U.S. Defence Secretary Melvin Laird said on Tuesday (Feb. 10th) there would be a steady?
MV aircraft on tarmac
GV Laird out of aircraft and down steps, and is greeted by U.S. ambassador Bunker, and U.S. Commander in Vietnam General Abrams, and other V.I.P.'s
SV Laird talking to Bunker on tarmack
LV Laird walks to rostrum
MV Laird on rostrum speaking:
LV Laird on rostrum
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ 6: MR. LAIRD: "As you know, on my first visit here the troop ceiling ....American troop ceiling in South Vietnam was 549-thousand 5-hundred. We will reach a troop ceiling in mid-April of 434-thousand, a reduction of 115-thousand 5-hundred in the troop ceiling since the Vietnamisation programme started."
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Background: U.S. Defence Secretary Melvin Laird said on Tuesday (Feb. 10th) there would be a steady and continuing withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam with no levelling-off period. But he declined to give dates or a timetable for the pullout.
Mr. Laird, accompanied by General Earle Wheeler, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the statement on his arrival in Saigon for a three-day visit to study progress in the Vietnamisation of the war.
The policy of turning over more responsibility for defence to Asian countries was outlined by President Nixon on his world tour last August. Questioned on it, Mr. Laird said it was "a policy which will be steadfastly adhered to and could be described as irreversible". On troop withdrawal so far, the U.S. Defence Secretary said: