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"Memorandum for Mr. Bundy": Henry Kissinger as consultant to the Kennedy National Security Council.

IN THE FOREWORD to his book White House Years, Henry A. Kissinger (b. 1923) acknowledges that "for better or worse, I was called upon to play a prominent role in the making and execution of United States foreign policy." (1) Indeed, for the last fifty years, Kissinger's name has been synonymous with diplomacy, and he is widely considered as a preeminent expert on the subject. It does not surprise that a majority of those who analyze Kissinger's career focus on the policies he executed while he was National Security Adviser and Secretary of State under Presidents Nixon and Ford. However, historians and biographers have largely neglected Kissinger's first White House position as consultant to President Kennedy's National Security Council (NSC) in 1961. As he would be many times throughout his career, Kissinger was called upon for his expertise on foreign policy, but as a Kennedy administration consultant, he played a less prominent role in shaping (in contrast to executing) foreign policy during a critical period in the Cold War: the crisis with the Soviet Union over Berlin in 1961. With his staunch belief in negotiation as the "tool of the statesman," (2) Kissinger advocated a negotiated settlement to the crisis, but did not renounce the threatened use of military force as an additional instrument in crisis resolution.

Kissinger's biographers have placed little emphasis on his consultancy to the Kennedy administration, judging him as oafish, pretentious, and interested in matters at odds with the Kennedy team. (3) Existing scholarship devotes little attention to his policy recommendations during his relatively short term as consultant, preferring instead to focus on the facts that as a German Jew, he was an ill-fit in a Kennedy administration replete with elite Brahmins; that he possessed divergent views on policy from those of the administration; and that he was unsuccessful in influencing the administration's foreign policy. (4) But dismissing the experience as an overall failure overlooks a crucial stepping-stone in Kissinger's career. The man who would be known as "Super K" during the Nixon and Ford administrations in 1961 was an evolving statesman who benefited from his first real experience at the White House. As this article will demonstrate, Kissinger, in spite of his position as an outsider, was persuasive and recommended the execution of sound policy to avert a major confrontation with the Soviet Union. In addition, the experience in the Kennedy administration left an indelible impression on him, as he observed how key foreign-policy decisions were made by a few in the White House rather than by many State Department bureaucrats. He was to embrace eagerly a similar modus operandi as National Security Adviser under a president also intent on controlling foreign policy from the White House.

The German-born Heinz Alfred Kissinger's road to the Kennedy White House interchanged professional appointments with brief academic spells. He had studied under the tutelage of William Y. Elliott, and, as a doctoral student, became the executive director of Harvard's Summer International Seminar. His dissertation on Metternich and Castlereagh juxtaposed "problems that confronted European statesmen early in the nineteenth century" with the "nature of the international system of the mid-twentieth century." (5) These "parallels" demonstrate the breadth of his understanding of international relations and his reliance on "balance-of-power diplomacy" to "defend an existing world order." (6) From his earliest days as a scholar, Kissinger had great respect for the notion of a statesman, who by his definition "must bridge the gap between a people's experience and his vision, between a nation's tradition and its future." (7)

In 1957, Kissinger's dissertation was published as a book. By then, he had already published his first article in Foreign Affairs in 1955, which had criticized the Eisenhower administration's "massive retaliation" policy. The article caught the attention of the Council on Foreign Relations, which offered him a job directing a study group on how to integrate nuclear weapons into foreign policy. After he had met Nelson Rockefeller, the former Eisenhower special assistant for international affairs, in June 1955, he began to advise him on foreign policy. Rockefeller tapped Kissinger for the directorship of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund project on American Prospects, and his association with Kissinger would last until the former's death in 1979. Yet despite the accolades Kissinger was receiving for his insightful analyses of foreign policy, he was not offered a tenured position on Harvard's faculty. He observed McGeorge Bundy's rise to a "tenured position in the Government Department and then the deanship without a doctoral degree or significant publications.... Kissinger, a more accomplished scholar, was forced to '[hang] on' in Cambridge," becoming director for the Center for International Affairs under Robert Bowie. (8) Meanwhile, as his association with Rockefeller strengthened, Kissinger had high hopes for a Rockefeller presidential bid in 1960 and envisioned himself becoming a presidential aide on foreign policy. However, Rockefeller was bested by Vice-President Richard M. Nixon for the Republican presidential nomination.

Rockefeller's defeat did not preclude Kissinger from continuing to advise him on foreign policy and from publishing articles on American national-security policy issues. Between 1955 and 1961, he published a dozen articles in Foreign Affairs and other scholarly journals. In 1957, he published Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, a synthesis of the discussions of the Council on Foreign Relations' nuclear study group. The book became a national bestseller, earning high praise from reviewers as "the most important book of 1957, perhaps even of the past several years." (9) The young professor caught the attention of policy experts with his argument for a limited nuclear war as America's best strategic option against the Soviet Union, because "an all-out war would be tantamount to national suicide." (10)

In 1959, Kissinger captured the prize that had eluded him thus far: tenure at Harvard. Thanks in part to the maneuvering of Dean Bundy, Kissinger was awarded one of the "half" chairs in the Government Department, splitting his time between the Center for International Affairs and his duties as associate professor of government. (11) Although Kissinger was grateful for Bundy's assistance, the two would never enjoy the congenial relationship Kissinger had with Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., or Nelson Rockefeller, men who seemed to appreciate his intellectual prowess and overlooked his pretentiousness, obsequiousness, and somewhat calculating treatment of colleagues. Kissinger met Schlesinger while still a graduate student; it was Schlesinger "who often quoted him to John E Kennedy during the 1960 presidential campaign." (12) Kissinger appeared to believe that Schlesinger was Kennedy's only competent adviser during the campaign. Ten days after the election, Kissinger wrote to Rockefeller that "Kennedy, in so far as I can judge, is surrounded by people who grossly underestimate the gravity of our situation ... [i]n arms control, on European policy, in negotiation with the Soviets, they may undertake reckless experiments." (13) Despite his misgivings, however, when Schlesinger and Bundy were invited to join Kennedy's New Frontier, Kissinger relished the idea of having acquaintances in the White House, but admitted to Schlesinger that "for selfish reasons, I hope the rumors that you are going to Washington are not true, though if they are you may turn me into a registered Democrat." (14)

Thanks to Schlesinger, John E Kennedy was familiar enough with Kissinger's foreign-policy ideas that he was also eager to make use of Kissinger in his administration. But the President did not want to interfere with his new State Department, which was also courting the Harvard professor. In an 8 February 1961 memo to the President, National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy reported that Secretary of State Dean Rusk had called Bundy to inquire as to whether the White House was competing with State for Kissinger. Rusk had complained to Bundy that his department's needs were greater than those of the White House. Bundy knew, however, that Kissinger was unwilling to leave Harvard for just any job in Washington, and that his interest in a State Department position was minimal. Bundy believed Kissinger's indifference to State stemmed from his impression of Dean Rusk. The self-effacing Rusk "does not convey a sense of eagerness to people like Henry Kissinger," Bundy wrote Kennedy. (15) Kissinger and Rusk knew each other from the time when Rusk had served as president of the Rockefeller Foundation while Kissinger was director of Special Studies for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Kissinger was hesitant to sever his ties to academia completely and also wanted to continue his association with Rockefeller. When Kennedy called upon him to serve as a part-time consultant to his administration, however, Kissinger found this arrangement suitable. As his former dean, Bundy seemed at first genuinely pleased that Kissinger had joined the administration, writing him that he felt Kissinger would be "one of the very few people whose advice will really be helpful on this relatively informal basis." (16) However, Bundy's early enthusiasm for Kissinger waned, due in large part to Kissinger's practice of lavishing flattery upon colleagues, a source of irritation to Bundy since their days together at Harvard. Bundy was "practiced at feeding hungry egos," but Kissinger's sycophancy proved tiresome to him. (17) Kissinger also possessed a capacity for verbosity, which Bundy knew was a character trait abhorred by the President. "The President's mind acted so quickly that he tended to be impatient with anyone who was long-winded or unclear in his statements ... [i]n most cases, this impatience was not evident to anyone who did not know him well," recalled Llewellyn Thompson, U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union. (18) Consequently, Bundy blocked Kissinger's face time with the President. To circumvent Bundy, Kissinger often relied on his friendship with Schlesinger as his entree to the Oval Office to confer with Kennedy. (19)

Schlesinger became what Elliott and Rockefeller had been before him: Kissinger's patron. Throughout his career, Kissinger relied on those special and powerful few who recognized his intellectual prowess and were indifferent to his personality quirks. The Kennedy administration was no exception. According to the White House appointment log, Kissinger had several meetings with Kennedy in the Oval Office, both on and off the record. (20) Not only was Schlesinger able to get Kissinger in to see the President when Kissinger felt snubbed by Bundy, but he also lobbied Kennedy on Kissinger's behalf. In a July 1961 memo to Kennedy, Schlesinger wrote that when it came to tackling the issue of Berlin planning, Henry Kissinger [was]:
   [O]ne of the most fertile and resourceful minds we have. He
   believes in the importance of negotiation. He has not been brought
   into the Berlin planning in any effective way. He feels in
   consequence useless and unhappy. I really feel this is a terrific
   waste. Could he not be detailed to the State Department group
   working out our negotiation position? (21)


But despite Schlesinger's best efforts, as expected by Bundy, Kissinger wore out his welcome with the President, who made it clear to Schlesinger that he was putting an end to their face-to-face meetings. While "some of what Henry says [is] interesting," Kennedy reportedly told Schlesinger, "I have to insist that he report through Bundy, otherwise things will get out of hand." (22) Regardless of Kissinger's banishment from one-on-one meetings with Kennedy, the President still needed his expertise as the administration sought to quell the increasing tension with the Soviets.

Kissinger believed that American foreign policy in the Cold War left much to be desired. He was critical of politicians' assertions about "a peace to be won as if on a certain date peace [would[ break out and tensions [would] magically disappear." (23) He also conceded that he envisioned no settlement with the Russians that would ease global tensions, "and this would be true even if the Kremlin were ruled by arch-angels. For in a world of two superpowers under the conditions of sovereignty, tensions are inevitable." (24) Now a consultant challenged by the first foreign-policy crisis of his young career, Kissinger relied on a piece of advice given to him by Rockefeller. The former governor had instructed him not to remind the President of the burdens of his office, as a presidential aide's responsibility was to solve problems and alleviate those worries. (25) In the following months, Kissinger advised the President on his view of an appropriate course of action for dealing with the situation in Berlin.

Berlin was a source of contention between the two superpowers. At the end of the Second World War, occupation rights to the city had been granted to the three victorious powers, to which France was added. Berlin was carved up into four separate sectors, though the city was physically located 110 miles inside Communist-controlled East Germany. Since 1958, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had threatened to sign a separate peace treaty with East Germany and effectively deny the Western Allies access to West Berlin. The situation was particularly "tricky" for the West, because the Soviets claimed they were only advocating peace by concluding a peace treaty with East Germany. (26) The Allies did not want to risk war for the sake of a peace treaty, but they were convinced that exclusion from West Berlin would leave Western Europe vulnerable to Communist expansion.

In the early months of the Kennedy administration, Soviet threats against Berlin were eased, allowing the President and his advisers to consider future strategies for defusing tensions. Kissinger wrote to Bundy's deputy, Walt W. Rostow, that the United States "should not give the impression that we are panicked at the prospect of a Soviet peace treaty with East Germany," and that American firmness on the issue should not in itself provoke a crisis. (27) Kennedy himself had told French President Charles de Gaulle that "if Mr. Khrushchev signs a treaty with the [German Democratic Republic] this in itself is no reason for a military retaliation on our part. If the GDR starts stamping travel documents, this is not, per se, a cause for military action either. In what way, therefore, [and] at what moment, shall we bring our pressure to bear?" (28)

Kissinger tried to answer this question for the President in early May 1961 in a 32-page compilation on the Berlin issue. Bundy included it along with other position papers for the President's weekend reading in Hyannis Port and wrote in his cover memo to Kennedy that Kissinger's paper was "a powerful document setting one strong line on Germany." (29) The paper outlined the position the United States should take toward Berlin in the period before a crisis developed, the steps to be taken at the beginning and during a full-blown crisis, and contingencies for Soviet harassment of access routes. Kissinger advised that the President needed to fully understand the options available to him before he had to decide which to implement, because the decision on the use of nuclear weapons could not be made in the middle of a crisis; rather, it had to be decided upon before the outbreak of a conflict. (30)

Another administration consultant, former Secretary of State Dean Acheson, offered the President a contrasting position for dealing with a potential Berlin crisis. At Kennedy's request, Acheson had drafted a paper analyzing American policy toward Berlin and argued that if Khrushchev cut off Western access rights, the United States should respond with unmitigated force. According to Kissinger, however, the major flaw in Acheson's plan was that it only addressed the Communist interruption of military access to West Berlin. A crisis could be precipitated by more than simply military harassment. Kissinger pointed out that current contingency plans did not address the interruption of civilian traffic, and he advised that the President should decide beforehand what would constitute an intolerable disruption. (31) In his opinion, the United States should not be committed to a "national policy of indiscriminate destruction either on moral grounds or from the point of view of diplomatic flexibility." (32) The President wanted to avoid a military showdown with the Soviets and faced a "whole complex of difficult issues centering on the Berlin problem. There was the military question of what action should be taken if access to Berlin was cut off and there was also the political problem of what sort of settlement the West should try to work out." (33) Kennedy had hoped that the summit meeting with Khrushchev at Vienna would resolve tensions over Berlin, but Khrushchev's belligerent position with respect to a separate peace treaty with East Germany precipitated a "serious campaign of brinkmanship." (34)

Shortly after the Vienna summit, in an effort to address the ultimatum of the Soviet aide-memoire declaring Moscow's intent to sign a peace treaty with East Germany, Rusk formed the Berlin Task Force with the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Foy Kohler, as its chair. Bundy also reinstated the Interdepartmental Coordinating Group on Berlin Contingency Planning (ICG), originally established in 1959, in order to coordinate planning efforts. (35) In response to National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) 58 of 30 June, the ICG drafted a lengthy study regarding Berlin, complete with ten annexes containing recommendations and studies by various agencies. Kissinger chaired a subcommittee group charged with drafting the annex on covert operations in the event of a Berlin crisis. (36) Although the ICG report did not analyze the merits of the policy recommendations, it consolidated the courses of action into one package so as to permit Kennedy's decision on any one of them, an option Kissinger had previously recommended. He was not alone in his thinking on this matter either. General Maxwell Taylor, the President's military representative, wrote to Bundy that he was "entirely of Henry Kissinger's view that the President should be given the opportunity of choosing from among several broad alternatives, sharply presented with pros and cons." (37)

On 16 July 1961, Kohler convened the ICG. Kissinger attended and heard Dean Acheson's presentation on the preliminary assessments of the preparations the government needed to undertake if it wanted a successful resolution to the crisis. Acheson believed nuclear weapons should be used, if not in practice, then as a diplomatic weapon, "the first step in a new policy in protecting the United States from the failure of a policy of deterrence." (38) Acheson felt that the United States had to make Khrushchev believe nuclear weapons would be used if the Soviets cut off access to Berlin. Among the military options he suggested were intensive training of reserve units, employment of crash programs for Polaris submarines, and the resumption of nuclear testing. He also advocated the authorization of "proclamations of limited and unlimited national emergencies." (39)

Acheson's recommendations precipitated the splintering of administration personnel into two camps: the hardliners who concurred with the Acheson plan and those who believed negotiations and political maneuvering could best defuse the crisis. Schlesinger was in the latter faction and he warned Kennedy that the "present stages of planning for Berlin are ominously reminiscent of comparable stages in the planning for Cuba," a reference to the Bay of Pigs debacle that must have struck a nerve in the President. (40) Kissinger also aligned himself with those favoring negotiations. As early as 1956, he had written that U.S. foreign policy was "geared to dealing with emergencies; it finds difficulty in developing the long-range program that might forestall them." (41) Consequently, as consultant, he argued that hardline advisors like Acheson believed the United States should negotiate only when a crisis reached the brink, a posture they believed would avoid a "Munich situation" of making concessions to the adversary in the hopes of preventing a conflict. (42) He was, however, "somewhat uneasy to have refusal to negotiate become a test of firmness." (43) He also detested adjectives such as "hard" and "soft" to describe policy, and felt that resolve should accompany an American negotiating position. "[Firmness] should not, it seems to me, be proved by seeming to shy away from diplomatic confrontation," he wrote Bundy. (44) Furthermore, in Kissinger's estimation, the declaration of a national emergency would make the United States appear "unnecessarily bellicose, perhaps even hysterical" in the eyes of the world by using up a measure that would be more effective in response to an obvious Soviet provocation. (45)

Kissinger's association with those who favored a negotiated settlement was not surprising given his concept of and respect for the statesman. In the book that resulted from his doctoral dissertation, A World Restored, Kissinger wrote that:
   [T]he test of a statesman is his ability to recognize the real
   relationship of forces and to make this knowledge serve his ends
   .... His instrument is diplomacy, the art of relating states to
   each other by agreement rather than the exercise of force....
   Diplomacy depends on persuasion and not imposition. (46)


Diplomacy, therefore, called for moderation and restraint. Kissinger suggested that perhaps a conference might be an acceptable medium for the resolution of the Berlin crisis, but cautioned against allowing the Soviets to dominate a diplomatic forum, because the premise for a summit was to advise Moscow of the issues America would contend and then negotiate a settlement. (47) Since Khrushchev had clearly defined his intentions for Berlin, Kissinger also thought it prudent for the United States to formulate a "Kennedy plan" for central Europe. (48) With the creation of such a plan, the United States would likely avoid giving the Soviets an advantage in any diplomatic forum. As Kissinger later observed, "reasonable relations between the two superpowers could not survive the constant attempt to pursue unilateral advantages and exploit areas of crisis," as the Soviets were doing toward Berlin. (49) Kennedy acknowledged as much in his 25 July speech to the nation on the Berlin situation, when he stressed that the United States was willing to negotiate fairly but would not confer with those who said, "What's mine is mine and what's yours is negotiable." (50)

Kissinger also believed the Soviet Union was not the only adversary that could play an important role in a Berlin settlement. Among the options the President had was the possibility of negotiating with the GDR. Since its creation in October 1949, the Soviet-backed GDR had not been recognized by the Western Bloc as a legitimate state. In early 1961, the American government had considered the prospect of recognizing the Oder-Neisse line, the provisional postwar demarcation line between Germany and Poland. One of Khrushchev's main goals was the legalization of this boundary. In mid-July, Rusk broached the subject with the President, who "made plain his belief that since [the United States] shall have to talk with representatives of that regime [GDR] at some stage, we should not now take so strong a line that these later talks will look like a defeat." (51) Kissinger himself had written to Rostow that he was "in favor of an overture on the frontier problem." (52) And in late August, Bundy pointed out to the President that "the main line of thought among those who are now at work on the substance of our negotiating position is that we can and should shift substantially toward acceptance of the GDR, the Oder-Neisse line, a non-aggression pact, and even the idea of two peace treaties." (53)

Kissinger believed that as long as access rights were not in jeopardy, it was possible to discuss the issue from a practical approach. The danger, however, in conferring with the GDR to the point of recognizing it was the impact such a maneuver could have on the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), which claimed to be the only legitimate government in Germany. Kissinger surmised that negotiations with East Germany could only occur if the United States' relationship with West Germany was solid. "Retaining Germany as a willing member of the Western community [was] important not only for the future of Germany, but [was] even more vital for the peace of the world," explained Kissinger. (54) However, he also acknowledged that the instability in Europe was not the result of the United States' failure to recognize the East German regime. (55) Bundy concurred, writing Kennedy that "you could end this [Berlin] crisis tomorrow by recognizing [East-German Communist Party leader Walter] Ulbricht, and you could get some fairly juicy guarantees in return. But the West Germans would feel deeply betrayed." (56)

Opting not to deal with the East Germans, however, would not resolve the larger question of German unification. (57) West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer believed the reunification of Germany was the "precondition for the creation of any detente-like arrangement with Moscow," despite the fact that Great Britain and France were opposed to German reunification. (58) Kissinger understood the fears of American allies toward a reunified Germany, but acknowledged that it was "difficult to assign any concrete meaning to the term 'recognition of the status quo' or to imagine anything more the West could do to adjust to existing conditions." (59) The United States' policy toward Germany was a subtle balance between supporting Adenauer's desire for unification on the one hand while reassuring nervous allies that a reunified Germany was not imminent. Kissinger proposed that the United States offer the FRG "an increasing stake in the Atlantic Community" as an emollient for repeated obstructions of German national aspirations. (60)

West German nationalism was further thwarted in the early morning hours of 13 August 1961 by the rudimentary construction of what would become the Berlin wall. The United States had not prepared contingency plans for a border closing, though the possibility had been suggested by administration officials such as Ambassador Llewellyn Thompson and even the President himself. Kennedy had commented in his 25 July speech that the East Germans had been voting with their feet. Kissinger agreed, writing to Rockefeller that "the greatest plebiscite now going on in the world [was] the exodus of people from Eastern Germany at the rate of two hundred thousand a year despite all harassments from the Communist secret police. They could cut off the flow of refugees if they desired." (61) Three days after the sealing of the border between East and West Berlin, Kissinger argued that the Soviets had been trying to weaken the United States' aspirations for German self-determination. (62) But he cautioned that giving up on the notion of self-determination in any form of negotiation would shake the West Germans and play into Soviet hands. (63) The Soviets had partially achieved their goal, as cables coming in from Bonn indicated that West German news editorials reflected a lack of confidence in the United States because of the muted response to the Wall. However, Kissinger believed that the United States "must be prepared to negotiate within the narrow limits that are afforded by Berlin's narrow margin of safety. But equally, we must face the fact that the threat to Berlin is the direct result of our overall weakness, military as well as political. To remedy it must be the chief task of our leadership." (64)

Although Kissinger was a strong proponent of negotiations, he did not deny the effectiveness of military measures, and emphasized to Bundy that he was "not suggesting that diplomacy was an alternative to an improvement in our [military] readiness." (65) He generally favored a conventional military buildup, because such an increase would "bring home to the Soviets the unmistakable risk of general war." (66) Kissinger's perspective on nuclear weapons had changed since his first analysis in Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy. In 1957, he had concluded that a limited nuclear war signified the United States' "most effective strategy for waging war." (67) But by the time he published The Necessity for Choice in 1961, he advocated the use of conventional forces because the definition of a limited nuclear war was impossible to determine, risked expanding a conflict from limited to general nuclear war. But sole reliance on conventional military means was not his preference over a limited nuclear war; rather, conventional forces would serve to "complement a limited nuclear war capability." (68)

The role of nuclear weapons in contingency plans for a Berlin crisis was intensely debated within the Kennedy administration. "The military believed that nuclear options had to be part of Berlin planning and that it was vital for deterrence and the cohesion of the alliance that this be generally understood." (69) The contingency plans in place were based on NSC-5803 from February 1958, derived from NSC 5404/1, and implemented by the Eisenhower administration. Among the provisions of NSC 5404/1, "U.S. Policy on Berlin," was the process for escalation if the Soviets blocked access to Berlin. American ultimatums were to be followed up with armed probes along the Autobahn connecting West Germany with West Berlin. But with the incorporation of nuclear weapons into the arsenals of both the Western and Communist bloc, the threat of any confrontation turning nuclear was high. Adding to the danger, each branch of the American armed forces had formulated its own plan for a nuclear strike, but failed to coordinate their plans. (70) Despite the efforts by the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff to revise the American strategic doctrine into a more synchronized plan in 1960, the Single Integrated Operational Plan for fiscal year 1962 (SIOP-62) was highly inflexible and called for "shooting off everything [the United States] had in one shot," as Bundy informed Kennedy. (71)

Kissinger was also concerned by the rigidity of SIOP-62, noting that the "sixteen options of the SIOP [were] all variations of one theme--an all-out strike against the [Soviet Union]." (72) Previously, Kissinger had expressed his concern that the United States did not possess a flexible nuclear response. In the late 1950s, he was sharply critical of the Eisenhower administration's nuclear strategy and was quoted as saying that American military policy was "based on the doctrine of massive retaliation.... This means that we base our policy on a threat that will involve the destruction of all mankind and this is too risky and, I think, too expensive." (73) He had also long maintained the belief that the military was largely to blame for America's strategic posture. In 1958, in an interview with ABC's Mike Wallace, Kissinger argued that "traditional military thinkers, trained in conventional strategy, have simply dismissed all new forms of thought and have not addressed themselves to what seems to me a very real and serious problem." (74) Two years later, he explained to the President that because the strategic doctrine was so vague, each branch of the military had formulated its own interpretation of the best possible strategy, leading to a lack of flexibility and direction. This could result in problems regarding command and control of nuclear weapons. Kissinger feared that during the heat of a crisis, the President might lose control over the decision to employ nuclear weapons because they were so fully integrated into the military as if they were conventional weapons. Local commanders, if pressed, might resort to the use of nuclear weapons out of fear of being deprived of America's most effective arms. (75) He emphasized that military leaders should know exactly what the President is "prepared to countenance and what he will not agree to" in terms of the use of nuclear weapons. (76)

Kissinger also stressed that the President should not decide on a course of action in the midst of a crisis; rather, he must have a well-thought-out plan before the onset of a crisis. Although the military might discount the notion of a flexible nuclear response, Kissinger believed the President ought to order the armed forces to prepare such a plan. Given the precariousness of nuclear-based contingency plans, however, Kissinger again stressed that "much greater emphasis be given to conventional forces than heretofore," (77) because in keeping with his notion of the statesman, he suggested that "flexibility in our military posture increases the flexibility in our diplomacy." (78)

Kissinger's theories on flexibility and negotiations were tested not on the battlefield, but in the simulation of a war game. In early September 1961, several administration officials and Kissinger participated in a war game, code-named NATO Planning Conference, at the presidential retreat of Camp David. Thomas Schelling, who hailed from the RAND Corporation and knew Kissinger from Harvard's Center for International Affairs, acted as the officiator. He contrived several scenarios, ever mindful of the precarious situation in Berlin with the objective "being Berlin, not access." (79) The participants were divided into two teams, with a Blue team symbolizing the United States and a Red team representing the Soviet bloc. Kissinger was a member of the Blue team. As Schelling recalled, the teams "got very defensively involved in the games.... Perhaps this was because all of the participants were individuals who believed that they had good judgment on exactly what to do next and what not to do in a nuclear crisis." (80) Yet despite several provocative situations thrown at them by Schelling, neither the Blue nor the Red team escalated the game to the nuclear level. (81) Carl Kaysen, deputy special assistant for national security affairs and Red team member, wrote Kennedy that "all of the participants in the game agreed that the United States found it difficult to use military power flexibly and effectively for tactical purposes in the conduct of the day-to-day political struggle with the Soviet Union." (82)

Coincidentally, around the time of the Camp David war game, the Soviets heightened global tensions by resuming atmospheric nuclear testing. The Kremlin observed the Kennedy administration's tepid response to the Berlin wall, and Khrushchev was emboldened to continue his psychological campaign against the West. He hoped testing would garner political leverage on Berlin. (83) Kennedy initially believed a harsh public statement condemning the Soviets for breaking the moratorium on atmospheric nuclear testing was in order as opposed to the immediate resumption of American testing. Kissinger agreed, advising Bundy that it was important for the United States to "break out of the Pavlovian cycle of responding so predictably." (84) Kennedy's offer of an immediate test ban, designed to embarrass Khrushchev in the eyes of world opinion for his provocative act, was flatly rejected by Moscow, forcing the United States to resume its own nuclear testing.

During Kissinger's tenure with the Kennedy administration, the issue of nuclear weapons extended far beyond testing. European allies were dissatisfied with America's defensive posture toward NATO. Because the allies feared a nuclear-armed Germany, Kennedy had recommended conventional options for NATO, and as early as 21 April, he signed a policy directive reaffirming American control over missiles in Europe and prohibiting aid to European national nuclear forces. (85) The policy was designed to keep nuclear weapons out of German hands while stunting the growth of the French nuclear arsenal. The allies were quick to complain about American policies. When Kissinger met with the West German Minister of Defense, Franz-Josef Strauss, during his travels through Europe under the guise of Harvard's Center for International Affairs, Strauss criticized American conventional hardware as vintage World War Two equipment. He told Kissinger that before the United States could "talk seriously about conventional war it had to modernize its army." (86)

During the same trip, Kissinger met with Adenauer and had to reassure him that the United States intended to honor its commitment to Europe and defend it in the face of Soviet aggression. Adenauer wanted a guarantee that even if the United States were attacked, fifty percent of America's retaliatory forces would still be secured to defend Europe. Kissinger tried to convince Adenauer that the United States no longer viewed Germany as a foreign country, and that "[America's] own future and Europe's were intimately linked ... [a] defeat in Europe would be as bad as the destruction of Chicago," Kissinger explained. (87)

In late November, when Adenauer was scheduled to visit Kennedy in Washington, Kissinger drafted a memo to Bundy with advice for the Chancellor's military briefing. Kissinger anticipated that Adenauer would ask the President why the United States had advocated a conventional military build-up if the nuclear balance remained in favor of the West. He suggested that the President should respond that "concern with a conventional build-up [was] not to save our own country but reduce the devastation to Europe and increase the flexibility in our response." (88)

He also recommended that following the military briefing, Kennedy should talk privately to Adenauer and explain how he visualized the transition from conventional to nuclear war. (89) During the meeting, the President did emphasize the goal of the United States to avoid a military showdown over Berlin, but declined Adenauer's request for German participation in a nuclear decision if a European conventional conflict looked as though it might escalate into a nuclear exchange. (90) Although Berlin remained a focal point throughout the remainder of the Kennedy administration, the Soviet Union never militarily challenged American resolve toward West Berlin, and the President believed that "his conventional force buildup had helped to prevent a confrontation over Berlin that might otherwise have reached the nuclear level." (91)

By the fall of 1961, Kissinger drafted fewer and fewer memos on administration issues; eventually, he cleaned out his desk in the White House and returned to Harvard full time. Once again, he turned to Schlesinger, and the patron smoothed over Kissinger's departure with the President. Schlesinger wrote Kennedy that:
   [Kissinger] has no intention of causing any trouble, is devoted to
   you and the administration and would like to help wherever he
   can.... Though he has been an advisor to Governor Rockefeller in
   the past, he has not consulted with Rockefeller during the White
   House period and does not propose to do so now. He feels that
   foreign policy will be in much safer hands under a Democratic than
   a Republican administration. (92)


Kissinger had attempted to part ways with the administration before his consultant's contract officially expired. As early as June, he fretted that he would be coming to Washington "almost for the sake of being there," since the policy areas that he was most proficient in were already assigned to permanent staff. (93) He was aware of Bundy's apparent lack of interest in him, although he "appreciated [Bundy's] difficulty in finding an assignment for someone who propose[d] to join the staff on a temporary basis." (94) He complained to Schlesinger that Bundy had "never once asked his advice on anything and had not even responded in any way to the very intelligent series of memoranda [he] had been writing about Berlin; that when the President had expressed a desire to see him, [Bundy] had never made clear to him what he wanted to see him about, and that [Kissinger] was in consequence both so ill-prepared and so tense that he could not do himself justice; and that the whole experience had been humiliating for him." (95)

Part of Kissinger's angst stemmed from his relationship with Bundy. The former dean's brusque manner and intellectual prowess were somewhat intimidating to subordinates. While Kissinger was an intellectual in his own right, he was thin-skinned and easily wounded by curt responses. In addition, his long-windedness was a contrast in style to the quick-thinking Bundy, who lacked the patience for long oratory. Bundy found Kissinger "ambitious but unobjectionable," and their mutual self-righteousness kept the two at arms length. (96) Both sported an air of arrogance born of their rise to prominent positions as relatively young men, but Kissinger chafed under any apparent disregard for his intellect. Bundy did not have the time to massage Kissinger's ego during Kissinger's tenure as consultant. Consequently, Kissinger believed Bundy had treated him with a "combination of politeness and subconscious condescension that upper-class Bostonians reserve for people of, by New England standards, exotic backgrounds and excessively intense personal style." (97)

Kissinger suffered from the unintended consequences of his junior status in the Kennedy White House, but by his own estimation, his "unhappy experience as a regular but outside consultant to President Kennedy proved invaluable.... I learned the difference between advice and authority," and, as he later observed, "every President since Kennedy [seemed] to have trusted his White House aides more than his cabinet." (98) Kissinger perceived that a national security adviser with the ear of the President wielded more foreign policy power than the bureaucrats at the State Department. In fact, Bundy had once argued that there were tasks that
   [O]nly the White House staff [could] do. We [are] just going to
   know better than the guys in the [State[ Department ... what's on
   the President's mind, what kind of stuff he will like and what he
   does [not] like. That is what we do for a living, and they do a lot
   of other things for a living. (99)


When Kissinger himself was empowered by a president who also wanted to control foreign policy from the White House, he was fully aware of the possibilities of "the little State Department" as a result of his experience under Bundy. (100)

Kissinger observed that Kennedy's NSC had become a "separate entity for the formation and conduct of foreign policy." The President's reticent Secretary of State was unobtrusive, allowing for a small cadre of White House advisers to cultivate foreign policy without the hindrance of an overbearing bureaucrat. Kennedy himself had remarked that "Bundy and I get more done in one day than they do in six months in the State Department." (101) As President-elect, Kennedy had decided to act as his own Secretary of State, and Bundy's small and flexible NSC staff was easy to mobilize, allowing the White House to stay abreast of foreign-policy issues that normally would have been funneled through the traditional bureaucratic channels. The White House also benefited from Bundy's superb management skills. As Robert Komer, Bundy's deputy for Middle-Eastern, African, South-Asian, and Indonesian policy, recalled, Bundy "was insistent on a small, lean operation. Bundy and Rostow only added on as they found a guy, not as they had a slot." (102) While Bundy's "tart self-assuredness" was a bit intimidating to his staff, it enabled him to maintain control over the system. (103)

Bundy instituted the NSAM to inform recipients of decisions or new policy rather than employing the more bureaucratic Operations Coordinating Board utilized under Eisenhower. (104) "Swift adoption was assumed because officials would otherwise violate presidential authority, as expressed and exercised through Bundy." (105) Similarly, Kissinger employed National Security Study Memoranda (NSSM) to direct the work of State, the Pentagon, and other departments. The NSSMs permitted Kissinger to direct the questions to be answered by the studies. His cover memos to Nixon accompanying the studies were often riddled with criticisms and personal recommendations on the policies, giving him the last word on the direction the President should take. (106) He later noted that the NSSMs "enabled me to use the bureaucracy without revealing our purpose." (107)

Bundy and his staff also had better access to the President, because the NSC senior staff were not stymied by the hierarchy typically associated with government departments and career personnel. They were free to quickly inform the President on international issues and prepare written responses as soon as questions were asked. The close proximity of Bundy and his staff to the Oval Office was vital to Kennedy's wresting control over foreign policy from the State Department. In response to the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs invasion, in which the White House had had only piecemeal details on the covert plan, Bundy helped to establish the Situation Room in the basement of the West Wing, whereby the Executive Office of the President could receive the same facts that the departments and agencies used in their assessments of international situations. In his capacity as "Kennedy's personal adviser on national security matters, Bundy, in effect, became the gatekeeper for the Situation Room." (108) As he knew, and Kissinger later learned, "a presidential adviser's influence with the boss is directly proportional to the adviser's distance from the Oval Office." (109)

As a consultant, Kissinger was relegated to the pool of bureaucrats who did not enjoy immediate contact with the President, and he perhaps harbored a sense of frustration, or even jealousy, over the proximity of NSC insiders who mingled with the boss in the Oval Office. As a young doctoral student and later as a professor at Harvard, Kissinger had had contact with prominent intellectuals and policy makers, and was used to associating with an upper-echelon crowd. He was also used to being in a leadership role rather than being a subordinate. He had managed the Summer International Seminar at Harvard, earning widespread praise from Elliot, who glowingly remarked that Kissinger had "done such a remarkable job in organizing the [seminar] ... I feel certain that both President Pusey and Dean McGeorge Bundy will be glad to supplement my own praise for what Henry has done with the seminar." (110) Similarly, at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Kissinger had "managed a staff of over 100 and coordinated the study's advisory groups." (111) As a consultant, however, Kissinger could hardly have expected to enjoy the same privileges as administration officials. He recognized this fact in later years, writing that the consultant in the policy-making process was "not part of the bureaucratic battle ... [the consultant was] not a problem person whom the decision maker [had] to placate." (112)

When Kissinger became National Security Adviser under President Nixon, he encouraged the formation of a strong NSC staff that would be located within the White House, but he made certain that his staff had little to no access to the President. "The Departments of State and Defense, the two agencies that normally played a decisive role in shaping foreign policy, would be kept occupied by demanding detailed studies of various foreign policy aspects." (113) Kissinger did nothing to discourage Nixon's conceptualization of foreign policy originating from the White House because he saw how effective the system had been under Kennedy. And ironically, "just as Bundy embodied the Kennedy and Johnson administrations' intelligence, drive and sophistication," so too did Kissinger embody Nixon's paranoia, furtiveness, and penchant for manipulation. (114)

Henry Kissinger has had an illustrious career at the pinnacle of American foreign policy and is best remembered for his roles as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State. Scant attention has been paid to his policy recommendations during his tenure as consultant to President Kennedy's NSC. His advice to Kennedy for defusing the Berlin crisis demonstrates his belief that negotiation was the statesman's best tool for crisis resolution. And though not renouncing the effectiveness of military measures, Kissinger argued for a combination of diplomacy coupled with a conventional military buildup. The experience in the Kennedy White House also taught him that American foreign policy could be concentrated in the hands of one powerful person and a small circle of advisers close to the President. His tenure as consultant left an indelible mark on him, and he even sought to exceed the power he observed under McGeorge Bundy. His rationale for his management style as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State was foreshadowed in 1968, when he wrote:
   One reason for keeping decisions to small groups is that when
   bureaucracies are so unwieldy and when their internal morale
   becomes a serious problem, an unpopular decision may be fought by
   brutal means, such as leaks to the press or to congressional
   committees. Thus, the only way secrecy can be kept is to exclude
   from the making of the decision all those who are theoretically
   charged with carrying it out. (115)


On the day after he was appointed National Security Adviser by President-elect Nixon, Kissinger ran into his old friend, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Schlesinger asked him how he "would cope with having Richard Allen as his deputy." (116) Remembering the cool manner in which Bundy had treated him during his consultancy, Kissinger replied, "I plan to treat Dick Allen the way Mac Bundy treated me, and he will be gone within a year." (117)

(1.) Henry A. Kissinger, White House Years (Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown & Company, 1979), xxi.

(2.) Harvey Starr, "The Kissinger Years: Studying Individuals and Foreign Policy," International Studies Quarterly 24 (1980), 465-96: 488.

(3.) Bruce Mazlish, Kissinger: The European Mind in American Policy (New York: Basic Books, 1976); Stephen R. Graubard, Kissinger: Portrait of a Mind (New York: Norton, 1974); Jussi Hanhimaki, The Flawed Architect: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy (New York, Oxford University Press, 1974).

(4.) Jeremi Suri, Henry Kissinger and the American Century (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 2007), 175; Robert Dallek, Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power (New York: HarperCollins, 2007), 56; Walter Isaacson, Kissinger: A Biography (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005), 113.

(5.) Graubard, Kissinger: Portrait of a Mind, 52.

(6.) Dallek, Nixon and Kissinger, 4546.

(7.) Henry A. Kissinger, A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh, and the Problems of Peace, 1812-1822 (Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin, 1957), 329.

(8.) Bruce Kuklick, Blind Oracles: Intellectuals and War from Kennan to Kissinger (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2006), 183.

(9.) Hanhimaki, Flawed Architect, 9.

(10.) Henry A. Kissinger, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1957), 401.

(11.) Isaacson, Kissinger, 98.

(12.) Dallek, Nixon and Kissinger, 54.

(13.) Kissinger to Nelson A. Rockefeller, 18 November 1960, Rockefeller Archives Center (hereafter RAC), folder 184, box 31, Record Group 4.J.2 Politics, 1935-1976 (National Political Campaigns, Rockefeller Family Archives).

(14.) Kissinger to Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., 23 January 1961, Box P-17, file: Kissinger, Henry, 1951-1961, Schlesinger Papers, John F. Kennedy Library (hereafter JFKL).

(15.) Memorandum from McGeorge Bundy to President Kennedy, 8 February 1961, JFKL, "Meetings and Memoranda/Staff Memoranda" (hereafter M&M), National Security Files (hereafter NSF), Box 320, file: Henry Kissinger, 1/61-4/61.

(16.) Bundy to Kissinger, 18 February 1961, JFKL, M&M/NSF/320/Kissinger, 1/61-4/61.

(17.) Kai Bird, The Color of Truth: McGeorge Bundy and William Bundy, Brothers in Arms (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998), 143.

(18.) Llewellyn Thompson, interview recorded by Elizabeth Donahue, 25 March 1964, John E Kennedy Library Oral History Project (hereafter JFKLOHP).

(19.) Isaacson, Kissinger, 111.

(20.) "Personal Secretary's Files," JFKL, President's Office Files, box 132-3, file: Schedules, President's Daily.

(21.) Schlesinger to President Kennedy, memorandum, 30 July 1961, JFKL, "Staff Memos" (hereafter SM), President's Office Files (hereafter POF), box 65, file: Schlesinger, Arthur M., 7/61-9/61.

(22.) Isaacson, Kissinger, 111.

(23.) Henry A. Kissinger to Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., 10 March 1954, JFKL, Schlesinger Papers, box P-17, file: Kissinger, Henry, 1951-1961.

(24.) Ibid.

(25.) Henry Kissinger's eulogy of Nelson Rockefeller, 2 February 1979, RAC, folder 51, box 4, Record Group 4.M Speeches, Post-Vice Presidential, Rockefeller Family Archives.

(26.) Thomas J. Schoenbaum, Waging Peace and War: Dean Rusk in the Kennedy and Johnson Years (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988), 338.

(27.) Memorandum from Kissinger to Walt W. Rostow, 4 April 1961, JFKL, "Kissinger Chronological File" [hereafter KCF], National Security Files, Box 462.

(28.) Memorandum of Conversation, President's Visit, 31 May 1961, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States [hereafter FRUS], 1961-1963 (vol. XIV: Berlin Crisis, 1961-1962), Document 30 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1993).

(29.) Memorandum from the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Kennedy, 10 June 1961, FRUS, Vol. XIV, Document 38.

(30.) Memorandum from Kissinger to President Kennedy, 5 May 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/462.

(31.) Ibid.

(32.) Memorandum from Kissinger to President Kennedy, 28 February 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/ 462A/HAK-5.

(33.) Marc Trachtenberg, A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945-1963 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999), 297.

(34.) Vladislav Zubok and Constantine Pleshakov, Inside the Kremlin's Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1996), 248.

(35.) Frank A. Mayer, Adenauer and Kennedy: A Study in German-American Relations, 1961-1963 (New York: St Martin's Press, 1996), 34.

(36.) NSAM 58, 30 June 1961, JFKL, M&M/NSF/330/NSAM 58; for Kissinger's chairmanship of the subcommittee, see Honore Catudal, Kennedy and the Berlin Wall Crisis: A Case Study in U.S. Decision Making (Berlin: Berlin Verlag, 1980).

(37.) Memorandum from Maxwell D. Taylor to Bundy, 29 August 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/463/32.

(38.) Record of the Interdepartmental Coordinating Group on Berlin Contingency Planning, 16 July 1961, FRUS, Vol. XIV, Document 42.

(39.) Ibid.

(40.) Memorandum from Schlesinger to President Kennedy, 7 July 1961, JFKL, SM/POF/65/ Schlesinger, Arthur M., 7/61-9/61.

(41.) Henry A. Kissinger, "Reflections on American Diplomacy," Foreign Affairs 38 (1956): 37-56.

(42.) Memorandum from Kissinger to Bundy, 14 July 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/463/13.

(43.) Ibid.

(44.) Ibid.

(45.) Memorandum from Kissinger to Bundy, 15 July 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/462.

(46.) Kissinger, A World Restored, 325, 326.

(47.) Memorandum from Kissinger to Bundy, 14 July 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/463/13.

(48.) Ibid.

(49.) Kissinger, White House Years, 128.

(50.) "Radio and Television Report to the American People on the Berlin Crisis," in Public Papers of the President, John F. Kennedy, vol. 1 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1963), 538.

(51.) Meeting on Berlin, July 17, 1961, FRUS, Vol. XIV (1961-1963), Document 72.

(52.) Memorandum from Kissinger to Rostow, 4 April 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/462.

(53.) Memorandum from Bundy to President Kennedy, 28 August 1961, JFKL, "Countries," NSF/82/Germany-Berlin-General.

(54.) Memorandum from Kissinger to Bundy, 18 August 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/462B.

(55.) Ibid.

(56.) Memorandum from McGeorge Bundy to President Kennedy, 28 August 1961, JFKL, "McGeorge Bundy Correspondences," NSF/405/8/22/61-9/30/61.

(57.) Trachtenberg, A Constructed Peace, 327.

(58.) Mayer, Adenauer, 18.

(59.) "Background Paper, Berlin, July 1961--Kissinger Notes on Berlin Crisis," RAC, folder 69, tab 5, box 31, Record Group 15, Gubernatorial, Issue Books, Rockefeller Family Archives [emphasis in original].

(60.) Memorandum from Kissinger to Bundy, 11 August 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/463/23.

(61.) "Background Paper, Berlin, July 1961--Kissinger Notes on Berlin Crisis," RAC, folder 69, tab 5, box 31, Record Group 15, Gubernatorial, Issue Books, Rockefeller Family Archives.

(62.) Memorandum from Kissinger to Bundy, 16 August 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/463.

(63.) Memorandum from Kissinger to Bundy, 18 August 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/463.

(64.) "Background Paper, Berlin, July 1961--Kissinger Notes on Berlin Crisis," RAC, folder 69, tab 5, box 31, Record Group 15, Gubernatorial, Issue Books, Rockefeller Family Archives.

(65.) Memorandum from Kissinger to Bundy, 14 July 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/463/13.

(66.) Memorandum from Kissinger to Bundy, 8 September 1961, JFKL, M&M/NSF/320/ Kissinger, 9/61-10/61.

(67.) Kissinger, Nuclear Weapons, 426-47.

(68.) Henry A. Kissinger, The Necessity for Choice: Prospects of American Foreign Policy (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1961), 86.

(69.) Lawrence Freedman, Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 93.

(70.) Scott D. Sagan, "SIOP-62: The Nuclear War Plan Briefing to President Kennedy," International Security 24 (1987): 22-51; for NSC 5404/1 see David G. Coleman, "Eisenhower and the Berlin Problem, 1953-1954." Journal of Cold War Studies 2 (2000): 3-34.

(71.) Covering note on Henry Kissinger's Memorandum on Berlin, 7 July 1961, JFKL, "Countries," NSF/81/German/Berlin-General.

(72.) Memorandum from Kissinger to Bundy, 8 September 1961, JFKL, M&M/NSF/320/ Kissinger, 9/61-10/61.

(73.) "U.S. Policy Too Risky, Kissinger Believes," Washington Post, 14 July 1958, A2.

(74.) Transcripts of Henry Kissinger's interview with Mike Wallace, sponsored by the Fund for the Republic, 13 July 1958, The Mike Wallace Collection, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin.

(75.) Memorandum from Kissinger to President Kennedy, 22 March 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/462A/ HAK-10.

(76.) Memorandum from Kissinger to Bundy, 8 September 1961, JFKL, M&M/NSF/320/ Kissinger, 9/61-10/61.

(77.) Memorandum from Kissinger to President Kennedy, 22 March 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/462A/ HAK-10.

(78.) Memorandum from Kissinger to Bundy, 14 March 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/462A/HAK-8.

(79.) Memorandum from T. C. Schelling to Participants of NATO Planning Conference (13 September 1961), JFKL, "Germany/Berlin," NSF/90/Berlin Game, 8/29/61-9/21/61.

(80.) Schelling, Thomas, interview recorded by Benina Gould, 12 November 1988, in Benina Berger Gould, "Living in the Question? The Berlin Nuclear Crisis Critical Oral History" (21 March 2003). Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies at UC Berkeley (available at: http://repositories.cdlib.org/iseees/2003_i01-goul/)

(81.) Fred Kaplan, The Wizards of Armageddon (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983), 302.

(82.) Memorandum from Carl Kaysen to President Kennedy, 22 September 1961, JFKL, "Countries," NSF/90/Berlin Games, 9/22/61-9/1/62 and undated.

(83.) Andreas Wenger, Living with Peril: Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Nuclear Weapons (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997), 256.

(84.) Memorandum from Kissinger to Bundy, 6 September 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/462.

(85.) Trachtenberg, Constructed Peace, 305.

(86.) Meeting with Minister of Defense Franz-Josef Strauss, 10 May 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/462B/ HAK-61.

(87.) Meeting with Adenauer, 18 May 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/462B.

(88.) Memorandum from Kissinger to Bundy, 20 November 1961, JFKL, KCF/NSF/462B.

(89.) Ibid.

(90.) Michael R. Beschloss, The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-1963 (New York: HarperCollins, 1991), 341.

(91.) Theodore C. Sorensen, Kennedy (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), 629.

(92.) Memorandum from Schlesinger to President Kennedy, 10 November 1961, JFKL, POF/65/ Schlesinger, Arthur M., 10/61-12/61.

(93.) Memorandum from Kissinger to Bundy, 5 June 1961, JFKL, M&M/NSF/320/Henry Kissinger, 6/61-7/61.

(94.) Ibid.

(95.) Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Journals: 1952-2000, ed. Andrew and Stephen Schlesinger (New York: Penguin, 2007), 124.

(96.) Bird, Color of Truth, 142.

(97.) Kissinger, White House Years, 13-14.

(98.) Ibid., 39, 47.

(99.) Bundy, McGeorge, interview recorded by Richard Rusk, Dean Rusk Oral History Collection, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Interview CCC, 16.

(100.) Patrick Anderson, The President's Men (New York: Doubleday, 1968), 275.

(101.) Ibid., 267; NSC quote in Andrew Preston, "The Little State Department: McGeorge Bundy and the National Security Council Staff, 1961-65." Presidential Studies Quarterly 31 (2001): 635-59, 646.

(102.) Robert W. Komer, interview recorded by Dennis J. O'Brien, 22 December 1969, 11 JFKLOHP.

(103.) Lloyd Gardner, "Harry Hopkins with Hand Grenades? McGeorge Bundy in the Kennedy and Johnson Years," in Behind the Throne: Servants of Power to Imperial Presidents, 1898-1968, ed. Thomas McCormick and Walter LaFeber (Madison, Wisc.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993), 207.

(104.) Andrew Preston, The War Council- McGeorge Bundy, the NSC and Vietnam (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2006), 40.

(105.) Ibid, 41.

(106.) Gerry Argyris Andrianopoulos, Kissinger and Brzezinski: The NSC and the Struggle for Control of U.S. National Security Policy (New York: St Martin's Press, 1991), 128.

(107.) Isaacson, Kissinger, 155.

(108.) Michael K. Bohn, Nerve Center: Inside the White House Situation Room (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2003), 32; reference to NSC in Preston, War Council, 43.

(109.) Ibid., 24-25.

(110.) William Y. Elliot to James Perkins, 20 October 1953, Hoover Institution Archives, W. Y. Elliott Papers, box 2, folder: Harvard International Seminar, 1951-1959.

(111.) Dallek, Nixon and Kissinger, 50.

(112.) Henry A. Kissinger, "Bureaucracy and Policy Making: The Effect of Insiders and Outsiders on the Policy Process," in Bureaucracy, Politics and Strategy, ed. Henry A. Kissinger and Bernard Brodie (Security Studies Project Paper No. 17, UCLA, 1968), 6.

(113.) Hanhimaki, Flawed Architect, 24.

(114.) Preston, War Council, 2.

(115.) Kissinger, "Bureaucracy and Policy Making," 5.

(116.) Isaacson, Kissinger, 183.

(117.) Ibid.

Shannon E. Mohan is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of History at American University. The author would like to thank Anna Kasten Nelson, William Burr and Jim Hershberg for their comments and suggestions on previous drafts of this article.
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Title Annotation:McGeorge Bundy, United States National Security Advisor to President John F. Kennedy
Author:Mohan, Shannon E.
Publication:The Historian
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2009
Words:9875
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