Diplomacy or force? Presidents face monumental choices when it comes to ending wars. What will hasten an end? What will preserve life? What will further America's international interests? Watch a series of short videos exploring the topic.
When the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Truman understood the repercussions. "This places a terrible responsibility upon myself and upon the War Department," he said.
The Camp David Accords
President Carter's attempt at resolving the dispute between Israel and Egypt almost ended in failure. Egyptian President Sadat threatened to leave the talks at Camp David, but Carter used a personal approach to keep the talks going between Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Begin.
The Camp David Accords would become Carter's greatest foreign policy achievement.
Nixon decided to use force to end the Vietnam War, and refused to explain the 12-day "Christmas Bombing" to the American people. "He thought it was diplomatically vital that he make this look as cold an operation as possible," says speechwriter Ray Price.
Ending the Cold War
Reagan "had this overriding conviction that a strong military face presented by the United States for a year or two would bring the hostile system to its knees," said official biographer Edmund Morris. But President Reagan needed to make concessions in order to reduce the nuclear threat.