Noel Bernard: Under the protective shield of east-west nuclear balance, conflicts abounded. The relentless war in South Vietnam showed no signs of ending. It was a constant preoccupation for the administration. To those overseas who wondered what was going on, Secretary of State Dean Rusk was announcing.
Dean Rusk: “Senator McNamara is going out this week to have a personal look at the situation and talk to our own leaders 02:27 and General Harkins, and so we will be looking forward to his report.”
Noel Bernard: McNamara went back and forth across the pacific, but there were more reports than victories said one McNamara report.
Robert McNamara: “The rate of kidnappings, murders, ambushes has increased very substantially. It is absolutely essential, therefore, that the government of Vietnam increase its activity to counter these attacks and to reconsider ways and means through increased economic assistance to assist the government of Vietnam in that activity.”
Noel Bernard: The French contribution to the war in South Vietnam was not soldiers, but advice. President De Gaulle proposed a vague type of neutralization because as his Foreign Minister put it --
Speaker: “The experience we have 03:15 for seven years in a war that we waged in Indo-China left us with the conclusion that it is very difficult to win a civil war, especially when guerilla type of civil war.”
Noel Bernard: The Russians were even blunter in their advice, said UN delegate Fedorenko.
Fedorenko: “Our United States colleague should perhaps gather up his courage and fully recognize the guilt, remove the troops, stop the intervention, stop the violation of the integrity of a sovereign state and the accusations were seized by themselves.”
Noel Bernard: In spite of this sort of helpfulness, there was a lot of talk about expanding the war to North Vietnam, but the threat of Chinese and Russian reactions to such a move tended to slow it down. Britain and other allies did not like the idea. Harold Wilson told newsmen --
Harold Wilson: “We feel this will be extremely dangerous. We will of course, it had all been effective bringing more Chinese and we will be rather parallel perhaps to what happened in Korea 14 years ago.”
Noel Bernard: At year's end the South Vietnam solution remained elusive.