Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 3, pp. 577-578
7 Oct 64
Amembassy SAIGON 783 IMMEDIATE
INFO: Amembassy BANGKOK FOR MARTIN 486
Amembassy VIENTIANE FOR UNGER 306
CINCPAC FOR ADMIRAL SHARP
FOR THE AMBASSADOR FROM THE SECRETARY
Ref: Embtel 1017 and 1032, Vientiane's 564
Concur convening organizing session as suggested reftels. We are completely sympathetic to need for coordinating politico-military recommendations affecting Vietnam through some regional arrangement and agree that this job would best be done by establishment group under chairmanship Alexis Johnson in Saigon.
We have, however, two concerns here. The first is that existence of this group remain completely confidential, since we do not wish give any impression at this time establishment of SLA political and military command structure in Saigon. In this connection wish avoid large movements military or civilian personnel from CINCPAC or other two posts.
Our second concern is that group should restrict itself to acting as clearing house for information on operations mentioned Saigon's 1017 and formulation of recommendations to Washington. Group should not repeat not exercise executive authority over other posts.
Perhaps at your meeting you and your colleagues could frame specific recommendation for terms of reference and method of operation which you consider desirable.
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