United States Secretary of Defence, Melvin Laird emphasised to a press conference in Washington Wednesday (Jan. 20) that people of Cambodia knew that the United States would not commit ground combat forces to their country.
GV & CU State Department and sign.
LV & CU Laird speaks. (SOF)
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 2: LAIRD: "The people of Cambodia know there will be no ground combat forces committed to their country. The United States is fulfilling its pledge under the Nixon doctrine to assist our friends and our allies, but not to become involved in ground combat. This is really a case of "ground combat personnel--no; military assistance--yes." We will use air power, and as long as I am serving in this job I will recommend that we use air power to supplement the South Vietnamese forces as far as the air campaign in South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia."
REPORTER: "Is that an open ended commitment to all countries of South East Asia with exception that no ground combat forces will be committed there?"
LAIRD: "The emphasis--certainly I want that understood, and I made that clear wherever I went that the emphasis was shifted away from reliance on American ground combat forces. And we are not using any ground combat forces in Cambodia, and I can assure you that we will not."
Initials BB/MR/BB/2030 JON/MR/BB/2051
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Background: United States Secretary of Defence, Melvin Laird emphasised to a press conference in Washington Wednesday (Jan. 20) that people of Cambodia knew that the United States would not commit ground combat forces to their country.
Mr. Laird said: