Watch the discussion and interviews below.
This year, American University is proud to mark the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s commencement address at our campus on June 10, 1963. Titled “A Strategy of Peace,” the speech called for engagement with the Soviet Union to lessen the dangers of nuclear war and represents both a turning point in U.S. foreign policy and a groundbreaking example of political communication as a public policy tool.
Fifty years later, the speech has proven to hold long lasting international significance, courageous in its call for a nuclear test ban treaty with the Soviet Union and innovative for initiating direct dialogue with adversaries.
To commemorate the anniversary, we are delighted that David Gregory, the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” and a School of International Service alumnus, hosted Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren to discuss whether “A Strategy of Peace” is possible in the Middle East today.
In the speech, JFK spoke about the need for a new approach to relations between the US and Soviet Union, proclaiming,
"What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children-not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace for all time."