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Rusk T, Interview with Dean Rusk, December 19, 1984

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:27 - The world in 1961

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Partial Transcript: The article I have to do is the lead-off one in the series and it will attempt to assess what Vietnam did to America.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes the world in which he entered his position as Secretary of State, wherein collective security influenced international affairs and global policy.

Keywords: American foreign policy; Benito Mussolini; Cordell Hull; Henry L. Stimson; Herbert Hoover; Japanese invasion of Manchuria; John F. Kennedy; League of Nations; Marshall Plan; North Atlantic Treaty Organization; Rio Pact; Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Stimson Doctrine; The Vietnam War; The Vietnam War syndrome; United Nations Charter; Vietnam War propaganda; Vietnam War protests; World War I; World War II; World War III; collective security

00:12:18 - Students of the new generation

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Partial Transcript: Do you find in talking to students here that they are inclined I'm talking about the more thoughtful ones--Are they inclined to engage in this kind of questioning or is it is something that is almost academic to them?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the impact a new generation of students has had on issues of foreign policy, as well as the concern of apocalyptic views of future military interactions between countries. He further explores the issue of America's responsibility to other nations in foreign affairs and offering foreign aid.

Keywords: American foreign affairs; American foreign aid; American militia; Dean Acheson; George Kennan; North Atlantic Treaty Organization; United Nations; Warsaw Pact; academia; foreign aid; foreign issues; military spending; nuclear war; political academia

00:20:56 - Lessons of the Vietnam War

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Partial Transcript: Just to follow that up, I have tried to ask everybody that I have talked to, a number of officials, to briefly summarize what they concluded are the lessons of the Vietnam War for them.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes the events leading up to the Vietnam War, and the implications of collective security during and following the war. He further speculates on the possible results of the war had the United States won.

Keywords: Anzio Beachhead; Association of Southeast Asian Nations; Barry Goldwater; Battle of the Bulge; Berlin Crisis; Cuban Missile Crisis; Dwight D. Eisenhower; Frank Church; French Indochina; Guadalcanal; Gulf of Tonkin; Harry S. Truman; Ho Chi Minh; John F. Kennedy; John Foster Dulles; Lyndon B. Johnson; Nikita Khrushchev; Norodom Sihanouk; North Atlantic Treaty Organization; Rio Pact; Southeast Asia Treaty Organization; U.S. Congress; Vietnam War propaganda; Vietnam War protests; War Powers Act; Wayne L. Morse; William Fulbright; anti-Communism; collective security; nuclear war; nuclear weapons

00:37:06 - "No more Vietnam" syndrome and American credibility

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Partial Transcript: You are inclined to believe that the "no more Vietnam" syndrome has infected us to some degree.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk draws a parallel between the Vietnam War and what he refers to as the "Nicaraguan-El Salvador affair," and discusses America's credibility and reliability to foreign nations moving forward.

Keywords: America and Europe; Charles de Gaulle; Cuban Missile Crisis; Dean Acheson; Nicaraguan-El Salvador affair; Southeast Asia Treaty Organization; The Latin American Revolution; credibility

00:43:20 - Reagan and foreign policy

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Partial Transcript: We talked about whether a new consensus is emerging.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk details his views on the foreign policy of the Reagan administration as it was then unfolding.

Keywords: Charles de Gaulle; North Atlantic Treaty Organization; Richard Nixon; Two Chinas; Two Chinas policy; U.S. relations with China; Vietnam War

00:46:56 - Collective security debate

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Partial Transcript: Mr. Rusk, I just wanted to ask.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks on the nuances of collective security and America's civic and foreign policy responsibilities. He further discusses the Vietnam War.

Keywords: John F. Kennedy; Lyndon B. Johnson; National Security Council; Robert McNamara; United Nations; United Nations charter; United States foreign policy; Vietnam War; World War III; anti-Communism; collective security; independent nations; international policy; international security; international treaties; international violence; second Red Scare

00:56:56 - Cold War

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Partial Transcript: People are aware of the sad story of the thirties, which had so much to do with producing World War II.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks on the events he believes led to the Cold War.

Keywords: Anti-Communism; Communism; Joseph Stalin; Soviet Union; USSR; United Nations; United Nations Security Council; Victory over Japan Day; World War II; collective security; nuclear arms; nuclear arms race; nuclear war; nuclear weapons

00:59:53 - The Vietnam War

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Partial Transcript: One obvious question I should have asked you, I ask this question of what if we had won if it were a totally hypothetical question.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks on the military events leading up to the Vietnam War, focusing on the events of World War II in order to discuss the ideological purpose of the Vietnam War.

Keywords: Adolf Hitler; American wars; Berlin Crisis; Berlin Crisis of 1961; Cuban Missile Crisis; Cyrus Vance; Fireside Chats; Frank Churchill; Franklin D. Roosevelt; Henry Kissinger; Jimmy Carter; John F. Kennedy; Joseph Stalin; Nikita Khrushchev; Pearl Harbor; Vladimir Lenin; anti-war movement; nuclear war; nuclear weapons