313. Memorandum of Conversation1
- The President
- Secretary of Defense
- Deputy Secretary of Defense Packard
- Chairman, JCS (General Earle Wheeler)
- Chief of Naval Operations (Admiral Moorer)
- CINCPAC (Admiral McCain)
- MACV (General Abrams)
- Mr. Henry Kissinger
- Brigadier General Haig (notetaker)
The meeting commenced at 2:08 p.m. The first three minutes were utilized for press photography.
The President: I have asked you to come to San Clemente today so that we could take a close look at where we are in Southeast Asia, review the situation with emphasis on South Vietnam but include also discussion of Laos and Cambodia. We are now 30 days into our Cambodian operation and the public in general tends to believe that the military operation is all but over. For this reason, I would like to have the comments of the Secretary of Defense, the Chiefs as expressed by General Wheeler and Admiral Moorer, Admiral McCain and, of course, our Commander in the field. General Abrams, would you please present your appraisal of the situation.
General Abrams: I would like to begin by giving our appraisal from the enemy’s perspective of what is happening in Cambodia and Laos:
- —After sacking of the North Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh by the Cambodians, the enemy commenced to develop a 360 degree improved defensive position around its base areas in Eastern Cambodia. This situation continued until about 26 March. At this point, pro- [Page 1017] Sihanouk uprisings began to occur. These uprisings were centered around the rubber plantations and were instigated by VC/NVA cadres, with the intent of putting pressure on the Lon Nol Government. Concurrently, the Cambodians started to deploy FARK units towards the enemy sanctuary areas concentrating in the Snol and Mimot areas, as part of his overall strategy to push the enemy back into the sanctuaries.
- —Then, on 1 April the enemy began to expand out of the sanctuary areas forming a 15 to 20 kilometer band from the tri-border area in the north to the sea in the south.
- —By the 12th or 15th of April, the enemy had gotten specific guidance—we have documents to confirm this—setting up a new liberation movement and organizing cadres to support the movement. In effect, the enemy had established a head before they had developed a body and they were now trying to do this.
- —On May 1, following our attacks, they reacted in a mixed fashion:
- In IV Corps, the enemy just tried to avoid Allied forces.
- In the Parrot’s Beak, SR 2 and SR 3 tried to fight but took heavy losses.
- In the northern tier of III Corps, parts of the 7th NVA conducted a skillful delaying action, designed to protect COSVN headquarters.
- In Base Areas 350 and 351, opposite II Corps, the enemy moved out of the way.
- In Laos, the enemy moved to take Attopeu on the Sekong River and Kratie and Sten Krang on the Mekong in Cambodia. In Laos, the enemy shifted his efforts from the north to the south, with the view toward developing a new logistics route over the Sekong and Mekong Rivers into III and IV Corps.
- —In early May, the enemy suspended his infiltration groups in Laos destined for COSVN and held them up for about a week. We have intercepts to indicate that this caused some problems in that the groups started to consume rice stocks which had been prepositioned in the way stations for the rainy season.
- —The 559th Transportation Group which runs all of the logistics system in Laos were told around May 11th to remain in Laos during the rainy season. This is abnormal since they usually return to North Vietnam during the rains.
- —Between 10 and 22 May, 1,438 short tons of supplies were moved south from the Ashau area, suggesting a critical shortage in the III and IV Corps areas.
- —On May 25, the enemy’s pipeline around the western edge of the DMZ to Base Area 604 was reported operational.
On our side we have:
- —Entered all the enemy’s base areas in Cambodia, with the exception of Base Area 609.
- —Gotten substantial amounts of supplies, hospitals, maintenance areas, small factory areas used to fabricate mines and munitions, and destroyed numerous logistical facilities.
- —I believe we have disturbed COSVN, especially with our last three strikes which, with the second we forced them off the air for 30 hours and 20 minutes.
The President: How deep in were these strikes, General Abrams?
General Abrams: About 35 kilometers from the border.
The President: Then we have hit them in areas where they have not dug in.
General Abrams: I believe that is correct. Earlier, we captured a PW from the COSVN signal unit and he reported that they had received seven hours warning, that⅔ of COSVN had moved out while ⅓ stayed and that many of those that remained were killed. He also described their tactic of placing their antenna approximately 2 kilometers from the staff section which the antenna supported. Consequently, we watched them day and night for a period of days, to get a pattern and then a firm fix on where the guts of the headquarters were located. Having gotten this fix, we think we significantly disturbed them, after instituting an entirely new system for delivering the strikes.
Dr. Kissinger: Didn’t the prisoner state that they got their notice from Guam?
General Abrams: No, he was not specific. He merely stated that they had 7 hours’ notice.
Mr. Laird: Of course, the Soviet trawler sitting off Guam reports to Peking when our B–52s take off and they, in turn, alert the enemy.
General Abrams: We had reviewed our whole B–52 targeting system on three separate occasions and removed many of the security holes but undoubtedly some still remained. The last three strikes we set up by establishing a compression calling for 35 sorties in 1 hour and 45 minutes. Only five officers besides myself in the headquarters knew the precise target. The B–52 pilots were briefed on primary and alternate targets and the whole system was fed information on an erroneous target. One hour and a half out, we gave new coordinates to the radar operator which he cranked into the system and guided the B–52s into the target. I am confident that this system has cut out the seven hour warning.
—In Vietnam, infiltration remains low, especially for the month of May, during which it rose to 13,900. The other months have been around 3,000 or 4,000. June will be at this level and perhaps July, although this could change.
General Wheeler: You are talking about arrivals, are you not?
General Abrams: Yes, we still have a good window on the infiltration [Page 1019] business and the documents we captured in the Fish Hook corroborate the accuracy of our counting system.
—Terrorism has remained high with the most pressure in I Corps. There are 10 battalions just south of the DMZ which have been replenished through the DMZ. There are two regiments pointed towards Quan Tri City, four regiments pointed towards Hue and four regiments pointed towards the Da Nang area. During the week ending May 9, 100 U.S. KIA occurred in I Corps. This was 54% of the week’s total. While this has dropped off since, it is still in I Corps where the pressure is highest. The enemy’s pressure in the Highlands also continues. These are the only two bad areas where real main force pressure exists. These are the areas least affected by Cambodia.
The President: Do you think the stepup is the response to Cambodia?
General Abrams: Yes. In the future, we must:
- Have the South Vietnamese turn inward and clean out their problems in South Vietnam. Thieu agrees with this emphasis. Thieu has announced a renewed pacification effort, scheduled to commence on July 1 and running through October 31.
- Reinforce I Corps and II Corps with Vietnamese forces from III or IV Corps sometime in July.
The President: I know that your public appraisal of the ARVN has been high but what is your private assessment?
General Abrams: The ARVN has done better than I would ever have expected. Their combined operation up the Mekong River involving Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines was professionally done. All worked together. The Army were landed by helicopters and the Marines linked up over the water and relieved the Army in place. Throughout the operations, the Vietnamese Air Force provided close and continuous support.
The President: How do the Vietnamese people feel?
General Abrams: I cannot speak for the people but the Vietnamese military think the performance has been great. Up to now, they have been comparing themselves with U.S. forces. This time, they could compare themselves with the Cambodians and obtain an entirely different picture. Their pride is up.
The President: Then you could say that the operation has given us greater confidence in the Vietnamization program.
General Abrams: Yes.
The President: In terms of what is left, I recognize that from this point on it will level off although there still may be significant material. In your opinion is it worth digging any longer?
General Abrams: Yes, on a case-by-case basis. We are now using [Page 1020] Cambodians to help us locate caches and thus far, the reports have been about 50% accurate. We will not leave any U.S. forces one extra day longer in Cambodia if they are gainfully employed.
The President: How many U.S. troops have been engaged thus far?
Secretary Laird: There are 14,000 U.S. troops in there now. The highest figure was 19,000.
The President: But how many U.S. have been exposed in Cambodia all told? Also, how many GVN now and what was the highest total?
General Abrams: There are about 20,000 GVN in Cambodia now and at the high point it was 28,000. We will have to get other totals.
The President: This will be helpful to show the relative burdens.
General Abrams: They have also paid the highest price.
General Wheeler: That is correct. They have had 503 casualties as of today, while we have had 230.
The President: I would like to discuss some ideas for the future. I recognize that Laos is primarily CIA’s responsibility but what can the Meos do offensively? To put it another way, is it not in our interest to keep three fronts active to the extent we are able? We should get the Meos to keep up the pressure and I would suspect the NVA may be somewhat weaker in Laos.
General Wheeler: Vang Pao started an offensive the other day which moved off easily the first day. Then they ran into very tough resistance. There were several NVA battalions in the area. I suspect the enemy does not wish to repeat last year’s mistakes and also hopes to keep the pressure on themselves. It is obvious that the threat to Long Tieng is over. We may, however, be able to get some minor successes.
Admiral Moorer: Yesterday, Vang Pao reported he would keep pushing.
The President: Right. You should keep the heat on over the three fronts. This is vitally important to Vietnam. You must remember that all of the assistance we get there helps to bring Vietnam to a successful conclusion. Now is the time to keep the heat on so that the enemy doesn’t assume that Cambodia was our last gasp. Before our operations started, I would have expected far more U.S. casualties. We have not seen the big stepup in casualties in Vietnam either, as so many predicted. Therefore:
- Clean out the sanctuaries as you have outlined and do not withdraw for domestic reasons but only for military reasons. We have taken all the heat on this one.
- On the South Vietnamese front, the primary objective must be the securing of Vietnam. For the ARVN, Cambodia is related to this objective and to that extent we want them to defend their interests in [Page 1021] Cambodia. Thus, we should urge them to take certain steps there. For our part, however, 30 June will mark the end of our ground operations. The enemy, however, must anticipate that the South Vietnamese will return if required. This involves the closest of judgments.
- Concerning U.S. support, we will not go back in with logistics or advisers. We will provide artillery support from the South Vietnamese side. Future air operations must be justified on the basis of U.S. security and goals. For example, striking COSVN in Cambodia. Northeast Cambodia could be important for the security of our own forces if the enemy builds up there but our answer should be fuzzy on this issue. U.S. air power will be used for the purpose of defending U.S. forces in South Vietnam. That is what we say publicly. But now, let’s talk about what we will actually do. Within the above guidelines, we may find that the South Vietnamese in Cambodia need our help and we can deal with that. In other words, publicly we say one thing. Actually, we do another. Mel, do you care to address this question?
Secretary Laird: This is a key point. We will not fly close air support for the South Vietnamese but only interdiction and only General Abrams should talk about that.
General Abrams: Whatever cross-border operations the South Vietnamese do after July 1, they probably won’t need or ask for U.S. close air support.
Secretary Laird: Abe, tell the President of the VNAF’s turn-about.
General Abrams: After Cambodia started, the South Vietnamese pilots were actually bribing their duty officers to get on the Sunday flying roster. In the past, we had been unable to get them to fly on Sunday.
The President: Then you think they won’t need close air support?
General Abrams: We will get no pressure from them on this issue but problems may develop for them.
The President: Then you have authority, but publicly it is for defense of U.S. forces. Just do it. Don’t come back and ask permission each time. We can deny publicly that we are providing close air support. Now I understand that the enemy may hit in I Corps. We have only had one good run at the choke points in North Vietnam so I want you to study these choke points.
Secretary Laird: Mr. President, there are seven highways and four choke points.
The President: Fine. Look at these carefully immediately and see if the enemy has restocked along these routes. Find out specifically what would be worth hitting if the enemy avoids my warnings and institutes another high point, especially in I Corps. We cannot sit here and let the enemy believe that Cambodia is our last gasp. We have taken all the heat and if we need to hit them again, let me know. In this instance, I want you to ask for this authority however.
Secretary Laird: General Abrams, give the President your views for the use of the ARVN airborne in I Corps.[Page 1022]
General Abrams: I think we should now reenforce I Corps with South Vietnamese forces, using some combination of the strategic reserve such as their airborne and their marines and perhaps some cavalry squadrons from the IV Corps area. This, of course, will take some urging on our part.
The President: Does this mean that they will be in contact with the North Vietnamese in that area?
General Abrams: Yes, the airborne division has for the first time moved in Cambodia as a division. They are now perfectly competent to run their own show.
The President: In summary then, I would like you to prepare adequate plans which provide for:
- Offensive operations in Laos.
- Continuation of ARVN ground and U.S. air operations in Cambodia.
- Provision for a summer offensive in South Vietnam (I am aware that you plan to initiate an offensive in III and IV Corps but I want to get the South Vietnamese to move offensively and at the same time keep our casualties low).
We have now arrived at a critical point. In July and August, the enemy cannot be led to believe that we have shot our wad. They must feel we are going ahead. Dr. Kissinger, would you care to comment on this?
Dr. Kissinger: I agree completely. The enemy will now have to reassess his priorities. We need especially strong air action during July and August.
The President: We also need a contingency plan in the event Lon Nol falls or in the event Matak takes over. In either event, the enemy might move on Phnom Penh, either through a coup or by direct military action. To preclude such an event, the South Vietnamese should constitute a deterrent. For this reason, we cannot leash the South Vietnamese but suppose the worst happens and Phnom Penh falls, then the port area becomes critical. In any event, it must stay closed. Therefore, we need a South Vietnamese plan to deny the ports to the enemy. We should think about this point especially. Another point is Cambodia itself. We have had quite a go-around on this one. Suharto told me he wants to help, even though he is for non-alignment. He made a strong pitch for modest U.S. replacements for Indonesian Soviet equipment which they, in turn, would provide to Cambodia. Indonesia wants to play a role in Southeast Asia. They want the South Vietnamese and Cambodians to hold. They are willing and actually wish to help with Russian equipment, if we can replace what they provide with U.S. equipment. We certainly need others to help Lon Nol even if only in a psychological sense. Indonesia should take the lead. Let’s get a better effort from them.[Page 1023]
Admiral McCain: Yes, Mr. President, we must encourage these people.
The President: Mr. Packard, cannot the Japanese be of more help?
Mr. Packard: Thus far, only with credits but they could certainly do more.
The President: We must not be out all alone on this one. We need the Asians to do more. We should not worry about amounts so much as the importance of getting something done quickly. President Suharto expressed great concern to me about the Soviet presence in the waters of the Pacific.
Admiral McCain: They are also beginning to worry about the resurgence of Japanese militarism.
Mr. Packard: Hopefully, we can get the Japanese to provide some open credit to the Cambodians.
The President: Mr. Kissinger, let’s get moving on this. Sato certainly owes us one. Push Japanese action either with liberal credit or as an outright gift. On the military side, I want Mr. Ladd to go to Phnom Penh. He should do this not later than Thursday.2 It is essential that the Cambodians know that we are behind them. How is our new military attaché performing?3
General Abrams: I am worried about this guy. He is too smooth. His discussions with me reflect supreme confidence. He seems dangerous. He brought in that Cambodian Brigadier General which we did not expect, who wanted all kinds of things to include dental work. Pietsch wanted me to see him but I refused to do so. Pietsch is making the U.S. profile too high.
Secretary Laird: We want to keep our assistance to Cambodia in South Vietnamese channels.
General Abrams: Yes, the Joint General Staff is sending representatives to Phnom Penh to assist with this.
The President: Where do we stand on Thai assistance?
General Abrams: I have grave doubts about their advice to the Cambodians and the provision of fighting troops. They have problems along their northern border which they themselves do not know how to solve. In my view, they need their people at home.
Secretary Laird: Exactly. Cambodia should work in their own north.
General Abrams: They should not send two regiments to Cambodia. The Thais just do not know how to do it. We must be realistic. The [Page 1024] best people to train Cambodians are the South Vietnamese. They have the most experience.
Mr. Packard: What about the Indonesians?
Admiral McCain: I think the Indonesians are getting better.
General Abrams: This is a tough enemy and tough business and we must keep that in mind.
The President: Using the South Vietnamese as the channel to help the Cambodians is a good way, providing it does not prove to be counterproductive but we also want to get the other nations to help at least on the surface.
Secretary Laird: We can be tougher than we have been on the Thais. We should push them to face the northern Thailand problem.
Mr. Kissinger: It seems to me that the main problem is not what is best politically but how do we keep Cambodia from collapsing in the next 3 months. We must keep them propped up and time is the crucial problem. How do we do this? Anything we can do is certainly worth the risk.
Mr. Packard: But we can’t pay for the Thais legally.
Mr. Kissinger: We have worked out a scheme in the WSAG but I am not pushing for this particular solution. What we must do is consider what we are going to do as we pull our forces out of Cambodia. It is essential that we keep a deterrent effect on the enemy.
Admiral Moorer: I agree entirely with Dr. Kissinger.
Admiral McCain: I also agree.
The President: The problem is the North Vietnamese also have a tough military problem but we must give them a political problem by getting Asian support for the Cambodians. The Thai problem might help. It is certainly important for the Indonesians to play a role. Let’s look at some alternatives for what we do next. If the enemy takes Cambodia, we have got a rough problem. To prevent this, we must take some risks. The South Vietnamese, Thais, Indonesians should all help and the Japanese.
Now what about the Chieu Hoi problem?
General Abrams: The rates have dropped off somewhat this year but we are still in very good shape. We had some especially good results from our operations in the Parrot’s Beak.
The President: I think we now need a major psychological offensive in South Vietnam to get the enemy to Chieu Hoi.
General Abrams: We are doing this Sir. The SR 2 Deputy Commander who defected has made some tapes which explain why he did it and encourages others to do likewise.
The President: Now, let’s turn to the withdrawal program.[Page 1025]
Secretary Laird: As you know, Mr. President, we have paused in our withdrawals over this period and we are paying for this holdup at the price of our U.S. forces in CONUS which are earmarked for NATO. I made the Army eat these costs. There is going to be some strong bitching about this but we are handling it. We plan to hold the pause on our withdrawals through July. Also, I have given guidance that there will be no withdrawals in excess of 60,000 troops for the balance of the year, but the Chiefs have problems with this and are preparing a paper with other options. Cambodia has been a success. Therefore, we should show some movement by withdrawing forces as soon as possible. The Chiefs’ paper will be ready by the 10th of June. Money is the problem. Certainly, we cannot go to the Congress for a supplemental. I believe one of the options the Chiefs have presented calls for a 90,000 drawdown by the first of the year.
General Wheeler: Alternative A under our plan provides for a 60,000 drawdown by January 1 and another 90,000 by the end of May 1971 but the air sortie rates remain critical. We believe we have got to get higher sortie rates than the FY 1971 budget now provides and drawing down more ground forces is the only answer. Alternative B in our paper calls for up to 100,000 drawdown by the first of the year. Personally, I think this is too risky. In this plan, it still only provides for the FY 1971 approved sortie rate. No other tradeoffs were attractive to me because they involve a serious world-wide drawdown on our readiness. We are unable now to meet our NATO commitments. These commitments provide that we deploy 3 and ⅔ divisions to NATO within 30 days. Right now, we can only provide 2 and ⅔ divisions. This cannot be concealed from our Allies. On the other hand, even with 100,000 man drawdown by January 1, we still only keep the currently authorized FY 71 sortie rates. Therefore, this is a very high risk option.
The President: What is your view, General Abrams?
General Abrams: My judgment is to look in terms of South Vietnam—60,000 by December 31st—then 90,000 by May 1 can be done but it stretches the South Vietnamese capabilities. Anything beyond this would be nothing short of dangerous.
General Wheeler: I think we are now at the crossroads in this war. We have taken wrong turns in the past. The situation is favorable at this time because of Cambodia, especially in the III and IV Corps areas but in the north in the I and II Corps areas the enemy has the means to set us back.
Secretary Laird: I have asked for some more time to consider this problem.
Admiral Moorer: We are looking at our priority risks worldwide but we should not go too fast. We should not reduce our forces too fast. If the enemy is allowed to recover this time, we are through.[Page 1026]
Secretary Laird: The South Vietnamese have shown they can do the job. We must keep the momentum going. I don’t believe it is too easy to judge the relative merits of 60,000 or 100,000 and we must get Congressional support for our funding next year. Thus, we have got to win politically as well as militarily.
The President: Of course, that is why we must continue to draw down our forces.
Secretary Laird: The Hill is going to delay our appropriations process until next year. Mahon says our FY 1971 budget appropriations will probably be reduced by only $1 billion. However, Ellender insists that it may go down as much as $3 billion.
Admiral McCain: From my visits throughout Southeast Asia, I am convinced that Cambodia has made the difference. We must not lose it now.
The President: General Abrams, have you anything more to add?
General Abrams: I think we must get the ARVN to do most of the fighting in III Corps but the 5th Division and 18th Division are question marks. We have got to reinforce I Corps with ARVN. All this means that the Vietnamese will be pushed hard but they should be able to do the job.
The President: But what happens if Cambodia falls? I want you to put the air in there and not spare the horses.
Mr. Kissinger: We now have an advantage. Do we exploit this advantage or succumb to husbanding resources?
The President: To get the money we need, we must show results.
Secretary Laird: Yes, we must have the appropriations.
The President: That is a real problem. We will hang on. I will avoid any decision which throws away what we have accomplished. I will be judged on Vietnamization, U.S. casualties and the outcome of Cambodia. We cannot change this but decisions which are not realistic won’t do. We have got to stretch the South Vietnamese. The effect of this worldwide will be whether or not we have succeeded. At the same time, we have a political problem involving the Congress and we must get the money.
Admiral Moorer: Why not just draw down an increment right away?
The President: I will not make a decision today. For now, we will hold to the 150,000 over the next year. I want no straight-jacket for the balance of the year.
Mr. Packard: Yes, but the drawdown should start soon. Maybe not until the end of June. If we go on a longer schedule and keep the sortie rates up, then NATO readiness must suffer.
Secretary Laird: This is true and we certainly cannot fool with Mediterranean area.[Page 1027]
Mr. Packard: I can see no possibility of a supplemental and we will be lucky if we only have to take a $1 billion reduction.
The President: When we talk about priority of risks worldwide, keep in mind that if we fail on this effort all the rest is insignificant. We must succeed here.
General Wheeler: On my trip, the Turks were vitally interested in Cambodia. They know that they also are out in front and have drawn their own conclusions from your actions in Cambodia. The Turkish opposition now tells the people that the U.S. will never come to their aid. Your actions in Cambodia and South Vietnam have strengthened NATO. Cambodia was a very sound decision.
The President: Exactly. We must also realize that if the allies believe this, then the enemy also must wonder. If we sit around and just dribble out our power, it is bound to have some effect on the enemy. We have got to make a decision best designed to disengage us but still succeed.
Admiral Moorer: We have intelligence suggesting there have been nine tankers in Haigphong this month alone, probably required to replace the POL hit during the air strikes in the north.
Mr. Packard: Can we do more in the DMZ area, perhaps mining the Ben Hai River?
General Abrams: He has got 22 battalions in this area. 10 are south of the DMZ and 12 are to the north. Replacements for these units and their supplies come directly through the DMZ.
The President: Could South Vietnamese hit North Vietnam through commando raids?
General Abrams: Probably not at this time but we should look at this.
The President: We need something to give the north some problems. Take a look at it.
We have all had a long day. I have decided at this point that the public assumes Cambodia is largely over and therefore I will give them a brief interim report this week, probably on Wednesday.4 It will touch upon what we have accomplished there, where we are. I hope it would have a salutory effect. During the balance of the operations, you will probably not get too much that is newsworthy and we have got to get the story out nationally. My report will be based on your report, General Abrams, and will be kept all within the framework of what we have said here today. We should continue to play a strong confident [Page 1028] game. I would like to say that our people in the field have done a superior job. What they have done is almost fantastic, especially the South Vietnamese.
Secretary Laird: My only problem is that they will get some setbacks. We must not be too optimistic here at home.
General Abrams: I had dinner with some press people the other night. They now want to know how we are going to stop the South Vietnamese. I told them that just last month they wanted to know how I was going to get them moving.
The President: The fact is they just don’t want to win.
Mr. Packard then raised the Gleason gear sales to the USSR and the President instructed him to seek a 90-day extension rather than to move now commenting “by that time, we may be able to link something with it.”
The meeting was adjourned.
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1024, Presidential/HAK memcons, Meeting at San Clemente with President, May 31, 1970. Top Secret; Sensitive. This memorandum was based on Haig’s notes. A sanitized version of this meeting was typed on June 4 and given wider distribution. Haig’s notes and the sanitized version are ibid. On June 2 at 9:12 a.m. Kissinger telephoned Rogers, who had been at the NATO ministers meeting, to tell him about this meeting: “You didn’t miss anything. It would make you climb the wall. Abrams has been going around Cambodia but he gave no analysis—just where the units are—the tactical situation. Then we decided about the role of tactical at the NSC meeting. There was nothing.” (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 363, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File)↩
- June 4. Retired Colonel Jonathan “Fred” Ladd, former Commander of U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam.↩
- Colonel William Pietsch, U.S. Defense Attaché in Phnom Penh.↩
- Reference is to the President’s Address to the Nation on Cambodia, June 3; see Public Papers: Nixon, 1970, pp. 476–480.↩