Gerald R. Ford and Foreign Affairs, Part 1: National Security Advisor’s Files: Section 3: Saigon Embassy Files from Ambassador Graham Martin

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Graham Martin’s communications with Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft deal primarily with implementation of the ceasefire, violations of the ceasefire, the question of aid to South Vietnam and congressional relations centered around that issue, contacts with South Vietnamese officials, and the deterioration of the "peace" and the eventual evacuation of South Vietnam by the Americans. Many of the cables relate to diplomatic relations with other countries regarding the situation in Vietnam, including the Soviet Union, Saudi Arabia, France, and the members of the International Commission of Control and Supervision in Vietnam.

The majority are "backchannel" cables between the U.S. ambassadors in Saigon (Henry Cabot Lodge, Ellsworth Bunker, and Graham Martin, successively) and the President’s national security advisers (McGeorge Bundy, Henry Kissinger, and Brent Scowcroft, successively) regarding the situation in South Vietnam and/or the peace negotiations. The largest segment of the collection consists of communications between Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger during the period of the Paris peace talks and include: (1) Kissinger relaying to Bunker details of his secret talks with the North Vietnamese in Paris, and later the formal Paris peace negotiations, including drafts of proposed agreements and negotiations over signing procedures; (2) Bunker’s prepared talking points for meetings with President Thieu of South Vietnam to relay that information, and his reporting to Kissinger of Thieu’s reaction to the information; (3) "think pieces" by both Bunker and Kissinger on the situation in Vietnam and the strategy for handling President Thieu; and (4) post-ceasefire diplomatic maneuvering, implementation of the agreements, and handling of allegations of ceasefire violations.

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