The Secretary of Defense (Lovett) to the Secretary of State
Dear Mr. Secretary: Reference is made to Department of State draft position paper TCT D–5/3b, dated 26 December 1951, entitled “Indochina”.1
The Joint Chiefs of Staff have reviewed this paper and concur generally in it. However, they feel that the paper does not adequately [Page 4] cover possible courses of action in the event of Chinese Communist intervention in the hostilities of Indochina, and accordingly recommend certain additions for this purpose, as well as changes to define more closely possible US command relationship and commitments in that area. A copy of these comments and recommendations is inclosed herewith. These comments and recommendations have my concurrence.
- Not printed. (CFM files, lot M 88) TCT D–5/3b was prepared by the Steering Group for the Truman–Churchill talks.↩
- With the exception of the third sentence, which was omitted, this suggested paragraph was incorporated in TCT D–5/3c, Jan. 2, not printed, a revision of TCT D–5/3b. (Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 99)↩
On Jan. 2, at a meeting with Department of State representatives, the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated that they would have no objection to the insertion of the word “ground” before the word “forces”. (Note by the Secretaries of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Jan. 4; JCS files, 092 Asia (6–25–48)) As it appeared in TCT D–5/3c, the paragraph reads as follows:
“In our present thinking we do not envisage a command set-up in Southeast Asia through the organization of a combined chiefs of staff, and we would also oppose any project for the United States to be a party to a combined command structure. I should point out, in any event, that we won’t be in a position under the present circumstances to commit ground forces to the Southeast Asia area. Frankly, my advisors and I feel that the military and economic aid program now under way represents the best contribution we could make toward stabilizing conditions in the area.”
TCT D–5/3c was marked to indicate that all positions in it were to be presented to Churchill only if the subject were raised by him.↩