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304. Memorandum for the Record1

SUBJECT

  • WSAG Meeting of 25 May 1970

PARTICIPANTS

  • Dr. Kissinger
  • Ambassador Johnson
  • Mr. Packard
  • Mr. Helms
  • Mr. Karamessines
[Page 1003]
1.
Dr. Kissinger called a rump WSAG at the close of the 40 Committee meeting.2 He first asked DOD to draw up a plan to move captured communist equipment to Phnom Penh. He said the President was anxious to go ahead with this but that the plan should be phased so that there was some assurance that arms could be used and would not be recaptured by the enemy.
2.
On the Thai–Khmer regiments, Dr. Kissinger asked for confirmation that the field had been instructed to go ahead on forming these and training. He was told that recruitment of these regiments was proceeding but that no decisions had been made on money. Ambassador Johnson asked whether CIA expenditure of DOD money came under the same restrictions as if DOD spent the money. The Director answered yes. It was public money and if Congress placed restrictions on its expenditure that applied to CIA as much as to any other Agency or Department. Ambassador Johnson also asked for confirmation that the Cooper/Church Amendment would apply to Agency funds which were expended in Cambodia. Again the Director replied in the affirmative. There was considerable discussion on the legal aspects of all of this and Ambassador Johnson said his legal people would be getting together with Defense legal people tomorrow to try to plot contingency stage not only on the current Cooper/Church Amendment but on other amendments pending before the Congress which would be even more crippling. Ambassador Johnson wanted the Working Group to consider various actions proposed in the CIA paper of 22 May3 which would not immediately cost a lot of money. He also asked for consideration of arming and sending back into Cambodia the 3,000 FANK troops who had defected into Laos. There were some questions as to whether these FANKs would really be worth rearming.
3.
On the [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] request to introduce into Cambodia two regular Thai Army regiments, Dr. Kissinger clearly indicated that he was under pressure from above to agree to the [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] proposal. After some discussion around the table the consensus was that it was better to hold these troops in reserve for an emergency. Dr. Kissinger said he would have difficulty getting clearance on the Johnson cable [Page 1004]of Friday4 which said this and in effect turned down the [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] proposal. [5½ lines of source text not declassified]
4.
[1½ lines of source text not declassified]
William E. Nelson
Chief, Far East Division
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO/ISG/IP/ARP Files, Job 74–251, Box 5 of 5, [file name not declassified] Memoranda, #1. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only.
  2. The account of the 40 Committee meeting, which only tangentially discussed Cambodia, is in a memorandum for the record by Jessup. (National Security Council, 303/40 Committee Files, Minutes, 1970)
  3. This is the paper submitted by Nelson to Helms on May 20 and given to the WSAG on May 22; see footnote 4, Document 297.
  4. A draft cable of May 22. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–074, WSAG Meeting, 5/22/70)