Cable From Ambassador Taylor in Saigon to the State Department on the Terms of Reference for the Air War in Laos, 7 October 1964

Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 3, pp. 579-580

Date: 10 October 1964



REF: Embtel 1068

Transmitted herewith are the approved Terms of Reference by Bangkok, Vientiane, and Saigon

"1. Group to be known as Coordinating Committee for US Mission Southeast Asia (SEACOORD).

"2. The objectives of the Committee are to coordinate policy recommendations and military operational matters affecting more than one mission.

"With respect to military and relating operational matters, the Committee will coordinate the operations and actions of their respective missions and component elements within the sphere of their competence and authority from Washington. The Committee will also act as a clearing house for the exchange of information on all military or other operations affecting more than one post.

"In making coordinated recommendations to Washington on proposed operations, the Committee will seek to take into account all relative political and military considerations.

"The Committee will not rpt not exercise executive authority over any mission or military command.

"3. Membership will normally consist of the US Missions in Saigon, Vientiane and Bangkok. Other US missions in Southeast Asia may be included in specific meetings if subject matter makes this desirable.

"4. Missions will normally be represented by the DCM's at Bangkok and Vientiane and by the Deputy Ambassador at Saigon, together with military and CAS representation as appropriate. Ambassadors may, of course, attend at their discretion. In addition to the representation provided CINCPAC through his military representatives in the area, CINCPAC and his subordinate commands may be represented as appropriate.

"5. Meetings will normally be held at Saigon not rpt not less than once a month and will be chaired by the Deputy Ambassador.

"Meetings may be called more frequently at the initiative of any of the three missions.

"6. The Chairman will be responsible for: [material missing]

B) Proposing and circulating an Agenda prior to each meeting,
C) Arranging appropriate briefings of participants,
D) Transmitting to Washington such conclusions and recommendations as may be agreed.

"7. The Committee may form such other relating Committees as may be required.

"8. As an element of SEACOORD, a Standing Military Committee is hereby established composed of COMUSMACV, or his representative, as Chairman, Deputy COMUS MACTHAI or representative, and a Military Representative designated by the Ambassador Vientiane, and a CAS Saigon Representative. The Military Committee may form such Subcommittees as may be required. CINCPAC or subordinate CINCPAC Commands may participate as required, as well as political and CAS representation from Vientiane and Bangkok."

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