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Rusk SSSSSS, Eugene Rostow, 1986 May 5

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:38 - Working in Rusk's State Department

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Partial Transcript: In terms of any contacts with Dean Rusk prior to January 1961, what do you have there?

Segment Synopsis: Rostow recalls his first contacts, working relationship, and leisure time spent with Rusk. He comments briefly on Arthur Schlesinger's evaluations of Rusk.

Keywords: Chester Bowles; Rockefeller Foundation; Undersecretary for political affairs; WWII; Yale

00:09:19 - Rostow's Vietnam War initiative / Rusk and the Cuban Missile Crisis

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Partial Transcript: Could you comment on that, from what you know of that relationship between Dean Acheson and Dean Rusk?

Segment Synopsis: Rostow describes Rusk and Dean Acheson's relationship. He recalls Rusk asking for suggestions on the Vietnam War, at which point Rostow began conversations with Anatoly Dobrynin. Rostow talks about Rusk's reaction to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Dean Acheson's perceptions and critiques of Rusk.

Keywords: Averell Harriman; Bill Bundy; Cuban Missile Crisis; George Kennan; Korean War; William Bundy

00:17:23 - Rusk's instructions / Rusk and Arab-Israeli conflicts

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Partial Transcript: Perhaps we can go back for a moment as to Dean Rusk as your boss.

Segment Synopsis: Rostow talks about Rusk's reticence, but explains that his policy recommendations were always clear and succinct. He explains why he stopped briefing British and French ambassadors on the Six-Day War. Rostow discusses Rusk's view of Israel and Rusk's involvement with Resolution 242 and the Suez Crisis settlement.

Keywords: Arab League; Arab-Israeli conflict; Arthur Goldberg; Egypt; Fergus; General Assembly; Golda Meir; Hammarskjold; Israel; Mahoud Riad; NATO; Nasser; Sinai; Strait of Tehran; Suez Crisis; UN; foreign policy; tripartite

00:29:18 - Rusk's involvement in the Six-Day War

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Partial Transcript: I understand at one point you had a plan to form an international force to forcefully reopen the Straits [sic] of Tiran.

Segment Synopsis: Rostow discusses a British plan to move an Allied naval escort through the Strait of Tiran and claims that Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara sabotaged the plan despite Rusk and Johnson supporting it. He talks about Rusk's position on the UN's Six-Day War ceasefire and says that Rusk balanced Arab and Israeli interests well. Rostow considers whether the Six-Day War would have been handled differently under another secretary of state.

Keywords: Eisenhower Doctrine Resolution; Golan Heights; Henry Kissinger; Israel; Middle East; Six-Day War; USSR; Wally Barber

00:37:55 - Becoming Under Secretary for Political Affairs

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Partial Transcript: I feel obliged to ask you a question, what were some of his problems as secretary?

Segment Synopsis: Rostow states that Rusk was not interested in economic problems, and he talks about his own work with the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the IMF, and the OECD. Rostow describes the Task Force on Communications Policy and speaks about the administration's failure in the Vietnam War.

Keywords: Joe Fowler; McNamara; Nicholas Katzenbach; Organization for European Economic Cooperation

00:45:39 - Rusk's later career

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Partial Transcript: Did you notice any real changes in the man from 1968...

Segment Synopsis: Rostow describes the tasks he and Rusk worked on in 1968. He talks about Rusk's involvement in negotiating arms control treaties like the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Rostow praises Rusk's dedication to his religion and work even in light of poor health. He briefly comments on the Committee for Present Danger and the books he authored.

Keywords: Fisher; Foster; Germany; NPT; Vietnam; nonproliferation