Courtesy Reuters

George W. Ball, currently a senior managing director of the firm of Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb in New York, was Under Secretary of State from 1961 to 1966 and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in 1968. He is the author of The Discipline of Power and Diplomacy for a Crowded World.

This year was in all respects a very heavy time," wrote the authors of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 1097, and we can appropriately use the same phrase to describe 1980. To be sure our country was not engaged in war; the Danes did not raid our coast; America was still rich by world standards; and the harvest was adequate. But a doleful chorus of lamentation was heard not only in our land but throughout the non-communist nations. It had a persistent recurring theme. At a time when the Soviet Union was systematically extending its military reach, the United States was falling into apathy

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