The editors of the volume sought to present documentation illuminating
responsibility for major foreign policy decisions in the U.S. Government, with
emphasis on the President and his advisers. The documents include memoranda and
records of discussions that set forth policy issues and options and show decisions
or actions taken. The emphasis is on the development of U.S. policy and on major
aspects and repercussions of its execution rather than on the details of policy
The first section of this volume deals with the organization and administration
of foreign policy. Following the 1960 election, President-elect John F. Kennedy and
his transition advisers focused on various proposals for modifying and streamlining
the structure of the National Security Council apparatus. Documentation is presented
on the interdepartmental review of foreign policy, the abolition of the Operations
Coordinating Board, the use of Country Teams in the planning process, and enhanced
involvement of the Vice President in national security affairs. This section also
provides documentation on organizational changes in the Department of State, such as
combining the positions of Counselor and Chairman of the Policy Planning Council,
upgrading the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Bureau of
Intelligence and Research, abolishing 109 intra- and inter-departmental committees,
closing marginal consular posts, improving the reporting system, and planning for
the use of automation to expedite Department operations. Another part of this
section covers the organization and administration of the Intelligence Community.
The documents on information policy presented in the volume illustrate the U.S.
Information Agency's initiatives in seeking to cooperate more closely with the State
Department and other U.S. Government agencies, to present U.S. foreign policy
objectives to the world in a positive manner, and to assess more accurately foreign
opinion of the United States and its policies.
President John F. Kennedy and his advisers took a keen interest in United Nations
affairs. This volume includes documentation on the summer strategy sessions that
discussed themes that the President would use when addressing the UN General
Assembly. In the United Nations, U.S. policy shifted from supporting a "moratorium"
on considering the question of Chinese representation to declaring it to be an
"important question." Other major topics include the election of U Thant of Burma as
Secretary-General after the death of Dag Hammarskjold, and the financing of UN
operations in general and of peacekeeping operations in particular in view of Soviet
opposition to paying for UN activities that it opposed.
Also presented are documents on Department of State involvement in the U.S. space
program, U.S. cooperation with the Soviet Union in scientific research in outer
space, support for UN resolutions concerning the peaceful uses of outer space, and
the Department's role in the organization of space-based communications