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



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



The Administration of President Kennedy justified the growing 
U.S. involvement in Vietnam utilizing much the same rationale that 
had been employed by the Administrations of President Truman and 
President Eisenhower. Initially, the situation in Vietnam received 
less emphasis than the crisis in Laos, although the principles cited 
for U.S*. concern for Laos — the identification of U.S. interests with 
its independence; SEATO obligations — were couched in terms of col- 
lective security for Southeast Asia. Thereafter, as insurgency in 
Vietnam itself came to the fore, the Administration's public statements 
stressed the following: 

a. The struggle against the worldwide communist offensive 
had to confront the danger that through "subversion, infiltration, 
and a host of other tactics. . .our security may be lost piece by piece, 
country by country, without the firing of a single missile or the 
crossing of a single border." 

b. The "domino principle": the countries of Southeast Asia 
are interdependent for security, and the independence of each is impor- 
tant to the United States. 

c. ICC reports, as well as U.S. and South Vietnamese intel- 
ligence, demonstrate that Communist North Vietnam has provided illegally, 
armed and unarmed personnel, arms, munition's, and other supplies from 
North Vietnam to insurgents in South Vietnam for the purpose of supporting 
an organized attempt to overthrow the government there. 

d. "Now our great responsibility is to be the chief defender 
of freedom, in this time of maximum danger. Only the U.S. has the 
power and the resources and the determination." 

e. The United States, although not a party to the Geneva 
Accords, declared at Geneva in 195^ that it would "view any renewal of 
the aggression in violation of the agreements with grave concern and 
as seriously threatening international pesce and security." President 
Kennedy assured President Diem that "in accordance with that declaration, 
and in response to your request, we are prepared to help the Republic of 
Vietnam to protect its people and to preserve its independence." 

f . The SEATO Pact, by a protocol, extended the protection of 
the treaty to Vietnam; hence the treaty, in President Kennedy's words, 
"stated that the United States recognized that aggression by means of 
armed attack against Vietnam would threaten our own peace and security... 
the attack on the government by the communist forces, with assistance 
from the north, became of greater and greater concern to the Government 
of Vietnam and the Government of the United States." 

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





1. Kennedy stresses the need for a force balance that can deal 
' effectively with guerrilla scale -activities being utilized 

by Communist aggression (29 February i960) C-5 

2. Kennedy emphasizes the importance of a mobile and versatile 
force structure which can intervene swiftly and effectively 

in support of our global commitments (l^ June i960) C-r5 

3. Kennedy comments on the importance of India, Japan, and a 
regional grouping of the smaller nations to counter the threat 

of an aggressive China (22 September i960) C-5 

k. Kennedy comments on friction between Russia and China; empha- 
sizes the importance of India as an indicator of Asia's future 
(22 October i960) C-6 

5. Kennedy stresses the importance of Laotian security to that of 
Southeast Asia and the U.S.; also our obligation under the 

SEATO agreement (23 March 1961) C-6 

6. Kennedy emphasizes threat of limited war and the need to main- 
tain powerful and mobile forces to prevent erosion of Free 

World (28 March 1961) ' C-7 

7. Kennedy speaks of global exploitation of discontent and yearn- 
ing people by Communist subversion; Vietnam cited as example 

(20 April 1961) .C-8 

8. Kennedy discusses Communist threat to emerging nations of 
Africa, Asia and Latin America with specific mention of Viet- 
nam; cites U.S. responsibilities as chief defender of freedom 

(28 April 1961) ' C-9 

9. Kennedy (in response "to question) states that the question of 
sending troops to Vietnam is being considered (5 May I961) C-ll 

10. Johnson-Diem communique expressing U.S. awareness of Communist 
subversion in Vietnam and U.S. responsibilities and interest 

in assisting the Saigon Government (13 May I961) C-ll 

11. Kennedy stresses the subversive threat facing the southern 

half of the globe (25 May 1961) C-ll 


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



12. Kennedy enumerates border violations to Southeast Asian nations, 
denounces the "war of liberation" justification, and stresses 
the consequences of successful Communist efforts in Laos and . 
Vietnam (25 September 19ol) C-12 

13. Kennedy comments on evidence that guerrilla activity in South 
Vietnam is originating outside that country (ll October 1961)... C-13 

lk. Kennedy acknowledges Hanoi direction of guerrilla effort in 

violation of Geneva Accords; indicates the U.S. is prepared to 

assist in the defense of Vietnam independence through increased 

aid (lk December 1961) C-ll+ 

15. Kennedy acknowledges a step-up in U.S. effort to resist aggres- 
sion in Vietnam under the guise of a "war of liberation" 

(11 January 1962) C-15 

16. Kennedy's response to a question on the hazards of a coalition 
government in Laos provides insight into his thinking on mili- 
tary intervention as the other alternative (15 January 1962).... C-15 

17. Kennedy discusses U.S. involvement in Vietnam in general terms; 
specifics avoided in interest of security (7 February 1962) C-15 

18. Kennedy reviews the development of U.S. involvement in Vietnam 
in response to question suggesting a credibility problem 

(lk February 1962 ) C-l6 

19. Kennedy gives an excellent assessment of the state of the Com- 
munist world (23 March 1962) C-l8 

20. Kennedy emphasizes the need to pursue our established goal of 
non-Communist Vietnam (ll April 1962 ) '. . . C-19 

21. Kennedy, commenting on cease-fire violations in Laos, stresses 
the desirability of a political solution as contrasted to 

military intervention (9 May 1962) C-19 

22. Kennedy announces the movement of troops to Thailand as evi- 
dence of U.S. concern over the Laotian cease-fire violations 

' (15 May 1962) C-20 

23. Kennedy responds to questions on troop deployment to Thailand; 

cites SEATO obligations as the legal basis (17 May 1962) C-21 


2k.' Kennedy describes Communist threat of infiltration and sub- 
version as he envisioned it (6 June 1962) , C-23 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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25. Kennedy comments en Mansfield's concern about the Adminis- 
tration's Asian policies; suggests he does not think that 
Mansfield would advocate withdrawing from Vietnam or Thailand 

(ik June 1962) C-2U 

26. An official statement calling attention to findings of Inter- 
national Control Commission that North Vietnam was violating 

the Geneva Accords (l6 July 1962 ) ■ C-2!+ 

27. Kennedy cautions that a split in the Communist world is over 

the means not the end of conmunizing the world (ik January 1963). C-25 

28. Kennedy argues for foreign aid to help eliminate root causes 

of unrest in developing world (ik January I.963) C-27 

29. Kennedy expresses disagreement with recommendation of Mansfield 
committee to reduce aid to Southeast Asia; refuses to withdraw 

and turn it over to the Communists (6 March I9S3) C-27 

30. Deputy Under Secretary for Political Affairs presents important 
analysis of U.S. interests in Southeast Asia; resources and 
location emphasized as is the importance of Communist revolu- 
tionary momentum; validity of SEATO commitment also cited 

(8 April 1963) C-28 

31. Kennedy points out the interrelationship of Southeast Asian 
nations in response to question on domino theory (2k April 

1963) C-30 

32. Kennedy comments on reasons for sending troops to South Viet- 
nam hut not to Laos (8 May 1963) C-30 

33. Rusk stresses the strategic importance of South Vietnam and • 

the history of our involvement (13 May I963) C-31 

2,h. Kilsman discusses Communist threat to Asia and the U.S. com- 
mitment to combat its spread; explains Viet Cong role in South 
Vietnam and attempts to place it in perspective to worldwide 
threat (8 July 1963) : C-33 

35. Kennedy emphasizes the need for U.S., presence in # South Vietnam 
to avoid collapse of the government; vows to stay (17 July ' " 

1963) • •' C-37 

36. Heavner, Deputy Director of Vietnam Working Group, discusses 
in detail the evolution of U.S. involvement; he looks at South 
Vietnam as a strategic location, a moral commitment, a fulfill- 
ment of SEATO obligations and a test case for "war of liberation" 

(9 September 1963) C-38 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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37. Kennedy admits Diera's failings but feels it essential that • 

the U.S. remain (2 September 19&3) c "^° 

38. Kennedy confirms his belief in "domino theory" and emphasizes 
need to remain and help government strengthen and reform 

(9 September 1963)^ 0-kl 

39. Kennedy admits to the presence of 25,000 Americans in South 
Vietnam with a primary goal of vanning the war (12 September 

1963) C ~ k2 

k0. Kennedy gives excellent assessment of U.S. role and responsi- 
bility to lead the defense of the world's free nations 
(25 September 1963) c_ ^ 2 

Ifl Kennedy cites U.S. role as leader of Free World (26 September 

1963) C " U 3 

k2. Policy statement reaffirming U.S. intent to fight aggression 
in Vietnam and elsewhere where independence and freedom are 
threatened (2 October 1963) • c -^ 

I13. Kennedy had planned in his Dallas speech to emphasize that 
work alone cannot defend the Free World from Communist ad- 
vances; military and economic assistance must be available to 
back U.S. promises (22 November 1963) • c ~^5 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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C. Kennedy Administration 

1. Senat or John F. Kennedy, Congressional Record, February 29, I960? 
p. 3582: 

"But both before and after 1953 events have demonstrated that our 
nuclear retaliatory power is not enough. It cannot deter Communist ag- 
gression which is too limited to justify atomic war. It cannot protect 
uncommitted nations against a Communist takeover using local or guerrilla 
forces. It cannot be used in so-called brush-fire peripheral wars. In 
short it cannot prevent the Communists from gradually nibbling at the 
fringe of the free world's territory and strength, until our security has 
been°steadily eroded in piecemeal fashion - each Red advance being too 
small to justify massive retaliation, with all its. risks. 

* * * 

"In short, we need forces of an entirely different kind to keep the 
peace against limited aggression, and to fight it, if deterrence fails, 
without raising the conflict to a disastrous pitch. 

"And our capability for conventional war is insufficient to avoid the 
hopeless dilemma of choosing between launching a nuclear attack and watch- 
ing aggressors make piecemeal conquests." 

2. Senator J ohn F. Kennedy's statement in Congressional Record, June lU, 
I960, p. 11631 : 

* * * 

"We must regain the ability to intervene effectively and swiftly in 
any limited war anywhere in the world -- augmenting, modernizing and pro- 
viding increased mobility and versatility for the conventional forces and 
weapons of the Army and Marine Corps. As long as those forces lack the 
necessary airlift and sealift capacity and versatility of firepower, we 
cannot protect our commitments around the globe - resist non-nuclear ag- 
gressions - or be certain of having enough time to decide on the use of 
our nuclear power." 

* * * 

3. Senator Joh n F. Kennedy's statement as quoted in the Washington Daily 
' . Hews, September 22, I960: 

"The recognition is not really the crux of our foreign policy. The 
real question is what should be done about the harsh facts that China is 
a -powerful and. aggressive nation. The dangerous situation now existing 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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y: : 

o~n he remedied only by a strong and successful India, a strong and success- 
5S Japan and some kind of regional group over Southeast Asia which gives 
tn^se Smaller countries the feeling that, in spite of their distaste for a 
Slit ^alliance, they will not be left to be picked off one by one at the 
whim of the Peiping regime." 

km Senator John v. Kannedv Intervi ew as Reported in The Washington P ost,, 
October 22, 19~60:_ 

* * 

"Cronkite- '...What areas do you see where the United States might 
take the offensive in a challenge to communism over the next k to 8 years? 

"Kennedy '...the most vulnerable area, I have felt, has been eastern 
Euro-Be I have been critical of the Administration's failure to suggest 
policies which would make it possible for us to establish, for example, 
closer relations with Poland, particularly after the '55-* 56 period and the 
Hungarian revolution. We indicated at that time that we were not going to 
intervene militarily. There was a period there when Poland demonstrated a 
national independence, and even the Polish Government moved some distance 
away from the Soviet Union. 

Secondly, the relations between Russia and China. They are now 
enea^ed'in a debate over whether war is the means of communizing the world, 
or whether they should use subversion and infiltration, economic struggles 
and all the rest. No one can say what that course of action will be, hut 
I think the next President of the United States should watch it carefully. 
If those two years should split, it could have great effects throughout 
the entire world. 

"Thirdly, I believe that India represents a great area for _ affirmative 
action by the Free World. India started from about the same place that 
China "did The Chinese Communists have been moving ahead the last 10 years. 
Tndia .has been making some progress, but if India does not succeed with 
her 1*50 million people, if she can't make freedom work, then people around 
the world are going to determine, particularly in the underdeveloped world, 
that the only way they can develop their resources is through the Communist 

c- ' K pnnedv Pres idential Hews Conference as Quoted in th e New York Times, 
Mtrch~25T~J 9 frL- Kevs Conferen ce of March 23, 1961: 

* * * 

"My fellow Americans, I'aos is far away from America, but the world is 
small It- 2 000,000 -Deonle live in a country three times the size of 
Austria The' security" of all Southeast Asia will be endangered if Laos 
loses its neutral independence. Its own safety runs with the safety of 
us all, in real neutrality observe! by all. 


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"I want to make it clear to the American people and to all of the 
world that all we want in Laos is peace and not war, a truly neutral 
government and not a cold war pawn, a settlement concluded at the con- 
ference table and not on the battlefield. 


"0 'Mr. President, there appears to be some national unawareness of 
the importance of a free Laos to the security of the United States and to 
the individual American. Could you spell out your views on that a little 

"A. 'Well quite obviously geographically Laos borders on Thailand, 
which is, to which the United States has treaty obligations under the 
SEATO agreement of 195^, it borders on South Vietnam - it borders on 
Vietnam - to which the United States has very close ties, and also which 
is a signatory of the SEATO pact. 

"The aggression against Laos itself was referred to in the SEATO agree- 
ment so that given this, the nature of the geography, its location the 
commitments which the United States and obligations which the United States 
has assumed towards Laos as well as the surrounding countries - as well as 
other signatories of the SEATO pact - it's quite obvious that if the Com- 
munists were able to move in and dominate this country, it would endanger 
the security of all, and the peace of all of Southeast Asia. 

"And as a member of the United Nations and as a signatory to the SEATO 
pact and as a country which is concerned with the strength of the cause 
of freedom around the world, that quite obviously affects the security of 
the United States." 

5 # Pre sident Kennedy's Special Message to Congress on the Defense Budget, 
March 28~ 1S&1, Public Papers of the Presidents, Kennedy; 19ol, p. 229: 


"The strength and deployment of our forces in combination with those 
of our allies should be sufficiently powerful and mobile to prevent the 
steady erosion of the Free World through limited wars; and it is this role 
that should constitute the primary mission of our overseas forces. Non- 
ruclea*- wars, and sub-limited or guerrilla warfare, have since 19^5 con- 
stituted the most active and constant threat to Free World security. Those 
units of our forces which are stationed overseas, or designed to fight 
overseas can be most usefully oriented toward deterring or confining those 
conflicts which do not justify and must not lead to a general nuclear attack. 
In *th» event of a major aggression that could not be repulsed by conventional 
forces we must be prepared to take whatever action with whatever weapons 
are appropriate. But our objective now is to increase our ability to con- 
fine our response to non-nuclear weapons, and to lessen the incentive for 


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for any limited aggression by making clear what our response will accom- 
plish. In most areas of the world, the main burden of local defense 
against overt attack, subversion and guerrilla warfare must rest on local 
populations and forces. But given the great likelihood and seriousness _ 
of this threat, we must be prepared to make a substantial contribution in 
the form of strong, highly mobile forces trained in this type of warfare, 
some of which must be deployed in forward areas, with a substantial air- 
lift and sealift capacity and prestocked overseas bases. 

"In this area of local wars, we must inevitably count on the coopera- 
tive efforts of other peoples and nations who share our concern. Indeed, 
their interests are more often directly engaged in such conflicts. The 
self-reliant are also those whom it is easiest to help -- and for these 
reasons we must continue and reshape the Military Assistance Program which 
I have discussed earlier in my special message on foreign aid. 

"Strengthened capacity to meet limited and guerrilla warfare — limited 
military adventures and threats to the security of the Free World that are 
not large enough to justify the label of 'limited war.' We need a greater 
ability to deal with guerrilla forces, insurrections, and subversion. Much 
of our effort to create guerrilla and anti-guerrilla capabilities has in 
the past been aimed at general war. We must be ready now to deal with any 
size of force, including small externally supported bands of men; and we 
must help train local forces to be equally effective." 

7 # President Kennedy's Address to American Society of Newspaper Editors, 
AcrilgO ? __ 196l, Public Papers of the Presidents, Kennedy, 196l, p.~306: 

* * * 

"...we face a relentless struggle in every corner of the globe that 
goes far beyond the clash of armies or even nuclear armaments. The armies 
are there, and in large number. The nuclear armaments are there. But' 
they serve primarily as the shield behind which subversion, infiltration, 
and a host of other tactics steadily advance, picking off vulnerable areas 
one by one in situations which do not permit our own armed intervention. 

"Power is the hallmark of this offensive -- power and discipline and 
deceit. The legitimate discontent of yearning people is exploited. The 
legitimate trappings of self-determination are employed. But once in 
power, all talk of discontent is repressed, all self-determination disappears, 
and the promise of a revolution of hope is betrayed, as in Cuba, into a 
reign of terror. -Those who on instruction staged automatic 'riots' in the 
streets of free nations over the efforts of a small group of young Cubans 
to regain their freedom should recall the long roll call of refugees who 
cannot now go back -- to Hungary, to North Korea, to North Viet-Ham, to 
East Germany, or to Poland, or to any of the other lands from which a steady 
stream of refugees pours forth, in eloquent testimony to the cruel oppres- 
sion now holding sway in their homeland. 


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"We dare not fail to see the insidious nature of this new and deeper 
struggle. We dare not fail to grasp the new concepts, the new tools, the 
new sense of urgency we will need to combat it -- whether in Cuba or South 
Viet-Nam. And we dare not fail to realize that this struggle is taking 
place every day, without fanfare, in thousands of villages and markets — 
day and night -- and in classrooms all over the globe. 

"The message of Cuba, of Laos, of the rising din of Communist voices 
in Asia and Latin America — these messages are all the same. The com- 
placent, the self-indulgent, the soft societies are about to be swept away 
with the debris of history. Only the strong, only the industrious, only 
the determined, only the courageous, only the visionary who determine the 
real nature of our struggle can possibly survive. 

"No greater task faces this country or this administration. No other 
challenge is more deserving of our every effort and energy. Too long we 
have fixed our eyes on traditional military needs, on armies prepared to 
cross borders, on missiles poised for flight. How it should be clear that 
this is no longer enough — that our security may be lost piece by piece, 
country by country, without the firing of a single missile or the crossing 
of a single border. 

"We intend to profit from this lesson. We intend to re-examine and 
re-orient our forces of all kinds — our tactics and our institutions here • 
in this community. We intend to intensify our efforts for a struggle in 
many ways more difficult than war, where disappointment will often accom- 
pany us. 

"For I am convinced that we in this country and in the free world possess 
the necessary resource, and the skill, and the added strength that comes 
from a belief in the freedom of man. And I am equally convinced that history 
will record the fact that this bitter struggle reached its climax in the late 
1950' s and the early 1960's. Let me then make clear as the President of the 
United States that I am determined upon our system's survival and success, 
regardless of the cost and regardless of the peril!" 

8 . Pr es ide nt Kennedy's Address, in Chicago to Democratic Party Dinner, 

April 28, 1961 , Public Papers of the Presidents, Kennedy, 1961, p. 3^0: 

"We live in a hazardous and dangerous time. I do not think it's possible 
to overstate it. We live in a world which has changed tremendously in our 
lifetime -- history only will secure a full perspective on that change. But 
here is Africa, which was held by Western European powers for several 
centuries, now independent — which holds within its countries masses of 
people, many of them illiterate, who live on average incomes of 50 or 60 
or 75 dollars a year, who want a change, who now are the masters of their 
own house but who lack the means of building a viable economy, who are im- 
pressed by the example" of the Soviet Union and the Chinese, who — not 


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knowing the meaning of freedom in their own lives -- wonder whether the 
• Communist system holds the secret of organizing the resources of the state 
in order to bring them a better life. 

"And what is true of Africa is true of Asia, and what is true of Africa 
and Asia is true in some degree of Latin America. The Communists move 
among them, disciplined, organized, subject to an international discipline, 
promising under their system that all will be well, knowing that if they 
can win just once, then the iron grip of the totalitarian state goes upon 
the copulation -- those who resist become refugees, or are shot -- and they 
manage to control the population. 

"Tonight, in Viet-Nam, where the President was re-elected recently in 
the last 2 weeks by a majority of 75 to 80 percent, yet a small army of 
guerrillas, organized and sustained by the Communist Viet Minn in the north, 
control most of the countryside in the nighttime -- in the last 12 months 
have assassinated over four thousand civil officers, two thousand state 
employees and two thousand police, believing if they can 'spill the wine, ' 
that then they can win control of the population. And when they have won, 
they do not intend to give way. 

"Now our great responsibility is to be the chief defender of freedom, 
in this time of maximum danger. Only the United States has the power and 
the resources and the determination. We have committed ourselves to the 
defense of dozens of countries stretched around the globe who look to us 
for independence, who look to us for the defense of their freedom. 

"We are prepared to meet our obligations, but we can only defend the 
freedom of those who are determined to be free themselves. We can assist 
than -- we will bear more than our share of the burden, but we can only 
helo those who are ready to bear their share of the burden themselves. 

"The Russians and the Chinese, containing within their borders nearly 
a billion people, totally mobilized for the advance of the Communist system, 
operating from narrow, interior lines of communication, pressuring on 
Southeast Asia with the masses of the Chinese armies potentially ready to 
move __ of the Russians who hold great power potentially in the Middle East 
and Western Europe — the United States stands as the chief defender of 

"I said in my Inaugural Address that no group of people in any genera- 
tion since democracy was first developed by the ancient Greeks nearly 
twenty-four or -five hundred years ago, have ever borne a responsibility 
as great as ours. And I welcome it -- and I welcome it tonight. 

"There is no easy answer to the dilemmas that we face. Our great ally 
is, the fact that people do desire to be free, that people will sacrifice 
everything in their desire to maintain their independence. And as the true 
nature of the Communist conspiracy becomes better known around the globe, 
when peoole come to realize - as they surely will -t that the Communist 
advance does not represent a means of liberation but represents a final 


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enslavement, then I believe that they will rally to the cause to which we 
have given our support and our commitment. 

"I believe that we must build our country well, also. Senator Douglas 
described what we are attempting to do. The burdens are heavy upon us. 
We have to make this society an example to the world, strong enough to 
serve not only as an example but strong enough to maintain the commxtments 
that we have assumed."- 

q. P resident Kennedy's Presidential News Conference, May 5, 196l, Public 
Papers of the Presidents, Kennedy, 1961, P» 356 :~ ~ 

* * * 

"Q. 'There have been reports that you would be prepared to send 
American forces into South Vietnam if that became necessary to prevent 
Communist domination of that country. Could you tell us whether that is 
correct and also anything else you have regarding plans for that country? 

"A 'Well, we have had a group working in the Government and we've had 
a Security Council meeting about the problems which are faced in Vietnam 
bv Puerrillas and by the barrage which the present Government is being sub- 
jected to. The problem of troops... the matter of what we're going to do to 
assist Vietnam to obtain its independence it... a matter still under con- 
sideration! . . .' 


10 Join t Communiq u e Issued at Saigon by the Vice President o f the United 
'Sta tes andthe President of Viet-Kam. May 13, 19ol» Department of 
State Bulletin, June 19, 1961, P- 956: 

"The United States, for its part, is conscious of the determination, 
energy and sacrifices which the Vietnamese people, under the dedicated 
leadership of President Ngo Dinh Diem, have brought to the defense of 
freedom in their land. 

"The United States is also conscious of its responsibility and duty, 
in its own self-interest as well as in the interest of other free peoples, 
to assist a brave country in the defense of its liberties against unprovoked 
subversion and Communist terror. It has no other motive than the defense 
of freedom." 

11. President Kennedy ' s Special Message to Congress, May 25, 1961, Public 
Papers of the Presidents, Kennedy, 19ol: 

"The great battleground for the defense and expansion of freedom today 
is the whole southern half of the globe - Asia,. Latin America, Africa and 



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the Middle East — the lands of the rising peoples. Their revolution is 
the greatest in human history. They seek an end to injustice, tyranny, 
and exploitation. More than an end, they seek a beginning. 

"And theirs is a revolution which we would support regardless of the 
Cold War, and regardless of which political or economic route they should 
choose to freedom. 


"For the adversaries of freedom did not create the revolution; nor did 
they create the conditions which compel it. But they are seeking to ride 
the crest of its wave -- to capture it for themselves. 

"Yet their aggression is more often concealed than open. They have 
fired no missiles ;°and their troops are seldom seen. They send arms, 
agitators, aid, technicians and propaganda to every troubled area. But 
where fighting is required, it is usually done by others -- by guerrillas . 
striking at night, by assassins striking alone — assassins who have taken 
the lives of four thousand civil officers in the last twelve months in 
Vietnam alone — by subversive and saboteurs and insurrectionists, who in 
some cases control whole areas inside of independent nations. 

"With these formidable weapons, the adversaries of freedom plan to con- 
solidate their territory — to exploit, to control, and finally to destroy 
the hopes of the world's newest nations; and they have ambition to do it 
before" the end of this decade. It is a contest of will and purpose as 
well as force and violence — a battle for minds and souls as well as lives 
and territory. And in that contest, we cannot stand aside. 

"We stand, as we have always stood from our earliest beginnings, for 
the independence and equality of all nations. This nation was born of 
revolution and raised in freedom. And we do not intend to leave an open 
road for despotism. 

"There is no single simple policy which meets this challenge. Experi- 
ence has taught us that no one nation has the power or the wisdom to solve 
all the problems of the world or manage its revolutionary tides — that 
extending our commitments does not always increase our security -- that 
any initiative carries with it the risk of a temporary defeat — that 
nuclear weapons cannot prevent subversion — that no free people can be 
kept free without will and energy of their ovra -- " 

* .* 

12. President Kennedy's Address to the United Rations, September 25, 19ol ; 
Public Pa-oe- s of the Presidents, Kennedy, 19ol» P- 62^: 


"Finally, as President of the United States, I consider it my duty to 
report to this Assembly on two threats to the peace which are not on your 
crowded agenda, but which causes us, and most of you, the deepest concern. 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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"The first threat on which I wish to report is widely misunderstood: 
the smoldering coals of war in Southeast Asia. South Vietnam is already 
under attack — sometimes by a single assassin, sometimes by a band of . 
guerrillas, recently by full battalions. The peaceful borders of Burma, 
Cambodia and India have been repeatedly violated. And the peaceful 
people of Laos are in danger of losing the independence they gaxned not 
so long ago. 

"Ho one can call these 'wars of liberation.' For these are free 
countries living under governments. Nor are these aggressions any less 
real because men are knifed in their homes and not shot in the fields of 
battle . 

"The very simple question confronting the world community is whether 
measures can be devised to protect the small and weak from such tactics. 
For if they are successful in Laos and South Vietnam, the gates will be 
opened wide. 

"The United States seeks for itself no base, no territory, no special 
position in this area of any kind. We support a truly neutral and inde- 
pendent Laos, its people free from outside interference, living at peace 
with themselves and with their neighbors, assured that their territory 
will not be used for attacks on others, and under a government comparable 
(as Mr. Khrushchev and I agreed at Vienna) to Cambodia and Burma. 

"But now the negotiations over Laos are reaching a crucial stage. The 
ceasefire is at best precarious. The rainy season is coming to an end. 
Laotian territory is being used to infiltrate South Vietnam. The world 
community must recognize — all those who are involved — that this potent 
threat to Laotian peace and freedom is individible from all other threats 
to their own." 

13. President Kennedy's News Conference, October 11, 196l, Public Papers 
of the Presidents, Kennedy, 196l, p. 660: 

"Troops to Vietnam? 

"Q Mr. President, in reference to your decision to send General Taylor 
to Vietnam, there may be some interpretation of that decision as implying 
confirmation of reports that you intend to send American forces to Vietnam 
or Thailand or Laos. Can you give us your appraisal of the conditions under 
which you might find it necessary to send troops? 

"THE PRESIDENT: We are going to wait until General Taylor comes back 
and brings an up-to-date description of the situation, particularly in Viet- 
nam As°you know, in the last two or three months there has been a large 
increase in the number of the forces that have been involved. There has 
been evidence that some of these forces have come from beyond the frontiers. 
Genera] Taylor will give me and the Joint Chiefs of Staff an educated 


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military guess as to what the situation is that the government there faces. 
?hen we can come to conclusions as to what is the best -ching to do. 

* * * 

lU T^ g 1 -,W. Kennedy letter to President Diem, Decembe r lU, 1961, Depart- 
5irt of State Bulletin, January 1, 1962 » P» 13: 

"Dear Mr. President: I have received your recent letter in which you 
described so cogently the dangerous condition caused by North Viet-Nam s 
Sforts to take over your country. The situation in your embattled country 
is veil known to me and to the American people. We have been deeply dis- 
turbed bv the assault on your country. Our indignation has mounted as the 
deliberate savagery of the Communist program of assassination, kidnapping 
and wanton violence became clear. 

"Your letter underlines what our own information has convincingly shown 
that thp 'campaign of force and terror now being waged against your people 
and vour Government is supported and directed from the outside by the 
authorities at Hanoi. They have thus violated the provisions of the Geneva 
Accords designed to ensure peace in Viet-Nam and to which they bound them- 
selves in 195^. 

"At that time, the United States, although not a party to the Accords, 
declared that it 'would view any renewal of the aggression in violation of 
the agreements with grave concern and as seriously threatening international 
peace. and security.' We continue to maintain that view. 

"In accordance with that declaration, and in response to your request, 
we are prepared to help the Republic of Viet-Kam to protect its people and 
to preserve its independence. We shall promptly increase our assistance 
to vour defense effort as well as help relieve the destruction of the 
floods which you describe. I have already given the orders to get these 
programs underway. 

"The United States, like the Republic of Viet-Nam, remains devoted to 
the cause of peace and our primary purpose is to help your people maintain 
their independence. If the Communist authorities in North Viet-Nam will 
stoo their campaign to destroy the Republic of Viet-Nam, the measures we 
are talcinp to assist your defense efforts will no longer be necessary. We 
Sill seek to persuade the Communists to give up their attempts of force 
and subversion. In any case, we are confident that, the Vietnamese people 
will preserve their independence and gain the peace and prosperity for 
which they have sought so hard and so long. 


"His Excellency Ngo Dinh Diem 
President and Secretary of State for 

National Defense 
The Republic of Viet-Nam 
Saigon, Viet-Nam" 


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15 . President Kennedy's State of the Union Message, January 11, 1962, 
Fablic Papers of the Presidents, Kennedy, ±9o2, p. 12: 

"A satisfactory settlement in Laos would also help to achieve and 
safeguard the peace in Viet Ham — where the foe is increasing his tactics 
of terror -- where our own efforts have been stepped up -- and where the 
local government has initiated new programs and reforms to broaden the 
base of resistance. The systematic aggression now bleeding that country 
is not a 'war of liberation' — for Viet Nam is already free. It is a war 
of attempted subjugation — and it will be resisted. 

16. Pre sident Kennedy's News Conference, January 15, 1962, Public Papers 
oFthe Presidents, Kennedy, 1962, p. 16: 

"Q. In the past it would seem that coalition governments lean towards 
Communist control. Are we then taking a chance in supporting a coalition- 
type government in Southeast Asia? 

"A. We are taking a chance in all of Southeast Asia and we're taking 
a chance in other areas. 

"Nobody can make any predictions sure for the future really on any 
matter in which there are powerful interests at stake. I think, however, 
that we have to consider what our alternatives are and what the prospects 
for war are in that area if we fail in .our present efforts, and the geo- 
graphic problems which would have to be surmounted in such a military en- 
gagement where there is no easy entrance by sea and where the geographic 
location is extremely — a long way from us and very close to those who 
might become involved. So that there is no easy sure answer for Laos. 

"But it is my judgment that it is in the best interests of our country 
to work for a neutral and independent Laos. We are attempting to do that 
and I can assure you that I recognize the risks that are involved. But I 
also think we should consider the risks if we fail. And particularly of 
the possibility of escalation of a military struggle in a place of danger. 
So we're going to attempt to work out this matter in a way which permits 
us to try." 

17. Presid ent Kennedy's News Conference, February 7? 1962, Public Papers 
' of the "Presidents, Kennedy, 1962, p. 1 21: 

"The Subterranean War 

"Q. Mr. President, there seems to be some doubt, at least on the local 
level and in'the region where this is going on, as to the right of the 
American people and the rest of the world to know the extent of the battle 


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in South Vietnam. Could you tell us, sir, what the situation is there? 
How deeply are we involved in what seems to be a growing war and what are 
the rights of the people to know what our forces are doing? 

"THE PRESIDENT: There is a war going on in South Vietnam, and I think 
that last week there were over 500 killings, and assassinations and bomb- 
ings and the casualties are high. As I said last week, it is a subterran- 
ean war, a guerrilla war of increasing ferocity. The United States, sxnce 
the end of the Geneva Accord, setting up the South Vietnamese government 
as an independent government, has been assisting Vietnam economically to 
maintain its independence, viability and also sent training groups out 
there, which have been expanded in recent weeks, as the attacks on the 
government and the people of South Vietnam have increased. 

"We are out there on training and on transportation, and we are assist- 
ing in every way we properly can the people of South Vietnam, who with the 
greatest courage and under danger are attempting to maintain their freedom. 

"How, this is an area where there is a good deal of danger and it is a 
matter of information. We don't want to have information which is of 
assistance to the enemy and it is a matter which I think will have to be 
worked out with the government of Vietnam which bears the primary respon- 

18. President Kennedy's Hews Conference, February Ik, 1962, Public Papers 
of the Presidents, Kennedy, 1962, p. 136: 

"Involvement in Vietnam 

"Q. Mr. President, the Republican National Committee publication has 
said that you have been less than candid with the American people as to 
how deeply we are involved in Vietnam. Could you throw any more light on 

"THE PRESIDENT: Yes, as you know, the United States for more than a 
decade has been assisting the government, the people of Vietnam, to main- 
tain their independence. Way back on Dec. 23, 1950, we signed a military 
assistance agreement with France and with Indo-China which at that time 
included Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. We also signed in December of 1951 
an agreement directly with Vietnam. 

"How in 195 1 !-, the Geneva agreements were signed, and while we did not 
sign those agreements, nevertheless Under Secretary Bedel Smith stated that 
he would view any renewal of aggression in Vietnam in violation of the 
aforesaid agreements with grave concern, and as seriously threatening 
international peace and security. At the time that the SEATO Pact was 
signed in 195U, Sept. 8, Vietnam was not a signatory, it was a protocol 
state and therefore, this pact which was approved by the Senate with 
only,'l think, two against it, under Article k, stated that the United States 


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recognized that aggression by means of armed attack against Vietnam would 
threaten our own peace and security. So since that time the United States 
has been assisting the government of Vietnam to maintain its independence. 
It has had a military training mission there and extensive economic assis- 

"As you know, in the last two years the war has increased. The Vice 
President visited there last spring. The war became more intense every_ 
month- in fact, every week. The attack on the government by the Communist 
forces with assistance from the north became of greater and greater concern 
to the government of Vietnam and the Government of the United States. _ 

"We sent — I sent General Taylor there to make a review of the situa- 
tion The President of Vietnam asked us for additional assistance. We 
issued, as you remember, a white paper which detailed the support which 
the Viet Minh in the north were giving to this Communist insurgent move- 
ment and we have increased our assistance there. And we are supplying 
logistic assistance, transportation assistance, training, and we have a 
number of Americans who are taking part in that effort. 

"We have discussed this matter — we discussed it with the leadership 
of the Republicans and Democrats when we met in early January and informed 
then of what we were doing in Vietnam. We - Mr. Rusk has discussed it 
with the House and Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. Mr. McNamara has 
discussed it with the Armed Services Committee. The leadership on both 
sides Republicans and Democrats - we have explained to them our concern 
about what is happening there, and they have been responsive, I think, to 
evidence their concern. So that there is a long history of our efforts to 
prevent Vietnam from falling under control of the Communists. That is 
what we are now attempting to do. And as the war has increased in scope, 
our assistance has increased as a result of the request of the government. 
So that I think we should - as it is a matter of great importance, a 
matter of great sensitivity — my view has always been that the headquar- 
ters of both of our parties should really attempt to leave these matters 
to be discussed by responsible leaders on both sides. In my opinion, we 
have had a very strong bi-partisan consensus up to now, and I am hopeful 
that it will continue in regard to the action that we are taking. 

"0 Mr. President, do you feel that you have told the American people 
as much as can be told, because of the sensitivity of the subject? Is that 

"THE PRESIDENT: I think I have just indicated what our role is. We 
have increased our assistance to the government, its logistics, and we 
have not sent coubat troops there, although thi training missions that we 
have the^e have been instructed that if they are fired upon they are, of 
course to fire back, to protect themselves, but we have not sent combat 
troops' in the generally understood sense of the word. We have increased 
our training mission, and we have increased our logistics support, _ and we 
^tempting to prevent a Communist take-over of Vietnam, which is m 



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accordance with a policy which our Government has followed for the last 

certainly since 195^ > and even "before then as I have indicated. We 

are attempting to make all of the information available that we can, 
consistent with our security needs in the area. So I feel that we are 
being as frank as we can be, and I think what I have said to you is a 
description of our activity there. " 

* * 

19. President Kennedy's Speech at University of California, March 23, 19^2 , 
Public Papers of the Presidents, Kennedy, 19o2, p. 265: 

"The leaders of the Communist world are not only confronted by acute 
internal problems in each Communist country -- the failure of agriculture, 
the rising discontent of the youth and the intellectuals, the demands of 
technical and managerial groups for status and security. They are con- 
fronted in addition by profound divisions within the Communist world itself 
-- divisions which have already shattered the image of communism as a uni- 
versal system guaranteed to abolish all social and international conflicts, 
the most valuable asset which the Communists had for many years. 

"Wisdom requires the long view. And the long view shows us that the 
revolution of national independence is a fundamental fact of our era. This 
revolution cannot be stopped. 

"As new nations emerge from the oblivion of centuries, their first as- 
piration is to affirm their national identity. Their deepest hope is for 
a world where, within a framework of international cooperation, every 
country can solve its own problems according to its own traditions and 

"It is in the interests of the pursuit of knowledge — and it is in 
our own national interest — that this revolution of national independence 
succeed. For the Communists rest everything on the idea of a monolithic 
world — a world where all knowledge has a single pattern, all societies 
move toward a single model, all problems have a Single solution, and all 
roads lead to a single destination. 

"The pursuit of knowledge, on the other hand, rests everything on the 
opposite idea — on the idea of a world based on diversity, self -determina- 
tion and freedom. And that is the kind of world to which we Americans, as . 
a nation, are committed by the principles on which this republic was formed. 

"As men conduct the pursuit of knowledge, they create a world which 
freely unites national diversity and international partnership. This emerg- 
ing world is incompatible with the Communist conception of world order. 

"It will irresistibly burst the bonds of Communist organization and 
Communist ideology. And diversity and independence, far from being opposed 
to the American conception of world order, represent the very essence of 
our vision of the future. 


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"There used to be much talk a few years ago about the inevitable 
triumph of communism. We hear such talk much less now. No one who 
examines the modern world can doubt that the great currents of hi story _ 
are carrying the world away from the monolithic idea toward the pluralist 
idea — away from communism and toward national independence and freedom. 

"No one can doubt that the wave of the future is not the conquest of 
the world by a single dogmatic creed, but the liberation of the diverse 
energies of free nations and free men. No one can doubt that cooperation 
in the pursuit of knowledge must lead to freedom of the mind and of the 

"The s-oecter of thermonuclear war will hang over mankind; and we must 
heed the advice of Oliver Wendell Holmes of 'freedom leaning on her spear' 
until all nations are wise enough to disarm safely and effectively. 

* * 

"We must seize the vision of a free and diverse world — and shape 
our policies to speed progress toward a flexible world order. 

"This is the unifying spirit of our policies in the world. The pur- 
pose of our aid programs must be to help developing countries to move 
forward as rapidly as possible on the road to genuine national indepen- 

"Our military policies must assist nations to protect the processes 
of democratic reform and development against disruption and intervention." 

* * * 

20. President Kennedy's Hews Conference, April 11, 1962, Public Papers of 
the Presidents, Kennedy, 1So2, p. 322: 


"Q: Sir, what are you going to do about the American soldiers getting 
killed in Viet-Nam? 

"A: ...We are attempting to help Viet-Nam maintain its independence 
and not 'fall under the domination of the communists. .-.But we cannot desist 
in Viet-Nam. . ." 

* * * 

21. P resident Kennedy's Hews Conference, May 9, 1962, Public Papers of 
the Presidents, Kennedy, 19b2, p. 377: 


"Q: Mr. President, last February at a news conference you told us 
that the cease-fire was becoming frayed In Laos and in the event that it 


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was broken, it could lead to a very serious decision. I wonder, Mr. • 
President, now that the cease-fire has been broken, if efforts should 
fail to re-establish it, would it cause a re-examination on the part 
of the United States towards its policy there? 

"THE PRESIDENT: Well, we are concerned about the break in the 
cease-fire. As you know, the State Department, the Acting Secretary of 
State and the Assistant Secretary of State, met today with Ambassador 
Dobrynin, this afternoon. We have already indicated to one of the co- 
chairmen, the British government, our great concern about it. Our am- 
bassador in Moscow met with the foreign secretary of the Soviet Union, 
Mr. Gromyko. 

"We do believe, and have said from the beginning, that the negotia- 
tions should move much more quickly than they have. The longer this 
rather frayed cease-fire continues, the more chance we will have of the 
kind of incidents we have had in the past few days. That is why we were 
hopeful, after the meetings at Geneva last summer and fall, that the 
negotiations between the parties involved would take place last fall, 
and we could organize a government, rather than trying to continue to 
hold lines which in some cases are exposed, and which are subject to this 
kind of pressure. So that has been our view. 

"So that has been our view, and the longer it goes on, and the longer 
there is not an agreement on a government, the longer some groups stand 
out from these kinds of conversations, then the more hazardous the situa- 
tion becomes. 

"Now, on the particular incident, it is a clear breach of the cease- 
fire. We have indicated and we hope that the Soviet Union, which is 
committed to a policy based on the statement at Vienna, in regard to Laos, 
we are hopeful that we can bring about a restoration of the cease-fire. 
But we have got to use the time to try to move ahead in our political 

"I agree it is a very hazardous course, but introducing American 
forces is the other one -- let's not think there is some great third 
course. That also is a hazardous course and we want to attempt to see 
if we can work out a peaceful solution, which has been our object for 
many months. I believe that these negotiations should take place quickly. 
This is not a satisfactory situation today." 


22. Whi te House Statement of the President, May 15, 19^2, Public Papers 
of the Presidents, Kennedy, 19o2> P- 396: 

"Following joint consideration by the governments of the United 
States and Thailand of the situation in Southeast Asia, the Royal Thai 
Government has invited, and I have today ordered, additional elements of 
the United States military forces, both ground and air, to proceed to 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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Thailand and to remain there until further orders. These forces are to 
help ensure the territorial integrity of this peaceful country. 

"The dispatch .of United States forces to Thailand was considered 
desirable because of recent attacks in Laos by Communist forces, and 
the subsequent movement of Communist military units toward the border 
of Thailand. 

"A threat to Thailand is of grave concern to the United States. I 
have therefore, ordered certain additional American military forces into 
Thailand in order that we may be in a position to fulfill speedily our 
obligations under the Manila Pact of 195U, a defense agreement which was 
aup^ov^d overwhelmingly by the U.S. Senate, and to which the Secretary of 
St^te and Foreign Minister of Thailand referred in their joint statement 
of "March 6, 1962. We are in consultation with SEATO Governments on the 

"I emphasize that this is a defensive act on the part of the United 
States and wholly consistent with the United Nations Charter which 
specifically recognizes that nations have an inherent right to take 
collective measures for self-defense. In the spirit of that Charter, 
I have directed that the Secretary General of the United Nations be in- 
formed of the actions that we are taking. 

"There is no change in our policy toward Laos, which continues to 
be the re-establishment of an effective cease-fire and prompt negotia- 
tions for a government of national union." 

23.. President Kennedy's News Conference, May 17, 1962, Public Papers of 
the Presidents, Kennedy, 1962 , p- ^02: 

"No Further Breach in Laos 

"Q: Mr. President, could you bring us up. to date on the Laotian 
situation since the dispatch of our troops in Thailand? Specifically, do 
you feel that we have increased the chances of our getting caught in a 
Communist shooting war in Southeast Asia? 

"THE PRESIDENT: We are continuing to hope that there will be a 
national government or national union, which has been our policy, as you 
know "for a year. We are going into Thailand, at the decision of the 
Thai government, our own decision to provide for the defense of Thailand. 
The latest information indicates no further breach of the cease-fire. 
We also have indications that the three princes will engage in conversation 
shortly I hope they will produce a government. That is our object. I 
have already indicated the great hazards of a shooting war in Asia. In 
Asia, it is our object to bring about a diplomatic solution which will make 
the chances of such a war far less likely. 


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"Troops in Thailand 

"Q- Mr. President, in light of your answer to this question, sir, 
could you give us any idea how long the American troops will be needed 
in Thailand? 

"THE PRESIDENT: -I cannot at this time. 

"Q: Have you any idea under what conditions they might return? 

"THE PRESIDENT: I cannot at this time. They have only "been in there 
for a very sbort while, and we can't tell when they will come out. It 
will depend a good deal on what conditions are in Thailand and the neigh- 
boring countries. 

"Restoring the Cease -Fire 

"o- Mr. President, could you tell us, please, what you would consider 
the restoration of an effective cease-fire? Would this involve the with- 
drawal of the Communist forces to their position before the attack on Nam 
Tha, or more or less a quiescence which would permit the talks to go forward 
on the government? 

"THE PRESIDENT: Obviously, we would prefer as great a withdrawal to 
the line that was in effect a week or so ago as we could get . I would 
think, however, that the peace along the line which now may exist, of 
course, is essential. 

"Objectives in Laos- 

"Q- Mr. President, would you review for us the considerations that 
you had' in mind last weekend when you took this rather swift action to move 
more American troops into Thailand? 

"THE PRESIDENT: Yes. We axe concerned about the breach of the cease- 
fire the sign of deterioration in Laos, which brought Communist forces to 
the border of Thailand up in the Mekong River section, up not too far from 
Nam Tha and we did not know whether this was an indication of a general 
breech of the cease-fire which, of course, would immediately imperil Thailand. 
So in our desire to stabilize the situation, we got in touch with the govern- 
ment, which was already in touch with us, and worked out the proposed course 
of action. 

* * * 

"Legality of Thailand Move 

"a- Mr. President, what was the legal basis for our sending troop 
to Thailand?' Was it a bilateral arrangement that we have with the Thai 
government, or was it possibly secret arrangements? 


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"THE PRESIDENT: NOj the actual legal basis was to put us in a 
position to fulfill our obligations under the SEATO Treaty. 

"Q: Mr. President, are the other members of the SEATO Treaty organi- 
zation doing the same? 

"THE PRESIDENT: They have been asked to do so, and there have been 
indications of a favorable response from several of them. This is a de- 
cision for them. But we have responded and met our obligations. 

# * 

"The Intentions of Pathet Lao 

"Q: Mr. President, back on the subject of Southeast Asia, has there 
been any indication that the Pathet Lao intended to march against Thailand 
or against the capital of Laos, and, second, under what conditions would 
the United States send its troops into Laos? 

"THE PRESIDENT: In answer to your first question, I don't know what 
their intentions may be. I am hopeful their intentions will be to main- 
tain a cease-fire. Obviously, as I have said, the breech of the cease-fire 
in the case of Nam Tha was a blow to the concept of the cease-fire. That 
is what initiated our action in the case of Thailand. On the second matter, 
we have to wait and see. I think -it is very important that the princes form 
a government of national union- for the preservation of their own country." 

2k. President Kennedy's Address at Graduation Exercises of the U.S. 
Military Academy, Public Papers of the Presidents, Kennedy, 1962, 
p. ^3: 

"Korea has not 'been the only battle ground since the end of the Second 
World War. Men have fought and died in Malaya, in Greece, in the Philip- 
pines, in Algeria and Cuba, and Cyprus and almost continuously on the Indo- 
Chinese Peninsula. No nuclear weapons have been fired. No massive nuclear 
retaliation has been considered appropriate. This is another type of war, 
new in its intensity, ancient in its origin — war by guerrillas, sub- 
versives, insurgents, assassins, war by ambush instead of by combat; by 
infiltration, instead of aggression, seeking victory by eroding and ex- 
hausting the enemy instead of engaging him. ■ It is a. form of warfare 
uniouely adapted to what has been strangely called 'wars of liberation,' 
to undermine the efforts of new and poor countries to maintain the freedom 
that they have finally achieved. It preys on economic unrest and ethnic 
conflicts. It requires in those situations where we must counter it, and 
these are the kinds of challenges that will be before us in the next decade 
if freedom is to be saved, a whole new kind of strategy, a wholly different 
kind of force, and therefore a new and wholly different kind of military 


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25. President Kennedy's Mews Conference, June lk 3 1$62, Public Papers 
of the Presidents, Kennedy, 1962? p. ^-92: 

"Mansfield's Criticisms 

"Q: Mr. President, Senator Mansfield a few days ago suggested a 
review of Far Eastern .policies because he said they seem to him either 
marking time, or at least on a collision course. 

"Do you think such a review is necessary? 


"THE PRESIDENT: Well, we have been reviewing. As you know, we have 
been attempting in the case of Laos to work out a policy which would pre- 
vent either one of those situations, whether we shall be successful or 
not, only time will tell. 

"I know that we have put large sums of money, and the situation there 
is still hazardous, what is true there of course is true all around the 
world. This is a period of great tension and change. But if the United 
States had not played a part in Southeast Asia for many years, I think the 
whole map of Southeast Asia would be different. 

"I am delighted, as you know, I have the highest regard for Senator 
Mansfield, and I think that we should constantly review, and I think that 
he suggested we should make judgments between what is essential to our 
interest and what is marginal. We have been attempting with great diffi- 
culty to carry out a policy with Laos which would permit a neutral and 
independent government there, and in Senator Mansfield's speech he used 
the examples of Burma and Cambodia. Those were the examples that were 
also used at the Vienna meeting by Chairman Khrushchev and myself in which 
we stated the kind of government that we both said we hoped would emerge 
in Laos. That is the commitment that was made by the Soviet Union, and 
by the United States. 

"Now we have- moved to a different plateau, and we are going to see 
whether that commitment can be maintained. But on the other hand, I am 
sure and I know Senator Mansfield would nou think we should withdraw, 
because withdrawal in the case of Vietnam and in the case of Thailand 
might mean a collapse of the entire area." 

26 . U.S. Comments on Report of Control Commission for Viet-I'San, Depart - 
ment of State Bulletin, July 16, 1962, p. 1097 " 

"Department Statement 

"The report just issued by the International Control Commission for 
Viet -Kern demonstrates that the Communist Korth Vietnamese' are engaged in 
a campaign of aggression and subversion aimed at the violent overthrow of 
the Government of South Viet -Nam. It indicates clearly that the hostilities 


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Z C— ^hoSiel^ S^iet-i. Tnesa axe the cessions 
of the Commission's Legal Committee: 

• there is evidence to show that armed and unarmed ' 
c ""n ams -munitions and other supplies have been sent 
SomTh ZorT In the North to the Zone in the South with the 
• Sect of supporting, organizing and carrying out hostile 
activities, Including armed attacks, directed against the 
Armed Forces and Administration of the Zone xn the South 
tSre is evidence to show that the PAW people' s Army of 
Sihas allowed the Zone in the North to be used for 
1%T encouraging and supporting hostile activxties xn 
tTe Zonf' "Sriouth, aimedat the overthrow of the Adminis- 
tration in the South.' 

.^.-.^Tvt-c^ +h<=qe conclusions of the Legal Committee 
"The Commission ^«f^J ^^S 'beyond reasonable doubt' that 
that there was suifxcxent evxdence to sn . ^ thgse violations . 

the authorxtxes « C™ 1 ^*^^ f Viet-Nam for its activities in 
Th e Commission also ^^^^nnel above the limits imposed by 

porting "^tary ^f^ J7e voftcTetrly demonstrates, however, that 
the 195U Geneva accords. ^~ *e °ro y ^ .^ ^^ ^ ^^ 

these actions were ^^J^^sion frOI n the North. In December of 
*^eT£esiS^^ ■"?"* assistance from the 

JSted States. We have responded to this request. 

"President Diem and President Kennedy have both stated that they 
look forvaS to the discontinuance of the present level of "£*«* 
look l OIWC \ ra-nmxmist North Vietnamese halt thexr csmpaxgn to 

assistance when the C °™^Vf r ^ h rep0rt of the International Control 
deS troy the Republic of ^t^; ^ ^ United states welcomes the 

S^fo^sle^rLdVeco^ds it for world attention. _ We hope that 
thTco^ssion viH continue its efforts to restore peace in Viet-Nam. 

P^-^n-h Kennedy's Annual Message to the Congress 

on the State of 

y>nriedy . 19o3 , P- 17: 

* * * 

"Third vrnat comfort can we tske from the increasing drains and 
. Th i Jf the Communist bloc? Here hope must be tempered wxth 
tensions within ^ ^_^ disag reement is over means, not ends. 
TdxsTute l7JTo^t?£^ the free world is no grounds for Western 


£ Z irof aSlSSs Z re^entaUOn and all th. iron ao^at^ 


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


of ideology. Marx is proven -wrong once again: for it is the closed 
Communist societies, not the free and open societies which carry within 
themselves the seeds of internal disintegration. 

"The disarray of the Communist empire has "been heightened by two 
other formidable forces. One is the historical force of nationalism 
and the yearning of all men to be free. The other is the gross in- 
efficiency of their economies. For a closed society is not open to 
ideas of progress -- and a police state finds that it cannot command the 
grain to grow. 

"New nations asked to choose between two competing systems need only 
compare conditions in East and West Germany, Eastern and Western Europe, 
North and South Viet -Nam. They need only compare the disillusionment of 
Communist Cuba with the promise of the Alliance for Progress. And all 
the world knows that no successful system "builds a wall to keep its people 
in and freedom out — and the wall of shame dividing Berlin is a symbol of 
Communist failure. 

"Finally, what can we do to move from the present pause toward endur- 
ing peace? Again I would counsel caution. I foresee no spectacular re- 
versal in Communist methods or goals. But if all these trends and develop- 
ments can persuade the Soviet Union to walk the path of peace, then let 
her know that all free nations will journey with her. But until that 
choice is made, and until the world can develop a reliable system of inter- 
national security, the free peoples have no choice but to keep their arms 
nearby. ■ 

# * * 

"in short, let our adversaries choose. If they choose peaceful com- 
petition, they shall have it. If they come to realize that their ambitions 
cannot succeed — if they see their 'wars of liberation' and subversion 
will ultimately fail — if they recognize that there is more security in 
accepting inspection than in permitting new nations to master the black 
arts of nuclear war — and if they are willing to turn their energies, as 
we are, to the great unfinished tasks of our own peoples — then, surely, 
the areas of agreement can be very wide indeed: a clear understanding 
about Berlin, stability in Southeast Asia, an end to nuclear testing, new 
checks on surprise or accidental attack, and, ultimately, general and 
conrolete disarmament. 

"My friends:. I close on a note of hope. We are not lulled by the 
momentary calm of the sea or the somewhat clearer skies above. We know 
the turbulence that lies below, and the storms that are beyond the 
horizon this year. But now the winds of change appear to be blowing 
more strongly than ever, in the world of communism as well as our own... 


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


28 nt Kennedy's Annual Message to the Congress on t he State of 
the Union, January lU , 1963, Public P apers of the Presidents, 
Kennedy, 1963., P- 16: 


"Second, what of the developing and non-aligned nations? They were, 
I believe, shocked by the Soviets sudden and secret attempt to transform 
Cuba into a nuclear striking base -- and by Communist China's arrogant^ 
invasion of India. 

"They have been reassured by our prompt assistance to India, by our 
support. through the United Nations of the Congo's unification, by our 
patient search for disarmament, and by the improvement in our treatment 
of citizens and visitors, whose skin does not happen to be white. And 
as the older colonialism recedes, and the neo-colonialism of the Communist 
powers stands out more starkly than ever, they realize more clearly that 
the issue in the world struggle is not communism versus capitalism, but 
coercion versus a free choice. 

"They realize that the longing for independence is the same the world 
over whether it is the independence of West Berlin or Viet -Nam. They 
realize that such independence rims athwart all Communist ambitions, but 
is in keeping with our own — and that our approach to their needs is 
resilient" and resourceful, while the Communists rely on ancient doctrines 
and old dogmas. 

"Nevertheless, it is hard for any nation to focus on an external or 
subversive threat to its independence when its energies are drained in 
daily combat with the forces of poverty and despair. It makes little 
sense for us to assail in speeches and resolutions the horrors of com- 
munism, to spend $50 billion a year to prevent its military advance - 
and then to begrudge spending, largely on American products, less than 
one-tenth of that amount to help other nations strengthen their indepen- 
dence and cure the social chaos in which communism has always thrived. 

29. president Kennedy's News Conference, March 6, 1963, Public Papers 
of the Presidents, Kennedy, 1963? P- gl| 3: 

«q. Mr. President, the Mansfield committee, sent at your suggestion 
to the Far East and Europe, has recommended a thorough security reassess- 
ment in the Far East and a clamp down, if not a reduction in our aid to 
that part- of the world. Would you have any comment on this, sir? 

"THE PRESIDENT. I don't see how we are going to be able, unless we 
are poine- to pull out of Southeast Asia and turn it over to the Communists, 
how we are going to be able to reduce very much our economic programs and 
military programs in South Viet-Nam, in Cambodia, in Thailand. 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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"I think that unless you want to withdraw from the field and decide 
that it is in the national interest to permit that area to collapse, I 
Luld think that it would be impossible to substantially change it par- 
ticularly, as we are in a very intensive struggle in those areas. 

"So I think we ought to judge the economic burden it places upon us 
as opposed to having the Communists control all of Southeast Asia with 
th* ir-vitable effect that this would have on the security of India and, 
therefore Sally begin to run perhaps all the way toward the Middle East. 
SoTtS that while we would all like to lighten the burden I don't 
see any real prospect of the burden being lightened for the U.S. in South- 
east Asia in the next year if we a^ going to do the job and meet wnat I - 
think are very clear national needs." 

™ U Alexis Tnhn snn's Address Made Bef ore the Economic Club of Detroit f _ 
3 "; hp urn- tad States and South ea st Asia," A p ril 8, 1963, Department of 
State "Bulletin, April 29, 1963 , p. 63b; 

* * * 

"What is the attraction that Southeast Asia has exerted for centuries 
on th- 'great powers flanking it on all sides? Why is it desirable, and 
X is ft important? First, it provides a lush climate, fertile soil, rich 
natural resources, a relatively sparse population m most areas, and room 
to exuand. The countries of Southeast Asia produce rich exportable sur- 
pluses such as rice, rubber, teak, corn, tin, spices, oil and many others. 
It is especially attractive to Communist China, with its burgeoning popu- 
lation and its food shortages. 

"Militarily and strategically, Southeast Asia has great assets. It 
stands astride of east-west trade routes. It stands in a critical, stra- 
tegic relationship not only to China and India bu^ to Australia, ohe 
western Pacific, and Japan. Bearing in mind the impli cat ions of the recent 
Chinese attack on India, Southeast Asia takes on an additional significance, 
since its domination by the Communist powers would outflank the Asian sub- 

"Although still thinly populated for the most part, the human resources 
of this area are considerable and growing. Taken together, the peoples of 
Southeast Asia represent an important segment _ of ' the free world and a tar- 
get of prime importance to Communist imperialism. - 

"Ther° is a rhythm to the tides of history. Just as the pressures on 
Southeast Asia have in the past come alternately from China in the north, 
Tndia in the west, and the maritime powers along the sea, so Southeast 
Asia is asain threatened by a resurgence of pressure from the north. But 
tndav the dan-er from this quarter is multiplied a hundredfold by the viru- 
lence of the political doctrine which now rides on the backs of the Chinese 
people . 


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


"As my colleague Under Secretary Averell Harriman said recently, 
•I don't know how you can distinguish between Chinese communism and 
Chinese imperialism. Chinese communism and all communism is imperialist.' 

"Even before World War II, Communist parties of varying strengths 
existed in all Southeast Asian countries, from Burma to the Philippines. 
After the war the signal was given for armed Communist-led uprisings, 
and these occurred in 'Burma, Indonesia, Malaya, Indochina, and the 
Philippines. Even Thailand, the one country in Southeast Asia that had - 
not known colonial rule, was threatened. By 1952 the revolts were 
crushed in all but Malaya and Indochina. It took the British and the 
new Malay Federation until 1958 to quell Communist guerrilla forces there. 
This struggle, incidentally, provided valuable lessons which are now being 
apulied in Viet-Nam. We also might note that, except for Japan, Malaya is 
now the most prosperous country in Asia. 

"The efforts of some powers following World War II to restore colonial 
rule along the pre-war pattern permitted the Communists more effectively 
to wave the banner of anticolonialism and, for example, through Ho Chi Minh, 
at that time largely to capture the nationalist movement in Viet-Nam. 

"After the Geneva Agreements of 195*+ on Indochina we took the lead in 
the establishment of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, an alliance 
of the Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, France, 
Great Britain, and ourselves, with the objective of providing security to 
Southeast Asia through collective military action if the Communists em- 
barked on outright military aggression. The opening of the eighth meeting 
of ministers of this organization was attended by Secretary Rusk this 
morning in Paris. 

"Whatever may be the criticisms of SEATO, the fact remains that, since 
its inception, the Communists have not attempted open military action in 
the area. Instead they have turned to the more subtle tactics of subver- 
sion and insurgency, the prime example being the guerrilla warfare in 
Viet-Nam carried on in the method made classic in China by Mao Tse-tung. 
Whereas the method employed by the Communists has changed, the objective 
remains the same — destruction of the independence of the Southeast Asian 
countries one by one and return to the days when they bore their tribute 
to Peiping. While the armed struggle is manifest now only in Viet-Nam, 
it ceased in Laos through the settlement reached just last year at Geneva, 
after l^ months of negotiation. 

"Implications of Struggle in Viet-Nam 

"I have pointed out that Southeast Asia io not a homogeneous region 
but rather a geographic expression. By this same token of geographic 
interrelation, the security of the area is not stronger than that of its 
component countries. All of us who were at Geneva in 195*1 recognized that 
Communist domination of the Red River Delta of North Viet-Nam would make 
it much more difficult to defend the remaining areas . This has been true . 


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


However, for the Communists to advance any further in the area would 
render the defense problem very much more difficult, if not well-nigh 
impossible. This is why the valiant struggle now being waged in South 
Viet-liam has implications far beyond the borders of that troubled' 

"Our massive assistance to free Viet-Nam is designed to avoid just 
such a catastrophe." 

* # * 

31. President Kennedy's flews Conference, April 2k, 1963, Public Papers 
of the Presidents, Kennedy, 19o3 ; P- 3^3: 

"'Falling Dominoes' 

"Q: Mr. President, on Laos again, several years ago we heard a great 
deal about the 'falling domino' theory in Southeast Asia. 

"Do you look upon Laos in terms of that country alone, or is your 
concern the effect that its loss would have in Thailand, Vietnam, and so 

"Would you discuss that? 

"THE PRESIDENT: That is correct. The population of La.os is 2 million 
and it is scattered. It is a very rough country. It is important as a 
sovereign power. The people desire to be independent, and it is also im- 
"cortant because it borders the Mel-tong River and, quite obviously, if Laos 
fell into Communist hands it would increase the danger along the northern • 
frontiers of Thailand. It would put additional pressure on Cambodia and 
would put additional pressure on South Vietnam which in itself would put 
additional pressure on Malaya. 

"So I do accept the view that there is an interrelationship in these 
countries and that is one of the reasons why we are concerned with main- 
taining the Geneva Accords as a method of maintaining stability in South- 
east Asia. It may be one of the reasons why others do not share that 

32. President Kennedy's Eews Conference, May 8, 19^3; Public Papers of 
the Presidents, Kennedy, 1963, P- 375: 

* * * 

"0,: Back on the subject of Vietnam. Could you explain to us, sir, 
why we have committed ourselves militarily in Vietnam but have not committed 


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


ourselves militarily in Laos, depending instead upon this neutralist 

"A- Because the situations are different. That's why the remedy has 
been different. We have had a commitment for a good many years to the 
integrity of South Vietnam. We are anxious to maintain the neutrality of 
Laos It may not be possible to do so and it may be necessary to seek 
other remedies. But we have adopted what we considered to be, considering 
th- peograohy, the history, the nature of the threat and the alternate . 
solution -- we've adopted for each country what we regarded as the best __ 
strategy. And we'll nave to wait and see what happens on them." 

* * * 

oo Rpp.retar v Rusk's Address Before the Economic Club of Ne w York, at 
Mew York, April 22, 1963, "The Stake in Viet-Nam," Dep artment of 
State Bulletin, May 13, 1963, p. 727: 

"Viet-Nam is a narrow strip along the South China Sea, nearly as large 
as California, with a population of some 30 million people — about 16 mil- 
lion in the North and Ik million in the South. 

"With Cambodia and Laos, Viet-Nam formed what was formerly known as 
French Indochina. During the Second World War, the Vichy regime yielded 
control of French Indochina to the Japanese. In the spring of 19^5 the 
Japanese proclaimed the independence of Viet-Nam. And in August of that 
year they permitted the Communist-oriented Viet Minn to seize rule. 

"In the Indian subcontinent and in Burma and the Philippines, Western 
countries recognized at war's end that national demands for independence 
would have to be met promptly. But this was not the case with Indochina. 
Instead, we ourselves were somewhat at a loss for a policy with regard to 
that particular part of the world. So our people in charge of war pla^ 
in 10I4.I4. sent a colonel out there who sent a cable back to the Joint Chiefs 
of Staff saying 'Request policy guidance on American policy toward Indo- 
china, because we are beginning to get military access to that country and 
we need direction.' 

"Well, there ensued a vast silence which lasted for months. We sent 
staff officers back to try to find the answer. We sent cables out there, 
and ?fter about 6 months the reply came and it said, 'When asked by the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff for a statement of American policy toward Indochina, 
the President' — that was President Roosevelt -- 'replied 9 I don't went 
to hear any more about Indochina. ' 

"Well now the result of no significant Allied policy at that point 
was that the French did return and take over where they left off at the 
tine of the Japanese occupation, and they encountered therefore a militant 
resistance movement. For 8 years, with material help from the United States, 
they sought to pacify the country. At the same time they granted increasing 


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

autonomy to non-Communist Vietnamese. But the Viet Minn, reforms in Japan 
and on Taiwan, was pressed forward -- 123,000 heads of families became 
small landowners. A comprehensive system of agricultural credit was set 
ud. Thousands of Vietnamese were moved into the highlands to raise indus- 
trial crops. Rubber production rose, and new plantings of better varieties 
promised "still higher production for the future. Sugar production doubled 
in 1958. South Viet-Nam was soon producing enough rice to resume exports 
on a rising scale. Various small industries were established. Textile _ 
production rose from near zero to near self-sufficiency. Electric power 
nearly doubled. Per capita national income rose by 20 percent. 

"Thousands of new schools were built. Between 1956 and i960, enroll- 
ment in the elementary schools rose from U00,000 to 1,500,000. The 
expansion of health facilities included new hospitals and 3,500 village 
health stations. Rail transportation was restored. Roads were repaired 
and improved, and three new major highways were built. 

"The Communists were not completely eliminated -- especially along the 
land and sea frontiers, where they could be supplied — but most of South 
Viet-Nam became, for a period, safe for travel. 

"Although North Viet-Nam inherited most of the industry of Viet-Nam, 
and although"its population is larger, it fell rapidly behind South Viet- 
nam in food production, the number of children in school, and in standards 
of living. While per capita food production rose 20 percent in the South, 
it fell 10 percent in the North. 

"This was competition which the Communists apparently could not endure. 
Very likely it was" one of the reasons why they decided in 1959 to renew 
their assault on South Viet-Nam. And in i960 the Lao Dong Party — that is, 
the Communist Party — ordered the 'liberation' of South Viet-Nam. 

"According to Communist propaganda, the war in South Viet-Nam is a 
civil war, a local uprising. The truth is that it is an aggression 
organized, directed, and partly supplied from North Viet-Nam. It is con- 
ducted by hardened Communist political organizers and guerrilla leaders 
trained in North Viet-Nam, who, upon their arrival in the South, recruit 
local assistance. This has been done in a variety of ways, including 
terror and assassination. Schoolteachers, health workers, malaria eradi- 
cation teams, local officials loyal to the Republic — these were the 
first targets of the assassins. But many_ ordinary villagers who refused 
to coo-Derate with the Communist guerrillas likewise have been ruthlessly 

"Strategic Importance of South Viet-Nam 

"This assault on South Viet-Nam was a major Communist enterprise, care- 
fully and elaborately prepared, heavily staffed, and relentlessly pursued. 
. It made headway. In 196I President Diem appealed for further assistance 
and President Kennedy responded promptly and affirmatively. 


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


"The strategic importance of South Viet -Nan is plain. It controls 
the mouth of the Mekong River, the main artery of Southeast Asia. The 
loss of South Viet-Nam would put the remaining states of Southeast Asia 
in mortal danger. 

"But there are larger reasons why the defense of South Viet-Ham is 
vital to us and to the whole free world. We cannot be indifferent to the 
fate of lU million people who have fought hard against communism — 
including nearly 1 million who fled their former homes to avoid living . 
under Communist tyranny. Since we went to the aid of Greece and Turkey 
16 years ago, it has been the attitude of the United States to assist 
peoples who resist Communist aggression. We have seen this form of attack 
fail in Burma, Malaya, and the Philippines. The South Vietnamese are de- 
termined to win their battle, and they deserve our help. 

"Critics have complained that South Viet-Iiam. is not a full constitu- 
tional democracy and that our aid has been subject to taste and mismanage- 
ment. Let us be clear that these criticisms are not merely alibis for 
inaction. For in passing judgement, let us recall that we are talking 
about a nation which has been responsible for its own affairs for less 
than a decade, about a people who have had no peace since 19^1 and little 
experience in direct participation in political affairs. Their four 
national elections, their thousands of elected hamlet councils, and their 
forthcoming village council elections show steady movement toward a con- 
stitutional system resting upon popular consent." 

3I4.. Assistant Secretary for Far Eastern Affairs, Roger W. Hilsman, Address 
Made at 19o3 Conference on Cold War Education, Tampa, Florida, June lU, 
1 953, "The Challenge to Freedom in Asia," Department of State Bulletin, 
July 8, 1963, p. ^: 

"As to the nature of the danger, the ideology of communism is a threat 
to the United States today mainly because it is joined with the population, 
resources, and military strength of the countries of the Soviet Union and 
Communist China, because it is joined with two bases of power. 

"But the fact that ideology has been joined to these two bases of power 
should not be misinterpreted: the threat is not just military; it is also 
political. And of the two, the political threat is probably the more per- 
vasive. This is true because this nation and its allies have made sure that 
their military defenses are adequate and up to date. 


"The political threat is. also serious because of the Communists ' skill 
in manipulating all the elements of power -- political, economic, and 
psychological as well as military. They use these instruments with con- 
siderable sophistication, playing first one then another according to the 


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

1 01 

op-cort unities open to then in any given situation. Mao Tse-tung has de- 
scribed this alternation of tactics and instruments as 'talk/ fight; 
talk/fight,' and it describes the technique very well. This sudden 
alternation between talking and fighting is designed also to induce a 
maximum amount of confusion, instability, and trouble in the free world. 
One of the latest examples of their use of this tactic occurred last 
October in the Chinese. Communist attack along the Indian border, followed 
by their withdrawal beginning a month later. 

"The immediate goal of the Communists is, of course, to capture the r 
in-between nations, those smaller and weaker nations which today are 
struggling against odds to remain independent. If the Communists can 
capture such free nations, turning them against the United States and 
making them feel that it is the U.S. which poses the danger or forms an 
obstacle to their goals, then the Communists could win without using 
military power. Moreover, the Communists have waged an unremitting attack 
on the foundations of our way of life, just as they are a threat to free- 
dom elsewhere in the world. Although they argue over differences in em- 
phasis as to how the Communist world should carry out its attacks on free 
men, their common goal is plain enough: to further the destruction of the 
values all free men cherish. 

"In Asia the greatest' danger to independent nations comes from Com- 
munist China, with its 700 million people forced into the service of an 
aggressive Communist Party. We can't ignore that problem, and we don't 
ignore it. Communist China lies in direct contact with, or very close to, 
a whole series of free nations ranged in an arc from Afghanistan, India, 
Pakistan, and Nepal in South Asia; through Burma, Malaya, Thailand, Cam- 
bodia, Laos, and Viet-Nam in Southeast Asia; and on up through the Republic 
of China, on its island base of Taiwan, to Japan and Korea. Indonesia, the 
Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand are also alive to the threat posed 
by the Communist Chinese. 

"All these free nations must deal with the facts of Communist China 
and its ambitions. No matter what response each has made, be it non- 
alinement or alliance with friendly nations, they all are aware that the 
aim of the Chinese Communists is to gain predominant control in Asia and 
eventually to secure the establishment of Communist regimes throughout the 
world. The reaction of each nation is determined by its own material 
circumstances and, sometimes more importantly, by its own national psychol- 

"The United States is determined that communism shall not take over 

"For this reason we do not recognize Communist China and seek in all 
possible ways to limit the ability of Communist China to implement its 
threat to obtain hegemony in the Far East. We recognize the Republic of 
China as the legal government of China and support is position in the 
United Nations. Vie are aware that the economic and social progress on 

C-3 1 * 

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


Taiwan, carried out by free Chinese, stands in stark contrast to the 
failures of the mainland Communist government. Also the existence on 
Taiwan of a well-trained and -equipped force of 600,000 men, dedicated 
to the fight against communism, must have a restraining effect on any 
expansionist ambitions of the Communist Chinese. Furthermore the 
spirit of the people of the Republic of China, and of their leader, 
President Chiang Kai-shek, who have conducted a UO-year struggle against 
Communist imperialism, is an inspiration to free peoples everywhere. 

"We stand ready to help peoples who want to help themselves to 
maintain their independence". ~ Sometimes this involves outright alliance, 
as with the Republic of China, Japan, South Korea, and, through the 
Southeast Asia" Treaty Organization, with the Philippines, Thailand, and 
Pakistan. If any of these nations is attacked the United States is com- 
mitted to help defend it. Our contribution to security in the Far East 
also takes other forms, forms designed to meet threats of varying nature. 

"These threats are never simple ones; some are extremely subtle and 
sophisticated. If we are to meet these threats successfully, certain 
qualities of mind must be stressed and certain dangers avoided. Governor 
Bryant, in a recent address, referred to the danger that the 'timid 
American' poses for our democracy. I think he is quite right. I have 
often had a similar thought, which I would like to emphasize in what I 
have to say today. 

"What has often occurred to -me is that, if the United States is not 
only going to meet the Communist threat but carry off the difficult task 
of helping to create a new and stable world in the process, then Americans 
are going to need very steady nerves. 

"By this phrase 'steady nerves,' I mean not only not being timid but . 
two additional qualities: first, the capacity for cold, deliberate analysis 
in order to know when to act and when to bide one's time; second, the un- 
emotional self -discipline and self-control that enables one to act effect- 
ively as a result of" that analysis. I mean the kind of self-control that 
enabled President- Kennedy to use United States power with such coolness 
and skill as he did during the Cuban crisis. In negotiations, also, 
extraordinary qualities of mind and will are demanded, among which the 
element of cold calm in dealing with complex situations is increasingly 
important. President Kennedy was speaking of this in his inaugural 
address when he said: 'Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us 
never fear to negotiate.' 

"The quality of 'steady nerves' is needed in both of the fundamental 
tasks before us. For there are two separate tasks. 

"One is the meeting of crises; the other is the slower, but more 
positive, task of nation building, of helping to build a system of stable, 
strong and independent states which have solved the problem of both 
political and economic development." 



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


"By i960 the situation had so deteriorated that it seemed possible 
the Viet Cong would be able to establish a territorial base in South 
Viet-Nam, the next step in the Mao formula for a successful 'national' 
liberation movement.' At this point, President Kennedy, sent General 
Maxwell Taylor to South Viet -Ham to confer with the Vietnamese Govern- 
ment and to observe the situation for himself. General Taylor reported 
that the Vietnamese people retained the will to fight communism and that, 
given more extensive s'upport, had a chance to defeat the Viet Cong. 

"While this support has come predominantly from the United States, r 
a number of other countries have provided significant support, moral and 

"The first requirement of the struggle today is to pull the teeth of 
the Viet Cong terrorist campaign. This can best be done not so much by 
killing the terrorists but by depriving them of the opportunity to coerce 
the farmers into providing supplies and recruits. This can only be done 
by providing practical protection to the farming population. The technique 
which has been adopted to achieve this protection is the construction of 
fortified villages, called strategic hamlets. This technique was used 
successfully in Malaya against the Communist movement there. The same 
concept had been applied successfully in the late 1790's by the Manchu 
dynasty of China against the White Lotus sect, a fanatical group whose 
use of terror resembled closely the methods of the present-day Viet Cong." 

"The struggle in Viet-Hara gains the headlines in today's newspapers. 
But throughout Asia, new nations, in varying degrees, are facing the 
challenge of creating progressive, yet stable, societies in a world of 
uncertainty. American policy aims to provide our experience, our enthusi- 
asm, and, insofar as our resources permit, our material aid to this great 
enterprise of nation building." 


* * * 

"Thirdly, while we are combating Communist imperialism in all its 
forms, we must remember that it is not enough to be against something and 
that in the last analysis success depends upon our ability to build, to 
construct, to contribute to man's spiritual and material welfare. We are 
cooperating with many free peoples in great efforts at nation building, 
while the Communists try to tear down, in order to impose their hold and 
their system on the world. 

"Fourthly, tnere is a larger need for tolerance in international life. 
Happily there is a growing understanding among us of the diverse ways by 
which different peoples seek to obtain happiness and security in a troubled 
world. In passing I also wish to observe that, remembering our own un- 
finished business in fulfilling the ideals of the American Constitution, 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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we mu«t be tolerant of the shortcomings we may see in other societies. 
While we are justifiably proud of our institutions and our freedoms and 
stand as leaders in the democratic world, our prestige and influence in 
the vorld suffer whenever we fall short of our own ideals. 

* * 

35 . Pr esident Kennedy's Hews Conference, Ju ly 17, 1963, Public Papers 
" • nf the Presidents, Kennedy, 1963 1 P- 569'- 

»Q. Mr President, there has been a good deal of public concern 
about the political situation in South Viet-Nam, and I would like to ask 
vou whether the difficulties between the Buddhist population there and 
the South Vietnamese Government has been an impediment to the effective- 
ness of American aid in the war against the Viet Cong? 

"THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I think it has. I think it is unfortunate that 
this dispute has arisen at the very time when the military struggle has 
been going better than it has been going in many months. I would hope that 
some solution could be reached for this dispute, which certainly began as 
a religious dispute, and because we have invested a tremendous amount of 
effort and it is going quite well. 

"I do realize of course, and we all have to realize, that Viet-Nam 
has been in war for 20 years. The Japanese came in, the war with the 
French the civil war which has gone on for 10 years, and this is very 
difficult for any society to stand. It is a country which has got a good 
manv problems and it is divided, and there is guerrilla activity and 
murder and all of the rest. Compounding this, however, now is a religious 
dispute. I would hope this would be settled, because we want to see a. 
stable government there, carrying on a- struggle to maintain its national 
independence . 

"We believe strongly in that. We are not going to withdraw from that 
effort In my opinion, for us to withdraw from that effort would mean a 
collapse not only of South Viet-Nam, but Southeast Asia. So we are going 
to stay there. We hope with the great effort which is being carried by 
the Vietnamese themselves, and they have been in this field a lot longer 
than we have, and with a good deal more deaths and casualties, that 
behind this military shield put up by the Vietnamese people they can reach 
an agreement on the civil disturbances and also in respect for the rights 
of others. That's our hope. That's our effort. That -- we're bringing 
our influence to bear. And the decision is finally theirs, but I think 
that before we render too harsh a judgment on the people, we should realize 
that they" are going through a harder time than we have had to go through." 

* * * 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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36. Deputy Director of Viet -II am Working Group, Theodore J.C. Heavner, 
Addr ess Made Before National Sec & Leg Committee at the National 
Convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Seattle, Washington, 
August 25, 1963, "The Viet-Nam Situation," Department of State 
Bulletin, September 9 » 1963, P- 392 ~ 

"In the light of long-term trends in Communist and free Asia let me 
now review the elements of U.S. strategy and policy. Our policy in the 
Far East can be summed up in these four points: 

"1. To stand firmly behind our commitments to the defense of inde- 
pendent nations and to turn back any aggressive thrust from 

communism j 

"2. To contribute as we are able to the prosperity and development 
of nations which request our assistance as the surest way of 
helping to build a system of free, viable, and strong nations 
in Asia; 

"3. To recognize the value of initiatives by the Pacific nations 
themselves to develop their own modes of cooperation and com- 
munication, and to stand ready to assist when called upon to 
do so; 

"k. .To work patiently for the realization of a Pacific community 
of nations so prosperous and progressive that its attraction 
will prove, in the long run, irresistible to those peoples 
now kept by their rulers from participation in it." 

"The Guerrilla War in Viet-Nam 

"To understand why President Kennedy said in his state of the Union 
message that 'The spearpoint of aggression has been blunted in South Viet- 
Nam, ' we need to consider the situation in the fall of 1961 and early 
1962. The Vietnamese were quite plainly losing their fight against the 
Communist guerrillas then. 

"The Communist guerrillas, 1,500 strong, took and held overnight a 
provincial capital in September of I96I, and, to underline the fact, 
they publicly beheaded the Chief of Province there. The flow of rice into 
Saigon, normally a rice export center, was choked off by the guerrillas 
to the point where the United States sent P.L. k80 rice to Saigon in early 
19o2. Enemy attacks in January of last year were running at the rate of 
more than 120 per week. We even feared that the Communist Viet Cong might 
soon be able to declare 'a liberated area' somewhere, in the highlands. 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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10 7 

"Faced with this deteriorating situation, President Diem in Decem- 
ber of 1961 sent a letter to President Kennedy in which he outlined the 
nature of the attack on his government and asked for increased American 
assistance. The United States considered this request very carefully. 
Vice President Johnson had visited Viet-Nam in May of 1961, and President 
Kennedy had sent General ^axwell TiJ Taylor to Viet-Nam again in the 
fall of that year. So we were very clear about the nature of the threat. 

"We knew that the Viet Cong attack was caused, led, and directed by 
the Communist authorities in North Viet-Nam. This was a case of Communist 
aggression, although the Communists made great efforts to conceal the 
fact, aggression against a friendly people with whom the United States 
had strong ties. There could be little question about our decision. We 
promptly agreed to step up our military and economic assistance. 

"When we increased our assistance to Viet-Nam we issued a study of 
the evidence of Communist infiltration into South Viet-Nam and Communist 
direction of the war against the Government of South Viet-Nam. This was 
necessary, not just out of a 'decent respect for the opinions of mankind,' 
but because of the great and continuing Communist effort to portray the 
Viet Cong as an indigenous and legitimate popular movement against a re- 
uressive government. I think it is worth noting in this connection that 
the international body specifically established in I95U at the Geneva 
conference to oversee and keep the peace in Viet-Nam — the International 
Control Commission, composed of India, Canada, and Poland — has confirmed 
the fact that Communist North Viet-Nam is engaged in an attempt to overthrow 
by violence the Government of South Viet-Nam. After sifting the evidence 
for almost a year, the International Control Commission in June of 1962 
issued a special report which makes it clear that the Viet Cong are the 
instruments of Hanoi's deliberate attack on South Viet-Nam. 

"If we were losing the war in the fall of 1961 and early 1962, where 
are we today? I think it is fair to say that the tide has now turned and 
that the Government of Viet-Nam is with our help slowly overcoming the 
Communist guerrillas. No more provincial capitals have been taken, the 
Communists have not 'liberated' any part of South Viet-Nam, and Saigon 
is once again exporting rice. In fact we anticipate that Saigon will 
export 300,000 tons of rice this year. 

"The 'Why' of Our Involvement 

"I have described the American role in the Vietnamese war -- the 
'how' of our involvement. I would like to close by indicating something 
of the 'why. ' 

"You can think of Viet-Nam as a piece of strategic real estate. It 
is on the corner of mainland Asia, across the east-west trade routes, and 
in a position that would make it an excellent base for further Communist 
aggression against. the rest of free Asia. 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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"You can think of our involvement in South Viet-Nam in terms of a 
moral commitment. The Vietnamese, on the frontier of the free world, 
are fighting not just for themselves but for all men who wish to remain 
free. I believe the 300-500 casualties they suffer each week is a 
precious contribution to the security of the whole free world. 

"You can think of the American role in South Viet-Nam in terms of 
our SEAT0 /Southeast Asia Treaty Organization/ commitment. You can re- 
gard it as a fulfillment of the implied obligation which we as a nation 
undertook when we said at the Geneva Conference in 195*+ that we would 
regard any renewal of aggression in violation of the Geneva Agreements 
with grave concern and as seriously threatening international peace and 

"You can think of South Viet-Kam as a test case; there is good 
reason to believe that this is the view of the Communist bloc. In Viet- 
Nam we are determining whether or not the free world can help a nation 
defend itself against the subversion and guerrilla warfare which make up 
the 'war of national liberation" tactics. I think it is fair to say that 
we have largely stopped the Communist thrust all around the world in con- 
ventional and nuclear terms. We are now confronted by a new kind of 
threat, and we have to a degree invented a new kind of response to meet 
it. All of the underdeveloped nations of the world are watching the 
event. If South Viet-Kam falls, their will to resist this kind of ag- 
gression will be weakened and the whole fabric of free-world strength 
and determination damaged thereby. 

"Perhaps, in more human terms, you may want to think of our support 
to Viet-Nam as American help to the nearly 1 million Vietnamese refugees 
who fled North Viet-Nam in 195^ and 1955 to avoid living under a Communist 

* * * 

37. President Kennedy's TV Interview, September 2\ I963, Department of 
State Bulletin, September 30? 1963 , P- k 99: 

"Mr. Cronkite: Hasn't every indication from Saigon been that Presi- 
dent Diem has no intention of changing his pattern? 

"President Kennedy: If he does not change it, 'of course, that is his 
decision. He has been there 10 years, and, as I say, he has carried this 
burden when he has been counted out on a number of occasions. 

"Our best judgment' is that he can't be successful on this basis. 
We hope that he comes to see that; but in the final analysis it is the 
people and the Government itself who have to win or lose this struggle. 
All we can do is help, and we are making it very clear. But I don't agree 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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with those who say we should withdraw. That would be a great mistake. 
That would be a great mistake. I know people don't like Americans to 
be engaged in this kind of an effort. Forty-seven Americans have been 
killed in combat with the enemy, but this is a very important struggle 
even though it is far away. 

"We took all this. -- made this effort to defend Europe. Now Europe 
is quite secure. We also have to participate -- we may not like it -- 
in the defense of Asia." 

38. President Kennedy's NBC Interview, September 9, 1963, Department of 
State Bulletin, September 30, 1963 > P- ^99: 

# -* # 

"Mr. Huntley: Mr. President, in respect to our difficulties in South 
Viet-Nam, could it be that our Government tends occasionally to get locked 
into a policy or an attitude and then finds it difficult to alter or shift 
that policy? 

"The President: Yes, that is true. I think in the case of South 
Viet-Nam we have been dealing with a Government which is in control, has 
been in control for 10 years. In addition, we have felt for the last 2 
years that the struggle against the Communists was going better. Since 
June, however -- the difficulties with the Buddhists -- we have been con- 
cerned about a deterioration, particularly in the Saigon area, which hasn't 
been felt greatly in the outlying areas but may spread. So we are faced 
with the problem of wanting to protect the area against the Communists. 
On the other hand, we have to deal with the Government there. That pro- 
duces a kind of ambivalence in our efforts which exposes us to some 
criticism. We are using our influence to persuade the Government there 
to take those steps which will win back support. That takes some time, 
and we must be patient, we must persist. 

"Mr. Huntley: Are we likely to reduce our aid to South Viet-Nam 

"The President: I don't think we think that would be helpful at this 
time. If you reduce your aid, it is possible you could have some effect 
upon the government structure there . On the other hand, you might have a 
situation which could bring about a collapse. Strongly, in our mind is 
what ha-o-oened in the case of China at the end of World War II, where China 
was lost — a weak government became increasingly unable to control events. 
We, don't want that. 

"Mr. Brinkley: Mr. President, have you had any reason to doubt this 
so-called 'domino theory, ' that if South Viet-Nam falls, the rest of 
Southeast Asia will go behind it? 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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"The President: No, I believe it. I believe it. I think that the 
struggle is close enough. China is so large, looms so high just beyond 
the frontiers, that if South Viet-Nam went, it would not only give them 
an improved geographic position for a guerrilla assault on Malaya but 
would also give the impression that the wave of the future in Southeast 
Asia was China and the Communists. So I believe it." 

39. President Kennedy's News Conference, September 12, 1963? Public Papers ' 
of the Presidents, Kennedy, 1963? P- 673^ ~ 

* -x- * 

"Q. Mr. President, in view of the prevailing confusion, is it possible 
to state today just what this Government's policy is toward the current 
government of South Viet-Nam? 

"TfEE PRESIDENT. I think I have stated what my view is and we are for 
those things and those policies which help win the war there. That is why 
some 25jOOO Americans have traveled 10,000 miles to participate in that 
struggle. What helps to win the war, we support; what interferes with the 
war effort, we oppose. I have already made it clear that any action by 
either government which may handicap the winning of the war is inconsistent 
with our policy or our objectives. This is the test which I think every 
agency and official of the United States Government must apply to all of 
our actions, and we shall be applying that test in various ways in the com- 
ing months, although I do not think, it desirable to state all of our views 
at this time. I think they will be made more clear as time goes on. 

"But we have a very simple policy in that area, I think. In some ways • 
I think the Vietnamese people and ourselves agree; we want the war to be 
won, the Communists to be contained, and the Americans to go home. That is 
our policy. I am sure it is the policy of the people of Viet-Nam. But we 
are not there to see a war lost, and we will follow the policy which I have 
indicated today of advancing those causes and issues which helt> win the 

UO. President Kennedy's Remarks at the Yellowstone County Fairgrounds, 
Billings, Montana, September 25, 1963? Public Papers of the Presi - 
dents, Kennedy, 1963, p. 72k i 

-* * * 

"... Countries which we had never heard of before, Viet-Nam, Laos, the 
Congo, and the others, countries which were distant names" in our geogra- 
phies, have now become matters of the greatest concern, where the interests 
of the United States are vitally involved, and where we have, for example, 
in Viet-Nam, over 25,000 of your sons and brothers bearing arms. 

C-^2 • 

Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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"So this is a difficult and complex world. I am sure a citizen in 
this community and in this country must wonder what we are doing. I 
think what we are trying to do is comparatively simple, and that is, with 
our own power and might — and the only country which has that power and 
might — and, I believe, the long-range determination and perseverance, 
we are trying to assist the hundred-odd countries which are now inde- 
pendent to maintain their independence. We do that not only "because we 
wish them to be free, but because it serves our own national interest. 
As long as there are all of these countries separate, free, and inde- 
pendent, and not part of one great monolithic bloc which threatens us, 
so long we are free and independent. 

"When it appeared at the end of the fifties that there would be 
over a billion people organized in the Communist movement, Russia and 
China and Eastern Europe working closely together, that represented a 
danger to us which could turn the balance of power against us. As there 
has been a division within the bloc, as there has been a fragmentation 
behind the Iron Curtain, as the long-range interests of geography and 
nationalism play a part even behind the Iron Curtain, as it does on this 
side of the Iron Curtain, we have made progress, not toward an easier 
existence, but, I think, toward a chance for a more secure existence. 

"In 196l the United States and the Soviet Union came face to face 
over Berlin. The United States called up more than 150,000 troops. 
At the meeting in Vienna, of 1961, Mr. Khrushchev informed me that he 
was going to sign a peace treaty in Berlin by the end of the year, and 
if the United States continued to supply its forces in Berlin it would 
be regarded as a possible act of war. In 1962 we came face to face with 
the same great challenge in Cuba, in October. So we have lived, even in 
the short space of the last 3 years, on two occasions when we were 
threatened with a direct military confrontation. We wish to lessen that 
prospect. We know that the struggle between the Communist system and 
ourselves will go on. We know it will go on in economics, in produc- 
tivity, in ideology, in Latin America and Africa, in the Middle East and 

* * * 

kl. President Kennedy's Remarks at the High School Memorial Stadium, 
Great Falls, Montana, September 26, 1963? Public Papers of the ~ 
Presidents, Kennedy, 19o3> p» 7^7: 

"I know that there are many of you who sit here and wonder what it - 
is that causes the United States to go so far away, that causes you to 
wonder why so many of your sons should be stationed so far away from our 
own territory, who wonder why it is since 19^5 that the United States has 
assisted so many countries. You must wonder when it is all going to end 
and when we can come back home". Well, it isn't going to end, and this 
generation of Americans has to make up its mind for our security and for 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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our -oeace, "because what happens in Europe or Latin America or Africa or 
Asia" directly affects the security of the people who live in this city, 
and particularly those who are coming after. 

"I make no apologies for the effort that we make to assist these 
other countries to maintain their freedom, "because I know full well that 
every time a country, regardless of how far away it may be from our own 
"borders -- every time "that country passes behind the Iron Curtain the 
security of the United States is thereby endangered. So all those who 
suggest we withdraw, all those who suggest we should no longer ship our 
surplus food abroad or assist other countries, I could not disagree with 
them more. This country is stronger now than it has ever been. Our 
chances for peace are stronger than they have been in years. The nuclear 
test ban which was strongly led in the Senate of the United States by 
Mike Mansfield and Lee Metcalf is, I believe, a step toward peace and a 
step toward security, and gives us an additional chance that all of the 
weapons of Montana will never be fired. That is the object of our policy. 

"So we need your support. These are complicated problems which face 
a citizenry. Most of us grew up in a relative period of isolation, and 
neutrality, and unalignment which was our policy from the time of George 
Washington to the Second World War, and suddenly, in an act almost un- 
known in the history of the world, vie were shoved onto the center of the 
stage. We are the keystone in the arch of freedom. If the United States 
were to falter, the whole world, in my opinion, would inevitably begin to 
move toward the Communist bloc. 

"It is the United States, this country, your country, which in 15 
to 18 years has almost s inglehandedly protected the freedom of dozens of 
countries who, in turn, by being free, protect our freedom. So when you 
ask why are we in Laos, or Viet -Ham, or the Congo, or why do we support 
the Alliance for Progress in Latin America, we do so because we believe 
that our freedom is tied up with theirs, and if we can develop a world 
in which all the countries are free, then the threat to the security of 
the United States is lessened. So we have to stay -at it. We must not be 

Il2. U. S. Policy on Viet-Ham: White House Statement, October 2, 1963 
Department of State Bulletin, October 21, 19o3> P- 623: 

"1. The security of South Viet-Ham is a major interest of the United 
States as other free nations. We will adhere to our policy of working 
with the people and Government of South Viet -Hum to deny this country to 
communism and. to suppress the externally stimulated and supported insur- 
gency of the Viet Cong as promptly as possible. Effective performance in 
this undertaking is the central objective of our policy in South Viet-Ham.' 


Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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"5. It remains the policy of the United States in South Viet-Nam 
as in other parts of the world, to support the efforts of the people of 
that country to defeat aggression and to build a peaceful and free 

1^3 _ President Kennedy's Remarks Prepared for Delivery at the Trade Mart ^ • 
"• "in Dallas, November 22, 19o3, Public Papers of the Presidents, - 
Kennedy, 19b3, P- #90: 

* *- * 

"I want to discuss with you today the status of our strength and our 
security because this question clearly calls for the most responsible 
qualities of leadership and the most enlightened products of scholarship. 
For this Nation's strength and security are not easily or cheaply obtained, 
nor are they quickly and simply explained. There are many kinds of strength 
and no one kind will suffice. Overwhelming nuclear strength cannot stop a 
guerrilla war. Formal pacts of alliance cannot stop internal subversion. 
Displays of material wealth cannot stop the disillusionment of diplomats 
subjected to discrimination. 

"Above all, words alone are not enough. The United States is a 
peaceful nation. And where our strength and determination are clear, our ■ 
words need merely to convey conviction, not belligerence. If we are 
strong, our strength will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will 
be of no help. 

"I realize that this Nation often tends to identify turning-points 
in world affairs with the major addresses which preceded them. But it 
was not the Monroe Doctrine that kept all Europe away from this hemisphere 
— it was the strength of the British fleet and the width of the Atlantic 
Ocean. It was not General Marshall's speech at Harvard which kept commu- 
nism out of Western Europe — it was the strength and stability made possible 
by our military and economic assistance. 

"In this administration also it has been necessary at times to issue 
specific warnings — warnings that we could not stand by and watch the 
Communists conquer Laos by force, or intervene in the Congo, or swallow 
West Berlin, or maintain offensive missiles on Cuba.. But while our goals 
were at least temporarily obtained in these and other instances, our 
successful defense of freedom was due not to the words we used, but to 
the strength we stood ready to use on behalf of the principles we stand 
ready to defend.'' 

"But American military might should not and need not stand alone 
against the ambitions of' international communism. Our security and 
strength, in the last analysis, directly depend on the security and 

Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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strength of others, and that is why our military and economic assistance 
plays such a key role in enabling those who live on the periphery of the 
Communist world to maintain their independence of choice. Our assistance 
to these nations can he painful, risky and costly, as is true in Southeast 
Asia today. But we dare not weary of the task. For our assistance makes 
possible the stationing of 3-5 million allied troops along the Communist 
frontier at one-tenth the cost of maintaining a comparable number of 
American soldiers. A successful Communist breakthrough in these areas, 
necessitating direct United States intervention, would cost us several 
times as much as our entire foreign aid program, and might cost us heavily 
in American lives as well."