284. Memorandum of Conversation1



  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Lt. Gen. Robert E. Cushman, Jr., USMC, Deputy Director, Central Intelligence Agency
  • Thomas Karamessines, CIA
  • David Packard, Deputy Secretary of Defense
  • Warren Nutter, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
  • General John A. Vogt, USAF
  • Ambassador U. Alexis Johnson, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
  • Marshall Green, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
  • Col. Richard T. Kennedy, NSC Staff


  • Cambodia

[The meeting began in the absence of Dr. Kissinger who was with the President.]2

Johnson: We have to have guidance on the Market Time extension. I suggest we not refer to Market Time. It’s not really an extension; it is just similar to it.

This is supporting the move on the sanctuaries.

[All agree that there should not be an announcement. We should have guidance for use only if asked.]

[Page 950]

Vogt: Secretaries Laird and Rogers agreed to this of having no announcement, at their meeting this morning. The execute message will go out.

[At 11:50, Dr. Kissinger arrives.]

Vogt: The “city complex” is confirmed. We found very large caches.

Packard: Rocket and mortar attacks have averaged 6½ rounds per operation over the past five weeks. We have captured enough rocket and mortar ammo for 719 such attacks.

Kissinger: Johnny [Vogt], reduce this type of data to the average enemy expenditure. How many weeks of enemy attack does this represent?

Nutter: Can we equate these figures to American deaths saved?

Vogt: Will do. We can say that as of this morning there are more Vietnamese than US forces involved in the operation.

Johnson: Henry, the rules of engagement have been agreed. We all agree that there should be no announcement. We came up with this guidance for answers to questions—that it’s in support of the move against the sanctuaries and not an extension of it. This is only if asked.

Kissinger: I agree. Where do we stand on the uniforms?

Packard: Yes, we have a reply from Abrams. We can provide 12,000 uniforms, boots and packs in small sizes.

Johnson: We will let Rives know of this.

Kissinger: What is the legal position on the airplanes?

Nutter: We must have a Presidential Determination for Sales and MAP and notify the Congress.

Johnson: Just what we did for Trinidad. Saying they are eligible for sales is one thing; for MAP another. Can’t we sell for cash—bill them and not press for collection?

Packard: That is against policy. We can charge it possibly. Some people in Congress who would object to anything would object to this.

Green: Cambodia has claims against us—maybe we can use it as an offset?

Johnson: But earlier we said it would take congressional action to pay the claims.

Packard: [outlines the availability of aircraft.]

Johnson: We could transfer them from Thailand.

Nutter: There’s a third-country MAP transfer problem.

Johnson: Can the Thai loan them and replace them from planes now in Cambodia and fix them later?

[Page 951]

Kissinger: Let’s look into this.3 Can we have all the options on Monday?4

  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. All brackets in the source text.
  3. In a separate summary of conclusions, May 8, the following decisions were noted: “There should be no announcement on the Market Time extension. If asked, we should indicate that the operation provides support for the move into the sanctuaries. The ‘city complex’ was confirmed. Very large caches of rocket and mortar ammunition were found. We could provide 12,000 uniforms, boots and packs in small sizes. The question of providing airplanes to Cambodia was discussed, but no conclusions were reached.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–073, WSAG Meeting, Cambodia, May 4–8, 1970)
  4. May 11; see Document 286.