U.S. President Lyndon Johnson publicly replied on Wednesday (23 March) to French President Charles De?
TRANSCRIPT: JOHNSON: "NATO today, therefore, must be shaped on the experiences of the past. Reliance on independent action by separate forces - only loosely coordinated with joint forces and plans - twice before has led to world before 1945. But collective action has proved successful in deterring war since 1945 during 20 years of upheaval and during 20 years of grave danger. We reject those experiences only at our peril. For our part, the United States of America is determined to join with thirteen of her other allies to preserve and to strengthen the deterrent strength of NATO. We will urge that those principals of joint and common preparation be extended wherever they can be usefully applied in the Atlantic alliance. We are hopeful that no member of the treaty will long remain withdrawn form the mutual affairs and obligations of the Atlantic. A place of respect and responsibility will await any ally who decides to return to the common task."
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Background: U.S. President Lyndon Johnson publicly replied on Wednesday (23 March) to French President Charles De Gaulle's recent policy statements on French participation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. President De Gaulle has indicated that he wishes France to withdraw from NATO and that NATO bases on French soil be placed under French control or closed down; Mr. Johnson deplored this policy and stressed U.S. determination to continue with NATO, and, if possible, expand it.
Much of the speech was a review of NATO's history since its creation in 1949, and a criticism of independent defense action by any European nation outside the NATO framework. In the excerpt shown in our film, the U.S. president stated his position thus:
Mr. Johnson spoke at the State Department in Washington before the Foreign Service Institute.