Mr. Pipes Goes to Washington


The heaving, churning mass of memoranda and resume-pushing known as the Reagan transition effort spit out two decisions this week which placed Harvard faculty members in key White House positions in the new administration.

The transition team announced on Thursday the appointment of Richard G. Darman '64, lecturer in Public Policy and Management at the Kennedy School, as deputy assistant to the president. He will serve as White House staff secretary, with a large say in determining which papers and information reach the Oval Office, and as a deputy to White House chief-of-staff designate James A. Baker.

And in a move with more substantive policy implications, Richard E. Pipes, Baird Professor of History, will be named the National Security Council's expert on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

The selection of Pipes--which Pipes said yesterday was finalized in a Washington meeting Tuesday with Richard V. Allen, Reagan's choice to head the NSC--came as no surprise. The 57-year-old historian is a hardline anti-communist who frequently evinces his visceral distaste for the Soviets and his predilection for sharp increases in U.S. military spending. He has worked closely with Allen, provided advice from early in the campaign, and served on Reagan's State Department transition team.

But the move was also one in a series of possibly ominous indications that President-elect Ronald Reagan may face difficulty in living up to his pledge to conduct a unified foreign policy free of the internal bickering which has plagued recent administrations.


Examples from recent history may or may not prove accurate predictors for what develops under Reagan. In the national security adviser slot, Henry A. Kissinger '50 and Zbigniew K. Brzezinski--both former Harvard faculty members of Eastern European backgrounds and firm anti-Soviet leanings--used the White House panel as a power base to dominate foreign policy formulation, often substituting a harder line than the State Department's.

While former NATO commander Alexander M. Haig Jr., Reagan's strong-willed secretary of state designate, is unlikely to settle for second place in any high-level policy struggles, some observers have come to view tension between State and NSC as a virtual inevitability, and the lineups taking shape indicate that at least some difference in outlook will persist.

Pipes--who proposed in his transition report a reorganization of the Bureau of European Affairs that would have emphasized U.S.-Soviet relations and, in his words, "shaken up the State Department establishment"--is known to consider the team Haig is assembling at State to be a "mixed bag," and thus believes Allen's NSC will be a "logical" and "more comfortable" abode. Adding to the coziness, sources say, will be a sharp reduction of the size of the NSC from its current staff of 25, and the presence of conservative co-members such as Frank Lilley, an Asian specialist formerly with the CIA, and defense advisers William R. Van Cleave and Charles Kupperman.

By contrast, the State Department roster bears a distinctly Nixon-Ford tinge--"moderate" in the Reagan framework--disappointing some conservatives. Pipes had been considered as special adviser to the secretary of state for Soviet affairs, but found the prospect of "giving advice until blue in the face" without line responsibility--the fate of the job's last occupant, Marshall D. Shulman--unappealing.

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