32. Editorial Note

The final stop in Asia on the tour undertaken by President Nixon in July and August 1969 was in Pakistan. Henry Kissinger used the occasion of a background briefing for the press in Lahore on August 1 to expand the definition of the doctrine established by Nixon in Guam on July 25:

“We came to Asia to put before the countries we visited our general approach to Asian policy, which I perhaps can sum up briefly as follows:

  • “One, that we will honor all commitments which we have made; two, that we will not undertake any new formal commitments; three, that the best defense against the insurrection is to prevent it from happening, by removing the conditions that give rise to it. If insurrection reaches the form, or if subversion reaches the form of insurrection, the American role should be confined, essentially, to technical and military assistance and not to the supply of ground forces in those cases in which we feel our interest is sufficiently involved to engage ourselves at all.
  • “Five, that peace in Asia is a pre-condition to peace in the world, and that peace in Asia cannot result primarily from American conceptions, but has to involve Asian initiatives, and a structure developed by Asians.

“Therefore, we would look favorably upon regional and sub-regional arrangements that have an Asian origin, and we would be prepared to give our support, especially in the economic field, where it is [Page 97] asked for and where our view of the necessities coincides with that of the countries concerned.

“I believe that while when we started out there was a fear in many of the countries that we visited that the United States might withdraw from Asia altogether, or might withdraw too precipitously from Vietnam, that there is an understanding that we are moving into a new phase, that we are looking for more permanent relationships and not the essentially emergency measures that were inevitable in the immediate post-war period.

“I believe also that there is a general recognition that the way the war in Vietnam ends will affect the American posture towards international affairs and towards a role in Asia, and I think we have laid the basis for a relationship which, over a longer period of time, will be more viable than the existing one.” (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 425, Subject File, Background Briefings, June-Dec 1969)