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Rusk BBBBBB, Dean Rusk lecture to Loch Johnson's class, 1985

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:22 - Destructive potential of nuclear weapons

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Partial Transcript: In August 1945, I was a colonel in the Army serving in the Operations Division of the War Department General Staff.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks about the potential of nuclear weapons to destroy the human kind. He also debates the truth behind predictions of imminent nuclear war.

Keywords: C.P. Snow; Cuban Missile Crisis; Defense budget; Hiroshima; Hudson Institute think tank; JFK; Japan; Mr. Herman Kahn; Nagasaki; Presbyterian Church; President John F. Kennedy; Westminster Shorter Catechism; atomic bomb; doomsday; nuclear holocaust; pacifism; thermonuclear war

00:07:54 - Problems with limited war, counterforce strategy, and long-range nuclear missiles

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Partial Transcript: Some of our thinking is complicated by a good deal of nonsense.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk questions whether limited nuclear war is possible. He also shares his doubts about whether counterforce strategy and long-range nuclear weapons can be effective.

Keywords: Cold War; Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev; Soviet Union; crisis management; intercontinental missiles; miscalculation; nuclear escalation

00:14:03 - U.S. and Soviet avoidance of nuclear war

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Partial Transcript: Now it seems to me that we have learned during these forty years that the fingers on the nuclear trigger are not itchy, just waiting for a pretext on which to fire these dreadful weapons.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk shares his view that neither the U.S. nor the U.S.S.R. desire nuclear war and, therefore, act accordingly. He shares examples of U.S. behavior to avoid such a conflict.

Keywords: Cuban Missile Crisis; JFK; NPT; Nonproliferation Treaty; President John F. Kennedy; President Ronald Reagan; WW2; WWII; World War 2; World War II; collective security; miscalculation; nuclear arms race; nuclear escalation; nuclear stockpile

00:20:12 - Nuclear arms race

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Partial Transcript: We have talked about this Third World problem with the Soviet Union, particularly in the negotiation of the Treaty of Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the U.S. and Soviet Union's attempts to restrict nuclear proliferation and the nuclear arms race.

Keywords: NATO; North Atlantic Treaty Organization; Nuclear Test Ban Treaty; People's Republic of China; Treaty of Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons; deterrence; nuclear stockpiles; nuclear verification

00:26:57 - Strategic Defense Initiative

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Partial Transcript: I must confess that for one who has lived with these matters for a good many years that as far as I am concerned I would go just as far in the elimination of nuclear weapons as the capabilities of verification would permit.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discussing his views on the Strategic Defense Initiative, sharing both his support of the research and his concerns about moving the arms race to space.

Keywords: Antiballistic Missile Treaty; Mikhail Gorbachev; President Ronald Reagan; SDI; Secretary of State Alexander Haig; Star Wars Initiative; Strategic Defense Initiative; nuclear arms control; nuclear verification; nuclear warheads

00:32:03 - Advice for the next generation

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Partial Transcript: Another President and another Congress will have to make a judgment someday about whether we go down that trail or whether we seek to reach an agreement with the Soviet Union...

Segment Synopsis: Rusk shares his advice to the next generation on avoiding nuclear war. He stresses the importance of electing the right leaders and staying informed.

Keywords: Star Wars Initiative; Strategic Defense Initiative; arms race; bipartisan politics; deterrence; elected officials; nonproliferation

00:39:06 - Nuclear Summit / Disarmament

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Partial Transcript: What kind of results are coming out of the Summit?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks about a recent summit [the 1985 Geneva Summit] between U.S. and Soviet leaders to talk about the arms race. Later, Rusk shares his goals for nuclear disarmament across the world.

Keywords: Communism; Dean Acheson; NATO; North Atlantic Treaty Organization; Soviet Union; Warsaw Pact; nuclear verification