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311. Editorial Note

No minutes have been found for the Washington Special Actions Group meeting of May 27, 1970. The briefing memorandum for the meeting from John Holdridge of the National Security Council Staff to Presidential Assistant Henry Kissinger, May 26, provides a list of the items to be discussed. They were: “legal restrictions on our ability to supply U.S. arms and equipment to third countries; declassification of the Presidential Decision on aid to Cambodia; the possibility of sending Thai troops into Cambodia until they can be relieved by the two Khmer regiments; FARK request for assistance in Northeast Cambodia; CIA's proposals to augment irregular forces in South Laos; Indonesian military assistance to Cambodia; and legal restrictions related to the proposed Church–Cooper amendment under consideration in the Senate.” The question of declassification of the Presidential aid determination was at Senator Fulbright's request and the Departments of State and Defense were prepared to declassify the actual determination. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–074, WSAG Meeting, 5/27/70) In the briefing memorandum for the June 2 Washington Special Actions Group Meeting, Holdridge reminded Kissinger that, “At the May 27 WSAG Meeting Ambassador Johnson pointed out that the only legal way he could see for the U.S. to support the introduction of the two Thai regiments into Cambodia was to identify them with the Black Panthers [Thai forces in Vietnam] as part of a program of ‘fighting the Vietnam war in Cambodia.'” (Ibid., 6/2/70) According to Holdridge's May 26 briefing memorandum, the Cambodian request for reinforcement of northeast Cambodia by two Khmer Krom battalions raised a number of questions relating to feasibility, strategic advantage, and consultation. As for the CIA's alternatives for south Laos, the WSAG Working Group on Cambodia had been assigned the task of preparing a study. The issue did not need to be raised until it was complete. Indonesian military assistance had been promised, but had not been as yet delivered. (Ibid., 5/27/70)