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Rusk K, Interview with Dean Rusk, circa 1985

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:11 - Relationship with "non-aligned" foreign leaders during Kennedy administration

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Partial Transcript: The first question, this is the only general question then we'll get into some specific questions, but Kennedy was apparently the first President that had a conscious policy toward Africa.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses relations with leaders in "non-aligned" African countries during the administration of John F. Kennedy.

Keywords: Ben Bella; British colonialism; British imperialism; Gamel Abdel Nasser; John Foster Dulles; Kwame Nkrumah; Portuguese Mozambique; Sukarno; colonialism; imperialism; neutralism

00:04:15 - The Congo Crisis and Secession of Katanga

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Partial Transcript: The first thing that happened, and I'd like to get into that, the first thing that happened is that Lumumba, right after Kennedy was inaugurated in February of 1961, Lumumba started certain, as I understand it, certain dealings with Soviet agents.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the role of the United Nations in the secession of Katanga.

Keywords: Adlai Ewing Stevenson; Adlai Stevenson II; African secession; Congo Crisis; Congolese government; Elizabethville; George Ball; Joseph-Desiré Mobutu; Katanga; Lubumbashi; Mobutu Sese Seko; Republic of Congo; State of Katanga

00:13:04 - Role as mediator in Congo Crisis

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Partial Transcript: By December 1962, UN forces occupied Elizabethville and crushed the rebellion.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes his role in the Congo Crisis, and his opinion on the Congolese leadership in the country at the time.

Keywords: Adlai Ewing Stevenson; Adlai Stevenson II; Congolese education; Congolese universities; Elizabethville; George Ball; John F. Kennedy; Joseph Kasa-Vubu; Lubumbashi; University of Lovanium; education and politics

00:17:18 - US Foreign relations with Belgium

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Partial Transcript: There as a, from being in Belgium, in fact I was a student at Lovanium at that time, and I know that this caused a major rift between Belgium and the United States, and Belgium being a NATO Ally as you pointed out, was a lot of your time meeting with Belgian ambassador, can you give an idea?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the relationship between Belgium and Belgian leaders and the United States government.

Keywords: Belgian Congo; NATO; Paul-Henri Spaak; Republic of Congo

00:19:23 - Simba rebellions and Stanleyville

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Partial Transcript: Did Kennedy - there was one - later on, there was the strange spectacle, Tshombe apparently went into exile after the agreements, after he was defeated in fact in Katanga.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes the operations arranged in response to the hostage situation in Stanleyville during the Congo Crisis in the Belgian Congo, including interactions with Belgian diplomats and leaders such as Paul-Henri Spaak.

Keywords: Antoine Gizenga; Belgian Congo; Christophe Gbenye; Congo Crisis; Gaston Sournialot; Jomo Kenyatta; Julius Nyerere; Katanga; Kisangani; Moise Tshombe; Operation Dragon Rouge; Parti Solidaire Africain; Paul Carlson; Paul-Henri Spaak; Pierre Mulele; Simba Rebellion; Stanleyville; hostages

00:25:18 - Lessons from the Congo Crisis

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Partial Transcript: Looking back on, we have the experience in Iran and that hostage rescue operation and then the fallout from that, weren't you worried, wasn't Kennedy worried?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk compares the Congo Crisis with the Iran Hostage Crisis.

Keywords: 1st Parachute Battalion; Belgian Army; Belgian Congo; Belgian paratroopers; Congo Crisis; Iran hostage crisis; John F. Kennedy; Operation Dragon Rouge; Republic of Zaire; United Nations; Zaire; diversity; global affairs; globalization; hostage crisis

00:31:10 - Soviet involvement in the Congo Crisis

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Partial Transcript: Seems to be, I remember, some recollection about Soviets-

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the involvement of the Soviet Union in the Congo Crisis, and the death of the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjöld.

Keywords: Adlai Ewing Stevenson; Adlai Stevenson II; Andrei Gromyko; Charter of the United Nations; Dag Hammarskjöld; Patrice Lumumba; Soviet Russia; Troika Proposal; Trygve Lie; USSR; United Nations

00:37:30 - United Nations foreign ministers

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Partial Transcript: You had the backing of both your Presidents for the amount of time you spent in the New York office.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the social interactions of foreign ministers within the United Nations.

Keywords: John F. Kennedy; Soviet Russia; USSR; United Nations; United Nations foreign ministers

00:43:27 - Lyndon B. Johnson and the Congo Crisis

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Partial Transcript: Well, there was that kind of reporting.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses concerns of anti-Western sentiment in the Belgian Congo, and further discusses the Congo Crisis involving President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Keywords: American policy in Africa; Ascension Island; Belgian Congo; Congo Crisis; Lyndon B. Johnson; Operation Dragon Rouge; Richard B. Russell, Jr.; Simba Rebellion; Simbas; Stanleyville; U.S. policy toward Africa; William J. Fulbright; anti-Western sentiment; post-colonial collapse; racial tension

00:50:45 - Moise Tshombe

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Partial Transcript: In 1965, the insurrection fell apart, and there's one curious thing about the whole operation and that's Tshombe's role.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes his associations with African leaders.

Keywords: Congo Crisis; Joseph Kasa-Vubu; Moise Tshombe; Patrice Lumumba; South Africa; apartheid; secessionist

00:54:56 - Fostering community in Africa

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Partial Transcript: Did we attempt to foster African community during the Kennedy/Johnson years?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes the process of decolonialism and the influence of the United States on African states.

Keywords: African decolonialism; African independence; Kwame Nkrumah; Pan-Africanism; decolonialism

00:57:15 - The Charter of the United Nations

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Partial Transcript: I think most people would be surprised by that, not, maybe a lot of people would take the more cynical view that the Charter's there when you need it but that it's not really there to follow.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the origins of the Charter of the United Nations and its use in U.S. foreign relations, particularly with the Belgian Congo.

Keywords: American foreign policy; Belgian Congo; George Marshall

01:00:00 - Cold War politics in Africa

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Partial Transcript: Pop, I got one final question for me.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the resiliency of African culture to outside influence from the United States or Soviet Russia after the Cold War.

Keywords: African Communism; African government; Andrei Gromyko; Communism; Communism in Africa; Second Red Scare; Soviet Russia; The Cold War; USSR; anti-Communism; democracy; foreign democracies