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Rusk 7I, Dean Rusk speech, circa 1979 July 23

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:07 - Domestic elections and foreign policy

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Partial Transcript: But perhaps I might begin with two or three points of background which might affect everything we talk about for the rest of the time we have available.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the effects of U.S. general elections on foreign relations. He describes foreign policy platforms as being nonpartisan and more generalized.

Keywords: State Department; complexity; domestic policy; foreign affairs; parties; partisanship; political climate; presidents; public opinion

00:05:33 - Foreign policy decision-making

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Partial Transcript: Now, in that connection, [let me] remind you of another point which might be helpful to the classroom teacher.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk emphasizes the complexity of foreign affairs, and he explains that there is rarely enough time to consider all angles of a given policy issue. He contends that the Secretary of State's decisions are further complicated by the constitutional division of powers, government interrelations, and public opinion. Rusk describes political persuasion as a major job of the president.

Keywords: Earl Warren; branches of government; constitution; presidency; separation of powers

00:12:35 - Relations with Russia: competition and détente

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Partial Transcript: I might begin with one question which I understand that your group is interested in.

Segment Synopsis: Chronicling the relationship between the U.S. and U.S.S.R., Rusk talks about Soviet reactions to the Baruch Plan, the Marshall Plan, the Austrian State Treaty, and the Antarctic Treaty. He explains Kennedy and Johnson's transition to peaceful détente, mentioning the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the Civil Air Agreement. Rusk says that trust is not necessary for making deals with the U.S.S.R.; the U.S. government can ensure commitments via intelligence gathering.

Keywords: Cold War; Truman; UN; agreements; credible commitment problems; hostility; international organizations; nuclear; preventive diplomacy; treaties

00:19:37 - Goals for the international community: U.S. v. U.S.S.R.

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Partial Transcript: Many people are familiar with the lugubrious story of the period between World Wars I and II and the events of the 1930s that led us into the catastrophe of World War II, but most people have forgotten what happened just after V-J Day.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the Soviet ideology of World Revolution, which he views as having supported division and insurgency after World War II. He compares this to U.S. ideology, as presented in the UN Charter, and mentions setbacks to peace surrounding the SALT treaties and Afghanistan.

Keywords: Azerbaijan; Berlin; Czechoslovakia; Greece; Iran; Korea; Marxism; Red Army; Russia; Security Council; Turkey; UNSC; WWII; communism; defense; demobilization; guerrilla; nuclear

00:25:10 - Evaluating Russian motives in Afghanistan

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Partial Transcript: Now, what questions would you like to put?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk explains the Brezhnev Doctrine, through which Russia justified intervening in support of foreign socialist and communist governments. He suggests that in addition to the Brezhnev Doctrine, factors like the U.S. presidential election, changes in Soviet leadership, Western indifference, and perceived impunity may have also contributed to Russia's decision to invade Afghanistan.

Keywords: India; Pakistan: Iran; intervention; revolution

00:28:09 - Solving the Iranian hostage crisis

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Partial Transcript: Do you see any immediate, or within the next three to four months, resolution of the Iranian crisis, or do you have any suggestions that might be relevant to the situation?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk commends the U.S. government for prioritizing the hostages' safety and implementing a restrained foreign policy approach in Iran. Drawing parallels to North Korea's seizure of the USS Pueblo, Rusk suggests an unorthodox approach to the Iranian hostage crisis.

Keywords: diplomacy; negotiation; restraint