THE WHITE HOUSENATIONAL SECURITY ACTION MEMORANDUM NO. 343
March 28, 1966
The Secretary of StateIn the Declaration of Honolulu I renewed our pledge of common commitment with the Government of the Republic of Vietnam to defense against aggression, to the work of social revolution, to the goal of free self-government, to the attack on hunger, ignorance and disease, and to the unending quest for peace. Before the Honolulu Conference and since, I have stressed repeatedly that the war on human misery and want is as fundamental to the successful resolution of the Vietnam conflict as are our military operations to ward off aggression. In recent weeks I have asked those Departments of the Government with special competence in our continuing attack on hunger, ignorance and disease to bring their resources to bear in Vietnam. I have expressed my special interest in the progress of these new initiatives and the effective marshalling of all governmental resources and programs being brought to bear in the civil sector of our commitments in Vietnam.
The Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of Agriculture
The Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare
The Administrator, Agency for International Development
The Director, United States Information Agency
The Director of Central Intelligence
In my view it is essential to designate a specific focal point for the direction, coordination and supervision in Washington of U.S. non-military programs for peaceful construction relating to Vietnam. I have accordingly designated Mr. Robert W. Komer as Special Assistant to me for carrying out this responsibility.
I have charged him and his deputy, Ambassador William Leonhart, to assure that adequate plans are prepared and coordinated covering all aspects of such programs and that they are promptly and effectively carried out. This responsibility will include the mobilization of U.S. military resources in support of such programs. He will also assure that the Rural Construction/Pacification Program is properly coordinated with the programs for combat force employment and military operations.
His functions will include ensuring full and timely support of the U.S. Mission in Saigon on matters within his purview. In accordance with established procedures, any instructions to the U.S. Mission in Saigon will be issued through the Secretary of State.
In carrying out these duties, I want him to act in close and constant liaison with the heads of appropriate departments and agencies, and to draw on them for such administrative and other support as he may need. In addition to working closely with the addressee Cabinet officers he will have direct access to me at all times.
Those CIA activities related solely to intelligence collection are not affected by this NSAM.
Lyndon B. Johnson
Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Komer Files, NSAM. Secret (declassified).