198. Notes of Meeting1

[Omitted here is a briefing on events in Korea and Vietnam.]

Pres[ident]: Go into infiltration from North. What about 17,050 in April? Looks like twice as much infiltration in last 4 weeks than anytime before.

Wheeler: Westy said not all going to SVN. They are replacement & new units. Looks like substantial increase in last 2 months.

Pres: Has modification of bombing affected this?

Sharp: Haven’t been able to detect it.

Wheeler: Since Jan., 80,000 enemy KIA. Not back to pre-Tet position.

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Pres: What effect will weather in Laos have on inf[iltration]?

Sharp: Can move easier because of air strikes. Some weather/road problems. Not sure how far he can go.

Pres: Do you think he suffered as a result of Tet?

Sharp: Yes, sir.

Wheeler: Also, we know he did because of no 2nd level of attacks. He wants to mount them but can’t.

Rostow: Have we taken stock of strength of main-force units?

[Speaker not indicated]: MACV assesses all captured units against strengths. Figures are impressive, but aerial reconnaissance does not reflect main infusion into S[outh]. No large number of replacements seen yet.

Pres: Are they regrouping or running?

Wheeler: He is avoiding contact where possible & attempting to get recruits. Our people are carrying the fight to the enemy.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson’s Notes of Meetings. No classification marking. Transcribed from Tom Johnson’s handwritten notes. The meeting, which lasted from 10 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m., was held at CINCPAC. The principal individuals attending were the President, Wheeler, Ambassador to Korea William Porter, Chief of Protocol Angier Biddle Duke, Rostow, Bundy, Vance, Murphy, Sharp, McCain, General Charles Bonesteel of the Joint Staff, and Krulak. (Ibid., President’s Daily Diary)