Cambridge, Mass. — Former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance said Tuesday that neither Soviet aggression in Afghanistan nor election-year politics should be allowed to interfere with ratification of the SALT II arms agreement, Monitor writer Ruth Walker reports.
"This treaty stands at the very heart of a sensible and far-seeing American foreign policy. . . . Without this treaty, the process of arms control might be dealt a blow from which it could not recover," he told a commencement audience at Harvard in his first public speech since his resignation in April.
Mr. Vance, who resigned because he could not support the attempted military rescue of the Tehran hostages, said: "Increased military power is a basis, not a substitute, for diplomacy. . . . The use of military force is not, and should not be, a desirable American policy response to the internal politics of other nations."
He urged steadiness in diplomacy, warning against "wild swings from being too trusting to being hysterical" in US relations with Moscow.
The United States must adjust to a new, pluralistic world order, he said, urging good relations with poorer nations "primarily because they are important in their own right."
He called the idea that pursuing such American values as human rights is incompatible with pursuit of national interest a "myth that needs to be exploded."