164. Memorandum From William Smyser and Clinton Granger of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft)1


  • Presidential Decisions on Recommendations from the January 7th, WSAG Meeting on Indochina

According to the attached talking points (Tab A)2 and summary of key points (Tab B)3 of the January 7th WSAG meeting,4 Secretary Kissinger intended to discuss the following measures with the President:

  • —Providing LSTs and mines to the RVNAF.
  • —Deploying the Coral Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin.
  • —Transferring six B–52s to Thailand, and
  • —Moving a squadron of F–4s to Clark.

We understand some decisions have been made but not implemented. There is currently a great deal of confusion within the bureaucracy about what we have already done and what we plan to do in the near future. We have been contacted and asked for guidance and clarification.

Since we are not clear ourselves on where these issues stand, will you please tell us the status of each of the following, as you understand it, and give us guidance on what we should do next?

  • —Provide six LSTs to the RVNAF, through AID or otherwise.5
  • —Provide destructor mines to the RVNAF.6
  • —Deploy the Coral Sea to the Gulf of Tonkin.7
  • —Transfer six B–52s to Thailand, before or after the election.
  • —Move a squadron of F–4s to Clark.

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for East Asia and the Pacific, Box 1, Southeast Asia. Top Secret; Sensitive. Sent for urgent action.
  2. Talking Points, January 7, attached but not printed.
  3. Summary of Key Points, January 7, attached but not printed.
  4. See Document 156.
  5. Below this line, Scowcroft wrote: “Thru AID—please monitor activity.”
  6. Below this line, Scowcroft wrote: “Hold.”
  7. Below each of the last three lines, Scowcroft wrote: “No.”