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Memo to Nixon From Kissinger CIA in Cambodia


I recommend that:
(a) you approve the 303 Committee's judgment that the probable effectiveness of mounting a CIA paramilitary effort against the NVN regulars in Cambodia would not be worth the expense, and
(b) that as diplomatic relationships develop with Cambodia, I monitor those diplomatic and CIA steps which can be taken in an ef-fort to eliminate or reduce the arms traffic from Cambodia to the com-munist forces in South Vietnam.
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4 In a memorandum of February 26 entitled, "CIA's Potential for Covert Support to Possible United States Government Diplomatic Efforts to Reduce the Movement of Arms and Ammunition Through Cambodia to Communist Forces in South Vietnam." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 505, Country Files, Far East, Cambodia, Vol. I, 8-69)
5 There is no indication on the memorandum of a Nixon decision. At its March 13 meeting, the 303 Committee agreed to recommend to the President that CIA should not undertake covert harassment missions against North Vietnam in Cambodia because of high costs versus low returns. The Chairman of the Committee, Kissinger, passed on a request from Nixon that Helms and CIA explore methods-either through bribery or corruption of the right people in Cambodia-to prevent arms and supplies passing through Cambodia to the enemy in South Vietnam. Helms responded that CIA had al-ready studied the question and determined that gaining access to the right people was a major problem and that arms traffickers were making so much profit that U.s. bribery attempts would be inadequate. (Minutes of the March 11th 303 Committee, March 13; Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, 303/40 Committee Meetings, 2/16/68-1/20/70, March 13, 1969) For the President's decision, see footnote 2, Docu-ment 47.
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