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

SUBJECT

  • FY 1975 Military Assistance for Cambodia and South Vietnam

At the January 7 WSAG meeting you asked for DoD’s recommendations on additional military assistance requirements for Cambodia and Vietnam.2 This memorandum responds to your request.

Although our assessment of Cambodian requirements is subject to the conditions inherent in a combat situation, the need for additional resources is clear. We estimate total requirements in FY 1975 to range from $488 to $606 million. Timing of a move on legislation is urgent or the Cambodians will run out of ammunition. Action to increase the FY 1975 MAP for Cambodia no less than $213 million above the present available $275 million must be completed by early March. A detailed exposition of Cambodian requirements is at Tab A.3

In the case of Cambodia we need both increased authorization and additional appropriations. Raising the Cambodian authorization limitation of $200 million alone is not likely to be sufficient and would in any event effectively eliminate the rest of our worldwide MAP program. I recommend we submit to the Congress a request for a supplemental appropriation for Cambodia. There are, however, legislative alternatives other than a supplemental which could be explored with the appropriate Congressional committees if deemed necessary.

For South Vietnam we propose a supplemental request of $300 million for DAV. Tab B contains a detailed statement of Vietnam’s requirements.4

In the case of South Vietnam, the problem is one of increased appropriations, and not of authorization, inasmuch as authorization of $1 billion for DAV during FY 1975 has been enacted into law. Going for more than $300 million would delay and reduce the probability of getting required resources. If combat activity becomes more severe than now, it would be necessary to go for an additional or higher level of [Page 601]funding. Senator Stennis and others have indicated willingness to support an increase in funding up to the $1 billion authorization level. There has been no discernible support, however, for a higher authorization level.

The timing of our request for Vietnam will be very important. We should keep our options open as long as possible. If the President chooses to address additional funding/authorization for Vietnam during his January 20th State of the Union Message, I believe that we should wait for the right situation in Vietnam and in the Congress to submit a formal request. Meanwhile, consultations with key leaders and committee chairmen would assist in determination of the best timing for submission of the formal request.

W. P. Clements, Jr.
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–78–0058, Viet 091.3, 1975. Secret.
  2. See Document 156.
  3. FY 1975 Military Assistance for Cambodia,” undated, attached but not printed.
  4. “Supplemental Funding for South Vietnam,” undated, attached but not printed.