20. National Security Action Memorandum No. 2171


  • Official Visits to South Vietnam

The President has asked that official visits by high ranking military and civilian personnel to South Vietnam be coordinated with Governor Harriman. Accordingly, such proposed visits should be cleared with his office.2

McGeorge Bundy
  1. Source: Department of State, S/S-NSC Files: Lot 72 D 316,NSAMs. Sent to the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the Administrator of AID.
  2. According to Hilsman, this directive grew out of President Kennedy’s frustration over press reports of unscheduled visits by senior U.S. officials to Vietnam. Hilsman recalls that the President telephoned him to express his concern over these visits, which, he felt, appeared to increase the U.S. commitment in Vietnam. Hilsman added that Kennedy said: “That is exactly what I don’t want to do.” (Ibid., Office of the Historian, Vietnam Interviews, Roger Hilsman, May 15, 1984)