The ‘Bowl of Jelly’: The us Department of State during the Kennedy and Johnson Years, 1961-1968

in The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
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This article explores efforts to reform the us State Department under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, with the intention of making the Department better able to lead and coordinate the sprawling foreign policy apparatus. When Kennedy soon gave up on what he described as the ‘bowl of jelly’, the reform effort was left to his successor Johnson. Under Johnson, there were attempts to boost the State Department’s internal efficiency and its ability to support counterinsurgency efforts. Yet there was a justified perception by the end of 1968 that the State Department was unredeemed managerially and in terms of its standing in the foreign policy nexus. The reasons for the lack of progress include sporadic presidential engagement, and Secretary of State Dean Rusk’s limited aptitude for managerial affairs.

The ‘Bowl of Jelly’: The us Department of State during the Kennedy and Johnson Years, 1961-1968

in The Hague Journal of Diplomacy

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References

5

Hamilton to Bundy 28 August 1967frus 1964-1968 xxxiii p. 288.

9

Rusk to Johnson 31 December 1964frus 1964-1968 xxxiii p. 31.

10

Rusk to Johnson 31 December 1964frus 1964-1968 xxxiii pp. 29-31; Leacacos Fires in the In-Basket p. 43; Simpson Anatomy of the State Department pp. 18-19; and Warwick Meade and Reed A Theory of Public Bureaucracy pp. 25-29.

13

Clark and Legere (eds)The President and the Management of National Security p. 62.

14

SchlesingerOne Thousand Days pp. 368-370; William I. Bacchus ‘Diplomacy for the 1970s: An Afterview and Appraisal’ The American Political Science Review vol. 68 no. 2 June 1974 note 1 pp. 736-738. See also Bacchus Foreign Policy pp. 3-7 for an account of the difficulties facing the State Department.

15

SchlesingerOne Thousand Days pp. 367-370. See Robert Dean Imperial Brotherhood: Gender and the Making of Cold War Foreign Policy (Amherst ma: University of Massachusetts Press 2001) chapter 7 ‘John F. Kennedy and the Domestic Politics of Foreign Policy’ pp. 169-199 for ‘the ideology of masculinity’ that permeated the Kennedy administration.

17

Schlesinger to Bundy 11 August 1961frusxxv p. 72.

18

SchlesingerOne Thousand Days p. 383; Bowles to Kennedy 28 July 1961 frus 1961-1963 xxv p. 68; Roger Hilsman To Move a Nation: The Politics of Foreign Policy in the Administration of John F. Kennedy (Garden City ny: Doubleday) pp. 69-72.

21

Bowles to Rusk 18 August 1961frus 1961-1963 xxv p. 79.

22

Crockett to McGhee 5 March 1965frus 1964-1968 xxxiii p. 61; and Rusk As I Saw It p. 528.

23

HilsmanTo Move a Nation p. 24; and editorial note frusxxv pp. 98-100.

25

HilsmanTo Move a Nation p. 29; Bruce A. Flatin interview conducted by Charles Stuart Kennedy 27 January 1993 in Foreign Affairs Oral History Project adst; and Leacacos Fires in the In-basket pp. 72-76.

27

Bowles to Kennedy 28 July 1961frus 1961-1963 xxv p. 68.

28

SchlesingerOne Thousand Days p. 365.

29

SchlesingerOne Thousand Days p. 365.

30

Bundy to Kennedy 8 February 1961frus x p. 89.

31

Memorandum of meeting 8 February 1961frus x p. 90.

34

CampbellThe Foreign Affairs Fudge Factory p. 60; and Crockett to Rusk 9 November 1964 frus 1964-1968 xxxiii p. 23.

37

SchlesingerOne Thousand Days p. 860; Ted Sorenson Counsellor: A Life at the Edge of History (New York ny: Harper Collins 2008) p. 234; and Kenny O’Donnell and David Powers with Joe McCarthy ‘Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye’: Memories of John Fitzgerald Kennedy (Boston ma: Little Brown 1972) p. 282. On Rusk’s suggestion that Kennedy did not wish to replace him see Richard L. Schott and Hamilton People Positions and Power: The Political Appointments of Lyndon B. Johnson (Chicago il: Chicago University Press 1984) pp. 39-40.

38

Bundy to Johnson 21 January 1964frus 1964-1968 xxxiii pp. 34-35.

41

Warwick Meade and ReedA Theory of Public Bureaucracy p. 122; Mosher and Harr Programming Systems p. 27; and Leacacos Fires in the In-basket p. 354.

42

Bundy to Johnson 21 January 1964frus 1964-1968 xxxiii pp. 34-35. For biographies of Ball see James A. Bill George Ball: Behind the Scenes in us Foreign Policy (New Haven ct and London: Yale University Press 1997); and David DiLeo George Ball Vietnam and the Rethinking of Containment (Chapel Hill nc: University of North Carolina Press 1991).

45

Schott and HamiltonPeople Positions and Power p. 37.

47

McCone to Johnson 18 March 1965frus 1964-1968 xxxiii p. 69.

50

Warwick Meade and ReedA Theory of Public Bureaucracy pp. 9 and 27.

57

Crockett to Rusk 12 February 1965frus 1964-1968 xxxiii p. 51.

59

Adams to Crockett 30 December 1966frus 1964-1968 xxxiii pp. 219-228.

61

Memorandum for the record 20 April 1964frus 1964-1968 xxxiii p. 16.

64

Warwick Meade and ReedA Theory of Public Bureaucracy pp. 53-54.

66

Taylor to Johnson 17 May 1967frus 1964-1968 xxxiii p. 278.

67

Dean to Gore-Booth 7 May 1966prem 13/2453 The National Archives (tna) Kew Surrey United Kingdom.

70

Lesh to Clark 7 February 1968frus 1964-1968 xxxiii p. 303.

71

Memorandum 30 January 1967frus 1964-1968 xxxiii p. 258.

72

Rostow to Johnson 27 June 1967frus 1964-1968 xxxiii p. 277.

75

Rostow to Johnson 28 July 1967frus 1964-1968 xxxiii p. 283.

76

Killick to Diggins 24 November 1967au 1/6 fco 7/744 tna.

77

Dean to Gore-Booth 11 August 1967au 1/6 fco 7/744 tna.

79

TaylorSwords and Ploughshares p. 362.

80

Dean to Gore-Booth 7 May 1966prem 13/2453 tna.

83

Memorandum 8 March 1966frus 1964-1968 xxxiii p. 149; and Bacchus Foreign Policy p. 66.

87

Dean to Gore-Booth 11 August 1967au 1/6 fco 7/744 tna.

88

Clark and Legere (eds)The President and the Management of National Security p. 116.

89

Memorandum for the record 19 April 1964frus 1964-1968 xxviii: Laos (2001) p. 44.

90

Crockett to Katzenbach 27 January 1967frus 1964-1968 xxxiii p. 255. The term ‘fudge factory’ was used by Washington Post journalist Joseph Kraft in 1966.

92

SorensonCounsellor p. 234.

93

Dean to Gore-Booth 11 August 1967au 1/6 fco 7/744 tna.

94

RuskAs I Saw It p. 530.

95

Kori Schake‘State of Disrepair’Foreign Policy11 April 2012 available online at http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/11/state_of_disrepair.

96

Memorandum from Bundy 25 January 1963frus 1961-1963 xxv pp. 110-111.

97

Pedersen to Rogers 30 December 1968frus 1969-1976 ii p. 661.

100

Dean to Gore-Booth 11 August 1967au 1/6 fco 7/744 tna. The Task Force known also as the Special Committee of the National Security Council was established to provide high-level crisis management of the war and its immediate aftermath. The Committee also ended up playing the leading role in establishing the postwar us position. See note 12 frus 1964-1968 xix: Arab–Israeli Crisis and War 1967 (2004) p. 291.

101

Pederson to Rogers 30 December 1968frus 1969-1976 ii p. 661.

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