The Wise Men were a group of United States government officials and members of the East Coast foreign policy establishment who, beginning in the 1940s, developed the containment policy of dealing with the Communist bloc and crafted institutions and initiatives such as NATO, the World Bank, and the Marshall Plan. They came to personify an ideal of statesmanship that was putatively marked by non-partisanship, pragmatic internationalism, and aversion to ideological fervor.
The Wise Men
The Wise Men were chronicled in a book by that title written by Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas, published in 1986. The principal men featured in the book were:
On March 25, 1968 the same group gathered that had met in November with the addition of General Matthew Ridgway and Cyrus Vance. They were briefed by The State Department, the CIA and the Department of Defense on William Westmoreland's request for additional troops for Vietnam in the wake of the Tet Offensive. With the exception of Robert Murphy, General Taylor and Abe Fortas, the group's recommendations summed up by Dean Acheson were "we can no longer do the job we set out to do in the time we have left and we must begin to take steps to disengage".