History Podcasts

John Foster Dulles

John Foster Dulles

John Foster Dulles, the son of a Presbyterian minister, was born in Washington on 25th February, 1888. His brother was Allen Dulles and his grandfather was John Watson Foster, Secretary of State under President Benjamin Harrison. His uncle, Robert Lansing, was Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President Woodrow Wilson.

After attending Princeton University and George Washington University he joined the New York law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, where he specialized in international law. He tried to join the United States Army during the First World War but was rejected because of poor eyesight.

In 1918 Woodrow Wilson appointed Dulles as legal counsel to the United States delegation to the Versailles Peace Conference. Afterwards he served as a member of the War Reparations Committee. Dulles, a deeply religious man, attended numerous international conferences of churchmen during the 1920s and 1930s. He also became a partner in the Sullivan & Cromwell law firm.

Dulles was a close associate of Thomas E. Dewey who became the presidential candidate of the Republican Party in 1944. During the election Dulles served as Dewey's foreign policy adviser. In 1945 Dulles participated in the San Francisco Conference and worked as adviser to Arthur H. Vandenberg and helped draft the preamble to the United Nations Charter. He subsequently attended the General Assembly of the United Nations as a United States delegate in 1946, 1947 and 1950. He also published War or Peace (1950).

Dulles criticized the foreign policy of the Harry S. Truman. He argued that the policy of "containment" should be replaced by a policy of "liberation". When Dwight Eisenhower became president in January, 1953, he appointed Dulles as his Secretary of State.

He spent considerable time building up NATO as part of his strategy of controlling Soviet expansion by threatening massive retaliation in event of a war. In an article written for Life Magazine Dulles defined his policy of brinkmanship: "The ability to get to the verge without getting into the war is the necessary art." His critics blamed him for damaging relations with communist states and contributing to the Cold War.

Dulles was also the architect of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) that was created in 1954. The treaty, signed by representatives of the United States, Australia, Britain, France, New Zealand , Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand, provided for collective action against aggression.

Dulles upset the leaders of several non-aligned countries when on 9th June, 1955, he argued in one speech that "neutrality has increasingly become an obsolete and except under very exceptional circumstances, it is an immoral and shortsighted conception."

In 1956 Dulles strongly opposed the Anglo-French invasion of Egypt (October-November). However, by 1958 he was an outspoken opponent of President Gamal Abdel Nasser and stopped him from receiving weapons from the United States. This policy backfired and enabled the Soviet Union to gain influence in the Middle East.

Dulles, suffering from cancer, was forced to resign from office in April, 1959. John Foster Dulles died in Washington on 24th May, 1959.


John Foster Dulles - History

Paula O’Donnell
University of Texas at Austin

Cross-posted from Not Even Past

To experts on the history of U.S. foreign policy, the Dulles brothers’ service during Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidency marks an important watershed in the evolution of American interventionism. In the context of brewing conflict with the Soviet Union, Eisenhower’s administration aimed to protect developing countries of the “Third World” from being converted to Communism. However, as recovery efforts following World War II mobilized international diplomatic efforts to broker world peace, U.S. officials were reluctant to deploy troops abroad. John Foster Dulles was Eisenhower’s secretary of state during this time. His brother, Allen Dulles, served as director of the recently founded Central Intelligence Agency. Together, the Dulles brothers used this agency to eliminate perceived communist threats in the Third World through covert operations, establishing a powerful precedent for “regime change” as foreign policy strategy.

What fewer scholars and policy enthusiasts know is that the Dulles brothers were products of an elite political family with a strong internationalist tradition. John Foster Dulles’ personal papers, stored at his alma mater Princeton University, exhibit how the eldest brother’s upbringing and family network, consisting of diplomats, missionaries, and international lawyers, influenced his developing world view. This is particularly the case with his maternal grandfather, John W. Foster, a prominent patriarchal presence during Dulles’ childhood. Ideological continuity between Foster and his oldest grandson is evident in their comparable career paths, their methods of preparing subsequent male generations, and their published texts and speeches which analyze the role of U.S. foreign policy in international affairs.

Dulles’ personal papers suggest that he modeled his career after that of his grandfather. Foster had also served as secretary of state, at the end of President Benjamin Harrison’s administration. He inhabited this role during the fall of the Hawaiian monarchy in January 1893, an event that led to U.S. annexation of the archipelago. Foster then left political office to pioneer U.S. corporate legal practices and distinguish himself as an international diplomat. Notably, he mediated negotiations at the close of the First Sino-Japanese War and drafted the Treaty of Shimonoseki, signed on April 17, 1895. Dulles’ career subsequently followed a similar path. He also became an international corporate lawyer, partially through his grandfather’s connections, at the elite law firm Sullivan and Cromwell LLC. As partner at this firm, Dulles represented powerful U.S. corporations with vested interests abroad, such as the United Fruit Company. Dulles simultaneously cultivated a long-term career in international diplomacy, serving as secretary to the Economic Reparations Committee at the Treaty of Versailles and later as delegate to the San Francisco Conference which established the United Nations.

Continuity is also evident in the two figures’ strategies for patriarchal mentorship. While Dulles was still a child, he spent his summers at his grandfather’s house on Henderson Harbor in upstate New York. Very early most mornings, Foster took his grandsons fishing. On these excursions, the Dulles brothers learned how to catch their own lunch and cook over an open fire. They ate as they listened to their grandfather’s stories of his experiences abroad, often in the company of distinguished guests such as William Howard Taft, Andrew Carnegie, or Bernard Baruch. These trips taught the boys that self-reliance was a masculine virtue while, at the same time, integrating them into a network of white male elites. Dulles later applied similar methods to raising his sons, taking them on month-long sailing voyages up the Canadian coastline, where they learned to navigate by starlight and catch their own food. For both Foster and Dulles, traveling by water was a fruitful exercise in battling uncontrollable elements, which they believed benefitted male members of subsequent generations.


Ideological Origins of a Cold Warrior: John Foster Dulles and his Grandfather

To experts on the history of U.S. foreign policy, the Dulles brothers’ service during Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidency marks an important watershed in the evolution of American interventionism. In the context of brewing conflict with the Soviet Union, Eisenhower’s administration aimed to protect developing countries of the “Third World” from being converted to Communism. However, as recovery efforts following World War II mobilized international diplomatic efforts to broker world peace, U.S. officials were reluctant to deploy troops abroad. John Foster Dulles was Eisenhower’s secretary of state during this time. His brother, Allen Dulles, served as director of the recently founded Central Intelligence Agency. Together, the Dulles brothers used this agency to eliminate perceived communist threats in the Third World through covert operations, establishing a powerful precedent for “regime change” as foreign policy strategy.

What fewer scholars and policy enthusiasts know is that the Dulles brothers were products of an elite political family with a strong internationalist tradition. John Foster Dulles’ personal papers, stored at his alma mater Princeton University, exhibit how the eldest brother’s upbringing and family network, consisting of diplomats, missionaries, and international lawyers, influenced his developing world view. This is particularly the case with his maternal grandfather, John W. Foster, a prominent patriarchal presence during Dulles’ childhood. Ideological continuity between Foster and his oldest grandson is evident in their comparable career paths, their methods of preparing subsequent male generations, and their published texts and speeches which analyze the role of U.S. foreign policy in international affairs.

John W. Foster, Secretary of State under President Benjamin Harrison (via Wikipedia)

Dulles’ personal papers suggest that he modeled his career after that of his grandfather. Foster had also served as secretary of state, at the end of President Benjamin Harrison’s administration. He inhabited this role during the fall of the Hawaiian monarchy in January 1893, an event that led to U.S. annexation of the archipelago. Foster then left political office to pioneer U.S. corporate legal practices and distinguish himself as an international diplomat. Notably, he mediated negotiations at the close of the First Sino-Japanese War and drafted the Treaty of Shimonoseki, signed on April 17, 1895. Dulles’ career subsequently followed a similar path. He also became an international corporate lawyer, partially through his grandfather’s connections, at the elite law firm Sullivan and Cromwell LLC. As partner at this firm, Dulles represented powerful U.S. corporations with vested interests abroad, such as the United Fruit Company. Dulles simultaneously cultivated a long-term career in international diplomacy, serving as secretary to the Economic Reparations Committee at the Treaty of Versailles and later as delegate to the San Francisco Conference which established the United Nations.

Continuity is also evident in the two figures’ strategies for patriarchal mentorship. While Dulles was still a child, he spent his summers at his grandfather’s house on Henderson Harbor in upstate New York. Very early most mornings, Foster took his grandsons fishing. On these excursions, the Dulles brothers learned how to catch their own lunch and cook over an open fire. They ate as they listened to their grandfather’s stories of his experiences abroad, often in the company of distinguished guests such as William Howard Taft, Andrew Carnegie, or Bernard Baruch. These trips taught the boys that self-reliance was a masculine virtue while, at the same time, integrating them into a network of white male elites. Dulles later applied similar methods to raising his sons, taking them on month-long sailing voyages up the Canadian coastline, where they learned to navigate by starlight and catch their own food. For both Foster and Dulles, traveling by water was a fruitful exercise in battling uncontrollable elements, which they believed benefitted male members of subsequent generations.

Eleanor Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson, and John Foster Dulles at the United Nations in New York City (via National Archives and Records Administration)


Early Cold War diplomacy

By the end of World War II in 1945, Dulles was considered the top foreign affairs specialist in the Republican Party. Near the close of the war, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945 served 1933–45) had died suddenly, and Harry S. Truman (1884–1972 served 1945–1953 see entry) became president. President Truman wanted to involve both Democrats and Republicans in shaping postwar U.S. foreign programs. Dulles's disappointments at Versailles after World War I made him determined to try again when postwar planning for World War II began. Truman, a Democrat, would send Dulles, a Republican, along with Secretary of State James F. Byrnes (1879–1972 see entry) to international meetings of top foreign policy makers. Because of the limited success of the League of Nations, Dulles was particularly interested in creating a new international organization to replace the League for the sake of securing world peace. Therefore, Dulles was also appointed as a U.S. delegate to the 1945 United Nations (UN) organizational conference in San Francisco, California.

Despite their party differences, Dulles generally supported Truman, especially as he and Truman both came to realize that the communist Soviet Union and the democratic United States were going in separate and opposing directions. The Soviets had a communist government this meant that a single political party, the Communist Party, controlled nearly all aspects of Soviet society. Under communist economic principles, private ownership of property and businesses was prohibited so that goods produced and wealth accumulated could be shared equally by all Soviet citizens. In contrast, the United States preferred its democratic system of government consisting of several political parties whose members could be elected to various government offices by vote of the general population. The U.S. economy followed capitalist principles: prices, production, and distribution of goods were determined by competition in a market relatively free of government interference.

Dulles's prominence in the Republican Party continued. In the presidential campaigns of 1944 and 1948, Dulles served as foreign affairs advisor to Republican candidate Thomas Dewey (1902–1971), governor of New York. Dewey lost the elections but selected Dulles in 1949 to complete the term of Democratic U.S. senator Robert Wagner (1877–1953), who had resigned because of poor health. While in the Senate, Dulles strongly promoted congressional approval of the North Atlantic Treaty, which called for the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military defense alliance consisting of the Western European nations, the United States, and Canada. However, Dulles lost his bid to be elected to the Senate on his own in November 1950.

Dulles returned to serving as an advisor to the Democratic Truman administration. Truman sent Dulles to Japan to negotiate an important peace settlement in 1951. The U.S. military had occupied Japan since the Japanese surrender in August 1945 that ended World War II. The peace settlement restored Japan's independence as a nation and established U.S. military bases in Japan to help contain communist expansion in the Far East. Dulles sought to ease the fears of other West Pacific nations that had suffered from Japanese military expansion in the 1930s and 1940s. He introduced the Australia–New Zealand–United States (ANZUS) Treaty to ensure the future security of the western Pacific region.


A Modernist Christian Nationalist: John Wilsey on John Foster Dulles’s Faith

Today I am interviewing John D. Wilsey, associate professor of church history at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the author most recently of God’s Cold Warrior: The Life and Faith of John Foster Dulles (Eerdmans, 2021).

[TK] Many readers may have heard of John Foster Dulles, but might not remember exactly who he was. Tell us why Dulles was important, and what led you to write a religious biography of him.

[JDW] Fame and influence are fickle, and John Foster Dulles is a salient example of how fickle they are. During the 1950s, his was a household name. As Dwight Eisenhower’s secretary of state from 1953 to 1959, Dulles was at the center of every diplomatic issue during the early years of the Cold War. He was mourned the world over when he died from abdominal cancer in May 1959. But largely because of American diplomatic and military failures in the Caribbean, Middle East, and Southeast Asia, Americans soured on Dulles. By the 1990s, Americans had just forgotten him.

But Dulles remains significant for our times, because he both contributed to, and was himself a product of, a civil religious awakening of the 1950s. Americans saw themselves in a Manichean struggle of good against evil against the Soviet Union during the 1950s, and Dulles was the epitome of an early Cold Warrior. Dulles represents a Christian nationalism of the 1950s, one that takes its shape in the context of American diplomacy between the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

You note that for Dulles, “Christianity’s essence is operational rather than theological.” What did that mean for him in practice?

Dulles grew up as a Presbyterian pastor’s son in turn-of-the-century North County New York. His father, Allen Macy Dulles, was a liberal theologian trained at the University of Leipzig and Hamilton College. He stressed the ethical teachings of Jesus in his preaching, teaching, and writing, and debunked conservative doctrines. Dulles adopted his father’s understanding of Christianity as an essentially ethical religion, and this was clear in his stress on the liberal concept of “Fatherhood of God, Brotherhood of Man” during his involvement with the Federal Council of Churches during the 1940s.

As Dulles considered America’s place in the world at the beginning of the Cold War, he articulated the significance of “moral law” as a diplomatic frame of reference. In his understanding, the universe was a moral system. Nature exhibited precepts of moral law, and one could find wisdom from nature in human interactions, from the local to the global level. In that regard, Christianity was less a set of abstract and outdated dogmatic orthodoxies, and more an active faith, animated by Christ’s teachings on loving one’s neighbor, doing to others as one would have done to oneself, and sacrificing one’s own interests for the good of the whole. These teachings required ongoing action, abiding vigilance, and creative innovation as circumstances changed. Dulles liked to say that peace must be waged, the same as war. This was how Dulles conceived of Christianity as active, not passive ethical, not theological.

Dulles took a leading role in modernist and anti-fundamentalist advocacy in the Presbyterian Church in the 1920s. Yet his own faith seems to have become diluted, at least until he participated in an ecumenical Christian conference in Oxford in 1937. Where do you think his beliefs stood on the eve of World War II?

As a child, Dulles exhibited signs of piety in memorizing Scripture and hymns, and in involvement with church outreach ministries. But when he went to Princeton in 1904, Dulles did not attend church regularly. As his career took off in the 1910s and ‘20s, he did serve as an elder at Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, but he resigned because he enjoyed recreational activities near his home in Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island, New York. By the mid-1930s, Dulles rarely attended church.

Dulles did not consider Christianity to be relevant to the world’s challenges after World War I. He said he had been a “nominal Christian” during the years prior to attending the Oxford Conference in 1937. Prior to that conference, Dulles came to the conclusion that Christianity had “gone soft,” and allowed itself to be divided by trivial issues such that it could make no substantial contribution to human good. But the conference changed his mind. He noted that Christians came to Oxford from all over the globe. They brought with them unique denominational identities and convictions. And yet they put their differences aside and came to agreement on solving the problems challenging all of humanity. Dulles left the conference a changed man. For the rest of his life, he strenuously argued that Christian churches were indispensable to a peaceful world order.

In spite of Dulles’s modernism, after World War II he increasingly embraced American civil religion and staunch anti-Communism in ways that seemed similar to fundamentalist and evangelical leaders such as Billy Graham. Was Dulles a sort of modernist Christian nationalist?

The answer is definitely yes. Dulles is an example of a particular kind of American Christian nationalism that arose during World War I. This Christian nationalism emerged from progressive figures like Woodrow Wilson. Wilsonian Christian nationalism was idealistic, committed to something often called “Christian civilization,” and animated by a sense of American Christian duty and mission to the world.

It is commonly accepted that Dulles went through a change in his perspective on the moral law between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War. Mark Toulouse, in his brilliant religious biography of Dulles entitled The Transformation of John Foster Dulles, argues that Dulles went from being a “prophet of realism” to a “priest of nationalism.” Toulouse wrote that Dulles essentially abandoned his commitment to international cooperation and a peaceful world order by shifting his emphasis from the moral law to national security.

I take a different view. It is true that Dulles underwent a change between 1945 and 1950. But I think Toulouse errs by referring to this change as a “transformation” because Dulles’s perspective did not change that radically. His use of the moral law continued to be fundamental, but he looked at Communists as having declared war against the moral law. For that reason, Dulles thought that the Communists had to be neutralized as a threat to a peaceful world order, because they were a threat to moral law itself. As the most Christian nation in the world, the United States possessed a divine mandate to lead the free nations against Communism. Material weapons like bullets and bombs would help deter Communist aggression, but weapons emerging from religion—spiritual ideas—would ultimately bring victory.

At the beginning of the book, you talk about manifesting Christian generosity in interactions with people of the past. Why do you think that’s important to remember when dealing with someone such as Dulles?

It isn’t our place to judge John Foster Dulles. That doesn’t mean we can’t critically evaluate his choices and the impact of those choices. We’re not moral relativists when it comes to historical analyses. But we are not in a position to pronounce a judgment on Dulles, because like him, our perspective is limited. We don’t have all the answers. And future generations will evaluate our choices, too. How will we want our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to write about us? I hope we would want them to tell the truth about our lives, in all their complexity.

Historians are to be truth tellers above all, not judges. Dulles was a human being, just like us. He was flawed in profound ways, just like us. He made decisions that resulted in great good he also made choices that were terribly unwise and had tragic consequences—like insisting that Americans could succeed in Vietnam where the French had failed. He can’t come back and explain himself. He can’t hear our imprecations against him. He can’t repent of his sins or change his ways. He can’t fix his mistakes. And he can’t receive praise or appreciation. One day, we will lie silent in the grave. We do well to heed the wisdom that comes from considering Dulles’s life, that our times are in God’s hands. Our calling is to be faithful to how He has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ.

Thomas S. Kidd is the Vardaman distinguished professor of history at Baylor University and the author of many books, including Who Is an Evangelical? The History of a Movement in Crisis (Yale, 2019) Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father (Yale, 2017) Baptists in America: A History with Barry Hankins (Oxford, 2015) George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father (Yale, 2014) and Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots (Basic, 2011). You can follow him on Twitter.


John Foster Dulles: The Moral Diplomat

John Foster Dulles (Joop van Bilsen/Wikimedia Commons)

M ore people use the name of John Foster Dulles today than ever used it during his six-year tenure as U.S. secretary of state in the Eisen­hower administration — which would be quite an impressive historical marker if it were not for the fact that the “Dulles” so often invoked is the name of an airport that services the D.C. metro area.

John Foster Dulles himself has not been so generously treated. Although Dulles earned the coveted Time designation “Man of the Year” in 1954, he never managed to achieve the world-shaker status of some other secretaries of state — Thomas Jefferson, …

This article appears as &ldquoThe Moral Diplomat&rdquo in the May 17, 2021, print edition of National Review .

Something to Consider

If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content (including the magazine), no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going.


John Foster Dulles

William Franklin Draper (1912-2003), John Foster Dulles, 1959. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Dillon. Princeton Portraits no. 397.

Former U.S. Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles (1888-1959) is remembered by many for his effective negotiations during the Cold War and his support of South Vietnam after the Geneva Conference of 1954. Here at Princeton, he is also remembered as a member of the Class of 1908, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and an active participant in the American Whig-Cliosophic Society debate team.

On May 15, 1962, his family was invited to Princeton University, along with dignitaries including former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, for the dedication of the John Foster Dulles Library of Diplomatic History. His portrait, painted by William F. Draper in 1959, was proudly featured at the event.

Today, thanks to the beautiful work of painting conservator Paul Gratz, our portrait of Mr. Dulles is cleaned and repaired and back on the wall of our Dulles Reading Room. Sincere thanks also to our colleagues at the Princeton University Art Museum for their help in transporting and hanging the important work.


John Foster Dulles - History

John Foster Dulles, 95, a noted Brazilian history scholar and the eldest son of the former secretary of state, died of kidney failure Monday in San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. Dulles, a professor of Latin American studies at the University of Texas at Austin for 45 years and the author of books on Brazil and Mexico, was preparing for the fall semester until he became ill June 12. His wife of 68 years, Eleanor Ritter Dulles, the daughter of a prominent Philadelphia architect, died four days before her husband.

"He was a real character," said Tom Staley, director of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. "We referred to him as 'Cactus Jack,' because he wrote these books about Brazil and Mexico. His students loved him."

In addition to his father, President Dwight D. Eisenhower's secretary of state, for whom the airport is named, Dulles' great-grandfather and a great-uncle also were secretaries of state. His uncle, Allen Dulles, would become head of the CIA, and his aunt, Eleanor Lansing Dulles, was a State Department official known as the "mother of Berlin" for her role in the city's recovery after World War II.

Dr. Dulles wrote 12 books and numerous articles on 20th-century Brazilian history, including

Resisting Brazil's Military Regime

(2007), the second of a two-volume work on reformer Sobral Pinto.

Dr. Dulles was an avid tennis player. "He was beating me into his 80s," said his son, John F. Dulles II, who recalled that his intensively competitive father often resorted to a ploy. He always tried to play on the hottest days, on clay courts, and in the middle of a match, he would collapse on the court, lying sprawled on his back for minutes. "After that, you'd have second thoughts about beating an old man," his son said.


Dulles, John Foster

(Feb 25, 1888 &ndash May 24, 1959) An American lawyer who helped draft the harsh and unreasonable reparations upon Germany in the Treaty of Versailles and continued to create policies that damaged America and progressed his agenda for a socialist world government until his death almost 40 years later while President Eisenhower&rsquos secretary of state. Dulles helped draft the preamble to the UN Charter, served Chairman of the Board for the Carnegie Endowment and a Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1935 to 1952, a founding member of Foreign Policy Association and Council of Foreign Relations, and . Famed journalist Alan Stang concluded in his book The Actor that &ldquoDulles deliberately did more damage to America while masquerading as a conservative Republican anti-Communist (all for temporary political cover), than Gus Hall [long-time head of the American Communist Party] could have imagined doing.&rdquo

Shortly after Adolf Hitler took power in Germany in 1933, some Englishmen were curious about this new political figure in central Europe, asking, &ldquoThis Hitler fellow, where was he born?&rdquo To which Lady Astor replied, &ldquoAt Versailles.&rdquo

By that time, it was widely understood that the harsh peace imposed upon Germany after the First World War with the Treaty of Versailles &mdash with loss of historic German territory unreasonable reparations and the hated Article 231, the &ldquowar guilt clause&rdquo &mdash had given birth to Hitler. Some argue that the &ldquowar guilt clause&rdquo was perhaps the most onerous provision of the hated treaty. Under its provisions, the Germans were forced to admit that they, and they alone, were responsible for the Great War.

The person who drafted it was a young American lawyer, John Foster Dulles. The clause said, &ldquoGermany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damages to which the Allied and Associated governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies.&rdquo (Emphasis added.)

It would not be the last time that an action of the then 31-year-old Dulles would lead to &ldquoblowback&rdquo on his country. In fact, famed journalist Alan Stang concluded in his book The Actor on the career of Dulles &mdash the ultimate &ldquodeep stater&rdquo &mdash &ldquoDulles deliberately did more damage to America while masquerading as a conservative Republican anti-Communist, than Gus Hall [long-time head of the American Communist Party] could have imagined doing.&rdquo Although the term was not in use at the time, John Foster Dulles and his brother Allen were key architects in the construction of what we now refer to as &ldquothe deep state&rdquo &mdash the permanent state behind the visible government in D.C.

From his negative influence at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, until his death almost 40 years later while President Eisenhower&rsquos secretary of state, Dulles continued to create policies that damaged America. As Eisenhower&rsquos chief foreign policy advisor, his influence was immense. Stephen Kinzer wrote in his book on Dulles and his brother, Allen (director of the CIA), The Brothers, &ldquoOn some days, Foster spoke personally or by telephone with Eisenhower as many as ten times. At dusk he often visited the White House for a chat over drinks.&rdquo

Dulles&rsquo advice to Eisenhower was consistent with the views he held as a young lawyer: He was an ardent globalist (the term more used then was &ldquointernationalist&rdquo) who believed military intervention was justified to achieve his desired globalist world order. And while Dulles occasionally peppered his résumé with conservative, anti-communist rhetoric, it was, as Stang concluded in The Actor, all for temporary political cover until he could achieve what he and other insiders like him wanted: a world socialist government.

Dulles came to his dogged pursuit of a global government naturally, via family connections and by educational training. His grandfather, John Watson Foster, was secretary of state to President William Henry Harrison. A pillar of the post-Civil War Republican Party, Foster helped direct the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii by its American settlers and supported sending American troops to aid the rebels who declared themselves the new government. The Harrison administration ended before it could act on the new government&rsquos request for annexation (the next president, Grover Cleveland, quickly nixed the idea), but it did lay the foundation of the aggressive interventionism that would characterize Dulles&rsquo career in the 20th century.

His mother&rsquos sister married Robert Lansing, who replaced William Jennings Bryan as President Woodrow Wilson&rsquos secretary of state. Bryan had been pushed aside largely for his opposition to American entrance into the First World War, and replaced by Foster&rsquos Uncle Robert, who added his voice to Wilson&rsquos principal advisor, Colonel Edward M. House, in urging American entry into the European war.

The Rise of John Foster Dulles

When the war ended in 1918, young Dulles was in the American delegation at the Paris Peace Conference. How did this happen? In a word, Dulles had &ldquoconnections.&rdquo When he was just 16, he entered Princeton, where he soon became a protégé of a prominent history professor (and soon, college president), Woodrow Wilson. Dulles idolized Wilson, under whom he learned the virtues of globalism and the ability of government to correct evils &mdash as Wilson and the progressives saw them anyway &mdash of society. Wilson&rsquos interventionist policies as president reinforced the idea that it was the proper role of the United States to intervene in smaller countries, such as Cuba, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.

After taking his law degree, Dulles&rsquo family connections landed him a job at the prestigious international law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, with such clients as the United Fruit Company, an important player in Latin American politics. Other important clients were J.P. Morgan, Brown Brothers, Standard Oil, and Goldman Sachs. Eventually, Dulles became the managing partner of Sullivan and Cromwell, and was, at one time, the highest-paid lawyer in the United States.

After the war, Dulles had extensive dealings with Germany, including the chemical giant I.G. Farben (responsible for making the infamous Zyklon B gas used in Hitler&rsquos death chambers). He designed the Dawes Plan that helped Germany begin to pay off its oppressive war reparations &mdash ironic, since it was Dulles who had drafted the section of the Versailles Treaty imposing those reparations.

Dulles continued his financial dealings inside Germany after the National Socialists under Adolf Hitler came to power. Dulles&rsquo friend, Hjalmer Schacht, was even named minister of economics in the new regime. As Kinzer writes in The Brothers, &ldquoWorking with Schacht, Foster [Dulles] helped the National Socialist state find rich sources of financing in the United States for its public agencies, banks, and industries.&hellip Sullivan and Cromwell floated the first American bonds issued by the giant German steelmaker and arms manufacturer Krupp A.G.&rdquo

By the mid-1930s, the partners of Sullivan and Cromwell decided they could no longer do business in Nazi Germany. As Kinzer noted, &ldquoSince 1933, all letters written from the German offices of Sullivan and Cromwell had ended, as required by German regulations, with the salutation Heil Hitler!&rdquo All but Dulles voted to pull out of Hitler&rsquos Germany. Dulles wept at the decision.

Going back to the aftermath of the First World War, Dulles had been an ardent advocate of liberal internationalism. The principle of non-interventionism &mdash which internationalists such as Dulles slurred as &ldquoisolationism&rdquo &mdash was the enemy. To Wilson and the rest of his globalist delegation, including Dulles, at Paris in 1919, the most important segment of the Treaty of Versailles was that creating the League of Nations. Colonel House wrote the first draft of the Covenant of the League. To promote the idea of the league, intended from the start as the foundation for a world government, House put together a group of sympathizers to inquire into the facts of global affairs, which was dubbed &ldquothe Inquiry.&rdquo

The membership of the Inquiry included Norman Thomas, a leader of the American Socialist Party. Another member was Dulles&rsquo good friend, Walter Lippmann, a founding member of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. Two other members in the small, select group were John Foster Dulles and his brother, Allen.

Dulles Among Founders of the Globalist CFR

When Wilson failed (twice) to win ratification of the Treaty of Versailles, largely because the U.S. Senate was not yet prepared to merge the United States into a global government, the Inquiry became the core group of the world-government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), founded in 1921. (The British had their own associated group, the Royal Institute of International Affairs.) As Kinzer explains in The Brothers, the defeat of the League of Nations &ldquoshowed the Dulles brothers and others on Wall Street that internationalism had potent enemies. To resist those enemies, and to work toward a world that would welcome American corporate and political power, the brothers and a handful of their friends had decided to create an invitation-only club, based in New York, where the worldly elite could meet, talk, and plan.&rdquo

Source: This article appears in the March 5, 2018, issue of The New American. To download the issue and continue reading this story, or to subscribe, click here.


John Foster Dulles

John Foster Dulles served as secretary of state in the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration. His policies were firmly anti-communist and he was instrumental in the formation of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, which was designed to prevent communism from coming to power in any more countries in that region. Dulles was born on February 25, 1888, in Washington, D.C. His father was a Presbyterian minister, and Dulles developed strong religious beliefs that remained with him throughout his life. During the 1920s and 1930s, Dulles attended numerous international churchmen’s conferences. His family background included a grandfather, John Watson Dulles, who served as secretary of state under Benjamin Harrison. His uncle, Robert Lansing, was secretary of state for the Woodrow Wilson administration. His older brother, Allen Welsh Dulles, was the CIA head under Eisenhower. Dulles' first taste of diplomacy came in 1907, when his grandfather brought him along to the Hague Peace Conference. Dulles attended Princeton, the Sorbonne, and George Washington universities. He obtained a law degree from GWU and then entered the New York law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, Wall Street’s most powerful law firm. He specialized in international law and later became its senior partner. Bad eyesight prevented his entering combat during World War I, but he served in the Army Intelligence Service instead. Following the armistice, he was legal counsel to the United States delegation to the Versailles Peace Conference. Dulles developed a close relationship with Thomas Dewey and was Dewey's foreign policy advisor during the latter's presidential campaign of 1948. In 1945, Dulles was an advisor to Arthur H. Vandenberg at the United Nations Charter Conference in San Francisco, where he helped draft its charter preamble. In 1949, Governor Dewey appointed Dulles to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Robert Wagner, due to failing health. Dulles served in the Senate, but lost the special election held in November of the same year. Although a strong proponent of international cooperation, Dulles became disillusioned with the Soviet Union after experiencing firsthand their intransigence during international meetings. Gradually, Dulles became a critic of Harry S. Truman and his policy of containing communism. In Dulles' view, the United States should have been actively promoting liberation. He got his chance to put theory into practice when newly elected President Eisenhower selected him to be secretary of state, in 1953. It was Dulles' policy that the United States should curb Soviet expansion with the threat of massive atomic retaliation. His critics blamed Dulles for hurting relations with communist countries, thereby deepening the Cold War's effects. Dulles recognized the dangers of brinksmanship,* but argued that it was still safer than appeasement. In an article for Life Magazine, Dulles wrote about brinksmanship, “The ability to get to the verge without getting into the war is the necessary art." In actual practice, he was unable to roll back any of the gains that the communists had made during the Truman years, and he found no way to support uprisings in East Germany in 1953 or Hungary in 1956. The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), which Dulles helped to organize, was formed in 1954. The treaty, signed in Manila by the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France, Pakistan, Thailand and the Philippines, obliged all its signatories to help defend against aggression in the Pacific region. Dulles promoted the idea strongly and believed it would be a bulwark against further communist expansion. Unfortunately, the agreement proved to be ineffective when the United States alone had to defend attacks by the Viet Minh against three non-communist states, in 1963. Dulles initiated the policy of strong support for Ngo Dinh Diem's regime in South Vietnam. He opposed the British and French invasion of Egypt during the Suez Crisis, but later turned against Egyptian president Gamal Abdul Nasser and prevented American military support for Egypt. That backfired, because the Soviet Union filled the void and gained a strategic foothold in the region. Dulles's humanitarian contributions included:


Watch the video: Amore Scusami - John Foster (December 2021).