From an Oct. 29 PBS special, "8th Annual Report of the Secretaries of State," which featured six former holders of that office:

Dean Rusk, Kennedy/Johnson administration: In one sense, we're in the easy stage of this problem in the Persian Gulf. So far, the president has strong support in public opinion and strong support in Congress. But when we look at the other end of the action, that is, under what circumstances do we get out, problems multiply. ...

Now it seems to me that we face an almost intolerable situation if Iraq withdraws from Kuwait. Then some peacekeeping forces will be required, and I can see a request that the United States provide such peacekeeping forces to a considerable extent. ...

I don't see how we can settle this problem in Kuwait without getting rid of Saddam Hussein in some fashion, because he is unpredictable, irresponsible, and he would continue to be a threat to Kuwait even if he pulled his troops back.

William Rogers, Nixon administration: I think we have an obligation to try to let the sanctions work, recognizing that they may not. Second, we have to maintain the posture that in the event of total failure, we may have to use the military option. I don't think anybody disputes that. I don't see why we have to keep threatening it now. I think we can wait awhile. ... Let's play out the hand. So far, it's going well. ...

Alexander Haig, Reagan administration: Personally I think we can over-talk {the situation}, and in the process of over-talking it, we lose everything. Now, I would rather see more ominous quiet on the part of the president and the White House, a continuation of the preparations and a continuation of the listening until we hear what we want to hear.