Kissinger's Salted Peanuts memo published





For understandable reasons, the George W. Bush administration has shunned comparisons between the war in Iraq and the Vietnam War. But in his latest book, State of Denial, Bob Woodward writes that Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state--and a secret (and frequent) consultant to the current president--has made the parallel explicit to the White House.

According to Woodward, Kissinger recently gave a Bush aide a copy of a memo he wrote in 1969 arguing against troop withdrawals from Southeast Asia, an issue as salient four decades ago as it is now.

Kissinger's September 10, 1969, advice to President Nixon famously characterized withdrawals from Vietnam as "salted peanuts" to which the American people would become addicted.

The National Security Archive has obtained an original copy of the memo and today is posting it on its Web site along with commentary by Archive Senior Fellow and noted Vietnam expert John Prados, who recently edited a major collection of declassified documents on the Vietnam War. The commentary provides some historical context for the document and draw parallels and distinctions between the situations then and now.


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