133. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Moorer) and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

TELECON/IN—from Dr. Kissinger (Secure)

HAK—On the follow-on air campaign.

CJCS—I was prepared to talk about that.

HAK—Absolutely sure that we are not going to fritter our stuff away on secondary targets, we want absolute top priority on POL and transportation.

CJCS—That’s the way it is set up.

HAK—No air defense except minimum necessary.2

CJCS—We understand that.

HAK—We want to start them with a few really massive jolts, we are counting on 52 strike tomorrow night.

CJCS—You mean 24 hours from now.

HAK—That’s right.

CJCS—Or following morning? It would have to be tomorrow afternoon our time, less than 24 hours.

HAK—That’s all right with me.

CJCS—I’ll see if I can organize it that fast.

[Page 509]

HAK—Didn’t Haig tell you that?

CJCS—I haven’t had any instructions about tomorrow night, B52s, no.

HAK—We want to go after railroad marshalling yard outside Hanoi as quickly as possible. Give quickly, jolt as we can hit any planning refineries again.

CJCS—Talking to Vogt actually and he wanted to go, he has come in and Abrams for the Hanoi Bridge road highway bridge that goes into Hanoi, hit with smart weapons, electronic optical weapons.

HAK—You won’t have any problems with us.

CJCS—Give definitely use 52s, put as many weapons with support aircraft loading up aircraft to go with 52s, we can do more damage to the marshalling yard.

HAK—As quickly as you can.

CJCS—I can get them3 ready faster than I can the 52s, that’s the point. I will go ahead and strike in that area, Hanoi, right away next day.

HAK—That’s right, within 24 hours, so that they don’t even begin considering to go with alternative route as soon as possible after Haiphong POL again and then work these bridges, etc.

CJCS—I have got that laid out.

HAK—Thank you.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 218, Records of the Chairman, Moorer Diary, July 1970–July 1974. Top Secret.
  2. At 6:35 p.m., Moorer called Vogt to tell him that the operation had been approved. Regarding Kissinger’s targeting instructions, he said: “I have been working on HAK for a long time and haven’t gotten him educated yet, that you have to take out defense and then place total attention on the job at hand. So he always said let [that?] pilots want to attack airfields instead of attacking supplies, all I am telling you when you send in your reports is just talk about what you have hit with your strike aircraft and except for say the fact that you shot down some MIGs or something, leave defenses out of it, break up missile sites, that’s all right too unless you have some BDA on defenses don’t highlight the fact that you just save me a telephone call, that’s all emphasized on plans portions and POL and basic objective emphasize rather than going after defense I understand you have to go after them.” (Moorer Diary, May 8; ibid.)
  3. Moorer was referring to tactical aircraft (Tacair), fighter-bombers, as opposed to strategic aircraft, B–52s.