112. Memorandum for the President’s File by the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig)1


  • Meeting of The President, Secretary of State Rogers, Secretary of Defense Laird, Director of CIA Helms, Chairman of JCS Moorer, Henry A. Kissinger and Alexander M. Haig in The Oval Office (12:15 p.m.–1:59 p.m.)2

In the absence of Secretary Laird who was testifying on the Hill, the President opened the meeting by informing the group that the initial part of the session would touch upon Secretary Rogers’ testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee the following day.3 The [Page 320] President stated that during the morning breakfast Senator Cooper confirmed that he would support Secretary Rogers’ testimony after it was given. Senator Mansfield was also included in the breakfast and appeared sympathetic.4

The President then asked Secretary Rogers what questions he expected would be raised, adding that our involvement in Cambodia would probably be the principal issue. Secretary Rogers stated that he had been working in some depth on the Cambodian issue but wanted to be sure that everyone was saying the same thing. For example, many had raised the issue of what the President said in June at the time we were leaving Cambodia.5 It was now evident that we had changed slightly and the question was whether or not we should admit to a change or insist that there had been none. The Secretary added that in his view the latter position was untenable.

The President stated that the simple fact was there had been and there would be no U.S. ground involvement in Cambodia. Our involvement had been totally with air power in various forms and it would continue in this way as long as the President considered such action was required to prevent the buildup of enemy sanctuaries in order to protect our remaining forces in South Vietnam. Our air involvement was not contrary to the will of the Congress and the Commander-in-Chief could not ignore a growing threat to the safety of our remaining troops.

Secretary Rogers confirmed that he would follow that line and that the group should decide on the precise parameters in their discussion so that all concerned could stick to the guidance agreed upon.

The President stated that U.S. spokesmen cannot adopt a misleading position. He suggested that Secretary Rogers recall for the Committee what had occurred over time. Our forces had been withdrawn. Casualties have been substantially reduced. Our purpose is not the defense of Cambodia but the U.S. program in Vietnam and the protection of U.S. forces involved in this program. On nine occasions the President had stated that if the enemy were to increase its activities and threaten our remaining forces that he would take necessary action. This is what had occurred in Cambodia. There had been no involvement of [Page 321] U.S. ground forces but as long as the enemy continued to build up, U.S. air power would be used.

Secretary Rogers responded that this line was inadequate and that it would not be accepted. During the Defense Appropriations hearings Senator Goldwater had stated that if the South Vietnamese invaded Laos they were perfectly capable of doing so, but it must be without U.S. help. Secretary Rogers continued that he had no difficulty with the decision to expand the use of U.S. air power but was having considerable difficulty with the explanation we were giving for this expansion. In this regard he insisted that the U.S. public must be satisfied.

At this point Secretary Laird joined the meeting and responded to Secretary Rogers to the effect that details on the kinds of U.S. air support involved were primarily semantic. We should just state that we are simply providing air support and avoid the issue of close air support versus interdiction. Secretary Rogers replied that, despite our best efforts, the issue would be raised, especially in light of the President’s June report at the conclusion of our operations in Cambodia.6 Dr. Kissinger then read the precise language of the President’s report which included the statement that there would be no U.S. air or logistic support provided to South Vietnamese forces as they remain in Cambodian sanctuaries following the withdrawal of U.S. forces.

Secretary Laird indicated that he would agree with stating that our policy had changed but not with respect to interdiction. Secretary Rogers commented that in referring to Cambodia we have maintained the basic line but that it was essential that we be somewhat more forthcoming, especially in view of the pending Chup operation. It was better, he added, to say there had been a slight modification.

The President instructed Secretary Rogers to say that the statement of June 30 was adhered to rigidly at the time; U.S. forces were withdrawn and South Vietnamese forces remained in Cambodia. Then on July 1, however, the President made a statement that he would employ U.S. air power to protect our forces.7 Therefore, it should be clear that the June statement was made in the context of the withdrawal of our forces and the continued activity of the South Vietnamese at the time.

Secretary Rogers stated that what the President had said was absolutely correct and it was in the June statement that the term interdiction was explained as well as a commitment made for no logistics or no close air support. Secretary Laird interjected that he interpreted interdiction in its broadest application and had from the beginning. [Page 322] Secretary Rogers replied that while he understood this the real problem was that there would be no air support. Secretary Laird rebutted that he had always taken the position, and had done so again that morning, that close air support involved controllers on the ground and when this criteria was not met we did not have close air support. Secretary Rogers argued that this was merely a strawman. Opposition Senators would insist that to them interdiction meant bombing but not support for Cambodian ground forces. Again the question was one of semantics and we could fuzz it up. But it was not an easy thing to do.

The President reaffirmed that Secretary Rogers should emphasize that the U.S. Government adhered to the June 30 statement for the period involved but that now the situation has changed in the sense that the enemy was deeper in Cambodia and was re-establishing sanctuaries there. Secretary Rogers was correct but the statement was made under a different set of circumstances. We withdrew our forces as promised. We did not provide air support or logistical support to the ARVN. Now, as our force levels have continued to decrease, the enemy continues to build up and is attempting to re-establish the sanctuaries. We must react.

The President continued by instructing Secretary Rogers to tell the Senators that, as the President has said, the Commander-in-Chief must take the necessary steps to blunt the threat to the remaining U.S. forces. These steps are totally consistent with the consensus of the Congress. There are no ground forces or advisers involved and we will continue to adhere to this.

The President went on to indicate that, of course, the question of landing aircraft and putting communications teams on the ground presented a difficulty. We must decide what we should say about these items. Secretary Laird replied that he had made the following points that morning in testimony:

  • —U.S. delivery terms would be in country.
  • —we are providing over $200 million worth of equipment and as Secretary of Defense he has the responsibility to have U.S. auditors on the ground. These men would not advise in the use of our equipment although no one could preclude the possibility that they might turn on a radio or point out how to assemble a specific piece of equipment.

Secretary Rogers asked how many auditors would be involved. Secretary Laird stated that at present the authorization was for sixteen. He had been asked that morning how many more would be authorized and had replied, “perhaps as many as thirty.” This figure would vary since we could use temporary duty personnel, as with the helicopter retrieval teams reported in the press that week.

The President stated that Secretary Rogers should assure the Congressmen that the President was well aware of the history of South Vietnam. He would not be sucked in and would watch escalatory involvement [Page 323] very carefully. The President asked Secretary Laird how many delivery personnel would be required overall. Secretary Laird answered “110”, but indicated that the majority of these would remain in South Vietnam and move in from time to time on temporary duty. Admiral Moorer added that the key issue was that these people were not advisers. They did not accompany tactical units to combat. They were not permanently located with these units.

Secretary Rogers retorted that the problem was that we have stated earlier that we would not put anyone in there. Now we were doing so. The President stressed that it was clear that these were not advisers in the South Vietnamese context and merely technicians involved in overseeing our assistance deliveries.

Secretary Laird then stated that he had just completed two hours testimony on this subject and felt that it was understood. Dr. Kissinger remarked that it was perfectly clear that we would not withdraw over 200,000 troops from South Vietnam just to be able to introduce 50 troops into Cambodia. The logic was absurd. Secretary Laird noted that he didn’t even know where the figure 50 came from.

Secretary Rogers then commented that the problem was that we have not handled our information very well. On Route 4, for example, the Department of State was caught short and knew nothing of the operation. Had they known, it would have been easier to manage the press.

The President remarked that the important thing was not to say anything that would inhibit our future flexibility. Secretary Rogers commented that the problem was that we had already jumped to defend ourselves that week with respect to the landing of our personnel and now we were about to enter into an operation which would involve such landings. Dr. Kissinger interjected that Senator Cooper was aware of what we would do and would support us on it. Secretary Rogers stated that he understood this because he had been working on Senator Cooper for some time, but with the Laotian operation he had serious doubts that we could bring any of the doubters along.

Secretary Laird then remarked that the problem was that we had been doing this kind of support for over six months. With respect to the Route 4 operation he did not understand why State did not know what was going on since he had personally briefed the Secretary. Dr. Kissinger added that the Route 4 operation was briefed thoroughly in the WSAG prior to its execution.

The President stated that with respect to our future operations our problem was what was said now. Secretary Laird stated that his explanation on the landing of troops that week had been based on stories supported by photographs which had to be explained. Secretary Rogers said he agreed but this had painted us into a corner. That week’s actions looked accidental. The next week’s would be intentional.

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Admiral Moorer then stated that what the U.S. was doing was merely exploiting its technological advantage to facilitate the withdrawal of U.S. forces. Secretary Rogers replied that he had no problem with what we were doing. It was the problem of what we had been saying we were doing with which he was wrestling. The issue now was whether we continued to obfuscate or whether we come clean.

The President stated that it was his policy to be perfectly frank about what we were doing. Secretary Rogers should pursue the following line:

  • —The President has kept every promise he has made. He had withdrawn our forces. He withdrew from Cambodia at the time he said he would and lived with the conditions he set for that withdrawal.
  • —The point, however, should also be made that he will deliver on threats which are ignored, starting with the November 3 speech in which it was made very clear that stepped up enemy activity would not be tolerated.8 Now it was evident that the enemy was again taking advantage of our withdrawals.
  • —We will use our air power to its fullest and we will continue to adhere to the prohibition on ground forces. But air power will be used to its fullest extent.

Secretary Rogers asked to what extent the President intended to use air power? Did the President mean we would land planes, provide logistics? What about the new reference to communications teams? Secretary Laird stated that these stories only referred to communications teams at the Embassy. Secretary Rogers retorted that this was not what Secretary Laird said and that he had inferred we could install communications teams. Secretary Laird stated, “Yes, I stated it was authorized under the law but I did not state that we would do so.”9

The President then asked Secretary Laird if he had any plans to bring in communications teams. Secretary Laird said, “Yes, to control the medical evacuation helicopters.” This was a difficult problem and it was necessary to support South Vietnam in getting their injured out if they were unable to do so themselves. To do this it would be necessary to have landing parties to control the helicopters on the ground. The President stressed that it was therefore absolutely necessary that we point out that the situation in Cambodia was different than it was during last spring. U.S. spokesmen should hide nothing. They should merely make the point that we would do everything necessary through air power.

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Secretary Rogers said then they, of course, would go on to the issue of ground combat. They would ask for the definition of adviser and whether our people are advisers? Admiral Moorer repeated that this was a simple issue. An adviser is a U.S. soldier or officer who goes into combat with the friendly unit to advise him in terms of tactics and who advises him before and after the military operations. Dr. Kissinger then stated that when we refer to medical evacuation we mean helicopter evacuation.

The President stated that he wanted this clearly admitted so that there would be no charges that we have personnel sneaking around doing things that we have not admitted. This is what occurred during Laos when the statement was made that we had no combat personnel.10 Then one person surfaced and our credibility on the whole issue was challenged. Everything we are doing is to assist our withdrawal effort which will be down to 45,000–50,000 combat troops by May 1. Secretary Laird confirmed this figure, emphasizing that there would still be 284,000 U.S. forces but the large majority would not be in combat.

Secretary Rogers stated that he believed the Administration’s case was a good one. The President affirmed that he had no concerns about doing what was programmed to be done.

Secretary Laird then commented that the only problem Secretary Rogers would have the next day would be from Symington, Church and Fulbright. They were furious about the assurances given by the President and Dr. Kissinger last June. They also insisted that they were told this at the White House. This was a problem because they would maintain that these assurances had led them to accept the new language for the CooperChurch Amendment.11 Secretary Rogers said that this was exactly the case. Fulbright and company maintained that they would have continued to fight for the original CooperChurch language had it not been for these assurances.

The President asked Secretary Laird how he handled this issue. Secretary Laird stated that he had said it was done in terms of operations in the Cambodian sanctuaries at the time. Dr. Kissinger explained that in the backgrounder which Secretary Rogers referred to, he had made the point that there might be exceptions.

The President then asked when the CooperChurch language had been amended. Secretary Laird answered that it had been modified around July 4 or 5. Therefore, the problem was a real one.

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Secretary Rogers stated that this confirmed that we must go up and tell the Committee that we will land ARVN troops since Senator Stennis now thinks that we are only going to handle logistics. Secretary Laird remarked that he did not know where Stennis got this since he had informed him on both. Secretary Rogers noted that even Senator Stennis and Senator Goldwater would be troublesome. He again cited the Goldwater quote to the effect that the South Vietnamese can hit Laos but not with U.S. help.

The President stated that we should handle this openly and frankly. We have done exactly what we said we would do and now the situation had changed and there would be some slight increases. Secretary Rogers stated he would follow this line and that the statements made in June were made in the context of the time. We abided by that and now the situation had changed and we were slightly modifying those ground rules. If some people cared to interpret that as a basic change in policy that was alright.

The President asked Secretary Laird whether he would accept that phraseology. Secretary Laird agreed it was acceptable. The President then stated that if Secretary Rogers thought that the Committee would get into the Amendment issue, he could make the point that the President had always said he would use air power. Secretary Rogers responded that they had already gotten into it. It was likely that they would try to tie our hands again. Secretary Laird commented that we had until June before anything crystalized or funds were required.

The President stated that we should take the issue on frontally if that was the way it developed, since it was certain that we could win. Senator Cook had stated yesterday that all that really concerned the American people was ground troops.

Secretary Rogers then asked if it was really necessary for us to fly South Vietnamese troops in the Chup operation. Admiral Moorer answered that it was because of the size of the troop lift involved. Secretary Rogers stressed that in that case we had best tell Congress before it happened. Admiral Moorer stated that this was the plan.

Secretary Laird stated that the plan seemed to put too much emphasis at the Washington level and that much of the information should be divulged in the field. Secretary Rogers retorted that we could not do it all over there. The operation made great sense and we must tell the key Congressional leaders what we are doing. Secretary Laird agreed.

Secretary Rogers continued that the problem was not Fulbright who would oppose on any issue but that it was costly to lose Mansfield. The President agreed. Secretary Rogers stated that Mansfield was a decent performer; the same could not be said for Fulbright.

Secretary Laird stated that there should be no problem in getting complete acceptance of the Chup operation. Admiral Moorer added [Page 327] that a complete briefing was being prepared. The President stated that it should be conveyed as something new. Secretary Laird remarked that perhaps we should seek Congressional approval for the operation. The President replied that this should not be necessary. We should merely state that this was what we are going to do in specific terms and confirm what we will not do.

Secretary Rogers told the group that General Vogt would accompany him in the morning.

The President then asked Secretary Rogers whether he thought we should take the Chup issue on frontally. The Secretary replied that he thought it was too late and that we should merely outline what we were going to do: bomb, fly supplies and men, and evacuate the wounded. Secretary Laird advised that Secretary Rogers should emphasize that we are only going to do what the South Vietnamese are unable to do. We have already trained 50 helicopter pilots more than the Vietnamization program called for. Next year they would also have additional choppers and larger birds.

The President asked if it was correct that they still don’t have enough to do the operation. Secretary Laird replied that we have thousands of U.S. helicopters but that the ARVN was still limited. Secretary Laird stated that some were inferring that we were not giving the ARVN enough but that they should have plenty when the program was over. The President commented that it would have been much better had we had some decent conventional close support aircraft to give to the ARVN.

The President then asked Admiral Moorer to review the Tchepone operation for the group. Admiral Moorer described the four-phased operation. He pointed out that we had received intercepts yesterday which confirmed that Hanoi was aware of the general plan but not the timing. He stated that the intercepts were picked up by the Binh Tram logistics units and they were being carefully analyzed. In view of the enemy’s knowledge of the operation Admiral Moorer had asked General Abrams if we should proceed. General Abrams had confirmed that he favored the operation provided full U.S. support was assured. Admiral Moorer stated that from the North Vietnamese reaction it was obvious they considered Tchepone to be a vital area. He stated that we had not had a set-piece battle since Tet in 1968. Since that time we had generally reacted to enemy attacks. This would probably be the first total defense effort we had seen since Tet.

Admiral Moorer then turned to Director Helms and asked him to say a word about the strategic importance of Tchepone. Mr. Helms described the enemy supply system as a rock passing through a sock and indicated that the Tchepone operation would take place just at the time that the rock had reached Tchepone.

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Continuing his presentation, Admiral Moorer reported that General Abrams had confirmed that the operation could not be executed without U.S. support. General Abrams had also made the point that if the duration of the operation were brief then it would not be worth doing. If this were the case, General Abrams would propose not to move the ARVN forces into I Corps. Admiral Moorer stated that he in turn recommended that we avoid a decision now, proceed with moving the forces and see what happened next. The movement would affect North Vietnamese tactics. If they intended to fight it was obvious that Tchepone was crucial to them. Admiral Moorer stated he also was confident that the South Vietnamese, with our support, could do the job, especially since in recent contacts with the North Vietnamese the ARVN had been victorious.

The President stated that the whole issue involved what would be accomplished by the operation. It was probable that Vietnamization would succeed with or without the operation, but that the operation provided insurance for next year when our force levels would be down. Next year we would have forces in there but would be unable to conduct similar operations. The President stated that he recognized that we were on the horns of a dilemma; the Congress and country would be up in arms. On the other hand, if we could accept the heat now it would provide additional insurance for next year. If we did not, we were then postponing the heat until next year. If our goal is merely to withdraw that is one issue, but if our goal is to leave the South Vietnamese in such a way that they will have a chance for survival that is another issue.

The President continued by adding that Secretary Rogers was correct when he stated we were taking a beating now. However, most of those who were opposed to us had a vested interest in seeing that we fail and it was probable that we could do nothing that would bring them to our side. Others, however, such as Stennis must know what we are doing and we must deal with them in a forthright fashion.

Secretary Rogers then remarked that the whole issue in his view hinged on whether or not the operation could succeed. If it succeeded completely then it might be worth it. The Chup operation posed no problem but Laos was another question. If we come out of the operation without a clear success then we would have a serious problem. Another problem involved public support which was essential. Secretary Rogers also stressed that he did not agree with the connotation that the Laos operation was merely a raid. The public would want to know why we were disturbing the balance in Southeast Asia and we should inform them that it was a massive attack for extended duration. Secretary Rogers pointed out that our truck kills were way up and that they have increased from 100 a month to over 1000 a month. We [Page 329] have made the point of this success. We have also made the point that we are interdicting the rivers and that infiltration is down this month.

Secretary Rogers went on to explain his reason for stating that the risks appear very high. The enemy had intelligence on our plans and we were now asking the South Vietnamese to conduct an operation that we refused to do in the past because we were not strong enough. If they were set back in the operation we would be giving up everything we had achieved. Thieu’s future would be in doubt. Furthermore, the idea that the U.S. could rescue the operation was shakey and therefore it would serve as a defeat for both Vietnamization and for Thieu. The operation could unsettle the whole situation in Laos. The Thais would be uneasy and it would involve our SEATO units. Souvanna had expressed great doubts and would be unable even to talk to the King about the operation until January 31.12 In the meantime, he would see the troop movements and assume that we were going despite his objections. He would have his own internal problems with the rightists in the south and might have to resign. Thieu in turn would have equal problems. Congress believed that we would not ever enter Laos and obtaining their support would be difficult. In Cambodia we at least had the support of the leaders. Souvanna’s problem was a sharp one and he might not survive his tightly balanced position at home.

In sum, the Secretary asked, what was the advantage? If there were no doubt that it would succeed, that would be one thing, but the risks were very great in this operation and could have the effect of totally demoralizing the South Vietnamese and toppling Thieu in the election.

The President asked Admiral Moorer to assess the success of the operation. Admiral Moorer answered that in his view with U.S. support, ARVN mobility and U.S. fire power the ARVN could handle the situation from a military point of view. Admiral Moorer stated that this was General Abrams’ view. The fact that there would be fighting was desirable. The enemy had put all of its acorns in Laos. If they fought enmasse our fire power would trip them sharply.

The President then asked Secretary Laird to comment. Secretary Laird stated that with the help of the Cambodian operation Vietnamization would succeed. The Vietnamization program was not linked to the operation in Laos. On the other hand, Laos might lessen our long-term requirements for supporting ARVN forces for the next three or four years. At the same time Vietnamization would work in [Page 330] South Vietnam without this operation. So it should be decided whether or not the U.S. could support such a large ARVN force over three or four years.

Secretary Rogers then recommended that we continue with phase 1 since most of the enemy threat was in I Corps anyway and its reinforcement would be of some value. The President approved this course of action.

Secretary Laird continued that if I Corps was reinforced the enemy would concentrate to defend the Tchepone area and the enemy’s uncertainty would be of benefit even if phase 2 was not implemented. In the meantime we should keep our option open on phase 2. The President agreed that this would be a significant signal to the other side.

Secretary Rogers then asked whether or not all of phase 1 operations involved only South Vietnamese totally. The President answered yes. Secretary Laird stated that 40% of the war was now in I Corps. Admiral Moorer remarked that we should lay on more B–52’s and hit the enemy hard if they concentrated.

Dr. Kissinger cautioned that in his view and from the historic perspective, commanders in seeing an advantage coming normally piddle away their assets. We should be careful on the air to be sure that we do not step it up until the enemy masses and until we have hard intelligence.

Secretary Rogers then asked whether proceeding with phase 1 and then deciding to cancel phase 2 would weaken our overall posture. Admiral Moorer replied that he did not think so. Secretary Rogers remarked that it was obvious that surprise was no longer an element. Secretary Laird commented that we could do a lot of damage even in phase 1.

The President then directed that phase 1 be implemented, emphasizing that Chup was approved. He directed that the diplomatic dialogue with Souvanna continue since this was a crucial element. The President asked that more information be obtained on Thieu’s attitude since it was essential that we not risk his October election. Defeats before an election could sometimes be fatal. This is what added to the attractiveness of the Chup operation. It could and should be built up as a South Vietnamese victory. It was also necessary that we prepare a public line and Congressional line for the phase 1 operation. In addition, it was important to tell the Congress exactly what we were doing in Cambodia. If they wanted to conclude that this was a modification, that was fine.

The President then indicated that the group should reconvene on Tuesday13 to consider the scenario for Congressional notification on the [Page 331] Chup operation. In this regard the President stated that we should be frank about what we are doing but avoid building a huge crisis. The important thing was not to acquire public support but to prevent a Congressional offensive against Presidential authority. Secretary Rogers added that it was important to sell Congress on the fact that the ARVN was doing the job and that we were only supplementing their efforts.

Secretary Laird noted that he started testimony before the Stennis Committee on Monday. The President stated that Tuesday would be February 2 and that in the interim the WSAG should work out the line, both public and Congressional, and decide who should say what.

Secretary Laird then continued that the very movement of our ARVN forces north would cause a stir. Dr. Kissinger stated that we should say nothing about troop movements. The President agreed, adding that we should have no comment on the movement of forces.

Secretary Rogers then asked whether Tuesday might be too late to decide on that issue. Admiral Moorer indicated that it was not. Secretary Rogers asked what the point of no return was on phase 2. Admiral Moorer replied that 48 hours would be needed and therefore they should have a decision by Thursday evening. The President directed that the situation be played out. Secretary Laird remarked that the enemy was bound to believe that we were going through Laos.

Admiral Moorer confirmed that he would instruct General Abrams to move out with phase 1 but would recall his execute authority for phase 2.14 Admiral Moorer added that General Abrams was getting goosey because of Souvanna’s reaction. Also, Admiral Moorer stated that it was necessary that Bunker talk to Thieu about the Tchepone operation.

At this point the meeting concluded.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President’s Office Files, Box 84, Memoranda for the President, Beginning January 24, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Sent for information.
  2. In an undated memorandum to Nixon, Kissinger indicated that, as he and Nixon had discussed privately, the meeting was designed to do the following: give the participants an opportunity to vent their views without a decision being rendered and give everyone the impression that the operation was proceeding, including Phase 1 movements, and would continue with U.S. support. (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 83, Vietnam Subject Files, Special Operations File, Vol. II)
  3. Laird was appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. (The New York Times, January 28, 1971, p. 1) Rogers testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the morning of January 28 on U.S. involvement in Cambodia. (Personal Papers of William P. Rogers, Appointment Books) See also The New York Times, January 29, 1971, p. 1.
  4. According to the President’s Daily Diary, the breakfast ran from 8:03 to 9:40 a.m. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files)
  5. In his June 3, 1970, Address to the Nation on the Cambodian sanctuary operation, the President pledged that all U.S. air support, logistics, and military advisory personnel would be withdrawn from Cambodia by the end of the month and that only U.S. air interdiction missions against enemy troops and materiel to protect U.S. servicemen and South Vietnam would be flown thereafter. The text of the address is in Public Papers: Nixon, 1970, pp. 476–480.
  6. The President’s report on the Cambodian operation was released on June 30 in San Clemente. The text is ibid., pp. 529–541.
  7. The President gave an interview on ABC television. See ibid., pp. 543–559.
  8. The President’s November 3, 1969, speech on Vietnam is ibid., 1969, pp. 901–909.
  9. In response to a question during a news conference on January 20, Laird stated that he believed that the Congressional ban on ground combat troops in Cambodia did not preclude non-combat personnel such as military communications or hospital units. (The New York Times, January 21, p. 1)
  10. Nixon made the claim in his statement about the situation in Laos on March 6. The text is in Public Papers: Nixon, 1970, pp. 244–249.
  11. A revised CooperChurch amendment, P.L. 91–652, passed both houses of Congress on December 22, 1970, and was enacted on January 5, 1971. The amendment, attached to the Supplemental Foreign Assistance Act of 1970, prohibited the use of funds to finance the introduction of U.S. ground combat troops into Cambodia or to provide U.S. advisers to or for Cambodian military forces in Cambodia.
  12. In telegram 485 from Vientiene, January 27, Godley reported that Souvanna insisted that he would have to travel to Luang Prabang to consult with King Sisavang Vatthana. Godley recommended that the President prepare a message for Souvanna to deliver to the King on the operation. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 80, Vietnam Subject Files, Ops in Laos and Cambodia, Vol. II)
  13. February 2.
  14. Moorer sent the instructions in JCS message 2225 to CINCPAC and COMUSMACV, January 28, noting that everyone at the meeting supported the Chup operation and that the President wanted to continue with Phase I of the Tchepone operation, but had not given his final order to proceed with the additional phases. (Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–76–207, Box 10, Laos 381)