30. Editorial Note

In light of the deteriorating situation in Laos, the Kennedy administration decided to send U.S. troops to Thailand. For documentation on the decision reached during May 10–14, 1962, see Documents 403 ff. and Volume XXIV. During a meeting on May 13, the President asked Hilsman to prepare an intelligence estimate on the reaction of SEATO nations to a [Page 63] request for their cooperation with the proposed U.S. military moves. Later in the meeting, Secretary of State Rusk observed that U.S. military moves in Thailand “should be taken under the SEATO umbrella but that formal SEATO approval would not be requested at this time.” See Document 439.

On May 14, the President assented to deployment of U.S. forces to Thailand. According to the account of the meeting, Kennedy agreed with Secretary Rusk that SEATO capitals should be informed, but that no formal SEATO action should yet be contemplated. The President asked the Department of State to “carefully consider the SEATO problem.” See Document 443.