337. Memorandum From President Johnson to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Taylor)1

The more I look at it, the more it is clear to me that South Vietnam is our most critical military area right now. I hope that you and your colleagues in the loins Chiefs of Staff will see to it that the very best available officers are assigned to General Harkins’ command in all areas and for all purposes. We should put our blue ribbon men on this job at every level.2

Lyndon B. Johnson
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 69 A 3131, Vietnam 210. Secret.
  2. The President sent a similar memorandum to McCone, December 2, which reads as follows: “The more I look at South Vietnam, the more I think we must be very quick and firm in getting the best possible men on the job. I did not understand from our last conversation whether you mean to put in a top-notch man, in place of Richardson, or whether you mean to promote the man on the spot. My own conviction is that this job requires the best and most experienced man we can find, and I would hope to have your definite recommendation within the next few days.” Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Memos and Misc.)