14. Agenda Prepared by the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1

MEETING WITH THE PRESIDENT

Wednesday, June 23, 1965, 5:30 PM

1. VIETNAM

(1)
Rolling Thunder 20
(2)
Saigon's planned break of relations with France
(3)
Future use of B-52's
(4)
Soviet attitudes and what we should do about them
(5)
Prospects of Prime Minister Wilson's mission
(6)
Report on political programs of the Ky government

Present:

  • State Department
  • Secretary Rusk
  • Under Secy. Ball
  • Amb. Thompson
  • Asst. Secy. Bundy
  • Defense Department
  • Secretary McNamara
  • Deputy Secy. Vance
  • Asst. Secy. McNaughton
  • White House
  • Mr. Bundy
  • Mr. Busby
  • Mr. Cater
  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • Admiral Raborn
  • Mr. Richard Helms

[Here follow agenda items dealing with Berlin and the Dominican Republic.]

[Page 38]

Tab 1

VIETNAM

1.

Rolling Thunder 20

Bob McNamara will have a chart and I think he and Dean Rusk will have an agreed position. You probably will not wish to discuss targets in detail, even with such a select group as this. Bob needs one good solid target, and I think he will have settled it with Dean before you come in. He already has my proxy.

2.

Saigon's Breach of Relations with France

The new military government has apparently decided to break relations with Paris. We all think this is a mistake because of the French power of retaliation. There remains a slight difference of opinion as to whether we should say out loud it is a mistake. You will want to hear Rusk on this point.

3.

Future Use of B-52s

Bob McNamara wants to go right on with the B-52s, and in principle, most of us agree. The real problem is not in the military decision but in the public relations handling. I have asked Doug Cater to study this one and he may have ideas.

4.

Soviet Attitudes and What We Should Do About Them

This is not an action matter, but I think it would be helpful for us all to hear Tommy Thompson's current thinking. The Soviets have just turned down the Wilson Peace Mission and in rather tough language. At the same time they are floating the notions that Tony Lewis picked up in the Times this morning—even hinting that we can do anything we want as long as we do it in South Vietnam. It is worth a moment's discussion.

5.

Prospects of Prime Minister Wilson's Mission

My brother Bill will have the latest on this one. We expect the British to move right ahead even though no Communists give them the time of day.

6.

Political Progress of the Ky Government

I have put this one in to keep everybody's attention focussed on the fact that our problem is indeed as much political as military. My brother will be ready to comment.

[Here follow Bundy's comments on the agenda items dealing with Berlin (at Tab 2) and the Dominican Republic (at Tab 3).]

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. XI. Secret. Bundy sent this annotated agenda to the President at 4:15 p.m., under cover of a brief memorandum describing it.