Who determines American policy, domestic and foreign? Most of the public probably does not really know where actual policy is formulated. Most of the public is unaware as to the actions of such policy groups as the Trilateral Commission. Very few even knew Jimmy Carter was a member, even fewer had heard of it.
With Carter’s Trilateral Administration in power, many criticisms of their policy have been advanced. But none of the criticisms leveled can match the trenchant and influential Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The CSIS has its academic roots entrenched at Georgetown University. Over the years, the CSIS has developed close ties with Congress, important world scholars, and political leaders from other nations. More recently, Henry Kissinger decided to join the ranks of the CSIS. His decision was based on his assumption as to “where the action is.”
The CSIS has grown immensely in the last ten years. It was first to detect the Sino-Soviet rift and the importance of the Persian Gulf to the United States. Its budget has been enlarged from $500,000 in 1969 to its present budget of $2.4 million. Two-thirds of this money is from foundations such as Ford, Rockefeller, Mellon, and Crown; one-third of the funds received were from such corporate elites as ARCO, which was the largest donor in 1977.
The CSIS is headed by West Point graduate and former Nixon administration member David M. Abshire and Ray Cline, former deputy director of the CIA. The CSIS has led the charge against the Panama Canal treaties; it is against present U. S. policy with respect to arms control; it crushed Carter’s attempt, in 1977, to normalize relations with the People’s Republic of China; it advocates the use of breeder reactors at home and abroad; and is interested in seeing coal being used as a source of energy.
Should the Trilateral administration falter in some way, the CSIS may be in a position to choose the next president from its members and supporters.
Due to the lack of public awareness to such interest and policy groups as the Trilateral Commission and now the CSIS, this story is being nominated as one of the “best censored stories of 1977.°°
“Home for Hardliner,” by Morton Kondracke, The New Republic, February 4, 1978, pps. 21-25.