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Conversation: 460-023

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Start Date: Friday, February 26, 1971 9:01 PM

End Date: Friday, February 26, 1971 10:08 PM

Participants:

Nixon, Richard M. (President)Brandon, Henry[Unknown person(s)]Atkins, Oliver F. ("Ollie")Sanchez, ManoloBull, Stephen B.Kissinger, Henry A.

Recording Device: Oval Office

Full Tape Conversation Start Time: 02:32:36

Full Tape Conversation End Time: 03:42:15

460-023.mp3

NARA Description:

On February 26, 1971, President Richard M. Nixon, Henry Brandon, unknown person(s), Oliver F. ("Ollie") Atkins, Manolo Sanchez, Stephen B. Bull, and Henry A. Kissinger met in the Oval Office of the White House from 4:01 pm to 5:08 pm. The Oval Office taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 460-023 of the White House Tapes.

Nixon Library Finding Aid:

Conversation No. 460-23

Date: February 26, 1971
Time: 4:01 pm - 5:08 pm
Location: Oval Office

The President met with Henry Brandon

     Greetings

     Refreshments
          -Tea
          -Navy coffee

     Previous meeting with Brandon
          -1960 Presidential campaign
               -James B. (“Scotty”) Reston

     Brandon’s plans
          -Book on Presidency

An unknown person entered at an unknown time after 4:07 pm

     Photograph
          -Oliver F. (“Ollie”) Atkins

The unknown person left at an unknown time before 5:08 pm

     Brandon’s reporting from the United States
          -Duration
          -Brandon’s view of events
               -Internal events
               -Foreign policy

     Harry S Truman
          -Foreign policy

Atkins entered at an unknown time after 4:07 pm

     Photographs

Atkins left at an unknown time 5:07 pm
                                            23

                         NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 9/08)




     Truman
         -Korean War
         -Truman doctrine
         -Marshall Plan

     Requirements of Presidency

Manolo Sanchez entered at an unknown time after 4:01 pm

     Refreshment

Sanchez left at an unknown time before 5:08 pm

     Requirements of Presidency
         -Ability to solve complex problems
         -Winston S. Churchill
               -Leadership
         -Vietnam
         -Middle East
         -East/West relations
         -Pacific
         -People’s Republic of China
         -Japan
         -Principles
               -Basic freedoms
                     -Guarantees
               -Limits of power
               -British understanding
                     -British history
         -[Thomas] Woodrow Wilson
               -Presidency
               -Intellect
                     -Vocabulary
                     -Compared to Thomas Jefferson
               -Leadership
               -Compared to Theodore (“Teddy”) Roosevelt
                     -Accomplishments
                     -Leadership
               -Policies
                     -Popular views
                                         24

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                 Tape Subject Log
                                    (rev. 9/08)



The President’s mentors
     -Foreign policy
          -President’s view of world
          -President’s previous conversation with Admiral Sir Nigel Henderson
     -Dwight D. Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles
          -Policies of 1950s
          -Brinkmanship
          -Massive Retaliation                                  Conv. No. 460-23 (cont.)
                -Rationale

Cuban Missile Crisis
    -John F. Kennedy
    -Communists
         -Soviet Union
    -United States’ policy
    -Nuclear parity
         -Differences in forces
         -Effect
    -People’s Republic of China and Soviet Union

North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO]
     -Need for strength
     -Conventional forces
           -Rationale
                 -Changes over time
           -President’s view
     -Sino/Soviet split
     -Eastern Europe
           -Examples
     -Partnership with Europe
           -Changes over time

Complexity of today’s world
    -Churchill
          -Geopolitical sophistication
    -The President’s view
          -The Presidency
          -Need for flexible and idealistic leadership
          -Americans
                -Idealistic nature
                -People’s Republic of China
                -US policy
                                         25

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                 Tape Subject Log
                                    (rev. 9/08)



                      -Idealistic nature
                            -United Nations
                            -International organizations
     -Leaders’ needs
          -Sense of history
          -Knowledge of real world
          -Good organization
          -Good overview                                   Conv. No. 460-23 (cont.)
          -Sense of priorities
     -Wilson
          -President’s view
     -Roosevelt
          -Pragmatism
     -Present era
          -President’s efforts
                -Laos (Lam Son)
     -Need for perspective
          -National Security Council [NSC] meeting

Vietnam
     -President’s position
           -Effect on world situation
           -Laos (Lam Son)
           -Effect on future
     -Troop strength
     -Need for perspective
     -Laos
     -Cambodia
     -Need for perspective
     -Outcome of Vietnam conflict

US foreign policy
     -President’s previous conversation with Brandon
     -Kennedy policy
           -Changes in US foreign policy
     -Vietnam
     -Korea
     -Popular views
           -Support for policies
     -United States’ world view
           -Asia
           -Europe
                                         26

                    NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                Tape Subject Log
                                   (rev. 9/08)



          -Latin America
          -Africa
     -New Isolationism
          -Marshall Plan
          -Joseph McCarthy
          -Proponents
          -Disillusionment
                -Democratic movements                    Conv. No. 460-23 (cont.)
          -Concern over domestic problems
                -Compared 1940s and 1950s
                -Race
                -Students
     -Korea
          -Eisenhower

Isolationism in Europe
      -France and Germany
      -Great Britain
           -Edward R. G. Heath
      -Nixon Doctrine
           -State of the World message
      -Nuclear War
           -Changes

US foreign policy
     -Demand for independence in developing nations
     -Domestic concern
           -Military forces
           -Effect on foreign policy
                 -Isolationism
           -Blacks
           -Indians
     -Old Isolationism
           -Europe
     -New Isolationism
           -President’s view
           -Communist powers
                 -Soviet Union
                 -People’s Republic of China
     -Communist expansionist ambitions
     -East/West relations
           -Strategic Arms Limitation Talks [SALT]
                                       27

                    NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                               Tape Subject Log
                                  (rev. 9/08)



     -Europe’s colonial experience
          -United States
     -Soviet Union
     -People’s Republic of China
          -Mao Tse-tung
     -Communism
          -View of world
          -US response                                       Conv. No. 460-23 (cont.)
     -Need for West to maintain strength worldwide

Cambodia
    -The President’s decision
    -November 3 speech
         -Role of advisors
    -Compared to Laos (Lam Son)
         -Failure
         -Ground forces
    -Bombing
         -Rationale
         -Public opinion
         -Rationale
               -Casualties
               -North Vietnamese sanctuaries
               -Possible overthrow of Cambodian government
               -Effect on US troop withdrawal

The President’s use of Camp David
     -Decisionmaking
          -Foreign policy
          -Domestic policy
                -Davis-Bacon Act
          -Law school training

The President’s decisionmaking techniques
     -Role of advisors
     -John Quincy and Louisa C. (Johnson) Adams portraits ceremony
          -Biography of Abraham Lincoln
                -Lincoln’s Administration
     -Lyndon B. Johnson’s technique
          -Compared to the President’s technique
     -Unemotional decisionmaking
          -The President’s view
                                               28

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 9/08)



                     -Wilson
                     -Effect of television

     Historical view of present administration
          -Vietnam
          -Environment
          -Welfare
          -Health                                              Conv. No. 460-23 (cont.)
          -Revenue sharing
          -Government reorganization
          -Reasonable approach to problems
          -Media
                 -President’s previous press conference
                       -Leslie T. (“Bob”) Hope
          -US need for mature leadership
                 -The Presidency
                 -Effect of war
                 -Role in the world

     The President’s view of world
          -Present problems

     Impact of television
         -The President
                -News summaries
         -Walter L. Cronkite, Jr.
         -Thomas E. Jarriel
         -[Arnold] Eric Sevareid
         -Effect on populace
                -Compared to previous generations
                      -Effect on future
                            -The Presidency
         -Press conference
                -The President’s image
                -Timing
                -Questions and answers
                -Brandon
                -Future press conferences
                -The President’s methods and preparations
                      -Briefings

Stephen B. Bull entered at an unknown time after 4:01 pm
                                              29

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 9/08)




     The President’s schedule
          -William P. Rogers

Bull left at an unknown time before 5:08 pm

     Press conferences
           -Answers to questions                                    Conv. No. 460-23 (cont.)
                -Brevity

     Vietnam
          -US policy for Southeast Asia
          -US troop withdrawals
          -US policy
               -Southeast Asia
                     -US assistance
                     -Independence
               -Prisoners of War [POWs]
               -US troop withdrawals
               -Compared to South Korea
               -Mutual withdrawal of forces
                     -South Vietnam
                     -Laos and Cambodia
          -Prospects for future
               -Difficulties
                     -Casualties
                     -Region
          -Press reports
               -Army of the Republic of Vietnam [ARVN]
               -South Vietnamese
               -Roy H. Thomson
          -Henry A. Kissinger
               -Follow-up meeting with Brandon

     The President’s schedule
          -Follow-up meeting with Brandon
                -Kissinger

[The President talked with Kissinger at an unknown time between 4:01 pm and 5:08 pm]

[Conversation No. 460-23A]
                                              30

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 9/08)



     Follow-up meeting with Brandon
          -Schedule

[End of telephone conversation]

     Vietnam
          -Laos (Lam Son)
          -President’s view                                    Conv. No. 460-23 (cont.)
                -Compared to Cambodian operation
                -Bombing
                     -Hanoi

     Farewells

Brandon left at 5:08 pm