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

SUBJECT

  • Paris Negotiations

Meetings thus far have been tense and volatile. I have pressed during both Sunday’s and today’s meetings to obtain concessions on [Page 43] the military issues while the other side has persisted in trying to obtain concessions on the political.2 During Sunday’s meeting, which lasted over six hours, some give was manifested which suggested Hanoi’s anxiety to get a settlement as soon as possible, but at the same time to achieve maximum pressure on GVN in the political area.

During today’s meeting, which lasted only two hours, I took a strong position, insisting that no further progress could be made in the political area until we had absolute security and military guarantees. This resulted in anxiety and concern on the other side and firm promise to deal positively with security issues at tomorrow’s session.

At this juncture I believe we have chance to obtain significant progress by maintaining firm position and anticipate progress at tomorrow’s session. The essential aspect of issue is to be sure now that no public statements are made which would suggest either anxiety or concern for the current rounds of talks. It is even more important to be silent as to substance. We are at a crucial point.

We will have firm prognostication at the end of tomorrow’s session. I will return tomorrow evening unless major progress is probable as a result of further extension of our talks.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 856, For the President’s Files (Winston Lord)—China Trip/Vietnam, Sensitive Camp David, Vol. XIX. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. A note on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.
  2. See Documents 1 and 3.