On JFK’s foreign policy: Douglas Horne v. Robert Dallek

What kind of president was John F. Kennedy? Who were his enemies? These questions still preoccupy the American people. And the answers are found in a debate of two leading experts on the subject.

The Future of Freedom Foundation has published a five-part series, written by former JFK review board analyst, Douglas Horne, entitled “JFK’s War Against the National Security Establishment.”

Historian Robert Dallek covered much the same ground in his piece in the November issue of Atlantic, “JFK vs. the Military.”

They reach different conclusions about the events of November 22, 1963.

Horne says that JFK was pursuing liberal polices that alienated Pentagon when he was killed by enemies of those polices within his own government.

Dallek says that JFK was pursuing liberal polices that alienated the Pentagon when he was killed by one man for no reason.

Read both articles, and tell me who you think is more credible.


  1. Chris Roberts says:

    They both agree JFK was moving in liberal policy directions that the pentagon didn’t like.

    We have moved since 1990′s.Then the idea JFK was going to pull out of vietnam after reelection was attacked.Now more agree that was direction he was heading In.

    Robert Dallek just can’t ever believe the public was lied to about any aspect of JFK case.He has dismissed conspiracy theories by saying noone would have trusted loner like Oswald.He assumes the assassination happened the way The WC said and Oswald was who the government said.

  2. Photon says:

    Again, people tend to forget that JFK accepted the Diem coup as necessary. Like it or not, that coup meant more American involvement in Vietnam.
    Why did Diem have to go? Because he and his brother were involved in back door negotiations with the National Liberation Front. When the Kennedy administration became aware of those activities Diem became a dead man – as Kennedy was obviously aware.

    • Arthur says:

      JFK was very hesitant to remove diem from power and he most certainly was not on board with his assasination. I hope your not using that as an argument to say that kennedy would have escalated in Vietnam. If our president had not been betrayed and assassinated by treasonous elements of our government we were out of nam by 65-66.

    • JSA says:


      It sounds to me, listening to the President (he tape recorded his thoughts on Monday evening, November 4), that he regretted Diem’s assassination and regretted the coup. I think President Kennedy felt pushed into making a decision in the Summer, and wasn’t completely onboard with support for a coup. When he heard that it had taken place and that Diem was assassinated, he found it to be “abhorrent”. He still planned on continuing his withdrawal of US military advisors in December, and he still planned to distance our involvement from that civil war there. There’s a pattern throughout JFK’s presidency of not sending in the troops (in Berlin he refused to confront the communists over the construction of the wall in 1961, and in Cuba he refused to sign on to a full scale invasion after the small clandestine forces failed in 1961, and again he refused to strike Cuba in 1962 when all of his JCS wanted him to strike, not blockade. I see very little concrete evidence to support your premise that Kennedy was willing to commit full scale boots on the ground, as Lyndon Johnson was willing to do. McNamara said this too, in his book, “In Retrospect.”

  3. Eric Saunders says:

    “Dallek says that JFK was pursuing liberal polices that alienated the Pentagon when he was killed by one man for no reason.”

    This is a very funny way of accurately conveying that position.

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