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21. Editorial Note

In accordance with his reorganization of the National Security Council as outlined in NSDM 2, January 2, 1969, (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 363, Subject Files, NSDMs 1–50) President Nixon directed the formulation of an interdepartmental Ad Hoc Group on Vietnam. The role of the Ad Hoc Group was formally outlined in NSSM 21, February 13. (Ibid., Box 365, NSSMs 1–42) The group was to be chaired by a representative of the Secretary of State, Ambassador William Sullivan, and included representatives of the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Director of Central Intelligence. The group's stated functions were to prepare policy and contingency papers for consideration of the National Security Council and its Review Group. In addition the Ad Hoc Group was given authority to discuss and decide interdepartmental issues as deemed appropriate, such as coordination and planning of public information on Vietnam. In recommending the idea to the President in a February 13 memorandum, Kissinger stated that the “creation of the Ad Hoc Group should have an immediate beneficial impact in pulling together our political military contingency planning for U.S. reactions to a major new Communist offensive in South Vietnam.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–136, NSSM Files, NSSM 21) All documents cited above are in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Volume II, Organization and Management of Foreign Policy, 1969–1972.