Nation: The Big Three

Dean Rusk's muscular attack on the opponents of escalation might have astonished those who have always thought of him as a flabby sort, but it came as no surprise at all to Lyndon Johnson.

In the past year, Rusk has emerged as one of the three men who serve as the President's most trusted advisers in national security matters—particularly Viet Nam. The others: Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara and Special Presidential Assistant McGeorge Bundy.

The three form a kind of compact Kitchen Cabinet, a distilled version of "ExComm," the outsize Executive Committee of the National...

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