Kennedy Case Studies

  • William A. BoettcherIII


In Laos,Vietnam, and the Congo, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy dealt with the legacy of President Dwight David Eisenhower and his Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. In each of these cases, previous U.S. commitments forced the new president to consider his response to “Communist aggression” early in his term. Particularly in Laos and Vietnam, Kennedy and his advisers were confronted with deteriorating situations that required immediate attention. Over time, President Kennedy considered various levels of military intervention by U.S. forces in these regions. Kennedy’s decision making during these cases is well documented, providing an excellent opportunity for evaluating the hypotheses that compose the Risk Explanation Framework (REF).


Foreign Policy Aspiration Level Military Intervention Central Intelligence Agency North Atlantic Treaty Organization 
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Copyright information

© William A. Boettcher III 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • William A. BoettcherIII
    • 1
  1. 1.North Carolina State UniversityUSA

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