64. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1


  • Psychological Warfare Campaign

Our psychological warfare campaign against North Vietnam and North Vietnamese armed forces in the South continues at a high level of intensity. We are confident we are touching the North Vietnamese where it hurts. The following operations—among others—are now being conducted:


A total of over 524 million leaflets have been dropped over North Vietnam since May 1972 and nearly as many in the South, covering such themes as your May 8 peace offer, heightened ARVN morale, and North Vietnam’s increasing isolation from its allies. We have also developed a series of specialized leaflets, including an “inflation” leaflet with a reproduction of low denomination North Vietnamese currency which we expect will cause the DRV confusion if the North Vietnamese try to use it as currency. Leaflets have been dropped over North Vietnamese forces with instructions on how to surrender safely and with details on the medical and other facilities available to POWs in the South.

Radio Broadcasts

We have six radios—two overt, three black, one grey—broadcasting to North Vietnam and North Vietnamese forces in the South a total of 106½ hours per day. Leaflets bearing the frequencies and times of our broadcasts have been dropped. In addition to straight news, programs include a daily reading of names of captured North Vietnamese POWs, parodies of martial-sounding North Vietnamese songs, and details about the effectiveness of U.S. air strikes in the North and ARVN [Page 291] successes in the South. The radios complement one another by approaching the same themes from different angles.

We have begun inserting by airdrop and flotation 43,000 small transistor receivers into North Vietnam to increase the listernership of our broadcasts.

Special Issues

A series of campaigns involving use of all available media has been instituted, including a campaign describing North Vietnamese use of the “big lie” technique on the dikes issue. Other efforts involve documentation of North Vietnamese atrocities (and their support for Arab terrorism) and the advanced age and outdated views of the Hanoi Politburo.

Press Activities

Favorable domestic press coverage has been achieved in many instances, including stories on Hanoi’s support of the fedayeen terrorists in Munich and on a North Vietnamese rallier’s description of the April massacre along Route 1 near Quang Tri. [4½ lines not declassified] Our radio broadcasts to North Vietnam have relied heavily on this press placement for replay by radio.

Black Operations

A series of covert operations is being undertaken to confuse the DRV leadership and people. [1 line not declassified] the insertion of 10 notional agent operations teams into North Vietnam to lead the North Vietnamese to believe resistance groups are active in their midst. To generate credibility, supplies will be dropped to the notional teams and agent radio messages directed to them.

North Vietnamese Reaction

We continue to receive indications we are touching sensitive North Vietnamese nerves. The DRV Premier’s office recently issued a directive warning of U.S. psywar schemes and ordering in the strongest terms that they be resisted. This warning has been repeated in North Vietnamese newspapers and on radios. Radio Hanoi recently reacted angrily against Voice of America about the DRV support of Arab terrorists. Numerous North Vietnamese POW and rallier reports are being received attesting to the effectiveness of one phase or another of our efforts—a recent rallier indicated he turned himself in as a result of listening to our “Mother Vietnam” broadcasts and stated that these have prompted other members of his unit to desert and return home.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 116, Vietnam Subject Files, Vietnam Psychological Warfare Against NVN. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Sent for information. A stamped notation on the first page reads: “The President has seen,” and Nixon wrote the following comment: “Good—Keep it up until we settle.”