202. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Moorer) and the Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Weyand)1
Secure TELECON/OUT—To General Weyand
[Omitted here is discussion of what Haig in his July 1–3 visit to South Vietnam may have talked about to Thieu, the military situation in South Vietnam, Kissinger’s concern about Hue holding against North Vietnamese attacks, the replacement of and additions to South Vietnamese military equipment, the visit to South Vietnam of J. Fred Buzhardt (General Counsel of the Department of Defense), and General Abrams’s confirmation as Chief of Staff, U.S. Army.][Page 703]
[MACV]—Going back to this original thing I will nose around on that.2 Do you think that Haig had some special message he came with he was laying on Thieu that probably we are not sure about.
CJCS—I just thought I don’t have anything documented reason for it being special, I just thought that he really, I was talking to him to find out how far they are willing to go in negotiations because HAK is somewhat right now zeroed in on negotiations track and your point for instance that Thieu’s leaning towards euphoria and saying he is adamant to no ceasefire, that kind of thing really interested in but I want to repeat I don’t want you to be too obvious. Just really my kind of curiousity feel for what position I might take and watch for back here—nothing for you to make special effort about.
MACV—I understand, just actually Bunker’s so open with me and he was with Abrams too, obviously there are some of these things that he gets particularly on this very subject you are talking about then he keeps to himself any case if I get anything beyond what I already told you I will get on the horn.
CJCS—Let’s face it, the Administration is very much anxious to get some kind of settlement before the elections in November—no question about that.
MACV—That was obvious. Al told me that he really by May 1 assume talking about him and HAK and the President, expected something after this next private meeting on the 19th.3 They really think something is going to bust loose while Al discussed some parts of this with Thieu it would be making sense must have said something about some aspect of that negotiations he surely met with Haig pretty sure sometime after the 19th there will be some movement. I will put it that way.
CJCS—My only concern now is that we have made all the effort in terms of augmenting forces and fighting now since 30 March that we don’t turn around and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
MACV—That would be a disaster.
[Omitted here is discussion of the infiltration of another regiment from North Vietnam, bombing the North, and the military situation in South Vietnam.]
- Source: National Archives, RG 218, Records of the Chairman, Moorer Diary, July 1970–July 1974. Top Secret.↩
- In his diary that day, Moorer wrote: “I asked Fred if he knew how President Thieu felt after Al Haig had briefed him on the outcome of the discussions in Moscow and China. He did not know since he had not been present at the meeting; however, he could ask Ambassador Bunker if I needed to know.” (Ibid.)↩
- Kissinger was scheduled to meet in Paris on July 19 with Le Duc Tho.↩