Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 3, pp. 565
JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
September 10, 1964
Rules of Engagement, De Soto Patrol
The following rules of engagement are recomended for De Soto patrols in the Gulf of Tonkin:
a. In the event of hostile attack, the patrol ships and aircraft are directed to fire upon the hostile attacker with the objective of insuring destruction. Ships are authorized to pursue the enemy to the recognized three mile territorial limit. Aircraft are authorized hot pursuit inside territorial waters (3 miles) against surface vessels and into hostile airspace (includes DRV, Hainan Island and Mainland China) against attacking aircraft when necessary to achieve destruction of identified attacking forces.
b. Ships and aircraft will confine their actions to the attacking ships and/or aircraft.
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