53. Message From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to Thai Foreign Minister Thanat Khoman 1

I am grateful for your personal message of March 222 and wish to reaffirm the assurances provided during my discussions with you as well as those given by President Nixon earlier.

We are watching the situation in Laos very closely and have instituted on an urgent basis additional measures to strengthen Lao defenses. You should be aware that we have just delivered three B–52 [Page 118]strikes in support of Lao forces in Plain des Jarres area. This information is provided for your exclusive knowledge and should not be divulged.

We are also urgently studying the proposal outlined in your message, as well as other possible emergency steps. I will be in touch with you on this matter in the immediate future.

Best wishes.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 102, Country Files—Far East, Thanat (Foreign Minister), [2 of 2]. Secret. In a March 22 memorandum Haig requested that the message be passed “on an urgent basis through established backchannel” to Thanat.
  2. Thanat had cabled Kissinger earlier that same day through the same backchannel to advise that “The Lao Government has appealed to the Thai Government for urgent help especially for despatch of combat units to stem the Communist advance” and that the Thai Government was ready to respond favorably to this request. Thanat noted that the Thai Government was prepared to send one battalion immediately, to be followed by two more, if needed, “provided necessary material and logistic support is received from the United States Government. Such support may be accorded [text not de-classified] through the [text not declassified] unit now operating in cooperation with Laotian forces.” Attached but not printed.