61. National Security Decision Memorandum 891


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director, Office of Management and Budget
  • The Administrator, Agency for International Development


  • Cambodia Strategy

The President has reviewed the results of the Phase I NSSM 99 analysis and the associated Senior Review Group recommendations on Cambodian strategy for FY 1971.2

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He has approved Strategy 3 variant 3 as described in NSSM 99 as the basis for U.S. support for Cambodian forces and the Cambodian economy during FY 1971. In implementing his decision, special attention is to be given to the development of capable Cambodian light infantry forces with supporting weapons as appropriate and to the establishment of effective GKR control in the countryside.

It is expected that economic assistance to the GKR will be provided contingent on the appropriate GKR budget, wage, exchange rate and rice policies and be accompanied by the use of some GKR foreign exchange to meet essential requirements.

In all cases, our policy should seek to capitalize on Cambodian nationalism, support Cambodian neutrality, and promote GKR self-sufficiency. Our policy should also assist in the development of close working relationships between the GKR and the friendly governments of South Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos. The U.S. should give particular attention to aiding the GKR in obtaining international support for its neutrality, economy, and forces.

In recognition of possible serious dry season threats to Cambodia, the President has approved the following guidelines.

  • —Deployment of South Vietnamese forces in Cambodia’s defense should be mainly (but not exclusively) limited to the areas from the South Vietnam border west to a line from Kompong Som to Phnom Penh and north along the Mekong.
  • —Contingency plans should be developed with Thailand for the possible deployment of Thai forces to aid in the defense of western Cambodia.

Pending Congressional action on the forthcoming Administration request for a Cambodian supplemental, the following funding actions should be taken to meet near term assistance requirements:

  • —the transfer of $49 million in Supporting Assistance to the MAP program for use in Cambodia,
  • —the institution of a $20 million PL 480 program for Cambodia,
  • —the commitment of $11 million in AID contingency funds to Cambodia, either through a MAP transfer or as grant assistance, after the Administration’s supplemental request has gone forward,
  • —the authorization of DOD offshore procurement to the extent practicable.

To prepare for the possible contingency that the Administration has not obtained a supplemental by January, 1971, the President has approved the following preparatory measures:

  • —The Department of Defense will take those measures necessary to permit the fullest possible utilization of Section “506” resources to cover the balance of the FY 1971 Cambodian assistance program.
  • —The Agency for International Development will be prepared to divert Development Loan funds either to Cambodia directly or to third countries so as to free supporting assistance for Cambodia in sums adequate to cover the balance of the FY 1971 program.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–219, Policy Papers (1969–1974), National Security Decision Memorandums, NSDM 89. Top Secret. Copies were sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of Central Intelligence.
  2. See Document 60.