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Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 263–278 | Cite as

The quiet man: Dean Rusk and Western Europe

  • Christian Nuenlist
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  1. 1.
    Dean Rusk, As I Saw It (New York: Norton, 1990), 12.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rusk, ‘A modest note for future archivists, historians, and other scholars’ (13 January 1975), Lyndon B. Johnson Library, Austin, TX (LBJL).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Time, 9 August 1982, https://doi.org/www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,925631,00.html (accessed 21 June 2008).
  4. 4.
    Thomas H. Buckley, ‘Dean Rusk’, in American Statesmen, ed. Edward S. Mihalkanin (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004), 443–9, 445.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr, A Thousand Days (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2002, [1965]). See ‘The Enigma of Dean Rusk’, pp. 432–7.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Thomas J. Schoenbaum, Waging Peace and War: Dean Rusk in the Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson Years (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988), 285fGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Marc Trachtenberg, A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945–63 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999)Google Scholar
  8. 7a.
    Christian Nuenlist, Kennedys rechte Hand: Der Einfluss des Nationalen Sicherheitsberaters McGeorge Bundy auf die amerikanische Aussenpolitik, 1961–63 (Zurich: CSS, 1999)Google Scholar
  9. 7b.
    Christof Münger, Die Berliner Mauer, Kennedy und die Kubakrise: Das westliche Bündnis in der Zerreissprobe, 1961–63 (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2003)Google Scholar
  10. 7c.
    Christian Nuenlist, ‘Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Political Cooperation in NATO: The Western Alliance and Khrushchev’s Foreign Policy, 1955–64’, PhD thesis, University of Zurich, 2005Google Scholar
  11. 7d.
    Andreas Daum, ‘Atlantic Partnership or Simply A Mess?’, in John F. Kennedy and the Thousand Days, ed. Manfred Berg and Andreas Etges (Heidelberg: Winter, 2007), 17–38.Google Scholar
  12. 8.
    Helga Haftendorn, NATO and the Nuclear Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 8a.
    Thomas Schwartz, Lyndon Johnson and Europe (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003).Google Scholar
  14. 8b.
    See also Pascal Morf, ‘Building Bridges: Die amerikanische Deutschlandpolitik unter Lyndon B. Johnson zwischen Allianzpolitik und Détente, 1963-69’, MA thesis, University of Zurich, 2001Google Scholar
  15. 8c.
    Andreas Wenger, ‘Crisis and Opportunity: NATO’s Transformation and the Multilateralization of Détente, 1966–68’, Journal of Cold War Studies 6, no. 1 (2004): 22–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 8d.
    Anna Locher, ‘Crisis -What Crisis? The Debate on the Future of NATO, 1963–66’, PhD thesis, University of Zurich, 2006Google Scholar
  17. 8e.
    Andrew Priest, Kennedy, Johnson and NATO: Britain, America and the Dynamics of Alliance, 1962–68 (London: Routledge, 2006).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 9.
    Rusk, Oral History Interview (OHI), LBJL, p. 18f; Francis M. Bator, ‘Lyndon Johnson and Foreign Policy: The Case of Western Europe and the Soviet Union’, in Presidential Judgment: Foreign Policy Decision Making in the White House, ed. Aaron Lobel (Cambridge, MA: Hollis, 2001), 41–77.Google Scholar
  19. 10.
    Time, 6 December 1963.Google Scholar
  20. 11.
    Rusk, As I Saw It, 195.Google Scholar
  21. 12.
    The following paragraphs are based on Warren I. Cohen, Dean Rusk (Totawa, NJ: Cooper Square, 1980), 1–92; Schoenbaum, Waging Peace, 1-262Google Scholar
  22. 12a.
    Thomas W. Zeiler, Dean Rusk: Defending the American Mission Abroad (Wilmington, VT: Scholarly Resources, 2000), 3–22; and Buckley, Rusk, 443fGoogle Scholar
  23. 13.
    Thomas Gijswijt, ‘Uniting the West: The Bilderberg Group, the Cold War and European Integration, 1952–66’, PhD thesis, University of Heidelberg, 2007.Google Scholar
  24. 14.
    Buckley, Rusk, 445.Google Scholar
  25. 15.
    Schoenbaum, Waging Peace, 263.Google Scholar
  26. 16.
    Quoted in Cohen, Rusk, 96.Google Scholar
  27. 17.
    Cohen, Rusk, 218fGoogle Scholar
  28. 18.
    Sam H. Johnson, My Brother Lyndon (New York: Cowles, 1970), 117.Google Scholar
  29. 19.
    Buckley, Rusk, 447.Google Scholar
  30. 20.
    See e.g. Klaus Larres, ‘Eisenhower, Dulles und Adenauer’, in Deutschland und die USA im 20. Jahrhundert, ed. Klaus Larres and Torsten Oppelland (Darmstadt: WBG, 1997), 119–50.Google Scholar
  31. 21.
    Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) 1961–3: 13, no. 104.Google Scholar
  32. 22.
    NATO Council (NAC) Meeting, 8 May 1961, C-R(61)16, NATO Archives, Brussels (NA).Google Scholar
  33. 23.
    Finletter to Department of State (DoS), 5 June 1961, US National Archives, College Park, MD (USNA), RG 59, Central Decimal File (CDF), 740.5.Google Scholar
  34. 24.
    Schlesinger, Thousand Days, 383f See also Sorensen, Kennedy, (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), 322. Schoenbaum also mentions that Rusk was ‘a very difficult man to work for’, that ‘aides complained that Rusk was reticent, shy, and uncommunicative’ and that ‘no one ever knew what he was thinking’. Schoenbaum, Waging Peace, 273.Google Scholar
  35. 25.
    Schoenbaum, Waging Peace, 339.Google Scholar
  36. 26.
    Schlesinger, Thousand Days, 383.Google Scholar
  37. 27.
    Adrian Schertz, Die Deutschlandpolitik Kennedys und Johnsons (Cologne: Böhlau, 1992), 55.Google Scholar
  38. 28.
    On the bureaucratic debates in Washington, see Nuenlist, Kennedys rechte Hand, 95–100.Google Scholar
  39. 29.
    Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) 1961–3:14, 207–9.Google Scholar
  40. 30.
    https://doi.org/www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws (accessed 21 June 2008).
  41. 31.
    Christian Nuenlist, ‘Die NATO und die Berlinkrise von 1958–61, in Krisen im Kalten Krieg, ed. Bernd Greiner et al. (Hamburg: HIS, 2008), 240–69.Google Scholar
  42. 32.
    Bundy to Kennedy, 2 August 1961, John F. Kennedy Library, Boston (JFKL), National Security Files (NSF), Box 88.Google Scholar
  43. 33.
    FRUS 1961–3:14, 269–81 and 312–6. On Rusk’s talks in Paris, see also Rolf Steininger, Der Mauerbau (Munich: Olzog, 2001), 249–60.Google Scholar
  44. 34.
    Memorandum of Conversation (MemCon) Rusk-Adenauer, 10 August 1961, USNA, RG 59, CDF, 396.1-PA.Google Scholar
  45. 35.
    Rusk, As I Saw It, 233.Google Scholar
  46. 36.
    Ibid., 221. See e.g. MemCon Rusk-Gromyko, 19 October 1961, JFKL, NSF, Box 186. On the differences between Rusk and Bundy, see Nuenlist, Kennedys rechte Hand, 103–12.Google Scholar
  47. 37.
    Quoted in Schoenbaum, Waging Peace, p. 342.Google Scholar
  48. 38.
    Famously, JFK let Rusk know on 21 August that he wanted to take a ‘stronger lead on Berlin negotiations’ and that the European allies ‘must come along or stay behind’. FRUS 1961–3: 13, 359fGoogle Scholar
  49. 39.
    Cohen, Rusk, 143. See also Rusk, As I Saw It, 224–8; Andreas Wenger, Living with Peril: Eisenhower, Kennedy and Nuclear Weapons (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997), 234ff.Google Scholar
  50. 40.
    Rusk to Kennedy, 15 September 1961, JFKL, NSF, Box 220.Google Scholar
  51. 41.
    Quoted in Cohen, Rusk, 105.Google Scholar
  52. 42.
    Zeiler, Rusk, 48fGoogle Scholar
  53. 43.
    Ball, OHI, LBJL, 27. See also Cohen, Rusk, 194.Google Scholar
  54. 44.
    Komer to Bundy, 29 October 1962, JFKL, NSF, Box 36.Google Scholar
  55. 45.
    FRUS 1961–3:13, 449, 463. See Anna Locher and Christian Nuenlist, ‘What Role for NATO? Conflicting NATO Perceptions in View of Détente, 1963–6’, Journal of Transatlantic Studies 2, no. 2 (2004): 185–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 46.
    NAC Meetings, 13 December 1962, C-R(62)58, 59, NA.Google Scholar
  57. 47.
    NAC Meeting, 23 May 1963, C-R(63)29, NA.Google Scholar
  58. 48.
    CBS Interview Rusk, 24 May 1963, USNA, RG 59, Conference Files (CF), Box 334, CF 2266.Google Scholar
  59. 49.
    Cyrus Sulzberger, The Last of the Giants (New York: Macmillan, 1970), 985.Google Scholar
  60. 50.
    Cohen, Rusk, 161fGoogle Scholar
  61. 51.
    Rostow to Kennedy, 5 July 1963; Rostow to Kennedy, 8 July 1963, both in JFKL, NSF, Box 265. Kennedy had triumphantly visited Berlin in June 1963.Google Scholar
  62. 52.
    Schlesinger, Thousand Days, 904. See also FRUS 1961–3:7, no. 320.Google Scholar
  63. 53.
    Rusk, OHI, JFKL, p. 225. See Kendrick Oliver, ‘West Germany and the Moscow Test Ban Treaty Negotiations, July 1963’, in Controversy and Compromise, ed. Saki Dockrill (Bodenheim: Philo, 1998), 151–71Google Scholar
  64. 53a.
    Maurice Väisse, ‘La France et le Traité de Moscou, 1957–63’, Revue d’Histoire Diplomatique 107 (1993): 41–53.Google Scholar
  65. 54.
    George McGhee, At the Creation of a New Germany (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1989), 91fCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 55.
    New York Times, 28 October 1963.Google Scholar
  67. 56.
    Rostow to Harriman, 30 July 1963, JFKL, NSF, Box 376.Google Scholar
  68. 57.
    Rostow to Rusk, 8 August 1963, USNA, RG 59, S/PC 1963–64, Box 256, USSR.Google Scholar
  69. 58.
    Talking Points for Secretary, n.d., USNA, RG 59, EUR/RPM: RPA 1957–66, Box 12, NAP.Google Scholar
  70. 59.
    On NATO’s détente debates in the fall and winter of 1963, see Christian Nuenlist, ‘Into the 1960s: NATO’s Role in East-West Relations’, in Transforming NATO in the Cold War: Challenges beyond Deterrence in the 1960s, eds Andreas Wenger et al. (London: Routledge, 2007), 67–88, 80ff.Google Scholar
  71. 60.
    AAPD 1963:2, 349. In 1963, Bonn had established trade missions with Poland, Romania, and Hungary, expecting a spill-over to the cultural and the political sphere. On Schroder’s ‘policy of movement’, see Franz Eibl, Politik der Bewegung: Gerhard Schröder als Aussenminister, 1961–66 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2001), 256–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 61.
    Rusk to US Embassies, 16 December 1963 RG 59, CF, Box 334, NATO Ministerial Meeting 12/63.Google Scholar
  73. 62.
    MemCon Zinchuk-Manning, 20 December 1963, USNA, RG 59, CDF 1963, Box 3696, DEF 4.Google Scholar
  74. 63.
    MemCon of NSC Meeting, 5 December 1963, LBJL, NSF, NSC Meetings Files, Box 1. See also Ball, OHI, LBJL, 17.Google Scholar
  75. 64.
    Morf, Building Bridges, 27f.; Rusk, As I Saw It, 340; Schwartz, Johnson, 22–5.Google Scholar
  76. 65.
    Bundy to Johnson, 3 December 1963, LBJL, NSF, Memos to the President, Box 1.Google Scholar
  77. 66.
    Ball, OHI, LBJL, 17.Google Scholar
  78. 67.
    PPC Paper, ‘The US and Germany: A Policy of Movement’, 3 April 1964, LBJL, NSF, Country Files, Germany, Box 183. For a detailed analysis, see Morf, Building Bridges, 49–55. See also Mitchell Lerner, ‘Lyndon Johnson, Bridge Building, and the End of the Prague Spring’, Diplomatic History 32, no.1 (2008): 77–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. 68.
    Rostow to Rusk, Arms Control and the Alliance: Or How to Persuade Allies to Make Peace’, 6 April 1964, LBJL, NSF, Subject File, Box 23.Google Scholar
  80. 69.
    https://doi.org/www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws (accessed 21 June 2008). LBJ formalised the policy in early June, see FRUS 1964–8:17, 12.
  81. 70.
    Morf, Bridge Building, 59fGoogle Scholar
  82. 71.
    Note by Johnson, 21 December 1963, LBJL, Statements of LBJ, Box 91.Google Scholar
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    Cohen, Rusk, 200fGoogle Scholar
  84. 73.
    Rusk to Johnson, 8 April 1964, LBJL, NSF Subject File, Box 23. See also FRUS 1964–8:13, 35f.Google Scholar
  85. 74.
    FRUS 1964–8:11, 155.Google Scholar
  86. 75.
    Rusk to Schröder 13 January 1965, LBJL, NSF Subject File, Box 25. See Andrew Priest, ‘From Hardware to Software: The End of the MLF and the Rise of the Nuclear Planning Group’, in Transforming NATO, 148–61, 151Google Scholar
  87. 75a.
    Thomas Gijswijt, ‘Multilateral Force’, in Encyclopedia of the Cold War, ed. Ruud van Dijk (New York: 2008), 601–4.Google Scholar
  88. 76.
    Rusk interview, quoted in Schertz, Deutschlandpolitik, 292.Google Scholar
  89. 77.
    FRUS 1964–8:13, 35.Google Scholar
  90. 78.
    Rusk OHI, LBJL, 11ff. See also Cohen, Rusk, 299.Google Scholar
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    Garret Martin, ‘A Gaullist Grand Strategy?’, in International Perspectives on de Gaulles Foreign Policies, 1958–69, eds Christian Nuenlist et al. (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009)Google Scholar
  92. 79a.
    Garret Martin, ‘Untying the Gaullian Knot: France and the Struggle to Overcome the Cold War Order, 1963–68’, PhD dissertation, LSE, 2006; Wenger, Crisis, 30–4Google Scholar
  93. 79b.
    Erin R. Mahan, Kennedy, de Gaulle, and Western Europe (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), 22–8, 143–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  95. 81.
    Rusk to Kennedy, 23 June 1962, JFKL, POF, Box 88.Google Scholar
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  97. 83.
    Rusk to Kennedy, 8 October 1962, JFKL, NSF, Box 71a.Google Scholar
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    George W. Ball, The Past Has Another Pattern (New York: Norton, 1982), 271f; Rusk, As I Saw It, 268.Google Scholar
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    Quoted in Anna Locher, ‘A Crisis Foretold’, in Transforming NATO, 107-27, 111.Google Scholar
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    Maurice Väisse, La grandeur: Politique étrangère du général de Gaulle, 1958–69 (Paris: Fayard, 1998), 421–5.Google Scholar
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    Quoted in Morf, Bridge Building, 89. See also Wenger, Crisis, 34fGoogle Scholar
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    FRUS 1964–8:13, 206f; Finletter to Rusk, 25 May 1965, LBJL, NSF, Country File, Box 2; Klein to Bundy, 5 May 1965, ibid., Box 171. See also Schertz, Deutschlandpolitik, 313.Google Scholar
  105. 89.
    Fredrik Logevall, ‘America Isolated: The Western Powers and the Escalation of the War’, in America, the Vietnam War, and the World: Comparative and International Perspectives, eds Andreas W. Daum et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 175–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Schertz, Deutschlandpolitik, 315. For Britain’s prominent role in Western contingency planning, see also James Ellison, ‘Defeating the General: Anglo-American Relations, Europe and the NATO Crisis of 1966’, Cold War History 6, no. 1 (2006): 85–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Position Paper, ‘France and NATO’, 25 September 1965, LBJL, NSF Country File, Box 3.Google Scholar
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  111. 95.
    On 16 March, Komer recommended that Johnson followed a conciliatory, defensive stance rather than answering ‘State’s clarion call to propaganda battle’. FRUS 1964–8:13, 335–8. In 1966, Bator established himself as LBJ’s ‘man for Europe’ - he had enormous influence on Johnson’s policy towards Europe. See Schertz, Deutschlandpolitik, 347–50; Wenger, Crisis, 35–9; and Schwartz, Johnson, 100–10.Google Scholar
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    See Schwartz, Johnson, 143–59; Thomas Holderegger, Die trilateralen Verhandlungen 1966/67: Der erste Schritt der Johnson-Administration zur Lösung der NATO-Krise (Zurich: CSS, 2006).Google Scholar
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    FRUS 1964-8:17, 54f.Google Scholar
  116. 100.
    https://doi.org/www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws (accessed 21 June 2008). For the preparations for the speech, see Morf, Bridge Building, 161-72.
  117. 101.
    On the Harmel exercise, see - besides the studies by Haftendorn, Wenger and Schwartz mentioned in note 8 - Frédéric Bozo, ‘Détente versus Alliance: France, the United States and the Politics of the Harmel Report 1964–8’, Contemporary European History 7, no. 3 (1998): 343–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  118. 102.
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© Taylor & Francis 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Nuenlist
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ZurichSwitzerland

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