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The Foreign Policy of Lyndon B. JohnsonThe United States and the World, 1963-69$
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Jonathan Colman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748640133

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640133.001.0001

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The Johnson White House and Foreign Policy

The Johnson White House and Foreign Policy

(p.6) Chapter One The Johnson White House and Foreign Policy
The Foreign Policy of Lyndon B. Johnson

Jonathan Colman

Edinburgh University Press

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

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