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


  • Cambodia


  • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
    • Mr. U. Alexis Johnson
    • Mr. Marshall Green
    • Mr. Thomas Pickering
    • Mr. James Wilson
  • Defense
    • Mr. David Packard
    • Mr. Dennis Doolin
  • CIA
    • Mr. Richard Helms
    • Mr. Thomas Karamessines
    • Mr. William Wells
  • JCS
    • Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
    • Lt. Gen. John Vogt
    • Lt. Gen. Melvin Zais
  • NSC Staff
    • Mr. John Holdridge
    • Col. Richard T. Kennedy
    • Mr. D. Keith Guthrie



Thai-Khmer Troops. The WSAG considered whether the Thai Khmer troops intended for deployment in Cambodia should be utilized as special guerrilla units in Southern Laos in view of the Cambodian government’s opposition to using the Thai Khmers in Cambodia at the present time. Mr. Johnson left with Mr. Kissinger for approval a proposed cable directing Embassy Bangkok to seek Thai views on using the Thai Khmers in southern Laos.2

The WSAG also was informed of a Thai proposal to replace the regular Thai units at Long Tieng with special guerrila units.

Prairie Fire . The WSAG was informed that replacement of American by indigenous personnel in Prairie Fire exploitation operations could not take place for ninety days and that withdrawal of American personnel before that time would curtail the effectiveness of the Prairie [Page 98] Fire program. It was agreed that Mr. Kissinger should seek the President’s views on whether continuation of American involvement in exploitation operations for ninety days is desirable, taking into account the domestic political risks involved. Prairie Fire operations now under way are not to be delayed pending the President’s decision.
AK–47 Ammunition. The WSAG was informed that 7,000,000 rounds of ammunition, which will serve to meet immediate Cambodian requirements, will be available shortly from Indonesia.

[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. A typed note indicates this is Part II of the summary and minutes; Part I is the record of the WSAG discussion of the Middle East, which immediately preceded the discussion of Cambodia.
  2. In telegram 151249 to Bangkok, September 15, the Department described the details of the proposal for the Thai Khmer troops and asked for the Embassy’s comments. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 6 THAI)