The Pentagon Papers
Gravel Edition
Volume 1
Document 25, Letter from C.E. Wilson on General Erskine's Recommendations, 23 March 1954, p 454.


THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
Washington

March 23, 1954

Dear Mr. Secretary:

Pursuant to a recommendation of the Under Secretary of State, the Department of Defense has considered the military implications of a negotiated settlement to terminate the hostilities in Indochina. The views and recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on this matter were submitted to me in a memorandum dated March 12, 1954. These views, together with the views of General G. B. Erskine, USMC (Ret), Chairman of the Subcommittee of the President's Special Committee, were submitted to the Special Committee in a memorandum dated March 17, 1954. It is understood that the Department of State is presently considering General Erskine's report.

I am fully in accord with General Erskine's recommendations and the views and recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in this matter. Accordingly, there is forwarded herewith for your information a copy of the aforementioned documents which represent the views of the Department of Defense. It is recommended that these views be carefully considered in preparation of the United States position on Indochina for the forthcoming conference at Geneva.

Sincerely yours,
C. E. Wilson


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