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JFK’s The Strategy of Peace III

I. The Possibilities of Peace 

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today JFK+50 continues our report on Chapter 1 of “The Strategy of Peace” written by Senator John F. Kennedy.  The book is published by Harper & Row, New York, 1960.


The title of Chapter I is THE POSSIBILITIES OF PEACE

Senator Kennedy titles Part 3 of Chapter I:  The Captive Nations

JFK tells us that “no problem of (US) foreign policy was more sharply brought to mind by…Khrushchev’s visit (to the USA) than the problem of the captive nations.”*

*These were the Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe.

The Senator argues that our best hope is that these nations will move gradually away from total Soviet domination.

His argument is detailed in his remarks at the Pulaski Day Dinner in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 17, 1959.

In that speech, JFK asked this question:

“If freedom in Eastern Europe is to come only by peaceful change, what can we do to encourage this gradual evolution (which Thomas Jefferson called) ‘the disease of liberty?'”

JFK writes that in 1959 the Senate passed an amendment to the BATTLE ACT** which he cosponsored with Senator George Aiken of Vermont.***  

The amendment was designed to…

“provide our Government with a more flexible set of economic tools to promote peaceful change behind the Iron Curtain.  It would permit the use of such tools….(to)…help wean the….captive nations away from their Kremlin masters.”

**The original Battle Act became law in Oct 1951. It was introduced by Rep. Laurie C. Battle of Alabama.  It gave the US government the power to cut off all aid to countries dominated by the USSR, but permitted exceptions in the interest of a broader national security.

***George David Aiken  (1892-1984) was Republican Senator from Vermont 1941-1975.  From 1937-1941, he was Governor of Vermont.


Senator George Aiken of Vermont


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