George Ball

George Ball long career in American public affairs and diplomacy has included the post of Under-Secretary of State, which he held from 1961 to 1966.

George Ball on the Middle East

George Ball, 4 April 1991

When Iraq invaded Kuwait, the situation seemed urgent. American representatives had shown King Fahd and his Saudi advisers communications intercepts which indicated that Iraq might he intending to continue its predatory sweep to the Saudi oil fields. Since the Saudis by themselves would not be able to stop them, the King reluctantly decided to invite American help. That help was provided, but initially with only a limited objective: to protect Saudi Arabia and avoid what could become a dangerous monopoly of the world’s oil resources.

New World

George Ball, 22 June 1989

In a musical comedy popular in America twenty or thirty years ago, the hero announced as a curtain line that he was departing to ‘join the Thirty Years’ War’. The larger wisdom implied in that absurdity was, of course, that no generation can comprehend how history may characterise major events that occur during its lifetime. While one cannot place the current scene in the context of what may occur in the next few years, however, there is still a widespread feeling – often encysted in layers of qualifications – that the world is undergoing massive change that is both political and economic. That change is of such epic proportions that one might legitimately equate it with the disappearance of the Greek city states before the swelling tide of Hellenism, with the advent of the Reformation or the experience of the Enlightenment.’

Sleepless Afternoons

Avi Shlaim, 25 February 1993

In his farewell address in 1796 George Washington counselled the new nation to refrain from ‘passionate attachment’ to or ‘inveterate hatred’ of any other nation and to...

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Knucklehead Truman

Douglas Johnson, 2 June 1983

Westward look the land is mediocre: eastward look the land is sombre. Those who are between can only find this dispiriting. But whereas for Western Europeans the dismal spectacle of the Soviet...

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