98. Minutes of Washington Special Actions Group Meeting1

SUBJECT

  • Cambodia and Laos

PARTICIPATION

  • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
  • CIA
  • Mr. U. Alexis Johnson
  • Mr. Richard Helms
  • Mr. James Wilson
  • Mr. William Nelson
  • Defense
  • NSC Staff
  • Mr. David Packard
  • Mr. John H. Holdridge
  • Mr. Dennis Doolin
  • Col. Richard T. Kennedy
  • JCS
  • Mr. D. Keith Guthrie
  • Lt. Gen. Richard T. Knowles

Summary of Conclusions

1.
Thai SGUs in North Laos. A decision on whether to replace Thai regular forces in North Laos with Thai SGUs will be deferred until the Thai SGUs complete their training in March, 1971.
2.
Thai Khmers. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] will provide data on the number of Thai Khmers who volunteer to join the Thai SGUs.2
3.
Economic Trade-offs for Thailand. The WSAG agreed in principle that negotiations should proceed with a view to reaching agreement with Thailand on providing PL–480 assistance to offset increases in the [Page 202]Thai defense budget made necessary to prepare Thai forces for operations in Cambodia. The State Department will prepare a plan covering provision of PL–480 support in return for Thai agreement to bring up to strength regimental combat teams earmarked for operations in Cambodia. The Defense Department will investigate the feasibility of providing military equipment and supplies to Thai forces under the terms of the Supply and Logistical Agreement with Thailand of 1963.
4.
Armored Vehicles. The WSAG noted that all agencies were agreed on going forward with supply of 25 M–113 armored personnel carriers to Cambodia.

The WSAG agreed that Australia should be encouraged to provide Ferret and Saladin vehicles to Cambodia. The Defense Department will continue discussions with the Australians on this subject; and if an Australian offer is forthcoming, the NSC staff will solicit agency views before a final understanding is reached with the Australians.

(Mr. Johnson and Mr. Wilson were not present at the opening of the meeting.)

[41/2 pages of source text not declassified.]

[Omitted here is discussion of APCs for Cambodia.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–114, WSAG Minutes, Originals, 1969 and 1970. Top Secret; Sensitive. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room.
  2. In a November 23 memorandum to Kissinger, Johnson, Packard, and Moorer, [text not declassified] stated that Bangkok had advised “that 704 out of 1320 Thai Khmers from the Thai Khmer volunteer regiment had volunteered for the SGU program.” With reference to the replacement of the Thai regulars in north Laos, [text not declassified] noted that he had been advised that “the following statement was included in the final draft of the agreement given to the RTA: ‘The replacement of the 13th RCT and SR IX will be accomplished only after all parties have had an opportunity to assess the then existing military situation and the state of proficiency of the SGUs’. [text not declassified]reports that the RTA staff concurred with this statement but noted the possible problem of keeping the units beyond the agreed service of one year. [text not declassified], however, that General Surakij had previously agreed to extend SR IX beyond the one year if necessary and they believe he will also be willing to extend the RCT in circumstances where insertion of the SGUs would involve unacceptable risk.’ (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 563, Country Files, Far East, Thailand, Vol. V)