132. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam1

131330. Nodis outside the Department. Literally eyes only for the Ambassador from the Secretary. The President is facing some decisions which may well require him to make a major speech to the nation around the middle of next week involving troops and the call-up of certain reserves. There could be important advantages in a “mobilization” type of speech by President Thieu beforehand to which reference could be made. Please give me your quick reactions to the feasibility of some such speech and the major elements which Thieu might be able to include, including possible reference to an additional 100,000 men, the steps taken in the draft in the recall of veterans, and any more steps on civilian programs. A strong assertion by Thieu that the South Vietnamese accept their full responsibility for the struggle and are going all out to meet it is the sort of thing we are looking for. I would discuss this only with Westmoreland for purposes of the present turnaround. What we need is your judgment as to what you think will be possible.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Top Secret; Immediate. Drafted and approved by Rusk.