Address by William P. Bundy, Assistant Secretary for Far Eastern Affairs, Before the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, on November 5, 1965, "A Perspective on U.S. Policy in Viet-Nam," Department of State Bulletin, December 6, 1965, p. 890.

Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 4, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), pp. 638-639

"Our own objectives in relation to the Far East are simple. There, as throughout the world, we wish to see independent nations developing as they see fit and in accordance with their own traditions. We may hope that the development will be in the direction of governments based on consensus and increasingly on democratic processes, with economic systems that enlist the initiatives of the individual. But we have long since outgrown any notion that we have a blueprint for government and economic organization that can be applied in any pat sense to other nations, particularly in the less developed state.

"Moreover, our national interest is no longer guided in the Far East by particular economic or military concern with individual areas, as was to a considerable extent the case before the war. We have a deep concern for expanded trade and cultural ties-which alone can in the end bind the world together-and we have military base rights and needs related to our role in assisting in the security of the area. But neither of these is an end in itself: The first will, we believe, flourish if the nations of the area are able to develop in freedom; the second must now be maintained but will over time, we hope, become susceptible of reduction and indeed, wherever possible, of elimination.

"Rather, we care about the total picture partly because a nation with our traditions and our present power could hardly do otherwise, but partly because we know in our hearts that it makes a great deal of difference to our most con-Crete national interests that the vast potential and talent of the Far East should be developed in healthy national entities and that the Far East should not go through a second stage--as Europe had to do--of waves of domination that must in the end be met at the cost of vast human misery."

* * *

Return to Vinnie's Home Page

Return to Vietnam War Page