194. Message From Richard T. Kennedy of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig)1

Tohaig 12. 1. Second wave of strikes has been completed. One B–52 was hit and aircraft went down over Thailand. All crew members were recovered. An F–111 is reported missing from the first wave and is believed to have gone down over the water.

2. Secretary Laird has asked whether it wouldn’t be better to limit the strikes against these targets for a two-day rather than a three-day period. He would like to return to the targets that were being hit prior to the bombing halt. He is probably concerned about aircraft losses but also wants to give field commanders more flexibility for hitting targets in bad weather situations. As you know, they have already been told to expand the target list. There will probably be some discussion on the two-or three-day issue after we are able to assess the effectiveness of today’s strikes and our losses. I will keep you informed of thinking here.

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3. Re your Haigto 02,2 I called Alexis Johnson who agreed completely. Nothing will be done until we hear from you.

Warm regards.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1020, Alexander M. Haig Special File, Gen. Haig’s Vietnam Trip, Tohaig/Haigto & Misc., December 17–22, 1972 [3 of 3]. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The original is the copy approved for transmission. The message was sent by wire to Haig, who was in flight to Saigon at the time.
  2. Not found.