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JFK's Decision to Abolish the Operations Coordinating Board, Feb. 1961


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The Operations Coordinating Board was created upon recommendation of Eisenhower's Jackson Committee, in September, 1953. It was to replace the Psychological Strategy Board.

JFK abolished the OCB on Feb 19th, 1961.

The Jackson Committee said that the Older PSB didn't work because it "was founded upon the misconception that 'psychological activities somehow exist apart from official policies an actions"

OCB members "initially included the undersecretary of state as chair, the psychological warfare advisor, the undersecretary of defense, and the directors of the Central Intelligence Agency and Foreign Operations administration." (Kenneth Osgood, Total Cold War, p.86)

Osgood suggests that the main reason the OCB was created to replace the PSB was that the latter was too much under the sway of the State Department and a new org. was needed to refine the general guidelines of the NSC into more detailed instructions to be given out to a wide variety of departments within the Federal Government.

To what extent was the OCB a significant expansion of the unelected military and intelligence bureaucracy?

To what extent might JFK have felt that the OCB was a potential challenge to the presidency?

Do we know anything about the CIA and the State Department's reaction to JFK's decision and or attempts to prevent this change if there were any?

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