View from the Seventh Floor

View from the Seventh Floor

View from the Seventh Floor

View from the Seventh Floor

Excerpt

When I moved over from the White House staff to the Department of State in December 1961, I asked Mr. Rusk if it would not be wise if his counselor and planner be neither seen nor heard. He suggested that all of us should take our turn in explaining the government's foreign policy to the public; and that I should, in particular, concentrate on trying to make clear the relation of the parts to the whole. What are our broad objectives? How are they linked to what is done from day to day in different parts of the world? How are diplomacy and military policy related?

There is some justice in placing this kind of responsibility on the chairman of the Policy Planning Council, even though the Council's daily work is mainly concrete and pragmatic. Each member of the Council concentrates, at any period of time, on one or two tough major problems. Working with his colleagues in the government who bear operational responsibility, his object is to help design a practical course of action that will make the nation's position on the world scene better in the future. A planner is meant not merely to be an inventor but a participant in the practical tasks of innovation. The Council's collective working agenda, however, stretches over the full range of national security problems--from the political aspects of a nuclear age to economic development; and it touches every region of the world. The Policy Planning Council is, thus, one of the relatively few points in a highly specialized and fragmented structure of government where an over-all view should be developed; and this we try to do.

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