33. Memorandum From Secretary of Defense Laird to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Cover and Deception Options

After reviewing the options suggested by the Chairman for deception operations against North Vietnam, I find that the probable outcome from executing any of these options would not warrant the effort involved. A deception operation which hinges on large-scale US participation in a landing in North Vietnam does not seem to be credible in the current international environment. RVNAF resources are heavily committed in the current dry season so that it would be inadvisable to divert a sizable RVNAF force from its present mission to a deception operation.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff concludes that the probable results of any of these operations are too slight to warrant the risks and expenditure involved.

The enclosed plans are provided for your information.2

Melvin R. Laird
  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box TS 5, Chronological File, Mar.–Aug. 1972. Top Secret; Sensitive.
  2. Attached but not printed.