343. Minutes of Washington Special Actions Group Meeting1


  • Cambodia


  • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
  • Mr. U. Alexis Johnson
  • Mr. Marshall Green
  • Mr. Thomas Pickering
  • Defense
  • Mr. G. Warren Nutter
  • Mr. Dennis Doolin
  • JCS
  • Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
  • Gen. John Vogt
  • CIA
  • Mr. Cord Meyer
  • Mr. William Nelson
  • Mr. William Wells
  • NSC Staff
  • Col. Richard T. Kennedy
  • Mr. John H. Holdridge
  • Mr. Keith Guthrie



MAP for Cambodia. The WSAG was informed of the President’s desire not to request Congress at this time to make any addition to MAP appropriations to provide funds for Cambodia. Instead, he favors allocating as much as $50 million from existing appropriations to Cambodia by means of a Presidential determination. The amount may have to be limited to $40 million because of the serious effects of further reductions to other programs if the additional $10 million is allocated to Cambodia now.

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Dr. Kissinger requested that the forthcoming Under Secretaries Committee report on the overall MAP point out the possible need to request a supplemental appropriation including additional authorization for Cambodia about January 1971.

Interdiction in Southern Laos and Northeast Cambodia. The WSAG was informed of plans already under way to recruit, train, and equip additional Lao special guerrilla units. The WSAG approved going ahead with a program to set up four battalions of Cambodian irregulars for use in interdiction operations in Southern Laos. The State Department will sound out Souvanna about increasing the strength and depth of interdiction operations in Laos involving South Vietnamese and Cambodian personnel, and the JCS will obtain General Abrams’ views on the feasibility of conducting expanded interdiction operations with largely Vietnamese personnel and without US personnel. The WSAG agreed that Defense and CIA should work out arrangements to upgrade weapons for existing special guerrilla units.
Communications Equipment for Cambodia. State, Defense, and CIA will examine the feasibility of alternatives to the proposed tropospheric scatter system for out-of-country communications involving fewer American personnel than the proposal prepared by JCS. State will ask views of Embassy Phnom Penh. A report will be submitted to Dr. Kissinger by July 21.
Funding for Thai-Khmer and Khmer Krom Units. The WSAG was informed that Defense had agreed to provide $929,000 for Khmer Krom units. Defense will examine the possibility of providing $862,000 for Thai-Khmers on the basis that AID will arrange an offset in South Vietnamese programs after passage of the AID appropriation bill later this year.
Armored Vehicles for Cambodia. The WSAG concluded that, in view of maintenance and training difficulties for Cambodia associated with such vehicles, they should not be provided at this time.
AK–47 Ammunition. Defense will prepare prior to the next WSAG meeting a study of the problems involved in obtaining AK–47 ammunition for Cambodia. In light of the AK–47 ammunition shortage, the proposed Indonesian shipment of AK–47 rifles to Cambodia will be re-examined and consideration will be given to direct US shipment of weapons to Cambodia.
Thai Troops in Laos. The WSAG agreed in principle that the Thai troops should be retained, but noted that the Laos Ad Hoc Group was reviewing this matter and will have a report completed by July 23. A decision was deferred pending WSAG review of the Ad Hoc Group report.
US Search and Rescue for Recovery of Cambodian Air Crews. The WSAG agreed that the US should be willing to assist with search and rescue if requested by the Cambodians through the South Vietnamese (VNAF). However, the Cambodians are not to be informed that this is the US position.

[Omitted here are the 10-page minutes of the meeting.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–114, WSAG Minutes, Originals, 1969–1970, 7/17/70. Top Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room. Jeanne Davis sent these minutes to Kissinger on July 25; he initialed her covering memorandum.