138. Information Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson1
You asked for an analysis of the attached document to the President from Kosygin.2
There are three points of substance: [Page 394]
- —A. The Soviet leaders report that the Vietnamese leaders have “told [Page 395] us as well about the seriousness of their intentions.”
- —B. “The most recent facts… convincingly prove …”
I presume this refers to the Hanoi cave-in on “without conditions” and acceptance of three days, at our insistence and, perhaps, Soviet urging.
—C. “It seems to us that doubts … are without foundation.”
- Taken by themselves, these statements do not amount to a great deal; although it is significant that, for the first time, Moscow is responsive to our request that they commit themselves about the intent and integrity of Hanoi.
- However, when the Soviet reply is placed side by side with the attached memorandum,3 which I gave last night to Dobrynin and which stimulated the Soviet reply, the two documents taken together represent something more substantial in dealing with the leadership, etc., than the Soviet document taken by itself.
- My own assessment—which is also General Taylor’s, who has gone over this with me—is that this is about all we might expect from the Soviet Union at this juncture.