Saturday, March 17, 2001

Clifford Task Force

100. Editorial Note

On March 2, 1968, the Clifford Task Force began its comprehensive reassessment of Vietnam policy by considering a preliminary draft of
a memorandum to the President. This memorandum and its accompanying backup materials were prepared in the Department of
Defense by a staff under the direction of Leslie Gelb of the Office of International Security Affairs (ISA) and was reviewed by the
Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs Paul Warnke,
Deputy Assistant Secretaries Morton Halperin and Richard Steadman,
and Assistant Secretary for Systems Analysis Alain Enthoven. The staff compilers suggested that an increased level of forces alone would not lead to the achievement of the U.S. political or military objectives in South Vietnam. The enemy would match any augmentation, the additional troops would be inadequate to drive the Communist forces out of South Vietnam, having 700,000 troops would lead to a "total Americanization of the war" which would serve to undermine the effectiveness of and confidence in the South Vietnamese Government (GVN), and the call-up and consequent expenditures would lead to severe domestic problems within the United States. The only way to achieve eventual success was for the GVN to provide effective military and political leadership for its people. Thus, the preliminary memorandum concluded, U.S. troops should no longer engage in attriting the enemy through search and destroy operations. Instead, U.S. combat units should confine their operations to providing security for the populace and to supporting operations undertaken by the South Vietnamese Army (ARVN). For text of this memorandum, see The Pentagon Papers: The Senator Gravel Edition, pages 561-568. The interagency memoranda and reports comprising the backup material numbered over 40 attachments and are in the Johnson Library, Alain Enthoven Papers, Draft Presidential Memorandum on Vietnam 1968.

Notes of the meetings of the Clifford group have not been found. However, the meetings are described in Townsend Hoopes, The Limits of Intervention (New York: David McKay, 1969), pages 171-181; Larry Berman, Lyndon Johnson's War (New York: Norton, 1989), pages 176-180; Herbert Schandler, Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam: The Unmaking of a President (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977), pages 143-156; and Clark Clifford, Counsel to the President, pages 492-496.

In an article he wrote in 1969, Clifford noted the general tenor of the answers to the questions he sought to address during his review. Clifford received no assurances that the additional 200,000 men would turn the tide; instead there was "no way of knowing" how many more soldiers might be needed. He further found that the augmentation would require a reserve call-up of approximately 280,000, an increased draft call, and an extension of tours of duty. Clifford also was told that the enemy could match the build-up, that the costs of the build-up would be $12 billion by 1969, that bombing would not stop the war or decrease U.S. casualties, that U.S. troops would continue to carry the load since the ARVN "were not yet ready to replace our troops," that there was "no plan for victory in the historic American sense," and that there was "no agreement on an answer" as to how long it would take to win the war of attrition.
See Clark Clifford, "A Viet Nam Reappraisal: The Personal History of
One Man's View and How It Evolved," Foreign Affairs 47:4 (July 1969), pages 601-622.

According to The Pentagon Papers, the group did not reach a consensus on a new strategy but requested that Warnke and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Philip Goulding draft a new and "less controversial" paper than the preliminary memorandum. The new Draft Presidential Memorandum was discussed by the Clifford group on March 3. It recommended:

"1. Meeting General Westmoreland's request by deploying as close to May 1 as practical 20,000 additional troops (approximately 1/2 of which would be combat).

"2. Approval of a Reserve call-up and an increased end strength adequate to meet the balance of the request and to restore a strategic reserve in the United States, adequate for possible contingencies.

"3. Reservation of the decision to deploy the balance of General Westmoreland's new request. While we would be in a position to make these additional deployments, the future decision to do so would be contingent upon:

"a. Continuous reexamination of the desirability of further deployments on a week-by-week basis as the situation develops;

"b. Improved political performance by the GVN and increased contributions in effective military action by the ARVN;

"c. The results of a study in depth, to be initiated immediately, of a possible new strategic guidance for the conduct of U.S. military operations in South Vietnam." (The Pentagon Papers: The Senator Gravel Edition, page 573)

The final version of the Draft Presidential Memorandum is printed as Document 103.


103. Draft Memorandum for President Johnson/1/

Washington, March 4, 1968.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Walt Rostow, Draft Memorandum for the President [3/14/68 re VN]. Top Secret; Sensitive. Drafted by the Clifford Task Force. Portions of this memorandum and the attached tabs are printed in The Pentagon Papers: The Senator Gravel Edition, pp. 575-584.

General Westmoreland has requested an additional 205,000 troops (beyond the 525,000 personnel now authorized). He asks for the deployment in three packages, by May 1, September 1 and December 31.

General Wheeler believes we should prepare ourselves to meet the request for an additional 205,000 personnel and should act to increase and improve our strategic reserve in the United States. An initial staff examination of requirements indicates that to achieve both will require:

a. A call-up of reserve units and individuals totaling approximately 262,000 (194,000 in units, 68,000 as individuals).

b. Increased draft calls.

c. Extension of terms of service. These actions would produce a total increase in end strength in the Armed Forces of approximately 511,000 by June 30, 1969. (The staff examination referred to above included spaces to add 31,500 troops in South Korea and a US naval proposal to add two cruisers and fifteen destroyers to the naval forces in Southeast Asia. If these proposals are disapproved in their entirety, the figures above will be decreased to approximately 242,000 and 454,000 respectively.)

A build-up of roughly these dimensions would enable us to meet the Westmoreland request and, in any event, would reconstitute the strategic reserve in the United States.

We recommend:

1. An immediate decision to deploy to Vietnam an estimated total of 22,000 additional personnel (approximately 60% of which would be combat). An immediate decision to deploy the three tactical fighter squadrons deferred from Program 5 (about 1,000 men). This would be over and above the four battalions (about 3,700 men) already planned for deployment in April which in themselves would bring us slightly above the 525,000 authorized level. The argument for this immediate action, and detailed schedules of availability is contained in Tab A./2/

/2/None of the tabs is printed. In the paper attached at Tab A, the group noted that an immediate injection of forces would influence variables, such as the degree to which the Communist forces kept pressing their attacks, the ability of the VC to extend its control in the countryside, and the ability of the GVN to improve its performance and win popular support.

2. Either through Ambassador Bunker or through an early visit by Secretary Clifford, a highly forceful approach to the GVN (Thieu and Ky) to get certain key commitments for improvement, tied to our own increased effort and to increased US support for the ARVN. Details are in Tab B./3/

/3/In Tab B the group noted that such an effort would demonstrate U.S. commitment to the GVN, although it was possible that the South Vietnamese might "relax behind the refuge of American power." The specific actions required of the GVN included stepped-up mobilization, greater unity among its top leadership, getting back into the countryside, attacking the VC infrastructure, creation of some arrangement approaching a joint command, reform of the GVN, replacement of the current Prime Minister, formation of a united front group of anti-Communist organizations, steps to prevent inflation and counteract the balance-of-payments deficit faced by the United States as a result of having more troops in South Vietnam, and efficient resource allocation.

3. Early approval of a Reserve call-up and an increased end strength adequate to meet the balance of the Westmoreland request and to restore a strategic reserve in the United States, adequate for possible contingencies world-wide. Supporting discussion and details are in Tab C./4/

/4/The paper at Tab C argued that even if all the additional forces were not deployed to Vietnam, these measures would still be warranted due to the depletion of the strategic reserve.

4. Reservation of the decision to meet the Westmoreland request in full. While we would be putting ourselves in a position to make these additional deployments, the future decision to do so would be contingent upon:

a. Reexamination on a week-by-week basis of the desirability of further deployments as the situation develops;

b. Improved political performance by the GVN and increased contribution in effective military action by the ARVN;

c. The results of a study in depth, to be initiated immediately, of possible new political and strategic guidance for the conduct of US operations in South Vietnam, and of our Vietnamese policy in the context of our world-wide politico-military strategy. Supporting discussion is in Tab D./5/

/5/As expressed in Tab D, the view of the Clifford group was that "there can be no assurance that this very substantial additional deployment would leave us a year from today in any more favorable military position." Since the war posed a danger to U.S. interests and commitments worldwide, and since the enemy's recent tactics had proven that "there can be no prospect of a quick military solution," a major interagency study on strategic guidance involving Westmoreland and Bunker had to be undertaken in the near future. Nitze wrote two memoranda on strategic guidance, both dated March 3, which dealt separately with short-term recovery and longer-range strategy. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Nitze Papers, Vietnam War-Miscellaneous Materials, 1968)

5. No new peace initiative on Vietnam. Re-statement of our terms for peace and certain limited diplomatic actions to dramatize Laos and to focus attention on the total threat to Southeast Asia. Details in Tab E./6/

/6/Tab E contained the text of a February 29 memorandum prepared by Bundy which listed three negotiating alternatives: "stand pat on the San Antonio formula," undertake a new initiative modifying the San Antonio formula (which the paper concluded would be "unwise" since the San Antonio formula was "rock bottom"), or "pitching" for negotiations following a countering of the enemy offensive.

6. A general decision on bombing policy, not excluding future change, but adequate to form a basis for discussion with the Congress on this key aspect. Here your advisers are divided:

a. General Wheeler and others would advocate a substantial extension of targets and authority in and near Hanoi and Haiphong, mining of Haiphong, and naval gunfire up to a Chinese Buffer Zone;

b. Others would advocate a seasonal step-up through the spring, but without these added elements.

The opposing arguments are in Tab F./7/

/7/The paper at Tab F detailed further discussion of how to intensify the bombing of North Vietnam.

In proposing this course of action, we recognize that there are certain difficulties and negative factors, outlined in Tab G. Additional problems we can anticipate in US public opinion are at Tab H./8/ Nevertheless, we believe that this course of action, in its essential outline at least, is urgently required to meet the immediate situation in Vietnam as well as wider possible contingencies there and elsewhere.

/8/The papers at Tabs G and H emphasized the domestic difficulties faced by the President in increasing the troop commitment to Vietnam and in calling up the reserves.



At 11:02 PM, Anonymous Motivation said...

I was looking for information on Holistic Well Being. Thanks for your great blog that will help me add knowledge to my own site on Holistic Well Being. Keep up the good work!

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Spiritual Wellness said...

I just came across your blog as I was looking for more information on Spiritual Wellness and wanted to drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with the information you have posted here. Keep up the great work!

At 10:35 PM, Anonymous Holistic Well Being said...

I just came across your blog about Personal Development to complete my work on the subject. Thanks for your thoughts!

At 3:57 AM, Anonymous Weekenders USA said...

I found a company that pays $10 - $50/hr for shopping the classifieds!

Work At Home $10 - $50/hr Easy part/full time work, no boss, no commute, no set hours, paid every 12 days..

I'm making over $500 a day with this company and will be happy to help you do the same.

Hurry postions are filling fast!

At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Self-Talk said...

I was looking for information on Personal Achievement. Thanks for your great blog that will help me add knowledge to my own site on Personal Achievement. Keep up the good work!

At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding your blog about jersey manchester ronaldo united. The best site for jersey manchester ronaldo united is ****. is the top free osccer website in the world and features the latest Premiership club news, fixtures, scores, scorers, radio streams, tv streams and lots more football links.

At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there, You haѵe done an excellent jоb.
Ι'll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am sure they'll bе benefited from thiѕ web site.

My web blog: Chemietoilette

At 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, incrеdible blog layout! How lοng havе you been
bloggіng foг? you made blogging lоok easy.
The οveгall look of yοur web sitе is excellent,
as well as the сοntent!

Mу website: Chemietoilette

At 1:04 AM, Blogger oakleyses said...

louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet online, red bottom shoes, longchamp outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louboutin shoes, coach outlet store online, nike air max, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, christian louboutin outlet, ray ban outlet, jordan shoes, louis vuitton outlet, kate spade outlet online, nike shoes, michael kors outlet online, oakley vault, oakley sunglasses, coach outlet, louis vuitton outlet online, tiffany jewelry, christian louboutin shoes, prada handbags, tiffany and co jewelry, gucci handbags, coach outlet, louis vuitton handbags, longchamp handbags, prada outlet, burberry outlet online, longchamp outlet online, burberry outlet online, kate spade handbags, louis vuitton, tory burch outlet, michael kors outlet store, michael kors outlet, polo ralph lauren, chanel handbags, coach purses, nike free

At 1:05 AM, Blogger oakleyses said...

north face pas cher, converse pas cher, hermes pas cher, oakley pas cher, vans pas cher, michael kors canada, mulberry, lacoste pas cher, sac michael kors, nike air max, ralph lauren, nike huarache, nike trainers, nike free pas cher, longchamp pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, burberry pas cher, michael kors uk, sac vanessa bruno, louis vuitton, hollister, timberland, chaussure louboutin, true religion outlet, louis vuitton uk, ray ban uk, north face, air jordan, longchamp, true religion, louis vuitton pas cher, lululemon, tn pas cher, barbour, sac louis vuitton, guess pas cher, ray ban pas cher, air max, scarpe hogan, nike air force, nike free, ralph lauren pas cher, nike roshe, air max pas cher, true religion outlet, new balance pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, nike roshe run, hollister, nike air max

At 1:06 AM, Blogger oakleyses said...

p90x workout, soccer shoes, asics shoes, ugg boots, wedding dresses, ugg outlet, beats headphones, mont blanc pens, herve leger, lululemon outlet, marc jacobs outlet, rolex watches, reebok outlet, hollister, canada goose, longchamp, ghd, canada goose outlet, jimmy choo shoes, vans outlet, nfl jerseys, soccer jerseys, uggs outlet, canada goose pas cher, instyler ionic styler, abercrombie and fitch, bottega veneta, babyliss pro, ferragamo shoes, moncler, new balance outlet, ugg, roshe run, moncler outlet, north face jackets, canada goose outlet, uggs on sale, birkin bag, mcm handbags, celine handbags, ugg soldes, giuseppe zanotti, canada goose outlet, north face outlet, chi flat iron, insanity workout, moncler, mac cosmetics, canada goose uk, valentino shoes

At 12:49 AM, Blogger Meiqing Xu said...

burberry scarf
mont blanc pen
gucci uk
pandora jewelry
kate spade uk
chanel online shop
pandora outlet
christian louboutin outlet
coach outlet store online
tory burch handbags
toms shoes
michael kors outlet online
michael kors handbags
hollister clothing
oakley sunglasses
coach factory outlet
michael kors outlet online
oakley sunglass
michael kors bag
michael kors outlet
coach outlet online
abercrombie outlet
kate spade handbags
tory burch shoes
true religion sale
hollister clothing store
christian louboutin
chanel bags
oakley sunglasses outlet
cheap true religion jeans

At 6:57 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, tory burch outlet, christian louboutin, christian louboutin uk, longchamp outlet, prada outlet, michael kors outlet store, longchamp outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet online, tiffany and co, ray ban sunglasses, replica watches, coach outlet, oakley sunglasses wholesale, nike air max, michael kors outlet, coach purses, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, coach outlet store online, christian louboutin shoes, kate spade, true religion outlet, burberry handbags, nike outlet, jordan shoes, polo outlet, coach outlet, nike air max, michael kors outlet online, chanel handbags, burberry outlet, tiffany jewelry, prada handbags, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet online, gucci handbags, kate spade outlet, christian louboutin outlet, nike free

At 7:00 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

converse pas cher, ray ban pas cher, north face, nike free run, sac vanessa bruno, burberry pas cher, sac hermes, nike air force, nike free uk, lululemon canada, new balance, north face uk, nike tn, guess pas cher, michael kors, nike air max uk, timberland pas cher, nike air max, true religion jeans, hollister uk, true religion outlet, nike roshe, ray ban uk, louboutin pas cher, longchamp pas cher, air max, hollister pas cher, ralph lauren uk, jordan pas cher, nike air max uk, polo ralph lauren, michael kors pas cher, hogan outlet, sac longchamp pas cher, true religion outlet, polo lacoste, abercrombie and fitch uk, vans pas cher, michael kors outlet, nike blazer pas cher, mulberry uk, oakley pas cher

At 7:04 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

celine handbags, iphone 6 cases, mcm handbags, reebok outlet, insanity workout, longchamp uk, timberland boots, hermes belt, hollister clothing, beats by dre, oakley, nike roshe run uk, giuseppe zanotti outlet, north face outlet, soccer shoes, nike roshe run, mac cosmetics, soccer jerseys, ghd hair, ferragamo shoes, vans outlet, nike trainers uk, nike huaraches, herve leger, abercrombie and fitch, p90x workout, babyliss, mont blanc pens, asics running shoes, instyler, hollister, new balance shoes, baseball bats, lululemon, wedding dresses, chi flat iron, valentino shoes, nfl jerseys, bottega veneta, nike air max, jimmy choo outlet, north face outlet

At 7:07 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

toms shoes, pandora jewelry, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, louboutin, ugg boots, supra shoes, ray ban, swarovski, juicy couture outlet, vans, uggs on sale, converse, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, juicy couture outlet, thomas sabo, lancel, karen millen uk, nike air max, hollister, uggs outlet, ugg boots, uggs outlet, hollister, replica watches, ugg pas cher, gucci, swarovski crystal, ralph lauren, wedding dresses, ugg, converse outlet, pandora charms, ugg uk, pandora uk, marc jacobs, coach outlet, links of london, montre pas cher

At 8:38 PM, Blogger cecillia said...

Nice info,,terrimaksih banyak Sample Pictures Modern Minimalist House telah minimalist house interior exterior berbagi latest engine specification infonya..sukses selalu untuk info and websitenya be the best and do the best to the next information.. toyota new car price

At 4:16 PM, Blogger bvgd said...

terimakasih, website ini telah memberikan ilmu cara memperpanjang alat vital pengetahuan yang sangat bermanfaat untuk saya dan yang lain

At 6:00 PM, Blogger nhgh said...

Bermanfaat sekali suv car mitsubishi nih beritanya,
makasih banyak ya pa admin tecnologi ktm rc390 telah memberikan price honda city berita yang sangat bagus ini. terimkasih infonya, sangat bagus sekali, mudah di mengerti dan tetap selalu menjadi web suv car ford yang bagus .. sukses yaaa :)

At 11:50 PM, Blogger mmjiaxin said...

oakley sunglasses
abercrombie and fitch
true religion canada
tiffany and co
cheap nba jerseys
michael kors outlet
mcm backpack
north face outlet
ugg boots
pandora outlet
michael kors handbags wholesale
fitflops sale
christian louboutin,louboutin,louboutin outlet,louboutin outlet italia,scarpe louboutin
basketball shoes,basketball sneakers,lebron james shoes,sports shoes,kobe bryant shoes,kobe sneakers,nike basketball shoes,running shoes,mens sport shoes,nike shoes
rolex watches
michael kors handbags outlet
ray ban outlet
nba jerseys
ray-ban sunglasses
ray-ban sunglasses

At 7:15 AM, Blogger نور القمر said...

We are ready to provide cleaners daily contracts, week or monthly or years.

Our prices are attractive and competitive

شركة مكافحة الحشرات بالخبر
شركة مكافحة الحشرات بالمدينة المنورة
شركة مكافحة الحشرات بالرياض

شركة تنظيف بجدة
شركة تنظيف بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة تنظيف بينبع
افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة

شركة تنظيف خزانات بمكة
شركة تنظيف منازل بالقطيف
شركة تنظيف منازل بالاحساء
شراء اثاث مستعمل بالرياض
افضل شركة تنظيف كنب بالرياض

At 7:14 PM, Blogger roba. gad2 said...

At 1:06 AM, Blogger khaled ali said...

لاشك ان شركه الحورس تعد افضل شركه خدمات منزليه التي منها (التنظيف/رش مبيدات/مكافحه حشرات/تسليك مجاري/كشف تسربات المياه/تنظيف خزانات..)وعديد من الخدمات التي تلزم البيت او الفله نحن بخدمتك عزيزي العميل.
افضل شركه نقل اثاث وعفش بالطائف
افضل شركه تنظيف بالطائف
افضل شركه مكافحة حشرات بالطائف
افضل شركه كشف تسربات المياه بالطائف
حيث شركتنا تتميز باداء الخدمه علي افضل وجهه حيث نعد افضل شركه رش مبيدات بالطائف
افضل شركه تنظيف خزانات بالطائف

At 4:31 AM, Blogger nora nor said...

Keep it up

At 12:23 AM, Blogger happy 123 said...

ugg boots
christian louboutin shoes
new balance shoes
nike shoes
nba jerseys
rolex replica watches
ecco outlet
oakley sunglasses
ugg boots
clippers jersey


Post a Comment

<< Home |

Search for
Get a Free Search Engine for Your Web Site

Web Site Counter 1-Hit Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Submission
Click Here Subscribe with Bloglines Listed in LS Blogs Blog Directory & Search engineWeb Counter Site Meter