238. Paper Presented by the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Special Adviser to the North Vietnamese Delegation to the Paris Peace Talks (Le Duc Tho)1

The United States respects the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Vietnam, as recognized by the 1954 Geneva Agreements on Vietnam.

The total withdrawal from South Vietnam of all troops, military advisers, and military personnel, armaments and war material belonging to the United States, and those of other foreign countries allied with the Government of the Republic of Vietnam, and the dismantlement of all U.S. military bases in South Vietnam, will be completed within _____ months after the signing of the overall agreement.

After overall agreement is reached, the U.S. is prepared to define its level of military aid with any government that exists in South Vietnam in direct relation to other external military aid introduced into Indochina.

The release of all military men and innocent civilians captured throughout Indochina will be carried out simultaneously with and completed on the same day as the aforesaid troop withdrawal. The parties will exchange complete lists of the military men and innocent civilians captured throughout Indochina on the day of the signing of the overall agreement.
[The political problem in South Vietnam]2
The question of Vietnamese armed forces in South Vietnam will be settled by the Vietnamese parties themselves in a spirit of national reconciliation, equality, and mutual respect, without foreign interference and with a view to lessening the burdens of the people.

The re-unification of Vietnam will be achieved step by step, through peaceful means, on the basis of discussions and agreement between North and South Vietnam, without coercion or annexation [Page 832] from either side and without foreign interference. The time for reunification will be agreed upon after a suitable interval following the signing of an overall agreement.

Pending re-unification, North and South Vietnam will reestablish normal relations in all fields on the basis of mutual respect.

In keeping with the provisions of the 1954 Geneva Agreements on Vietnam, while Vietnam is still temporarily divided, North and South Vietnam will refrain from joining any military alliance with foreign countries, and from allowing foreign countries to maintain military bases, troops, and military personnel on their respective territories.


The Geneva Agreements of 1954 on Indochina and those of 1962 on Laos will be respected by all parties. The people of each Indochinese country will settle their own internal affairs, without foreign interference.

The problems existing between the Indochinese countries will be settled by the Indochinese parties on the basis of respect for each other’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. Among the problems that will be settled is the implementation of the principle that all armed forces of the countries of Indochina must remain within their national frontiers.

The countries of Indochina shall pursue a foreign policy of peace, independence and neutrality, establish relations with all countries regardless of their political and social regimes, maintain economic and cultural relations with all countries, and participate in programs of regional economic cooperation.

At a time mutually agreed upon, a standstill ceasefire will be observed throughout Indochina under international control and supervision.

As part of the ceasefire the U.S. will stop all its acts of force throughout Indochina by ground, air, and naval forces, wherever they may be based, and end the mining of North Vietnamese ports and harbors.

As part of the ceasefire, there will be no further infiltration of outside forces into any of the countries of Indochina, and the introduction into Indochina of reinforcements in the form of arms, munitions and other war material will be prohibited. It is understood, however, that war material, arms and munitions which have been destroyed, damaged, worn out or used up after the cessation of hostilities may be replaced on the basis of piece-for-piece of the same type and with similar characteristics.


(a) There will be international control and supervision of the provisions under points 2, 3, 5, 7, and 9 of this agreement. The composition, tasks, and organization of the international control and [Page 833] supervision commission and the subjects to be controlled and supervised will be agreed upon by the parties.

(b) There will be an international guarantee for the respect of the Indochinese people’s fundamental national rights, for the status of Indochina and for the preservation of lasting peace in this region. The countries participating in the international guarantee and the form of guarantee will be agreed upon by the parties.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 864, For the President’s Files (Winston Lord)—China Trip/Vietnam, Sensitive Camp David Memcons, May–October 1972 [4 of 5]. No classification marking. Kissinger presented this paper to Le Duc Tho at their meeting in Paris on August 14 as the latest peace proposal by the United States. This paper was Tab B to the August 14 memorandum of conversation among Kissinger, Le Duc Tho, and Xuan Thuy. See Document 237 and footnote 2 thereto.
  2. Brackets are in the original.