James K. Galbraith (2007): Exit Strategy: Noted
James K. Galbraith (2007): Exit Strategy:
A more thorough treatment appeared in 1992, with the publication of John M. Newman’s JFK and Vietnam.... Newman’s argument was not a case of “counterfactual historical reasoning,” as Larry Berman described it in an early response. It was not about what might have happened had Kennedy lived. Newman’s argument was stronger: Kennedy, he claims, had decided to begin a phased withdrawal from Vietnam... [and] had ordered this withdrawal to begin.... (1) On October 2, 1963, Kennedy received the report of a mission to Saigon by McNamara and Maxwell Taylor.... The main recommendations... were that a phased withdrawal be completed by the end of 1965.... (2) On October 5, Kennedy made his formal decision.... (3) On October 11, the White House issued NSAM 263, which states: "The President approved the military recommendations contained in section I B (1-3) of the report, but directed that no formal announcement be made of the implementation of plans to withdraw 1,000 U.S. military personnel by the end of 1963."... Newman argues that the secrecy after October 2 can be explained by... a political reason: JFK had not decided whether he could get away with claiming that the withdrawal was a result of progress toward the goal of a self-sufficient South Vietnam.