The Nation: Meet Dean Rusk, Early Dove

ONE of the most intriguing Viet Nam documents is an as yet unpublished cable that analysts working on the Pentagon papers studied with fascination. It was sent to President John F. Kennedy in 1961 in response to a proposal from General Maxwell Taylor that the U.S. dispatch 8,000 troops to Viet Nam, ostensibly to work on flood relief. Taylor's recommendation included using the troops to commit American prestige in Viet Nam, to shore up morale and provide a back-up for the South Vietnamese army and to serve as an advance force for a...

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