Annex 2.15: Crossover Points


With the exception of the New York Times edition of the Pentagon Papers, the sources cited here are available on line in digital format. The Summons of the Trumpet is available as a Kindle book. The Secretaries of Defense Historical Series (and many other “official” histories relating to the war) can be downloaded from the applicable DoD websites at no charge. The Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series are available on the State Department website.

The photograph is from a New York Times on-line article, "Johnson, Westmoreland and the ‘Selling’ of Vietnam”, dated May 9, 2017.

A Look Back

   For a concise discussion of COMUSMACV’s projected phases, see “Open-Ended Strategy” in the NYT edition of The Pentagon Papers, pp. 462-467.

   Westmoreland’s crossover point is explained in the Secretaries of Defense Historical Series, Vol. 6,  McNamara, Clifford, and the Burdens of Vietnam, 1965-1969, p. 131.

   Gen. Palmer’s “leaves” quotation is from his Summons of the Trumpet: U.S.-Vietnam in Perspective, p. 116.

Where Would it All End?

   The quotation beginning on line 2 is from McNamara, Clifford, and the Burdens of Vietnam, p.49.

   Westmoreland’s quotes about troop increases, war of attrition, etc., and LBJ’s question, are from Doc. #149, “Notes on Discussion With President Johnson” (Washington, April 27, 1967) in Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968. Vol. 5, Vietnam, 1967, p.617.

   McNamara’s 1965 warning to LBJ is from the NYT Pentagon Papers, Doc #107, p. 489.

Meanwhile, Back in the War Zone . . . 

   This section, including all statistics, is based on the 6994th Security Squadron history for Jan-Jun, 1967, and the relevant TEWS histories for Jan-Mar, 1967. (We do not have the Apr-Jun histories.)

Battles Along the Potomac 

   This section is based largely on McNamara, Clifford, and the Burdens of Vietnam, pp. 133-142, which also contain material related to the first two sections above. The “hell of a mess” quotation is on p. 173.

   The description of the Pentagon Papers is taken from the introduction to the NYT edition and the cover letter to the “Final Report-OSD Task Force, Vietnam” which contains an index to the original typescript copies of United States-Vietnam Relations, 1954-1967; the actual working title of the “Pentagon Papers.” In 2011, pdf scans of the the entire set were placed on line by the National Archives.

   Ironically, Robert McNamara was long gone from LBJ's cabinet by the time (15 January 1969) the final report was finished. Click here to view the cover letter.

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