210. Summary of Conclusions of a Washington Special Actions Group Meeting1
Washington, July 20, 1972, 10:09–11:07 a.m.
- Henry A. Kissinger
- U. Alexis Johnson
- Kenneth Rush
- Armistead Selden
- Major Gen. David Ott
- Admiral Thomas H. Moorer
- R/Adm. Kinnaird McKee
- Richard Helms
- George Carver
- William Newton (for briefing)
- M/Gen. Alexander Haig
- John Holdridge
- Phil Odeen
- Col. Thomas Pinckney
- Mark Wandler
SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS
It was agreed that:
- —Defense will prepare a report by next week on the resupply situation for the South Vietnamese forces. The report should take into account that we want to have 90-day stockpiles in Vietnam.
- —JCS should prepare a study on how we can improve the South Vietnamese air defense capability as rapidly as possible. The paper should take into consideration how the air defense over South Vietnam will be maintained once our forces leave Vietnam.
- —The CIA control maps should remain with the WSAG principals.2
- —State should receive copies of the JCS-prepared contingency papers.3
- —CIA should prepare a paper on the tough decisions the North Vietnamese leaders will be facing in the future. The paper should point out when the leaders will have to make these decisions and what adjustments they will have to make to carry out the decisions. The logistics situation should be woven into this paper.
- —We will wait for further information about the Laos ceiling problem before taking any action.4
[Omitted here are the minutes of the meeting.]
- Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box TS 80, National Security Council, Committees and Panels, Washington Special Actions Group, July–August 1972. Top Secret; Sensitive. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room.↩
- Copies of the maps are ibid. Kissinger requested the maps at the June 30 WSAG meeting; see Document 198.↩
- The papers were discussed at the June 30 WSAG meeting; see Document 198. Copies of the papers are in the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box TS 80, National Security Council, Committees and Panels, Washington Special Actions Group, July–August 1972.↩
- President Nixon believed he needed $430 million to carry out policy in Laos during the coming fiscal year while the Senate Armed Services Committee wished to establish a $360 million ceiling (known as the “Symington Ceiling”; see footnote 6, Document 40). According to the minutes of the meeting, U. Alexis Johnson said: “I think we have two approaches. The first is to raise the ceiling to what we need, and the second is to change the definitions of certain items to be charged against the ceiling.” Kissinger’s response was: “We certainly don’t want to cut back to $360 million.” Helms’s comment was: “We can’t fight the war [in Laos] with $360 million.”↩