Miller Center

Maxwell Taylor

Speaker: General Maxwell D. Taylor
Date: September 14, 1981
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1962-1964). Ambassador to South Vietnam (1964-1965). During the Kennedy Administration, Taylor was a consistent supporter of the President?s policies and provided crucial support for the nuclear test ban treaty in congressional testimony of 1963. An ambassador, he pressed South Vietnam to create a civilian-written constitutional charter. He supported the sustained bombing of North Vietnam but, after its failure in 1965, opposed increases of American troop level in the area. After his transfer to the position of a special presidential consultant, Taylor lost much of his political power, but continuously maintained a hawkish position on Vietnam and supported Westmoreland?s request for more troops after the Johnson Administration?s sentiment turned against further escalation of American involvement in 1968.