Randall Forsberg receiving award

Randall Forsberg

Influential Nuclear Disarmament Activist and Educator

One of the foremost nuclear disarmament activists and authorities in America in the 80s and 90s, Randall Forsberg founded the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies (IDDS) and was a recipient of the Center’s 1997 Global Citizen Award. Forsberg’s leadership in the field is such that she and IDDS are credited with influencing the foreign policy of President Ronald Reagan, which culminated with Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, signed with Mikhail Gorbechev on December 8, 1987. With Elise Boulding, she published Abolishing War, based on a series of dialogues they engaged in at the Center in the mid-90s. She once summarized her thinking thusly: ‚ÄúThere is only one circumstance that justifies the use of force: If someone is attacking you, you have a moral obligation to defend yourself. Applying that rule would lead to a surprising conclusion. If all countries upheld the ethic that the only just war — the only legally, morally acceptable use of force — was for defense, then there would be no war.