128. Information Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson 1
Washington, March 15, 1968, 3:25 p.m.
Herewith the proposals for the 5 p.m. meeting.2 I have ascertained from Paul Nitze that:
- —this is a consensus agreed upon completely within the Pentagon; that is, all the members of the JCS and the service Secretaries, as well as Clifford and Nitze;
- —the Strategic Reserve call-up (para 3) would be announced at the same time as the call-up to support the thirty thousand deployment, but it would take place later: beginning approximately April 15;
- —the cost of this package would be for FY 1968 $2 billion extra. To this must be added the $3.4 billion extra to which we are already committed by actions taken. The extra cost for FY 1969 is “much less” than the $10 billion we had earlier envisaged. Nitze will have an approximate calculation in time for the 5 P.M. meeting.
I will organize some questions for you promptly, but I wanted you to have this right away.3
- Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC History of the March 31st Speech, Vol. 7, Meeting Notes. Top Secret.↩
- See Document 130.↩
- In a memorandum to the President that day, 4:20 p.m., Rostow listed 10 questions that the President could ask during the 5 p.m. meeting. In addition, Rostow suggested that the President discuss the suggested timing of the announcement, ARVN expansion, a general Vietnam policy review, arrangements for Congressional consultation, and guidance to Clifford and Rusk on the announcement speech. (Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC History of the March 31st Speech, Vol. 7, Meeting Notes)↩