364. Memorandum of Conversation1



  • Additional Thai Forces


  • Thai Side
    • Foreign Minister Thanat Khoman
    • Minister of National Development Pote Sarasin
    • Charge dʼAffaires Arun Panupong
  • U.S. Side
    • Secretary of Defense—Robert S. McNamara
    • Assistant Secretary of Defense (ISA)—Paul C. Warnke
    • Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (ISA)—Richard C. Steadman
    • Thai Desk Officer, Department of State—Moncrieff J. Spear

After opening amenities, the Secretary said to Thanom and Pote that, as the President had told them this morning, the military requirement is for 10,000 Thai troops in addition to those already deployed to SVN. He said that the U.S. also recognizes the Thai requirement to deal with their internal security problems at home. The Secretary then read from the attached paper which outlines what the U.S. will undertake to provide Thailand in connection with a Thai decision to deploy an additional 10,000 men to Vietnam. He then handed the paper to the Thai.

There was a brief discussion regarding the delivery of equipment and the makeup of the increased MAP. Minister Pote said that the President was anxious for a decision to be announced as soon as possible and that the Thai Prime Minister was concerned that equipment necessary to train these forces be available when the forces are ready. Could this be accomplished?

The Secretary stated that necessary equipment would be there by the time the Thai were prepared to utilize it for training and that the MAP increases were apart from our direct support of forces being trained or deployed to SVN. The Secretary said that, in selecting the type of additional equipment to be provided, we and the Thai would have to consider the capability of their budgetary and personnel resources to utilize and to maintain effectively equipment provided.

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Department of Defense Paper2

The cost of training the additional 10,000 troops.
Equipment for the additional 10,000 troops. (Upon final withdrawal of Thai forces from South Vietnam, the Thai Government may retain this equipment.)
The cost of the incremental overseas allowances for the 10,000 additional troops (at rates currently paid to Thai personnel in South Vietnam) over and above their base pay and allowances.
Equipment for the rotational troops during their training period. (Upon final withdrawal of Thai forces from South Vietnam, the Thai Government may retain this equipment.)
You may announce that we have agreed to supply equipment for a HAWK battery and the training of Thai personnel to man such a battery if you determine that such battery is required for your national defense.
An increase in the MAP program for FY 68 from $60 million to $75 million.
An increase in the planned MAP program for FY 69 from $60 million to $75 million.
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD: FRC 72 A 2468. Secret. Drafted by Steadman. The meeting was held in McNamaraʼs office at the Pentagon.
  2. No classification marking. Rostow sent a copy of this attachment to President Johnson at 7:30 p.m. on October 6, indicating it was “the deal Bob McNamara handed to the Thais this afternoon to get a yes or no from their government.” Rostow informed the President that “The helicopters are in the proposed MAP increase to $75 million.” There is an indication on Rostowʼs covering memorandum that the President saw it. (Johnson Library, Country File, Vietnam, 5 D (3), Allies: Troop Commitment, Other Aid, 1967–1968)