Which, incidentally, I never would accept and never would tolerate ah, ah if I felt it was an effort on their part to effect our conduct of our war which they were not helping with in, in any particular, and I should add I did not, in relating these ah financial and ah economic aspects to Clark Clifford and his colleagues on the committee, I did not attempt to draw a conclusion that because of these circumstances, there should not be an additional force of two...I did not consider that to be my function nor did I think I had the competence to make that kind of judgment.
It was my role to simply give them a reading on what the economic and financial consequences would be. It was their responsibility to pull that together with a number of other factors which ah we can’t go into here, political and military, and make a final judgment. As a matter of fact, I think that what really happened and I get some support from President Johnson’s own book, “The Vantage Point”, on this, is that between February 28, in the aftermath of the Tet Offensive and later on in March, say to the end of March, when he made his ah address to the nation indicating there would only be a small increase in the force in Vietnam.
I think during that period ah the situation on the ground with our military forces in Vietnam and with the South Vietnamese Army improved substantially insofar as the information was coming to him is concerned and that, that probably as, as I read what he says in his book, it was the improvement of that situation which was ah, which was ah determinative of more determinative than I suspect the economic and financial consequences. But I have no way of knowing. That’s, that’s simply a reading I give to what he says in his book.