44. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Policy Planning Council (Rostow) to the Secretary of State1
- Contingency Planning for Southeast Asia
Governor Harriman, Alexis Johnson, Roger Hilsman, Bill Sullivan and I will be meeting with you at 4:30 p.m. today.2
The purpose of our meeting will be to report to you the results of our individual review of the attached report on Southeast Asia prepared by the Policy Planning Council. A summary of the concept and key issues examined in this report are at Tab A. I recommend you thumb through the table of contents (Tab B)3 which will give you an idea of the scope of the paper.
I recommend that you give your approval to the following proposals:
- That the Tuesday Planning Group at its next meeting take on the job of serving as a steering group to provide general guidance and direction to the preparation of a contingency plan for the imposition of measured sanctions against North Viet-Nam. As you know, Governor Harriman and Alex Johnson are regular members of that group. For these purposes we would add others as required, including immediately senior representatives of FE and USIA.
- That the Planning Group establish a working group under State Department chairmanship to prepare the necessary studies and plans.
The objective of the next planning stage is not to produce a recommended policy. It is to produce a complete politico-military scenario which we can lay before senior officers of the Government so that they may judge whether and under what circumstances a forward policy of the kind examined here might prove wise and viable.
[Here follows discussion unrelated to Vietnam.][Page 76]
- Source: Department of State, S/P Files: Lot 70 D 199, Vietnam. Secret. Rusk’s initials appear on the source text.↩
- The meeting began at 4:40 p.m. and lasted until almost 5:30. Robert Johnson also attended. Johnson Library, Rusk Appointment Book) No record of the meeting has been found.↩
- Not attached to the source text. A copy of the table of contents and the draft report is in Department of State, S/P Files: Lot 70 D 199, Vietnam.↩