From the first day of his presidency, Jimmy Carter set out to fundamentally alter the direction of American foreign policy. Coming to office in the wake of the disillusionment brought about by the Vietnam War, Watergate, and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (Church Committee) revelations on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) covert activities abroad, Carter promised a new direction to American foreign policy by shaping it around the principles of human rights and nonintervention. Carter faced the challenge of developing and implementing his new policy in opposition to the continuing Cold War axiom of containment of the Soviet Union. His policy of human rights sought to create a post-Cold War foreign policy that changed the fundamental nature of American relations with the Third World while still protecting essential American interests. The tension between the quest for a more humane foreign...

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