Highlights from President John Kennedy’s speech at American University in June 1963.

In this speech, President Kennedy defines “peace” not as some kind of naive dream, but as a PROCESS to be implemented that is both practical and achievable.

Kennedy rejects War as either rational or legitimate policy, and then maps out his White House Strategy for Peace, for World Disarmament, and for “the elimination of War and Arms”. Kennedy rejects the and “Pax Americana” doctrines that he inherited, and then redefines U.S. Foreign Policy around this new “Strategy of Peace”.

In this speech, Kennedy also declares publicly that there will in fact be no War started on his watch. Kennedy says bluntly: “We do not want a War. We do not now expect a War”, and that “The will never start a War” (no Vietnam War on his watch).

As Kennedy redefines U.S. Foreign Policy, he ends with this statement of principle: “Confident and unafraid, we must labor on — NOT toward a strategy of Annihilation, but toward a Strategy of Peace.”


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