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Rusk RRRRR, Dean Rusk interviewed by Richard Rusk, 1986 January

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:12 - U.S.-Taiwanese relations during Truman Administration / Wellington Koo

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Partial Transcript: I'm drawing a good many of these questions from Warren Cohen's book called "Dean Rusk"

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses U.S. interest in the Republic of Formosa (later know as, Taiwan) during the Truman Administration. He describes tensions that arose between the State Department and the Pentagon surrounding foreign policy with Taiwan. Later, Rusk talks about Wellington Koo, the Chinese ambassador to the U.S., detailing the nature of their diplomatic relationship.

Keywords: American Foreign Legion; Chiang Kai-shek; Korean War; League of Nations; President Harry S. Truman; Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson; Secretary of State Dean Acheson; Seventh Fleet; W. Walton Butterworth; one China; two Chinas

00:06:29 - Chiang Kai-shek's move from mainland China

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Partial Transcript: This is May 1950, just before the outbreak of the Korean War, and was it not true that you preferred a U.N. trusteeship for Formosa?

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk talks about the U.S.'s view on Chiang's move from mainland China to the Republic of Formosa. He also briefly discusses U.S. concerns about Formosa falling to the Chinese Communists.

Keywords: John Foster Dulles; Korean War; Pacific Ocean; State Department; Tai-Pai; Taiwan; United Nations; native Formosans

00:12:57 - Presenting North Korean aggression to the U.N.

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Partial Transcript: Pop, Cohen quotes you in House testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, five days before the North Korean invasion

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk briefly discusses the role of the United Nations in situations that threaten international peace. He shares about his role in the U.S. decision to bring the North Korean attack to the U.N. for intervention.

Keywords: Chian Kai-shek; Cold War; Communism; Dean Acheson; Korean War; Nationalist Chinese troops; President Harry S. Truman; Security Council; Seventh Fleet; Soviet Union; Truman Administration

00:18:51 - General Sun Li-jen

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Partial Transcript: Pop, to what extent did our policy towards Formosa change as a result of the Korean War?

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk talks about his experiences with General Sun Li-jen, the Chinese commander in Burma. He shares about Sun's plans to attempt to overthrow Chiang Kai-shek before the start of the Korean War.

Keywords: American armed forces; Chinese armed forces; Chinese mainland; Communism; Dean Acheson; General Joseph Stillwell; Republic of Formosa; Seventh Fleet; Taiwan; Virginia Military Institute

00:27:22 - Two Chinas policy

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Partial Transcript: Pop, what were your arguments with Wellington Koo on why we were not going to accept the offer of Chinese troops?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses U.S. encouragement of a Two-Chinas policy for Taiwan and mainland China. He talks about the reception of this policy by Chiang Kai-shek and other leaders.

Keywords: Communism; Korean War; Madame Chiang Kai-shek; One-China policy; Republic of Formosa; Truman Administration; United Nations; United States foreign aid

00:32:37 - Chinese intervention in the Korean War

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Partial Transcript: Was that trip to Wake Island to meet with MacArthur partially a result of uneasiness in Washington about the possibility of Chinese intervention?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the introduction of Chinese forces during the Korean War. He talks about the U.S. response, evaluating the leadership of Generals Douglas MacArthur and Matthew Ridgway.

Keywords: Dean Acheson; Eighth Army retreat; Korean Penninsula; Operation Haul Ass; Operation Three Star; People's Republic of China; V-J Day; Victory over Japan Day; Wake Island

00:40:01 - Motive for China's intervention in the Korean War

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Partial Transcript: To what extent do you think we provoked China's entry into the Korean war with MacArthur's movements of his forces to the island?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks about China's motivation to introduce forces into the Korean War, especially focusing on the extent to which U.S. forces and decisions could have prompted China's actions.

Keywords: American Military Intelligence; Cold War; North Korea; South Korea; United Nations General Assembly; Yalu River; thirty-eighth parallel

00:43:52 - Advantages and disadvantages of declarations of war

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Partial Transcript: Now, in case I missed it earlier, there's an internal aspect to this that is important.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk analyzes the pros and cons of formal declarations of war. He illustrates this by sharing why the U.S. avoided declaring war in situations like the Vietnam War and the Korean War.

Keywords: Berlin Blockade; United Nations; United States Constitution; constitutional powers; domestic wartime support; limited war; unconditional surrender; wartime powers

00:47:15 - Parallels between the U.S. during the Korean War and Britain during WWII

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Partial Transcript: Pop, in Warren Cohen's account, as far as your role was concerned when the Chinese came in--

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes the condition of the U.S. during the Korean War by comparing it with that of Britain during the 1940's. He says that the U.S. needed to have the same tenacity as Britain and hold their ground.

Keywords: Adolf Hitler; America First Committee; American Allied Forces; American air superiority; American naval superiority; Battle of Britain; David Low; Fall of France; General Douglas MacArthur; General Matthew Ridgway; Nazi occupation of Europe; Pearl Harbor; R.A.F.; Royal Air Force; WWI; William Allen White Committee; Winston Churchill; World War 1; World War 2; World War I; World War II; Yalu River; evacuation of the Korean Peninsula; thirty-eighth parallel; troop morale

00:55:05 - Relieving General MacArthur of operational control of the Korean War

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Partial Transcript: Now wasn't MacArthur in Korea?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk shares about the motivations and the process of replacing General MacArthur with General Matthew Ridgway during the Korean War. Later, he shares a brief story about speaking at the Air War College during a severe gas shortage.

Keywords: Air Force ROTC; Dean Acheson; General J. Laughton Collins; President Harry Truman; Reserve Officers' Training Corps; Truman Administration; occupation of Japan; occupation of Korea