193. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1
Attached is Hal’s Summit options paper. There are several other possibilities that are worth considering.
First, as the President mentioned last night, we might wish to consider a blockade of North Vietnamese ports without bombing the Hanoi/Haiphong complex, but by expanding our bombing efforts to include interdiction as far south as possible of the rail lines from China. We might inform the Soviets that this is the only way—given North Vietnamese intransigence—that a Summit would be possible and point out to them that our only other alternative would be the cancellation of the Summit, or a postponement of the Summit and the most stringent aerial activity.
If Hal’s assumptions are right, it is conceivable that a deal of this kind could be worked out which the Soviets would live with, assuming, of course, they could make all the tough noises they wanted about continued support through land-lines.
The second would be a tougher version of the first option, but this would cost us the Summit. It would be premised on the theory that we want to apply maximum conceivable military pressure on Hanoi in an effort to break their back. This would involve announcement of the postponement of the Summit in softest terms, announcement of the establishment of a blockade while avoiding bombing the Hanoi/Haiphong area, but at the same time to extend our bombing to interdict to the degree possible the communication routes leading from China to North Vietnam.
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1330, NSC Unfiled Material, 1972, 5 of 8. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only.↩
- Sent for information.↩
- Attached but not printed is a 6-page memorandum drafted for Kissinger to send to Nixon entitled “Soviet Reaction to the Postponement of the Summit.” This memorandum is unsigned and undated; presumably it was not sent to the President.↩