114. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1


  • Post Cease-fire Assignment of Foreign Service Officers to Vietnam

Secretary Rogers has sent you a memorandum (Tab A) which describes the State Department’s efforts to strengthen political reporting from Vietnam during the post cease-fire period. He notes that 45 Vietnamese-speaking Foreign Service Officers will be assigned for 6 months as political reporters in 20 provincial capitals and four new Consulates General. The Foreign Service Officers will focus particularly on the implementation of a cease-fire. The Embassy in Saigon has reported that 30 of these officers already have arrived and are moving out to their various posts in the countryside.

Tab A

Memorandum From Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon 2


  • Political Reporting During the Post Cease-Fire Period in Vietnam

In order to strengthen the Department’s reporting capabilities in the period immediately following a cease-fire in Vietnam, I have asked that forty-five Foreign Service Officers who have previously served in Vietnam prepare to return as soon as a cease-fire is signed. These officers, almost all of whom speak Vietnamese, would return for tempo [Page 413] rary duty for about six months to areas of the country they are familiar with. They would serve as political reporters in twenty of the provincial capitals and in the four new Consulates General which will replace the old Military Region Headquarters. These political reporters will prepare concise weekly analyses on developments in the Vietnamese countryside, focusing particularly on progress toward implementation of the cease-fire agreement.

I am very pleased with the response of the officers selected for the program. Most have expressed a keen interest in returning to areas of previous assignment in Vietnam, and several have formed an informal task force to assist the Department in the development of an effective reporting system. Many are taking advantage of an intensive refresher course in Vietnamese offered by the Foreign Service Institute. Although we did not ask for volunteers, fifteen Foreign Service Officers have asked to be considered for the program.

We plan to ask these officers to arrive in Vietnam within about two weeks of the signing of an agreement, in order to provide a timely and direct source of information on developments.3

William P. Rogers
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 286, Agency Files, State—Jan. 73–May 73, Vol. XVIII [2 of 2]. Secret. Sent for information. Scowcroft initialed for Kissinger. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it, and in the margin, he wrote, “good.”
  2. Secret. John H. Holdridge of the National Security Council Staff forwarded Rogers’s memorandum to Kissinger under a February 5 covering memorandum with the recommendation he forward it to Nixon. (Ibid.)
  3. In a memorandum to Scowcroft, February 22, Department of State Executive Secretary Theodore L. Eliot, Jr., indicated that all 45 FSOs had been deployed to their Vietnamese posts. (Ibid.)