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Full text of "Pentagon Papers"

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



r 



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

Public Statements (2 Vols.) 

Volume II: D — The Johnson Administration 






Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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TOP SECRET - SENSITIVE} 




UNITED STATES - VIETNAM RELATIONS 

1945 - 1967 




VIETNAM TASK FORCE 



OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE 



TOP SECRET - SENSITIVE] 



$BT 



*/J 



" 



'. 



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/ . 



V. A. - Vol II 

v. justification of tee war 
hjblic Statements 

D. Johnson Administration 



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PART V. 



JUSTIFICATION OF THE WAR — PUBLIC STATEMENTS 



Foreword 

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

1. 19^ • 

2. 1965 

3. 1966 

h. 1967 



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o 



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( 



JOHNSON. ADMINISTRATION - V#& 



summary 

• 

President Johnson succeeded to the Presidency upon the assassi- 
nation of President Kennedy in November 1963 only three weeks after 
the coup d'etat which saw the Ngo Dinh Diem regime crushed and Diem 
himselFmurdered. Confronted with a crisis, the U.S. renewed its 
uledee to sutroort the military junta and the free government of 
Vietnam. The U.S. increased its support even as the GVN wavered 
through a series of government changes each reflecting the control 
retained by the military. U.S. involvement deepened with the in- 
creased advisory strength and the introduction of combat troops m 
196U The Tonkin Gulf crisis and the subsequent resolution became 
benchmarks for the U.S. commitment. The new Administration emphasized 
the following points: 

a. Organized aggression from the North obligated the United 
States to fulfill its commitments under the SEATO treaty. 

b The strategic importance of Southeast Asia to the security 
of the United States and the test of "wars of liberation" there as im- 
portant to the future peace and freedom of South Vietnam. 

c. The Gulf of Tonkin action showed that "aggression by 
terror" had been joined by "open aggression on the high seas" against 
the United States and the resolution which followed justified measures 
to "repel any armed attack. 

d. The communist "appetite for aggression" through "wars of 
liberation" threatened not only other Asian countries, but also the 
United States if left unchecked. The U.S. seeks no wider war. 

e. Four basic themes govern U.S. policy, essentially un- 
changed since 195^: America keeps her word; the future of Southeast 
Asia°is the issue; "our purpose is peace; and, this war is a struggle 
for freedom." 



D 



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v# D . JUSTIFICATION OF THE WAR — HJBLIC STATEMENTS 

JOHNSON ADMINISTRATION 
196^ 



CONTENTS 

Page 
1 Secretary Rusk stated, "Our troops are there assisting the 

South Vietnamese because people in the north have been putting 
pressures on Southeast Asia. " 

2. President Johnson expresses support of President Kennedy's 

belief in the "domino theory" 

a Secretary McNamara cites organized aggression from NVH as re- 
quiring U.S. to fulfill its SEATO commitment. He emphasizes 
the strategic significance' of Southeast Asia in the forward 
defense flank and the importance of meeting squarely the test 
case for the new Communist strategy," wars of liberation V-1 

k Ambassador Stevenson stresses the point that the U.S. presence 
in Vietnam is in response to request from government of South 
Vietnam to assist in combatting aggression from the North D-O 

5. Secretary McNamara discusses the forward defense nations and 

their relationship to U.S. security • 

6 Secretary Rusk states that withdrawal from Vietnam would re- 
sult in "a drastic loss of confidence in the will and capacity 

of the free world to oppose aggression" D-H 

7 President Johnson cites four basic themes: (l) America keeps 
her word; (2) the issue is the future of Southeast Asia; (3) 

our purpose is peace and (k) this is a struggle for freedom D-ll 

8 President Johnson tells the Nation, "Aggression by terror 
against the peaceful villagers of South Vietnam has now been 
joined, by open aggression on the high seas against the United 
States of America" 

o President Johnson cites aggression, the commitments of his 
predecessors, SEATO, the attack on the Maddox and our es- 
' tablished policy of assisting countries victimized by 

aggression as leading to U.S. actions 



D-l 



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Page 

10. President Johnson recalls SEATO commitment to South Vietnam 
in address to Congress; he stressed consistency in U.S. 

policy as enunciated on June 2 (D-7) D-ll+ 

11. Secretary Rusk explains swiftness of U.S. response to Gulf 
of Tonkin attack as necessitated by act of war and the im- 
portance of conveying to Hanoi the seriousness of the 

situation ". D-15 

t 

12. Gulf of Tonkin resolution cites the attack on an American ship 
in combination with aggressive acts of NVN in SVN as justi- 
fying "all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against 

the forces of the U.S. and to prevent further aggression" D-l6 

13. Secretary Rusk states, "...South Vietnam is a critical test- 
case for new Communist strategy" D-17 

lU. William Bundy relates the fall of SVN and the success of the 
wars of liberation strategy to the future of other Asian 
countries, including India and Japan, Australia and the under- 
developed nations throughout the world D-l8 

15. Secretary Rusk suggests that U.S. security is threatened by 
persistent aggression which remains unchecked; while not 
supporting the "domino theory" designation, he points out the 
Communist appetite for revolution as expressed in their 
proclamations D-l8 






D-2 



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D. Johnson Administration 



1. Secretary Rusk Interviewed on Voice of America, 15 February 196*1 , 
De-partment of State Bulletin, 2 March 196^, p. 333 : 



* 



"MR. O'NEILL: Well, Hanoi has just publicly now identified itself 
as supporting the guerrillas in South Vietnam and also threatening that 
Red China would intervene in any action against North Vietnam. Do you 
see any connection between that and the French recognition, or do you 
think this is an isolated development? 

"SECRETARY RUSK: I haven't seen anything that would lead me to say 
there was an organic connection between what Hanoi has just said and what 
Paris has done. It is true that Hanoi has made no secret of this policy 
since 1959- They have publicly declared that they are out to take over 
South Vietnam, and in this same' statement to which you are referring they 
made it very clear that North Vietnam is not going to be neutralized and 
that their interest in South Vietnam is not so much neutrality as taking 
it over. So I think the issues have been drawn very clearly out there. 

"MR. O'NEILL: While we are on that area, how is the fighting in South 
Vietnam? Are we going to be able to win out, and do you have any idea as 
to how soon that might be? 

"SECRETARY RUSK: Well, I think we will have to wait a bit before we 
can speak with complete confidence about it in the short run. In the long 
run, I have no doubt that the resources, the will, the material are present 
in South Vietnam to enable the South Vietnamese to do this job. We are 
determined that Southeast Asia is not going to be taken over by the com- 
munists. We must insist that these basic accords be adhered, to. And so 
we are in this to the point where the South Vietnamese are going to be 
independent and secure." 



•* 



"MR. WARD: Mr. Secretary, I wish you'd say something about this word, 
'neutralization' — not whether Southeast Asia or some parts thereof should 
be neutralized, but what the word itself means. It seems to me there is 
a great deal of misunderstanding that flows from varied uses of the word. 

"SECRETARY RUSK: Well, the word gets confused because it has meant 
so 'many different things to different people. I suppose in the strictest 
sense a neutral is, in time of peace, a so-called 'unalined' country, that 
it is not committed to one of the two major power blocs in the world, the 
NATO bloc or the communist bloc. 



D-3 






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"Well, now, we don't object to neutrals or policies of neutrality 
or neutralization in that sense. There are a great many countries who are 
uralined with whom we have very close and friendly relations. We are not 
Poking for allies. We are not looking for military bases out in Southeast 
Asia. We are not even looking for a military presence in that part of the 
world. 

"Our troops are there assisting the South Vietnamese because people 
in the north have been putting pressures on Southeast Asia. If those pres- 
sures did not exist, those troops wouldn't be there. But when one talks ■ 
about neutralizing South Vietnam in the present context, this means, really,- 
getting the Americans out. That is all that that means. 

"Now, North Vietnam is not going to be neutralized. It's going *° 
remain a member of the communist camp. And from the time that it was estab- 
lished No^th Vietnam has broken agreements and has applied pressure on _ its 
neiffcbors /particularly laos and South Vietnam. So that if anyone has in 
S that South Vietnam should be neutralized, meaning that Americans should 
simply go home and leave it exposed to takeover from the north, tnen this 
isn't going to happen. 

"Now, if South Vietnam were independent and secure, it would be per- 
fectly free to pursue its own policy. It can be unalined, as far as we 
are concerned. 



* 



2. TV Interview with President Johnson, 15 March 196U, Public Pap ers of 
The Presidents, Johnson, 1963-6^, n. 370 '• 

"MR SEVAREID: Mr. Kennedy said, on the subject of Vietnam, I think, 
that he 'did believe in the 'falling domino* theory, that if Vietnam were 
lost, that other countries in the area would, soon be lost. 

"THE PRESIDENT: I think it would be a very dangerous thing, and. I 
share President Kennedy's view, and. I think the whole of Southeast Asia 
would be involved and that would involve hundreds of millions oi people, 
and I think it's — it cannot be ignored., we must do everything that we 
can, we must be responsible, we must stay there and help them, and that 
is what we are going to do." 



* * 



3. 



"tt^+p* s*. a .t.P R Policy in Vi etnam," by Robert S. McNamara, Secretary 
-~ '_'* rr „ oc ^^ui ^-^artment of St ate Bulletin, 13 April I96U , 



>62: 

* * * 

p 

D-l* 



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"At the Third National Congress of the Iao Dong (Communist) Party in 
Hn noi September I960, Worth Vietnam's belligerency was made expert. 

iTthf 2me cfng^s fit lT;:Z2 e JlZtll party's new tas, was 'to 

^"atioS oflhe Geneva agreements in order to wrest control . 
of South Vietnam from its legitimate government. 

national Control Commission. 

-SS?Ss5SSs5S53Ssm?-. 

fc y ienSr. g to that country additional American advxsers, arms, and ard. 

"U.S. Objectives: 

"I turn now to a consideration of United States objectives in South 

^serve^ ^.^1^" ^er of a Western alliance. 
Our concern is threefold. 

W, and »ost ^^^ ^^^^12^- 
'ftSnS^lSuS^rS. f «etn^selLe asKed our help. We have g iven 

it. We shall continue to give it. 

"We do so in their interest; and we do so in our own clear self-interest, 
we ao so in mm . , ss if .determination which have 

SfflSa ir s r far,-.- sssss s «r 

distance from our shores. 

«n«h. ultimate sroal of the United States in Southeast Asia, as in the 
The ultimate goai 01 independent nations which 

SssSss Skssc sswrs sac 



D-5 



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many peoples share our sense of the value of such freedom and independence. 
They have taken the risks and made the sacrifices lined to the commitment 
to membership in the family of the free world. They have done this in 
the belief that we would back up our pledges to help defend them. It 
is not right or even expedient — nor is it in our nature — to abandon 
them when the going is difficult. 

"Second, Southeast *Asia has great strategic significance in the forward 
defense of the United States. Its location across east-west air and sea 
lanes flanks the Indian subcontinent on one side and Australia, New Zealand, 
and the Philippines on the other and. dominates' the gateway between the 
Pacific and Indian Oceans. In communist hands this area would pose a most 
serious threat to the security of the United States and to the family of 
free-world, nations to which we belong. To defend Southeast Asia, we must 
meet the challenge in South Vietnam. 

"And third, South Vietnam is a test case for the new- communist strategy. 
Let me examine for a moment the nature of this strategy. 

"just as the Kennedy administration was coming into office in January 
1961, Chairman Khrushchev made one of the most important speeches on com- 
munist strategy of recent decades. In his report on a party conference 
entitled 'For New Victories of the World Ccmmunist Movement,' Khrushchev 
stated: 'In modern conditions, the following categories of wars should 
be distinguished: world, wars, local wars, liberation wars and pooular 
uprising.' He ruled out what he called 'world wars' and 'local wars' as 
being too dangerous for profitable indulgence in a world of nuclear wea- 
pons. But with regard to what he called 'liberation wars,' he referred 
specif ically to Vietnam. He said, 'It is a sacred war. We recognize such 
wars. . . ' 

# * # 

"President Kennedy and. President Johnson have recognized, however, 
that our forces for the first two types of wars might not be applicable or 
effective against what the communists call 'wars of liberation, ' or what 
is properly called covert aggression or insurgency. We have therefore 
undertaken and continue to press a variety of programs to develop skilled 
specialists, equipment, and techniques to enable us to help our allies 
counter the threat of insurgency. 

"Communist interest in insurgency techniques did not begin with Khrushchev, 
nor for that matter with Stalin. Lenin's works are full of tactical instruc- 
tions, which were adapted very successfully by Mao Tse-tung, whose many 
writings on guerrxlla warfare have become classic references. Indeed, 
Mao claims to be the true heir of Lenin's original prescriptions for the 
worldwide victory of communism. The North Vietnamese have taken a leaf 
or two from Mao's book — as well as Moscow's — and added, some of their 
own. 



D-6 



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"Thus today in Vietnam we are not dealing with factional disputes or 
the remnants of a colonial struggle against the French but rather with 
a major test case of communism's new strategy. That strategy has so far 
been pursued in Cuba, may be beginning in Africa, and failed in Malaya 
and the Philippines only because of a long and arduous struggle by the 
people of these countries with assistance provided by the British and 
the United States. 

! 'ln Southeast Asia the communists have taken full advantage of 
geography -- the proximity to the communist base of operations and the ( 
rugged, remote, and heavily foliated character of the border regions. 
They have utilized the diverse ethnic, religious, and tribal groupings 
and exploited factionalism and legitimate aspirations wherever possible. 
And as I said earlier, they have resorted to sabotage, terrorism, and 
assassination on an unprecedented scale. 

"Who is the responsible party — the prime aggressor? First and fore- 
most without doubt, the prime aggressor is North Vietnam, whose leader- 
shrr/has explicitly undertaken to destroy the independence of the South. 
To be sure, Hanoi is encouraged on its aggressive course by Communist 
China. But Peiping's interest is hardly the same as that of Hanoi. 

"For Hanoi, the immediate objective is limited: conquest of the South 
and national unification, perhaps coupled, with control of Laos. For Peiping, 
however, Hanoi's victory would, be only a first step toward eventual Chinese 
hegemony over the two Vietnams and Southeast Asia and toward exploitation 
of the new strategy in other parts of the world. 

"Communist China's interests are clear: It has publicly castigated 
Moscow for betraying the revolutionary cause whenever the Soviets have 
sounded a cautionary note. It has characterized the United. States as a 
paper tiger and has insisted that the revolutionary struggle for 'liberation 
and^unifi cation' of Vietnam could be conducted without risks by, in effect, 
crawling under the nuclear and conventional defense of the free world. 
Peiping thus appears to feel that it has a large stake in demonstrating 
the new strategy, using Vietnam as a test case. Success in Vietnam would 
be regarded by Peiping as vindication for China's views in the worldwide 
ideological struggle. 

"Taking into account the relationship of Vietnam to Indochina -- and 
of both to Southeast Asia, the Far East, and the free, world as a whole -- 
five U.S. Presidents have acted to preserve free-world strategic interests 
in the area. President Roosevelt opposed Japanese penetration in Indo- 
china; President Truman resisted communist aggression in Korea; President 
Eisenhower backed Diem's efforts to save South Vietnam and undertook to 
defend Taiwan; President Kennedy stepped up our counterinsurgency effort 
in Vietnam; and President Johnson, in addition to reaffirming last week 
that the United States will furnish assistance and support to South Viet- 
nam for as long as it is required to bring communist aggression and ter- 
rorism under control, has approved the program that I shall describe in 
a few minutes. 



D-7 



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"The U S role in South Vietnam, then, is first , to answer the call 
of tbi ^Vietnamese, a member nation of our free-world family, to help 
In av her country for themselves; second, to help prevent the strate- 
2c Lanier w£ch would'exist if communism absorbed Southeast Asia's people 
Ed resources; and third, to prove in the Vietnamese test case that the 
See-worS can cope-with communist 'wars of liberation' f as we have coped 
successfully with communist aggression at other levels. 



* * 



k "U S Calls for Frontier Patrol to Help Prevent Border Inci dents Between 
Ca tbodla and. Viet nam^Statemet^ by Adlai Stevenson to Security Council , 
p^Nfa y IQ^.T^cartment of State Bull etin, 8 June 1964, y. 90S- 

* * * 

"First, the United. States had no, repeat no, national military objective 
anywhirTTn Southeast Asia. United States policy for Southeast Asia is very 
sSSe! It is the restoration of peace so that the peoples of that area 
cS go about their own independent business in whatever associations they 
2y freely choose for themselves without interference from the outside. 

"I trust my words have been clear enough on this point. 

"Second, the United. States Government is currently involved in the 
affairs o^'the Republic of Vietnam for one reason and. one reason only: 
because tL Republic of Vietnam requested, the help of the United States and 
o? other governments to defend itself against armed attack fomented, equipped, 
and directed, from the outside. 

'"This is not the first time that the United States Government has come 
to the aid. of peoples prepared to fight for their freedom and impendence 
against armed aggression sponsored from outside their borders Nor will 
it be the last time unless the lesson is learned once and for all by all 
aggressors that armed aggression does not pay -- that it no longer works -- 
that it will not be tolerated. 

"The record of the past two decades makes it clear that a nation with 
the will for self-preservation can outlast and. defeat overt or clandestine 
agression - even when that internal aggression is heavily supported from 
thl outside, and even after significant early successes by ^e aggressors. 
I would remind the members that in 1^7, after the aggressors had gained 
contSl of most of the country, many people felt that the -use of the Go vern- 
ment of Greece was hopelessly lost. But as long as the P e °£ e ^J.^* 
were prepared to fight for the life of their own country, the United States 
was not prepared to stand by while Greece was overrun. 

"This principle does not change with the geographical setting. Aggression 
is agression; organized violence is organized violence. Only the scale and 
the fcenery changf ; the point is the same in Vietnam today as it was in Greece 

D-8 



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• iqW Pnd in Korea in 1950. The Indochinese Communist Party, the parent 
o? ^present Communist SUy in North Vietnam, made it abundantly clear 
S p»rl?as 1951 that the aim of the Vietnamese Communist leadership is 
as early as 195-L ^ Indochim . This goal has not changed -- it is 

ftilf ^leSy ihe'oSectLeTf the Vietnamese Communist leadership in Hanoi. 

• oocv* to aoropmlish this purpose in South Vietnam through sub- 
versi^SeS^^SS^Scted, trolled, and supplied f^^~ 
V Lprommunist leadership in Hanoi has sought to pretend that the 
nam. The communist ^aaer p Hanoi's hand shows very 

'TTlT^lTTtZeneTs oj the Communist Party in North Vietnam and .. 

SJ so called -National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam' was set 
' up pursuant to plans outlined publicly at that Congress. 

"The International Control Commission in Vietna m established ^J-f • 

1962 that there is suiii ds by its introduction of armed personnel, 

SM2S l^he^ Vietnam into So- Vietnam 

with the object of supporting, -organizing, and carrying out hostile activi 
ties against the Government and. armed forces of South Vietnam. 

"infiltration of military personnel and su ^PP lies + f ^^ r ^J^f^ arS 
to South Vietnam has been carried out steadily over the past se ^Jl g^" 

■ ±. -, v r,-p „iitt-rv r-aftve-^ sent into South Vietnam via mliitra 
The- total number of military caareb ^wn _i-u^ ^ — j._j 

Son routes runs into the thousands. Such infiltration is well documented 
on ?he basis of numerous defectors and prisoners taken by the armed forces 
of South Vietnam. 

"introduction of communist weapons into South Vietnam has also grown 
steadily. An increasing amount of weapons and ammunition captured from the 
vfet Cong has been provL to be of Chinese Communist manufacture or origin 
For example, in December 1963 a large cache of Viet Cong equipment captured 
In onfoFthe Mekong Delta provinces in South Vietnam included recoilless 
Sfles, rocket launchers, carbines, and ammunition of. Chinese Communist 
manufacture . 

"fin United States cannot stand by while Southeast Asia is overrun by 
arm.d aggressors. As long as the peoples of that area are determined to 
Seservf their own independence and. ask for our help ^ preser v ng it 
preserve tneir y CO urse, is the meaning of President Johnson s 

r^eit ffefdays ag^for additional funds for more economic as well as 

military assistance for Vietnam. 



D-9 



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"And if anyone has the illusion that my Government will abandon the 
peoplf of Vietnam - or that we shall weary of the burden of support that 
we are rendering these people - it can only be due to ignorance of the 
strength and the conviction of the American people. 



5- 



"The Defense of the Free World." Robert S. McNamara, Sec retary of De^se, 
^ethTNational Ind Conf 3d. 21 May 1964, Demrtment of Staj ^Bulle^ 

tin. 8 June 1964, v. &9 y: 



* * * 



"The 'Forward Defense' Nations: 

"Our military assistance program today is oriented mainly toward those 
countries on the periphery of the major communist nations where the threats 
are greatest and. in which the indigenous resources are least. In the fiscal 
vear 1965 program now before the Congress, about two-thirds of the total 
Count is Scheduled to go to the 11 nations on the southern and eastern 
trimeters of the Soviet and Red Chinese blocs. These sentinels of the 
free world, in a sense, are in double jeopardy from potential military 
aggression from without and from attempted subversion from within. These . 
countries are under the Red shadow. They face the major threat, and ohey 
are the ones most affected by the modernization of communist forces. For 
this group we requested $7^5 million in military assistance. They best 
illustrate the points I want to make. 

"Imagine a globe, if you will, and on that globe the Sino-Soviet bloc. 
■The bloc is contained at the north by the Arctic. To the west are the re- 
vitalized nations of Western Europe. But across the south and to the eas£ 
vou find the 11 'forward defense' nations - Greece, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, 
India, Laos, Thailand, South Vietnam, the Philippines, and the Republics 
or China and. Korea. These nations, together with stretches of the Pacific 
Ocean bearing the U.S. Fleet, describe an arc along which the free world 
draws its frontlines of defense. 

"The frontlines are there in the interests of those 11 nations; the lines 
are there also in the interests of the United States and the rest of the 
free world. The areas which this 11-nation arc protects are of obvious stra- 
tegic importance to the United States. More significant, however, is the 
importance of the arc to the principle that nations have a right to be inde- 
pendent - a right to develop in peace, in freedom, and according to the 
T^rincirfe of self -determination. United State* support of these rights 
It the frontiers thickens the blood of the free-world family; it strengthens 
our security at home. 

"We must recognize, however, that the United States does not have the 
resources to maintain a credible force by itself along all of this great 
arc of forward positions. Such a strategy would be unbearably costly to 
us in both money and. human resources. The United States maintains major 

D-10 



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combat units ashore in forward positions only in Europe and in parts of 
the Far East. Such deployments are costly and. hurt our balance-of -payments 
position. We do not now contemplate additional semipermanent deployments 
of forces abroad." 



* 



6. "Laos and Viet-Nam -- A Prescription for Peace," Address by Secretary 
Rusk before the American Law Institute, Washington, D.C., 22 May 196^ , 
Department of State Bulletin, 8 June 196U, p. 89O : _, 

* # * 

"Four Alternatives in Vietnam: 

"You are all aware of the four principal alternatives in South Vietnam 
which have been referred to in recent discussion. The first would be to 
withdraw and forget about Southeast Asia. That would, mean not only grievous 
losses to the free world, in Southeast and southern Asia but a drastic loss 
of confidence in the will and capacity of the free world, to oppose aggression. 
It would, also bring us much closer to a major conflagration. Surely we 
have learned, in the course of the last 35 years, that a course of aggression 
means war and that the place to stop it is at its beginning. 

.* * #' 

"At the meeting of the Council of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organiza- 
tion in Manila last month, seven of the eight members joined in declaring 
the defeat of the aggression against South Vietnam to be 'essential not 
only to the security of the Republic of Vietnam, but to that of Southeast 
Asia. ' And, they said, its defeat will also be convincing proof that com- 
munist expansion by such tactics will not be permitted. 

* * * 



7. "President Outlines Basic Themes of U.S. Policy in Southeast Asia, " 

Statement by President Johnson at his Hews Conference on June 2, I96U , 
Department of State Bulletin, 22 June 196^, p- 953 : 

"it may be helpful to outline four basic themes that govern our policy 
in Southeast Asia. 

"First, America keeps her word. 

"Second, the issue is the future of Southeast Asia as a whole. 

"Third, our purpose is peace. 

"Fourth, this is not just a jungle war, but a struggle for freedom on 
every front of human activity. 

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"On the point that America keeps her word, we are steadfast in a policy 
which has been followed for 10 years in three administrations." 



* 



8. "Address to The Nation by President Johnson," 4 August 1964, Department 
of State Bulletin, '2k August 1964, p. 2^9 : 

* * * 

"In the larger sense this new act of aggression, aimed directly at our - v 
own forces, again brings home to all of us in the United States the impor- 
tance of the struggle for peace and security in Southeast Asia. Aggression 
by terror against the peaceful villagers of South Vietnam has now been 
joined by open aggression on the high seas against the United States of 
America." 

* * * 

9. "Address by The President, Syracuse University, 5 August 1964," Depart - 
ment of State Bulletin, 24 August 1964, p. 260 : 

* * * 

"Aggression -- deliberate, willful, and. systematic aggression — has 
unmasked its face to the entire world. The world remembers — the world 
must never forget — that aggression unchallenged is aggression unleashed. 

"We of the United States have not forgotten. That is why we have answered 
this aggression with action. 

"America's course is not without long provocation. 

"For 10 years, three American Presidents — President Eisenhower, President 
Kennedy, and your present President — and the American people have been 
actively concerned with threats to the peace and. security of the peoples 
of Southeast Asia from the communist government of North Vietnam. 

"President Eisenhower sought — and President Kennedy sought — the 
same objectives that I still seek: 

— That the - governments of Southeast Asia honor the international 
agreements which apply in the area; 

-- That those governments leave each other alone; 

— That they resolve their differences peacefully; 

— That they devote their talents to bettering the lives of their 
peoples by working against poverty and disease and ignorance. 

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"In 195^ we made our position clear toward Vietnam. 

"Tn Julv of that year we stated we would view any renewal of the 
aggression L violation of the 195^ agreements 'with grave concern and 
af seriously threc.tening international peace and security, 

"In September of that year the United States signed, the Manila pact, 
in bepxiemoex " gEATO ± ba sed. That pact recognized that 

«1onVm anrS'Zed attac. on South Vietnam would endanger the 
pffce and thJ safety of the nations signing that solemn agreement. 

"-rn 1962 we made our position clear toward Laos. We signed the Declara- 
tor on the Neutrality of Laos . That accord provided for the withdrawal 
of al^ foreign forces^nd respect for the neutrality and independence of 
that little country. 

• "The agreements of 195^ and 1962 were also signed by the government of 
North Vietnam. 

"in i 95 u'that government pledged that it would respect the territory 
under^he military control of the other party and engage m no hostile act 
against the other party. 

"In 1962 that government pledged, that it would 'not introduce into the 
Kingdom of Laos foreign troops or military personnel. 

"That government also pledged, that it would 'not use the temjoryof 
the Kingdom of Laos for interference in the internal affairs of other coun 
tries. ' 

"That government of North Vietnam is now willfully and systematically 
violating those agreements of both 195^ and 1962. 

"To the south, it is engaged in aggression against the Republic of 
Vietnam. 

"To the west, it is engaged in aggression against the Kingdom of Laos. 

"To the east, it has now struck out on the high seas in an act of 
aggression against the United States of America. 

"There can be and there must be no doubt about the policy and no doubt 
about the purpose - 

"So there can be no doubt about the responsibilities of men and the 
responsibilities of nations that are devoted to peace. 

"Peac cannot be assured merely by assuring the sa W °*?J^" ed 
States destroyer NUDCK or the safety of other vessels of other flags. 



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"Peace requires that the existing agreements in the area be honored. 

"Peace requires that we and all our friends stand firm against the 
present aggressions of the government of North Vietnam. 

"The government of North Vietnam is today flouting the will of the 
world for peace. The world is challenged to make its will against war known 
and to make it known clearly and to make it felt and to make it felt de- 
cisively. 

"So to our friends of the Atlantic alliance, let me say this this morn- _, 
in°-. The challenge that we face in Southeast Asia today is the same challenge 
that we have faced, with courage and that we have met with strength in Greece 
and Turkey, in Berlin and Korea, in Lebanon and in Cuba, and to any who 
may be tempted, to support or to widen the present aggression I say this: 
There is no threat to any peaceful power from the United States of America. 
But there can be no peace by aggression and no immunity from reply. That 
is what is meant by the actions that we took yesterday. 



* * 



10. "President's Message to Congress, 5 August 196U," Department of State 
Bulletin, 2k August 196U, p. 261: 



* * * 



"These latest actions of the North Vietnamese regime have given a new 
and grave turn to the already serious situation in Southeast Asia. Our 
commitments in that area are well known to the Congress. . They were first 
made in 195^ by President Eisenhower. They were further defined in the 
Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty approved by the Senate in Febru- 
ary 1955- 

"This treaty with its accompanying protocol obligates the United States 
and. other members to act in accordance with their constitutional processes 
to meet communist aggression against any of the parties or protocol states. 

"Our policy in Southeast Asia has been consistent and unchanged since 
195^. I summarized it on June 2 in four simple propositions: 

"1. America keeps her word . Here as elsewhere, we must and shall 
honor our commitments. 

"2. The issue is the future of Southeast Asia as a whole . A threat 
to. any 'nation in that region is a threat to all, and a threat to us. 

"3. pur purpose is peace . We have no military, political, or territorial 
ambitions in the area. 



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"k. This is not .just a jungle war, but a struggle for freedom on every 
front of human activity. Our military and economic assistance to South 
Vietnam and Laos in particular has the purpose of helping these countries 
to repel aggression and strengthen their independence. 

"The threat to the free nations of Southeast Asia has long been clear. 
The North Vietnamese regime has constantly sought to take over South Vietnam 
and Laos. This communist regime has violated the Geneva accords for Viet- 
nam.- It has systematically conducted a campaign of subversion, which in- 
cludes the direction, training, and supply of personnel and arms for the 
conduct of guerrilla warfare in South Vietnamese territory. In Laos, the ' 
North Vietnamese regime has maintained military forces, used Laotian terri- ■ 
tory for infiltration into South Vietnam, and most recently carried out com- 
bat operations — all in direct violation of the Geneva agreements of 1962. 

"In recent months, the actions of the North Vietnamese regime have 
become steadily more threatening. In May, following new acts of communist 
aggression in Laos, the United. States undertook reconnaissance flights over 
Laotian territory, at the request of the Government of Laos. These flights 
had the essential mission of determining the situation in territory where 
communist forces were preventing inspection by the International Control 
Commission. When the communists attacked these aircraft, I responded by 
furnishing escort fighters with instructions to fire when fired upon. 
Thus, these latest North Vietnamese attacks on our naval vessels are not 
the first direct attack on armed, forces of the United. States. 

"As President of the United States I have concluded that I should now 
ask the Congress, on its part, to join in affirming the national determina- 
tion that all such attacks will be met, and that the United States will 
continue in its basic policy of assisting the free nations of the area to 
defend their freedom. 

"As I have repeatedly made clear, the United States intends no rashness, 
and seeks no wider war. We must make it clear to all that the United States 
is united in its determination to bring about the end of communist subversion 
and aggression in the area. We seek the full and effective restoration 
of the international agreements signed in Geneva in 195^, with respect to 
South Vietnam, and again in Geneva in 1962, with respect to Laos." 

* * * 

11. "Secretary Rusk Discusses Asian Situation on N3C Program," 5 August 
196U, Department of State Bulletin. 2k August I96U, y. 268 : 

"Following is the transcript of an interview of Secretary Rusk by NBC 
correspondent Elie Abel, broadcast over nationwide television on August 5- 

"MR. ABEL: Mr. Secretary, are we going to get through this situation 
without touching off a bigger war? 

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"SECRETARY RUSK: Well, Mr. Abel, one can't be a reliable prophet when 
the other side helps to write the scenario. But I do want to insist upon 
one point, that the purpose of the United. States in Southeast Asia for 
these past 10 years or more has been a part of a general policy of the 
United States since World War II, that is, to organize a decent world commu- 
nity in which nations will leave their neighbors alone and in which nations 
can have a chance to live at peace with each other and. cooperate on a basis 
of their common interests. 

"Wow, in Southeast Asia we have been saying over and over again, in 
conferences such as the Geneva conference of 1962 and elsewhere, that there 
is only one problem with peace in Southeast Asia and that is these pressures 
from the north, that if the north would leave their neighbors to the south 
alone, these peoples of that area could have their peace and could have 
a chance to work out their own lives in their own way. That is the problem, 
and to come to the decision to leave their neighbors alone is a necessary 
decision which Hanoi and anyone supporting Hanoi must reach. 

"Q. Why was it necessary, Mr. Secretary, for us to strike as swiftly 
and abruptly as we did without taking time even to notify our allies? 

"A. Well, in the first place, we had some ships in the Gulf of Tonkin 
who were under attack, and they were dodging torpedoes. Here is a vast 
expanse of international waters in which we have a perfect right to be. 
We had to strike immediately because we didn't expect to ask those ships 
to run a continuing gauntlet of torpedoes on their way back to the Gulf 
of Tonkin when their mission was completed, nor were we prepared to have 
them denied international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin. 

"Further than that, if under these attacks there had not been an imme- 
diate and appropriate response, then Hanoi and those who might be standing 
behind Hanoi in this might well have come to a very formidable mistaken 
judgment about what is possible in the Southeast Asian situation. 

"Q. You mean their view that we are a paper tiger might have been 
confirmed? 

"A. That's correct. They could have made a basic miscalculation about 
what the commitment of the United States means in a situation of this sort. 



12. Text of Joint Resolution, August 7, Department of State Bulletin , 
2\ August 196U, v. 268 : 

"To promote the maintenance of internationa.1 peace and security in 
Southeast Asia. 

"Whereas naval units of the communist regime in Vietnam, in violation 
of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and of international 

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law, have deliberately and repeatedly attacked United States naval vessels 
lawfully present in international waters, and. have thereby created a serious 
threat to international peace; and. 

"Whereas these attacks are part of a deliberate and. systematic campaign 
of aggression that the communist regime in North Vietnam has been waging 
against its neighbors and the nations joined with them in the collective 
defense of their freedom; and 

"Whereas the United States is assisting the peoples of Southeast Asia 
to protect their freedom and. has no territorial, military or political am- 
bitions in that area, but desires only that these peoples should be left 
in peace to work out their own destinies in their own way: Now, therefore, 
be it 

" Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of America in Congress assembled , That the Congress approves and 
supports the determination of the President, as Commander in Chief, to 
take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces - 
of the United. States and to prevent further aggression. 

"Sec. 2. The United States regards as vital to its national interest 
and to world, peace the maintenance of international peace and security in 
Southeast Asia. Consonant with the Constitution of the United. States and. 
the Charter of the United Nations and in accordance with its obligations 
under the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, the United States is, 
therefore, prepared, as the President determines, to take all necessary 
steps, including the use of armed force, to assist any member or protocol 
state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty requesting assistance 
in defense of its freedom. 

"Sec. 3. This resolution shall expire when the President shall deter- 
mine that the peace and security of the area is reasonably assured by inter- 
national conditions created, by action of the United. Nations or otherwise, 
except that it may be terminated, earlier by concurrent resolution of the 
Congress." 

13. "Freedom in the Postwar World," by Secretary Rusk before American 
Veterans of WWIIand Korea, Fniladelphia, 29 August 1964, Department 
of State Bulletin, 14 September 1964, p. 36$ : 



"In Southeast Asia the free world suffered, a setback in I95U when, after 
the defeat at Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam was divided and a communist regime was 
consolidated, in Hanoi. We helped South Vietnam to get on its feet and to 
build its military defenses. It made remarkable progress for a few years — 
which is perhaps why Communist North Vietnam, with the backing of Communist 
China, renewed, its aggression against South Vietnam in 1959- In 196l 
President Kennedy reviewed the situation, concluded, that the assault from 

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the north had been understated, -d substantially increased our assistance 
to the Government and people of South Vietnam. 

* * * 

"Hanoi and Peiping have not yet learned that they must leave their 
Hanoi ana ^ x P-"» decision which they must reach. We and 
neighbors alone. But this ^ a ^is COffiffiunist aggre ssions in Southeast 

Vietnam is a critical test-case for new coammst strategy. 



* 



. ^ g^fit A t. fl Bulletin, 19 October l<jb4 ? p^_S1l: 



* 



"A word further about the situation in Southeast Asia, especially in 
A word lurtner <«_ ^oiicv is to assist the Government of 

^eo^Vr^ToS ~ t S er at inoncin S it to cali 

ofl the war it directs and supports in South Vietnam. 

»,r wn«™, it essential to the interests of the free world that South 
We be ^ ve ^?^f ^ f^u under communist control. If it does, then 
Vietnam not be permitted to an™ progressively disappear- 

S^&t^E^ JfSu. Africa, an, latin America." 



* * * 



* i^^&^^S^^^^^irat^ 



* 



"American Interest in Vietnamese Independence: 

"0 Mr Secretary, it is sometimes stated that one of the reasons for 
AmeriL distance to'vietnam is the fact that vital Western interests 

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are involved in the situation there. Now that we are once again confronted 
with what apparently is a critical situation, could, you define for us the 
precise nature and extent of those vital Western interests, as you see them. 

"A Well, our interest in Southeast Asia has been developed and expressed 
throughout this postwar period. Before SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organi- 
zation) came into existence, we and Britain and France were in very close 
touch with that situation. SFATO underlined. the importance we attached to 
the security of the countries of that area. 

"But actually the American interest can be expressed, in very simple 
terms. Where there is a country which is independent and secure and in 
a position to work out its own policy and be left alone by its neighbors, 
there is a country whose position is consistent with our understanding of 
our interests in the world. It's just as simple as that. 

"If we have military personnel in Southeast Asia, it is because we feel 
that they are needed to assist South Vietnam at the present time to maintain 
its security and independence. If South Vietnam's neighbors would, leave it 
alone, those military people could come home. 

"We have no desire for any bases or permanent military presence in that 
area. We are interested in the independence of states. That is why we have 
more than kO allies. That is why we are interested in the independence and 
security of the nonalined countries. Because, to us, the general system 
of states represented, in the United Nations Charter is our view of a world 
that is consistent with American interests. So our own interest there is 
very simple. 

"But it is very important, because we feel that we have learned in the 
last many decades that a persistent course of aggression left to go unchecked 
can only lead to a. general war and therefore that the independence of particu- 
lar countries is a matter of importance to the general peace. 

"Peiping's Militant Doctrine: 

"Q. Mr. Secretary, could I put that question slightly differently? 
In the "last decade or so, over three or four administrations, this Govern- 
ment has taken the position that the Indochina peninsula had an importance 
to this country beyond the actualities of the countries involved; that is, 
that it had a relationship to the American problem with China, and out of 
this developed, over a long period, of time, the so-called falling-domino 
theory. Could you tell us whether you subscribe to that theory and. whether 
you look upon our 'interest in Vietnam and. Laos — or how you look upon our 
interest in Vietnam and. Laos in relation to China? 

"A. Well, I would not myself go to the trouble of trying to outline 
a 'domino' theory. The theory of the problem rests in Peiping. It rests 
in a militant approach to the spread of the world revolution as seen from 
the communist point of view. And. we know, given their frequently and publicly 



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proclaimed ambitions in this respect and. what they say not only about their 
neighbors in Asia but such continents as Africa — Africa is ripe for revo- 
lution, meaning to them ripe for an attempt on their part to extend, their 
domination into that continent — there is a primitive, militant doctrine 
of world revolution that would, attempt to destroy the structure of inter- 
national life as written into the United Nations Charter. 

"Now, these are appetites and ambitions that grow upon feeding. In 195^ 
Vietnam was divided. North Vietnam became communist. The next result was 
pressures against Laos, contrary to those agreements; pressures against 
South Vietnam, contrary to those agreements. In other words, until there 
is a determination in Peiping to leave their neighbors alone and not to 
press militantly their notions of world, revolution, then we are going to 
have this problem. 

"And it's the sajne problem we have had in another part of the world in 
an earlier period in this postwar period in such things as the Berlin blockade, 
the pressures against Greece. Those things had. to be stopped. They were 
stopped in the main. 

"Now the problem is out in the Pacific And we have a large interest 
in the way these problems evolve in the Pacific, because we have allies 
and we have interests out there. Southeast Asia is at the present time 
the point at which this issue of militant aggression against one s neighbors 
for ideological reasons is posed." 



* 



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JOHNSON ADMINISTRATION - I965 



SUMMARY 



The level of war'was escalated by introduction of increased U.S. 
combat troop strength and the initiation of air strikes against targets 
in Worth Vietnam. The Administration justified the escalation on the 
basis of increased infiltration of North Vietnamese units into South . ; 
Vietnam and, in general, justified U.S. involvement using much the same 
rationale as the Kennedy Administration. The "domino theory," however, 
was de-emphasized in light of communist proclamations and predictions 
for success. The role of Communist China was given more publicity. 
The Administration's public pronouncements stressed the following: 

a. The U.S. had been committed ten years before and had pledged 
help to the people of South Vietnam. "Three Presidents have supported 
that pledge" and it would not be broken. The "integrity of the American 
commitment" is at the heart of the problem as a point of national honor. 

b. The security of the U.S. was tied closely to the expansion of 
communism in Southeast Asia: if the American counterinsurgency efforts 
are defeated in Vietnam, they can be defeated anywhere in the world. 
Failure to halt aggression through "wars of national liberation" would 
see increasing communist pressure on neighboring states and subsequently 
greater aggression. "These are big stakes indeed." 

c. The basic issue of the conflict was "letting the nations of the 
area develop as they see fit"; if South Vietnam fell to communist control 

it would be difficult to prevent the fall of neighboring states. The "domino 
theory" was not considered a suitable explanation for the SEA situation. 

d. "The confused nature of this conflict cannot mask the fact that 
it is the new face of an old enemy. Over this war — and all Asia — is 
another reality: the deepening shadow of Communist China. The rulers 

in Hanoi are urged on by Peiping." * ' 

e. South Vietnam represented a major test of the communism's new 
strategy of "wars of liberation." Veiled aggression under this strategy 
had its source in North Vietnam — previously a privileged sanctuary — 
and free nations had to defend themselves. "The simple issue is that 
military personnel and arms have been sent across an international 
demarcation line contrary to international agieements and law..." 



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v# D> JUSTIFICATION OF THE WAR — PUBLIC STATEMENTS 

JOHNSON ADMINISTRATION 
1965 



CONTENTS 

Page 

16 Secretary Rusk again suggests one does not need the domino 
theory to predict Communist threat; Peiping proclamations 
and actions provide ample evidence of expansionist doctrine; 
relates validity of NATO commitment to U.S. response to 
aggressive acts to a SEATO protocol state D" 2 5 

17 President Johnson emphasizes again U.S. presence in response 
to request from SVN to help meet aggression and its relation 

to U.S. security interests D ~ ? 

18 William Bundy relates actions in Korea to VN; spells out 
action initiated in 195^ by President Eisenhower and the 
support provided by Congress in terms of SEATO ratification 
and budget approvals. He cites effect of the outcome of W 
struggle on neighboring states and on the prestige and power 

of the Communist movement's new strategy, wars of liberation. B-db 

1Q. William Bundy cites the U.S. 1 s intent to permit nations to 
develop freely the potential consequences to neighboring 
countries if SVN should fall under Communist control and the 
importance of demonstrating that "wars of liberation are not 
to be tolerated as paramount among U.S. concerns o-t-l 

20 Secretary Rusk states the legal basis of U.S. bombing to be 

"self defense of SVN and the commitments of U.S. with respect 

to the security and self-defense of SVN. " D-2tf 

21. Ambassador Stevenson cites record of aggression in SVN in ^ 

communication to UN 

22 Secretary Rusk refers to lessons of World War II and SEATO 
pact as important reasons for meeting aggression in SVN before 
it spreads further • 

23 Department of State statement cites Constitutional authority 
of President to meet obligation under SEATO in response to 
aggression in SVN • • * • 



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Page 

2k. President Johnson relates aggression in SVN as "part of 

■wider pattern of aggressive purposes" urged on by Peiping; 
vows to fulfill U.S. commitment supported by his three 
predecessors D-31 

25. Leonard Unger emphasizes strategic significance of region to 
U.S. and "test case for wars of liberation" strategy in ex- 
plaining U.S. concerns in VE • U"33 

26. Secretary Rusk defines "wars of liberation" as endorsed by 
Communist leaders, explains SVN's right of self-defense in 

legal terms and details the nature of the struggle in SVN D-35 

27. President Johnson cites aggression as requiring firm stand by 
U.S. Secretary McNamara in response to a question defines the 
"wars of liberation" strategy as urged by Communist leaders... D-39 

28. Secretary Ball cites "wars of liberation" as threatening the 
existence of small states everywhere V-kl 

29. President Johnson states the Communist aim in VN is to show the 
"American commitment is worthless"; success in that effort, he 
predicts, would remove the one obstacle standing between "ex- 
panding communism and independent Asian nations ." D-Ul 

30. William Bundy explains myths surrounding the question of 
"reunification election" and the relationship between the 
opposition to Diem and the Viet Cong; he documents U.S. con- 
cerns regarding the "wars of liberation" threat.... D-k2 

31. President Johnson states Communist China's "target is not 
merely SVN, it is Asia" and their objective in VW is "to erode 
and to discredit America's ability to help prevent Chinese 
domination over all of Asia." * . .' D-k6 

32. William Bundy discusses the threat of Communist China which 
underlies the American presence in Asia, and the relationship 

of Hanoi to the Communist movement D-40 

33. President Johnson states our failures in the 1930's resulted 

from inaction rather than action . B-ko 

3U. Secretary Busk discusses the fundamental role which American 
commitments play in maintaining world peace and the need to 
find a "complete answer" to the problem of "wars of libera- 
tion" threat D-^9 



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Page 

35. President Johnson indicates America learned the lesson in 
three earlier wars that aggression must not be tolerated 
whether in the form of massive armies or guerrilla bands; 
American commitments given by four Presidents must be 

honored. ; D-50 

36. Secretary McHamara refers to 195^ Eisenhower statement as still 
valid in explaining U.S. interest; he further cites our stra- 

' tegic interests and the threat posed by "wars of liberation," 

supported in differing degrees by both Red China and Russia... D-51 

37. Secretary McNamara emphasizes the political nature of the 
struggle but emphasizes again the importance of demonstrating 
the impracticality of using wars of liberation strategy for 

extending Communist power throughout the world D-53 

Secretary Rusk cites SEATO and other bilateral agreements as 
obligating U.S. involvement; he stresses the need to honor our 
commitments as a deterrent to a. militant Peiping D-55 

38. William Bundy admits U.S. interest in Vietnam as "no longer 
guided... by particular military or economic concern" but by a 
concern for the development of healthy national entities free 
from domination D-58 

39. President Johnson states, "We are there because... we remain 
fixed on the pursuit of freedom as a deep and moral obligation 
that will not let us go. " D-59 



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16. A Conversation with Dean Rusk, NBC Hews Program on January 3 , 
196$, Department of State Bulletin, January 18, 1965, p. 6^- . 

* -x- *• 

"Secretary Rusk: ....Now, when North Viet-Nam was organized as a 
Communist country, almost immediately its neighbor, Lao's, and its neigh- 
bor, South Viet-Nam, came under direct pressure from North Viet-Nam. 
Now, this is the nature of the appetite proclaimed from Peiping. One 
doesn't require a 'domino' theory to get at this. Peiping has announced 
the doctrine. It is there in the primitive notion of a militant world 
revolution which has been promoted by these veterans of the long march 
who now control mainland China. So we believe that you simply postpone 
temporarily an even greater crisis if you allow an announced course of 
aggression to succeed a step at a time on the road to a major catas- 
trophe . 



"Now, there are some in other countries, for example, who seem to 
be relatively indifferent to problems of this sort in Southeast Asia, 
and yet they are the first ones to say that if we were to abandon South- 
east Asia, this would cause them to wonder what our commitments under 
such arrangements as NATO would mean. Do you see? 

"In other words, the issue here is the capability of halting a 
course of aggression at the beginning, rather than waiting for it to 
produce a great conflagration." 

* * * 

17. The State of the Union Address of the President to the Congres s, 
January k, 1965; Public Papers of the Presidents, Johnson, 196*5 , 
P- 3 . 

* * * 

"We are there, first, because a friendly nation has asked us for 
help against the Communist aggression. Ten years ago our President 
pledged our help. Three Presidents have supported that pledge. We 
will not break it now. 

"Second, our own security is tied to the peace of Asia. Twice in 
one generation we have had to fight against aggression in the Far East. 
To ignore aggression now would only increase the danger of a much larger 
war. 

"Our goal is peace in Southeast Asia . That will come only when 
aggressors leave their neighbors in peace." 

* * * 



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18 . Ame rican Policy in South Viet -Nam and Southeast Asia, William P. 
Bundy, Remarks Made Before the Washington (Mo.) Chamber of Co~ 
merce on January 23, 196$, Department of State Bulletin, February 8 , 

196$, p. iea . 



*• 



"In retrospect, our action in Korea reflected three elements: 

—a recognition that aggression of any sort must be met early 
and head-on or it Will have to be met later and in tougher circumstances. 
We had relearned the lessons of the 1930 's— Manchuria, Ethiopia, the 
Rhineland, Czechoslovakia . 

—a recognition that a defense line in Asia, stated in terms of an 
island perimeter, did not adequately define our vital interests, that 
those vital interests could be affected by action on the mainland of 
Asia. 

—an understanding that, for the future, a power vacuum was an 
invitation to aggression, that there must be local political, economic, 
and military strength in being to make aggression unprofitable, but also 
that there must be a demonstrated willingness of major external power 
both to assist and to intervene if required." 



* * 



"Such was the situation President Eisenhower and Secretary Dulles 
faced in 195*1. Two. things were clear: that in the absence of exter- 
nal help communism was virtually certain to take over the successor 
states of Indochina and to move to the borders of Thailand and perhaps 
beyond, and that with France no longer ready to act, at least in South 
Viet-Nam, no power other than the United States could move in to help fill 
the vacuum. Their decision, expressed in a series of actions starting in 
late 195k, was to move in to help these countries. Besides South Viet- 
Nam and more modest efforts in Laos and Cambodia, substantial assistance 
was begun to Thailand. 

"The appropriations for these actions were voted by successive 
Congresses, and' in 195^ the Senate likewise ratified the Southeast Asia 
Treaty, to which Thailand and the Philippines adhered along with the 
United States, Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand, and Pakistan. 
Although not signers of the treaty, South Viet-Kam, Laos, and Cambodia 
could call on the SEATO members for help against aggression. 

"So a commitment was made, with the support of both political par- 
ties, that has guided our policy in Southeast Asia for a decade now. It 
was not a commitment that envisaged a United States position of power in 
Southeast Asia or United States military bases there. We threatened no 
one. Nor was it a commitment that substituted United States responsibility 

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for the basic responsibility of the nations themselves for their own 
defense, political stability, and economic progress. It was a commit- 
ment to do what we could to help these nations attain and maintain the 
independence and security to which they were entitled — both for their 
own sake and because we recognized that, like South Korea, Southeast 
Asia was a key area of the mainland of Asia. If it fell to Communist 
control, this would enormously add to the momentum and power of the 
expansionist Communist regimes in Communist China and North Viet-Nam 
and thus to the threat to the whole free-world position in the Pacific." 



* * 



"....In simple terms, a victory for the Communists in South Viet- , 
Nam would inevitably make the neighboring states more susceptible to 
Communist pressure and more vulnerable to intensified subversion sup- 
ported by military pressures. Aggression by 'wars of national libera- 
tion' would gain enhanced prestige and power of intimidation throughout 
the world, and many threatened nations might well become less hopeful, 
less resilient, and their will to resist undermined. These are big 
stakes indeed." 



19. William Bundy Discusses Vietnam Situation, February 7, 19&5 , 
Department of State Bulletin, March b, 196?; P- 2 9 2 » 

# * * 

"....Why are we there? What is our national interest? I think it 
was pretty well stated by Congress last August when it passed a resolu- 
tion, following the Gulf of Tonkin affair, in which it stated that the 
United States 'regards as vital to its national interest and world peace 
the maintenance of international peace and security in southeast Asia.' 
And that's the basic reason right there—peace in the area, letting the 
nations of the area develop as they see fit and free from Communist exter- 
nal infiltration, subversion, and control. 

"Secondly, it's obvious on the map that if South Viet-Nam were to 
fall under Communist control it would become very much more difficult— 
I'm not using what's sometimes called 'the domino theory,' that anything 
happens ■ automat icslly or quickly— but it would become very much more 
difficult to maintain the independence and freedom of Thailand, Cambodia, 
of Malaysia, and so on. And the confidence of other nations in the whole 
perimeter of Southeast Asia would necessarily be affected, and the Com- 
munists would think they had a winning game going for them. So that's a 
very important, strategic reason in addition to the fact that we're help- 
ing a nation under aggression. 



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"And thirdly, this technique they're using— they call it "wars 
of national liberation'— is a technique that will be used elsewhere 
in the world if they get away with this one, and they'll be encouraged 
to do that. 

"So those are the three basic reasons why our national interest— 
and basically our national interest in peace in this whole wide Pacific 
area with which we have historically had great concern and for which we 
fought in World War II and in Korea— are deeply at stake in this conflict. 

#• * * 



20. Secretary Rusk's Hews Conference of February 25, ±9&5, Department 
of~State Bulletin, March 15, 196$, p- 367 - 

* * • * 

"Q. Mr. Secretary, what kind of legal basis did the United States 
have to bomb the targets of North Viet-Nam? 

"A. Self-defense of South Viet-Nam and the commitments of the 
United States with respect to the security and the self-defense of South 
Viet-Nam." 

* * * 



21. S tatement Submitted By Adlai Stevenson to U.N. Summarizing a 

Significant Report Entitled, "Aggression From the North, the Record 
of N orth Vietnam's Campaign to Conquer South Vietnam. It was 
released as Department of State Publication 7^39, February 27, 1S>65 » 

"EXCELLENCY: For the information of the Members of the Security 
Council, I am transmitting a special report entitled Aggression From the 
North, the Record of North Viet-Nam' s Campaign go Conquer South Viet-Nam , 
which my Government is making public today. It presents evidence from 
which the following conclusions are inescapable: 

"First, the subjugation by force of the Republic of Viet-Nam by the 
regime in northern Viet-Nam is the formal, official policy of that regime; 
this has been stated and confirmed publicly over the past five years. 

"Second, the war in Viet-Nam is directed by the Central Committee 
of the Lao Dong Party (Communist) which controls the government in 
northern Viet-Nam. 

"Third, the so-called People's Revolutionary Party in the Republic 
of Viet-Nam is an integral part of the Lao Dong Party in North Viet-Nam. 



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"Fourth, the so-called liberation front for South Viet-Nam is a 
subordinate unit of the Central Office for South Viet-Nam, an integral 
part of the governmental machinery in Hanoi. 

"Fifth, the key leadership of the. Viet-Cong — officers, specialists, 
technicians, intelligence agents, political organizers and propagandists — 
has been trained, equipped and supplied in the north and sent into the 
Republic of Viet-Nam under Hanoi's military orders. 

"Sixth, most of the weapons, including new types recently intro- 
duced, and most of the ammunition and other supplies used by the Viet- 
Cong, have been sent from North to South Viet-Nam. 

"Seventh, the scale of infiltration of men and arms, including 
regular units of the armed forces of North Viet-Nam, has increased 
appreciably in recent months. 

"Eighth, this entire pattern of activity by the regime in Hanoi 
is in violation of general principles of international law and the 
Charter of the United Nations, and is in direct violation of the Geneva 
Accords of 195^ • Such a pattern of violation of the treaty obligations 
undertaken at Geneva was confirmed by a special report of the Interna- 
tional Control Commission in 1962 and it has been greatly intensified 
since then. 

"These facts about the situation in Viet-Nam make it unmistakably 
clear that the character of that conflict is an aggressive war of con- 
quest waged against a neighbor — and make nonsense of the cynical allega- 
tion that this is simply an indigenous insurrection. 

"I request that you circulate copies of the Report, together with 
copies of this letter, to the Delegations of all Member States as a 
Security Council document. 

"In making this information available to the Security Council, my 
Government wishes to say once more that peace can be restored quickly 
to Viet-Nam by a prompt and assured cessation of aggression by Hanoi 
against the Republic of Viet-Nam. In that event, my Government — as it 
has said many times before — would be happy to withdraw its military 
forces from the Republic of Viet-Nam and turn promptly to an interna- 
tional effort to assist the economic and social development of Southeast 
Asia. 

"In the meantime, my Government awaits tie first indication of any 
intent by the government in Hanoi to return to the ways of peace and 
peaceful resolution of this international conflict. 

"Accept, Excellency, the assurance of my highest consideration. 

"ADIAI E. STEVENSON." 

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22 . "So me Fundamentals of American Policy," Address by Secretary Rusk 
Before the U.S. Council of the International Chamber of Commerce 



at few York, March k, 196?, Department of State Bulletin, March 22, 
196?, p. UQ1. 



"The defeat of these aggressions is not only essential if Laos and 
South Viet-Ham are to remain independent; it is important to the security 
of Southeast Asia as a whole. You will recall that Thailand has already 
been proclaimed as the next target by Peiping. This is not something up . 
in the clouds called the domino theory. You don't need that. Listen to 
the proclamation of militant, world revolution by Peiping, proclaimed 
with a harshness which has caused deep division within the Communist 
world itself, quite apart from the issues posed for the free world. 

"The U.S. Stake in Viet- gam v 

"So what is our stake? What is our commitment in that situation? 
Can those of us in this room forget the lesson that we had in this issue 
of war and peace when it was only 10 years from the seizure of Manchuria 
to Pearl Harbor; about 2 years from the seizure of Czechoslovakia to the 
outbreak of World War II in Western Europe? Don't you remember the hopes 
expressed in those days: that perhaps the aggressor will be satisfied by 
this next bite, and perhaps he will be - quiet? Remember that? You remem- 
ber that we thought that we could put our Military Establishment on short 
rations and somehow we needn't concern ourselves with peace in the rest 
of the world. But we found that ambition and appetite fed upon success 
and the next bite generated the appetite for the following bite. And we 
learned that, by postponing the issue, we made the result more terrible, 
the holocaust more dreadful. We cannot forget that experience. 

"We have a course of aggression proclaimed in Peiping, very clear 
for all to see, and proclaimed with a militancy which says that their 
type of revolution must be supported by force and that much of the world 
is ripe for that kind of revolution. We have very specific commitments — 
the Manila Pact, ratified by the Senate by a vote of 82 to 1, a pact to 
which South Viet-Nam is a protocol state. We have the decision of Presi- 
dent Eisenhower in 195^ to extend aid...." 

* * * 

23. "Viet-Kam Action Called 'Collective Defense Against Armed Aggression', " 
/Department Statement read to news correspondents on March U, 19&5 
by Robert J. McCloskey, Director, Office of NevsJ, Department of 
State Bulletin, March 22, 1965, p. ^03- 

"The fact that military hostilities have been taking place in South- 
east Asia does not bring about the existence of a state of war, which is 

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a legal characterization of a situation rather than a factual description. 
What we have in Viet-Nam is armed aggression from the North against the 
Republic of Viet- Earn. Pursuant to a South Vietnamese request and consul- 
tations between our two Governments, South Viet-Nam and the United States 
are engaged in collective defense against that armed aggression. The 
inherent right of individual and collective self-defense is recognized 
in article 51 of the United Nations Charter. 

"If the question is intended to raise the issue of legal authority 
to conduct the actions which have been taken, there can be no doubt that 
these actions fall within the constitutional powers of the President and 
within the congressional resolution of August I96U." 

2k. "Pattern for Peace in Southeast Asia, " Address by President Johnson 
at John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland on April 1, 1965/ , 
Department' of State Bulletin, April 26, 1965, p. 60J\~ 

* * * 

"The confused nature of this conflict cannot mask the fact that it 
is the new face of an old enemy. 

"Over this war-- and all Asia— is another reality: the deepening 
shadow of Communist China. The rulers in Hanoi are urged on by Peiping. 
This is a regime which has destroyed freedom in Tibet, which has attacked 
India, and has been condemned by the United Nations for aggression in 
Korea. It is a nation which is helping the forces of violence in almost 
every continent. The contest in Viet-Nam is part of a wider pattern. of 
aggressive purposes. 

" Why Are We in South Viet- Nam ? 

"Why are these realities our concern? Why are we in South Viet-Nam? 

"We are there because we have a promise to keep. Since 195^ every 
American President has offered support to the people of South Viet-Nam. 
We have helped to build, and we have helped to defend. Thus, over many 
years, we have made a national pledge to help South Viet-Nam defend its 
independence. 

"And I intend to keep that promise. 

"To dishonor that pledge, to abandon this small and brave nation to 
its enemies, and to the terror that must follow, would be an unforgivable 
wrong. 

"We are also there to strengthen world order. Around the globe, 
from Berlin to Thailand, are people whose well-being rests in part on 



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the belief that they can count on us if they are attacked. To leave 
Viet-Nam to its fate would shake the confidence of all these people in 
the value of an .American commitment and in the value of America's word. 
The result would be increased unrest and instability, and even wider 



war. 



"We are also there because there are great stakes in the balance. 
Let no one think for a moment that retreat from Viet-Nam would bring 
an end to conflict. The battle would be renewed in one country and 
th^n another. The central lesson of our time is that the appetite of 
agression is never satisfied. To withdraw from one battlefield means 
onlv to prepare for the next. We must say in Southeast Asia-as we did 
in Europe- in the words of the Bible: 'Hitherto shalt thou come, but 
no further . ' > 

"There are those who say that all our effort there will be futile-- 

that China's power is such that it is bound to dominate all Southeast 

Asia. But there is no end to that argument until all of the nations of 
Asia are swallowed up. 

"There are those who wonder why we have a responsibility there. 
Well we have it there for the same reason that we have a responsibility 
for the defense of Europe. World War II was fought in both Europe and 
Asia, and when it ended we found ourselves with continued responsibility 
for the defense of freedom. 

"Our objective is the independence of South Viet-Nam and its free- 
dom from attack. We want nothing for ourselves— only that the people 
of" South Viet-Nam be allowed to guide their own country in their own 
way. We will do everything necessary to reach that objective, and we 
will do only what is absolutely necessary. 

"In recent months attacks on South Viet-Nam were stepped up. Thus 
it became necessary for us to increase our response and to make attacks 
by air. This is not a change of purpose. It is a change in what we 
believe that purpose requires. 

"We do this in order to slow down aggression. 

"We do this to increase the confidence of the brave people of South 
Viet-Nam who have bravely borne this brutal battle for so many years 
with so many casualties." 

* * * 



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25. A ddress by Leonard Unger, Deputy Assistant S ecretary for Far Eastern 
° - Affn-tro T> fnv a t.he Detr oit Economic Club, "Pres ent Objectives and 

f ea sibilities in Sou theast Asia," A ^ ril 1 9, 1965, D epartment 

of State Bulletin, May 10 , 19t>5, p. 715 • 

* * * 

"These objectives are not just pious generalities, nor is South- 
east AsS Just a configuration on a map. Distant though it may seem 
Sm Detroit, that area has great strategic significance to the United 
States and the free world. Its location across east-vest air and sea 
Snes flanks the Indian subcontinent on one side and Australia, New 
Zealand, and the Philippines on the other, and dominates the gateway 
between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. 

"In Communist hands this area would pose a most serious threat to 
the seSrSTof the United States and to the family of free-world nations 
to which we belong. To defend Southeast Asia, we must meet the challenge 
in South Viet -Nam. 

" Communist 'Wars of Liberation' 

"Equally important, South Viet-Nam represents a major test of com- 
munism's new strategy of 'wars of liberation.' 



* * 



"After the Communists' open aggression failed in Korea, they had to 
look for a more effective strategy of conquest. They chose to concen- 
trate on 'wars of national liberation' - the label they use to describe 
agression directed and supplied from outside a nation but cloaked in 
nfSonalist guise so that it could be made to appear an indigenous msur- 
rection. 

"That strategy was tried on a relatively primitive scale, but was 
defeat^ in Malay? and the Philippines only because of a long and arduous 
tlAtle by the people of those countries, with assistance provided by 
thr^itish and the United States. In Africa and Latin America such 
'wars of liberation' are already being threatened. But by far the most 
higSy refined and ambitious attempt at such aggression by the Communists 
is taking place today in Viet-Nam " 



* 



"In order to cope with this veiled aggression, free nations must 
determine Se real source of the aggression and take steps to defend 
Shelves from this source. In Viet-Nam this ha s meant- endin g Privileged 
sanctuary heretofore afforded North Viet-Nam-the true source of the Viet 
Cong movement. 



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"The 'wars of national liberation' approach has been adopted as an 
essential element of Communist China's expansionist policy. If this 
technique adopted by Hanoi should be allowed to succeed in Viet- Item, 
we would be confirming Peiping's contention that militant revolutionary 
struggle is a more productive Communist path than Moscow's doctrine of 
peaceful coexistence.. We could expect 'wars of national liberation' to 
spread. Thailand has already been identified by Communist China as 
being the next target for a so-called 'liberation struggle.' Peiping's 
Foreign Minister Chen Yi has promised it for this year. Laos, Malaysia, 
Burma— one Asian nation after another—could expect increasing Communist 
pressures. Other weakly defended nations on other continents would 
experience this new threat of aggression by proxy. 

"Even the Asian Communists have acknowledged that Viet-Nam repre- 
sents an important test situation for indirect aggression. North Viet- 
Nam 's Premier Phar,i Van Dong recently commented that: 

'The experience of our compatriots in South Viet-Nam attracts 
the attention of the world, especially the peoples of South America . ' 

"General /Vo Nguyen/ Giap, the much-touted leader of North Viet- 
Nam 's army, was even more explicit. In another recent statement, he 
said that, 

•South Viet-Nam is the model of the national liberation move- 
ment of our' time If the special warfare that the U.S. imperialists 

are testing in South Viet-Nam is overcome, then it can be defeated every- 
where in the world..' 

"Our strong posture in Viet-Nam then seeks peace and security in 
three dimensions: for South Viet-Nam, for the sake of Southeast Asia's 
independence and security generally, and for the other small nations 
that would face the same kind of subversive threat from without if the 
Communists were to succeed in Viet-Nam...." 

* * * 

"All this, of course, is contrary to the 195^ Geneva accords on 
Viet-Nam and the 1962 agreement on Laos. I mention the latter because 
it is an established fact that Hanoi has been both threatening Laos 
and using Laos as a corridor for supplying personnel and arms to the 
Viet Cong. 

"Our State Department has documented the character and intensity 
of North Viet-Nam 's aggressive efforts since 1959 in the recent white 
paper, and in the similar report issued in 1961. The 1962 report of 
the International Control Commission for Viet-Nam also spelled out North 
Viet-Nam' s aggressive actions in flagrant violation of the 195^ and 1962 
agreements . " 



* 



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"The Communists are fond of saying that whether the Viet Cong 
are born in the North or South, they are still Vietnamese and there- 
fore an indigenous revolt must be taking place. Certainly, they are 
Vietnamese, and the North Koreans who swept across their boundary in 
1950 to attack South Korea were also Koreans. However, this did not 
make the Korean war an indigenous revolt from the point of view of 
either world security .or in terms of acceptable standards of conduct. 

"By the same token, if West Germany were to take similar action 
against East Germany, it is doubtful that the East Germans, the Soviet 
Union, and the rest of the Communist bloc would stand aside on the 
grounds that it was nothing more than an indigenous affair. 

"The simple issue is that military personnel and arms have been 
sent across an international demarcation line (just as valid a border 
as Korea or Germany) contrary to international agreements and law to 
destroy the freedom of a neighboring people." 

* * # 

"....It is for that reason, and because Hanoi has stepped up its 
aggression, that the Government of South Viet- Nam and the United States 
have been forced to increase our response and strike through the air 
at the true source of the aggression — North Viet -Nam. This does not 
represent a change of purpose on our part but a change in the means we 
believe are necessary to stem aggression. 

"And there can be no doubt that our actions are fully justified as 
an exercise of the right of individual and collective self-defense 
recognized by article 51 of the United Nations Charter and under the 
accepted standards of international law." 

#■ * # 



26. Address by Secretary Rusk, Made Before the American Society of 
International Law on April 23, 196$, "The Control of Force in~ 
International Relations, Department of State Bulletin, May 10, 19&5, 
p. 697 - 

*• # # 

" What Is a 'War of National Liberation'? 

"What is a 'war of national liberation'? It is, in essence, any war 
which furthers the Communist world revolution — what, in broader terms, the 
Communists have long referred to as a 'just' war. The term 'war of national 
liberation' is used not only to denote armed insurrection' by people still 
under colonial rule — there are not many of those left outside the Communist 
world. It is used to denote any effort led by Communists to overthrow by ' 
force any non-Communist government. 

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"Thus the war in South Viet-Nam is called a 'war of national libera- 
tion.' And those who would overthrow various other non-Communist govern- 
ments in Asia, Africa, and Latin America are called the 'forces of national 
liberation.' 

"Nobody in his right mind would deny that Venezuela is not only a 
truly independent nation but that it has a government chosen in a free 
election. But the leaders of the Communist insurgency in Venezuela are s 
described as leaders of a fight for 'national liberation' —not only by 
themselves and by Castro and the Chinese Communists but by the Soviet 
Communists . 

• 

"A recent editorial in Pravda spoke of the 'peoples of Latin America 
. . .marching firmly along the path of struggle for their national inde- 
pendence' and said, "...the upsurge of the national liberation movement 
in Latin American countries has been to a great extent a result of the 
activities of Communist parties.' It added: 

'The Soviet people have regarded and still regard it as their 
sacred duty to give support to the peoples fighting for their independence. 
True to their international duty the Soviet people have been and will 
remain on the side of the Latin American patriots.' 

"In Communist doctrine and practice, a non-Communist government may 
be labeled and denounced as 'colonialist,' 'reactionary,' or a 'puppet,' 
and any state so labeled by the Communists automatically becomes fair game- 
while Communist intervention by force in non-Communist states is justified 
as 'self-defense' or part of the 'struggle against colonial domination.' 
'Self-determination' seems to mean that any Communist nation can determine 
by itself that any non-Communist state is a victim of colonialist domina- 
tion and therefore a justifiable target for a 'war of liberation.' 

"As the risks of overt aggression, whether nuclear or with conven- 
tional forces, have become increasingly evident, the Communists have put 
increasing stress on the 'war of national liberation.' The Chinese Com- 
munists have been more militant in language and behavior than the Soviet 
Communists. But the Soviet Communist leadership also has consistently 
proclaimed its commitment in principle to support wars of national libera- 
tion. This commitment was reaffirmed as recently as Monday of this week 
by Mr. Kosygin /Aleksai N. Kosygin, Chairman of the U.S.S.R. Council of 

Ministers/- 

"International law does not restrict intnrnal revolution within a 
state or revolution against colonial authority. But international law 
does restrict what third powers may lawfully do in support of insurrection. 
It is these restrictions which are challenged by the doctrine, and violated 
by the practice, of 'wars of liberation.' 

"It is plain that acceptance of the doctrine of 'wars of liberation' 
would amount to scuttling the modern international law of peace which the 
charter preseribes. And acceptance of the practice of 'wars of liberation, 

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as defined by the Communists, would mean the breakdown of peace itself. 
"South Viet-Nam' s Right of Self-Defense 

"Viet- Earn presents a clear current case of the lawful versus the 
unlawful use of force. I would agree with General Giap /Vo Nguyen Giap, 
North Vietnamese Commander in Chief/ and other Communists that it is a 
test case for 'wars of national liberation.' We intend to meet that test. 

"Were the insurgency in South Viet- Nam truly indigenous and self- 
sustained, international law would not be involved. But the fact is that 
it receives vital external support— in organization and direction, in 
training, in men, in weapons and other supplies. That external support 
is unlawful for a double reason. First, it contravenes general inter- 
national law, which the United Nations Charter here expresses. Second, 
it contravenes particular international law: the 195^ Geneva accords 
on Viet-Nam and the 1962 Geneva agreements on Laos. 

"In resisting the aggression against it, the Republic of Viet-Nam 
is exercising its right of self-defense. It called upon us and other 
states for assistance. And in the exercise of the right of collective 
self-defense under the United Nations Charter, we and other nations are 
providing such assistance. 

"The American policy of assisting South Viet-Nam to maintain its 
freedom was inaugurated under President Eisenhower and continued under 
Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Our assistance has been increased 
because the aggression from the North has been augmented. Our assistance 
now encompasses the bombing of North Viet-Nam. The bombing is designed 
to interdict, as far as possible, and to inhibit, as far as may be neces- 
sary, continued aggression against the Republic of Viet-Nam. 

"When that aggression ceases, collective measures in defense against 
it will cease. As President Johnson has declared: 

'...if that aggression is stopped, the people and Government 
of South Viet-Nam will be free to settle their own future, and the need 
for supporting American military action there will end.' 

"The fact that the demarcation line between North and South Viet- 
Nam was intended to be temporary does not make the assault on South 
Viet-Nam any less of an aggression. The demarcation lines between North 
and South Korea and between East and West Germany are temporary. But 
that did not make the North Korean invasion of South Korea a permissible 
use of force. 

"Let's not forget the salient features of the 1962 agreements on 
Laos. Laos was to be independent and neutral. All foreign troops, regu- 
lar or irregular, and other military personnel were to be withdrawn within 
• 75 days, except a limited number of French instructors as requested by 

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the Lao Government. No arms were to be introduced into Laos except at 
the request of that Government. The signatories agreed to refrain 'from 
all direct or indirect interference in the internal affairs' of Laos. 
They promised also not to use Lao territory to intervene in the internal 
affairs of other countries—a stipulation that plainly prohibited the 
passage of arms and men from North Viet-Nam to South Viet-Nam by way of 
Laos. An International Control Commission of three was to assure com- 
pliance with the agreements. 

"What happened? The non-Communist elements complied. The Communists ' 
did not. At no time since that agreement was signed have either the 
Pathet Lao or the North Viet-Nam authorities complied with it. The North 
Vietnamese left several thousand troops there—the backbone of almost every 
Psthet Lao battalion. Use of the corridor through Laos to South Viet-Nam 
continued. And the Communists barred the areas under their control both 
to the Government of Laos and the International Control Commission. 

"Nature of Struggle in Viet-Nam 

"To revert to Viet-Nam: I continue to hear and see nonsense about the 
nature of the struggle there. I sometimes wonder if the gullibility of 
educated men and the stubborn disregard of plain facts by men who are 
supposed to be helping our young to learn— especially to learn how to 
think. 

"Hanoi has never made a secret of its designs. It publicly pro- 
claimed in i960 a renewal of the assault on South Viet-Nam. Quite ob- 
viously its hopes of taking over South Viet-Nam from within had withered 
to close to zero—and the remarkable economic and social progress of South 
Viet-Nam contrasted, most disagreeably for the North Vietnamese Communists, 
with their own miserable economic performance. 

"The facts about the external involvement have been documented in 
white papers and other publications of the Department of State. The Inter- 
national Control Commission has held that there is evidence 'beyond reason- 
able doubt' of North Vietnamese intervention. 

"There is no evidence that the Viet Cong has any significant popular 
following in South Viet-Nam. It relies heavily on terror. Most of its 
reinforcements in recent months have been North Vietnamese from the North 
Vietnamese Army. 

"Let us be clear about what is involved today in Southeast Asia. We 
are not involved" with empty phrases or conceptions which ride upon the 
clouds. We are talking about the vital national interests of the United 
States in the peace of the Pacific. We are talking about the appetite 
for aggression— an appetite which grows upon feeding and which is pro- 
claimed to be insatiable. We are talking about the safety of nations with 
whom we are allied— and the integrity of the American commitment to join 
in meeting attack. 

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"It is true that we also believe that every small state has a 
right to be unmolested by its neighbors even though it is within 
reach of a great pover. It is true that we are committed to general 
principles of law and procedure which reject the idea that men and 
arms can be sent freely across frontiers to absorb a neighbor. But 
underlying the general principles is the harsh reality that our own 
security is threatened by those who would embark upon a course of 
aggression whose announced ultimate purpose is our own destruction. ^ _ 

"Once again we hear expressed the views which cost the men of 
my generation a terrible price in World War II. We are told that 
Southeast Asia is far away— but so were Manchuria and Ethiopia. We 
are told that, if we insist that someone stop shooting, that is asking 
them for unconditional surrender. We are told that perhaps the aggressor 
will be content with Just one more bite. We are told that, if we prove 
faithless on one commitment., perhaps others would believe us about 
other commitments in other places. We are told that, if we stop resist- 
ing, perhaps the other side will have a change of heart. We are asked 
to^stop hitting bridges and radar sites and ammunition depots without 
requiring that the other side stop its slaughter of thousands of civ- 
ilians and its bombings of schools and hotels and hospitals and railways 
and buses. 

"Surely we have learned over the past three decades that the 
acceptance of aggression leads only to a sure catastrophe. Surely 
we have learned that the aggressor must face the consequences of his 
action and be saved from the frightful miscalculation that brings all 
to ruin. It is the purpose of law to guide men away from such events, 
to establish rules of conduct which are deeply rooted in the reality 
of experience." 



21. Statement by President Johnson at a News Conference at the White 
jfouie on April 27, 1963 and Transcript of Secretary ^of Defense 
Robert S. Mctlamara ' s Hew Conference- of April 2b, 19&5 on the 
Situation in Viet-Kam, Department of State Bulletin, May IT, 19p5» 
p. 7^ . 

"Statement by President Johnson 

* * * 

"Independent South Viet- Bam has been attacked by North Viet-Nam. 
The object of that attack is conquest. 

"Defeat in South Viet-Kam would be to deliver a friendly nation to 
terror and repression. It would encourage and spur on those who seek 



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to conquer all free nations within their reach. Our own welfare and 
our own freedom would be in danger. 

"This is the clearest lesson of our time. From Munich until today 
we have learned that to yield to aggression brings only greater threats-- 
and more destructive war. To stand firm is the only guarantee of lasting 
peace." 



* 



• " Viet Cong Weapons From External Sources 

"The latest step has been the covert infiltration of a regular 
combat unit of the North Vietnamese Army into South Viet-Nam. Evidence 
accumulated within the last month now confirms the presence in northwest 
Kontum Province— that is in the central highland area of South Viet- Earn, 
around Pleiku and north of Pleiku— recent evidence which we have received 
confirms the presence in that northwest Kontum Province of the 2d Battalion 
of the 325th Division of the regular North Vietnamese Army. It is impor- 
tant to recognize, I think, that the great bulk of the weapons which the 
Viet Cong are using and with which they are supplied come from external 



sources." 



* * * 



/Secretary McNamara_7 
"Communist Strategy 

"Q. Mr. Secretary, a personal question. As the fighting has 
increased in Viet-Nam, more and more of the U.S. critics of the admin- 
istration's policy have been referring to this as 'McNamara's war.' 
What is your reaction? Does this annoy you? 

"A. It does not annoy me because I think it is a war that is being 
fought to preserve the freedom of a very brave people, an independent 
nation. It is a war which is being fought to counter the strategy of the 
Communists, a strategy which Premier Khrushchev laid out very clearly in 
the very famous speech which he made on January 6, I96I. 

"You may recall that at that time he divided all wars into three 
categories. He spoke of world wars, meaning nuclear wars; he spoke of 
local wars, by which he meant large-scale conventional wars; and then he 
spoke of what he called 'wars of liberation.' 

"He ruled out world wars as being too dangerous to the existence of 
the Communist states . He ruled out local wars because he said they could 
very easily escalate into nuclear wars which would lead to the ultimate 
destruction of the Communist states. But he strongly endorsed 'wars of 

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liberation' and made it perfectly clear that it would be through applica- 
tion of that strategy that the Communists would seek to subvert inde- 
pendent nations throughout the world, seek to extend their domination, 
their political domination, of other nations. 

"It is very clear that that is the Communist Chinese strategy in 
Southeast Asia. It is a strategy I feel we should oppose, and, while 
it is not my war, I don't object to my name being associated with it.." ~ 

* * * 



28. Statement by Secretary Ball on May 3, 1965 at the Opening Session 
of the SEATO Council Ministers' 10th Meeting at London, Department 
of~State Bulletin, June J, 1965, p. 922 - 

* # •* 

"We have, however, come to realize from the experience of the past 
years that aggression must be dealt with wherever .it occurs and no matter 
what mask it may wear. Neither we nor other nations of the free world 
were always alert to this. In the 1930's Manchuria seemed a long way 
away, but it was only 10 years from Manchuria to. Pearl Harbor. Ethiopia 
seemed a long way away. The rearmament of the Rhineland was regarded 
as regrettable but not worth a shooting war. Yet after that came Austria. 
And after Austria, Czechoslovakia. Then Poland. Then the Second World 
War. 

"The central issue we face in South Viet-Nam should, I think, be 
clear for all to see. It is whether a small state on the periphery of 
Communist power should be permitted to maintain its freedom. And that 
is an issue of vital importance to small states everywhere. 

"Moreover, it is an issue that affects the security of the whole 
free world. Never has that point been more succinctly stated than by 
one of the greatest of all Englishmen, Sir Winston Churchill. 'The 
belief, ' he said, 'that security can be obtained by throwing a small 
state to the wolves is a fatal illusion. ' And let us not forget that 
General /Vo Kguyen7 C-iap, the head of the North Vietnamese armed forces, 
has'said~quite explicitly that if the so-called 'war of liberation' 
technique succeeds in Viet-Nam, it can succeed 'everywhere in the world.'" 



29. Remarks by President Johnson at White House Before House and Senate 
Committees on May 4, 196$, "Congress Approves Supplemental Appro- 
priation for Vietnam," Department of State Bulletin, May 2k, 196?, 
p. 817 . 

* # * 
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"This is- not the same kind of aggression which the world has 
long been used to. Instead of the sweep of invading armies there 
is the steady and the deadly attack in the night by guerrilla bands 
that come without warning, that kill people while they sleep. 

"In Viet-Nam we pursue that same principle which has infused 
American action in the Far East for a quarter of a century. There 
are those who ask why this responsibility should be ours. The answer, 
I think, is simple. There is no one else who can do the job. Our 
power alone, in the final test, can stand between expanding communism 
and independent Asian nations. 

"Thus, when India was attacked, it looked to us for help, and 
we gave it immediately. We believe that Asia should be directed by 
Asians. But that means that each Asian people must have the right 
to find its own way, not that one group or one nation should overrun 
all the others. 

"Now make no mistake about it, the aim in Viet-Nam is not simply 

the conquest of the South, tragic as that would be. It is to show 

that American commitment is worthless, and they would like very much 

to do that, and once they succeed in doing that, the gates are down 

and the road is open to expansion and to endless conquest. Moreover, 

we are directly committed to the defense of South Viet-Nam beyond any 
question. 

"In 195^ we signed the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty 
and that treaty committed us to act to meet aggression against South 
Viet-Nam " 



30. Ad dress by William P. Bundy Before Dallas Council on World Affairs 
on May 13, 196$, "Reality and Myth Concerning South Vietnam, " 
Department of State Bulletin, June 7, 1963, p. ti93- 



" Myths on the South Viet-Nam Story 

"This is the simple basic story of what has happened in South Viet- 
Nam since 195U. . Let me now turn to certain myths that have arisen 
concerning that story. 

"First, there is the question of the attitude of the South Viet- 
namese Government and ourselves toward the reunification of Viet-Nam 
through free elections. The 195^ Geneva accords had provided for free 
elections by secret ballot in 1956, and it has been alleged that the 
failure to proceed with these elections in some way justified Hanoi's 

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action in resorting to military measures, first slowly and then by the 
stepped-up infiltration beginning in 1959 ™a 19o0. 

"The facts are quite otherwise. The Eisenhower administration 
had fully supported the principle of free elections under international 
supervision, in Viet-Nam as in other situations where a country was 
divided, Korea and Germany. 

"A similar position was taken by President Diem of South Viet-Nam. - ; 
For example, in January 1955 Diem made it clear to an American corres- . 
pondent that: 

'The clauses providing for the 1956 elections are extremely 
vapue. But at one point they are clear-in stipulating that the elec- 
tions are to be free. Everything will now depend on how free elections 
are defined. The President said he would wait to see whether the con- 
ditions of freedom would exist in North Viet-Nam at the time scheduled 
for the elections. He asked what would be the good of an impartial 
counting of votes if the voting had been preceded in North Viet-Nam by 
the ruthless propaganda and terrorism on the part of a police state. 

"I do not think any of us would dissent from this description of 
what is required for free elections. And the simple fact is that, when 
the issue arose concretely in 1956, the regime in Hanoi-while it kept 
calling for elections in its propaganda -made no effort to respond to 
the call of the Soviet Union and Great Britain, as cochairmen of the 
195^ Geneva conference, for the setting up of the appropriate machinery 
for free elections. 

"The reason is not far to seek. For North Viet-Nam in 1956— and 
indeed today-is a Communist state and in 1956 North Viet-Nam was in 
deep trouble. Its own leaders admitted as much in their party congress 
in the fall of 1956 in a statement by General /Jo Nguyen/ Giap referring 
to widespread terror, failure to respect the principles of faith and 
worship in the so-called land reform program, the use of torture as a 
normal practice, and a whole list of excesses which even the Communists 
had come to realize went too far. 

"So the answer is, I repeat, simple. There was no chance of free 
elections in North Viet-Nam in 1956. We shall wait to see whether there 
will ever be such a chance in the future. 

"Second, there is the myth that the Viet Cong movement has any 
significant relationship to the political opposition to President Diem. 
I have referred already to the unfortunate trends that developed after 
1050 in President Diem's rule. There was unquestionably opposition to 
him within South Viet-Nam, and that opposition included many distinguished 
South Vietnamese, some of whom went into exile as a result. Others 
stayed in Saigon, and some were imprisoned. 

* 

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"But the point is this. The men vho led the opposition to Diem 
are not today in the Viet Cong. On the contrary, the present Prime 
Minister, Dr. /Phan Euy/ Quat, and his group of so-called Caravellistes, 
all of whom opposed Diem, are today the leaders of the Government. These 
men, and their followers, are nationalists anc strongly anti-Communist; 
not one of them, of any significance, went over to the Viet Cong. 

"This brings me to the question of the so-called National Liberation 
Front, which is the political facade, made in Hanoi, for the Viet Cong -_■ 
movement. I doubt if any of you can name a single leader of the National 
Liberation Front. But these are faceless men installed by Hanoi to give 
the appearance of bourgeois and truly South Vietnamese support for the 
operation. 

"Lest you think I exaggerate, I refer you to the excellent recent . 
account by Georges Chaffard, a French correspondent for L' Express in 
Paris, who recently visited the Viet Cong and interviewed some of its 
"leaders." Chaffard describes vividly what these men are, including 
their strong desire to find a replacement for the obscure lawyer named 
Tho who is the titular head of the front and who apparently is the only 
figure Hanoi can find who was even in Saigon or participating in South 
Vietnamese political life during the latter Diem period. Chaffard 's 
conclusion, which I quote, is that: 

'The Front for National Liberation structure is the classic 
structure of a 'National Front 1 before the taking over of power by the 
Communists. ' 

"So there should be no doubt of the true nature of the Viet Cong 
and its Liberation Front, or that they are a completely different move- 
ment from the political opposition to Diem. As to the latter, and its 
present emergence into a truly nationalistic amalgam of forces—regional, 
religious, military, and civilian — I can perhaps best refer you to the 
excellent lead article by Mr. George Carver, an American with long 
experience in Saigon, in the April issue of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Carver 
tells a fascinating story of the emergence of these new nationalistic 
forces in South Viet-Nam, with all their difficulties and weaknesses, 
but with the fundamental and overriding fact that they are the true new 
voice of South Viet-Nam and that they have never had anything to do with 
the Viet Cong." 

* # * 

"The Korea r: War also had an important me- sage for the Communists— 
and as a result we may have seen the last of the old classical war of 
open invasions. Korea proved to the Communists that they had to find a 
more effective strategy of conquest. They chose to refine a technique 
that they had used on a primitive scale and to their ultimate defeat in 
Greece, Malaya, and the Philippines. I am referring to the so-called 
'war of national liberation. ' This is the label Khrushchev employed in 



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1961 to describe Communist strategy for the future-aggression directed 
and supplied from outside a nation, but disguised in nationalist trap- 
pings so that it might pass as an indigenous insurrection. 



* 



"The Communists have expanded upon their 'wars of liberation tech- 
nique. Africa and Latin America are already feeling the threat of such 
Srusts. But by far the most highly sophisticated and ambitious attempt 
aHucn aggression by the Communists is taking place today in Viet-Nam. 



* 



"The 'wars of liberation' strategy is at this time an essential 
element of the expansionist policy of Communist China and her Asian 
ally Worth Viet-Nam. If we allow it to succeed in Viet-Nam, we would 
be confirming Peiping's assertion that armed struggle is a more produc- 
tive Communist course than Moscow's doctrine of peaceful coexistence. 

'Wars of national liberation' would most certainly spread. Red China 
has already identified Thailand as the next target for a so-called 

■liberation struggle, ' and its Foreign Minister Chen Ti has promised 

that it will be launched before the end of this year. 

"The major test to date of this new Communist strategy is taking 
T>lace today in Viet-Nam. Even the Asian Communists have acknowledged 
the larger implications of this confrontation. Not long ago General 
Giap, the well-known leader of North Viet-Nam 's army, declared that, 

■South Viet-Nam is the model of the national liberation move- 
ment of our time.... If the special warfare that the U.S. imperialists 
are testing in South Viet-Nam is overcome, then it can be defeated 
everywhere in the world. ' 

"In another recent comment, North Viet-Nam' s Premier Pham Van Dong 
said that: 

'The experience of our compatriots in South Viet-Nam attracts 
the attention of the world, especially the peoples of South America.' 

"The People's Daily , Peiping's official newspaper, echoed those 
statements in an editorial on May Day this year. It said: 

'The Vietnamese people's struggle against U.S. imperialism 
has become the focal point of the international class struggle at this 
moment. This is an acid test for all political forces in the world. 

"Our firm posture in Viet-Nam, then, seeks peace and security in 
three related dimensions: for South Viet-Nam, for the sake of Southeast 



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Asia's independence and security generally, and for the other small 
nations everywhere that would face the same kind of subversive threat 
from without if the Communists were to succeed in Vietnam...." 



* # # 



31 . Add ress by President Johnson Before the Association of American 
Editorial Cartoonists at the White House on May 13, 1965, "Viet- 
jjSm"^ T he Third Face of the War, " Department of State Bulletin, 
May 31, 1965, P- 83*. 

* # * 

"....Communist China apparently desires the war to continue what- 
ever the cost to their allies. Their target is not merely South Viet- 
Nam; it is Asia. Their objective is not the fulfillment of Vietnamese 
nationalism; it is to erode and to discredit America's ability to help 
prevent Chinese domination over all of Asia." 



32. Address by William P. Bundy, Assistant Secretary for Far Eastern 
Affairs , Before the Faculty Forum of the University of California 
aFBerkeley on May 27, 1965, "A Perspective on U.S. Policy in 
Vie t-Nam," Department of State Bulletin, June 21, 196$, p. 1001. 

* * * 

"For the underlying fact is that there cannot be a balance of power 
in Asia without us. Under the control of a Communist regime still at 
the peak of its ideological fervor, a unified mainland China today does 
threaten the outnumbered newly independent nations of Asia, not merely 
in the sense of influence but in the sense of domination and the denial 
of national self-determination and independence — not necessarily drasti- 
cally or at once, for the Chinese Communist leaders are patient; not 
necessarily, or even in their eyes preferably, by conventional armed 
attack, but surely and inexorably, as they see it, through the technique 
of spurious national movements deriving their real impetus and support 
from external and Communist sources. 

"And in this central Communist effort, the other Communist nations 
of Asia, North ^let-Ham and North Korea, are billing partners. They 
have their national character, they are not true satellites — indeed, 
deep down, they too fear Chinese domination. Yet, so long as the spoils 
are fairly divided, they are working together with Communist China toward 
a goal the opposite of the one we seek, subjugation of the true national 
independence of smaller countries, an Asia of spheres of domination." 

# * * 

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"For South Viet- Nam is the outcome of a very particular slice of 
recent Asian history. Only in Viet-Nam was a genuine nationalist move- 
ment taken over by Communist leaders and transmuted into the Communist 
state of North Viet-Nam. And so the French, instead of yielding gradu- 
ally or with the fullest possible preparation for self-government, as 
the British wisely did in India, Pakistan, and Malaysia, were effectively 
driven out in 195^ and Viet-Nam was divided." 



* * 



"Bv 1956 to paraphrase the same eminent scholar, Communist China _ 
and North Viet-Nam, all propaganda to the contrary notwithstanding, 
simply were not willing to risk the loss of South Viet-Nam in elections, 
and, perhaps most crucial, the conditions for free elections did not 
prevail in either North or South Viet-Nam. So the date passed, and the 
dividing line between the two Viet-Nams became a political division as 
in Germany and Korea, with reunification left to the future. And in 
the course of time another 30-odd nations recognized South Viet-Nam, 
and recognize it today. 

"(By the way, the eminent scholar I have .just been citing was 
Professor- Hans J. Morgenthau, writing in a pamphlet entitled 'America s 
Stake in Viet-Nam, ' published in 1956. One of the other participants in 
that conference was the then junior Senator from Massachusetts. He was 
a bit more downright than the professor, saying that 'neither the United 
States nor Free Viet-Nam is ever going to be a party to an election ob- 
viously stacked and subverted in advance.') 

"Since 1956 two different strands have dominated developments in 
South' Viet-Nam. One is a genuine nationalist internal political ferment, 
in which the South Vietnamese themselves are seeking a lasting political 
base for their country— in the face of the same problems other new 
nations have faced, but compounded by the colonial heritage of lack of 
training and divide-and-rule tactics. That ferment should not surprise 
us- almost every new nation has gdne through it—for example, Korea and 
Pakistan. Under Diem it drove many distinguished South Vietnamese to 
exile or prison, from 1962 until early this year it seriously weakened 
the defense of the nation, and it now has brought into power a regime led 
bv men who were the real opponents of Diem and are something close to 
the true voice of South Vietnamese nationalism-men/ too, who are already 
widening the base of support and holding local elections. 



* 



"The other>-and entirely different, strand has been Hanoi's effort 
to take over the South by subversive aggression. On this the facts are 
plain and have been fully set out, though still in summary form, in the 
wSte papers published in December of 196l and February 1 9 6 5 . If these 



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do not convince you, read Hanoi's own pronouncements over the years, the - 
eyewitness accounts of the tons of weapons found just in recent months, 
the personal interrogation of a typical infiltrated Viet Cong by Seymour 
Topping in Sunday's New York Times, or the recent accounts by the French- 
man George Chaffard, who concluded that the so-called National Liberation 
Front was a classic example of the type of Communist organization used to 
take over another country. 

"In short, North Viet-Nam has been from the start, quite proudly 
and unashamedly, what President Johnson has called the heartbeat of the 
Viet Cong. As in Greece, the Viet Cong have won control of major areas 
of the country, playing in part on propaganda and the undoubted weak- 
nesses of Diem and his successors, but relying basically on massive intimi- 
dation of civilians. Over the years, the rate of civilian casualties- 
deliberate action casualties, killed, wounded and kidnaped— has been about 
kO a day in South Viet-Nam; civilian officials have been particular targets, 
with the obvious aim of crippling the government structure." 

* * * ' 

"I come now to the choice of methods. Till 196l President Eisenhower 
and President Kennedy limited our help to a massive economic effort and to 
the supply of military equipment under the terms of the Geneva accords. 
When after 2 years of intensified effort from the North, the situation 
had become serious in late 1961, President Kennedy made the decision to 
send thousands of our military men for advisory and other roles short of 
the commitment of combat units. President Johnson intensified this effort 
in every possible way and only in February of this year took the further 
decision, urged by the South Vietnamese themselves, to do what would have 
been justified all along— and had never been excluded— engage in highly 
selective and measured military bombing of the North itself, still coupled 
with every possible effort to assist in the South in the struggle which 
only the South Vietnamese can win there." 

* * * 

33. Add ress by President Johnson in Chicago, Illinois on June 3, W^ * 
7T The Peace of Mankind, " Department of State Bulletin, June 21, 19o5, 

p. 9b7- 



* * 



"In the 193D's we made our fate not by what we did but what we 
Americans failed to do. We propelled ourselves and all mankind toward 
tragedy not by decisiveness but by vacillation, not by determination 
and resolution but by hesitancy and irresolution, not by. action but by 
inaction. 

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"The failure of free men in the 1930 's was not of the sword but 
of the soul. And there just must be no such failure in the 1960's." 



* 



^k . S ecretary Rusk's Interview re Vietnam on "issues and Answers," 

American Broadcasting Company Radio and Television on July 11, 1965, 
With ABC Correspondents William H. Lawrence and John Scali, Depart- 
of State Bulletin, August 2, 1965, P« 1&&. 



* * # 



"U.S. Obligation to Allies 

" Mr. Scali : Mr. Secretary, you have mentioned repeatedly, in 
explaining why we are fighting, that the credibility of American pledges 
is at stake here and that if the Communists succeed in overrunning South 
Viet-Kam we will have trouble elsewhere in the world. What, specifically, 
could you foresee in the unlikely event we did lose this? 

" Secretary Rusk : Well, suppose that our kl other allies— or k2 
allies— should find themselves questioning the validity of the assurance 
of the United States with respect to their security? What would be the 
effect of that? If our commitment to South Viet-Kam did not mean any- 
thing, what would you think if you were a Thai and considered what our 
commitments meant to Thailand? What would you think if you were West 
Berliners and you found that our assurance on these matters did not 
amount to very much? 

"Now, this is utterly fundamental in maintaining the peace of the 
world, utterly fundamental. South Viet-Kam is important in itself, but . 
Hanoi moved tens of thousands of people in there in the face of an Amer- 
ican commitment of 10 years' standing. Now, this is something that we 
cannot ignore because this begins -to roll things up all over the world 
if we are not careful here. 

"Mr. Scali: Is the converse not also true — if we stop the Communists 
in South Viet-Kam that it will make it considerably easier to achieve an 
enduring peace elsewhere? 

"Secret ary Rusk : Well, I think that one can say with reasonable 
confidence that both sides recognize that a nuclear exchange is not a 
rational instrument of policy and that mass divisions moving across 
national frontiers is far too dangerous to use as an easy instrument of 
policy, but now we have this problem of 'wars of liberation' and we must 
find a complete answer to that, and the other side must realize that the 
use of militancy, of men and arms across frontiers in pursuit of what 
they call 'wars of liberation,' also is too dangerous. 

"Now, there has been a big argument between Moscow and Peiping on 

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this subject over the years, but Peiping must also begin to work its 
way back toward the idea of mutual coexistence. Otherwise there xs 
going to be very great trouble ahead. 



* * 



« Statement by President Johnson at White H ouse News Conference on 
35 * lffgg ^^7- T ^enmJ~Sta^d in Viet-Nam, " Department of StitT 



J uly > '~s> ■■- T 

•^■illfitln. August 16,. 196$, p. 262- 



* * * 



Three times in my lifetime, in two world wars and in Korea, 
Americans have gone to far lands to fight for freedom. We have learned 
S a terrible and brutal cost that retreat does not bring safety and 
weakness does not bring peace. 



is a 



"It is this lesson that has brought us to Viet-Nam. This 
different kind of war. There are no marching armies or solemn declara- 
tions. Some citizens of South Viet-Nam, at times with understandable 
grievances, have joined in the attack on their own government. 

"But we must not let this mask the central fact that this is really 
war It is guided by North Viet-Nam, and it is spurred by Communist 
China. Its goal is to conquer the South, to defeat American power, and 
to extend the Asiatic dominion of communism. 

"There are great stakes in the balance. 

"Most of the non-Communist nations of Asia cannot, by themselves 
and alone, resist growing might and the grasping ambition of Asian com- 
munism. 

"Our power, therefore, is a very vital shield. If we are driven 
from the field in Viet-Nam, then no nation can ever again have the same 
confidence in American promise or in American protection. 

• 

"In each land the forces of independence would be considerably 
weakened and an Asia' so threatened by Communist domination would cer- 
tainly imperil the security of the United States itself. 

"We did not. choose to be the guardians at the gate, but there is 
no one else. 

"For would surrender in Viet-Nam bring peace, because we learned _ 
from Fitler at Munich that success only feeds the appetite of aggression. 
The battle would be renewed in one country and then another country, 
bringing with it perhaps even larger and crueler conflict, as we have 
learned from the lessons of history. 

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"Moreover, we are in Viet-Nam to fulfill one of the most solemn 
pledges of the American nation. Three Presidents— President Eisenhower, 
President Kennedy, and your present President-over 11 years have com-, 
mitted themselves and have promised to help defend this small and valiant 
nation. 

• 

"Strengthened by that promise, the people of South Viet-Nam have 
fought for many long years. Thousands of them have died. Thousands 
more have been crippled and scarred by war. We just cannot now dis- 
honor our word, or abandon our commitment, or leave those who believed 
us and who trusted us to the terror and repression and murder that would ^ 
follow. 

"This, then, my fellow Americans, is why we are in Viet-Nam." 

* -x- * 

36. statement by Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara, Before the 
Subcommittee on Department of Defense Appropriations of the Senate 
Committee on Appropriations on August h, 1965, "Buildup of U.S. 
Forces in Viet-Nam, " Department of State Bulletin, August 30, 7l9*5j_ 
p. 369- 

* * * 

"The issue in Viet-Nam is essentially the same as it was in IS^h 
when President Eisenhower said: 

'I think it is no longer necessary to enter into a long 
argument or exposition to show the importance to the United States of 
Indochina and of the struggle going on there. No matter how the strug- 
gle may have started, it has long since become one of the testing places 
between a free form of government and dictatorship. Its outcome is 
going to have the greatest significance for us, and possibly for a long 
time into the future. 

'We have here a sort of cork in the bottle, the bottle being 
the great area that includes Indonesia, Burma, Thailand, all of the sur- 
rounding areas of Asia with its hundreds of millions of people ' 

"What is at stake there is the ability of the free world to block 
Communist armed aggression and prevent the lo?s of all of Southeast Asia, 
a loss which in its ultimate consequences could drastically alter the 
strategic situation in Asia and the Pacific to the grave detriment of 
our own security and that of our allies 

"The struggle there has enormous implications for the security of 
the United States and the free world and, for that matter, the Soviet 



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Union as veil. The North Vietnamese and the Chinese Communists have . 
Sen to make South Viet-Nam the test case for their particular ver- 
sion of the so-called 'vars of national liberation.' The extent to 
which violence should be used in overthrowing non-Communist governments 
has been one of the most bitterly contested issues betveen the Chinese 
and the Soviet Communists. Although the former Chairman, Mr. Khrushcnev, 
fullj endorsed 'vars of national liberation' as the preferred means of 
extending the sway of communism, he cautioned that 'this does neces- 
sarily mfan that the transition to Socialism vill everywhere and in all ■ 
cases be linked with armed uprising and civil war. .. .Revolution by peace- 
Jul means accords with the interests of the working class and the masses. _ 

"The Chinese Communists, however, insist that: 

'Peaceful co-existence cannot replace the revolutionary struggles 
of the people. The transition from capitalism to socialism in any country 
can onlj be brought about through proletarian revolution and the dictator- 
shin of the proletariat in that country. .. .The vanguard of the proletariat . 
wiS reaaX unconquerable in all circumstances only if it masters all forms 
of struKKle-peaceful and armed, open and secret, legal and illegal, par- 
liament^ struggle and mass struggle, and so forth. (letter to the 
Central SmittS of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, June lk, 

1963- )' 

"Their preference for violence was even more emphatically expressed 
in an article in the Peiping People's Daily of March 31, 1964: 

'It is advantageous from the point of view of tactics to refer 
to the desire for peaceful transition, but it would be inappropriate to 
emphasize the possibility of peaceful transition. .. .the proletarian party 
must never substitute parliamentary struggle for proletarian revolution 
Tr entertain the illusion that the transition to socialism can be achieved 
?hrou^h the parliamentary road. . . .Violent revolution is a universal law . 
^proletarian revolution. To realize the transition to socialism, the 
proletariat must wage armed struggle, smash the old state machine and 
establish the dictatorship of the proletarian 

"'Political power,' the article quotes Mao Tse-tung as saying, 'grows 
out of the barrel of a gun.' 

"Throughout the world we see the fruits of these policies and in 
Vi~t-Fam particularly, we see the effects of the Chinese Communists 
lore militant stance and their hatred of the free world. They make no 
secret of the fact that Viet-Kam is the test case, and neither does the 
regSe £ Fanoi. General Giap, head of the North Vietnamese army, recently 
safrthat 'South Viet-Nam is the model of the national liberation move- 
nt of our time If the special warfare that the U.S. imperialists are 
testing in South' vi;tKamis P overcome, then it can be defeated everywhere 
in tne world.' And Pham Van Dong, Premier of North Viet-Kam, pointed out 
that 'The experience of our compatriots, in South Viet-Nam attracts the 
attention of the world, especially the peoples of South America. 

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"It is clear, therefore, that a Communist success in South Viet-Nam 
would be taken as positive proof that the Chinese Communists' position 
is correct and they will have made a giant step forward in their efforts 
to seize control of the world Communist movement. Furthermore, such a_ 
success would greatly increase the prestige of Communist China among the 
nonalined nations and strengthen the position of their followers every- 
where. In that event .we would then have to be prepared to cope with the 
same kind of aggression in other parts of the world wherever the existing 
governments are weak and the social structures fragmented. If Communist 
armed aggression is not stopped in Viet-Nam as it was in Korea, the con- 
fidence of small nations in America's pledge of support will be weakened, 
and many of them, in widely separated areas of the world, will feel unsafe. _ 

"Thus the stakes in South Viet-Nam are far greater than the loss of 
one small country to communism. Its loss would be a most serious setback 
to the cause of freedom and would greatly complicate the task of preventing 
the further spread of militant Asian communism. And, if that spread is 
not halted, our strategic position in the world will be weakened and our 
national security directly endangered. 

"It was in recognition of this fundamental issue that the United 
States, under three Presidents, firmly committed itself to help the 
people of South Viet-Nam defend their freedom. That is why President 
Eisenhower warned at the time of the Geneva conference in July 195U 
that 'any renewal of Communist aggression would be viewed by us as a 
matter of grave concern.' That is why President Johnson in his statement 
last Wednesday made it clear to all the world that we are determined to 
stand by our commitment and provide whatever help is required to fulfill 
it." 

* * * 

" We have also identified at least three battalions of the regu- • 

lar North Vietnamese army, and there are probably considerably more. At 
the same time the Government of South Viet-Nam has found it increasingly 
difficult to make a commensurate increase in the size of its own forces, 
which now stand at about 5^5,000 men, including the regional and local 
defense forces but excluding the national police." 

* *• * 



37 . I nterview with Secretary Rusk and' Secretary McNamara on a Columbia 

Broadcasting System television progx-am by Peter Kalischer, Alexander 
Ker.drick, and Harry Reasoner, on August 9, 19°? > "Political and 
Milit ary Aspects of U.S. Policy in Viet-Nam, Department of State 
Bulletin, August 30, 1965, P- 3^2 - 

"Mr. Reasoner: 



* 



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"I would like to begin by asking both Secretaries two basic ques- 
tions- First, how is our honor involved in Viet-Nam? And second, how 
is our security involved in those rice paddies and remote villages? . 
And since sometimes in international relations security comes before 
honor, I will ask Mr. McNamara to answer first. 

"Why U.S. National Security is Involved 

"Secretary McNamara : First, let me make clear, Mr. Reasoner, that 
this is not primarily a military problem. Above all else, I want to 
emphasize that. It is a battle for the hearts and the minds of the people 
of South Viet-Nam, and it will only be won if we make clear to those . 
people that their longrun security depends on the development of a stable 
political institution and an expanding economy. That is our objective. 

"As a prerequisite to that, we must be able to guarantee their 
physical security. How does our physical security, our national interest, 
become involved in this? That is your question. Secretary Rusk will 
elaborate on it, but let me say to start with that it is apparent that 
underlying the terror, the harassment, of the South Vietnamese by the Viet 
Cong is the purpose and the objective of North Viet-Nam, backed by Communist 
China, to expand Communist control over the peoples of the independent 
nations of Southeast Asia and to use this as a test of their method of 
expanding control over independent peoples throughout the world in the 
undeveloped areas of Asia, Africa, and latin America. The leaders of 
those two nations have on numerous instances stated this as their purpose. 
For example, General /yo Nguyen/ Giap, who is the head of the North Viet- 
namese military forces, said not long ago that South Viet-Nam is the model 
of the national liberation movement of our time. If the. special warfare 
that the United States is testing in South Viet-Nam is overcome, then it 
can be defeated anywhere in the world. 

"And perhaps more pertinently in relation to Latin America is the 
comment of Pham Van Dong, who is the Prime Minister of North Viet-Nam, 
who said recently: 'The experience of our compatriots in South Viet-Nam 
attracts the attention of the 'world, especially the peoples of Latin 
America, ' and the interests of the Chinese Communists in advancing Asian 
communism by force are well known. 

"But I want to call your attention to two important statements 
emphasizing that. The Peiping People's Daily said about 12 months ago 
from Peiping, China: 'It is advantageous from the point of view of ^ 
tactics to refer to the desire for peaceful transition from capitalism 
to communism, but it would be inappropriate to emphasize that possibility. 
The Communist Party must never entertain the illusion that the transition 
to communism can be achieved. through the parliamentary road. .. .Violent 
revolution is a universal law of proletarian revolution. To realize ^the 
transition to communism the proletariat must wage armed struggle....' 
And, put even more succinctly, Mao Tse-tung said recently, 'Political 
power grows out of the barrel of a gun.' 

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"That is why our national security is involved in South Viet-Nam. 

"Integ rity of American Commitment 

"Mr. Reasoner : And the honor, Secretary Rusk? 

"Sec retary Rusk : . Mr. Reasoner, the answer to this question is 
extremely simple and need not be complicated. 

"When President Johnson talks about our national honor, he is not 
using some empty phrase of 18th-century diplomacy. He is talking about 
the life and death of the Nation. Now, the essential fact from which we 
start is that North Viet-Nam has sent tens of thousands of men and large 
quantities of arms into South Viet-Nam to take over that country by force. 
We have a very simple commitment to South Viet-Nam. It derives out of 
the Southeast Asia Treaty, out of the bilateral arrangements that Presi- 
dent Eisenhower made with the Government of South Viet-Nam, out of regu- 
lar authorizations and appropriations of the Congress in giving aid to 
South Viet-Nam, out of the resolution of the Congress of last August, 
out of the most formal declarations of three Presidents of both political 
parties. 

"Now, there is no need to parse these commitments in great detail. 
The fact is that we know we have a commitment. The South Vietnamese 
know we have a commitment. The Communist world knows we have a commit- 
ment. The rest of the world knows it. 

"Now, this means that the integrity of the American commitment is 
at the heart of this problem. I believe that the integrity of the Amer- 
ican commitment is the principal structure of peace throughout the world. 
We have k2 allies. Those alliances were approved by overwhelming votes 
of our Senate. We didn't go into those alliances through some sense of 
amiability or through some philanthropic attitude toward other nations. 
We went into them because we consider these alliances utterly essential 
for the security of our own nation. 

"Now, if our allies or, more particularly, if our adversaries should 
discover that the American commitment is not worth anything, then the 
world would face dangers of which we have not yet dreamed. And so it 
is important for us to make good on that American commitment to South 
Viet-Nam. 

"M r. Kendrick: But, sir, don't you have to reckon honor at its 
cost? I mean, it is not an abstract thing. It has to be evalued and 
weighed according to what it costs you. And what about dishonor? What 
about the world image that we now present? We are burning villages, we 
are killing civilians. Now, don't you weigh one against the other? 

" Secretary Rusk : Well, let me say that you also weigh the costs of 
dishonor, that is, the failure of an American commitment. And I would 
hope that our own American news media would go to some effort to present 

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a balanced picture of what is going on in South Viet -Nam: the thousands 
of local officials who have been kidnaped, the tens of thousands of 
South Vietnamese civilians who have been killed or wounded by North 
Vietnalese mortars and by the constant depredations of these acts of - 
violence against the civilian population. 

"Wo there are costs involved in meeting your commitments of honor. 
There always have been, there always will be. But I would suggest if 
wp Zol at the history of the last 30 or kO years, that the costs of 
Tot Seitilg your oblations are far greater than those of meeting your 

obligations. 

" Political and Military Sit uation in Viet-Kam 

"Mr. Re asoner : Gentlemen, having set the stage more or less with 
vour o wning statem ents, I would like to start off first in the rea 
what Shop! to achieve there this year and how we are doing militarily 
and politically. Peter? 

"Mr Kalischer: Well, I would like to bring up the subject of who 
we ar e committed to . You mentioned the fact, Mr. Secretary, that we 
have Ld a commitment to the Vietnamese Government. That government has 
chlnged some seven or eight times in the last 18 to 20 months, and vhen 
Ssfv we have this commitment to this government, are we reasonably assured 
thafLis government represents the people of South Viet-Kam or even a 
large number of the people in South Viet-Kam? 

"Secretary Rusk: Well, we recognize, of course, that there are 
diffic ulties in the" t op leadership in South Viet-Kam and have been over 
the months, but that does not mean that our commitment to the nation 
and to the people of South Viet-Kam is changed any more than the fct 
Sat we have had three changes of government in our own Government during _ 
the period of this commitment. 

" Mr. Kalischer : In a slightly different form. 

"Secretary Rusk: The impression we have is that among the 14 million 
peopl e in Soutn Viet- Kam we do not find any significant group outside of 
*? trL + Pone itself, relatively limited in numbers, that seems to be 
TookSf to Snoi for' the answer. The Buddhists are not, the Catholics are 
not Se otfer sects are not, the montagnards are not, the -H-^Cam- 
SSlans living in South Viet-Kam are not. In other words, we, I think, 
Sd Low vefy quickly, because we have lots of Americans living through- 
r,tth7couItry,ide-we would know very quickly if these people of Soath 
?iet-Kam Zlll the program of the Liberation Front or wanted domination 
from Hanoi. That we do not fina. 

* * * 



"Mr. Kendrick: 



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" I wonder, now, if we are still fighting the same war with 

Communist China that we were fighting in Korea; is that really the enemy? 

"Se cretary Rusk : Well, the present enemy on the ground is North - 
Viet-Nam and infiltration from North Viet-Nam, as far as we are con- 
cerned. This appeal by the Liberation Front to Hanoi and Hanoi's res- 
ponse to it j imply repeats the factual situation. Hanoi has been sending 
tens of thousands of men and large quantities of arms into South Viet- 
Nam. This is not new. 

"Now, in terms of the more general problem, as you know, there have 
been very important disputes within the Communist world, and specifically 
between Moscow and Peiping, on the question of strategy and tactics in 
promoting the world revolution. Moscow has been more prudent, more 
cautious°in this respect. Peiping has announced a doctrine of militancy 
which has caused great problems even within the Communist world. Now, 
if Peiping should discover that a doctrine of militancy is a successful 
policy through what happens to Southeast Asia, then the dangers through- 
out the rest of the world mount very quickly and very substantially." 

* -x * 

" U.S. Commitment Fundamental to Peace 

"Mr. Reasoner: Secretary Rusk, I think Americans sometimes have- 
while they support this policy— have trouble understanding just what we 
mean when we speak in the pattern of having to defend it here or we will 
have to fight in some less suitable place. To be hypothetical, what 
would happen if Secretary McNamara announced that we had done all we 
could and we were now withdrawing because we needed the boys at home and 
we left? What do you think would ensue? 

. " Secretary Rusk : I think that it would not be for me to answer 
that one directly. But imagine yourself to be a Thai, and ask what the 
American commitment to Thailand would mean to you under those circum- 
stances. Think of your self as a West Berliner, and ask yourself what 
the American commitment to you would mean under those circumstances. 

"At the very heart, gentlemen, of the maintenance of peace in the 
world is the integrity of the American commitment under our alliances. 

" Mr. Kendrick : Is it possible that it is an overcommitment? 

"Secretary Rusk: Well, that can be argued. But it should have 
b een argued at the time, at the various stages. I personally do not 
think so, because we have made k2 allies, as you know, in this postwar 
period, and at the time it seemed to be in the vital interest of the 
United States that these alliances be formed." 



* 



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"So we do not have a worldwide commitment as the gendarme of the 
universe, hut we do have h2 allies, and South Viet-Nam is a protocol 
state of the Southeast Asia Treaty and it does have a commitment from 
us. Therefore, the nature of that commitment is fundamental here if 
we are to maintain peace in the years ahead. 

"Mr. Reasoner: Are we overcommitted from your standpoint, Mr. 
Secretary? Can you handle everything you foresee? 

"Secr etary MoNemara : I believe so. The military forces of this 
country have been built up in strength, as you know. We do have U5 per- 
cent more combat-ready divisions today than we did 3 or k years ago. We 
do have nearly 50 percent more tactical fighter squadrons today than We 
did then. We have been building up our inventories in men and equipment. 

"I think the question is really more fundamental than are we over- 
committed. The question is, what kind of a world would we and our 
children live in if we failed to carry out the commitments we have or 
sought to reduce them?" 

* * * 

38 Addres s by William P. Bundy, Assistant Secretary for Far Eastern 
'Affairs, Bef ore the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, on 
N ovember 5- 196?, "A Perspective on U.S. P olicy in Viet-Nam, 
Department of State Bulletin, December b, 196 5, P- o90- 

"Our own objectives in relation to the Far East are simple. There, 
as throughout the world, we wish to see independent nations developing as 
they see fit and in accordance with their own traditions. We may hope 
that the development will be in the direction of governments based on 
consensus and increasingly on democratic processes/ with economic sys- 
tems that enlist the initiatives of the individual. But we have long 
since outgrown any notion that we have a blueprint for government and 
economic organization that can be applied in any pat sense to other 
nations, particularly in the less developed state. 

"Moreover, our national interest is no longer guided in the Far East 
bv particular economic or military concern with individual areas, as was 
to a considerable extent the case before the war. We have a deep concern 
for expanded trade and cultural ties-which alone can in the end oind the 
world to-etrer--and we have military base rights and needs related to our 
role in assisting in the security of the area. But neither of tnese is 
an end in itself: The first will, we believe, flourish if the nations 
of the area are able to develop in freedom; the second must now be main- 
tained but will over time, we hope, become susceptible of reduction and 
indeed, wherever possible, of elimination. 



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"Rather, we care about the total picture partly because a nation 
vith our traditions and our present power could hardly do otherwise 
but partly because we know in our hearts that it makes a great deal of 
difference to our most concrete national interests that the vast poten- 
tial and talent of the Far East should be developed in healthy national ' 
entities and that the Far East should not go through a second stage- 
as Europe had to do-of waves of domination that must m the end be met 
at the cost of vast human misery." 



™ p.^, w. Johnson's Telephone Remarks to the AFL-CIO Convention 
39 * fr^™ pt. Han Francisco on Dec ember 9, 19b?, "Why We Are in Jlet- 
gg^fe ^rtment of State Bulletin, Dece m ber 27, 19b?, p. 1014 . 

* * * 

"We are there because for all our shortcomings, for all our failings 
as a nation and a people, we remain fixed on the pursuit of freedom as a 
deep and moral obligation that will not let us go. 

"To defend that freedom-to permit its roots to deepen and grow 
without fear of external suppress ion- is our purpose in South Viet-Nam. 
Unchecked aggression against free and helpless people would be a grave 
Sreat to our own freedom-end an offensive to our own conscience. 

* * * 



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JOHNSON ADMINISTRATION - 1966 



SUMMARY 



The Johnson Administration continued to employ the rationale of 
previous administrations throughout 1$66 in justifying U.S. involvement 
in Vietnam. The Administration attempted continually to explain why 
the U.S. was involved. Significantly, the U.S. also sought to publicize 
the legal basis for the commitment as well as establishing firmly that 
the commitment under SEATO would be fulfilled. The themes initially 
stressed reassurance of the U.S. intent to remain in the struggle, later 
building on the legality of commitment, and finally, stressing American ■ 
aims and objectives in Vietnam. Points emphasized were: 

a. The U.S. pledged to stay in Vietnam until aggression had 
stopped and to honor commitments. "Our stand must be as firm as ever." 

b. The question -- why are we in Vietnam? — was repeatedly 
answered: to help promote Vietnamese freedom and world security, to 
fulfill the SEATO obligation, to stop aggression and wars of liberation, 
to make Communist expansion unprofitable, and to prove that guerrilla 
wars cannot succeed. 

c. Legally, the U.S. involvement was traced from the Geneva 
Accords and the Eisenhower commitmsnt in 195^ ("to assist the Government 
of Vietnam in developing and maintain a strong, viable state, capable of 
resisting attempted subversion or aggression through military means."), 
through SEATO ("collective self-defense against armed attack") to the 
Kennedy commitments of I.96I. 

d. Asian communism was recognized repeatedly as a clear and 
present- danger — "aggression feeds on aggression" — as well as the 
fact that the security of Southeast Asia was extremely important to 
the security interests of the U.S. 

e. The fulfillment of the U.S. commitment had necessarily 
changed with the nature of the aggression requiring combat troops only 
because of the "escalation of aggression by the other side." 

f . The U.S. aims in Vietnam were limited to the desire for a 
political solution, to assure self-determination for the people of South 
Vietnam, and reunification of Vietnam decided by free choice. 



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v# D . JUSTIFICATION OF THE WAR - PUBLIC STATEMENTS 

JOHNSON ADMINISTRATIO N 
1966 

CONTENTS 

Page 

1+0 President Johnson vows to fulfill "America's solemn pledge to 
the countries around the world" whose independence rests, m 
large measure, on confidence in America's word and in America's 
protection 

lH. President Johnson states, "If we allow the Communists to win 
Vietnam, it will "become easier and more appetizing for them to 
take over other countries in other parts of the world, D-e^ 

1+2. Secretary Rusk explains relationship between U.S. presence in 
VN and its security in terms of oft spoken Communist threat of 
"wars of liberation" throughout developing world; SEATO com- 
mitment and other mutual security pacts being tested. D-65 

1+3. President Johnson states the U.S. is in VN to prevent aggression 
as pledged by four Presidents and formally agreed to in the 
SEATO agreement « • D-oy 

UU. A legal analysis of U.S. involvement in VN concludes "actions 
are in conformity with international law and with the Charter 
of the United Rations." President's -actions are in confor- 
mance with Constitutional powers and consistent with both the 
SEATO commitment as approved by Senate and the joint resolution 
of August 10, 196U approved by Congress D-70 

1*5. Ambassador Goldberg suggests that the doctrine of "wars of li- 
beration" represents a threat to independent nations throughout 
the world. • D_ 7 1 

1+6. Vice President Humphrey explains U.S. position in VN is in- 
tended "to restrain the attempt by Asian Communists to expand 
by force.'.' D_72 

1+7 Vice President Humphrey cites U.S. efforts to check aggression, 
permit self-determination for SVN and to convince expansionist 
Asian Communists that force will not be tolerated in this 
nuclear era as requiring our firm stand in VN. . . • • D-73 

• 

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Page 

k8. Secretary Rusk states, "I have always treated the SEATO 
Treaty. ..as an important part of our commitment to defend 
SVN." He further states that repulsion of Communist ag- 
gression is as valid an objective today es when our earlier 
commitment s were made » • D-75 

• 

k9. Leonard Unger discusses the national interests of the U.S. in 
"' Vietnam as related to checking the "Hanoi venture" so as not 
to "feed the fires of the clearly expansionist thrust of 
Communist. Chinese policy. V D-76 

50. Ambassador Goldberg relates clearly that U.S. interest in 
Southeast Asia is motivated by its desire to see all the states 

of that region remain free of foreign domination D-77 

51. Secretary Rusk reviews the factors which relate the security 
of the U.S. to Southeast Asia: "...more than 200 million people 
in Southeast Asia, the geography of the area, the important 
natural resources..., the relationship of Southeast Asia to 
the total world situation and the effect upon the prospects of 
a durable peace." He reviews the legal basis for U.S. actions 

as developed in kk . , above D-78 

52. Secretary Rusk recalls the lessons of tolerating aggression in 
pre -World War II days as it bears on the current "wars of 
liberation" strategy espoused by Moscow and Peiping; emphasizes 
the importance of SEATO in controlling aggression in Asia and 

the credibility of U.S. commitments in preventing it elsewhere. D-8l 

53. Vice President Humphrey emphasizes need of adapting to the new 
conditions of subversive warfare, if independent, non-Commu- 
nist states are going to grow and flourish. B-8k 

5U. President Johnson states U.S. presence in VH is "buying time 

not only for SVN, but... for a new and a vital, growing Asia to 

emerge" while demonstrating that guerrilla warfare against 

weaker neighbors will not be tolerated ,00 D-85 

55. President Johnson states this country will not err again as 
it has twice before in ignoring aggression. He vows to 
demonstrate clearly the futility of aggression in any form 
including guerrilla warfare D-87 

56. President Johnson cites U.S. intention to fulfill its promises; 
he cautions that guerrilla warfare, if successful in VN, pre- 
sents a threat to Latin America, Africa and the rest of Asia. . . D-87 



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Page 

57. President Johnson cites the need to fulfill U.S. commit- 
ments to provide a shield behind which weaker nations can 
develop without falling prey to Communist powers.. ......... 1 D-88 

58. President Johnson describes war as an "opening salvo in a 
series of bombardments, or, as they are called in Peking, 

"wars of liberation'.' D-89 

59- Ambassador Goldberg relates U.S. presence in VN to the use 
of violence by the North to upset the situation; he speci- 
fically points out what the U.S. does not seek as a result 
of its presence D-89 

60. Secretary Rusk emphasizes the concerns of four Presidents 

in preventing Communist aggression to succeed in W; he indi- 
cates that the indigenous element in SYN could be controlled 
by SW government, but NVTI intervention requires U.S. pre- 
sence ....... D-91 

61. Secretary Rusk emphasizes SEATO agreement and similar mutual 
security treaties are the backbone of world peace; to remain 
effective, U.S. obligations must be fulfilled. He further 
recalls that "militant Asian Communists have proclaimed the 
attack on SVH to be a critical test of this technique (wars 

of liberation) "„...... D-92 



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kO The State of the Union Address of President Johnson to the Congress 

^Excerpts), January 12, 196b; Department of State Bulletin, January 31, 
1966, p. 153": 



* * 



"And we will stay until aggression has stopped. 

"We will stay because a just nation cannot leave to the cruelties 
of its enemies a people who have staked their lives and independence on 
America's solemn pledge— a pledge which has grown through the commit- 
ments of three American Presidents. 

"We will stay because in Asia—and around the world— are countries 
whose independence rests, in large measure, on confidence in America's 
word and in America's protection. To yield to force in Viet-Kam would 
weaken that confidence, would undermine the independence of many lands, 
and would whet the appetite of aggression. We would have to fight in 
one land, and then we would have to fight in another— or abandon much 
of Asia to the domination of Communists." 



* * 



4!. statement by President Johnson, U.S. and South Vietnamese leader s 
MeeTat Honolulu, February 6, 1966; Department of State Bulletin , 
February 2tt, 19b6, p. 303- " 



* * 



» we cannot "accept their logic that tyranny 10,000 miles away 

is not tyranny to concern us, or that subjugation by an armed minority 
in Asia is different from subjugation by an armed minority in Europe. 
Were we to follow their course, how many nations might fall before the 
aggressor? Where would our treaties be respected, our word honored, 
and our commitment believed? 

"In the forties and fifties we took our stand in Europe to protect 
the freedom of those threatened by aggression. If we had not then 
acted, what kind of Europe might there be today? Now the center of 
attention has shifted to another part of the world where aggression is 
on the march and enslavement of free men is its goal. 

"Our stand must be as firm as ever. If we allow the Communists to 
win in Viet-Kam, -it will become easier and more appetizing for them to 
take over other countries in other parts of the world. We will have to 
fight again someplace else— at what cost no one knows. That is why it 
is vitally Important to every American that we stop the Communists m 
South Viet-Kam." 



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k2 Statement by S ecretary Rusk Before the Senate Committee on 

Foreign Re lations, February 15, 19bb, "The U.S. Commitment in 
Viet-Nam: Fundamental Issues" { Broadcast Live on Nationwide 
Tclc-ici-n N^^*); Tteinartment of State Bulletin, March 7, 1966, 



* 



"Why are we in Viet-Kam? Certainly we are not there merely 
because we have power and like to use it. We do not regard ourselves 
as the policeman of the universe. We do not go around the world look- 
ing for quarrels in which we can intervene. Quite the contrary. We 
have recognized that, just as we are not gendarmes of the universe, 
neither are we the magistrate of the universe. If other governments, 
other institutions, or other regional organizations can find solutions 
to the quarrels which disturb the present scene, we are anxious to 
have this occur. But we are in Viet-Nam because the issues posed 
there are deeply intertwined with our own security and because the 
outcome of the struggle can profoundly affect the nature, of the world 
in which we and our children will live . " 



* 



"What are our world security interests involved in the struggle 
in Viet-Nam? 

"They cannot be seen clearly in terms of Southeast Asia only or 
merely in terms of the events of the past few months. We must view 
the problem in perspective. We must recognize that what we are seek- 
ing to achieve in South Viet-Ksm is part of a process that has continued 
for a long time— a process of preventing the expansion and extension of 
Communist domination by the use of force against the weaker nations on 
the perimeter of Communist power. 

"This is the problem as it looks to us. Nor do the Communists 
themselves see the problem in isolation. They see the struggle in 
South Viet-Nam as part of a larger design ^for the steady extension of 
Communist power through force and threat." 



"But the Communist world has returned to its demand for what it 
calls a 'world revolution, * a world of coercion in direct contradiction 
to the Charter of the United Nations . There cay be differences within 
the Communist world about methods, and techniques, and leadership within 
the Communist world itself, but they share a common attachment to their 
"world revolution' and to its support through what they call 'wars of 
liberation.' 



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"So what we face in Viet-Nam is what we have faced on many occa- 
sions before—the need to check the extension of Communist power 121 
order to maintain a reasonable stability in a precarious world...-. 



* 



"Under Secretary 'Smith's statement was only a unilateral declara- 
tion but in joining SEATO the United States took a solemn treaty 
engagement of far-reaching effect. Article IV, paragraph 1, provides 
that 'each Party recognizes that aggression by means of armed attack... 
would endanger its own peace and safety, and agrees that it will in 
that event act to meet the common danger in accordance with its consti- 
tutional processes. ' 

"It is this fundamental SEATO obligation that has from the outset 
guided our actions in South Viet-Nam. 

"The language of this treaty is worth careful attention. The 
obligation it imposes is not only joint but several. The finding that 
an armed attack has occurred does not have to be made by a collective 
determination before the obligation of each member becomes operative. 
Nor does the treaty require a collective decision on actions to be 
taken to meet the common danger. If the United States determines that 
an armed attack has occurred against any nation to whom the protection 
of the treaty applies, then it is obligated to 'act to meet the common 
danger' without regard to the views or actions of any other treaty 
member." 

* * # 

"Our multilateral engagement under the SEATO treaty has been 
reinforced and amplified by a series of bilateral commitments and 
assurances directly to the Government of South Viet-Nam. On October 1, 
1954 President Eisenhower wrote to President Diem offering to assist 
the Government of Viet-Nam in developing and maintaining a strong, 
viable state, capable of resisting attempted subversion or aggression 
through military means.' In 1957 President Eisenhower arid President 
Diem issued a joint statement which called attention to the large build- 
up of Vietnamese Communist military forces in North Viet-Nam and stated: 

•Noting that the Republic of Viet-Nam is covered by Article 
IV of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, President Eisenhower 
and President Ngo Dinh Diem agreed that aggression or subversion threat- 
ening the political independence of the Republic of Viet-Nam would be 
considered as endangering peace and stability.' 

"On August 2, 1961, President Kennedy declared that 'the United 
States is determined that the Republic of Viet-Nam shall not be lost 
to the Communists for lack of any support which the' United States can 
render . ' 

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"On December ik, 196l, President Kennedy wrote to President Diem, 
recalling the United States declaration made at the end of the Geneva 
conference in 195*1- • The President once again stated that the United 
States was 'prepared to help the Republic of Viet-Nam to protect its 
people and to preserve its independence.' This commitment has been 
reaffirmed many times. since. 

"These, then, are the commitments we have taken to protect South 
Viet-Nam as a part of protecting our own 'peace and security. ' We 
have sent American forces to fight in the jungles of that beleaguered 
country because South Viet-Nam has, under the language of the SEATO 
treaty, been the victim of 'aggression by means of armed attack."' 

• 

* * * 

"Up to this point I have tried to describe the nature of our 
commitments in South Viet-Nam and why we have made them. I have sought 
to put those commitments within the framework of our larger effort to 
prevent the Communists from upsetting the arrangements which have been 
the basis for our security. These policies have sometimes been attacked 
as static and sterile. It has been argued that they do not take account 
of the vast changes which have occurred in the world and are still in 
train. 

"These contentions seem to me to miss the point. The line of 
policy we are following involves far more than a defense of the status 
quo. It seeks rather to insure that degree of security which is neces- 
sary if change and progress are to take place through consent and not 
through coercion. Certainly, as has been frequently pointed out, the 
world of the mid-20th century is not standing still. Movement is 
occurring on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Communism today is no 
longer monolithic; it no longer wears one face but many, and the deep 
schism between the two great power centers of the Communist world — 
Moscow and Peking—is clearly one of the major political facts of our 
time. 



"There has been substantial change and movement within the Soviet 
Union as well — and perhaps even more among the countries of Eastern 
Euroue. These changes have not been inhibited because of our efforts 
to maintain our postwar arrangements by organizing the Western alliance, 
They have taken place because of internal developments as well as 
because the Communist regime in Moscow has recognized that the Western 
alliance cannot permit it to extend its dominion by force. 

"Over time the same processes hopefully will work in the Far East. 
Peking — and the Communist states living under its shadow — must learn 
that they cannot redraw the boundaries of the world by force. 

"What we are pursuing, therefore, is not a static concept. For, 
unlike the Communists, we really believe in social revolution and not 

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merely in power cloaked as revolution.' 

* * * 

"Our purpose is equally clear and easily defined. In his Baltimore 
speech of April 7, 1965, President Johnson did so in the following terms: 

'Our objective is the independence of South Viet -Nam and its 
freedom from- attack. We want nothing for ourselves- only that the 
people of South Viet-Nam be allowed to guide their own country m their 
own way. ' 

"This has been our basic objective since 195U. It has been pursued 
by three successive administrations and remains our basic objective today. 

"Like the Communists, we have secondary objectives derived from the 
basic one. We intend to show that the 'war of liberation,' far from being 
cheap, safe, and disavowable, is costly, dangerous, and doomed to failure. 
We must destroy the myth of its invincibility in order to protect the 
independence of many weak nations which are vulnerable targets for sub - 
veSve aggression--to use the proper term for the 'war of liberation.' * 
We cannot leave while force and violence threaten them. 

"The question has been raised as to whether this clash of interests 
is really important to us. An easy and incomplete answer would be that 
it must be important to us since it is considered so important by the 
other side. Their leadership has made it quite clear that they regard 
South Viet-Nam as the testing ground for the 'war of liberation' and that, 
after its anticipated success there, it will be used widely about the 
world. Kosygin told Mr. Reston in his interview of last December: 

'We believe that national liberation wars are just wars and 
they will continue as long as there is national oppression by imperi- 
alist powers . ' 

"Before him, Khrushchev, in January 1961, had the following to say: 

'Now a word about national liberation wars. The armed struggle 
bv the Vietnamese people or the war of the Algerian people serve as .he 
latest example of such wars. These are revolutionary wars. Such wars 
are not only admissible but inevitable. Can such wars flare up m the 
futu-e* They can. The Communists fully support such just wars^nd 
marcn in the front rank of peoples waging liberation struggles. 

"General Giap, the Commander in Chief of the North Vietnamese forces, 
has made the following comment: 

'South Viet-Ham is the model of the national liberation move- _ 
nent of our t fcne. If" the special warfare that the United States imperi- 
alists arming in South Viet-Nam is overcome, then it can be defeased 
anywhere in the world . ' 

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"The Minister of Defense of Communist China, Marshal Lin Piao, in 
a long statement of policy in September 1965, described in detail how 
Mao Tse-tung expects to utilize the 'war of liberation' to expand com- 
munism in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. 

"These testimonials show that, apart from the goal of imposing 
communism on 15 million South Vietnamese, the success of the war of 
liberation' is in itself an important objective of the Communist leader- 
shin On our side, we can understand the grave consequences of such a 
success for us. President Eisenhower in 1959 stressed the military 
importance of defending Southeast Asia in the following terms. He said: 

'Strategically, South Viet-Nam' s capture by the Communists 
would bring their power several hundred miles into a hitherto free 
reeion The remaining countries of Southeast Asia would be menaced by. 
a ?reat flanking movement ... .The loss of South Viet-Nam would set in 
motion a crumbling process that could, as it progressed, have grave con- 
sequences for us and for freedom. ' 

"This view has often been referred to as the 'domino theory.' I ^ 
personally do not believe in such a theory if it means belief in a law 
of nature which requires the collapse of each neighboring state in an 
inevitable sequence, following a Communist victory in South Viet-Nam. 
However I am deeply impressed with the probable effects worldwide, not 
necessarily in areas contiguous to South Viet-Nam, if the 'war of libera- 
tion r scores a significant victory there. President Kennedy commented 
on this danger with moving eloquence: "The great battleground for the 
defense and expansion of freedom today is the southern half of the globe- 
Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East-the lands of the people 
who harbor the greatest hopes. The enemies of freedom think they can 
destroy the hopes of the newer nations and they aim to do it before the 
end of this decade. This is a struggle of will and determination as 
much as one of force and violence. It is a battle for the conquest of 
the minds and souls as much as for the conquest of lives and territory. 
In such a struggle, we cannot fail to take sides. 

"Gentlemen, I think a simple answer to the question, what are we 
doing in South Viet-Nam, is to say that for more than a decade we have 
been taking sides in a cause in which we have a vital stake. 



# 



1^ Address by Pres ident Johnson at a Freedom House Dinner at New York, 
' Feb ruary 23 , 1966, "Viet-Nam: The Struggle to Be Free~Department 
of State Bvlletin, March lk, 19bb, p. 390- 



* 



"Our purpose in Viet-Nam is to prevent the success of aggression. 
It is not conquest; it is not empire; it is not foreign bases; it is 
not domination. It is, simply put, just to prevent the forceful conquest 

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of South Viet-Nara by Worth Viet-Nam. 

* * * 



"The contest in Viet-Nam is confused and hard, and many of its 
forms are new. Yet our American purpose and policy are unchanged. Our 
men in Viet-Nam are there. They are there, as Secretary Dillon ^oimer 
Secretary of the Treasury Douglas DillonJ told you, to keep a promise that 
was made 12 years ago. The Southeast Asia Treaty promised, as Secretary 
John Foster Dulles said for the United States, that "an attack upon the 
treaty area would occasion a reaction so united, so strong, and so well 
placed that the aggressor would lose more than it could hope to gam. 

"...But we keep more than a specific treaty promise in Viet-Nam 
tonight. We keep the faith for freedom. 

"Four Presidents have pledged to keep that faith." 

* * * 

kJi Legal Memoran dum Prepared by Leonard C M eeker, State Department f 
t.^1 Ariviser. for Sub mission to the Senate Committee on Foreig n 
pJint.inns. March h, 1966, "The legality of United States Parti ci- 
pation in the Defense of Viet-Nam"; Department o f State Bulletin, 
March 28, 1966, pp. 15-lb~ 



# 



"V. CONCLUSION 

"South Viet-Nam is being subjected to armed attack by Communist 
North Viet-Nam, through the infiltration of armed personnel, military 
equipment, and regular combat units. International law recognizes the 
right of individual and collective self-defense against armed attack. 
South Viet-Nam, and the United States upon the request of South Viet-Nam, 
ale engaged in such collective defense of the South. Their actions are 
S conformity with international law and with the Charter of the United 
Nations The fact that South Viet-Nam has been precluded by Soviet veto 
from becoming a member of the United Nations and the fact that South 
Viet-Nam is a zone of a temporarily divided state in no way dimmish the 
right of collective defense of South Viet-Nam. 

"The United States has commitments to assist South Viet-Nam in 
clef ending itself against Communist aggression from the North. The United 
StSs gfve undertakings to this effect at the conclusion of the Geneva 
conferefd in 19?4. Later that year the United States undertook an inter- 
nSional obligation in the SEATO treaty to defend South Viet-Nam against 

Stmed aggression. And during the past decade the United States 
haHiven additional assurances to the South Vietnamese Government. 

"The Geneva accords of 195 k provided for a cease-fire and regroup- 
men t of contending forces, a division of Viet-Nam into two zones, and 

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a prohibition on the use cSf either zone for the resumption of hostili- 
ties or to 'further an aggressive policy.' From the beginning, North 
Viet-Nam violated the Geneva accords through a systematic effort to gam 
control of South Viet-Nam by force. In the light of these progressive 
North Vietnamese violations, the introduction into South Viet-Nam begin- 
ning in late 1961 of substantial United States military equipment and - 
personnel, to assist in the defense of the South, was fully justified; _ 
substantial breach of an international agreement by one side permits 
the other side to suspend performance of corresponding obligations under 
the agreement. South Viet-Nam was justified in refusing to implement 
the provisions of the Geneva accords calling for reunification through 
free elections throughout Viet-Nam since the Communist regime in North 
Viet-Nam created conditions in the North that made free elections entirely 
impossible. 

"The President of the United States has full authority to commit 
United States forces in the collective defense of South Viet-Nam. This 
authority stems from the constitutional powers of the President. However, 
it is not necessary to rely on the Constitution alone as the source of 
the President's authority, since the SEATO treaty— advised and consented 
to by the Senate and forming part of the law of the land— sets forth 
a United States commitment to defend South Viet-Nam against armed attack, 
and since the Congress— in the joint resolution of August 10, 19c*, and 
in authorization and appropriations acts for support of the U.S. military 
effort in Viet-Nam— has given its approval and support to the President s 
actions. United States actions in Viet-Nam, taken by the President and 
approved by the Congress, do not require any declaration of war, as shown 
by a long line of precedents for the use of United States armed forces 
abroad in the absence of any congressional declaration of war." 



14.5. Address by Ambassador Arthur J. Goldberg, U.S. Representative to 
t he United Nations, Before the Pilgrim -Society at London, ^England 
on M arch h, 1966, "America- and Britain: Unity of Purpose"; Depart- 
ment of State Bulletin, April h, i960, p. 539 - 

* * * 

"The most unspoken and unuttered— almost concealed— thought of some 
in the fight against the American involvement in Southeast Asia is: 
First America cannot win the war in South Viet-Nam; second, while 
South' Viet-Nam or, indeed, Southeast Asia may be important to American 
interests, these areas are not crucial to those interests. Therefore, 
since we cannot win in a war theater where the territory is peripheral 
to American interests, let us retreat, let us withdraw with no further 
nonsense. 

"In my view, the complete answer is that there would be no greater 
danger to world peace than to start segregating mankind and the countries 



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thev live in as either peripheral or crucial. Perhaps in those halcyon 
27s whin the Congress of Vienna was the supreme example of intelligent 
Splomacy, such distinctions had meaning. . The introduction of Marxism- 
aiplomaoy, su society and the visible determination by its mili- 

SreSonSsTo Implement that doctrine through 'wars of national 
SberaSon' has today obliterated such distinctions. So has the expan- 
sion of technology, which has made this a shrinking world of inter- 



dependent nations 



* * 



"ATTITUDE OF COMMUNIST CHINA 

"Rut President Johnson has spoken to ears which hear only the echo 
of theS own doctrine. It is not Dennis Healey nor Robert McHfcnara but 
lie Red Chinese Minister, Marshal Lin Piao, who wrote 6 months ago, and 
I quote: x 

•We know that war brings destruction, sacrifice, and suffering 
nn the people. (But) the sacrifice of a small number of people in 
Revolutionary wars is repaid by security for whole nations ... .war can 
temper the people and push history forward. In this sense, war is a 
Seat school.. !.m diametrical opposition to the Khrushchev revisionists, 
the (Chinese) Marxist-Leninists. . .never take a gloomy view of war.' 

"Marshal Lin Piao's statement didn't come out of thin air. In his 
b00k Problems of War and Strategy Mao Tse-tung wrote, and tms was 
before 19^9= 

'The seizure of power by armed forces, the settlement of an 
issue by war, is the central task and the highest form of revolution. 

"When Mao wrote these words, he lacked nuclear capability. Today 
the story is different, and the implications of his words and those of 
Marshal Lin are more dreadful." 



* 



kG Vice Pr esident Humphrey Reports to President on As ian Trip, White 
kt ' jufe^Pr^sT-ReTease of March b, 1966: Department of State B ullet^ 

T^rch 2B, 19bb, P- ^90 - 

* * * 

»?. The significance of the struggle in Vietnam is not simply 
the defense of a small nation against powerful neighbors Vietnam is 

e / sense, the focus of a broad effort to restrain the attempt 

Z Asian CommSis^s to expand by force-as we assisted our European 
allies in resisting Communist expansion in Europe after World War II. 

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"k The Honolulu Deolaration emphasizing the defeat of aggression 
and the 'achievement of a social revolution could represent a historic 
?Srning point in American relationships with Asia. The goals agreed 
IZI by President Johnson and the Chief of State and Prune Minister of 
the Republic of Vietnam at Honolulu are taken very seriously: 

"to defeat aggression, 

"to defeat social misery, 

"to build a stable democratic government, 

"to reach an honorable, just peace. 

"5. Most Asian leaders are concerned about the belligerence and 
militancy of Communist China's attitudes. None wishes to permit his 
country to fall under Communist domination in any form. All are dedi- 
cated nationalists. 

"6. Among the leaders with whom I spoke, there was repeatedly 
expressed a concern as to whether our American purpose, tenacity and 
will were strong enough to persevere in Southeast Asia. I emphasized 
not only the firmness of our resolve but also our dedication to the 
rights of free discussion and dissent. 

* * * 

kl Address b y Vice President Humphrey at the National Press Club, 
Washing ton, D.C, March 11, ±9bb, "United States Tasks and 
Responsibilities in Asia"; Department of State B ulletin, April k, 
1966, p. 523 - 

* * * 

"Why are we in South Viet-Kam? 

"We are in South Viet-Kam to repel and prevent the success of 
aggression against the Government and the people of that country. 

"We are there to help assure the South Vietnamese people the basic 
right to decide their own futures, freely and without intimidation. 

"We are there to help those people achieve a better standard of _ 
living for themselves and their children. 

"We are there to help establish the principle that, in this nuclear 
aee aggression cannot be an acceptable means either of settling inter- 
national disputes or of realizing national objectives. If aggression is 
permitted to go unchecked, we cannot in good faith hold out much hope 
for the future of small nations or of world peace." 

* * * ■ 

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"ASIAN COMMUNISM, A CLEAR At© PRESENT DANGER 

"At the beginning today, I said the conflict in Viet-Nam was the 
focus of a wider struggle taking place in Asia. 

"During my recent mission I was struck by the depth of feeling, . 
among almost all Asian- leaders, that Asian communism had direct design 
on their national integrity and independence. -Almost all cited examples 
of subversion and in many cases direct military involvement by Communist 
troops within their countries. And none—without any exception— ques- 
tioned our involvement in Viet-Nam. There were questions about aspects 
of our policy there but none concerning the fact of our presence there 
and our resistance to aggression. 

"Among the leaders with whom I spoke, there was repeatedly expressed 
a deep concern as to whether our American purpose, tenacity, and will 
were strong enough to persevere in Southeast Asia. Public debate m 
America was sometimes interpreted as a weakening of purpose. I empha- 
sized not only the firmness of our resolve but also our dedication to 
the rights of free discussion and dissent. 

"For we know that John Stuart Mill's advice remains valid: 'We can 
never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false 
opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still. 

"Asian communism may be a subject for discussion here. In Asia, it 
is a clear and present danger. No single, independent nation in Asia has 
the strength to stand alone against that danger. 

"I believe that the time may come when Asian communism may lose its 
fervor, when it may lose some of its neuroses, when it may realize that 
its objectives cannot be gained by aggression. But until that time I 
believe we have no choice but to help the nations of Southeast Asia 
strengthen themselves for the long road ahead. 

"I also said, at the beginning today, that some very basic principles 
of international conduct were under test in Viet-Nam. Some people think 
not. 

"Of them, I ask this: Were we to withdraw from Viet-Nam under any 
conditions short of peace, security, and the right of self-determination 
for the South Vietnamese people, what conclusions would be drawn m the 
independent nations of Asia? In Western Europe? In the young, struggling 
countries of Africa? In the nations of Latin America beset by subversion 
and unrest? What conclusions would be drawn in Hanoi and Peking?" 



# 



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2+8 . Address by Secretary Rusk at the Founder's Day Banquet of the 
Boston Uni versity School of Public Communications at Boston , 
Massac husetts on March Ik, i960, "Keeping Our Commitment to 
Peace"; Department of State Bulletin, April k, i960, p. 51^ . 

# •* * 

"....The lesson of World War II was that it was necessary to 
organize and defend a peace — not merely to wish for it — and to 'unite 
our strength to maintain international peace and security. ' 

"Article 1 of the United Nations Charter is utterly fundamental 
and, although some may think it old-fashioned to speak of it, I should 
like to remind you of what it says: 

'To maintain international peace and security, and to that 
end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and 
removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of 
aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by 
peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and 
international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes 
or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace; ..." 

"Unhappily and tragically, the ink was not dry on the United Nations 
Charter before it became fully apparent that Joseph Stalin had turned to 
world revolution and a policy of aggressive militancy. The first major 
issue before the Security Council was his attempt to keep Russian forces 
in Iran. Then came guerrilla operations against Greece, pressure on 
Turkey, the Berlin blockade, and the Korean aggression. These moves 
led to defensive action by the free world and a number of mutual defense 
treaties—the Rio Pact, NATO, the ANZUS treaty with Australia and New 
Zealand, and bilateral treaties with the Philippines and Japan. 

"Under President Eisenhower we concluded the Southeast Asia treaty, 
which, by a protocol, committed us to help the three non-Communist states 
of former French Indochina — South Viet-Nam, Laos, and Cambodia — to repel 
armed attacks, if they asked for help. Under Eisenhower we also entered 
mutual defense pacts with the Republic of Korea and the Republic of China 
on Formosa. 

"All of those commitments to oppose aggression — through the United 
Nations and through our various defensive alliances — were approved by the 
Senate by overwhelming majorities of both parties. And these and related 
obligations have been sustained over the years by authorizations, appro- 
priations, and other supporting measures enacted by bipartisan votes in 
both Houses of Congress. 

"TEE BACKBONE OF WORLD PEACE 

"I have read that I have drawn 'no distinction between powerful 



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industrial democratic states in Europe and weak and undemocratic states 
in Asia.' The answer is that, for the Secretary of State, our treaty 
commitments are a part of the supreme law of the land, arid I do not 
believe that we can be honorable in Europe and dishonorable xn Asia. 

"I do believe that the United States must keep its pledged word. 
That is not only a matter of national honor but an essential to the 
preservation of peace.- For the backbone of world peace is the integrity 
of the commitment of the United States." 

* * * 

"The fact is that I have always treated the SEATO treaty—which 
the Senate approved with only one dissenting vote-as an important part 
of our commitment to defend South Viet-Nam. 



* * 



"I do not regard our policy in Viet-Nam as based only on past 
commitments. I believe that it is now just as much in our interest- 
and that of the free world—to repel Communist aggression there as it 
was when we made those earlier commitments." 



* 



kq Article by T^ona rd Unger, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for 
v*v astern Affairs, "The United States and the Far East:" Problems 
fld Policies"; Department of State Bulletin, March 21, 1966, p. 4^2. 



* * * 



"Our national interest— I speak as an American— is no longer expli- 
citly guided in the Far East, by particular economic or military concerns 
with individual areas, as was indeed to a considerable extent the case 
not onlv with ourselves but also with the British and others before 
World War II. We have a deep concern for expanded trade and cultural 
ties-which alone can in the end bind the world together-arid we have 
military base rights and needs related to our role in assisting in the 
SuriS in the area. But neither of these is an end in itself. The 
first will, we believe, flourish if the nations in the area are able_ 
to develop in freedom; the second, the security role, must now be main- 
tained but will over time, we hope, become susceptible of reduction ana 
indeed, wherever possible, of elimination." 



* 



" In the fall of 1961 President Kennedy made the decision that 
the United States would have to go beyond the limits of the Geneva 
accords! That decision was a fully justified response to the wholesale 



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violation of the accords by the other side. We raised our military- 
personnel from the levels provided in the Geneva accords to 10,000 
men in 1962 and to roughly 25,000 men at the end of 196!+. These men 
acted as advisers and assisted the ' Government of South Viet-Nam in its 
logistics. They did not operate as combat ground units." 



* * * 



"There is in addition the strategic stake, .for, without accepting 
the pat simplicities of 'domino' theories, none of us could doubt that , 
the preservation of the independence of Thailand, of Malaysia, of 
Singapore, of Burma, and beyond them in the long run of India, the 
Philippines, and Australia would become infinitely more difficult if 
this Communist venture were to succeed in South Viet-Nam. It is a 
Hanoi venture, but its success would feed the fires of the clearly 
expansionist thrust of Communist Chinese policy. That expansion must 
be contained so that over time there may emerge the latent moderate 
and constructive elements within Communist China. 

"There is the world stake in defeating efforts to change the inter- 
national framework by force, whether the attempt be, as in this case, 
by a Communist nation across a line that separates it from a non-Communist 
country or across a line that divides countries where communism is not a 
part of the issue. These are the stakes as we see them. • We shall con- 
tinue to do what is necessary to insure that South Viet-Nam will be able 
to stand on its own feet and determine its own future." 

50. Address by Amba.ssador Arthur J. Goldberg, U.S. Representative to 
the United Nations, at the University of California, Berkeley , 
California on March 25, 1966, "The Quest for Peace"; Department 
of State Bulletin, April lb, i960, p- 60b 1 . 

* * * 

"Such principles are all very well. But between the idea and the 
reality falls the shadow — the shadow of Viet-Nam. Can this war be fitted 
into any wider concept of the search for better methods of peacekeeping? 
I think it can. No thinking American would support it if it could not. 
Let me begin by saying what this war is not. 

"It is not emphatically a war to establish an American 'imperialism' 
or an American ' sphere of influence' in Asia. What exclusive interests 
have we there? Investment? trade? settlement? None. 

"It is not a war to threaten or frustrate the legitimate interests 
of the Chinese people — though it seeks to discourage violence and aggres- 
sion and play some part in persuading them that the imperialist world, 
once known to the Central Kingdom, is dead and will not be resurrected. 



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"It is in part, if you like, to persuade them that the fact that 
large parts of Asia— including all Southeast Asia and the hill states 
of the Himalayas —once, supposedly, paid the emperors tribute is no 
reason why they should revert to the status of vassal states in the 20th 
century. 

"Again, this war "is not a holy war against communism as an ideology. 
It does not seek unconditional surrender—from North Viet-Nam or anyone 
else. It does not seek to deny any segment of South Vietnamese opinion 
its part in peacefully establishing a stable regime. 

"It does, however, preclude retreat before two things— first, the 
program of the Viet Cong, strongly controlled by the North, to impose 
its will by violence; and second, its claim to be the "sole genuine 
representative' of a people, the vast majority of whom have rejected 
this claim. 

"This, I believe, is the background against which to consider in 
positive terms what this war is about. It is, I suggest, another step 
in a limited operation of a policing type— an operation designed to check 
violence as a means to settle international disputes. 

"The violence is no less total because it has been largely organized 
as a guerrilla operation...." 



51. statement by Secretary Rusk Before the Senate Committee on Foreign 
Relations on May 9, 19-66, "Background of U.S. Policy in Southeast 
Asia"; Department of State Bulletin, May 30, 1966, p. 830 T~ 

* * * 

"I was myself in Government during the Truman administration and 
well recall the discussions which were held at the highest levels of 
Government in the National Security Council as well as the strategic 
problems considered by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

"If the committee will search its own and the public records on 
this matter during that period and since, they could surely have no 
doubt that it was the judgment that the security of Southeast Asia was 
.extremely important to the security interests of the United States. 
This was because of the more than 200 million people in Southeast Asia, 
the geography of that area, the important natural resources of the 
countries involved, the relationship of Southeast Asia to the total 
world situation, and the effect upon the prospects of a durable peace. 

"I emphasize the last point because the overriding security interest 
of the United States is in organizing a stable peace. The sacrifices of 
World War II and the almost unimaginable losses of a world war III under- 
line this central objective of American policy. 

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"There was also involved the problem of the phenomenon of aggres- 
sion We had found ourselves in the catastrophe of World War II 
because aggressions in Asia, in Africa, and in Europe had demonstrated 
that the aggressor would not stop until compelled to do so. It was 
the determination of the United States to learn the lessons of that 
experience by moving in the U.N. and otherwise to try to build an 
enduring international 'peace." 



* 



"LEGALITY OF U.S. EFFORTS IN SOUTH VIET- NAM 

"Very briefly, on the second question, Mr. Chairman, the matter 
was raised with respect to the legal issues surrounding our efforts in 
South Viet-Nam. We have made available to the committee an extensive 
legal memorandum on these matters, and the law officers of the Govern- 
ment are available to discuss this in whatever detail the committee may 
wish. 

"In this brief statement today I shall merely outline the essence 
of our view. 

"Military actions of the United States in support of South Viet- 
Nam, including air attacks on military targets in North Viet-Nam, are 
authorized under international law by the well-established right of 
collective self-defense against armed attack. 

"South Viet-Nam is the victim of armed attack from the North 
through the infiltration of armed personnel, military equipment, and 
regular Combat units. This armed attack preceded our strikes at mili- 
tary targets in North Viet-Nam. 

"The fact that South Viet-Nam is not a member of the United Nations, 
because of the Soviet Union's veto, does not affect the lawfulness of 
collective self-defense of South Viet-Nam. The United Nations Charter 
was not designed to, and does not, limit the right of self-defense to 
United Nations members. 

"Nor does South Viet-Nam' s status under the Geneva accords of 195^ 
as one zone of a temporarily divided state, impair the lawfulness of the 
defense against attack from the other zone. 

"As in Germany and Korea, the demarcation line is established by 
an international agreement, and international law requires that it be 
respected by each zone. Moreover, South Viet-Nam has been recognized 
as an independent entity by more than 60 governments around the world 
and admitted to membership in a number of the specialized agencies of the 
U.N. ' 



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"Nothing in the U.N. Charter purports to restrict the exercise of 
the right of collective self-defense to regional organizations such as 
the OAS /Organization of American States/. 

"As required by the U.N. Charter, the United States has reported 
to the Security Council the actions it has taken in exercising the 
risht of collective self-defense in Viet-Nam. It has indeed requested 
the Council to seek a peaceful settlement on the basis of the Geneva 
accords, but the Council has not been able to act. 

"There is no requirement in international law for a declaration of war 
before the right of individual or collective self-defense can be exercised. 

"South Viet-Nam did not violate the Geneva accords of 1$^ by refus- 
ing to engage in consultations with the North Vietnamese in 1955 with a 
viL to Soiling general elections in 1956, as provided for in those" accords. 
Fven assuming that the election provisions were binding on South Viet-ham, 
which did not agree to them, conditions in the North clearly made impossi- 
ble th- free expression of the national will contemplated by the accords. 
In these circumstances, at least, South Viet-Nam was justified in declining 
to participate in planning for a nationwide election. 

"The introduction of U.S. military personnel and equipment in South 
Viet-Nam is not a violation of the accords. Until late 1961 U.S. mili- 
tary personnel and equipment in South Viet-Nam were restricted to replace- 
ments for French military personnel and equipment in 195U. Such replace- 
ment was expressly permitted by the accords. 

"North Viet-Nam, however, had from the beginning violated the accords 
bv leaving forces and supplies in the South and using its zone for aggres- 
sion against the South. In response to mounting armed infiltration from 
the North, the United States, beginning in late 19ol, substantially 
increased its contribution to the South' s defense. This was fully justi- 
fied by the established principle of international law that a material 
breach of an agreement by one party entitles another party at least to 
withhold compliance with a related provision. 

"The United States has commitments to assist South Viet-Nam in 
defending itself against Communist aggression: In the SFATO treaty- 
which I have already mentioned and which is similar in form to our 
defense commitments to South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Australia, 
New Zealand, and the Republic of China-and even earlier in the Geneva 
conference we had declared that we would regard a renewal of Communist 
aggression in Viet-Nam with 'grave concern.' 

"Since 195^ three Presidents have reaffirmed our commitments to 
the defense of South Viet-Nam. 

"Finally, the President of the United States has full authority to 
commit U Screes in the collective defense of South Viet-Nam. This 



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authority stems from the constitutional powers of the President as 
Colder in Chief and Chief Executive, with responsibilities as well 
foTthe conduct of foreign relations. However, it is not necessary 
to rely upon the Constitution alone as the source of the President's 
authority! The SSATO treaty, which forms part of the law of the land 
setf rorth a United States commitment to defend South Viet-Nam against 
armed attack, and the Congress, in a Joint resolution of August 1** 
aS in authorization and appropriation acts in support oi the military 
Sort in Viet-Nam, has given its approval and support to the Presi- 
dent's action. 

"The Constitution does not require a declaration of war for U.S. 
actions in Viet-Nam taken by the President and approved by the Congress. 
1 ion? line or precedents, beginning with the undeclared war with France 
in S98-I8OO an! including actions in Korea and I^banon, supports the use 
o? US armed forces abroad in the absence of a congressional declaration 



of UcS= 
of war." 



* * * 



S2 Address by s^.re tarv Rusk Before the Council on Foreign Relatio ns 
5 4PSfv7 fcri^ Y o rk Q" May ^ 1966, "Organizing the Peace fo r 

Man's Survival"; Department of State Bulletin, June 13, 1966, p. 92&- 



* * * 



"And significant changes have occurred within the Communist world, 
it has ceased to be monolithic, and evolutionary influences are visible 
to most of the Communist states. But the leaders of both the principal 
SmmSst nations are committed to the promotion of the Communist world 
revXtion even while they disagree-perhaps bitterly-on questions 

of tactics. 

"If mankind is' to achieve a peaceful world order safe for free 
institutions, it is of course essential that aggression be eliminated- 
£ possible by deterring it or, if it occurs, by repelling it. The 
clearest lesson of the l 9 30's and ~40«S is that aggression feeds on 
agression. I'm aware that Mao and Ho Chi Minn are not Hitler and 
Mufsolini! but we should not forget what we have learned about the ana- 
Mussolini, out aggression. We ought to know better than to 

SrelhHggresfor ' s openly proclaimed intentions or to fall victim 
tf tZ notiofthat he will stop if you let him have ust one more bite 
or speak to him a little more gently. 



* * * 



" But what the Communists, in their familiar upside down language, 
■call 'wars of liberation' are advocated and supported by Moscow as well 
as by Peiping. And the assault on the Republic of Viet-Nam is a critical 
test of that technique of aggression. 



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"It is as important to deter this type of aggression in Southeast 
Asia now as it was to defeat it in Greece 1$ years ago. The aggression 
against Greece produced the Truman Doctrine, a declaration of a general 
policy of assisting other free nations who were defending themselves 
against external attacks or threats.... 

• 

"THE 'WHY - ' OF OUR COMMITMENT 

"In the discussion of our commitment in -Southeast Asia, three 
different aspects are sometimes confused— why we made it, how we made 
it, and the means of fulfilling it. 

"The 'why' was a determination that the peace and security of that 
area are extremely important to the security of the United States. That 
determination was made first before the Korean war by President Truman on 
the basis of protracted analysis in the highest councils of the Govern- 
ment. The problem was reexamined at least twice during his administration 
and at intervals thereafter. And the main conclusion was always the same. 
It was based on the natural resources and the strategic importance of the_ 
area, on the number of nations and peoples involved, more than 200 million, 
as well as on the relationship of Southeast Asia to the world situation 
as a whole and to the prospects for a durable peace 

"THE 'HOW' OF OUR COMMITMENT 

"The 'how' of the commitment consists of various acts and utter- 
ances by successive Presidents and Congresses, of which the most solemn 
is the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, signed in 195^ and 
approved by the Senate in early 1955 with only one dissenting vote. 
I do not find it easy to understand how anyone could have voted for 
that treaty— or even read it— without realizing that it was a genuine 
collective defense treaty. 

"It says in article IV that each party recognizes that 'aggression 
by means of armed attack in the treaty area'— which by protocol included 
the nations which came out of French Indochina— 'would endanger its own 
peace and safety, and agrees that it will in that event act to meet the 
common danger in accordance with its constitutional processes.' And, in 
his testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State 
Dulles said specifically that this clause covered an armed attack 'by the 
regime of Ho Chi Minn. ' There was never any doubt about it when this 
treaty was signed. Article IV binds each party individually; it does not 
require a formal collective finding. And that too was made plain when 
the treaty was under consideration and has been reiterated on various 
occasions since then. 

"Nov the assertion that we have only recently discovered the SEATO 
Treaty is just untrue. I have referred to it frequently myself, begin- 
ning with a public statement in Bangkok in March 1961 that the United 
States would live up to its obligations under that treaty and would 

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t„+ e-r. a o nq+inns of this area who are struggling for 
™^l S finSUefS^ities directed, supplied, end sup- 
:S:dT^itft : ju fr:L:r d assist theater attack by^ 

SSS of™r .fSSSJFSS-*. M. »«* public utterance, 
and President Johnson has done so frequently. 

Sf and ^P-ed^ the—st r - g JJorth Vietna^rn 
flagrant violation of the Geneva ^^J^ campa±gn „ essentlal . 
declared also tha t the aeiea preP ared to take further 

tfepfin fSfiSS of S Scions undeAhe treaty. Only France 
did not join in these declarations. 

"A few days later, in this city, President Johnson said that: 

•The statement of the SEATO allies that Communist defeat is 
. ^.ntiar L a reTlity- To fail to respond. . .would reflect on our 
'essential is a re ^J ^^ worldwide confidence in our courage, ■ 
honor as a nation, woul J.^™;L 3th Asia that it must now how to 
would convince every nation in South ^f ( said) that we are 

SSBTJ^^S^^^^- ™ port and needs 

our assistance to protect its freedcsn. 

"The resolution of August 19ft, which the House of Representatives 

adopted unaniMOUsly and the Senate »*Ytf i^natfonTinSrest "no 
tha? 'the United States regards as vrxal t its natxonal Rarest ^ 

to -rid peace the -rntenance «'", | tates ls , therefore; 

Slhf &^*VS^«^^-* re,uestin/assistance in 

defense of its freedom.' 

"FULFILLING OUR COMMITMENT 

'W the third aspect is the means of fulfilling our commitment. 
Now the third. aspec f th roblem and as the dimensions 

These have changed with . ^ natu at P ^ forces 

• of the eggre ssion veg^n p ^ ^ c understandable sobriety and 

£^.- <S^ became necessary to cope with the escala- 

tion of the aggression by the other side. 

free zszs&sl W5ttiisn«i-J£ he 

deeply concerned were they to fail.... 



■s 



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K Address by Vice P resident Humphrey at Commencement Exercises at 
+.h P united St ates Military Academy, West Point, New r York on 
■r^T'B. 19 66. "Perspective on Asia 1 ; Department of State Bulletin, 

Julyj4mi°z_P^iL 



• "World peace and security will be threatened by propaganda, sub- 
version, and agitation, by economic warfare, by assassination of honest 
and able leaders, as well as by the naked use of armed force. 

"World peace and security will be threatened, above all, by the 
very existence, for two-thirds of mankind, of conditions of hunger, 
disease, and ignorance. 

"We must learn that the simple solutions of times past will not . 
meet the present day challenges and new forms of aggression we face. 

"Our 'doves' must learn that there are times when power must be 
used They must learn that there is no substitute for force m ohe 
face of a determined enemy who resorts to terror, subversion, and aggres- 
sion, whether concealed or open. 

"Our 'hawks' must learn that military power is not enough. They 
must learn, indeed, that it can be wholly, unavailing if not accompanied 
by political effort and by the credible promise to ordinary people of 
a better life. 

"And all of us must learn to adapt our military planning and actions 
to the new conditions of subversive warfare, the so-called wars of 
national liberation.'" 



"America's role in Asia today is a direct product of the century 
that preceded World War II and of the war itself. For with the end of 
that war! the responsibilities of victory imposed on us a stabilizing 
role S Ja.an and Korea. And with the beginning of the cold war the 
ComuSst victory in China, and the outbreak of the Korean war, American 
po™as the only shield available to fragile and newly independent 
nations in non-Communist Asia." 

* * * 

"But what of the states of former French Indochina? There, of 
course, is the present focal point of war and revolution in Asia. And 
thSe we are tested as never before. We face a situation of external 
Session and subversion against a postcolonial nation that has never 
had S'breathing space to develop its politics or its economy. 



a 



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"In South Viet-Nam both defense and development—the war against 
the aggressor and the war against despair— are fused as never before. 
Viet-Nam challenges our courage, our ingenuity, and our ability to 
persevere. If we can succeed there— if we can help sustain an inde- 
pendent South Viet-Nam, free to determine its own future-then our 
prospects, and the prospects for free men throughout Asia, will be 
bright indeed. 

"We know this. Our friends and allies know it. And our adver- 
saries know it. That is why one small country looms so large today on 
everyone's map of Asia. 

* * * 

"War is always cruel. But the war in Viet-Nam should not obscure 
for us the fact that behind the smoke and uproar is the testing of an 
issue vital to all of Asia and indeed the world. Can independent, non- 
Communist states not only survive but grow and flourish in face of 
Communist pressure?" 

* * •* 

54. Ad dress by President Johnson at Omaha Municipal Dock on June 30; 
1Q66, """"Two Threats to Peace: Hunger and Aggression"; Department 
^Tstate Bulletin, July 25, 196b, p. 115 . 

* # #. 



"Now I want to point out to you that the conflict there is impor- 
tant for many reasons, but I have time to mention only a few. I am 
going to mention three specifically. 

"The first reason: We believe that the rights of other people are 
just as important as our own. We believe that we are obligated to help 
those whose rights are being threatened by brute force." 

* -x- * 

"The North Vietnamese at this hour are trying to deny the people 
of South Viet-Nam the right to build their own nation, the right to 
choose their own system of government, the right to go and vote in a free 
election and select their own people, the right to live and work m peace. 

"South Viet-Nam has asked us for help. Only if we abandon our 
respect for the rights of other people could we turn down their plea. 

"VIET-NAM AND THE SECURITY OF ASIA 

"Second, South Viet-Nam is important to the security of the rest of 
all of Asia. 

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"A few years ago the nations of free Asia lay under the shadow of 
P««mnr,ist China. They faced a common threat, but not in unity. They 
we TSSl taught up in their old disputes and dangerous confrontations. 
They were ripe for aggression. 

"Now that picture is changing. Shielded by the courage of the 
South Vietnamese, the .peoples of free Asia today are driving toward 
economic asocial development in a new spirit of regional cooperation. 

"All you have to do is look at that map. and you will see inde- 
pendence growing, thriving, blossoming, and blooming. 

"Thev are convinced that the Vietnamese people and their allies 
are going to stand firm against the conqueror, or against aggression. 

"Our fighting in Viet-Nam, therefore, is buying time not only for 
South Viet-Nam, but it is buying time for a new and a vital, growing 
Asia to emerge and develop additional strength. 

"If South Viet-Nam were to collapse under Communist pressure from 
the North tie progress in the rest of Asia would be greatly endangered. 
And don't you forget that! 

"The third reason is: What happens in South Viet-Nam will determine- 
ves it will determine-whether ambitious and aggressive nations can use 
guerrilla warfare to conquer their weaker neighbors. 

"It will determine whether might makes right. 

"Now I do not know of a single more important reason for our 
presence than this. 

"We are fighting in South Viet-Nam a different kind of war than we 
have ever known in the past." 

* * * 

"If by such methods the agents of one nation can go out and hold 
and seize power where turbulent change is occurring in another nation, 
our hope for peace and order will suffer a crushing blow all over the 
• if T will be an invitation to the would-be conqueror to keep on 

Urchin* ThS is why ^he problem of guerrilla warfare-the problem 
7f Viet-Nam--is a epical threat to peace^ot *«t in South Viet-Nam, 
but in all of this world in which we live. 



* 



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55 Address b y President Johnson on Nationwide Radio and Television 
to the A merican Alumni Council on July 12, i960, "Four Essentials 
■for Peace in Asia"; Department of State Bulletin, August 1, 1906, 

P 7T5o r : 



# 



• 

"Americans entered this century believing that our own security 
had no foundation outside our own continent. Twice we mistook our 
sheltered position for safety. Twice- we were dead wrong. 

"If we are wise now, we will not repeat our mistakes of the past. 
We will not retreat from the obligations of freedom and security in 
Asia. 

"MAKING AGGRESSION A 'LOSING GAME' 

"The second essential for peace in Asia is this: to prove to 
aggressive nations that the use of force to conquer others is a losing 

game . " 



"We are there because we are trying to make the Communists of 
North 7iet-Nam stop shooting at their neighbors; 

-- because we are trying to make this Communist aggression 
unprofitable; 

—because we are trying to demonstrate that guerrilla warfare, 
inspired by one nation against another nation, can never succeed. Once 
that lesson is learned, a shadow that hangs over all of Asia tonight 
will begin, I think, to recede." 



56. Address by President Johnson at the White House, 15 August 1966, 
""The Enemy We Face in Viet-Nan"; Department of State Bulletin, 
August 15, 19tb, p. 227 - 

* * * 

"They may not look like we do. They don't speak the same language 
that we do. They may not even think like we do. But they are human 
beings. We premised them, by treaty, to help protect their independence, 
and America doesn't break its promises. We are going to stay there. 

* * * 



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"Second, a victory for the Communists in South Viet-Nam will be 
followed by new ambitions in Asia. ' . 

"The Communists have taught us that aggression is like hunger: 
It obeys no law but its own appetite. For this reason they have 
gambled heavily on success in the South. 

"The leaders of free Asian nations know this better than anyone. 
If South Viet- Warn falls, then they are the next targets. North Viet- 
Nam's effort to impose its own system on South Viet-Nam is a new form 
of colonialism. The free nations of Asia want it stopped now. Many 
of them are standing there by our side, helping us stop them now. 

"Third, a Communist victory in South Viet-Kam would inspire new 
aggression in the rest of the world. 

"Listen to me while I repeat the words of North Viet-Nam 's top 
military commander. I want you to hear what he says: 

"The war has become (in his words) the model of the national 
liberation movement of our time. If the special warfare that the 
United States imperialists are testing in South Viet-Nam is overcome, 
then it can be defeated anywhere in the world . ' 

"Let me repeat to you those last words: '...it can be defeated 
anywhere in' the world. ' 

"Now what he really means is this: - If guerrilla warfare succeeds 
in Asia, it can succeed in Africa. It can succeed in Latin America. 
It can succeed anywhere in the world." 

* # * 

57- Address by President Johnson before the Navy League at Manchester, 
NTH., August 20, 1966, "Our Objective in Vietnam"; Department of 
State Bulletin, September 12, 1966, p. 3c8~ l 

* * * 

"...But I think most Americans want to know why Viet-Nam is important. 

"I think they know that communism must be halted in Viet-Nam, as it 
was halted in Western Europe and in Greece and Turkey and Korea and the 
Caribbean, if it is determined to swallow up free peoples and spread its 
influence in that area trying to take freedom away from people who do 
want to select their own leaders for themselves. 

"I think that our people know that if aggression succeeds there, 
when it has failed in other places in the world, a harsh blow would be 

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dealt to the security of other free nations in Asia and perhaps a blow 
to the peace in the entire world." 



* * * 



"To give them time to build is one reason that we are all there. 
For there are times when the strong must provide a shield for those 
on whom the Communists prey. We have provided that shield in other 
countries. We are providing it there. And this is such a time. 

"We are there for another reason, too, and that is because the 
United States must stand behind its word, even when conditions have 
added to the cost of honoring a pledge that was given a decade ago. 

"I do not have to remind you that our pledge was in fact given 

by treaty to uphold the security of Southeast Asia. Now that security 

is in jeopardy because people are trying to use force to take over 

South Viet-Nam. When adversity comes is no time to back down on our 

commitment, if we expect our friends around^ the world to have faith m 
our word." 



* # 



58 Address by President Johnson before the Amer ican Legion National 
nonvention in Washington, D.C. on August 30, 19bb, The True 
M ining of Patriotism"; Department of State Bulletin , Septemoer 19, 
1955, P- ^5- 



* * 



"Make no mistake about the character of this war. Our adversaries 
have done us at least one great service: They have described this war 
for what it is— in unmistakable terms. It is meant to be the opening 
salvo in a series of bombardments, or, as they are called m Peking, 
•wars of liberation. ' 

"And if it succeeds in South Viet-Nam, then, as Marshal Lin Piao 
says, 'The people in other parts of the world will see... that what the 
Vietnamese people can do, they can do, too."' 

* * # 

59. sf.at.-mp nt b- Arthur J. Goldberg before the U.N. General Assembly 
on Sept embe7~22T~196ir, "I nitiative for Peace"; Departm ent of S^ate 
•Bulletin. October 10, 19o6, p. 51b. 



"OUR AFFIRMATIVE AIMS IN VIET-NAM 

* 

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"It is because of the attempt to upset by violence the situation 
in Viet-Nam, and its far-reaching implications elsewhere, that the 
United States and other countries have responded to appeals from South . 
Viet -Nam for military assistance. 

"Our aims in giving this assistance are strictly limited. 

"We are not engaged in a 'holy war 1 against communism. 

"We do not seek to establish an American empire or a sphere of 
influence in Asia. 

"We seek no permanent military bases, no permanent establishment 
of troops, no permanent alliances, no permanent American presence of 
any kind in South Viet-Nam. 

"We do not seek to impose a policy of alinement on South Viet-Nam. 

"We do not seek to overthrow the Government of North Viet-Nam. 

"We do not seek to do any injury to mainland China nor to threaten 
any of its legitimate interests. 

"We do not ask of North Viet-Nam an unconditional surrender or 
indeed the surrender of anything that belongs to it. 

"Nor do we seek to exclude any segment of the South Vietnamese 
people from peaceful participation in their country's future. 

"Let me state affirmatively and succinctly what our aims are. 

"We want a political solution, not a military solution, to this 
conflict. By the same token, we reject the idea that North Viet-Nam 
has the right to impose a military solution. 

"We seek to assure for the people of South Viet-Nam the same right 
of self-determination—to decide its own political destiny, free of 
force— that the United Nations Charter affirms for all. 

"And. we believe that reunification of Viet-Nam should be decided 
upon through a free choice by the peoples of both the North and the 
South without outside interference, the results of which choice we are 
fully prepared to support." 

* * * 



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60. Address by Secretary Rusk before the George C. Marshall Memorial 
Dinner of the Association of the United States Army at Washington, 
D.C. on October 12, 1966, "Requirements for Organizing the Peace"; 
Department of State Bulletin, October 31, 1966, p. '658 . 

* * * 

"And early in 1950, after extended consultations with his principal 
foreign policy and military advisers, President Truman determined that 
we had an important national security interest in keeping Southeast Asia, 
including Viet-Nam, within the free world. That finding was repeatedly 
reviewed — by him, and then by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson- 
always with the same conclusion. 

"I have heard it said or implied that President Kennedy did not 
regard the security of Southeast Asia generally, and of South Viet-Nam 
in particular, as important to the free world and the United States. 
If he ever had such views — or even any doubts about the importance of 
our stake in that area — he never revealed them to his Secretary of State. 

"In his news conference of September 12, 1963, President Kennedy 
summed up our objective in Viet-Nam in these- words: 

1 . . .we want the war to be won, the Communists to be contained, 
and the Americans to go home.... 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 help win the war.' 

"The great decisions of President Truman in both Europe and Asia 
remind us that the community of nations must have the courage to resist 
aggression no matter what form it takes." 

# # # 

"There is an indigenous element in the war in South Viet-Nam, but 
relatively it is even smaller than was the indigenous element in the 
case of Greece. We consider it well within the capacity of the South 
Vietnamese to handle. We and others are there because of aggression from 
the North — an aggression which the other side has repeatedly escalated 
and now includes many regiments of the regular army' of North Viet-Nam. 
And we shall leave when these invaders and arms from the North go home." 



"And, let me emphasize, we had better not forget the ghastly mis- 
takes which led to the Second World War. For, there won't be any oppor- 
tunity to apply any lessons after a third world war. We had better remem- 
ber what we know and see to it that a third world war does not occur." 



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" Prudence dictates that we use enough force to achieve the 

essential purpose of deterring or repelling aggression. That has been 
the practice of all four of our postwar Presidents. That is the road 
which offers the best hope of reaching a reliable peace. _ 

"For we can never forget that our objective is a secure peace. We ■ 
want nothing else from anybody, anywhere in the world." 

# * * 

6l. Address by Secretary Rusk before the Annual Meeting of the Associ- 
ation of State Colleges and Rational Association of State Universities 
and Land-Grant Colleges at Vfashington, D.C., November 15, 1966, "The 
Futur e of the Pacific Community"; Department of State Bulletin, - 
December 5, 1966, p. &3ti. 



"AGGRESSION IN SOUTH VIET-NAM 

"But indirect aggression by infiltration of men and arms across 
frontiers is still with us. It was tried in. Greece, in Malaya, in the 
Philippines, and now in South Viet-Nam. The label 'civil war' or 'war 
of national liberation 1 does not make it any less an aggression. The 
purpose is to impose on others an unwanted regime. It substitutes terror 
for" persuasion, force for free choice. And especially if it succeeds, it 
contains the inherent threat of further aggression—and eventually a great 
war." 

* *- * 

"The militant Asian Communists have themselves proclaimed the attack 
on South Viet-Nam to be a critical test of this technique. And beyond 
South Viet-Nam and Laos they have openly designated Thailand as the next 
target." 

* * * 

"Now, as a generation ago, some people are saying that if you let 
an aggressor take just one more bite, he will be satisfied. But one of 
the plainest lessons of our times is that one aggression leads to another-- 
but the initial aggressor and perhaps by others who decide there would be 
profit in emulating him. 

"Some assert that we have no national security interest in South Viet- 
Nam and Southeast Asia. But that is not the judgment of those who have 
borne the high responsibilities for the safety of the United States. Begin- 
ning with President Truman, four successive Presidents, after extended con- 
sultation with their principal advisers, have decided that we have a very 
important interest in the security of that area. 

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"There is a further and more specific reason why we are assisting 
South Viet -Nam: Out of the strategic conclusions of four successive 
Presidents came commitments, including the Southeast Asia Collective 
Defense Treaty. The Senate approved it with only one negative vote. 

"Our commitments are the backbone of world peace. It is essential 
that neither our adversaries nor our friends ever doubt that we will do 
what we say we will do. Otherwise, the result is very likely to be a 
great catastrophe. 

"In his last public utterance President Kennedy reviewed what the 
United States had done to preserve freedom and peace since the Second 
World War, and our defensive commitments, including our support of South 
Viet-Kam. Ke said: 'We are still the keystone in the arch of freedom, 
and I think we will continue to do as we have done in the past, our 
duty "' 

* * * 



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JOHNSON ADMINISTRATION - 1967 



SUMMARY 



• In general, the justification of U.S involvement in Vietnam in 
1967 centered on the determination of America to honor the commitment 
under SEATO. The continuation of the "build-up of U.S. military strength 
was justified as necessary to fight the "limited war in Vietnam in an 

attempt to prevent a larger war " --to stop what Secretary Rusk 

called the "phenomenon of aggression." The national interests of the 
U.S. were enunciated to establish the "credibility" of U.S. diplomacy. 
Justification for U.S. policy considered the following: 

a. The United States was in Vietnam because of the SEATO 
commitment to the collective self-defense against armed aggression. 
This commitment was necessary to eliminate aggression and build a 
durable peace. The ultimate aims are to protect the security of the 
U.S. and to resist aggression. 

b. The "domino theory" was not needed to explain the future 
of Southeast Asia -- the world revolution of militant communism pro- 
claimed by Peking was the theory, that is, the "phenomenon of aggression." 

c. The U.S. commitment has bolstered our allies, promoted a 
confidence factor in Vietnam, and provided the crucial test for "wars 
of national liberation" as a tool of .communist revolution. 

d. U.S. policy has been guided by two basic propositions: 
that extension of hostile control by Asian communism was a threat to 
U.S. interests, and that a free and independent East Asian and Pacific 
region is essential to world peace. 

e. The U.S. involvement ' has followed a legal course from the 
Eisenhower commitments and "domino theory" of the 1950' s through the 
escalation of the 1960's. Senate approvals of SEATO, various authoriza- 
tions and appropriations, and the joint resolution of August, 196*1, have 
supported Presidential action. 

f. "Aggressive conduct if allowed to go unchecked and unchal- 
lenged, ultimately leads to war." The appetite of aggression feeds on 
aggression -- the U.S. seeks to prevent a wider war by challenging 
communist expansion now in Southeast Asia — as opposed to appeasement 
diplomacy of the 1930' s. 



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v# D# JUSTIFICATION OF THE WAR — PUBLIC STATEMENTS 

JOHNSON ADMINISTRATION 
1967 

CONTENTS 

Page 

62. Secretary Rusk emphasizes that the SEATO commitment necessi- 
tates a U.S. response to North Vietnamese aggression in the 

South if the lessons of World War II are recognized D-98 

63. President Johnson cites U.S. determination to meet its SEATO 
obligation and to provide the right of self-determination 

for the people of SVN as requiring U. S. presence D-98 

6U. Secretary Rusk, while renouncing the domino theory, cites the 
aggressive acts now underway in SVN, Laos and Thailand in 
combination with the militant proclamations of support from 
Red China as constituting a serious threat to world peace D-99 

65. William Bundy points to the "confidence factor" as an mpor- 

tant product of the U. S. commitment to Vietnam D-101 

66. Secretary Rusk cites the inability of the UN to function in 
certain dangerous situations as necessitating collective de- 
fense treaties which must be honored in response to aggressive 
acts if the future threats of "wars of liberation" are to be 
deterred • • • D_102 

67. Secretary Rusk cites SEATO commitment as basis for U.S. pre- 
sence ; China active in Thailand but not in SVN ... . D-1C& 

68. W. W. Rostow suggests "wars of liberation" strategy for 
Communist revolution is being tested in Vietnam as is the 
willingness of U.S. to honor its treaty commitments.... D-104 

69. President Johnson states the defense of Vietnam holds the key 

to the political and economic future of free Asia....... D-107 

70. William Bundy states "...our actions in Vietnam were not only 
important in themselves or in fulfillment of our commitment 



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Page 

but were vital in the vider context of the fate of the free 
nations of Asia." He further cites self-determination, 
commitments of four U.S. Presidents and SEATO and the wars • 
of liberation" threat as justifying our presence D-107 

71 Secretary Rusk states, "We are entitled under SEATO treaty as 
veil as under the individual and collective security — self- 
defense arrangements of the UK Charter — to come to the 
assistance of SW upon their request when. . .subjected. . .to 
aggression." He further predicts, "If we get this problem of 
these "wars of liberation" under reasonable control, we can 
look f orward to a period of relative peace ,....".... D-109 

72. Secretary Rusk describes aggressive acts of NVN which led to 
U.S. decision to meet its obligation under SEATO treaty, a 
decision necessary if other treaty commitments were to remain 
meaningful "• D - rL1 

73. William Bundy provides the most comprehensive explanation of 
U.S. involvement from its inception. He summarized his views 
thusly, "...a strong Chinese Communist and North Vietnamese 
threat to Southeast Asia, a crucial link between the defense 
of South Vietnam and the realization of that threat, and the 

validity of non-Communist nationalism in Southeast Asia." 

"Moreover ... implications for our commitments elsewhere 

Vietnam still constituted major, perhaps even a decisive, 

test case of 'wars of liberation!...'.'... D-112 

7k President Johnson emphasizes "the key to all we have done is 
our own security." This, he states reflected the judgment of 
his two predecessors as well as the U.S. Senate (by virtue of 
its ratification of SEATO treaty) - »••• D-120 

75. Secretary Rusk emphasizes SEATO obligation and its relation 
to credibility of other such commitments as the basis for U.S. 
presence; cites the domino theory as "esoteric" and unneces- 
sary in view of recent events in Southeast Asia; suggests that 
a militant China represents a threat to the security of the 
world. (This conference produced the "yellow peril" reaction 

from the press . ) ■ • • •' • D_12 3 

76. Secretary Rusk clarifies interpretations of earlier remarks 
(75.) regarding China; he emphasizes again our alliances and 
their interrelationship arising from the credibility of U.S. 
commitment • 



D-126 



77 Under Secretary of State Katzenbach emphasizes the legal and 

moral soundness of our commitment to deter aggression in SVN.. D-129 



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Page 

78. Eugene Rostov compares aggression in VK to that in South 
Korea, Greece, Iran and Berlin; states our national 
interest demands fulfillment of SEATO and other commit- 
ments; emphasizes our importance as a Pacific power in 
influencing the future of Asian nations and cites the nod 
to prove the futility of the "wais of liberation" strategy. . D-130 

79.. Secretary Rusk restates U.S. involvement to a "solemn 

commitment" entered into because "the peace and security 

of Southeast Asia are vital to our national interest." 

Further cites principle of self-determination, need to 

avoid the mistakes that led to World War II and the 

necessity of proving "war of liberation" strategy invalid. . D-132 

80. President Johnson responds to question of U.S. aims in 
Vietnam thusly, "We think the security of the U.S. is 
definitely tied in with the security of Southeast Asia," 
and "When we are a party to a treaty..., then we carry it 
out . " >. D-13U 



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62. Letter from Secretary Rusk to 100 Student Leaders, January h, 1967; 
"S ecretary Rusk Redefines United States Policy on Viet-Nam for 
Student Leaders," Department of State Bulletin, January 23, ±9&J , 

P- 133- 



* 



• "There is no shadow of doubt in my mind that our vital interests 
are deeply involved in Viet-Nam and in Southeast Asia. 

"We are involved because the nation's word has been given that we 
would be involved. On February 1, 1955, hy a vote of 82 to 1 the United 
States Senate passed the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty. That 
Treaty stated that aggression by means of armed attack in the treaty area 
would endanger our own peace and safety and, in that event, 'we would act 
to meet the common danger. ' There is no question that an expanding armed 
attack by North Viet-Nam on South Viet-Nam has been under way in recent 
years; and six nations, with vital interests in the peace and security of 
the region, have joined South Viet-Nam in defense against that armed 
attack. 

"Behind the words and the commitment of the Treaty lies the lesson 
learned in the tragic half century since the First World War. After that 
war our country withdrew from effective world responsibility. When aggres- 
sors challenged the peace in Manchuria, Ethiopia, and then Central Europe 
during the 1930 's, the world community did not act to prevent their success, 
The result was a Second World War—which could have been prevented." 



* 



"In short, we are involved in Viet-Nam because we know from painful 
experience that the minimum condition for order on our planet is that 
aggression must not be permitted to succeed. For when it does succeed, 
the consequence is not peace, it is the further expansion of aggression. 

"And those who have borne responsibility in our country since 19^5 
have not for one moment forgotten that a third world war would be a 
nuclear war." 

* * * 

63. Th e State of the Union Address of President Johnson to the Congress 

(Excerpts), January 10, 19b7; Department of State Bulletin, January 30, 
19^ P- 158^ 

* # * 

"We are in Viet-Nam because the United States of America and our 
allies are committed by the SEAT0' Treaty to 'act to meet the common dan- 
ger' of aggression in Southeast Asia. 

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"We are in Viet -Nam because an international agreement signed by 
the United States, North Viet-Nam, and others in 1962 is being systema- 
tically violated by the Communists. That violation threatens the inde- 
pendence of all the small nations in Southeast Asia and threatens the 
peace of the entire region and perhaps the world. 

"We are there because the people of South Viet-Nam have as much 
right to remain non-Communist- if that is what they choose-as North 
Viet-Nam has to remain Communist. 

"We are there because the Congress has pledged by solemn vote to 
take all necessary measures to prevent further aggression. 

"No better words could describe our present course than those once 
spoken by the great Thomas Jefferson: 'It is the melancholy law of 
human societies to be compelled sometimes to choose a great evil in 
order to ward off a greater. ' 

"We have chosen to fight a limited war in Viet-Nam in an attempt 
to prevent a larger war— a war almost certain to follow, I believe, if 
the Communists succeed in overrunning and taking over South Viet-Nam by 
aggression and by force. I believe, and I am supported by some authority, 
that if they are not checked now the world can expect to pay a greater 
price to check them later." 



Qi . Se cretary Rusk Interview on 'Today' Program, January 12, 19 67, 

With Hugh Downs from New York and Joseph C Harsch in Washington; 
Department of State Bulletin, January 30 > 19^7, P- 16» - 

* * -* 

"AGGRESSION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA 

"M r. Harsch : Thank you, Hugh. I'm glad I am here. 

"Mr. Secretary, I'd like to start it out by going back to the news 
conference that Secretary-General U Thant of the United Nations did 2 days 
ago In that there appeared to be considerable differences with American 
policy. For example, he said, 'I do not subscribe to the generally held 
view that if South Viet-Nam falls, then country X, then country Y, then 
country Z will follow. I do not agree with this so-called domino theory. 
Is this a matter of difference with our policy? 

"Secretary Rusk: Well, I myself have never subscribed to something 
called the domino theory, because that suggests that we're merely playing 
games with little wooden blocks with dots on them. Actually, the prob- 
lem is the old problem of the phenomenon of aggression. 



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"Country X, if you like, is South Viet-Kam. North Viet-Nam is 
trying to seize South' Viet-Nam by force. 

"Country Y is, perhaps, Laos. We had an agreement on Laos in 
1962 under which there would be no North Vietnamese forces in Laos. 
And Laos would not be used as a route of infiltration Into South Viet- 
Nam. That has not been performed. And the government that we agreed 
on in Geneva in 1962 has not been permitted to exercise authority 
throughout Laos. And the International Control Commission has not 
been permitted to exercise its functions in the Communist-held areas 
of Laos. So, undoubtedly, there are appetites with respect to Laos. 

"Country Z is, perhaps, already Thailand. The other side has 
announced that they are going after Thailand. There are subversive 
guerrilla elements in northeast Thailand trained outside. There's a 
Thai training camp now in North Viet-Nam preparing additional guerrillas 
to go into Thailand. 

"So, there's no need for something called the domino theory. 

"The theory is that proclaimed in Peking repeatedly, that the world 
revolution of communism must be advanced by militant means. Now, if 
they can be brought toward an attitude of peaceful coexistence, if the 
second generation in China can show some of the prudence that the second 
generation in the Soviet Union has shown, then, maybe, we can begin to 
build a durable peace there. 

"Mr . Harsch : Mr. Secretary, the Secretary- General of the U.N. also 
in that same news conference said, 'I do not subscribe to the view that 
South Viet-Nam is strategically vital to Western interests and Western 
security.' What are our vital strategic interests in the area? Do you 
regard Viet-Nam as vital? 

" Secretary Rusk : Well, there are important geographical features, 
natural resources, large numbers of people in Southeast Asia. 

"I think the heart of the matter is, again, the phenomenon of aggres- 
sion. And if the momentum of aggression should begin to roll in that part 
of the world, stimulated or supported or engaged in by those who are com- 
mitted to the spread of the world revolution by violence, then that seems 
to put us back on the trail that led us into World War II. 

"What is important is that all nations, large and small, have a 
chance to live unmolested by their neighbors, as provided in the United 
Nations Charter. 

"Article 1 of the charter deals with acts of aggression, breaches of 
the peace, the necessity for peaceful settlement of disputes. Article 2 
of the charter is about the self-determination of people. These are 



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very important lessons derived from the events which led us into World 
War II " We feel that we've got to hang on to those lessons, because 
if they lead us into world war III, there won't be much left from which 
we can- draw lessons and start over again. 

"THREAT TO DURABLE PEACE 

"M r. Harsch : Mr.' Secretary, is it not the question so much of our 
vital interests, as of the threat to our vital interests? 

"Now, you said yesterday that four Presidents have identified this 
area as being strategically important to us. At the time that process 
started—we're talking about President Truman now and then President 
Eisenhower's time— there certainly did seem to be a major threat to our 
interests in that area. 

"What has happened to the nature of that threat? During the last 
vear I had in mind the breach between Moscow and Peking. Is there not 
a diminution in the threat to our interests in that area because Moscow 
and Peking are no longer close together? 

"Sec retary Rusk : Well, Peking has the capability of maintaining a 
major threat there, depending upon both its policy and its action. 

"You see, we have a very strong interest in the organization of 
t,eace in the Pacific, just as we have in the Atlantic. We have alliances 
with Korea and Japan and the Republic of China and the Philippines, Thai- 
land, Australia, New Zealand. So, we are very much interested in the 
stability of the peace in the Pacific Ocean area and in East Asia. 

"Now if these aggressive pressures from Hanoi, ffith the support of 
Peking, should move into Southeast Asia, not only are hundreds of mil- 
lions of people involved and vital resources involved, but the prospects 
for a durable peace dissolve. 

"And so we have a tremendous interest in establishing in tnat area 
of the world, as we have done in the NATO area, the notion that the 
nations must be left alone and be allowed to live in peace, as the 
Charter of the United Nations provides." 



# # * 



65 Address by W illiam P. Bundy, Assistant Secretary of State ior East 

AcHgr »r>A PP.cific A ffairs, before the Commonwealth Club of California, 
^T^ rTFrancisco, California, January 20, 19b7; "East Asia Tod ay, 
pjpaftment of State Bulletin, February 27, 1967, P- 323i 



* 



"THE CONFIDENCE FACTOR 

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"Now, in this broad picture I have already referred to our stand 

in Viet-Nam as having made a major contribution to the confidence factor. 

I will not review here the current situation in Viet-Nam, because I think 

the interpretive reporting you get is on the whole good. 

"I come back to the central point: that what we have done in Viet- 
Nam did have a major part in developing the confidence factor, the sense 
that progress is possible, the sense that security can be maintained in 
the nations of free Asia. To virtually all the non-Communist govern- 
ments of the area--and they often say this as bluntly as President Marcos 
did in his opening address at the Manila Conference—that security requires 
a continued United States ability to act, not necessarily an American 
presence, although that, too, may be required in individual cases, but an 
ability to act for a long time. And that we must— and, I think, s hall- 
provide, and we shall keep on in Viet-Nam, as the President has made com- 
pletely clear. Without what we have done in Viet-Nam, without the regener- 
ation of the spirit of cooperation among the Western nations, ourselves 
Included, and the nations of Asia, I doubt very much if the favorable 
developments I have described could have taken place on anything like the 
scale that has in fact been happening. And I think that is the very 
strongly felt judgment of responsible people, in government and out, 
throughout East Asia. 

"If that' vast area with its talents and its capacity were to fall 
under domination by a hostile power or group of powers, or if it were 
to fall into chaos and instability, the result would be vast human misery 
and possibly a wider war. However, today, I think, more than at any 
time in the 15 years that I have personally been associated with the area, 
East Asia offers the hope of becoming a region of stable nations, devel- 
oping in their own way, each according to its own strong national and 
cultural heritage. And that is our hope and our fundamental national 
interest, both in Asia and throughout the rest of the world." 

56. A ddress by Secretary Rusk before a Joint Session of the legislature 
of~Texas at Austin, Texas, January 26, 1967; "Building a Durable 
Peac e," Department of State Bulletin, p. 26g_ . 

* * * 

"Obviously, the first essential in building a durable peace is to 
eliminate aggression— by preventing it, if possible, and by repelling it 
when it occurs or is threatened. . . . 

"The United Nations has helped to make and keep peace in many situ- 
ations. We continue to support it and to seek ways of strengthening it. 
But because it has been unable to function in some of the most dangerous 
situations, the main job of preventing and repelling aggression has been 
accomplished by the defensive alliances of the free world— defensive 

D-102 " 



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alliances organized and conducted in complete harmony with the U.N. 
Charter, which expressly recognizes the right of individual and collec- 
tive 'self-defense and also provides for regional organizations or 
agencies to maintain international peace and security. 

"Under those alliances, the United States is specifically pledged 
to assist in the defense of more than 40 nations. Those commitments, 
and- the power that lies behind them, are the backbone of world peace. 

" B U t the principal Communist states remain publicly committed 

to what "they call 'wars of liberation'— the infiltration of arms and 
trained men. That is the type of aggression by which Communist North 
Viet-Nam set out to conquer South Viet-Nam. It is an aggression which 
has become less and less indirect since the closing months of 196U, when 
North Viet-Nam began to move an entire division of its regular army into 
South Viet-Nam. 

"Four successive Presidents of the United States, after extended 
study in consultation with their chief advisers on defense and foreign 
policy, have concluded that the security of Southeast Asia, and of South 
Viet-Nam in particular, is very important to the security of the United 
States. Those who take a different view are at odds with the men who 
have borne the highest responsibility for the defense of the United States 
and the free world since the Second World War. 

"U.S. COMMITMENTS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA 

"In accordance with our national interest in the security of South 
Viet-Nam, the Government of the United States made commitments, of which 
the most solemn was the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty. That 
treaty was approved by the United States Senate in 1955 with only one 
dissenting vote. It bound us to take action in the event of an armed 
attack on South Viet-Nam, among other nations. And Secretary of State 
Dulles told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that that commitment 
included the case of an attack by 'the regime of Ho Chi Minn in North 
Viet-Nam. * 

"The United States cannot run away from its commitments. If either 
our adversaries or our friends should begin to doubt that the United 
States will honor its alliances, the result could be_ catastrophe. 

"We are fighting in Viet-Nam because also we have not forgotten the 
lesson of the tragic 1930' s, the lesson that was foremost in the minds 
of the authors of the U.N. Charter: the lesson that one aggression leads 
to another. ..." 

* * * 



D-103. 



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67. Secretary Rusk Interview, Videotaped in Washington on January 31> 
1967 and Broadcast by the British Independent Television Network 
on February 1, 19&7; "Secretary Rusk Discusses Viet -Ham in 
Interview for British Television," Department of State Bulletin, 
February 20, 1967, P- ZJk. 



"PEKING AND SOUTHEAST ASIA 

"Q . Mr. Rusk, could we look at the objects of this war? There 
appea rs to us in Britain to be a certain confusion in your war aims. 
Is this a war for the containment of China, or is it simply a war for 
the independence of South Viet-Nam? Could you tell us precisely what 
your war aims are ? 

"A. I don't know that there is a choice between those two objectives 
My guess is that if the authorities in Peking were to throw their weight 
behind peace in Southeast Aoia, there would be peace in Southeast Asia. 

"But, nevertheless, the immediate events which brought our Armed 
Forces into South Viet-Nam were the movement of substantial numbers of 
North Vietnamese men in arms, including some now 20 regiments of their 
North Vietnamese regular army, into South Viet-Nam for the purpose of 
imposing a political settlement on the South by force. Now, this cuts 
right across our commitments under the SEATO Treaty. Under article IV 
of that treaty, each signatory determines what steps it will take to meet 
the common danger in the event of an aggression by means of armed attack; 
and it was specifically understood at the time that that would apply to 
an aggression by Ho Chi Minh, as well as to others. 

"Now, the Chinese are not actively involved in this situation in 
South Viet-Nam. We do know that they are trying to stir up problems 
for the Thais in the northeast section of Thailand. China has publicly 
announced that Thailand is next on the list; but the key point is that 
if these countries would live at peace, we would be the first to give 
that our full support — leave these countries alone ourselves, get out 
of there." 



68. Sir Montague Burton Lecture by W. W. Rostow, The University of 
Leeds, Leeds, England, 23 February 1967, "The Great Transition : 
Tasks of th-3 First and Second Postwar Gererations"; White House 
Press Release, 23 February 1967-~ 



# * * 
"The postwar Communist offensive had a certain shape and rhythm. 

D-10U 



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There was Stalin's thrust of 19^6-51, in association with Ma o, from 
lQli9; Khrushchev's of 1958-62; finally, the offensive conducted over 
the past four years by Mao and those who accepted his activist doctrines 
and policies with respect to so-called 'wars of national liberation.' 



* 



"At one point after another this Chinese Communist offensive in 
the developing world fell apart, leaving the war in Viet Nam perhaps 
the last major stand of Mao's doctrine of guerrilla warfare. 

"There is a certain historical legitimacy in this outcome. 

"For the better part of a decade, an important aspect of the strug- 
gle within the Communist movement between the Soviet Union and Communist 
China had focused on the appropriate method for Communist parties to 
seize power. The Soviet Union h3d argued that the transit of frontiers 
with arms and men should be kept to a minimum and the effort to seize 
power should be primarily internal. They argued that it was the essence 
of 'wars of national liberation' to expand Communist power without 
causing major confrontation with the United States and other major powers. 
The Chinese Communists defended a higher risk policy; but they were mili- 
tarily cautious themselves. Nevertheless, they urged others to accept the 
risks of confrontation with United States and Western strength against 
which the Soviet Union warned. 

"Although Hanoi's effort to take over Laos and South Viet Nam pro- 
ceeded from impulses which were substantially independent of Communist 
China its technique constituted an important test of whether Mao's 
method would work even under the optimum circumstances provided by the 
history of the area. As General Giap has made clear, Hanoi is conscious 
of this link: 'South Viet Nam is the model of the national liberation 
movement in our time... if the special warfare that the United States 
imperialists are testing in South Viet Nam is overcome, this means that 
it can be defeated everywhere in the world."' 



* * * 



"Similarly, a failure of the Vietnamese and their allies to see 
through the engagement to an honorable peace could destroy the emerging 
foundation for confidence and regional cooperation in Asia, with further 
adverse consequences on every continent." 



"On the other hand, we are confident that what we are seeking to 
accomplish in Viet Nam is right and essential if we are to move success- 
fully through the great transition. 



' D-105 



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"We are honoring a treaty which committed us to 'act to meet the 
common danger' in the face of 'aggression by means of armed attack' in 
the treaty area. And this commitment is also being honored by Australia, 
New Zealand, the Philippines, and Thailand—as well as by the remark- 
able action of South Korea, which was not bouni by treaty in this manner. 

"We are also dealing with the gross and systematic violation of an 
agreement, signed in 1962, which committed all parties, including Hanoi, 
to withdraw their military forces from Laos; to refrain from reintro- 
ducing such forces; and to refrain from using the territory of Laos for 
interference in the internal affairs of other countries. 

"We are also encouraged by the efforts of the people of South Viet 
Nam to make a transition to orderly constitutional government of the 
kind which the people of South Korea have accomplished with such notable 
success since I96I. 

"And we are answering, as we have had to answer on other occasions, 
the question- Are the word and commitment of the United States reliable? 
For the United States cannot be faithful to its ^alliances in the Atlantic 
and unfaithful to its alliances in the Pacific." 

# * * 

"But in the perspective I have presented tonight, what is old- 
fashioned about Viet Nam is the effort by the leaders in Hanoi to make 
their lifelong dream of achieving control over Southeast Asia come to 
reality by the use of force. 

"It is their concept of 'wars of national liberation' that is old- 
fashioned. It is being overtaken not merely by the resistance of the 
seven nations fighting there, but also by history and by increasingly 
pervasive attitudes of pragmatism and moderation. 

"History, I deeply believe, will show in Southeast Asia, as it has 
displayed in many other parts of the world, that the international status 
quo cannot be altered by use of external force. That demonstration is 
costing the lives of many South Vietnamese, Americans, Koreans, Australians, 
and others who understand the danger to them of permitting a change in the 
territorial or political status quo by external violence — who cherish 
the right of self-determination for themselves and for others. 

"If the argument I have laid before you is correct — and if we 
have the common fill to hold together and get on with the job — the 
struggle in Viet Nam might be the last great confrontation of the post- 



war era." 



* * 



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69. 



^^ hv President Johnson before a Joint Session of the 
JLn»«« e state Legislature at Nashville, Tennessee on March J^ 
Tp^h. Defens e of Vlet-flam: Key to the future of Free AsS^ 
Department of State Bulletin, April 3, 19 67, P- 53^- 



* * 



"As our commitment in Viet-Nam required more men and more equip- 
ment some voices were raised in opposition. The administration was 
Sged JHilengage, to find an excuse to abandon the effort. 

"These cries came despite growing evidence that the defense of 
Viet-Nam held the key to the political and economic future of free Asia. 
The stakes of the struggle grew correspondingly. 

■•It became clear that if we were prepared to stay the course in 
Viet-Nam, we could help to lay the cornerstone for a diverse and inde- 
pendent Asia, full of promise and resolute in the cause of peaceful 
economic development for her long-suffering peoples. 

"But if we faltered, the forces of chaos would scent victory and 
decades of strife and aggression would stretch endlessly before us. 



* 



"The first answer is that Viet-Nam is aggression in a new gu^e, 
as far removed from trench warfare as the rifle from the longbow This 
is a war of infiltration, of subversion, of ambush. Pitched battles 
are very rare, and even more rarely are they decisive. 



* 



70 Address by W illiam P. Bundy, 'Assistant Secretary of State for East 
7 .ct,. ^P acific Affairs, befo re the National Executive Carnnlitee 

nf the Ameri can Legion at Indianapolis , Indiana on May 3, 19&7; 

■g^Hteen Years in East Asia," Department of State Bullet in, May 22, 

1967, P- T907 



* * 



"This group hardly needs to be told why we are acting as we are 
in South Viet-Nam. We are acting to preserve South Viet-Nam's right 
to work out its own future without external interference including its 
ril? to make a free choice on unification with the North We are 
actfcU to fulfill a commitment that evolved through the actions oi 
I liLlt* Fisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson and that was originally 
St^d S t£ SKATO treaty, overwhelmingly ratified by the Senate in_ 
%T TJt are acting to demonstrate to the world that the Communist 
techiiqte of 'people's Sars' or 'wars of national liberation '-m essence, 



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imported subversion, armed terror, guerrilla action, and ultimately 
conventional military action — can be defeated even in a situation 
where the Communist side had the greatest possible advantages through 
an unfortunate colonial heritage, political difficulty, and the inherent 
weaknesses to which so many of the new nations of the world are subject." 

# * * 

"Our policies have been guided essentially by two propositions 
rooted deeply in our own national interest: 

"First, that the extension of hostile control over other nations 
or wide areas of Asia, specifically by Communist China, North Korea, and 
North Viet -Nam, would in a very short time create a situation that would 
menace all the countries of the area and present a direct and major threat 
to the most concrete national interests of this country. 

"Second, and directly related to the first proposition, is the belief 
that an East Asian and Pacific region comprised of free and independent 
states working effectively for the welfare of their people is in the long 
run essential to preventing the extension of hostile power and also essen- 
tial to the regional and world peace in which the United States as we 
know it can survive and prosper.' 

* # * 

"But, of course, the situation in Viet-Nam in 1965 stood, alongside 
the trend in Indonesia, as the major dark spot in the area. And in 
early 1965 it became clear that unless the United States and other 
nations introduced major combat forces and took military action against 
the North, South Viet-Nam would be taken over by Communist force. If 
that had happened, there can be no doubt whatever that, by the sheer 
dynamics of aggression, Communist Chinese and North Vietnamese subversive 
efforts against the rest of Southeast Asia would have been increased and 
encouraged, and the will and capacity of the remaining nations of South- 
east Asia to resist these pressures would have been drastically and prob- 
ably fatally reduced. 

"So our actions in Viet-Nam were not only important in themselves 
or in fulfillment of our commitment but were vital in the wider context 
of the fate of the free nations of Asia. The leaders of free Asia are 
fully aware of the relationship between our stand in Viet-Nam and the 
continued independence of their nations. The Prime Minister of Malaysia 
has emphasized that if South Viet-Nam were to fall before the Communists, 
his nation could not survive. The Prime Minister of Singapore has stated 
that our presence in Viet-Nam has bought time for the rest of the area. 
The Japanese Government has made known its conviction that we are con- 
tributing to the security of the area. 

"Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Australia, and Thailand have 

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shown their convictions by sending military units to assist the South 
Vietnamese. Their efforts, joined with ours and with the South Viet- 
namese, have ended the threat of a Communist military takeover." 

* # * 

"In the broad picture what is the role of Viet-Nam? Behind the 
great and emerging changes I have sketched lies an atmosphere of growing 
confidence, a sensing by the peoples of free Asia that progress is possi- 
ble and that security can be maintained. Our action in Viet-Nam has been 
vital in helping to bring about that confidence. For, as virtually all 
non-Communist governments in the area realize, their security requires a 
continuing United States ability to act, not necessarily an American 
presence, although that, too, may be required in individual cases, but 
an ability to act for a long time. And that we must— and, I think, shall— 
provide . 

"That increasing confidence also depends deeply on the belief that 
essential economic assistance will continue to be provided. Without what 
we have done in Viet-Nam and the assistance we have provided throughout 
the region, I doubt very much if a considerable number of the favorable 
developments I have spoken of would have occurred, and certainly they 
would not have come so rapidly. I think that responsible people in 
East Asia would agree strongly with this judgment. 

"I cannot too strongly stress this 'confidence factor.' It is an 
intangible, the significance of which is difficult to perceive unless 
one has visited the countries of Asia recently or, better still, peri- 
odically over an interval. 

"Today, the increase in confidence among the non-Communist nations 
of Asia is palpable. Communist Chinese past failures and present diffi- 
culties play a part, but our own role in Viet-Nam is a major element 
even as the war goes on." 



fl. Secretary Rusk Interview by Paul Hiven, Televised from the Depart- 
ment of State to 75 Affiliated Stations of National Educational 
Te levision on May 5, 19&7; "A Conversation with Dean Rusk, " Depart- 
ment" of State Bulletin, May 22, 1967, p. 77^ - ~ 

* * * 

"Secretary Rusk: ....They have no business being there. They have 
no right to try to seize South Viet-Nam by force. We are entitled under 
the SEATO treaty as well as under the individual and collective security- 
self-defense arrangements of the U.N. Charter, to come to the assistance 
of South Viet-Nam upon their request when they are subjected to this kind 
of aggression." 

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* * 



"In Southeast Asia we have treaty commitments that obligate us to 
take action to meet the common danger if there is an aggression by means 
of armed attack. That aggression is under way. 

"If these questions can be decided by people in free elections, 
r^rhans we could all relax. I don't know anyone who through free elec- 
?ions any great nation--we have a particular State in India-that 
brought Communists to power with free elections. They are not mono- 
lithic—they are not monolithic. 

"But all branches of the Communist Party that I know of are com- 
mitted to what they call the world revolution. And their picture of 
Sat world revolution is quite contrary to the kind of world organiza- 
tion sketched out in the Charter of the United Nations. 

"Now they have important differences among themselves about how 
vou best get on with that world revolution. And there is a contest within 
the Communist world between those who think that peaceful coexistence and 
Peaceful competition is the better way to do it and the militants pri- 
Srily in Peking, who believe that you back this world revolution by force, 

"But I think the Communist commitment to world revolution is pretty 
general throughout the Communist movement. 

"Now, if they want to compete peacefully, all right, let's do that. 
But when they start moving by force to impose this upon other P^ple by 
force, then you have a very serious question about where it leads and 
how you organize a world peace on that basis. 



* * 



"Mr. Niven: But some of our former diplomats and some of the critics 
are f orever con tending that the Viet-Nam war places strings upon our 
alliances, it complicates and exacerbates other problems. 

"Secretary Rusk: I think that is nonsense-because if you want to 
put some strain on our other alliances, just let it become apparent 
that our commitment under an alliance is not worth very much. Then you 
will see some strain on our alliances. 

"Mr. Niven: You are suggesting if we don't uphold this commitment 
other people will lose faith in our commitments all over the world. 

"Secretary Rusk: And more importantly, our adversaries or prospec- 
tive adversaries may make some gross miscalculations about what we would 
do with respect to those commitments . " 



* 



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" Secretary Rusk : 

* * * 

"But I think that the end of the aggression in Viet-Nam would put 
us a very long step forward toward this organization of a durable peace. 
I think there°is a general recognition in the world that a nuclear 
exchange does not make sense, that sending massed divisions across _ 
national frontiers is pretty reckless today. If we get this problem of 
these 'wars of national liberation 1 under reasonable control, then maybe 
we can look forward to a period of relative peace, although there will 
continue to be quarrels and neighborhood disputes and plenty of business 
for the Security Council of the United Nations." 

* * * 

T2 . Ad dress by Secretary Rusk before the National Conference of the 
U S. A gricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service at 
'Wa shington, D.C., May lb, 1967; "Our Foreign Policy Commitments 
To Assure a Peaceful Future, " Department of State Bulletin, June 12, 
1967, p. o7^ 

* * * 

"Secondly, I hear it said that Viet-Nam is just a civil war, there- 
fore we should forget about it, that it is only a family affair among 
Vietnamese. Well, it's quite true that among the Viet Cong and the 
National Liberation Front there is a large component of authentic 
Southerners who are in rebellion against the several authorities who 
have been organized in Saigon. 

"But those are not the people who explain the presence of American 
combat forces in South Viet-Nam. Because beginning in I960 the author- 
ities in the North activated the Communist cadres which had been left 
behind at the time of the division of the country. Then from I960 onward 
they sent in substantial numbers of Southerners who had gone North, were 
trained in the North, and were sent back as cadres and armed elements to 
ioin in seizing the country. And by 19& they had run out of authentxc 
Southerners and were sending Northerners in increasing numbers, and late 
that year they began to send regular units of the North Vietnamese 
Regular Army. Today there are more than 20 regiments of the North Viet- 
namese Regular Forces in South Viet-Nam and substantial forces in and 
just north of the demilitarized zone in direct contact with our Marines . 

"It was what the North is doing to the South that caused us to send 
combat forces there, because we felt we had an obligation to do so under 
the SEATO treaty, a treaty which calls upon us to take steps to meet the 
common danger. And if the North would decide to hold its hand and not 
persist in its effort to seize South Viet-Nam by force, this situation 
could be resolved peacefully, literally in a matter of hours. 

D-lll 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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# 



"The commitment of the United States to its hO or more allies is 
a very important element in the building of a durable peace. And if 
those who would be our adversaries should ever suppose that our com- 
mitments are not worth anything, then we shall see dangers we have not 
yet dreamed of." 



* * * 



7^ Address by William P. Bundy, Assistant Secretary of State for E ast 
n Asian and Pac ific Affairs, before the 20th Annual Congress of th g 
W.ional Stud ent Association at College Par k, Maryland, August 1% 
'iQfrf- "The Path to Viet-Uam: A Dssson in Involve ment, Department 
o7~State Publication (5295, East Asian and Pacific Series l6o, 
September 196?. 



* 



"The fifth set of American decisions came in this setting and indeed 
overlapped the period of the Geneva Conference. The first aspect of these 
decisions was our leading role in the formation of the SEATO treaty, signed 
at Manila in September of 195^ and ratified by our Senate m February 1955 
bv a vote of 82 to 1. In the SEATO treaty South Viet-Nam and its terri- 
tory were specifically included as a 'protocol state"; and the signatories 
specifically accepted the obligation, if asked by the Government of South 
Viet-Nam, to take action in response to armed attack against South Viet- 
Ham and to consult on appropriate measures if South Viet-Nam were subjected 
to subversive actions. The Geneva accords had, of course, already ex- 
pressly forbidden aggressive acts from either half of Viet-Nam against the 
other half, but there had been no obligation for action by the Geneva 
participating nations. SEATO created a new and serious obligation extending 
to South Viet-Nam and aimed more widely at the security of the Southeast 
Asian signatories and the successor states of Indochina. 

"The second aspect of our decisions at this period was an evolving 
one In late I95U President Eisenhower committed us to furnish economic 
support for bhe new regime, in which Diem was already showing himself 
toucher and more able than anyone had supposed possible. And in early 
TQ55 without any formal statement, we began to take over tne job of mili- 
tary' assistance to South Viet-Nam, acting within the numerical and equip- 
ment limitations stated in the Geneva accords for foreign military aid. 

"In short, in the 195^-55 period we mover, into a major supporting 
role and undertook a major treaty commitment involving South Viet-Nam. 

"These decisions, I repeat, are not mine to defend. In the mood of 
the period, still deeply affected by a not unjustified view of monolithic 
coLunism/they were accepted with very wide support in the United States, 
as the vote and the debate in the Senate abundantly proved. And the 

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Senate documents prove conclusively that there was full understanding of 
the grave implications of the SEATO obligations, particularly as they 
related to aggression by means of armed attack. 

"The important point about these decisions— and a point fervently 
debated within the administration at the time, according to many 
participants-- is that .they reflected a policy not merely toward Viet- 
nam but toward the whole of Southeast Asia. In essence, the underlying 
basic issue was felt, and I think rightly, to be whether the United . 
States should involve itself much more directly in the security of South- 
east Asia and the preservation of the largely new nations that had come 
into being there since World War II. 

"There could not be the kind of clear-cut policy for Southeast Asia 
that had by then evolved in Northeast Asia, where we had entered into 
mutual security treaties individually with Japan, Korea, and the Repub- 
lic of China. Some of the Southeast Asian countries wished no associ- 
ation with an outside power; others-Malaya, Singapore, and the northern 
areas of Borneo, which were not then independent-continued to rely on 
the British and the Commonwealth. So the directly affected area in 
which policy could operate comprised only Thailand, the Philippines, and 
the non-Communist successor states of Indochina- South Viet-Nam, Iaos, 
and Cambodia. 

"Yet it was felt at the time that unless the United States partici- 
pated in a major way in preserving the independence and security of these 
nations, they would be subject to progressive pressures by the parallel 
efforts of North Viet-Nam and Communist China. 

"The judgment that this threat of aggression was real and valid 
was the first basis of the policy adopted. Two other judgments that lay 
behind the policy were: 

"(a) That a successful takeover by North Viet-Nam or Communist 
China of any of the directly affected nations would not only be serious 
in itself but would drastically weaken and in a short time destroy the 
capacity of the other nations of Southeast Asia, whatever their inter- 
national postures, to maintain their own independence. 

"(b) That while we ourselves had no wish for a special position 
in Southeast Asia, the transfer of the area, or large parts of it, to 
Conmiunist control achieved by subversion and aggression would mean a 
maior addition to the power status of hostile and aggressive Communist 
Chinese and North Vietnamese regimes. It was believed that such a situ- 
ation would not only doom the peoples of the area to conditions ^domin- 
ation and virtual servitude over an indefinite period but would create 
Se very kind of aggressive domination of much of Asia that we had already 
fought the militarist leaders of Japan to prevent. It was widely and 
deeply believed that such a situation was profoundly contrary to our 
national interests. 

* 

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"But there was still a third supporting judgment that, like the 
others, ran through the calculations of the period. This was that the 
largely new nations of Southeast Asia vere in fact valid national enti- 
ties and that while their progress might be halting and imperfect both 
politically and economically, this progress was worth backing. To put 
it another way, there was a constructive vision of the kind of Southeast 
Asia that could evolve and a sense that this constructive purpose was 
worth pursuing as a matter of our own ideals, as a matter of our national 
interest, and as a realistic hope of the possibilities of progress if 
external aggression and subversion could be held at bay. 

"These I believe to have been the bedrock reasons for the position 
we took in Viet-Nam and Southeast Asia at this time. They were overlaid 
by what may appear to have been emotional factors in our attitude toward 
communism in China and Asia. But the degree of support that this major 
policy undertaking received at the time went far beyond those who held 
these emotions. And this is why I for one believe that the bedrock 
reasons I have given were the true and decisive ones." 

* * * 

" Despite all that romantics like /jean/ Lacouture may say, what 

happened was that Hanoi moved in, from at least 1959 onward (Bernard Fall 
would say from 1957), and provided a cutting edge of direction, trained 
men from the North, and supplies that transformed internal discontent into 
a massive subversive effort guided and supported from the outside in 
crucial ways." 

* * * 

"....But those who believe that serious mistakes were made, or even 
that the basic policy was wrong, cannot escape the fact that by 1961 we 
were, as a practical matter, deeply engaged in Southeast Asia and speci- 
fically in the preservation of the independence of South Viet-Nam. 

"President Kennedy came to office with a subversive effort against 
South Viet-Nam well underway and with the situation in Laos deteriorating 
rapidly. And for a time the decisions on Laos overshadowed Viet-Nam, 
although of course the two were always intimately related. 

"In Laos, President Kennedy in the spring of I96I rejected the idea 
of strong military action in favor of seeking a settlement that would 
install a neutralist government under Souvanna Phouma, a solution uniquely 
appropriate to Laos. Under Governor /w. Averell/ Harriman's astute 
handling, the negotiations finally led to the Geneva accords of 1962 for 
Laos; and the process—a point not adequately noticed—led the United 
States to a much more explicit and affirmative endorsement of the Geneva 
accords of 195 1 !-, a position we have since consistently maintained as the 
best basis for peace in Viet-Nam. 

D-llU 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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"In Viet- Nam, the situation at first appeared less, critical, and 
the initial actions of the Kennedy administration were confined to an 
increase in our military aid and a small increase of a few hundred men 
in our military training personnel, a breach— it may be argued— to this 
extent of the limits of the Geneva accords but fully justified in 
response to the scale of North Vietnamese violation of the basic non- 
interference provisions. 

"Although the details somewhat obscured the broad pattern, I think 
any fair historian of the future must conclude that as early as the 
spring of 196l President Kennedy had in effect taken a seventh United 
States policy decision: that we would continue to be deeply engaged in 
Southeast Asia, in South Viet-Nam and under new ground rules, in Laos 
as well." 

* * * 

"No, neither President Kennedy nor any senior policymaker, then or 
later, believed the Soviet Union was still united with Communist China 
and North Viet-Nam in a single sweeping Communist threat to the world. 
But President Kennedy did believe two other things that had, and still 
have, a vital bearing on our policy. 

"First, he believed that a weakening in our basic resolve to help 
in Southeast Asia would tend to encourage separate Soviet pressures in 
other areas. 

"James Eeston has stated, on the basis of contemporary conversations 
with the President, that this concern specifically related to Khrushchev's 
aggressive designs on Berlin, which were pushed hard all through I96I and 
not laid to rest till after the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. At any 
rate, President Kennedy clearly did believe that failure to keep the high 
degree of commitment we had in Viet-Nam and Southeast Asia had a bearing 
on the validity of our commitments elsewhere. As Theodore Sorensen has 
summarized it."..: '...this nation's commitment (in South Viet-Nam) in 
January, 196l...was not one that President Kennedy felt he could abandon 
without undesirable consequences throughout Asia and the world.' 

"Secondly, President Kennedy believed that the Communist Chinese 
were a major threat to dominate Southeast Asia and specifically that a 
United States 'withdrawal in the case of Viet-Nam and in the case of 
Thailand might mean a collapse in the entire area.' Indeed, President 
Kennedy in one statement expressly supported the 'domino theory.' 



"My own view, based on participation and subsequent discussion with 
others, is that the underlying view of the relation between Viet-Nam 
and the threat to Southeast Asia was clear and strongly believed through- 
out the top levels of the Kennedy administration. We knew, as we have 
always known, that the action against South Viet-Nam reflected deeply held 
ambitions by Hanoi. to unify Viet-Nam under Communist control and that 



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Banoi needed and wanted only Chinese aid to this end and wished to be its 
own master And we knew, as again we always have, that North Viet-Nam 
would resist any Communist Chinese trespassing on areas it controlled. 
But these two propositions were not then, as they are not now, inconsistent 
with the belief that the aggressive ambitions of Communist China and 
North Viet-Nam— largely North Vietnamese in old Indochina, overlapping 
in Thailand, Chinese to the rest of Southeast Asia-would surely feed on 
each other. In the eyes of the rest of Southeast Asia, certainly, they 
were part of a common and parallel threat. 

"So in effect, the policy of 195^- 6l was reaffirmed in the early 
months of 196l by the Kennedy administration. Let me say right here I 
do not mean to make this a personal analysis of President Kennedy nor to 
Inrolv any view whatever as to what he might or might not have done had he 
lived beyond November of 1963. But some untrue things have been said 
about the 1961 period, and I believe the record totally supports the 
account of policy, and the reasons for it, that I have given. 

"STEMMING THE NORTH VIETNAMESE THREAT 

"We then come to the eighth period of decision— the fall of 196l. 
Bv then the 'guerrilla aggression' (Hilsman's phrase) had assumed truly 
serious proportions, and morale in South Viet-Nam had been shaken. It 
seemed highly doubtful that without major additional United States actions 
the North Vietnamese threat could be stemmed. 

"President Kennedy took the decision to raise the ante, through a 
system of advisers, pilots, and supporting military personnel that rose 
gradually to the level of 25,000 in the next 3 years. 

"I do not think it is appropriate for me to go into the detail of 
the discussions that accompanied this decision. Fairly full, but still 
incomplete, accounts have been given in various of the books on the 
rjeriod What can be seen, without going into such detail, is that the 
course of action that was chosen considered and rejected, at least for 
the time being, the direct introduction of ground combat troops or the 
hombins of North Viet-Nam, although there was no doubt even then—as 
Hilsman again makes clear-that the bombing of North Viet-Nam could have 
been sustained under any reasonable legal view to the face of what North 
Viet-Nam was doing. Bather, the course of action which was adopted 
* rightly stressed that the South Vietnamese role must remain crucial and 
primary . 

"In effect, it was decided that the United States would take those 
additional actions that appeared clearly required to meet the situation, 
not knowing for sure whether these actions would in fact prove to be 
ad'eauate, trying-despite the. obvious and always recognized effect of 
momentum anZinertia-not to cross the bridge of still further action, 
and hoping strongly that what was being undertaken would prove sufficient. 

D-116 ' 



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



"POLITICAL CHANGE IN SOUTH VIET-NAM 

"This was the policy followed from early 1962 right up to February 
of 1965. Within this period, however, political deterioration in South 
Viet-Kam compelled, in the fall of 1963, decisions that I think must 
be counted as the ninth critical point of United States policymaking. 
It was decided at that time that while the United States would do every- 
thing necessary to support the war, it would no longer adhere to its 
posture of all-out support of the Diem regime unless that regime made 
sweeping changes in its method of operation. . The record of this period 
has been described by Robert Shaplen and now by Hilsman. Undoubtedly, 
our new posture contributed to the overthrow of Diem in November 1963." 

# * # 

"In early 190+ President Johnson expressly reaffirmed all the 
essential elements of the Kennedy administration policies publicly 
through every action and through firm internal directives. It is simply 
not true to say that there was any change in policy in this period 
toward greater military emphasis, much less major new military actions. 
Further actions were not excluded— as they had not been in 1954 or 1961— 
but President Johnson's firm object right up to February 1965 was to make 
the policy adopted in late 1961 work if it could possibly be done, inclu- 
ding the fullest possible emphasis on pacification and the whole political 
and civilian aspect. 

"The summer of 196k did bring a new phase, though not a change in 
nolicy. The situation was continuing to decline, and North Viet-Nam may 
have been emboldened by the trend. Certainly, infiltration was rising 
steadily and, as we now know more clearly, began to include substantial 
•numbers of native North Vietnamese. But, more dramatically, American 
naval ships on patrol in the Gulf of Tonkin were attacked, and there were 
two responding United States attacks on North Vietnamese naval bases. 

"This led President Johnson to seek, and the Congress to approve 
overwhelmingly on August 7, 1964, a resolution— drafted in collaboration 
with congressional leaders— that not only approved such retaliatory 
attacks but added that: 

'The United States regards as vital to its national interest 
and to world peace the maintenance of international peace and security 
in southeast Asia. Consonant with the Constitution of the United States 
and the Charter of the United Nations and in accordance with its obliga- 
tions under the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, the United 
States is, therefore, prepared, as the President determines, to take all 
necessary steps, including the use of armed force, to assist any member 
or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty requesting 
assistance in defense of its freedom.'" 



* . 



D-117 



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



"From late November onward, these choices were intensively examined, 
even as the military threat grew, the political confusion in Saigon 
deepened, and all the indicators recorded increasingly shaky morale 
and confidence not only in South Viet-Nam but throughout the deeply 
concerned countries of Southeast Asia. By late January, it was the 
clear judgment of all those concerned with policy and familiar with 
the situation that the first choice was rapidly becoming no choice at 
all— and not, to use the phrase of one commentator, a 'constructive 
alternative.' To 'muddle through' (that commentator's phrase) was 
almost certainly to muddle out and to accept that South Viet-Nam would 
be turned over the Communist control achieved through externally backed 
subversion and aggression. 

"This was a straight practical judgment. It ran against the grain 
of every desire of the President and his advisers. But I myself am sure 
it was right judgment— accepted at the time by most sophisticated observers 
and, in the light of reflective examination, now accepted, I believe, by 
virtually everyone who knows the situation at all at first hand. 

"There were, in short, only two choices: to move toward withdrawal 
or to do a lot more, both for its military impact and, at the outset, to 
prevent a collapse of South Vietnamese morale and will to continue. 

"And as the deliberations continued within the administration, the 
matter was brought to a head by a series of sharp attacks on American 
installations in particular. These attacks were serious in themselves, 
but above all, they confirmed the overall analysis that North Viet-Nam 
was supremely confident and was moving for the kill. And as they thus 
moved, it seemed clear that they would in fact succeed and perhaps in 
a matter of months. 

"Let me pause here to clear up another current historical inaccuracy. 
The basis for the successive decisions— in February to start bombing; 
in March to introduce small numbers of combat forces; and in July to move 
to major United States combat forces— was as I have stated it. It depended 
on an overall view of the situation and on an overall view that what had 
been going on for years was for all practical purposes aggress ion— and 
indeed this term dates from late 196l or early 1962 in the statements of 
senior administration spokesmen. 



*• 



"But this historical point is less important than the fundamental 
elements of the situation as it stood at the time. On the one hand, all 
of what I have earlier described as the bedrock elements still remained: 
a strong Chinese Communist and North Vietnamese threat to Southeast Asia, 
a crucial link between the defense of South Viet-Nam and the realization 
of that threat, and the validity of non-Communist nationalism, whatever 
its imperfections, in South Viet-Nam and in the other nations of Southeast 
Asia. 

, D-118 



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



"Moreover, the wider Implications for our commitments elsewhere 
appeared no less valid than they had ever been. Viet -Nam still con- 
stituted a major, perhaps even a decisive, test case of whether the 
Communist strategy of 'wars of national liberation' or "people's wars' 
could be met and countered even in the extraordinarily difficult circum- 
stances of South Viet-Nam. Then as now, it has been, I think, rightly 
judged that a success "for Hanoi in South Viet-Nam could only encourage 
the use of this technique by Hanoi, and over time by the Communist Chinese, 
and might well have the effect of drawing the Soviets into competition 
with Peking and Hanoi and away from the otherwise promising trends that 
have developed in Soviet policy in the past 10 years . 

"Finally, it was judged from the outset that stronger action by us 
in Viet-Nam would not operate to bring the Soviet Union and Communist 
China closer together and that the possibility of major Chinese Communist 
intervention could be kept to a minimum so long as we made it clear at 
all times, both by word and deed, that our objective was confined solely 
to freeing South Viet-Nam from external interference and that we did not 
threaten Communist China but rather looked to the ultimate hope of what 
the Manila Declaration, of last fall, called 'reconciliation and peace 
throughout Asia."' 

* * *- 

"INDEPENDENCE OP SOUTHEAST ASIA 

"Other factors enter in, as I have tried to summarize, and despite 
their variations from time to time remain of major general importance. 
But it is primarily ' from the standpoint of Southeast Asia that I would 
like to close my remarks today. How do the bets I have described look 
today? 

"Southeast Asia surely matters more than ever. A region which may 
have held as few as 30 million inhabitants in 1800 — and which is car- 
ried under the heading of 'peripheral areas' in some textbooks on East 
Asia — now holds more than 250 million people, more than Latin America 
and almost as much as the population of Western Europe. The resources of 
this area are large, and its people, while not yet capable of the kind 
of dramatic progress we have seen in the northern parts of Asia, have 
great talent, intelligence, and industry. Its geographical location, while 
it should not be in the path of great-power collisions, is crucial for 
trade routes and in other respects. 

"From the standpoint of our own security and the kind of world in 
which we wish to live, I believe we must continue to be deeply concerned 
to do what we can to keep Southeast Asia from falling under external 
domination and aggression that would contribute to such domination.... 

"The second part of our bet is that the independence of South Viet- 
Nam critically affects Southeast Asia. South Viet-Nam and its 15 million 

* 

D-119 



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



Deople are important in themselves, but they assume an additional impor- 
tance if the judgment is accepted that a success for aggression there 
would drastically weaken the situation in Southeast Asia and indeed 
beyond. That judgment cannot be defended solely by reference to the 
dynamics of major aggressive powers and their prospective victims an the 
Tjast. I myself believe that those parallels have validity, but the 
question is always what Justice Holmes called 'concrete cases. In 
this concrete case I think the underlying judgment has been valid and 
remains valid today. 

"None of us can say categorically that the Communist Chinese would 
in due course move- if opportunity offered-to dominate wide areas of 
Southeast Asia through pressure and subversion. But that is what the 
Cheese and their maps say, and their Communist doctrine appears to add 
vital additional emphasis. It is what they are doing m Thailand today 
Ind through local Communist allies, in Burma, Cambodia, Malaysia, and 
Singapore. And it is what they would like to do in Indonesia again. 

* * * 

7k Remarks by Presi dent Johnson to the National legislative Conferenc e 
' y p^ ftnt.on-io. Te xas on S eptember 29, 19o7; "Answering Aggr essi o n 

ftpy let-Kam, " Department of State Publication 0^05, East Asian 

anrl Pacific Series 167, Released October 19 b?. 



# 



"Viet-Nam is also the scene of a powerful aggression that is 
spurred by an appetite for conquest. 

"It is the arena where Communist expansionism is most aggressively 
at work in the world today-where it is crossing international frontiers 
in violation of international agreements; where it is killing ana kid- 
naping; where it is ruthlessly attempting to bend free people to its will. 

"Into this mixture of subversion and war, of terror and hope, America 
has entered-with its material power and with its moral commitment. 

"Why? 

"whv should three Presidents and the elected representatives of our 
people have chosen to defend this Asian nation more than 10,000 miles 
from American shores? 

"We cherish freedom-yes. We cherish self-determination for all 
^onle-y-s. We abhor the political murder of any state by another and 
the bodily murder of any people by gangsters of whatever ideology. And 
for 27 veLs-since the days of lend-lease-we have sought to strengthen 
free people against domination by aggressive foreign powers. 



D-120 



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



"But the key to all we have done is really our own security. At 
times of crisis, before asking Americans to fight and die to resist 
aggression in a foreign land, every American President has finally 
had to answer this question: 

"Is the aggression a threat not only to the immediate victim but 
to the United States <5f America and to the peace and security of the 
entire world of which we in America are a very vital part? 

"That is the question which Dvight Eisenhower and John Kennedy 
and Iyndon Johnson had to answer in facing the issue in Viet-Nam. 

"That is the question that the Senate of the United States answered 
by a vote of 82 to 1 when it ratified and approved the SEATO treaty in 
1955 and t0 which the members of the United States Congress responded 
in a'resolution that it passed in 19& by a vote of 50^ to 2: 

' . . .the United States is, therefore, prepared, as the Presi- 
dent determines, to take all necessary steps, including the use of 
armed force, to assist any member or protocol state of the Southeast 
Asia Collective Defense Treaty requesting assistance in defense of its 
freedom. ' 

"Those who tell us now that we should abandon our commitment, that 
securing South Viet-Nam from armed domination is not worth the price we 
are paying, must also answer this question. And the test they must meet 
is this: What would be the consequence of letting armed aggression 
asainst South Viet- Warn succeed? What would follow in the time ahead? 
What kind of world are they prepared to live in 5 months or 5 years from 
tonight? 

"THREAT TO SOUTHEAST ASIA 

"For those who have borne the responsibility for decision during 
these past 10 years, the stakes to us have seemed clear— and have seemed 
high. 

"President Dwight Eisenhower said in 1959= 

'Strategically South Viet-Nam' s capture by the Communists would 
brinp their power several hundred miles into a hitherto free region. 
The regaining countries in Southeast Asia would be menaced by a great 
flanking movement-. The freedom of 12 million people would be lost immedi- 
ately and that or 150 million in adjacen-c lando would be seriously endan- 
gered. The loss of South Viet-Nam would set in motion a crumbling process 
that could, as it progressed, have grave consequences for us and for 
freedom. ' 

"And President John F. Kennedy said in 1962: 

' .withdrawal in the case of Viet-Nam and in the case of 
Thailand might mean a collapse of the entire area. 

D-121 



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



"A year later, he reaffirmed that: 

'We are not going to withdraw from that effort. In my opin- 
ion, 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 . ' 

"This is not sinroly an American viewpoint, I would have you legis- 
lative leaders know. I am going to call the roll now of those who live 
in that part of the world— in the great arc of Asian and Pacific nations— 
and who bear the responsibility for leading their people and the responsi- 
bility for the fate of their people. 

•"The President of the Philippines had this to say: 

'Viet-Nam is the focus of attention now It may happen to 

Thailand or the Philippines, or anywhere, wherever there is misery, 

disease, ignorance For you to renounce your position of leadership 

in Asia is to allow the Red Chinese to gobble up all of Asia.' 

"The Foreign Minister of Thailand said: 

'/The American/ decision will go down in history as the move 
that prevented the world from having to face another major conflagration. 

"The Prime Minister of Australia said: 

'We are there because while Communist aggression persists the 
whole of Southeast Asia is threatened.' 

"President Park of Korea said: 

'For the first time in our history, we decided to dispatch our 
combat troops overseas. . .because in our belief any aggression against 
the Republic of Viet-Nam represented a direct and grave menace against 
the security and peace of free Asia, and therefore directly jeopardized 
the very security and freedom of our own people . ' 

"The Prime Minister of Malaysia warned his people that if the 
United States uulled out of South Viet-Nam, it would go to the Commun- 
ists, and after that, it would only be a matter of time until they moved 
against neighboring states. 

"The Prime Minister of New Zealand said: 

'We can thank God that America at least regards aggression in 
Asia with the same concern as it regards aggression in Europe— and is 
prepared to back up its concern with action.' 



D-122 



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



"The Prime Minister of Singapore said: 

•I feel the fate of Asia-South and Southeast Asia-will be 
decided in the next few years by what happens out in Viet -Ham. 

"I cannot tell you tonight as your President -with certainty-that 
T: nn „ ,+ nf south Viet-Nam would be followed by a Communist 
a communist ^J^^^f™ do know there are North Vietnamese 
1° Zrln Los I do know that there are North Vietnamese-trained 

^rilSs^onight in northeast Thailand. I do know that there are 
f nS auTOorted guerrilla forces operating in Burma. And a Com- 
SSS "as™ averted in Sidonesia, the fifth largest nation 

in the world. 

"So your American President cannot tell you-with certainty-that 
fl SoutheasTLi^ dominated by Communist power would bring a third world 
war much closer to terrible reality. One could hope that this would 
not be so. 

"Rut all that we have learned in this tragic century strongly 
su ^esS to me that it would be so. As President of the United States, 
x ff not prepared to gamble on the chance that it is not so. I am not 

v2 ?o risk the security- indeed, the survival- of this American 
£Son on mere hoS andTishrul thinking. I am convinced that by seeing 
this struggle through now we are greatly reducing the chances of a much 
this sirugs-L "s m]Clear war . I would rather stand in Viet-Ham 

JfS IZ?IT4 meeS^ danger now and facing u, , to it, thereby 
r^duS the danger for our children and for our grandchildren. 



* * 



T5 ~-~~**~ PnsTc's News Conference of O ctober 12, 1 9 6 T ; Department 
75 * ^I^^P^ii- Release No. Wl ■ October 12, W^ 



* 



"Our commitment is clear and our national interest is real. The 
qFATO Treaty, approved with only one dissenting vote by our Senate 
SEATO -treaty, *y rec o^izes that aggression by means of armed 

tlltT n\ b S treat/a^L.".^ endanger its own peace and safety, 
St/ess that it £**« «-«£ "^SL^^uSST^.. 
Z5Z*S* the ^oVS/other'signatory L and five signatories 
is not suhject r alongslae Korean and South Vietnamese troops. 

SlLrSe P^ortion ox non-5.S. forces in South Viet-Na* is greater 
than non-U. S. forces in Korea. 

"In Aumist 19ft the Congress by joint resolution declared, with only 
,. In S7 votes that 'The United States regards as vital to its 
Sion^interesf Si tfworld peace the maintenance of international 



D-123 



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






peace and security in Southeast Asia.' This was not a new idea in I96U. 
It was the basis for the SEATO Treaty a decade earlier. It is no less 
valid in 1967. Our several alliances in the Pacific reflect our pro- 
found interest ir. peace in the Pacific, and in Asia where two-thirds 
of the world's people live, no less vital to us as a nation than is 
peace in our own hemisphere or in the NATO area. 

' "I have heard the word 'credibility' injected into our domestic 
debate. Let me say, as solemnly as I can, that those who would place 
in question the credibility of the pledged word of the United States 
under our mutual security treaties would subject this nation to mortal 
danger. If any who would be our adversary should suppose that our 
treaties are a bluff, or will be abandoned if the going gets tough, the 
result could be catastrophe for all mankind." 



* * * 



" 1 have never subscribed to the domino theory; it's much too 

esoteric. There are North Vietnamese regiments today fighting in South 
Viet-Nam. There are North Vietnamese armed forces in Laos being opposed 
by Laotian forces: There are North Vietnamese-trained guerrillas opera- 
ting in Northeast Thailand. There are Communist dissident elements in 
Burma who are being aided, encouraged, and helped from outside Burma 
across the Chinese frontier. 

"There was a major Communist effort in 1965 to pull off a coup 
d'etat against Indonesia. You don't need the domino theory. Look at 
their proclaimed doctrine and look at what they're doing about it." 



"Q. Mr. Secretary, one of the questions — basic questions — that 
seems to be emerging in this Senate debate is whether our national security 
is really at stake in Viet-Nam, and whether Viet-Nam represents an integral 
part of our defense perimeter in the Pacific. 

"Your earlier statement indicates that you think our security is at 
stake in Viet-Nam. I think it would help in this debate if you would 
perhaps elaborate and explain why you think our security is at stake in 
Viet-Nam. 

"A. Within the next decade or two, there will be a billion Chinese 
on the Mainland, armed with nuclear weapons, with no certainty about what 
their attitude toward the rest of Asia. will be. 

"Now the free nations of Asia will make up at least a billion people. 
They don't want China to overrun them on the basis of a doctrine of the 
world revolution. The militancy of China has isolated China, even within 
the Communist World, but they have not drawn back from it. They have 

D-12U 



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



reaffirmed it, as recently as their reception of their great and good 
friend, Albania, two days ago. 

"Nov we believe that the free nations of Asia must brace themselves, 
get themselves set; with secure, progressive, stable institutions of 
their own, with co-operation, among the free nations of Asia -- stretching 
from Korea and Japan right around to the subcontinent — if there is to 
be peace in Asia over the next 10 or 20 years. We would hope that in 
China there would emerge a generation of leadership that would think ser- 
iously about what is called 'peaceful co-existence, ' that would recognize 
the pragmatic necessity for human beings to live together in peace, rather 
than on a basis of continuing warfare. 

"Now from a strategic point of view, it is not very attractive to 
think of the world cut in two by Asian Communism, reaching out through 
Southeast Asia and Indonesia, which we know has been their objective; 
and that these hundreds of millions of people in the free nations of Asia 
should be under the deadly and constant pressure of the authorities in 
Peking, so that their future is circumscribed by fear. 

"Now these are vitally important matters to us, who are both a 
pacific and an Atlantic power. After all, World War II hit us from the 
pacific, and Asia is where two-thirds of the world's people live. So 
we have a tremendous stake in the ability of the Free. Nations of Asia to 
live in peace; and to turn the interests of people in Mainland China to 
the pragmatic requirements of their own people, and away from a doctrin- 
aire and ideological adventurism abroad. 

"Q. Could I ask just one follow-up question on that, sir: 

"Do you think you can fulfill this very large commitment of con- 
tainment and still meet the commitment of the Manila Conference — to 
withdraw within six months after a peace agreement has been reached? 

"A. Oh, yes, I think so. 

"That does not mean that we ourselves have nominated ourselves to 
be the policemen for all of Asia. We have, for good reasons, formed 
alliances with Korea and Japan, the Philippines, the Republic of China, 
Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand; and South Viet- Nam is covered by 
the Southeast Asia Treaty. 

"That doesn't mean that we are the general policemen. Today, the 
Laotian forces aie carrying the burden in Laos on the ground. The Thais 
are carrying the burden in Thailand; the Burmese are carrying the burden 
in Burma; the Indians are carrying the burden upon their northeastern 
frontier — the Sikkim border — and whatever other threat there might 
be in that direction. 

"But we have our part; we have accepted a share, and we have accepted 
that share as a part of the vital national interest of the United States. 

D-125 



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



"Q. Mr. Secretary, would you describe the net objective here then 
as the containment of Chinese Communist militancy? 

"A. No. The central objective is an organized and reliable peace. 

"Now if China pushes out against those with whom we have alliances, 
then we have a problem, but so does China. If China pushes out against 
the Soviet Union, both China and the Soviet Union have a problem. 

"We are not picking out ourselves — we are not picking out Peking 
as some sort of special enemy. Peking has nominated itself by proclaim- 
ing a militant doctrine of the world revolution, and doing something about 
it. This is not a theoretical debate; they are doing something about it. 

"Now we can live at peace — we have not had a war with the Soviet 
Union in 50 years of co-existence, since their revolution. We are not 
ourselves embarked upon an ideological campaign to destroy anybody who 
calls themselves Communist " 



* * 



7 5 Inter view with Secretary Rusk, Videotaped at USIA Studios in 

Washin gton, D.C. on October 16, 1967 and later Broadcast Abroad; 
""Se cretary Rusk Discusses Viet-Nam in Interview for Foreign Tele- 
vision. 1 ' Department of State Bulletin, November 6, 1967, p. 595 - 



"Secretary Rusk: 



# * 



"But in my press conference I pointed the finger at what I called 
Asian communism because the doctrine of communism as announced and 
declared in Peking has a special quality of militancy, a militancy which 
has largely isolated Peking within the Communist world, quite apart from 
the problem it has created with many other countries .... 

"Mr. Barnett: Mr. Secretary, since your last press conference, some 
f your critics have accused you of using the threat of 'yellow peril* to 
-justify the allied forces' presence in South Viet-Nam. And, related to 
that also is the fact that many people have seen what they consider a 
shade different emphasis in your approach to this, that at one time 
American forces were there to justify the self-determination of South 
Viet-Nam, and now you're talking more in terms of giving strength to the 
non-Communist nations in Asia as a defense against Peking. Could you 
clarify this? 

"Secret ary Rusk : Yes. In the first place, I put out a statement 
/on October 16/ in which I rejected categorically any effort to put into 

D-126 



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



my mouth the concept of 'the yellow peril, ' which was a racial concept 
of 60 or 70 years ago fostered by extreme journalism of those days. 
This is not in my mind. 

"I pointed out that other Asian nations, ranging from Korea and 
Japan on the one side around to the subcontinent of India on the other, 
are concerned about their own safety over against the things which are 
being said and done in Peking and by Peking. These free nations of 
Asia also are of Asian races. So that to me, this has nothing whatever to 
do with the sense of 'yellow peril' that was built upon a racial fear and 
hostility 60 or TO years ago in which the hordes of Asia were going to 
overrun the white race as a racial matter. 

"Now, as far as the difference in emphasis is concerned, one of our 
problems is that people tend to listen to what we say on only one point 
at a time. We have spoken about our treaty commitments to Viet-Nam. 
We've talked about our interest in organizing a peace in the Pacific, 
because of our other alliances in the Pacific as with Korea, Japan, the 
Republic of China, the Philippines, the SEATO Treaty, and our ANZUS 
Treaty with Australia and New Zealand. 

"So we have a great stake in the integrity of the alliances which 
we have in the Pacific Ocean area. 

"Now, we have also talked about our own national interest, our own 
security interests in Southeast Asia, and in these alliances. Now, we 
haven't shifted from one to the other; we speak about all of these things 
and have for 6 or 7 years. At times people seem to think we emphasize 
one some the other. I think this is more based upon the way people listen, 
rather than the way in which we state these underlying elements in our 
policy." 



* 



" Mr. De Segonzac : But by injecting the Chinese question in the whole 
affair of Viet-Nam as you have in your last press conference, aren't you 
making it more difficult to come to some form of solution, because you're 
giving the impression now that the whole question of Viet-Nam is not so 
much to help a small power, as was explained previously, to come to its 
self -decisions, but now you're putting it as a problem of China and the 
dangers of China in the Far East? 

"Secr etary Rusk ; Well, this is not something that is an opinion 
solely of my own . There are many countries in Asia who are concerned about 
Peking and their attitude. I have no doubt that if Peking were strongly 
to support the reconvening of a Geneva conference that there might well be 
a Geneva conference, for example. At the present time, they bitterly oppose 
such a conference. 

"This is a question that affects many countries. There are more than 

D-127 



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



20 regiments of North Vietnamese in South Viet-Nam. There are North 
Vietnamese regiments in Laos, opposed there by Laotian forces. There 
Ire North Vietnamese-trained guerrillas now operating in the nortneast 
of Thailand. We hear reports of Chinese assistance going to the guer- 
illas in Burma. The Indonesians charge that the Chinese were deeply 
Solved in^at attempted coup d'etat in 1 9 6 5 . We know the shooting 
thaToccurred recently along the Sikkim border between Indian and 
Chinese forces. 

"So that these are-and we also have heard from Prince Sihanouk in 
thP last 2 or 3 weeks that he himself is .not very happy about what he 
SLks the Chinese are doing in Cambodia. The Chinese are even barreling 
wiS Switzerland. They reach out to places like Kenya and Ceylon and 
other places. 

"Tt's not lust their difficulties with the Soviet Union, India, the 
United States, United Kingdom. They find it difficult to get along with 
aSost anyone, except their great and good friend Albania. 

"So I don't think that we can pretend that the policies of China and 
some of the actions being taken by China are a contribution toward peace 
in Asia. At least our Asian friends don't think so. 

* * * 

"Mr Ruse- Mr. Secretary, if the aim of U.S. policy is now mainly 
containminfof China, how do you envision the future of Asia? Do you 
!SecHo have all the other Asian countries armed to the point where 
JSv're strong enough to resist China, or is that a permanent role for 
tne United Stftes Tn the Pacific as the gendarmes for a couple of billions i 

"Secretary Rusk: Well, I myself have not used that term 'corttain- 
- qF China.' It is true that at the present time we have an alliance _ 
viS Korea, Japan, the Republic of China on Taiwan, the Philippines, Tnai- 
land, Australia, and New Zealand. Now, does that system of alliances add 
up to containment? That is something one can judge. 

"Would the determination of India not to permit Chinese intrusions 
across its long frontier be containment? That is to judge. My guess is 
tnaTnone of the countries of free Asia want to see themselves overrun by 
• Finland China, and in the case of some of those countries we have an 

«mJnce Now we have not ourselves undertaken to be the world's police- 
S ?or all purooses, all around the globe. But we do have some alliances 
and' those alliances are very serious to us and unless we take them seri- 
oullyTS Sess is that some very serious dangers will erupt not only m 
Asia but in other places." 



* 



"Secretary Rusk: Back in 19&, in August 19&, our Congress with 
only tffiStinFvotes, declared that it was in the vital interest of 



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the United States and of world peace that there be peace in Southeast 
Asia. Ten years earlier the Senate had approved our SEATO Treaty with 
only one dissenting vote in the Senate. 

"Wow, the basis for these alliances that .re made in the Pacific 
was that the security of those areas was vital to the security of the 
United States. We did not go into these alliances as a matter of 
altruism, to do someone else a favor. We went into them because we 
felt that the security of Australia and the United States, New Zealand 
and the United States, was so interlinked that we and they ought to have 
an alliance with each other, and similarly with the other alliances we 
have in the Pacific, as with the alliance in NATO. So that these alli- 
ances themselves rest upon a sense of the national security interests of 
the United States and not just on a fellow feeling for friends in some 
other part of the world." 

■* * * 

■7j. Address by Under Secretary of State Katzenbach before the Fairfield 
Uni versity Progress Dinner at Fairfield, Connecticut, October 17, 
1967; "The Complex and Difficult Problems in Viet-Nam, " Department 
of State Bulletin, November 6, 19o7, p. 602 . 

* * * 

"These commitments — both legal and moral—are so solidly founded 
that I cannot see how anyone can rightly argue that we should renege on 
them. 

"They are rooted in the Geneva Accords of 195^ at the conclusion 
of which the United States formally stated that we 'would view any renewal 
of the aggression. . .with grave concern and as seriously threatening inter- 
national peace and security' ; rooted in the SEATO treaty, which applies 
to South Viet-Nam through a protocol annexed to it; and rooted in numerous 
other assurances, including President Kennedy's statement of August 2, 1961, 
that 'the United States is determined that the Republic of Viet-Nam shall 
not be lost to the Communists for lack of any support which the United 
States Government can render.' 

"Our commitments to South Viet-Nam are far better grounded than 
were those to South Korea at the time of the aggression there. For this 
reason, I am puzzled as to why so many liberals who supported President 
Truman in a policy of limited war in Korea now oppose a parallel policy 
in Viet-Nam. The objectives of such a policy have seldom been as clearly 
and precisely stated as they were by Richard Rovere and Arthur Schlesinger 
(The General and the President, ' Farrar, Straus & Young) in 1951- They 
said: 

'The objective is not to destroy communism everywhere, a goal 
which would involve an unlimited ideological crusade, or even to destroy 

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the Soviet Union, a goal which could not be briefly attained without 
an atomic holocaust, the objective is to punish aggression by lowering 
the boom on individual experiments in aggression, while at the same 
time refusing to generalize from the individual case to the total war. 
Korea had to remain a limited war: limited it. its investment of 
American forces, limited in its goal. ' 

"What Rovere and Schlesinger wrote about Korea in 1951, it seems 
to me, is no less valid for Viet-Nam today...." 

* * * 

"One such irrelevancy — one of the sillier ones — has been the 
assertion made in the press in the last few days that the administration 
was evoking 'the yellow peril.' In discussing our interests in South- 
east Asia at his press conference last week, Secretary Rusk pointed out 
that the free nations of the area fully share our determination to pre- 
vent aggression. He said what everyone knows, that these nations — which 
are also oriental — are deeply concerned about their long-term security 
in the face of a militant, hostile, and rigidly ideological Communist 
China . " 

* * * 

"Now is our starting point. Now is from where we must go on. But 
while our current action is delimited by responsibilities and decisions 
carried over from the past, it also gains by past experience. Significant 
to that experience, the experience of all of us who lived through the 
period between World Wars I and II, is the finding that armed aggression 
cannot be met simply by appeals to reason and virtue. Armed aggression 
is not deterred by rhetoric or wishful thinking." 



78. Address by Eugene V. Rostow, Under Secretary of State for Political 
Affairs, before the Regional Foreign Policy Conference at the 
University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, October 17, 1967; "Another 
Round in the Great Debate: American Security in an Unstable World," 
Department of State Bulletin, November 6, 1967 .> p- 605. 

* # # 

"VIETNAM AND THE U.S. NATIONAL INTEREST 

"Let me take up first the more specific arguments about Viet-Nam 
before returning to the broader problem. 

"In the view of our Government, the war in Viet-Nam is like the 
attack on South Korea and earlier threats to Greece, Iran, and Berlin. 

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It constitutes a clear aggression by a Communist regime supported both 
bv China and the Soviet Union-attempting to take over another country 
g Jorce. Whatever view one takes of the origins of the ^--whether 
It is considered an insurrection against the authority of the South 
Vietnamese state aided by North Viet-Nam or, 8 3 we believe, an infil- 
tration and invasion from North Viet-Nam-the issue in international 
IS and politics is the same. In either view, North Viet -Nam is waging 
war against South Viet-Nam. And South Viet-Nam has the right to ask for 
the help of the international community in resisting an attack mounted 
from beyond its borders. 

"Neither South Viet-Nam nor the United States wants to conquer 
North Viet-Nam or to overturn its Communist regime. The central issue 
of the war is whether North Viet-Nam will be allowed to conquer South 
Viet-Nam. 

. "What is America's national interest in South Viet-Nam? Why are 
we there? 

"There are several answers. 

"We are in Viet-Nam because we are obliged to be there specifically 
by the SEATO treaty and generally by the U.N. Charter itself. 

"The obligations of the United Nations Charter are not suspended 
when permanent members of the Security Council disagree or the Assembly 
cannot act. The principles of the charter condemn the attack of North 
Viet-Nam on South Viet-Nam and authorize the members of the organization 
to offer South Viet-Nam assistance in its efforts of self-defense. 

"Honoring these commitments is dictated by the most hardheaded 
assessment of our national interest. Three Presidents have concluded 
that the fate of Southeast Asia as a whole is directly related to tne 
^reservation of South Viet-Kam's independence. And Congress has repeat- 
edly affirmed their judgment. If South Viet-Nam were to be taken over, 
the expansionist forces of Communist China and North Viet-Nam would be 
encouraged, and resistance to them and to aggression generally throughout 
the world would be seriously weakened. 

"The United States is no less a Pacific than an Atlantic power. Our 
security demands an equilibrium of power in the Far -East as much as it 
does in Europe and in the Middle East. That equilibrium depends on Viet- 
Nam and the system of alliances it symbolizes. 

"Responsible opinion throughout Southeast Asia believes that the 
outcome in Viet-Nam will determine the future alinement of the whole 
region. Present events in Laos, Thailand, and Burma confirm this wide- 
spread judgment. 



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"Viet-Kam is the test for a new technique of revolution. As nuclear 
warfare is unthinkable and massed frontal attacks of the Korean type 
are too dangerous to be tried, Communist leaders are drawn to wars of 
national liberation.' Indeed, they have developed an elaborate doctrine 
eSSning the place of these ventures in their overall strategy. On • 

Sir prefent scale, the hostilities in Viet-Nam could hardly continue 
for anHength of time without large-scale aid from China and the Soviet 
Son DeeSalation of the fighting should follow logically if that 
aid were to be reduced. 

"But the Soviet Union has not so far responded to proposals of 
this kind. Indeed, the Soviet Union stiLL declines to join with the 
United Kingdom in reconvening the Control Commissions either for I*os 
or for Viet-Kam. 

"In summary, we are bound to Viet-Nam by specific and general com- 
mitments and by our own national interest. 

"Above all, at this stage, whether one believes we were right or 
wrong in getting into Viet-Kam in the first place, the hostilities in 
yle^Nam Save been made the test of America's resolve to maintain that 
network of security arrangements upon which the equilibrium of world 
"owe? has come to depend. There would be little security to protect our 
Stereos anywhere in the world if America's promise faltered or failed 
when the going got rough. As President Kennedy once said: 

•The 1930' s taught us a clear lesson: Aggressive conduct, 
if allowed to go unchecked and unchallenged, ultimately leads to war. 
This nation is opposed to war. We are also true to our word. 



* 



"What principle of ethics makes it immoral to protect the safety 
of the nation through methods which have the sanction of international 
law and the United Nations Charter? In what way do we lessen our 
capacity to seek social justice at home by defending the cause of peace, 
stability, and social progress abroad?' 

* * * 

TO Address by fipr- ratarv Rusk (Excerpt) made at Columbus, Indiana, 
'* Oc tober 30, 1967; "Firmness and Restraint in Vie t -Kam," Department 
^f~State Bulletin, November 27, 19^7, P- 703 • 

"We're in Viet-Nam today for several reasons. These reasons cannot 
be summarized in a single phrase or catchword. They are not reasons 
which shift from time to. time but are always present. 



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"The first is that the peace and security of Southeast Asia are, 
as the Congress has put it, 'vital 1 to our own national interest. 

"That conclusion was first reached by President Truman before the 
attack on Korea ; after thorough analysis in the highest councils of the 
Government. The question was reexamined after the Korean war began and 
again in the early months of President Eisenhower's administration. 
The conclusion was always essentially the same: that we had a vital 
national interest in the peace and security of Southeast Asia. That 
conclusion was based on such factors as the population of the area — 
more than 200 million— its natural resources, and its strategic location 
athwart the gateway between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, with the 
Indian subcontinent on one flank and Australia and New Zealand on the 
other. The loss of Southeast Asia to a hostile power or powers would 
be a weighty shift of the balance of power to the disadvantage of the 
free world and would affect adversely the world situation as a whole. 

"That fundamental conclusion led the United States to join with 
others in signing the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, which 
the United States Senate approved with only one dissenting vote. Article 
IV of that treaty says that 'Each party recognizes that aggression by 
means of armed attack in the treaty area... would endanger its own peace 
and safety' and, in that event, would 'act to meet the common danger. ' 
By a protocol signed and approved with the treaty, the protection was 
extended to the non-Communist states of former French Indochina: 

"So we are fighting in Viet-Nam: 

— because the peace and security of Southeast Asia are vital 
to our national interest; 

« 

— because we made a solemn commitment 'to act to meet the 
common danger' if South Viet-Nam were subjected to 'aggression by means 
of armed attack'; 

— because if those who would be our enemies should come to 
think that the defensive commitments of the United States— to more than 
U0 allies— are just bluffs, we would be on the slippery slope to general 
war; 

--because Asian Communist leaders have proclaimed the struggle 
in Viet-Nam to be a critical test of a special technique for achieving 
Communist domination of the world: through whay they, in their upside- 
down language, call 'wars of national liberation.' 

"We are in Viet-Nam because we believe that the people of South Viet- 
Nam should have a chance to determine their own government and their own 
future by their own choice and not through force imposed by Hanoi. The 
idea of self-determination is fundamental to a nation which was founded 



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upon the notion that governments derive 'their just powers from the 
consent of the governed.' This does not mean that we are the world's 
policemen, but it does mean that we take this factor into full account 
when we make treaties and undertake commitments beyond our borders. 

"And we are fighting in Viet-Nam because we are resolved not to 
repeat the blunders which led to the Second World War." 

# * #• 

8o. President Johnson's News Conference, November 17, 1967; Department 
of~State Bulletin, December 11, 1967, p. 779 • 

* * * 

"Q. Mr. Pres ident, is your aim in Viet-Nam to win the war or to 
see k a compromised, negotiated solution ? 

"The President : I think our aims in Viet-Nam have been very clear 
from the beginning. They are consistent with the SEATO treaty, with the 
Atlantic Charter, and with the many statements that we have made to the 
Congress in .connection with the Tonkin Gulf resolution. The Secretary 
of State has made this clear dozens and dozens of times — and I made it 
enough that I thought even all the preachers in the country had heard 
about it. 

"That is, namely, to protect the security of the United States. 
We think the security of the United States is definitely tied in with the 
security of Southeast Asia. 

"Secondly, to resist aggression. When we are a party to a treaty 
that says we will do it, then we carry it out." 



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