The Wars for Viet Nam

National Security Action Memorandum Number 328 April 6,1965, signed by McGeorge Bundy and addressed to the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

On Thursday, April 1, The President approved an 18-20,000 man increase in U S military support forces to fill out existing units and supply needed logistic personnel.

The President approved the deployment of two additional Marine Battallions and one Marine Air Squadron and associated headquarters and support elements.

The President approved a change of mission for all Marine Battalions deployed to Vietnam to permit their more active use under conditions to be established and approved by the Secretary of Defense in consultations with the Secretary of State.

The President approved the urgent exploration, with the Korean, Australian, and New Zealand governments, of the possibility of rapid deployment of significant combat elements from their armed forces... The President approved the following . . continuing action against North Vietnam and Laos:

We should continue roughly the present slowly ascending tempo of ROLLING THUNDER operations, being prepared to add strikes in response to a higher rate of VC operations, or conceivably to slow the pace in the unlikely event the VC slacked off sharply....

Blockade or aerial mining of North Vietnamese ports needs further study and should be considered for future operations. It could have major political complications, especially in relation to the Soviets...
Air operations in Laos, particularly route blocking operations in the Panhandle area, should be stepped up....

The President desires that the . . . actions themselves should be taken as rapidly as practicable, but in ways that should minimize any appearance of sudden changes in policy, ... The President's desire is that these movements and changes should be understood as being gradual and wholly consistent with existing policy.

SOURCE: Sheehan and others (eds.), Pentagon Papers, pp 442-443.