265. Memorandum From Michael V. Forrestal of the National Security Council Staff to the Presidentʼs Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1

The attached telegram2 discloses part of the difficulty with the deployment of troops to Thailand. The difficulties of the JCS are exactly the same as those they had two years ago when we put the Marines in Thailand. As a general principle, they do not favor the deployment of troops anywhere in Asia unless they are assured that it is part of a larger plan to win a war. In short, it is not the political objectives of the move that they question, but the military usefulness. There is an underlying fear that they may be asked to move across the Mekong with insufficient force in the event that things hot up. I will try to talk to Bill Bundy further before he leaves.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Thailand, Vol. I, Memos, 11/63–11/64. Secret.
  2. Attached was JCS telegram 5107 to CINCPAC, February 29, in which the Joint Chiefs instructed CINCPAC to prepare recommendations on sending troops to Thailand. The JCS noted that they had recommended “against introduction of ground troops at this time without specific military or political objectives to be served,” but they stated that the issue was being discussed at the highest level and the U.S. military might be directed to act on very short notice.