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252. Memorandum for the Record1

PARTICIPANTS

  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Richard Helms, Director of Central Intelligence
  • David Packard, Deputy Secretary of Defense
  • Amb. U. Alexis Johnson, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
  • Marshall Green, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
  • Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, Acting Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Col. Richard T. Kennedy, NSC Staff
[Page 862]

SUBJECT

  • Meeting of WSAG Principals on Cambodia2
1.

The execute order is out. Air authorization to MACV.

—Issue: Should advisors for ground air controllers go in and go in with helos?

2.

Air Advisors.

—Issue: They should be able to use tac air without prior authority from Washington.

All believe that Dr. Kissinger will put it to the President per his agreement with the Secretary of State.

Kissinger: Can we keep the correspondents out?

Packard: It may focus more attention than otherwise on the activity.

All reviewed the draft of a cable to Abrams prepared by Johnson.3

All agree that Moorer will call Abrams and discuss the public relations aspects.

It was agreed to meet again at 3:00 p.m. the next day.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–114, WSAG Minutes, Originals, 1969–1970. Secret; Sensitive. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room.
  2. No minutes of the morning meeting of April 23 have been found, but an April 23 briefing memorandum from Kennedy to Kissinger for the evening WSAG meeting provides a partial account of what took place. At the morning meeting Kissinger asked for confirmation of U.S. military moves along the Cambodian border and stated that no U.S. personnel were to go into Cambodia, although he said he would raise the issue of U.S. forward air controllers with the President. Packard agreed to limit press coverage in the operational area; Johnson was to prepare a “diplomatic scenario;” Unger was to ask the Thais to assure Lon Nol that they would secure the Thai border; and Thieu should ensure Lon Nol that South Vietnam had no intention of occupying Cambodia. Kissinger agreed to send an additional 1,000-man pack to Cambodia and informed the WSAG of the President's desire for “maximum diplomatic encouragement of third country assistance to Cambodia.” (Ibid., Box H–073, WSAG Meeting, Cambodia, 4/23/70, a.m. and p.m.)
  3. Not further identified.