192. Summary of Conclusions of a Meeting of the Senior Review Group1


  • Vietnam Assessment


  • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
    • Mr. U. Alexis Johnson
    • Mr. William Sullivan
    • Mr. Arthur Hartman
    • Mr. Thomas Pickering
  • CIA
    • Mr. Richard Helms
    • Mr. Paul Walsh
    • Mr. George Carver
  • DOD
    • Mr. Warren Nutter
    • Maj. Gen. Fred Karhos
    • R. Adm. William R. Flanagan
  • JCS
    • Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
    • Brig. Gen. Adrian St. John
  • NSC Staff
    • Mr. Wayne Smith
    • Col. Richard T. Kennedy
    • Mr. W.R. Smyser
    • Mr. Robert L. Sansom
    • Mr. Morris F. Edmundson
    • Mr. Keith Guthrie
[Page 590]


The SRG reviewed the study of enemy strategy alternatives prepared by CIA2 and agreed that the analysis should be refined as follows:
Enemy manpower requirements for alternative strategies should be related to a meaningful U.S. withdrawal schedule and to planned U.S. air sortie rates.
An analysis of best, worst, and probable case enemy strategies should be prepared by JCS.
Force ratios should take into account South Vietnamese regional forces and such mobility of ARVN units as is feasible.
Measures to augment friendly main forces in MRs where deficits are anticipated should be thoroughly analyzed.
Possible alternative programs to increase the effectiveness of air interdiction operations and to harass enemy supply routes by ground operations will be examined.
The study of economic development prospects in Vietnam should be pushed forward on a priority basis to insure that it can be completed by the June 1 deadline.
A decision on future employment of Korean troops will be deferred pending receipt of the assessment of the need for these forces already requested from MACV.
State will submit a recently completed SNIE on the South Vietnamese political situation3 for White House review to see if it meets the requirement for a political study set forth in Dr. Kissinger’s memorandum of April 15.

[Omitted here are the minutes of the meeting.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-112, SRG Minutes, Originals, 1971. Top Secret; Nodis. In an April 26 briefing memorandum to Kissinger, Kennedy and Holdridge explained that an SRG meeting was being called to “keep up the momentum of the Vietnam Assessment.” (Ibid., Box H-57, SRG Meetings, Vietnam Assessment 4-27-71 (2 of 3)) In an April 28 memorandum for the record by Odeen, reporting on a meeting between Laird and his key Vietnam advisers, Nutter stated his opinion of the SRG meeting as “a pretty confused meeting. All sorts of extraneous topics were discussed and not much was accomplished.” (Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330-76-197, Box 79, Viet 092, Jan-May)
  2. Helms forwarded CIA Intelligence Memorandum ER IM 71-72, “Hanoi’s Options and Probable Strategy Choices During the Period From April 1971 Through December 1972,” April 26, to Kissinger under a covering memorandum. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 154, Vietnam Country Files, Vietnam, 9 Apr 71-30Apr 71)
  3. Document 195.