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Rusk FFFFFF, Richard Holbrooke, 1986 February

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:09 - Effects of casualties in Vietnam

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Partial Transcript: The question is the effect of the actual deaths on the policymakers.

Segment Synopsis: Holbrooke discusses the effects of deaths in Vietnam on Secretary of Defense McNamara and President Johnson. He talks about President Nixon's "Vietnamization" strategy. Holbrooke considers whether the Vietnam War constituted an obsession that prevented the realization of other political goals.

Keywords: Clark Clifford; Melvin Laird; casualties

00:04:58 - Holbrooke's role models / The Pentagon Papers

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Partial Transcript: Did he [Dean Rusk] have a fatal flaw as Secretary of State?

Segment Synopsis: Holbrooke talks about Dean Rusk's character, including his loyalty, humility, and ability to maintain principles under pressure. He mentions that Rusk encouraged him to become a foreign Service Officer and considers Rusk among other models including Averell Harriman, Cy Vance, and Clark Clifford. Holbrooke says the Pentagon Papers incriminated McNamara and low level officials, but not Dean Rusk or Presidents Johnson and Kennedy.

Keywords: East Asia desk; FSO; George Marshall; Katzenbach; Kissinger

00:10:50 - Dean Rusk's strong leadership / Characterizing secretaries of state

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Partial Transcript: My dad was criticized for not giving adequate leadership to the Department of State in foreign affairs during the sixties.

Segment Synopsis: Holbrooke refutes claims that Dean Rusk was a weak leader for the State Department. He comments on Rusk's avoidance of political controversy and his willingness to take heat for President Kennedy. Holbrooke categorizes various secretaries as either loyal, attention-seeking, or passive, and he talks about Bobby Kennedy's view of Dean Rusk.

Keywords: Robert Kennedy; loyalty