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Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 

V.A Justification of the War (1 1 Vols.) 

Public Statements (2 Vols.) 

Volume I: A — The Truman Administration 

B~ The Eisenhower Administration 
C— The Kennedy Administration 

Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 633 16. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



1945 - 1967 




*Lj S 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 633 16. By: NWD Date: 201 1 

V. A. - Vol T 


A. Truman Administration 

B. Eisenhower A.ciministration 

C. Kennedy Administration 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 633 16. By: NWD Date: 201 1 




Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 633 16. By: NWD Date: 201 1 




This portion of the study consists of an examination of the 
public statements justifying U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Only 
official statements contained in either the U.S. Department of 
State Bulletins or the Public Papers of the Presidents were re- 
viewed. Although conclusions are "based primarily on the state- 
ments of the President, the Secretary of State and the Secretary 
of Defense, the statements of other high-ranking government 
officials were also studied in ascertaining the policy context 
of the quoted material. This report includes analyses of the 
Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy periods. The statements are 
organised chronologically within each Administration, and are 
summarized at the head of each section. 

A. Truman Administration 

B. Eisenhower Administration 

C. Kennedy Administration 

Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 633 16. By: NWD Date: 201 1 







Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 633 16. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



The statements enclosed are from the period 1950 - 1952: from 
the Secretary of State's announcement marking the beginning of the 
U.S. involvement in Vietnam to the NATO resolution supporting the 
French fight in Indochina. The justifications advanced for the U.S. 
commitment in Indochina include the following: 

a. The Soviets are engaged in a "monstrous conspiracy to 
stamp out freedom all over the world," and Soviet imperialism, with 
Communist China as its instrument, poses a direct threat to the inde- 
pendence of the Associated States of Indochina. 

b. The defense of Indochina is an integral part of the 
worldwide resistance by free nations to communist aggression and sub- 

c. The raw materials and agricultural products of Southeast 
Asia are "vitally needed" by the free nations of the world. 

d. The United States, in the interest of preventing a third 
world war, has provided aid to the Associated States and France. 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 633 16. By: NWD Date: 201 1 






1. Secretary of State marks the beginning of U.S. military and 
economic assistance to the Associated States and France 

(8 May 1950) A " 2 

2. Truman cites Communist threat in Asia; emphasizes the lessons 
of history in meeting aggression in its early stages 

(11 April 1951) ■ • A " 2 

3. President cites Communist imperialism as a threat to vitally 
needed raw materials and manpower of free Asian nations as 
requiring U.S. assistance to these countries (2k May 1951) A- 3 

k. Statement by the Departments of State and Defense resulting 
from French-U.S. discussions regarding aid to Indochina 
(23 September 1951) • • A "5 

5. Communique acknowledging the primary role of U.S. in Korea 
and its secondary role of assisting French in Indochina in 
combatting Communist imperialism (l8 June 1952 ) A- 5 

6. Resolution adopted by North Atlantic Council of NATO support 
for French role in Indochina and its importance to Atlantic 
Community (17 December 1952 ) - A-5 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 633 16. By: NWD Date: 201 1 


A. Truman Administration 


Secretary of S tate Statement on Extension of Military and Economic Aid, 
T^T g7l9foTDepartaent of State Bulletin, May 22, 1930, P- 821: 

"The United States Government, convinced that neither national inde- 
pendence nor democratic evolution exist in any area dominated by Soviet 
imperialism, considers the situation to be such as to warrant its accord- 
in; economic aid and military equipment to the Associated Stages of 
Indochina and to France in order to assist them in restoring stability and 
Emitting these states to pursue their peaceful and democrats development. 

o Pre si dent's Radio Report to the American People on Korea and on U. S., 

2 ' fejg ^jn^thTFar^ntrA^ril 11, 1951, Public Papers of the Pre sidents, 


"I went to talk to you plainly tonight about what we are doing in Korea 
and about our policy in the Far East. 

"In the simplest terms, what we are doing in Korea is this: We are try- 
ing to prevent a third world war. 

* * * 

"The Communists in the Kremlin are engaged in a monstrous conspiracy to 
c+a m^ out freedom all over the world. If they were to succeed, the United 
Sttes would be numbered among their principal victims. It must be clear 
to everyone that the United States cannot - and will not — sit idly by 
11* await foreign conquest. The only question is: What is the best tame 
to" meet the threat and how is the best way to meet it? 

"The best time to meet the threat is in the beginning. It is easier to 
«* nut a fire in the beginning when it is small than after it has become 
P inprW blaze. And the best way to meet the threat of aggression is for 
?ne SStloving nations to act together. If they don't act together, they 
are likely to be picked off, one by one. 

»Tf thev had followed the right policies in the 1930 's - if the free 
.tries had acted together to crush the aggression of the dictators, and 
C -7th^ had acted in the beginning when the aggression was small - there 
probably would have been no World War II . 

' -Tf history has taught us anything, it is that aggression anywhere in 
itirl" is a threat to the peace everywhere in the world. When that 
thS rSon is sutreorted by the cruel and selfish rulers of a powerful 
aS ! n who are bent on conquest, it becomes a clear and present danger to 
th- security- and independence of every free nation. 

* # * 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 633 16. By: NWD Date: 201 1 

"I have another secret Intelligence report here. This one tells what 
another Communist officer in the Far East told his men several months 
before the invasion of Korea. Here is what he said: *In order to success- 
fully undertake the long-awaited world resolution, we must first unify 
Asia... Java, Indochina, Malaya. India, Tibet, Thailand, Philippines, and 

Japan are our ultimate targets The United Spates is the only obstacle 

on" our road for the liberation of all the countries in southeast Asia. In 
other words, we must unify the people of Asia and crush the United States.' 


"The dangers are great. Make no mistake about it. Behind the North 
Koreans and Chinese Communists in the front lines stand additional millions 
of Chinese soldiers. And behind the Chinese stand the tanks, the planes, ^ 
the submarines, the soldiers, and the scheming rulers of the Soviet Union. 

* * * 

3. President Truman's S pecial Message to Congress on Mutual Security 
Program , May 2U, 1931, Public Paters of the Presidents, p. 309 = 

* * * 

"In Asia, in a vast area stretching from Afghanistan to Korea, free 
countries are struggling to meet communist aggression in all its many 
forms . Some of these countries are battling the communist armies of 
Soviet satellites; some are engaged in bitter civil strife against 
communist-led guerrillas; all of them face the immediate danger of com- 
munist subversion. 

"Soviet intentions with regard to these countries are unmistakably 
clear. Using the weapons of subversion, false propaganda and civil war, 
the Kremlin has already reduced China to the status of a satellite. The 
Soviet rulers have turned their satellite armies loose on the Republic of 
Korea. Communist rebellion is raging in Indochina. In Burma, the Philip- 
pines" and other places, communist- inspired groups are stirring up internal 
disorder. In all countries, they are trying to exploit deep-seated economic 
difficulties -- poverty, illiteracy and disease. 

"This campaign threatens to absorb the manpower and the vital resources 
of the East into the Soviet design of world conquest. It threatens to 
deprive the free nations of some of their most vitally needed raw materials. 
It threatens to turn more of the peaceful millions of the East into armies 
to be used as pawns at the disposal of the Kremlin, 

"Aside from immediate considerations of security, the continued inde- 
pendence of these nations is vital to the future of the free world. Many 
of these nations are new to self government. They have dedicated them- 
stives to the ideals of national independence, of human liberty, and social 
Progress. Their hundreds of millions of citizens are eager for justice 
and liberty and a stake in the future. 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 633 16. By: NWD Date: 201 1 


"These countries damonstrate the power and vitality of the ideals of 
our ovm American Revolution; they mark the sweeping advance across the 
world of the concepts of freedom and brotherhood. To lose these coun- 
tries to the rulers of the Kremlin would be more than a blow to our mili- 
tary security and our economic life. It would be a terrible defeat for 
the ideals of freedom — with grave spiritual consequences for men 
everywhere who share our faith in freedom. 

"All these considerations make it essential for the United States to 
help the free countries of Asia in their struggle to make good their 
independence and bring economic and social progress to their people. 
Where the governments of these countries are striving to establish free 
and stable political institutions, to build up their military defenses, 
and to raise the standard of living above the level of bare subsistence, 
we can and should give them assistance. We cannot replace their own 
strong efforts, but we can supplement them. 

"This Mutual Security Program is intended to do that. On the military 
side, it will supply certain of the Asian countries with items of military 
equipment and the training they need for their defense forces. On the 
economic side, it will provide a number of the Asian countries with the 
most urgently needed commodities, machinery, and tools, and with technical 
advice in such fields as agriculture, industry, health, and governmental 
administration . 

"The assistance I am recommending for Asian countries, 555 million 
dollars in military aid and 375 million dollars in economic aid, is so 
planned as to meet the most pressing needs in the various countries, and 
is intended to provide the crucial margin of resources which will enable 
them to move forward. 

"Military assistance under this program will go to the Chinese armies 
on Formosa, to help keep that island out of the hands of Communist China. 
It will go to Indo-China, where over 100,000 French toops are fighting 
side-by-side with the forces of Viet Nam, Laos, and Cambodia against 
communist-led forces. It will go to the Philippines and to Thailand, to 
help build forces strong enough to insure internal security and discourage 
outside attack. Some of these military assistance funds will also be 
available for allocation to other countries in the area if a critical need 

"The military aid under this program will supplement other military 
efforts against communism in Asia. The countries we will be aiding, and 
a number of others, are supporting military forces with their ovm funds. 
France is supplying the largest part of the military supplies needed in 
Indo-China, and Britain is supplying her forces which are fighting guerrillas 
in the Malay States. The substantial military aid we are giving to the 
forces of the Republic of Korea is Included in the budget 'for our military 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 633 16. By: NWD Date: 201 1 


"The struggle for security and peace in Asia is far more than a mili- 
tary matter. In many of the Asian countries, including all the countries 
which need military aid, economic assistance is also required. 

1^ T he Military Aid Program: Statement by the Departments of State and 
Defense, September 23, 1951, Department of State Bulletin, October 8, 
1951, P. 570: 

"The participants were in complete agreement that the successful 
defense of Indochina is of great importance to the defense of all South- 
east Asia. . . . 

5. The Defense of Indochina: Communique Regarding Discussions Between 
Representatives of the United States, """"France, Viet-Nam, and Cambodia, 
juLe_T8, 1 952, Department of State Bulletin, June 30, 1952, P» 1010: 

"The principle which governed this frank and detailed exchange of 
views and information was the common recognition that the struggle in 
which the forces of the French Union and the Associated States are en- 
gaged against the forces of communist aggression in Indochina is an inte- 
gral part of the world-wide resistance by the Free Nations to Communist 
attempts at conquest and subversion...." 

* * * 

g . S upport by NATO of the French Union Defense Efforts in Indochina: 

Resolution Adopted by the North Atlantic Council, December 17, 1952, 
Department of State Bulletin, Jajiuary 5? 1953? P- *<■: 

"The North Atlantic Council 

" Recognizes that resistance to direct or indirect aggression in any 
part of the world is an essential contribution to the common security of 
the free world; 

"HAVING BEEN INFORMED at its meeting in Paris on the l6th December 
of the latest developments in the military and political situation in 

" Expresses its wholehearted admiration for the valiant and long con- 
tinued struggle by the French forces and the armies of the Associated 
States against Communist aggression; and 

"Ackno wledges that the resistance of the free nations in South East 
Asia as in Korea is in fullest harmony with the aims 'and ideals of the 
Atlantic Community; 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 633 16. By: NWD Date: 201 1 


"And th erefore agrees that the campaign -waged by the French Union 
forces in Indo-China deserves continuing support from the NATO govern-