283. Backchannel Message From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Ambassador to South Vietnam (Bunker)1

WHS2211. Thank you for your Saigon 0182.2 Please advise Thieu that at the next meeting I will stay generally within the broad outlines of the September 15 political proposal3 and attempt to obtain assurances in the military and security areas which might provide a basis for further discussions on the political point.

Dr. Kissinger will not table the constituent assembly proposal brought by General Haig. If there is sufficient progress in the security area to warrant further discussions of the political point, Dr. Kissinger or General Haig will travel to Saigon to discuss the future negotiating strategy before another meeting is held with the other side. In the interim, you should urge President Thieu to consider carefully the political proposals left by Haig so that he will be prepared to comment on them and offer alternative proposals. It is important that he consider this issue now so that he cannot complain that he has not had sufficient time to consider the various aspects of these proposals should it be necessary to do so.

Warm regards.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 869, For the President’s Files (Winston Lord)—China Trip/Vietnam, Camp David Cables, October 1972. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 282.
  3. See Document 263 and footnote 2 thereto.