102. National Security Action Memorandum No. 3431


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Secretary of the Treasury
  • The Secretary of Agriculture
  • The Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare
  • The Administrator, Agency for International Development
  • The Director, United States Information Agency
  • The Director of Central Intelligence

In the Declaration of Honolulu I renewed our pledge of common commitment with the Government of the Republic of Vietnam to defense against aggression, to the work of social revolution, to the goal of free self-government, to the attack on hunger, ignorance and disease, and to the unending quest for peace. Before the Honolulu Conference and since, I have stressed repeatedly that the war on human misery and want is as fundamental to the successful resolution of the Vietnam conflict as are our military operations to ward off aggression. In recent weeks I have asked those Departments of the Government with special competence in our continuing attack on hunger, ignorance and disease to bring their resources to bear in Vietnam. I have expressed my special interest in the progress of these new initiatives and the effective marshalling of all governmental resources and programs being brought to bear in the civil sector of our commitments in Vietnam.

In my view it is essential to designate a specific focal point for the direction, coordination and supervision in Washington of U.S. non-military programs for peaceful construction relating to Vietnam. I have accordingly designated Mr. Robert W. Komer as Special Assistant to me for carrying out this responsibility.

I have charged him and his deputy, Ambassador William Leonhart, to assure that adequate plans are prepared and coordinated covering all aspects of such programs and that they are promptly and effectively carried out. This responsibility will include the mobilization of U.S. military resources in support of such programs. He will also assure that the Rural [Page 303] Construction/Pacification Program is properly coordinated with the programs for combat force employment and military operations.

His functions will include ensuring full and timely support of the U.S. Mission in Saigon on matters within his purview. In accordance with established procedures, any instructions to the U.S. Mission in Saigon will be issued through the Secretary of State.

In carrying out these duties, I want him to act in close and constant liaison with the heads of appropriate departments and agencies, and to draw on them for such administrative and other support as he may need. In addition to working closely with the addressee Cabinet officers he will have direct access to me at all times.

Those CIA activities related solely to intelligence collection are not affected by this NSAM.

Lyndon B. Johnson
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Komer Files, NSAM. Secret. In forwarding NSAM No. 343 to the President on March 28 for his signature, Komer noted in his covering memorandum: “Joe Califano and now Bill Moyers have finally worn down Secretary Rusk and others in State who wanted to fit the Vietnam job to their conception.” (Ibid., Memos to the President—Robert Komer, vol. 21) Rusk expressed some of his objections and concerns in telephone conversations with Califano on March 24 and with Moyers on March 28. (Department of State, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telcons)