Bell Question? • What are some things and who are some people that affect and influence the President when making foreign policy?
Politics of Foreign Policy Policy Development Inside the White House
Objectives • Understand the history of American foreign policy. • Analyze the American foreign policy within the context of the events during the Kennedy administration in reference to the events of early American involvement in Vietnam.
Creation of Foreign Policy On October 11, 1963, President Kennedy signed National Security Agency Memorandum 263, initiating a withdrawal of 1,000 troops out of roughly 16,000 Americans stationed in Vietnam. Other documents, including planning documents from the spring of 1963, show that this was the first step in a planned complete withdrawal from Vietnam. Released audio files of conversations between Kennedy and his closest advisors identifies the “political” nature of the formation and execution of this foreign policy.
October 2, 1963 (morning) • President Kennedy met with his Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy, and head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Maxwell Taylor. • October 2, 1963 (morning) Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
What is the tone and mood of the recording? 2. What three things in the recording do you believe are the most important? Questions
October 2, 1963 (evening) • President Kennedy meets again with Robert McNamara, General Taylor, and McGeorge Bundy • October 2, 1963 (evening)
How has the language changed from the morning meeting to the evening meeting? Why do you believe these changes have been made? 3. What protections do these changes give President Kennedy? Questions
October 5, 1963 President Kennedy continues to weigh the political fall out from a possible troop withdrawal from Vietnam • October 5, 1963
NSA Memo No. 263 10/11/63
OCTOBER 11,1963 NATIONAL SECURITY ACTION MEMORANDUM NO. 263 TO:Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff SUBJECT: South Vietnam At a meeting on October 5, 1963, the President considered the recommendations contained in the report of Secretary McNamara and General Taylor on their mission to South Vietnam. The President approved the military recommendations contained in Section I B (1-3) of the report, but directed that no formal announcement be made of the implementation of plans to withdraw 1,000 U.S. military personnel by the end of 1963. After discussion of the remaining recommendations of the report, the President approved the instruction to Ambassador Lodge which is set forth in State Department telegram No. 534 to Saigon. McGeorge Bundy NSA Memo No. 263
Analysis Assignment • What influences did President Kennedy have when developing his policy on U.S. military in Vietnam? How were these influences used by the president? What role did politics play in developing this foreign policy?