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123. National Security Decision Memorandum 241

TO

  • The Vice President
  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Attorney General
  • The Director of Central Intelligence
  • The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

SUBJECT

  • Vietnam

As a result of the September 12 meeting on Vietnam,2 the President has directed that:

1.
Following Ambassador Bunker's return to Saigon, immediate discussions be undertaken with appropriate representatives of the Government of Vietnam with the purpose of determining specific conditions which the GVN considers essential for acceptance of a “Ceasefire.” The discussions should be conducted in response to initiatives already taken by the GVN on this subject and should avoid any hint of pressure by the U.S. Government on the South Vietnamese. The views of the South Vietnamese Government should be forwarded to the President as soon as the discussions permit.
2.
U.S. officials refrain from public discussion of “Ceasefire” except as required within the framework of the Paris negotiations.
3.
Future decisions on U.S. troop withdrawals be based on full consideration of the three criteria previously enunciated by the President and decisions will be made on an incremental basis as the situation dictates. U.S. officials dealing with the press should therefore be instructed to avoid speculation on future plans, deadlines or timetables for the reduction of the U.S. presence in Vietnam.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 363, Subject Files, NSDMs. Top Secret; Sensitive.
  2. Document 120.