221. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson1

Mr. President:

For what it’s worth:

My gut feeling is that Hanoi is moving towards negotiations.
Critical to its decision is whether we have the domestic and international base to give Westy his 200,000 extra men. If we don’t, they may sweat us out an extra year or so.
Therefore, we should firmly proceed down the track you outlined to the King of Thailand yesterday.2
Without being too noisy about it we should keep the heat on the transport facilities around Hanoi and especially the transport links between Haiphong and the other ports and Hanoi. We’ve found something of a bottleneck there.
If this view is right, we may never have to use the 200,000 men—just as we never had to conduct the great offensive of 1919 or actually invade Japan at the end of 1945.
The Soviet performance in the Middle East and Kosygin’s talks at Hollybush3 have strengthened your position in Hanoi.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Memos to the President, 6/1–8/2/67, Vol. I. Confidential. Received at 11:20 a.m. The notation “L” on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.
  2. The President met alone with King Bhumipol Adulyadej in the Oval Office from 5:20 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. on June 27. (Ibid., President’s Daily Diary) The memorandum of their conversation, June 27, is ibid., National Security File, Country File, Thailand, Vol. VI, Memos 3/67–8/67.
  3. Reference is to the Glassboro Summit.