Page:Carter Interview with Harry Reasoner (Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter 1st debate)(Gerald Ford Library)(1554406).pdf/9

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I think we need to have a much more comprehensive approach to the problems of mutual defense. We have not reassessed now our relative contributions to NATO, I believe, since 1967, and there has been a tremendous technological improvement in weapons systems since that time.

I think we need to have reassurance to give to the Japanese and before we make any major immediate decisions as they relate to the People's Republic of China, or a shipment of crucial elements or commodities to Japan, like soybeans or coal, that we ought to consult with them. So these are some of the things that would be changed.

I would be inclined toward friendship with the Soviet Union and with the People's Republic of China, and I think that friendship ought to be based on strength. I would never yield in any way the full responsibility that would fall on my shoulders, which is the most important of all, to have a nation strong enough in its defense capability to guarantee the security of our country.

MR. REASONER: Secretary Kissinger recently began a new, quite different American policy in Africa. Would you approve of that policy of starting an alliance with the black elements in Africa?

GOVERNOR CARTER: I believe so. I think this was brought about belatedly by the abject failure of the Kissinger, Ford and Nixon policy, for instance, in Angola. We were faced with the realization there when the Portuguese left Angola that we had no policy that related directly with the people of that nation. We suffered because of it in that the Soviet Union and Cuba have now replaced us completely as a friend to the Angolan people. And I think in the aftermath of that debacle, which was brought about primarily by secrecy and a lack of planning and a lack of consideration of the needs of the natives of Angola, we have suffered. And in the analysis of that suffering or mistake, I think Mr. Kissinger has moved in the right direction.

MR. REASONER: For the past three nights we have broadcast filmed reports on Jimmy Carter made during a visit to Plains, Georgia, last week. Senator Walter Mondale, Carter's running mate, was there, too, staying in the farmhouse, seeing a few reporters, spending a lot of time talking to Carter. We stopped by the pond house to see Mondale and talk about how his feeling for his role has developed since Madison Square Garden.