It is still a dangerous world. The United States cannot isolate itself but must remain engaged. While the Cold War seems to be ending and democracy advances in all continents, the United States must retain a military defense role, reshaped to the new realities.
Perhaps few Americans would disagree with these propositions. Yet some members of Congress, dealing with issues from budget priorities to foreign policy, would refute each one. Vice President Dan Quayle came to the Baltimore Council on Foreign Relations yesterday to reassert these truths.
"How many more Saddam Husseins are out there," he asks, "waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting world?" Mr. Quayle was making a plea for military spending, not at the old level, but reflecting a smaller scale, a "qualitative edge," including strategic weapons, with respect to other nuclear or near-nuclear powers and the uncertainties in the Soviet Union.