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I wonder if Walt Rostow knew the Spanish and Portuguse professor at UT who owned the Rambler station wagon George Gordon Wing?

G. Gordon Wing:

http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/1999...s/Wing/wing.pdf

Octavio Paz:

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literat...90/paz-bio.html

Elena Garro:

http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/mexico/garro.htm

Garro Allegation:

http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/..._Paz_Allegation

So I ask if anyone knows of an association between Professor George Gordon Wing and Walt Rostow?

Edited by William Kelly
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I wonder if Walt Rostow knew the Spanish professor who owned the Rambler station wagon?

I am betting on yes. It's a small town. And in this "sense" very small. Deadly. I would not ever go to the LBJ liab when Rostow was "running" it. Anything you looked at was written down along with your name. Little mimi CIA/NSA there. So I just kept away.

Dawn

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I wonder if Walt Rostow knew the Spanish professor who owned the Rambler station wagon?

I am betting on yes. It's a small town. And in this "sense" very small. Deadly. I would not ever go to the LBJ liab when Rostow was "running" it. Anything you looked at was written down along with your name. Little mimi CIA/NSA there. So I just kept away.

Dawn

Thanks Dawn, Sounds like a good bet, but need proof before the payoff. They're not only in the same small town - Austin, they're at the same University, UT right?

And I would think that Wing and Rostow would come together at the Latin American Studies Institute.

http://www.utexas.edu/cola/insts/llilas/

So Professor Wing, whose station wagon could be the Dealey Plaza getway Rambler, taught and promoted the writings of Paz, whose wife had a party attened by the accused assassin LHO and Syliva Duran, purported mistress of Cuban Ambassador to UN and point man in the backchannel negotiations between JFK and Castro.

Now if a more concrete connection between Wing and Rostow, that would be three degrees of separation.

BK

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I wonder if Walt Rostow knew the Spanish professor who owned the Rambler station wagon?

I am betting on yes. It's a small town. And in this "sense" very small. Deadly. I would not ever go to the LBJ liab when Rostow was "running" it. Anything you looked at was written down along with your name. Little mimi CIA/NSA there. So I just kept away.

Dawn

Thanks Dawn, Sounds like a good bet, but need proof before the payoff. They're not only in the same small town - Austin, they're at the same University, UT right?

And I would think that Wing and Rostow would come together at the Latin American Studies Institute.

http://www.utexas.edu/cola/insts/llilas/

So Professor Wing, whose station wagon could be the Dealey Plaza getway Rambler, taught and promoted the writings of Paz, whose wife had a party attened by the accused assassin LHO and Syliva Duran, purported mistress of Cuban Ambassador to UN and point man in the backchannel negotiations between JFK and Castro.

Now if a more concrete connection between Wing and Rostow, that would be three degrees of separation.

BK

As his obit mentions Walt Rostow was the author of several books........

Walt Rostow, Vietnam War Advisor Dies

by Adolfo Alvarez

Texana News Writer

AUSTIN -- Walt Whitman Rostow, who served in the administrations of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and advocated military action in Vietnam, died at an Austin hospital. He was 86.

Rostow died Thursday night, February 13, 2003, said Pam Crowther, a spokeswoman for Seton Medical Center. The cause of death was not revealed.

The son of a socialist immigrant who named him for the poet Walt Whitman, Rostow graduated from Yale at 19. He won a Rhodes scholarship and served as a major in the Army's covert Office of Strategic Services in World War II. Rostow then pursued a career as a scholar of economic modernization and a prominent adviser to politicians.

It was his relentless support of American military intervention in Southeast Asia, first as a White House and State Department official in the Kennedy administration and then as Johnson's national security adviser at the height of the Vietnam War, that marked him for life.

President Johnson with Walt Rostow

"He became the president's national security adviser at a time when criticism and opposition to the war were beginning to crystallize, and he eventually served the purpose of shielding the president from criticism and from reality," wrote David Halberstam in The Best and the Brightest, his 1972 study of the Vietnam War's origins. "He deflected others' pessimism and rewarded those who were optimistic. It was not contrived; it was the way he was."

To the end of his life, Rostow expressed no public regrets about his position on the war, contending in a 1986 interview that congressional cuts in military aid had caused the fall of South Vietnam. "I'm not obsessed with Vietnam, and I never was," he said then. "I don't spend much time worrying about that period."

Walt Whitman Rostow was born Oct. 7, 1916, in New York City to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents who gave their three sons distinctive American names. Rostow's older brother, Eugene Victor, named for the Socialist presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs, became dean of the Yale Law School and Johnson's undersecretary of defense for political affairs. A third brother, Ralph Waldo, was named for Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Walt stood out from the start. He earned his Ph.D. from Yale in 1940 and began his career as an economics instructor at Columbia University. After his wartime service, for which he received the Order of the British Empire, he joined the State Department as assistant chief of the German-Austrian Economic Division, later returning to England to teach American history, first at Oxford, then Cambridge.

From 1950 to 1961, he was professor of economic history at MIT and also a staff member of its CIA-supported Center for International Studies. He did occasional consulting work for the Eisenhower administration and became a policy adviser to Kennedy, then a senator from Massachusetts, in 1958.

In January 1961, Kennedy named Rostow as deputy special assistant to the president for national security affairs. That fall, in a staff shuffle, he went to the State Department as chairman of the Policy Planning Council at the State Department.

In 1964, Johnson gave him the additional duty of U.S. member of the Inter-American Committee on the Alliance for Progress, with the rank of ambassador.

Johnson called Rostow back to the White House in early 1966 to serve as special assistant for national security affairs, the post now known as national security adviser, where he remained until Richard Nixon was sworn in.

Televised class being taught by Walt Whitman Rostow and Elspeth Rostow at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs, 1976.

Because of his hawkish stance, Rostow was a pariah in many academic quarters, but he flourished at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, where he was an emeritus professor of political economy. Rostow served as the Rex G. Baker Jr. Professor Emeritus of Political Economy.

His wife of 55 years, the former Elspeth Davies, a political scientist, joined him on the faculty of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin.

In the early 1990s, Rostow became head of the Austin Project, a local civic organization dedicated to expanding public and private programs providing prenatal care and aid to disadvantaged children.

More Books On US Foreign Policy History:

* War In A Time Of Peace

by David Halberstam - Examines how the end of the Cold War effected US foreign policy.

* The WISE Men

by Walter Isaacson - Blend of personal biographies and drama on the men who formulated US foreign policy at the start of the Cold War

* The Conquorers

by Michael R. Beschloss - Very readable history of the debate about how to deal with Germany after WW II.

Besides his wife and his brother, Ralph, of Sarasota, Fla., Rostow is survived by a son, Peter; a daughter, Ann; and one grandchild.

Rostow was the author of more than 30 books. His latest, Concept and Controversy: Sixty Years of Taking Ideas to Market, is to be published in June.

His wife, Elspeth Rostow, is on the faculty of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin.

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I wonder if Walt Rostow knew the Spanish professor who owned the Rambler station wagon?

I am betting on yes. It's a small town. And in this "sense" very small. Deadly. I would not ever go to the LBJ liab when Rostow was "running" it. Anything you looked at was written down along with your name. Little mimi CIA/NSA there. So I just kept away.

Dawn

Thanks Dawn, Sounds like a good bet, but need proof before the payoff. They're not only in the same small town - Austin, they're at the same University, UT right?

And I would think that Wing and Rostow would come together at the Latin American Studies Institute.

http://www.utexas.edu/cola/insts/llilas/

So Professor Wing, whose station wagon could be the Dealey Plaza getway Rambler, taught and promoted the writings of Paz, whose wife had a party attened by the accused assassin LHO and Syliva Duran, purported mistress of Cuban Ambassador to UN and point man in the backchannel negotiations between JFK and Castro.

Now if a more concrete connection between Wing and Rostow, that would be three degrees of separation.

BK

Bill:

I sent this thread to Richard for his imput, which is below:

Hi Dawn,

In my Rambler paper, under the heading UT, CIA, and JFK, I wrote:

"It is also worth noting that the golden age of collecting for UT's Latin American collection was during the reign of Harry Ransom. According to UT librarian and former Spanish student John Wheat, the Latin American collection was Ransom's favorite. Nettie Lee Benson, the collection's long-time head librarian, received major funding from and had direct access to Ransom at any time. And ILAS, as we have seen, very likely had financial support from C.B. Smith."

I later discovered in Wing's personnel file, that Wing was on the board of the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS). Ransom recruited both Walt Rostow and Jack Dulles to UT. Jack Dulles was an expert on Brazil. His daughters were students of Wing. Jack's father was John Foster Dulles, and his uncle was Allen Dulles. So it is not hard to imagine that Rostow knew Wing.

Richard

--

Richard Bartholomew

http://www.bartholoviews.net

Again, not proof, but further evidence that they must have known each other. Too many connections here.

Dawn

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According to Donald Gibson, the author of The Kennedy Assassination Cover-up, Walt Rostow's brother, Eugene, played an important role in the creation of the Warren Commission. He argues that "this Commission would have been more accurately named the Rostow Copmmission or the McCloy-Dulles Commission."

I have started a thread on this here:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=12511

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  • 4 years later...

America's Rasputin: Walt Rostow and the Vietnam War. - David Milne - New York: Hill and Wang, 2008

http://articles.lati...inion/op-milne2

'America's Rasputin' lives again

Today's neocons echo Walt Rostow, the liberal ideologue who guided the U.S. into an ill-fated war in Southeast Asia.

It was apt of President Bush to invoke the specter of the Vietnam War in his recent comments on Iraq, because his ill-fated activism in the Middle East is so clearly reminiscent of U.S. policy in the 1960s, when taking the good fight to America's "Third World" enemies was all the rage.

Then, as now, self-assured foreign policy intellectuals played a crucial role in driving the United States toward intervention in an intractable conflict thousands of miles from Washington. One of the key members of John F. Kennedy's and Lyndon B. Johnson's inner circle was Walt Rostow, whose contributions to the making of the Vietnam War bear striking similarities to the role played by Paul Wolfowitz in strategizing the American invasion of Iraq.

Possessed of a brilliant mind, a Yale PhD, noble intentions and an unwavering belief in himself, Rostow was a decorated OSS agent during World War II who established a global reputation as an economic development theorist at MIT in the 1950s. As a speechwriter for President Eisenhower, he worked tirelessly to convince him that increasing America's foreign aid budget was morally imperative in a time of economic abundance -- not to mention tactically essential in an age of a global Cold War.

Although Eisenhower was unmoved by Rostow's call for a global New Deal, his successor was not. When Kennedy took office, he appointed Rostow as his deputy national security advisor, hoping that the 44-year-old economist would help ensure that the poor nations in the developing world stuck with Washington and avoided flirtation with Moscow or Beijing. Rostow's appointment was celebrated by liberals and mourned by fiscal conservatives, who were concerned that combating communism through the eradication of poverty would not come cheap. His friends joked that Rostow envisioned "a TV set in every thatched hut."

Rostow was adamant that the United States had a duty to help modernize the Third World, but he was equally determined to eradicate what he described as the "disease" of communism wherever it threatened the liberal societal progress he viewed as morally superior and historically preordained. The ultimate "Cold War liberal," Rostow was the most hawkish civilian member of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations with respect to the unfolding conflict in Vietnam.

In the summer of 1961, he became the first civilian to advise Kennedy to deploy U.S. combat troops to South Vietnam and the first to recommend the bombing of the North. Rostow reasoned that airborne destruction would crush Hanoi's resolve because "Ho Chi Minh has an industrial complex to protect; he is no longer a guerrilla fighter with nothing to lose." Rather than serving his country primarily as a catalyst for Third World development, Rostow ended up recommending the brutal bombing of a developing nation and was a chief architect of America's worst-ever military defeat.

Enamored of the quality of his own counsel -- he was serene in argument because he was so certain he was right -- Rostow framed a policy of military escalation, manipulated CIA field reports to provide Johnson with a more positive spin on U.S. military prospects and then, through 1967 and 1968, advised Johnson against pursuing a compromise peace with North Vietnam. An irrepressible Pollyanna, Rostow utterly failed to visualize the possibility of defeat even when it became imminent. A true ideologue, he believed that it was beholden on the United States to democratize other nations and do "good" no matter the cost.

The man charged by Johnson with the task of negotiating an end to the Vietnam War was W. Averell Harriman -- a former governor of New York, ambassador to the Soviet Union and one of American history's most celebrated diplomats. While Harriman urged the president to stop bombing North Vietnam to facilitate an open dialogue, Rostow, by his own admission, could see "no link between bombing and negotiations." Appalled by the hypnotic effect that Rostow's hard-edged advice exerted on an increasingly beleaguered Johnson, Harriman described LBJ's national security advisor as "America's Rasputin."

In recent times, the Bush administration has taken up Rostow's internationalist, crusading mantle and has run with it to potent effect. Wolfowitz and other neoconservatives have been identifiably Rostovian with respect to their reading of international relations: that it is the responsibility of the United States, as the world's most powerful nation, to democratize and do "good" -- at the point of a bayonet, if necessary. All seem influenced by the Enlightenment philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau's illiberal injunction that freedom does not necessarily arise from free will: "Whoever refuses to obey the general will shall be forced to be compelled to do so by the whole body. This means nothing else than that he will be forced to be free."

Yet the path that the ancient Greeks charted from hubris to nemesis remains as seamless as ever; those individuals who have absolute confidence in the efficacy of their ideas -- who fail to account for real-world contingencies -- invariably lead U.S. foreign policy down blind alleys.

To be fair, Rostow, and today's neoconservatives as well, have been proved right on some of the great issues of the 20th century. Marxism-Leninism was indeed a morally abhorrent system that extinguished liberty, stifled creativity and failed to provide adequate benefits to its people. Liberal capitalism "won" the Cold War, and democracy has indeed proved itself worthier than any other form of government.

Yet the policy of intervening abroad to instill these values in others has produced decidedly mixed results. Rostow, Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and others believe in the redemptive powers of liberal capitalism in the same way evangelical Christians believe in God; they act as if their value system is divinely authored and view deviations from the righteous path as heresy. But might not the heretics come around to the West more enthusiastically if the United States acted as an exemplar, rather than a militarized agent for change? Tin-pot dictators often lose their mystique when they do not have an enemy to confront.

Rostow vacated his office in the White House on Jan. 28, 1969, and President Nixon's national security advisor, Henry Kissinger, moved in the following day. The two intellectuals were similar in many respects. Both hailed from humble Jewish backgrounds, and both attained success at the pinnacle of American academia. Kissinger nonetheless took U.S. diplomacy down a very different path.

While Rostow stressed the opportunities for doing good that came with international preeminence, Kissinger focused on the limitations of America's vast though finite resources. While Rostow thought that the American people should pay higher taxes to finance the nation's global mission, Kissinger believed, as a classic foreign policy "realist," that dishing out money to advance "values" was no substitute for nuanced diplomacy.

What happens next in U.S. diplomacy is anyone's guess, but there is a distinct possibility that history will repeat itself and America will move toward a more modest role in the world. After a period of frenetic activism on the international stage, it appears highly probable that President Obama, Clinton, Giuliani or Romney will look to a pragmatist -- a George Kennan or a Kissinger -- rather than an ideologue like Rostow or Wolfowitz for foreign policy advice. Spreading good is an exhausting business, and America's exertions in Iraq are having serious political repercussions in the homeland.

END

A passage: page 53,

In 1954, he [C.D. Jackson] moved promptly to enlist Rostow's assistance in combating the communist offensive. Jackson had known Rostow since 1952, when he invited Rostow to speak at Princeton to the National Conference for a Free Europe, an organization of which he was President. A strong believer that intellectuals had a crucial role to play in shaping U.S. diplomacy, Jackson hoped to smooth the route through which good ideas entered the stream of policy making. He once remarked perceptively that "great ideas need landing gear as well as wings. Through Jackson, Rostow moved toward the center of power in Washington. Jackson charged Rostow with the task of providing a radical alternative to Eisenhower's pre-Dien Phu propagation of a limited foreign-aid policy. The president's four key points had earlier been presented in the following poetic quartet:

Aid - which we wish to curtail

Investment- which we wish to encourage

Convertibility -which we wish to facilitate

Trade - which we wish to expand

Unrelated thought for the day:

Sen. Rand Paul to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, today at the Benghazi hearings: “Had I been president at the time [of the attacks on the American embassy in Libya], I would have relieved you of your post,” the freshman senator from Kentucky said. Paul's comment was a disgraceful statement that would have made the late muckracker Senator Joe McCarthy proud.

As one writer wrote at Vanity Fair:

If Rand Paul had been president at any time, a lot of people would have removed themselves from their posts.

Edited by Robert Howard
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He once remarked perceptively that "great ideas need landing gear as well as wings. Through Jackson, Rostow moved toward the center of power in Washington. Jackson charged Rostow with the task of providing a radical alternative to Eisenhower's pre-Dien Phu propagation of a limited foreign-aid policy. The president's four key points had earlier been presented in the following poetic quartet:

Aid - which we wish to curtail

Investment- which we wish to encourage

Convertibility -which we wish to facilitate

Trade - which we wish to expand

We may have forgotten a fifth card. Sometimes it is mentioned as being bluffed with in 1954, and again in 1969, but I am getting a sense that it was intimated way more times than that, and C.D. Jackson, given the place and time of his peak influence likely would have been heavily involved in just how this was done. It is a wild card that might factor into all of JFK's foreign policy decisions way more than is often typed, on account of the offensive line of Certain Cornhuskers is actually The New Yorker.

‎" We as a society suffer today from what can only be called an extraordinary case of collective nuclear amnesia. A picture of the past has taken shape that has very little to do with what our nuclear past was really like. It is now often taken for granted that even in the 1950's nuclear war was simply 'unthinkable" as an instrument of policy; that nuclear forces were never usable and saved only to "deter their use by others"; and that the threat of "massive retaliation" was at bottom use pure bluff, because the United States would never be the first to launch a nuclear strike. This picture has taken shape because it serves important political purposes of both the left and the right, but one cannot immerse oneself in the sources for this period without coming to the conclusion that something very basic has been forgotten"--Marc Trachtenberg, History and Strategy.

Now, with this in mind, read all the indexed references to General Curtis LeMay in Richard Rhodes Dark Sun and James Carroll's House of War.

Edited by Nathaniel Heidenheimer
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America's Rasputin, Walt Rostow & The Vietnam War

pp’s. 126-27

Rostow was not vexed by the dramatic turn of events in Saigon, and looked upon Diem's

death primarily as an opportunity to up the military ante, rather than as an obstacle to

creating a viable South Vietnam. The dual problem that faced U.S. policymakers was to

"find ways to close the frontier; and to solve the problem of crystallizing political life

around the young modernizing generation, which Diem did not understand, trust or use

effectively.” Rostow gave considerably more thought to the first part of the problem,

however, than to the rather more complicated second. The strategic hamlet program was

the one significant attempt that the Kennedy administration had made to modernize

South Vietnam, and that strategy came to an inglorious end. With Diem and Nhu removed

from the equation, the systemic the systemic failure of the program to reconnect central

government to agrarian South Vietnam became truly apparent: skewed reporting gave way

to some hard truths. Rostow was a theorist of Third World modernization, but he

consistently failed to provide a credible plan for achieving genuine economic and

political progress south of the seventeenth parallel. This was a pointless task, Rostow

reasoned, if something was not done to kill north-south infiltration through Laos.

Closing the frontier, on the other hand was a problem with which Rostow could

associate, as it could be solved by military means alone. Killing infiltrators did not

necessitate a complicated dedication to nation building. And so before news of Diem

and Nhu's murder had even reached Washington, Rostow wrote to the secretary of

state, "Assuming the Saigon coup succeeds. . . I urge that we consider promptly

bringing to a head the issue of infiltration [We should] confront Hanoi with the choice

of ceasing to operate the war or accepting retaliatory damage in the north." To make

certain that Rusk got the point, he reattached his November 28, 1962 "Invade Laos"

memorandum, and also sent it to Roger Hilsman, George Ball, and Averell Harriman

(a less receptive trio could hardly be imagined). Again, Rostow’s plan to invade Laos

and bomb North Vietnam was ignored by Rusk; and it did not even get close to the

President’s line of vision. Hilsman recalled that Kennedy at the time thought that

“Walt Rostow was laughable on Asia and Vietnam.” In terms of influence and access,

November 1963 was a nadir for the chairman of the Policy Planning Council. After

a glittering rise through the ranks of academe and government, it was now abundantly

clear that Rostow was assuredly not one of the President’s men. An influential voice in

1961, Rostow was a marginal, albeit noisy, figure in 1962 and 1963. In late 1961,

Kennedy had decided that Rostow’s anticommunism was simply too strident to have

him in the White House. Kennedy was partial to many of Rostow’s ideas, but the ones

he liked primarily to Third World modernization, not strategic bombing. It is hard to

imagine that Rostow would have prospered during a second Kennedy term.

Robert: The other thread on the Forum dealing with the Rostow angle deals

with Eugene Rostow and a phone call on, I believe November 24, 1963. This topic

not surprisingly, is not covered in Milne's book, as far as I can tell, at all.

See below:

It appears that the idea of a Presidential commission to report on the assassination of President Kennedy was first suggested by Eugene Rostow, Dean of the Yale Law School, in a telephone call to LBJ aide William Moyers during the afternoon of November 24, 1963. Although the time of this call is missing from the White House daily diary, it is possible to identify the period during which the call was made. Rostow refers to the killing of Oswald, so the call had to be after 2:07 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, the time Oswald was pronounced dead. The call appears in the White House daily diary prior to a conversation at 4:40 P.M, between President Johnson and Governor Pat Brown of California." There is a memorandum which clearly indicates that Rostow called the White House well before 4:00 p.m., EST.

end

From the Eugene Rostow thread.

Edited by Robert Howard
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From a 1969 oral history interview (LBJ Library)

Rostow (page 14): In any case, I had brooded a long time about this question of infiltration and guerrilla

warfare. I was one of the few people who had worked seriously on the problem of guerrilla

warfare in the 1950s. That's one of the reasons that President Kennedy assigned me to Laos

and Vietnam. He knew about it.

Rostow (page 16): Through 1964-1965 I had nothing whatsoever to do with the decisions made on Vietnam.....

Rostow (page 41): I know as well as any single man, I suspect, the cast of President Kennedy's

mind about Southeast Asia and Vietnam in general as he made his fundamental decision, which

was the decision in 1961. He made several decisions in 1961. I cannot vouch for his exact frame

of mind in 1962 and 1963--although I think I know something of that--simply because I was

not in the White House then working on Vietnam. But the decisions he made in 1961 he

regarded as fundamental, and those I believe I do understand.

It starts--so far as Vietnam is concerned--when he took office. He was briefed by

President Eisenhower on the nineteenth of January, 1961, on the major issues. We have

three sets of notes on that meeting. There's a [Clark?] Clifford set and a Chris [Christian]

Herter set and a McNamara set. It's clear from all of them that President Eisenhower told

President Kennedy that the situation in Laos was militarily and politically disintegrating and

it was possible that he would have to face the issue of putting troops into Laos. So he came

in with that foreshadowed as a burden....(more on Vietnam follows)

http://www.lbjlib.ut...tow/rostow1.pdf

From The Guerrilla Warfare Problem; Revolutionary War and the Kennedy Administration Response 1961-1963

by Frank L Jones (Chapter 27)

For Walt Rostow, Kennedy’s deputy special assistant to the President for national security

affairs (deputy national security advisor), Khrushchev’s message was also deeply significant, and

as one of the leading proponents of economic development theory and nation-building he was

shaping Kennedy’s response. Since the 1950s, the former MIT professor had immersed himself in

formulating policy recommendations urging the United States to act more vigorously in providing

economic and military assistance to the Third World, especially nations confronting communist-

led insurgencies. The culmination of his thinking appeared in his 1960 book, The Stages of Economic

Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto. As the historian and Kennedy advisor Arthur M. Schlesinger

would later write, “Guerrillas were also an old preoccupation of Walt Rostow’s.”

In his book, Rostow constructed economic development models and concluded that the main

sphere of U.S.-Soviet rivalry would be in the underdeveloped world. Specifically, he posited that

all societies proceed through five comparatively similar stages of economic development. Of these,

the second stage, the transformation to modernity (that he titled “Pre-conditions for Take Off”),

was the most destabilizing, as traditional values and institutions collided with ones that were

more modern, producing disorder and conflict in every aspect of the society’s political, social,

and economic life. Rapid population growth, urbanization, and technological change complicated

the transition, as did the contending forces of colonialism, nationalism, and regionalism. He ar-

gued that a “revolution of rising expectations” existed that if remained unfulfilled, could persuade

people in underdeveloped societies to embrace Communism as an expeditious path to moderniza-

tion. In his estimation, Communism flourished during the transitional stage, manipulating and

undermining the aspirations of the masses for ends antithetical to the ambitions of these peoples.

He further believed that practitioners of the social sciences—politics, economics, and sociology—

could crush Communism by implementing programs that would induce these transitional societ-

ies to “take off” toward attaining Western-style democratic capitalism. Ultimately, for Rostow,

Khrushchev’s declaration provided the policy impetus for, as one critic noted, the “wide-spread

liberal-social scientist fascination with ‘counter-insurgency’ and ‘nation-building’.”

Rostow was soon spending considerable energy on the “guerrilla warfare problem,” as Robert

Komer, a member of the National Security Council staff, called it. Rostow was not alone; by mid-

1961, the Kennedy administration was in full throttle, expanding and amplifying the President’s

directions regarding the importance of counterinsurgency. In May 1961, the Planning Group, co-

chaired by Kennedy’s national security advisor, McGeorge Bundy and George C. McGhee, direc-

tor of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, ordered the addition of counter-subversion

and deterrence of guerrilla warfare to the list of urgent planning problems, emphasizing that the

topic cover both the doctrine and a range of program actions required to forestall or deal with rural

and urban dissidence.

In mid-June, Rostow sought Komer’s advice when he provided him a copy of the draft of a

speech Rostow planned to give as an address to the graduating class at the U.S. Army Special

Warfare School, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, a few weeks later. The speech, in essence, would be

a further articulation of the administration’s response to Khrushchev. Komer thought it “a damn

fine draft” but then made numerous comments and suggestions in the margin. Refining Rostow’s

policy pronouncement, Komer argued that two major themes deserved more attention than Ros-

tow gave them. First, he reminded Rostow that guerrilla warfare required more than military mea-

sures and that the military had to understand this form of warfare to be a broad problem. Second,

U.S. military guerrilla and counterguerrilla operations required “mobility, dash, and imagination

quite different from normal military operations. Almost all of your great guerrilla leaders (e.g.,

Wingate, Marion, T. E. Lawrence) were atypical men.” The U.S. military did not cultivate such

leaders, therefore, it was imperative to search for such leaders in the military, leaders who could

immerse themselves in the local culture and environment as well as develop training regimens

that would build up a distinct esprit and provide special qualifications.

Rostow incorporated Komer’s views and on June 28 delivered his remarks at the graduation

ceremony. After explaining the concept of modernization and its effects on traditional societies as

well as the Communist exploitation of this transitional stage, Rostow outlined the “American pur-

pose and the American strategy.” The United States, he declared, “is dedicated to the proposition

that this revolutionary process of modernization shall be permitted to go toward independence,

with increasing degrees of human freedom.” The United States sought two outcomes: “first, that

truly independent nations shall emerge on the world scene, and, second that each nation will be

permitted to fashion, out of its own culture and its own ambitions, the kind of modern society

it wants.” To achieve victory in this arena required “many years and decades of hard work and

dedication—by many peoples—to bring about.” U.S. national interests required such dedication:

“It will permit American society to continue to develop along the old humane lines which go

back to our birth as a nation. . . .” Nonetheless, Rostow cautioned that while the United States

and other like minded nations could assist the developing nations, the primary responsibility for

dealing with guerrilla warfare was theirs; it must be undertaken by the society under threat. These

nascent governments under attack must not only thwart this peril, but must “build, and protect

what it is building.” Thus, as Rostow’s speech makes clear, the significant features of U.S. coun-

terinsurgency policy at this point consisted of three broad propositions: insurgency was a crucial

international danger, that it resulted from Communist manipulation of powerful worldwide social

forces captured by the term “modernization,” and that the United States was both capable and

unwavering in its intent to meet this menace by the suitable use of its national resources.

While Komer credited Rostow with formulating the fundamental doctrine based on the ideas

the latter raised in his Fort Bragg address, he also continued to express concern to Rostow that

the focus was primarily on the military instrument and not on “preventive medicine.” In Komer’s

view, Communist subversion succeeded because the situation was “ripe,” that is, there had been

a long period of preparing for covert intervention. Stressing precautionary measures in the initial

preemptive phase would be less expensive in the end, minimize the risk of upheaval, and reduce

the need for draconian measures to save the imperiled nation. Even such measures were not al-

ways successful since the critical issue was implementation.....

https://docs.google....K_6jJpy0cMLDELg

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