This Cabinet discussion took place in the Summer of 1969.
Richard Nixon became US President in 1968 and was determined to get US troops
less heavily involved in Vietnam. He and his Secretary of state, Henry Kissinger,
were extremely able negotiators and politicians.
Nixon could also be ruthless and devious. For example, while continuing
to negotiate peace terms with the Vietnamese in Paris, he authorised a US
invasion of Cambodia to destroy North Vietnamese and Viet Cong bases.
He also mixed negotiations with bombing in order to get the North Vietnamese
to agree to particular points.