NSAM #263 though very brief, was critical in setting down exactly what President Kennedy had begun to implement with regard to getting the U.S. out of the conflict in Vietnam. Although this Memorandum is short, it directly refers to and builds from the Taylor/McNamara report of October 2, 1963 (document 167 which follows this post) as well as document numbers 179 and 181 (following 167)._______
NSAM #263 was signed by McGeorge Bundy, JFK's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. Bundy's role was very heavy in the Kennedy administration in ways JFK, apparently, was not aware of. His signature is also the only one at the bottom of NSAM #273, approved by LBJ just 4 days after JFK was murdered. NSAM #273 was the first evidence of changes in the policies President Kennedy had been putting into place. It did not take long for the new administration to begin to alter JFK's policies, even though LBJ's favorite and most commonly use catch-phrase in the days and months after the assassination--as well as during his own 1964 campaign--was "let us continue," the implication being that Johnson's only interest was in continuing the policies and agendas set forth by his predecessor.
--ratitorSee Also: Document 194, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, Volume IV, Vietnam, August-December 1963, from U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian
194. National Security Action Memorandum No. 263 
Washington, October 11, 1963.
Secretary of State
Secretary of Defense
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
At a meeting on October 5, 1963, the President considered the recommendations contained in the report of Secretary McNamara and General Taylor on their mission to South Vietnam.
The President approved the military recommendations contained in Section I B (1-3) of the report, but directed that no formal announcement be made of the implementation of plans to withdraw 1,000 U.S. military personnel by the end of 1963.
After discussion of the remaining recommendations of the report, the President approved an instruction to Ambassador Lodge which is set forth in State Department telegram No. 534 to Saigon.
Source: Department of State, S/S-NSC Files: Lot 72 D 316, NSAMs. Top Secret; Eyes Only. The Director of Central Intelligence and the Administrator of AID also received copies. Also printed in United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967, Book 12, p. 578.
See Document 179.
yer friendly neighborhood ratman
ko.yan.nis.qatsi (from the Hopi Language) n. 1. crazy life. 2. life