In the fall of 1990, The Twentieth Century Fund convened a group of distinguished individuals to consider the future of covert action in American democracy. During the course of their deliberations, word events seemed to move at “fast forward.” Just before the group met, the Berlin Wall came down; just after, the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Between these remarkable events, the cold war ended in a victory of the West. A second upheaval, the war in the Persian Gulf in 1991, raised profound questions about covert action and American foreign policy. The group responded to the challenge of changed circumstances with vigor and intelligence.
As this new epoch of history has begun for world politics, American leaders are beginning to fashion new foreign policy in the absence of traditional truths. The United States needs new ideas fully equal to the enormous changes we have experienced in the past few years. This report meets that challenge by offering new assumptions for a new era in American Foreign affairs.