History 4698

Richard Nixon and Triangulation

April 9, 2002


I. Richard Nixon and the World

1. 1968 (Tet, Westmoreland, and LBJ campaign; emergence of McCarthy and obstacles; New Hampshire and its effects; LBJ withdrawal; differences between RFK and McCarthy; Humphrey and distancing from LBJ—Salt Lake City speech; LBJ attitude; Vietnam and outcome; Nixon, Chennault, and dirty tricks; legacy)

2. Background (Nixon and Cold War; Vice President experience; the postwar statesman; Six Crises; 1964 campaign and revival of GOP; 1968 campaign and Silent Majority; Nixon and Congress; RN as polarizing figure; the issues: Vietnam and Paris peace talks, role of PRC, tensions in Middle East, Brezhnev Doctrine and freezing of Cold War)

3. Beyond the Cold War (détente: RN and realist world assumptions; Nixon and bias against CIA, State Department—role of Kissinger; different national security bureaucracy; embracing détente: arms control negotiations with USSR, opening to PRC, reevaluation Vietnam War and Vietnamization program; Middle East and high-stakes diplomacy)

4. The Shadow of the Cold War (Cambodia invasion and constitutional crisis; Cambodia and US public opinion; Cooper-Church and congressional revolt; McGovern-Hatfield)

II. Nixon and the Intelligence Community

1. Chile as a Case Study? (RN as intelligence consumer—covert action vs. intelligence analysis; role of HK staff and decline of CIA; Allende and making the economy scream; covert operations and ties to military; role of CIA; US and Pinochet)

2. The War at Home (the conspiratorial mind of RN; taping system; Nixon and the anti-war movement; Moratorium Day; Kent State and Jackson State; RN and communist influence in anti-war movement; role of FBI; RN pressure on Hoover—Huston plan; Weathermen, Black Panthers, and domestic terrorism)

3. Politicizing Intelligence (ABM and estimating Soviet strength; SALT; intelligence leaks; tensions in Vietnam; Operation Menu; obsession with leaks; tapping the NSC staff—Lake, Halperin, Donald Nixon; Enemies List; Pentagon Papers case; establishment of Plumbers, Liddy, and Ellsberg break-in; Watergate)

Office Hours today—11-12, Fayerweather 612

Jeffrey Kimball, Nixon and Vietnam

Stanley Kutler, The Wars of Watergate

Richard Nixon, RN

Richard Reeves, President Nixon: Alone in the White House

Melvin Small, Johnson, Nixon, and the Doves

Tom Wells, The War Within

Jules Witcover, 85 Days