Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

“United States Foreign Policy,” Ambassador George W. Ball

Fourth Annual Ava Helen Pauling Memorial Lecture for World Peace

October 9, 1985


George W. Ball
George W. Ball (Former Under Secretary of the State Department and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations)

“United States Foreign Policy”  Watch Video

Ambassador Ball reflects upon his lengthy history in government to discuss the development of United States foreign policy up to the Reagan administration's Strategic Defense Initiative proposal - more commonly known as the "Star Wars" proposal. In so doing, Ball traces the development of ideas about human progress in Western thought, beginning with the mythological, biblical and historical tales of Daedalus, Adam and Eve, Giordano Bruno, Charles Darwin and, ultimately, the development of nuclear weapons.

From there Ball argues that, as of the emergence of the Soviet hydrogen bomb program, nuclear weapons should no longer be considered weapons of war, but rather weapons of mutual suicide. Given the state of contemporary affairs, Ball stresses the need to end the arms race and urges the Reagan administration to break out of its "doctrinal rigidity" for purposes of achieving a new diplomatic understanding with Russia.

Following the conclusion of his prepared remarks, Ball entertains questions from the audience for approximately twenty minutes.

Related Names: Linus Pauling, Ava Helen Pauling