5. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Johnson1
Washington, January 4, 1965.
- Comment from Bob McNamara on the State of the Union
- Bob McNamara called this morning on other matters, and I asked him what he thought of the State of the Union.2 He said he liked it, but had one worry. He wonders whether the statements on Vietnam on pages 6 and 7 are too strong in the light of our current policy. I said that they were no stronger than things we had said a dozen times before, but I gathered from Bob that he thought they were stronger than our actions. I get the implication that he fears that if we do not intend stronger action, we may regret these sentences.
- My own view is that, whatever we may decide to do on particular matters in the coming months, it is absolutely essential to maintain a [Page 8]posture of firmness today. I believe that without firm U.S. language, the danger of further erosion in Saigon is bound to grow. I therefore not only approve, but strongly recommend, the language on pages 6 and 7. Nevertheless, I think you should know Bob’s worry.
- Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. VIII. No classification marking.↩
- President Johnson delivered his Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union at 9:04 p.m. on January 4, 1965. For text of the address, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965, Book I, pp. 1–9.↩
- Printed from a copy that bears these typed initials.↩