Two Centuries of U. S. Foreign Policy: The Documentary Record

By Stephen J. Valone | Go to book overview

Each of these factors is important in its own right. Each interacts with the others. All must be faced together, squarely and courageously. We will face these challenges, and we will meet them with the best that is in us. And we will not fail. . . .

But now the Soviet Union has taken a radical and an aggressive new step. It's using its great military power against a relatively defenseless nation. The implications of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan could pose the most serious threat to the peace since the Second World War. . . .

The region which is now threatened by Soviet troops in Afghanistan is of great strategic importance: It contains more than two-thirds of the world's exportable oil. The Soviet effort to dominate Afghanistan has brought Soviet military forces to within 300 miles of the Indian Ocean and close to the Straits of Hormuz, a waterway through which most of the world's oil must flow. The Soviet Union is now attempting to consolidate a strategic position, therefore, that poses a grave threat to the free movement of Middle East oil.

This situation demands careful thought, steady nerves, and resolute action, not only for this year but for many years to come. It demands collective efforts to meet this new threat to security in the Persian Gulf and in Southwest Asia. It demands the participation of all those who rely on oil from the Middle East and who are concerned with global peace and stability. And it demands consultation and close cooperation with countries in the area which might be threatened.

Meeting this challenge will take national will, diplomatic and political wisdom, economic sacrifice, and, of course, military capability. We must call on the best that is in us to preserve the security of this crucial region.

Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.

During the past 3 years, you have joined with me to improve our own security and the prospects for peace, not only in the vital oil-producing area of the Persian Gulf region but around the world.


FURTHER READINGS

Gaddis John Lewis, The United States and the End of the Cold War ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).

Garthoff Raymond L., Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan ( Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1994).

Glad Betty, Jimmy Carter ( New York: Norton, 1980).

Jones Charles O., The Trusteeship Presidency: Jimmy Carter and the United States Congress ( Baton Rouge: Lousiana State University Press, 1988).

McLellan, David, Cyrus Vance (Totowa, N.J.: Rowman & Allanheld, 1985).

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