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Full text of "US Decision to Witdhraw from Vietnam"

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This course involves a US decision (publicly announced or not, now or later) 
to withdraw all U.S. forces from SVN in one year or less (depending almost 
exclsuively on logictic EsfeherzihaHxafchKEX considerations), whether or not an 
agreement is reached in Paris. 

A. Assumptions 

1 The war is unwinnable (a. in acceptable ways, B. as envisaged, i.e. as a positive 
political and social outcome for SVN) 

No matter what statistics might indicate or official reproters feel, our 
effeorts cannot in fehexBKxizfixBxyKars resolve the political problems that are 
at the heart of this war. 

We should therefor cut our losses and avoid unknown additional risks while we 
can, and devote resources and energies to other activities elsewhere. 

2. The Nixon adminsitration can successfully explain this course to the American 

people and other nations, 

The American people will be receptive because many are disenchanted with the 
war, and because many believe that that domestic priorities would benefit (Public 
opinion has responded favorably to deescalation and has favored escalation only 
"to get it over with" . If no acceptable "get it over with" in sight, public likely 
to fa vor unilateral withdrawal. 

Other nation will accept our action because we have met our commitments by 
large investment in eksh men and resources, and shown flexibity in accepting the 

3. It is important to start the withdrawal process now and complete it quickly 
because otherwise the new adminsitration runs a risk of getting locked in (War 
transferred from Johnson to Nixon admin rather than from US to SVN). 

or Gevn forces 

4. A withdrawal might at least provide the invigoration to the GVN that it needs 
to transform itseifxfeHz themsleves or at least affect the situation in the future. 

Withdrawal "limits damage", saves lives, conserves resources now 


The decision frees the US, making it independent of objectives tha^ must be obtaine 

B. Military Actions. 

1. US forces are drawn down to zero on a crash basis. ^ppl±exzaEBzl 0 ±fcxbxh±HsizxBriz 
baaEZxfcHEKBdzEVKE. (According to logistic estimates can be done in a year or 

2. US immediately assumes posture suited for rHembscrkatzHn dedeployment 

3« Equipment turned over to GVN (as much as they are ableto use) 

4. Bases ? 

C. Paris 

US tries to negotiate for reciprocal NVA withdrawal , using pace and scope of 
American withdrawal as bargaining counters (But US withdraws in any case). 

US insists on cease fire during withdrawal 

D Declaratory Policies 

1 . 

2x US maintains a strong declaratory policy against NVN (and other communist) 
aggression and reaffirms U.S. interest in Asian nations willing to help themselves 
2. US declares for home consumption that the sacrifices of the past were not in 
vain but that the changed situation requires a new course (liquidation). 


1. US says it will continue to help present or other non-communist forces 
as much as we can. Maintains a small force of technical advisers. 

2. US applies no pressure for reforms and supports aiiyx is friendly to 
whatever GVN (or non-communists in a coaltion government) want to do 

F. Cost 

F Costs 

1 Fastest andcah aapesfe way of reducing cost radically 

Fastest way of reducing US casulaties (andx^MzKaxaalizKx 
G# Consequnces 

Probable collapse of GVN and communist take-over, but possibility of 
non-communist coalition government. Even a communist government after 
collapse not necessarily Hanoi’s "stooge".