Address by William P. Bundy, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific A flairs, before the Commonwealth Club of California, at San Francisco, California, January 20, 1967; "East Asia Today," Department of State Bulletin, February 27, 1967, p. 323


Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 4, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), pp. 663-664.


THE CONFIDENCE FACTOR

"Now, in this broad picture I have already referred to our stand in Viet-Nam as having made a major contribution to the confidence factor. I will not review here the current situation in Viet-Nam, because I think the interpretive reporting you get is on the whole good.

"I come back to the central point: that what we have done in Viet-Nam did / have a major part in developing the confidence factor, the sense that progress is possible, the sense that security can be maintained in the nations of free Asia. To virtually all the non-Communist governments of the area--and they often say this as bluntly as President Marcos did in his opening address at the Manila Conference--that security requires a continued United States ability to act, not necessarily an American presence, although that, too, may be required in individual cases, but an ability to act for a long time. And that we must--and, I think, shall--provide, and we shall keep on in Viet-Nam, as the President has made completely clear. Without what we have done in Viet-Nam, without the regeneration of the spirit of cooperation among the Western nations, ourselves included, and the nations of Asia, I doubt very much if the favorable developments I have described could have taken place on anything like the scale that has in fact been happening. And I think that is the very strongly felt judgment of responsible people, in government and out, throughout East Asia.

"If that vast area with its talents and its capacity were to fall under domination by a hostile power or group of powers, or if it were to fall into chaos and instability, the result would be vast human misery and possibly a wider war. However, today, I think, more than at any time in the 15 years that I have personally been associated with the area, East Asia offers the hope of becoming a region of stable nations, developing in their own way, each according to its own strong national and cultural heritage. And that is our hope and our fundamental national interest, both in Asia and throughout the rest of the world."

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