1. Editorial Note

Following the Cambodian incursion and the withdrawal of U.S. ground forces from Cambodia in June 1970, President Richard Nixon committed the United States to a policy of shoring up the regime of Cambodian Prime Minister Lon Nol with funds and equipment. In response to a July 21 memorandum from his Assistant for National Security Affairs, Henry Kissinger, apprising him of actions underway in Cambodia, the President wrote in the margin of a paragraph detailing arms and equipment shipments, “step this up. This has been very slow for last 2 weeks.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 581, Cambodia, Actions on Cambodia, Vol. VI)

On July 23, Nixon issued Presidential Determination 71–2, which reallocated approximately $40 million of Military Assistance Program (MAP) funds for Fiscal Year 1971 from other countries to Cambodia. In a July 21 memorandum to the President, Secretary of State William Rogers projected that the funds should provide the Cambodian army with enough light arms, ammunition, replacement supplies, and communications equipment to carry it through the early winter or rainy season. (Ibid., Box 370, Subject Files, Presidential Determinations thru 71–10, Feb. 1969–Mar 1971 [2 of 3])

In an undated memorandum to the President, Kissinger summarized reports of special tactical air strikes conducted in Cambodia July 19–27. At the bottom of the memorandum, Nixon wrote, “I think some of the strategic strikes are blown up on results—get more tactical strikes going which may have an effect on the current situation.” (Ibid., Box 581, Cambodia Operations, 1970, Actions on Cambodia, Vol. VI, Air Support in Cambodia)

On July 28, in a meeting of Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird and his key advisers, G. Warren Nutter, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, commented that the Commander in Chief in the Pacific, Admiral John McCain, Sr., believed that the $40 million specified in Presidential Determination 71–2 would cover expenses [Page 2] only for the first half of the year. Secretary Laird indicated that he had hoped to submit a supplemental request to Congress but that “the White House had decided to delay it until after the election.” (Memorandum for the record by Philip Odeen, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Systems Analysis), July 28; Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–76–67, Box 88, Viet 092, Jan–Aug 1970)