314. Editorial Note

No minutes have been found for the Washington Special Actions Group meeting of June 2, 1970. Briefing memoranda for this meeting and the June 4 meeting from John Holdridge to Henry Kissinger, June 2 and 4, provide a sense of the issues to be discussed: the Thai plan to send two Thai regiments to Cambodia; the status of Thai/Khmer regiments which would theoretically replace them; the U.S. public position on support for Thai military aid to Cambodia; proposed operations in south Laos and northeast Cambodia; costs to the U.S. of supporting Thai, Khmer, and Lao forces in Cambodia; and Indonesian military assistance to Cambodia. The Group agreed with Under Secretary of State Johnson’s view that the only legal way to get Thai forces into Cambodia was to use the Thai Black Panther troops in Vietnam “as part of a program of fighting the Vietnam war in Cambodia.” The Group then agreed that Johnson should send a cable to Bangkok to negotiate the pay and allowances for the Thai/Khmer regiments. Following the meeting of June 2, the Department of State agreed to COMUSMACV studying the issue of guerrilla operations in south Laos and northeast Cambodia and CIA preparing a study on potential Chinese reaction. At the June 2 meeting, the Group agreed with General Abrams’ view opposing U.S. support of Cambodian operations in the so-called Green Triangle (encompassing Bung Lung–Ba Lev–Lomphat in northeast Cambodia) after June 30. The Group agreed to send [Page 1029] instructions to Rives to pass this decision on to Lon Nol in such a way as to emphasize the positive aspects—air support until June 30—of the U.S. decision and expressing sympathy and understanding for Lon Nol’s position. The Group acknowledged that potential costs for support of Thai, Khmer, and Lao forces in connection with Cambodia were mounting and could create a “real budgetary problem.” Kissinger directed the Group to prepare a study and get a handle on these costs. Finally, Kissinger stated that the President wanted a strong effort to encourage Indonesia to give arms to Cambodia and that the United States make up for depleted Indonesian stocks. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–074, WSAG Meeting, Cambodia, 6/2/70)