Secretary Rusk Interview, Videotaped in Washington on January 31, 1967 and Broadcast by the British Independent Television Network on February 1, 1967; "Secretary Rusk Discusses Viet-Nam in Interview for British Television," Department of State Bulletin, February 20, 1967, p. 274.


Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 4, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), pp. 665-666.


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PEKING AND SOUTHEAST ASIA

Q. "Mr. Rusk, could we look at the objects of this war? There appears to us in Britain to be a certain confusion in your war aims. Is this a war for the containment of China, or is it simply a war for the independence of South VietNam? Could you tell us precisely what your war aims are?"

A. "I don't know that there is a choice between those two objectives. My guess is that if the authorities in Peking were to throw their weight behind peace in Southeast Asia, there would be peace in Southeast Asia.

"But, nevertheless, the immediate events which brought our Armed Forces into South Viet-Nam were the movement of substantial numbers of North Vietnamese men in arms, including some now 20 regiments of their North Vietnamese regular army, into South Viet-Nam for the purpose of imposing a political settlement on the South by force. Now, this cuts right across our commitments under the SEATO Treaty. Under article IV of that treaty, each signatory determines what steps it will take to meet the common danger in the event of an aggression by means of armed attack; and it was specifically understood at the time that that would apply to an aggression by Ho Chi Minh, as well as to others.

"Now, the Chinese are not actively involved in this situation in South VietNam. We do know that they are trying to stir up problems for the Thais in the northeast section of Thailand. China has publicly announced that Thailand is next on the list; but the key point is that if these countries would live at peace, we would be the first to give that our full support--leave these countries alone ourselves, get out of there."

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