Alan C. Swan

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When in December of 1978, President Carter announced his decision to give the one-year notice terminating the 1954 Mutual Defense Treaty with the Republic of China (Taiwan), he precipitated a constitutional debate of considerable importance. At issue was whether the President acted properly in terminating the treaty on his own initiative. More sharply than any similar debate in recent years, the discussion brought into focus the entirely different and conflicting approaches that have tended to dominate discourse between the Executive. and Congress concerning their respective constitutional responsibilities for foreign policy. The debate pointedly demonstrated the lack of intellectual imagination in both approaches.

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