White House Statement of the President on the Dispatch of American Troops to Thailand, May 15, 1962


Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 2, p. 811


White House Statement of the President, May 15, 1962, Public Papers of the Presidents, Kennedy, 1962, p. 396:

"Following joint consideration by the governments of the United States and Thailand of the situation in Southeast Asia, the Royal Thai Government has invited, and I have today ordered, additional elements of the United States military forces, both ground and air, to proceed to Thailand and to remain there until further orders. These forces are to help ensure the territorial integrity of this peaceful country.

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

"A threat to Thailand is of grave concern to the United States. I have, therefore, ordered certain additional American military forces into Thailand in order that we may be in a position to fulfill speedily our obligations under the Manila Pact of 1954, a defense agreement which was approved overwhelmingly by the U.S. Senate, and to which the Secretary of State and Foreign Minister of Thailand referred in their joint statement of March 6, 1962. We are in consultation with SEATO Governments on the situation.

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

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


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