153. Summary of Conclusions of a Washington Special Actions Group Meeting1


  • Vietnam


  • Chairman
  • Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
  • Alexis U. Johnson
  • William Sullivan
  • Defense
  • Kenneth Rush
  • Armistead Selden
  • R/Adm. William Flanagan
  • JCS
  • Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
  • Capt. Kinnaird McKee
  • CIA
  • Richard Helms
  • George Carver
  • William Newton (stayed only for Mr. Helms’ briefing)
  • NSC
  • Maj. Gen. Alexander M. Haig
  • Richard Kennedy
  • John Negroponte
  • Mark Wandler


It was agreed that:

  • CIA should provide a paper for tomorrow’s meeting on possible Soviet actions, especially after the German treaties are ratified. In addition, all WSAG participants should pay close attention to the Soviet moves in the next few days.
  • —We should send the instructions on what to say about future plenary sessions to our delegation in Paris.
  • —The VNAF study and the ROK paper should be staffed out by the NSC today. The papers will be discussed at tomorrow’s meeting.
  • —We should tell the British to delay their approach to the North Vietnamese in Paris until after the Moscow visit.2

[Omitted here are the minutes of the meeting.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–116, Washington Special Actions Group, WSAG Minutes (Originals) 1–3–72 to 7–24–72. Top Secret; Sensitive. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room.
  2. The British Government proposed reconvening the Geneva Conference to establish a negotiating framework to settle the Vietnam war. In a memorandum to the President, May 17, Rogers argued that the Conference, because of its flexibility of membership and procedures, and because it had dealt with similar issues, was a viable alternative. The Paris talks, public and private, had failed and the UN—given its unwieldy size and political coloration, and North Vietnam’s refusal to allow any UN intervention—was an inappropriate forum. Still, he believed it prudent to delay action until after the Moscow Summit in case a breakthrough occurred. Absent such a breakthrough, however, Rogers recommended that the President support the British effort. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27–14 VIET S)