Miller Center

The Kennedy Withdrawal

The Kennedy Withdrawal

Over the course of several meetings, from October 2 through October 5, 1963, President Kennedy and his advisers debated the merits of a plan to withdraw the bulk of U.S. troops from Vietnam by the end of 1965. Segments from two of those meetings, from the morning and evening of October 2, reveal Kennedy's concerns about that plan and the language with which it was to be explained to the American public.

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Audio Transcript President John F. Kennedy, thirty-fifth President of the United States, 1961-1963.

Biographical sketch from American President.

Newspaper Article McGeorge Bundy was National Security Advisor, 1961-1966.

Obituary from the New York Times.

Audio Robert S. McNamara was secretary of defense from 1961-1968.

Biographical sketch from American President.

DocumentGen. Maxwell D. Taylor was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1962-1964.

Biographical sketch from the Arlington Cemetery Website.

Audio Transcript JFK Daily Diary, October 2, 1963.
Newspaper ArticleMeeting Tape 114/A49, John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. Raw audio file available at the Miller Center's White House Tapes portal.

Washington Post front page, October 2, 1963.

Washington Post front page, October 3, 1963.


Audio Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor Daily Diary, 1 September - 10 October 1963, National Defense University Library, Maxwell D. Taylor Papers, Box 21, Diary 1963.

"McNamara-Taylor Report," October 2, 1963 | Source: U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian.

DocumentSouth Vietnam, Enemy Situation, Early 1964. Source: ehistory @ OSU | United States Military Academy.
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