25. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1
- Formation of an Interagency Ad Hoc Group on Vietnam
At the present time, no formal link exists between the NSC and the major policy planning group in Washington concerned with Vietnam. Policy planning on this subject has heretofore been handled by an informal interagency group under Department of State auspices. This deficiency has come into sharp focus in recent days as we attempted to get a grasp on existing contingency plans for Vietnam preparatory to your departure for Europe. The attached NSSM (Tab A)2 [Page 62] would formalize this interagency group and provide for the channeling of its policy studies into the NSC Review Group and the NSC, when desirable.
Creation of this Ad Hoc Group should have an immediately beneficial impact in pulling together our politico military contingency planning for U.S. reactions to a major new Communist offensive in South Vietnam. This Ad Hoc Group can be tasked, as below, with this responsibility. It can also oversee the implementation of your decisions on reaction and should prove of particular value if the Vietnamese Communists attempt a major offensive during the period of your upcoming trip to Europe. Conversely, it will not preclude the type of planning we conducted on Tuesday with Mel Laird and General McConnell. I will talk to Mel to insure that the special types of military operations we discussed at the meeting are excluded from this interdepartmental forum.
A study memorandum is enclosed (Tab B)3 requesting the preparation of an integrated political and military scenario of possible U.S. reactions to Communist attacks on the cities of South Vietnam and to the assassination of President Thieu. Preparation of these papers has been discussed with the Department of State and work is already underway. We thus have reason to expect that the short deadline can be met.
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–136, National Security Study Memoranda, NSSM 21. Secret; Sensitive.↩
- Document 26.↩
- Not found attached. It can be found in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–136, National Security Study Memoranda, NSSM 22.↩
- The President initialed this option.↩