Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. “Do We Need a Foreign Policy Doctrine?”

Firing Line Videos, Hoover Institution, taped on July 15, 1981, uploaded to YouTube on May 7, 2010.

Guest: George Ball


Mr. Ball is a stern critic of the Reagan Administration, which he sees as viewing the Soviet Union as “the Antichrist threatening civilization with its pernicious doctrines.” But despite his background as a member of various Democratic Administrations, there is nothing party-line about his views on the Soviet Union, Israel, the draft, Southeast Asia. Ball: “As far as armament is concerned, I support increased defense expenditures… The problem in the United States as far as defense is concerned is that it isn’t engaged. The people are not involved. The people will only be involved, in my judgment–” Buckley: “With a draft.” Ball: “–when you have a draft, and unless you are prepared to address this problem I think you are talking nonsense…. Today we are faced with a struggle, which is basically a struggle around the world–not necessarily just with the Soviet Union, but looking after all kinds of situations around the world. This has to be a common effort of the American people. It can’t be confined just to the more unfortunate people from an income point of view.”