JF Ptak Science Books Post 493
Richard Nixon continues a post from last night on the Executive Branch and the considerations for using nuclear weapons in the Vietnam War. Yesterday's document related to the Johnson administration in 1966, Richard Nixon took up the issue in the first year of his failed presidency, in 1969, brainstorming the idea of first strike to end the war. This of course was a an early decision of his on the war, before it became much more politically expedient for him (in 1971/2) to prolong the war so that he could run for re-election to end the war in his second term--a more repugnant decision unmatched and unchallenged until he was nearly checked by the embarrassment who just left office. As part of a study codenamed "Duck Hook" the following memorandum (Tony Lake"Memorandum
In typical fashion, Henry Kissinger was not necessarily "for" the use of nuclear weapons against North Vietnam, but was in favor of using massive, brutal force against military targets--he said that he had ruled out the use of a "nuclear weapon", but had not ruled out the use of a "nuclear device".
In a summary of the issue (in another of this series of Top Secret-Eyes Only declassified documents) of the bombing of North Vietnam by Kissinger and addressed to the President (though, as the editors at GWU point out, there is no evidence that this was actually read by Nixon), retains the question about the use of nuclear weapons--the editors reaching the conclusion that the documents were "implying that the matter was still up in the air or on the table".