127. Memorandum From Richard Kennedy and William Smyser of the National Security Council Staff to Secretary of State Kissinger1


  • 23 April 1974 report on first-year Up-Country and Special Activities programs of the CIA in Cambodia

In the Cambodian WSAG on March 13, 1973,2 you directed CIA to improve the intelligence available to us and to our Cambodian friends within Cambodia. Concurrently the Agency stepped up its efforts politically to weaken the Cambodian Communists domestically and abroad. Mr. Colby has now forwarded an optimistic assessment of the program (Tab B).3

[Page 526]

1. The Up-Country Program.

[1 paragraph (9 ½ lines) not declassified]

2. Special Activities.

[2 ½ lines not declassified] Sihanouk may yet be pushed into some precipitous action by reports the Agency is aiming at him, describing him as a hapless tool of forces bent on destroying Cambodia as he knows it. The Agency is also coordinating with State to try to resist the challenge to GKR credentials at the upcoming 29th Session of the UNGA. The Agency believes its efforts (with those of State) helped to preserve the GKR seat at the 28th Session of UNGA although they could not prevent GRUNK from winning the Cambodian seat at the Non-Aligned Conference in Algiers.

Comment: The CIA operation in Cambodia has been to date imaginative, vigorous and highly professional and has considerable potential; however, the CIA report could lead one somewhat to exaggerate the overall impact of this operation. Mr. Colby, in his covering memorandum, to some extent balances the report’s enthusiastic claims by saying only that “meaningful progress has been made” and “a great deal remains to be done.” We agree, and concur in Mr. Colby’s instructions to his officers to pursue their objectives with all possible vigor.


That you sign the brief acknowledgment and expression of appreciation to Mr. Colby at Tab A.4

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 210, Agency Files, CIA, 1974. Secret; Sensitive. Sent for action. Ober concurred.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 29.
  3. Colby’s memorandum to Kissinger, “First Year Progress Report on the CIA’s Up-country/Special Activities Program in Cambodia (7 April 1973–7 April 1974),” April 23, attached but not printed.
  4. Memorandum to Colby, June 8, signed by Kissinger, attached but not printed. A handwritten notation at the bottom of the page reads: “Dispatched, Recpt#3920, 6/8/74.”