George McGhee was serving as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs in the United States State Department in 1961, during the start of the Congo Crisis. In this position he was assigned, by President Kennedy, to coordinate United States policy regarding involvement in the Congo. He was dispatched to work on peace negotiations in the Congo and support United Nations' peace-keeping efforts there until 1963, when he was reassigned to serve as the United States Ambassador to West Germany.
In this interview, conducted during his retirement on 9 May 1990, Mr. McGhee shared his insight into the stance taken by the United States during the Congo Crisis. Specifically, he discussed the relationship between the United States and the United Nations, Secretary-General U Thant, Moise Tshombe and Joseph Mobutu. He also assessed the outcome of the United Nations efforts in the Congo.