President Kennedy's News Conference, Response to a Question Regarding the Sending of American Troops to South Vietnam, October 11, 1961


Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 2, p. 805


President Kennedy's News Conference, October 11, 1961, Public Papers of the Presidents, Kennedy, 1961, p. 660:

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

THE PRESIDENT: "We are going to wait until General Taylor comes back and brings an up-to-date description of the situation, particularly in Vietnam. As you know, in the last two or three months there has been a large increase in the number of the forces that have been involved. There has been evidence that some of these forces have come from beyond the frontiers. General Taylor will give me and the Joint Chiefs of Staff an educated military guess as to what the situation is that the government there faces. Then we can come to conclusions as to what is the best thing to do."

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