And, during this period there was a lot of squabbling going on between the State Department, Defense, JCS, White House, etc. How did you feel about that being in the center of it because you had your own channels of communication?
Yeah. Well, I felt that ah ah I had gone over, having talked to Mr. Kissinger and Haig and ah ah been told that it was going to be kept at a very low key and that ah it was not going to be a second Vietnam where the Americans actually ah wound up running the show and ah ah I tried very hard to keep it that way by ah playing it as low key as possible.
I think though the successes that occurred between ah June of 1970 and the ah oh perhaps ah into October, November
. Now, they, they weren't really successes. It was just that the enemy didn't have any capability either, but the FANK appeared to be ah ah making great strides and the enemy did withdraw from just across the river at Phnom Penh
but I think he withdrew because he needed supplies.
But ah that apparent success I felt, I still feel, ah stirred up the juices of ah ah the JCS and many of the military and Mr. Kissinger to the point that if a little bit of success is ah obtained with practically nothing. If we give them more, we'll get more success. And didn't feel that was true at all. Besides it it was not what I had been told I was sent over there to do, to keep it down low.
The State Department, of course, went more along with my ah viewpoint. That ah the less people we have there the better and ah ah the the ah the lower the aid level is the better. We were being assisted by the Australians and the Australians were giving them trucks and they gave them two or three hundred trucks, I believe, and ah so I felt that's enough trucks.
But, for instance, our own military ah ah I think they'd punch a computer and it says a battalion should have ten trucks ah then the FANKs should have ten trucks per battalion, which I felt was absolutely ridiculous. In the first place, they didn't know how to drive them and the second place there isn't that much road to run them on.
But I, there was this ah ah feeling, as you say. There was a, on the one side, there was the military and the White House that felt more must be better and the other side, the State Department and the side I believed in that enough was enough. Don't, don't overdo it.