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March 1–15: Policy Reassessment and the “A to Z” Review


95. Memorandum Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC History of the March 31st Speech, Vol. 3, Tabs RR–ZZ and a-d. Secret. The memorandum is initialed by Rostow, indicating that he saw it. It was attached to the backup material considered by the Clifford Task Force; see Document 100.


96. Report by the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Nitze Papers, Vietnam War-Courses of Action-Post Paris Peace Talks, 1967–1968. Top Secret; Sensitive. The attached foreword reads: “At the direction of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and under the supervision of the Director, Joint Staff, the Short Range Branch, Plans and Policy Directorate, Joint Staff, was directed to analyze the military implications of several military courses of action proposed to defeat the enemy offensive and regain the initiative in Vietnam. Representatives of each of the Services, other organizations of the OJCS, and other Joint Staff Directorates were made available and provided inputs to the study. This study has not been addressed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or by any of the Military Services individually.”


97. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Secret; Nodis. Received at 8:44 a.m.


98. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Top Secret; Priority; Nodis. Received at 2:11 p.m.


99. Telegram From the Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Westmoreland) to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler)

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC History of the March 31st Speech, Vol. 4, Tabs C–M. Top Secret; Noforn; Limdis; Eyes Only. Repeated to Admiral Sharp.


101. Telegram From the White House Situation Room to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC History of the March 31st Speech, Vol. 4, Tabs C–M. Top Secret. The notation “ps” on the telegram indicates that the President saw it.


102. Information Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC History of the March 31st Speech, Vol. 7, Meeting with President and Draft Memo. Top Secret; Sensitive.


103. Draft Memorandum for President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Walt Rostow, Draft Memorandum for the President [3/14/68 re VN]. Top Secret; Sensitive. Drafted by the Clifford Task Force. Portions of this memorandum and the attached tabs are printed in The Pentagon Papers: The Senator Gravel Edition, pp. 575–584.


104. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret. The meeting lasted from 5:33 to 7:20 p.m. and took place in the Cabinet Room. Those attending were the President, the Vice President, Clifford, Rusk, Wheeler, Helms, Taylor, Rostow, Christian, Presidential aide Marvin Watson, and Tom Johnson. Immediately preceding and following this meeting, the President met privately with Clifford. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary) No record of these meetings has been found.


105. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, March 19, 1970 Memo to the President on Decision to Halt the Bombing, 1967, 1968 [I]. Top Secret. Drafted by Tom Johnson. The meeting lasted from 1:14 to 3 p.m. Those attending were the President, Rusk, Clifford, Wheeler, Helms, Taylor, Rostow, Christian, and Tom Johnson. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary) The notation “ps” on the March 6 covering memorandum transmitting a copy of the notes from Tom Johnson to the President indicates that the President saw the notes.


106. Memorandum From the Ambassador at Large (Lodge) to Secretary of State Rusk

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Walt Rostow, Lodge, Henry Cabot. Top Secret; Nodis. The next day Rusk transmitted this memorandum to the President under cover of a note which read: “I think you will be interested in reading the attached memorandum from Cabot Lodge.” In his own covering memorandum to the President, March 6, Rostow wrote: “Herewith Cabot Lodge makes his case for a modification in military policy which would permit us protracted operations in Vietnam at low casualty levels.” The President wrote on this covering memorandum: “Ask Taylor & Clifford & Bunker each for separate comments.” (Ibid.)


107. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Received at 8:52 a.m. The telegram is printed in full in Pike, ed., The Bunker Papers, Vol. 2, pp. 362–371.


108. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt Rostow, Vol. 65. Secret; Sensitive; Literally Eyes Only. The notation “ps” on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.


110. Action Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC History of the March 31st Speech, Vol. 4, Tabs N–Z and AA–KK. Secret.


111. Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and Senator Richard Russell

Source: Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of Telephone Conversation Between Johnson and Russell, March 7, 1968, 4:10 p.m., Tape F6802.04, PNO 13–14. No classification marking. This transcript was prepared specifically for this volume in the Office of the Historian.


112. Telegram From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler) to the Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Westmoreland) and the Commander in Chief, Pacific (Sharp)

Source: Johnson Library, William C. Westmoreland Papers, #30 History File, 1–31 March 68 [1]. Secret; Eyes Only; Immediate. Received at 0314Z.


114. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler) to Secretary of Defense Clifford

Source: Washington National Records Center, Department of Defense, OSD Files: FRC 330 73 A 1304, 1968 Files, VIET 370. Top Secret; Sensitive. Received in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at 11:29 a.m. on March 9. A notation indicates that Clifford saw the memorandum.


115. Telegram From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler) to the Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Westmoreland)

Source: Johnson Library, William C. Westmoreland Papers, Eyes Only Message File, 1 Mar-31 Mar 1968. Top Secret. Repeated to Sharp.


116. Information Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 7 D (2), 12/67–3/68, News Media Coverage of Viet Nam. Confidential. The notation “ps” on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.


117. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Top Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Received at 10:48 a.m.


118. Information Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt Rostow, Vol. 66. Literally Eyes Only.


119. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler) to President Johnson

Source: Department of Defense, Official Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 911 (5 Mar 68) IR 3134. Top Secret; Sensitive; Nodis. Copies were sent to Clifford, Nitze, and Warnke.


120. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret. The meeting was held in the Cabinet Room. Those attending were the President, Rusk, Clifford, Nitze, Wheeler, Taylor, Helms, Rostow, Christian, and Tom Johnson. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


121. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret. The meeting was held in the White House. Those attending were the President, Clifford, Helms, Wheeler, Rostow, Christian, and Tom Johnson. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


122. Telegram From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler) to the Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Westmoreland)

Source: U.S. Army Center of Military History, William C. Westmoreland Papers, Eyes Only Message File, 1 Mar-31 Mar 1968. Secret; Eyes Only; Immediate. Repeated to Sharp.


124. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Received at 7:30 a.m. The telegram is printed in full in Pike, ed., The Bunker Papers, Vol. 2, pp. 372–379.