15. Diary Entry by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Moorer)1


Met with Lieutenant General Knowles and discussed the paramilitary operations problem we had in Laos and Cambodia. Once again it is a short term and a long term problem. With a slight extension of Prairie Fire we can get the ARVN action started. I had previously directed Lieutenant General Vogt to prepare a paper showing what is the maximum we can do, bearing in mind our realistic constraints (i.e., political, assets, etc.).

On the subject of MACSOG discussed at the 40 Committee meeting,2 the president wants an inventory of resources for paramilitary operations in North Vietnam. I am opposed because I feel paramilitary operations in isolation are not productive. However, Kissinger feels that a coordinated effort might pay off. There is no point, for example, in capturing North Vietnamese if we give them back as fast as we capture them. Our paper should show those alternate courses of action which we can do and then recommend against them, ending up saying in effect, “However, if it is desired to put pressure on the enemy, in lieu of these courses of action, we can do such and such.”

[Omitted here is material unrelated to Vietnam.]

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 218, Records of the Chairman, Moorer Diary, July 1970–July 1974. Top Secret.
  2. See Document 14.