22. Summary of Conclusions of a Meeting of the Washington Special Actions Group1


  • Southeast Asia


  • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
    • U. Alexis Johnson
    • Marshall Green
  • Defense
    • David Packard
    • Dennis Doolin
  • CIA
    • Lt. Gen. Robert Cushman
    • Thomas H. Karamessines
    • William W. Wells
  • JCS
    • Adm. T.H. Moorer
    • Lt. Gen. John Vogt
  • NSC
    • Dr. Laurence Lynn
    • Col. Richard Kennedy
    • John H. Holdridge
    • Keith Guthrie


The WSAG was informed of the President’s directive to have the Vietnam Special Studies Group prepare a study of long-term US strategy in Southeast Asia.2 Responsibility for preparation of individual [Page 43] sections of the paper will be allocated among a group of inter-agency panels, and the overall effort will be coordinated by the VSSG Working Group. Detailed instructions on the scope of the study and the organizational procedures to be followed will be issued shortly. A first priority will be to define US strategy and objectives in Cambodia.
The Defense Department will investigate the possibility of paying Thai Khmer troops out of DOD funds which would be channeled through CIA.
The State Department will request Embassy Phnom Penh to provide an assessment of possible means to provide training to the Cambodian armed forces. The assessment should evaluate the feasibility of conducting training within Cambodia and should consider whether the Cambodian Government is likely to agree to continued training of its forces in South Vietnam.3 JCS will ask MACV to provide an evaluation of training programs being conducted in South Vietnam for the Cambodians. In preparing this evaluation, MACV should investigate alleged South Vietnamese abuses in connection with the training program.4 Col. Ladd of Embassy Phnom Penh should be asked to submit his views on possible means of utilizing Thai Khmer forces in Cambodia, including their relationship to the FANK and their deployment.5
JCS will transmit its proposed plan for expanding paramilitary operations in Southern Laos to Embassy Vientiane for Embassy comment.
The NSC staff will confirm with OMB that funds are available for training six Thai and two Lao special guerrilla units.
The WSAG agreed that a decision on the appropriate staffing level for the military assistance mission in Phnom Penh should be deferred until Ambassador Swank arrives in Phnom Penh and has an opportunity to submit recommendations.
The WSAG decided that funds to meet the immediate requirements for improving Radio Phnom Penh’s transmitting facilities will [Page 44] be provided from AID contingency funds. On longer term improvement, the NSC Ad Hoc Psyops Committee will submit recommendations for consideration at the next WSAG meeting.

[Omitted here are the minutes of the meeting.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–114, WSAG Meetings Minutes, Originals, 1969–1970. Top Secret; Nodis. The meeting took place in the Situation Room of the White House.
  2. See Document 25 for the request to the Special Review Group for Southeast Asia (not the Vietnam Special Studies Group).
  3. Telegram 131918 to Phnom Penh, August 13, conveyed the request. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 CAMB/KHMER)
  4. Kennedy reported in an August 19 memorandum to Kissinger that JCS and MACV had completed the investigation and found that the allegations were unfounded. Kennedy further noted that the Cambodians were satisfied with and would continue training programs. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 510, Country Files, Far East, Cambodia, Vol. IX)
  5. In telegram 2262 from Phnom Penh, September 3, the Embassy reported that the Cambodians did not want Thai Khmer troops except in an emergency and were concerned that the U.S. Government might force troops on Cambodia because it had committed substantial funds for training and supplying. (Ibid., Box 511, Country Files, Far East, Cambodia, Vol. X)