28. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1


  • Efforts in Southeast Asia

On a recent report of actions being taken to thwart the anticipated enemy offensive in South Vietnam, you asked if all of General Abrams’ requests for additional authorities had been met.2 With the exception of authority to strike certain areas of North Vietnam freely, General Abrams’ requests are being met. Authority to strike SAM sites in an area within 19 miles of the border in southern North Vietnam will be submitted for your final clearance after March 1, 1972 if an enemy offensive develops. In addition, various plans for other air strikes against North Vietnam have been prepared, but have not yet been authorized. I believe that our preparations are sufficient and that there is no need to grant broader authorities at this time.3

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1330, NSC Unfiled Material, 1972 [3 of 8]. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.
  2. See Document 18 and footnote 1 thereto.
  3. The President wrote the following comment on the memorandum: “K and Haig (in our absence): Be sure if an offensive develops Abrams et al will not have a case for failing to do enough to protect our interests—due to our being in China. The heaviest possible strikes in S.V. Nam, Laos, and Cambodia should be undertaken if an offensive begins and if it will be helpful to blunt it. RN.”