baker's address before the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on May 4, 1989.
I am honored to once again be here at the CSIS. Ever since its founding, I think this center has combined an understanding of international problems with a vigorous debate over how America should conduct its foreign policy, Those of us who have been privileged to serve this nation in one capacity or another-to serve this nation abroad or to participate in the formation of policy here at home-know full well the ardors of this task. We know, too, that assessments of reality are not enough. Judgments and words ultimately have to be turned into action if we are going to serve the public interest. .
A Time of Change
The assessment of reality has become more difficult in today's world because the pace of international change has accelerated considerably. Some years ago, I happened across a scholarly study of the late 18th century entitled The Age of Revolutions, and perhaps one day historians might describe our times the same way.
Just consider for a moment, if you will, some of the trends which are transforming our world. Democracy, an idea and political system challenged for much of the postwar era, really is on the offensive. Millions of people in our own hemisphere and in countries such as the Philippines and Korea have achieved, now, democratic governments. Millions elsewhere-in Eastern Europe, in the Soviet Union, and in the People's Republic of China-are demanding free institutions in a way that we've never seen before. So I think it is fair to say that the quest for democracy is the most vibrant political fact of these times.
Another great transformation that we are seeing is economic. Free markets, private initiative have become the new watchwords of economic development because those concepts workand we know this very well nowactually work in practice. And closely allied to economic change is technological progress, The new technologies of information and communication have helped to create a global economy, an economy which transcends the traditional boundaries of the nation state.
There have been other transformations as well. Emerging technologies open new horizons, I think, for greater military stability. Other trends, though, such as the proliferation of chemical weapons and missiles-as David [Ambassador David Abshire, CSIS president] mentioned to youthe proliferation of those weapons to volatile regions and to irresponsible states present us with greater dangers.
And while we struggle to deal with traditional political and military problems, I think we all must become increasingly aware of new transnational threats-threats such as environmental hazards, terrorism, the drug tradethat demand greater and greater international cooperation if they are going to be properly addressed.
Every nation has been affected in one way or another by these transformations. And, …