Tackling head-on the most controversial and debated "what if" in U.S. foreign policy, this provocative work explores what President John F. Kennedy would have done in Vietnam had he not been assassinated in 1963. Drawing on a wealth of recently declassified documents, frank oral testimony of White House officials from both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and the analysis of top historians, this book presents compelling evidence that JFK was ready to end U.S. involvement well before the conflict escalated. With vivid immediacy, readers will feel they are in the president's war room as the debates raged that forever changed the course of American history-and continue to affect us profoundly as the shadows of Vietnam stretch into Iraq.
James G. Blight is CIGI Chair of Foreign Policy Development, Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo. janet M. Lang is research professor, Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo. David A. Welch is CIGI Chair of Global Security, Balsillie School of International Affairs, and professor of political science, University of Waterloo.
New Preface to the Paperback Edition: Virtual JFK to President Barack Obama: Is the Game in Afghanistan Worth the Candle? Prologue: Whither Vietnam, If Kennedy Had Lived? Chapter 1: Why Kennedy, Johnson, and Vietnam? Why Now? Chapter 2: Who's Who at the Musgrove Conference Chapter 3: What JFK Decided: November 1961 Chapter 4: What JFK Decided: October-November 1963 Chapter 5: What LBJ Decided: The "Long 1964" Chapter 6: Virtual JFK, Not Counterfactual JFK: Vietnam If Kennedy Had Lived Epilogue: Does it Matter Who Is President in Matters of War and Peace?: A Tale of Three Choices Appendix A: Excerpts From Declassified Documents and Secret Audio Tapes Appendix B: JFK What If Questionnaire for Musgrove Participants