103. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassies in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Burma, Indonesia, Philippines, and Laos1

25347. From Holbrooke for Ambassadors and Corcoran. Subject: US Policy on Southeast Asia in Post-Vietnam Period.

1. I invite your detailed comments and recommendations regarding U.S. policy towards Southeast Asia in the post-Vietnam period. Your [Page 361] inputs will be a valuable contribution to a larger assessment of this question which we plan to undertake in Washington.

2. While I understand that some of you have addressed certain aspects of this issue in previous messages, I would appreciate your restating any previous points so that I might have the totality of your views in one handy reference. Also, bear in mind that with a new administration it may now be possible to examine a broader range of policy choices. I hope that you would feel free to comment on U.S. policy towards countries to which you are not accredited. Indeed, I urge you to incorporate in your remarks specific recommendations regarding what stance we should take towards any and all countries in the region. It would also be most useful if you could evaluate the significance of a continued U.S. military presence in the region and the possible impact on your host government of any reductions.

3. To promote and expand discourse on this subject I recommend that you make all other concerned posts including Tokyo, Peking and Hong Kong info addressees for the assessments that you send back to Washington, and, if you wish, comment later on each other’s views.2

4. Please respond using EA Only slug.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770040–0229. Secret; Stadis; Limdis. Drafted by Kenneth Quinn (EA); approved by Holbrooke. Sent for information to Tokyo, Beijing, and Hong Kong.
  2. Numerous responses to this request are in the Department of State, Miscellaneous Old Vietnam Political Records, 1968–1991, Lot 94D430, POLUS Policy on SEA in Post-Vietnam Period 1977: telegrams 610 and 981 from Singapore, February 4 and March 10; telegram 1865 from Manila, February 7; telegram 278 from Beijing, February 9; telegrams 268 and 322 from Vientiane, February 9 and 15; telegrams 1851 and 2858 from Jakarta, February 9 and March 7; telegram 437 from Rangoon, February 11; telegram 3459 from Bangkok, February 14; and telegram 1215 from Kuala Lumpur, February 25. For the response from Hong Kong, see Document 104.