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376. Editorial Note

On December 23, 1963, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Maxwell Taylor, met with President Johnson at 2:45 p.m., primarily to discuss Taylor's recent visit to India and Pakistan. At the end of the meeting, the President and Taylor briefly touched upon Vietnam. Taylor's account of this discussion reads as follows:

“Vietnam situation. He expressed concern over the situation in Vietnam. Plainly, he had been impressed by Secretary McNamara's recent report. The aspects of the discussion included personal consideration of Lodge and Harkins. I ventured the opinion that Harkins was probably the only general who could get along with Lodge and that the real solution probably lay in the substitution of a single military man to act both as Ambassador and as COMUSMACV. I had in mind the status of USCOB in Berlin.” (National Defense University, Taylor Papers, T-36-71)

For McNamara's report, see Document 374