The Johnson White House and Foreign Policy

Jonathan Colman

in The Foreign Policy of Lyndon B. Johnson

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780748640133
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652693 | DOI:
The Johnson White House and Foreign Policy

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This chapter provides a brief biography of Lyndon B. Johnson and introduces his White House. After the murder of John F. Kennedy, President Johnson, seeking to promote stability and preferring to focus on domestic issues, emphasised the theme of continuity in foreign affairs. The foreign policy advisory system he inherited was an informal, teamwork-based ‘collegial’ one, but it soon developed into what has been described as a ‘collegial-formalistic hybrid’ system. This chapter outlines the respective roles of the main foreign policy advisers, namely Dean Rusk, Secretary of State; McGeorge Bundy and Walt Rostow, successive National Security Advisers; and Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense. It also explores the CIA's role in policymaking. Generally, the Johnson White House was a smooth-running operation that closely reflected the needs and proclivities of the President, including the provision of advice from a wide range of sources.

Keywords: Lyndon B. Johnson; John Kennedy; foreign affairs; Dean Rusk; McGeorge Bundy; Walt Rostow; Robert McNamara; CIA

Chapter.  8211 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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