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20 April 1961

MEMORANDUM FOR THE DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

This will confirm our discussion of this morning during which I stated that the President has asked that you:

  • a. Appraise the current status and future prospects of the Communist drive to dominate South Viet-Nam.
  • b. Recommend a series of actions (military, political and/or economic, overt and/or covert) which, in your opinion, will prevent Communist domination of that country.

The President would like to receive your report on or before Thursday, April 27.

During the course of your study, you should draw, to the extent you believe necessary, upon the views and resources of the State Department and CIA. Mr. Chester Bowles was present when the President discussed the matter with me, and I have reviewed the project with Mr. Allen Dulles. Further, the President stated that Mr. Walt Rostow would be available to counsel with you.