The United States ended five days of intensive bombing of North Vietnamese targets on Thursday (30 December) which involved more than 1,000 sorties at a coat of three jet aircraft lost and five crewmen missing.
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TRANSCRIPT: SEQ 4: MR. LAIRD: "The request was approved by the President and by myself to carry on these strikes on the North in order to protect our American military personnel. That was the primary purpose of these strikes, to reduce American casualties. This past week the casualties were one. When President Nixon took office the casualties were averaging 300 a week and they were at a high of some 240 the very month that President Nixon took over as President of the United States. Every effort is being made to reduce the casualties in Vietnam and to protect the remaining forces so that our withdrawal programme can go forward and these strikes were in keeping with that principle."
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Background: The United States ended five days of intensive bombing of North Vietnamese targets on Thursday (30 December) which involved more than 1,000 sorties at a coat of three jet aircraft lost and five crewmen missing. High military sources have termed the raids as "successful but pressure in the United States from demonstrations and protests reflected that the American public was not fully behind President Nixon.
In Washington on Thursday, Secretary of Defence Melvin Laird told newsman that the air strikes were in keeping with the aim of Protecting United States personnel and reducing casualties.