UGA Libraries Logo

Rusk BBB, Nicholas Katzenbach, March 1985

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:58 - Richard Holbrooke's role in the State Department

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Dick [Richard Charles Albert] Holbrooke's role up on my dad's floor that final year, or the last two years...

Segment Synopsis: Katzenbach chronicles the rotation of junior foreign service officers and talks about Richard Holbrooke's lack of access to Dean Rusk.

Keywords: Department of State; assistants; staff

00:03:47 - Israeli issues in the late 60s

Play segment

Partial Transcript: You mentioned earlier about the morale of the foreign service.

Segment Synopsis: Katzenbach discusses State Department officials including Bill Bundy, Walt Rostow, and Eugene Rostow, explaining what views they held about Vietnam and the Gulf of Aqapa incident. Katzenbach recalls minimizing a crisis by filling in for Dean Rusk as America's foreign policy spokesperson.

Keywords: Damascus; Israel; Middle East; Syria; advisers

00:09:30 - Combat decision-making

Play segment

Partial Transcript: My dad locked himself into a pretty tight position on the war.

Segment Synopsis: Katzenbach considers whether the escalating death toll in Vietnam increased Dean Rusk's commitment to the war. He also mentions how WWII framed America's view of war. Katzenbach discusses how Rusk and McNamara were affected by their jobs. He claims that McNamara had the personality of a dove but acted like a hawk in order to support the president's policy goals.

Keywords: Henry Kissinger; military; war

00:15:43 - Political constraints on senior advisers / A hierarchy of influence in the 1960s

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Were your doubts that substantial- your opposition that substantial, say by '67 or '68?

Segment Synopsis: Katzenbach discusses why senior advisers who opposed the Vietnam War did not dissent publicly, and he attributes their loyalty as a result of the political appointment system. He also talks about Dean Rusk and McNamara's influence on presidents Kennedy and Johnson.

Keywords: advisers; cabinet; political systems; presidential democracy