233. Minutes of Washington Special Actions Group Meeting1


  • Cambodia


  • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
  • U. Alexis Johnson
  • Marshall Green
  • Jonathan Moore
  • Defense
  • G. Warren Nutter
  • Lt. Col. Gerald H. Britten
  • CIA
  • Thomas H. Karamessines
  • William Nelson
  • JCS
  • Admiral Nels C. Johnson
  • NSC Staff
  • Gen. Alexander M. Haig
  • John Holdridge
  • Laurence Lynn
  • Col. Richard Kennedy
  • Capt. Richard L. Sansom
  • D. Keith Guthrie


A WSAG working group is to be established to provide a systematic factual basis for considering what assistance the US might provide to Cambodia. The working group will be chaired by Dr. Lynn of the NSC staff or by an NSC staff member designated by him and will include one member designated by each of the WSAG principals. The working group (1) will prepare an analysis of the military shopping list given us by the Cambodians and (2) will assess what would be a reasonable objective for the Cambodians to aim at in trying to improve their military capabilities. The working group will consider the second question from two standpoints: (1) if the Cambodians were to aim at conducting a holding operation against North Vietnamese forces and [Page 819] (2) if the Cambodians wished to develop the capability to withstand a frontal attack from the communists. The working group will submit its report by April 20.

The WSAG decided that the State Department should immediately request the views of Ambassador Bunker and General Abrams on how to deliver the AK–47’s already offered to the Cambodians, and particularly on delivery across the border using the South Vietnamese Government as an intermediary.2 In the meantime, CIA will go forward with planning for covert delivery by air. The WSAG will meet April 16 to consider the reply expected from Ambassador Bunker.

[Omitted here are the minutes of the meeting.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–114, WSAG Minutes, Originals, 1969–1970. Top Secret; Sensitive. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room.
  2. In responding to telegram 056264 to Saigon, April 15, Bunker reported in telegram 5801 from Saigon, April 16, and in backchannel message 80 from Saigon, also April 16, that he had consulted with Abrams and there was no question about GVN’s cooperation, but that cross-border ground delivery became more difficult and risky daily in view of VC/NVA occupation of a 10 kilometer strip of Cambodian territory along the border. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27–7 VIET S, and ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 410, Backchannel Messages, Southeast Asia, 1970)