170. 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

M: Henry, I think you ought to get this to the President whenever you can. I just talked to Johnny Vogt and called the Fleet Commander. They’ve got all the authorities that they can handle, their morale is high, they are knocking the hell out of them. They’re glad to have this support. The Wing Commander said his people think this is terrific. . . . restraints that the President is putting on people out there. I don’t know where this is coming from. I’ve talked to Guam, Saigon, Hawaii and out to the Fleet; morale is high. Johnny Vogt says we are really accomplishing something. I just don’t know where this is coming from. They have adequate authorities; they’ve got more than they can handle anyway.

K: I’ve checked with the Vice President’s people; I think he exaggerated what he was told.

M: He must have. Johnny Vogt said things have never looked better. And you did see Abrams’ report on the situation in Hue?2 He thinks we can hold Kontum, An Loc has eased off and Hue has been enforced up to full strength. They believe they can inflict defeat on the enemy.

[Page 620]

K: Just hold things together while we’re gone. But, Tom, we have got to move some B–52s out there. I have a memo here that would curdle your blood—3

M: We are looking at it now.

K: I am getting hell for not transmitting all the orders I am getting.

M: We’ll get some out there. We can’t get a hundred but—

K: 100 is probably too much.

M: We will get some.

K: Right. After tonight, you are not dropping any leaflets.

M: No leaflets anywhere?

K: You can do them in the Panhandle.

M: But none in Hanoi.

K: Put the other things in standby till we come back.

M: We’re working on planning—

K: Go ahead with the planning but just don’t execute while we are gone.

M: [Something about Haig . . .?]

K: Haig was carrying out . . . one particular assurance to the Soviets that I wanted to have in the President’s mind.

M: When you get back, I want to go for radios and command control.

K: Do that starting that Sunday.

M: Have a good trip, Henry.

K: Thank you, Tom.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Box 14, Chronological File. No classification marking. The call was on the “Secure Phone.” All brackets are in the original.
  2. See Document 166.
  3. Document 169.