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FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES 1964-1968 Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965 DEPARTMENT OF STATE Washington,


Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965


Editors General Editor
General Editor

David C. Humphrey Ronald D. Landa Louis J. Smith

Glenn W. LaFantasie

United States Government Printing Office Washington



Preface Selection and Editorial Policies Sources


Abbreviations and Terms Persons

Political instability within South Vietnam; U.S. retaliatory air strikes against North Vietnam, January 1-February 11

Documents: 1 - 108

Initiation of a program of air strikes against North Vietnam; Introduction of U.S. ground combat forces, February 11-March 8

Documents: 109 -188

Increase in U.S. ground forces in Vietnam and consideration by the U.S. Government of a bombing pause, March 8-May 8

Documents: 189 - 287

The bombing pause; Assessment of the bombing program and U.S. troop requirements; Change of government in South Vietnam, May 10-June 12

Documents: 288 -351


FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES 1964-1968 Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965 DEPARTMENT OF STATE Washington,


Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965


FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES 1964-1968 Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965 DEPARTMENT OF STATE Washington,


The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The series documents the facts and events that contributed to the formulation of policies and includes evidence of supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted.

The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. This documentary editing proceeds in full accord with the generally accepted standards of historical scholarship. Official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series were first promulgated by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925. These regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.

A new statutory charter for the preparation of the series was established by Public Law 102- 138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, which was signed by President George Bush on October 28, 1991. Section 198 of P.L. 102-138 added a new Title IV to the Department of State's Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 USC 4351, et seq.).

The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government, including facts that contributed to the formulation of policies and records that provided supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted.

The statute confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded.

The statute also requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation on major foreign policy decisions and actions of the U.S. Government. It further requires that government agencies, departments, and other entities of the U.S. Government cooperate with the Department of State Historian by providing full and complete access to records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions and by providing copies of selected records.

In preparing each volume of the Foreign Relations series, the editors are guided by some general principles for the selection of documents. Each editor, in consultation with the General Editor and other senior editors, determines the particular issues and topics to be documented either in detail, in brief, or in summary. Some general decisions are also made regarding issues that cannot be documented in the volume but will be addressed in editorial or bibliographical notes.

The editors of this volume, which was originally compiled in 1984 and 1985 and revised and updated in 1993 and 1994, are convinced that it meets all regulatory, statutory, and scholarly standards of selection and editing.

An explanation of the selection policy for the series and of this particular volume and a detailed description of the sources available to the editors of the series as well as a list of specific files consulted for this volume follow this preface.

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This volume is part of a subseries of volumes of the Foreign Relations series that documents the most important issues in the foreign policy of the 5 years (1964-1968) of the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson. In planning and preparing the 1964-1968 subseries, the editors chose to present the official record of U.S. foreign policy with respect to Vietnam in seven volumes. Volume I documents U.S. policy toward Vietnam during 1964. Volume II (presented here) documents the period from January 1, 1965, through June 12, 1965. Volumes III through VII document the following periods: III, June 13, 1965, through December 31, 1965; IV, 1966; V, 1967; and VI and VII, 1968.

These seven volumes focus on Vietnam. They do not record activities in the rest of mainland Southeast Asia except as they may relate immediately to the conduct of the war in Vietnam. U.S. relations with Laos are documented in Volume XXVIII. U.S. relations with Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, and SEATO are documented in Volume XXVII.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under the Foreign Relations statute, reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and assists with any access and/or clearance problems that arise. Time constraints prevent the Advisory Committee from reviewing all volumes in the series.

This volume has not been reviewed by the Advisory Committee.

Declassification Review

The declassification review of this volume resulted in the decision to withhold .03 percent of the documentation originally selected; no documents were withheld in their entirety. The documentation provides an accurate account of the main lines of U.S. policy toward Vietnam during the January 1 -June 12, 1965 period.

The Division of Historical Documents Review of the Office of Freedom of Information, Privacy, and Classification Review, Bureau of Administration, Department of State, conducted the Department of State declassification review of the documents published in this volume. The Declassification Coordination Division of the Historian's Office coordinated the interagency and foreign government declassification review. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12356 on National Security Information and applicable laws.

Under Executive Order 12356, information that concerns one or more of the following categories, and the disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security, requires classification:

1) military plans, weapons, or operations;

2) the vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects, or plans relating to the national security;

3) foreign government information;

4) intelligence activities (including special activities), or intelligence sources or methods;

5) foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States;

6) scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to national security;

7) U.S. Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;

8) cryptology; or

9) a confidential source.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security and law. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments.


The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library, in particular Regina Greenwell and Charlaine Burgess; the Department of Defense, in particular Sandra Meagher; the National Defense University, in particular Susan Lemke; the Minnesota Historical Society, in particular Dallas Lindgren; the University of Montana; the Library of Congress; and officials at other specialized repositories who assisted in the collection of documents for this volume. The editors also wish to thank senior Foreign

Service officer William H. Marsh for reading the manuscript and for his comments and suggestions.

Ronald D. Landa and Louis J. Smith originally compiled this volume, and David C. Humphrey contributed to the collection, selection, and substantive editing of the material presented in this volume. Edward C. Keefer and Charles S. Sampson also reviewed the book manuscript. General Editor Glenn W. LaFantasie supervised the final steps in the editorial and publication process. Student intern Shelby Hunt assisted in the preparation of the lists of sources, abbreviations, and persons. The Declassification Coordination Division, David H. Herschler, David C. Geyer, Kerry E. Hite, and Donna C. Hung, coordinated the declassification review. Editors Vicki E. Futscher and Rita M. Baker prepared the book manuscript for publication and performed the editorial review, and Barbara-Ann Bacon of the Publishing Services Division oversaw the production of the volume. Max Franke prepared the index.

William Z. Slany The Historian Bureau of Public Affairs

October 1995


FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES 1964-1968 Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965 DEPARTMENT OF STATE Washington,


Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965


FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES 1964-1968 Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965 DEPARTMENT OF STATE Washington,

Selection and Editorial Policies

Principles of Document Selection for the Foreign Relations Series

In preparing each volume of the Foreign Relations series, the editors are guided by some general principles for the selection of documents. Each editor, in consultation with the General Editor and other senior editors, determines the particular issues and topics to be documented either in detail, in brief, or in summary. Some general decisions are also made regarding issues that cannot be documented in the volume but will be addressed in editorial or bibliographical notes.

The following general selection criteria are used in preparing volumes in the Foreign Relations series. Individual compiler-editors vary these criteria in accordance with the particular issues and the available documentation. The compiler-editors also tend to apply these selection criteria in accordance with their own interpretation of the generally accepted standards of scholarship. In selecting documentation for publication, the editors gave priority to unpublished classified records, rather than previously published records (which are accounted for in appropriate bibliographical notes).

Selection Criteria (in general order of priority):

  • 1. Major foreign affairs commitments made on behalf of the United States to other

governments, including those that define or identify the principal foreign affairs interests of the United States;

  • 2. Major foreign affairs issues, commitments, negotiations, and activities, whether or not

major decisions were made, and including dissenting or alternative opinions to the process ultimately adopted;

  • 3. The decisions, discussions, actions, and considerations of the President, as the official

constitutionally responsible for the direction of foreign policy;

  • 4. The discussions and actions of the National Security Council, the Cabinet, and special

Presidential policy groups, including the policy options brought before these bodies or their individual members;

  • 5. The policy options adopted by or considered by the Secretary of State and the most

important actions taken to implement Presidential decisions or policies;


Diplomatic negotiations and conferences, official correspondence, and other exchanges

between U.S. representatives and those of other governments that demonstrate the main lines of policy implementation on major issues;

  • 7. Important elements of information that attended Presidential decisions and policy

recommendations of the Secretary of State;

  • 8. Major foreign affairs decisions, negotiations, and commitments undertaken on behalf of

the United States by government officials and representatives in other agencies in the

foreign affairs community or other branches of government made without the involvement (or even knowledge) of the White House or the Department of State;

  • 9. The main policy lines of intelligence activities if they constituted major aspects of U.S.

foreign policy toward a nation or region or if they provided key information in the

formulation of major U.S. policies;

  • 10. The role of the Congress in the preparation and execution of particular foreign policies

or foreign affairs actions;

  • 11. Economic aspects of foreign policy;

  • 12. The main policy lines of U.S. military and economic assistance as well as other types of


  • 13. The political-military recommendations, decisions, and activities of the military

establishment and major regional military commands as they bear upon the formulation or execution of major U.S. foreign policies;

  • 14. Documentation that illuminates special decisionmaking processes that accomplished the

policies recorded in particular volumes;

  • 15. Diplomatic appointments that reflect major policies or affect policy changes.

Scope and Focus of Documents Researched and Selected for Foreign Relations, 1964- 1968, Volume II

The editors developed the following six areas of focus for research and the selection of documents for inclusion in this volume: 1) formulation of policy in Washington, with particular emphasis on the series of decisions that led to the commitment of major ground forces to Vietnam; 2) the advisory process, including recommendations from key advisers in Washington, intelligence assessments of the situation in Vietnam, and reporting and advice from U.S. officials in Saigon; 3) efforts to negotiate a settlement to the Vietnam conflict, and other key diplomatic contacts; 4) military planning and strategy; 5) the relationship between the United States Government and the South Vietnamese Government, including the issue of political instability in South Vietnam; and 6) the implementation of policy in South Vietnam.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time or, in the case

of conferences, in the order of individual meetings. Incoming telegrams from U.S. Missions are placed according to time of receipt in the Department of State or other receiving agency, rather than the time of transmission; memoranda of conversation are placed according to the time and date of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor and the chief technical editor. The source text is reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Texts are transcribed and printed according to accepted conventions for the publication of historical documents in the limitations of modern typography. A heading has been supplied by the editors for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the source text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected. Other mistakes and omissions in the source text are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Words or phrases underlined in the source text are printed in italics. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the source text, and a list of abbreviations is included in the front matter of each volume.

Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted text that deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The amount of material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of source text that were omitted. The amount of material omitted from this volume because it was unrelated to the subject of the volume, however, has not been delineated. All ellipses and brackets that appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.

The first footnote to each document indicates the document's source, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. This footnote also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates if the President or his major policy advisers read the document. Every effort has been made to determine if a document has been previously published, and this information has been included in the source footnote.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts have been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.


FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES 1964-1968 Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965 DEPARTMENT OF STATE Washington,


Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965


FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES 1964-1968 Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965 DEPARTMENT OF STATE Washington,


The Foreign Relations statute requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation on major foreign policy decisions and actions of the U.S. Government. It further requires that government agencies, departments, and other entities of the U.S. Government cooperate with the Department of State Historian by providing full and complete access to records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions and by providing copies of selected records. The editors believe that in terms of access this volume was prepared in accordance with the standards and mandates of this statute, although access to some records was restricted, as noted below.

The editors have had complete access to all the retired records and papers of the Department of State: the central files of the Department; the special decentralized files ("lot files") of the Department at the bureau, office, and division levels; the files of the Department's Executive Secretariat, which contain the records of international conferences and high-level official visits, correspondence with foreign leaders by the President and Secretary of State, and memoranda of conversations between the President and Secretary of State and foreign officials; and the files of overseas diplomatic posts. Intelligence-related files maintained by the Bureau of Intelligence and Research became available to the Department historians only after this volume was compiled. Arrangements have been made for Department historians to have access to these records for future volumes; if any documentation relevant to this volume is found, it may be included in a subsequent volume.

The editors of the Foreign Relations series also have full access to the papers of President Johnson and other White House foreign policy records. Presidential papers maintained and preserved at the Presidential libraries include some of the most significant foreign affairs- related documentation from other federal agencies including the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the National Security Agency, and the United States Information Agency. All of this documentation has been made available for use in the Foreign Relations series thanks to the consent of these agencies and the cooperation and support of the National Archives and Records Administration.

The Department of State has arranged for access to the audiotapes of President Johnson's telephone conversations that are held at the Johnson Library. The first audiotapes became available to the editors in late 1994, with most audiotapes, including those for the year 1965, to follow during 1995 and 1996. The editors decided not to delay publication of this

volume, but if relevant records are found among these telephone conversations, they may be included in a later Foreign Relations volume.

Department of State historians also have access to records of the Department of Defense, particularly the records of the Secretaries of Defense and their major assistants and the records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The editors of this volume also had access to the Papers of General William Westmoreland at the U.S. Army Center of Military History and the Lyndon B. Johnson Library, the Papers of General Maxwell Taylor at the National Defense University, the Papers of General Harold Johnson at the U.S. Military History Institute, and the Files of Assistant Secretary of Defense John T. McNaughton at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library.

Since 1991, the Central Intelligence Agency has provided expanded access to Department historians to high-level intelligence documents from those records still in the custody of that Agency. Department of State historians' access is arranged by the History Staff of the Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, pursuant to a May 1992 memorandum of understanding. Department of State and CIA historians continue to work out the procedural and scholarly aspects of this access, and the variety of documentation made available and selected for publication in the volumes has expanded. The editors of this volume made particular use of the files of Director of Central Intelligence John McCone and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms.

The following are the particular files and collections consulted and cited in this volume.

Unpublished Sources

Department of State

Subject-Numeric Indexed Central Files. In February 1963, the Department of State changed its decimal central files to a subject-numeric central file system. The subject-numeric system was divided into broad categories: Administration, Consular, Culture and Information, Economic, Political and Defense, Science, and Social. Within each of these divisions were subject subcategories. For example, Political and Defense contained four subtopics: POL (Politics), DEF (Defense), CSM (Communism), and INT (Intelligence). Numerical subdivisions further defined them.

The following were the most important files used in this volume:

EP 6-1 Hue, emergency and evacuation policy and plans

POL UK-US, political relations, U.S.-United Kingdom

POL 1 US-USSR, general policy, U.S.-Soviet Union

POL 1 VIET S, general policy, Vietnam

POL 1-1 VIET S, contingency planning and coordination re Vietnam

POL 12 VIET S, Vietnamese political parties

POL 15 VIET S, government of Vietnam

POL 15-1 VIET S, Vietnamese head of state/Executive Branch

POL 15-1 US/Johnson, Executive Branch, President Johnson

POL 23-9 VIET S, rebellions and coups in Vietnam

POL 27 VIET S, military operations in Vietnam

POL 27 VIET S/PINTA, peace negotiations during 37-day bombing pause

POL 27-7 VIET, prisoners of war

POL 27-14 VIET S, truce, cease-fire, and armistice

POL 27-14 VIET/XYZ, negotiations through Mai Van Bo

Lot Files. Documents from the Central Files have been supplemented by materials from decentralized office files, the lot files of the Department of State. A list of the major lot files used or consulted follows:

Ball Files: Lot 74 D 272 Files of Under Secretary of State George Ball, 1961-1966.

Bohlen Files: Lot 74 D 379 Files of Ambassador to France Charles E. Bohlen, 1961-1968

Bruce Diaries: Lot 64 D 327 Diaries of David K.E. Bruce while Ambassador to the United Kingdom, 1961-1969

Bundy Files: Lot 85 D 240 Files of William P. Bundy as Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, 1964-


EA/ACA-Vietnam Negotiation Files: Lots 69 D 277 and 69 D 412 Files on Vietnam peace negotiations, including material on the positions and efforts of Communist and non-Communist countries and groups, international organizations, and individuals, 1964-1968.

EA/VN-Vietnam Working Group Files: Lot 72 D 219 Files of the interagency Vietnam Working Group, 1964-1967.

INR Files: Lot 81 D 343 Consolidated files of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192 Files of Secretary of State Dean Rusk, 1961-1969, including texts of speeches, miscellaneous correspondence files, White House correspondence, chronological files, and memoranda of telephone Conversations.

S/P Files: Lot 72 D 139 Country Files of the Policy Planning Council and memoranda to the Secretary from the Chairman, 1965-1968.

S/S Files: Lot 66 D 150 Record copies of policy briefing books and reports, including material on the President's Panel of Foreign Affairs Consultants, 1965.

S/S-NSC Files: Lot 72 D 316 Master file of National Security Action Memoranda (NSAMs) for the years 1961-1968, maintained by the Executive Secretariat.

Lyndon B. Johnson Library, Austin, Texas

Papers of President Lyndon B. Johnson

National Security File Country File, Vietnam Files of McGeorge Bundy International Meetings and Travel File Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy Name File National Intelligence Estimates National Security Action Memoranda National Security Council Histories

Diaries and Appointment Logs President's Appointment File (Diary Backup) President's Daily Diary

John McCone Memoranda of Meetings with the President

Meeting Notes File

Office Files of the White House Aides Horace Busby, Jr.

White House Central Files Subject File Confidential File

George Ball Papers Notes on telephone conversations, 1963-1966

McGeorge Bundy Papers Notes of meetings, 1963-1966

William P. Bundy Papers Unpublished manuscript on U.S. policy in Vietnam, 1961-1965

Walt W. Rostow Papers

Southeast Asia file

Dean Rusk Papers Appointment Books, 1961-1969

Paul C. Warnke Papers Files of John T. McNaughton, 1964-1967

William C. Westmoreland Papers History File, History Backup, and COMUSMACV Message Files, 1964-1968

Central Intelligence Agency, Langley, Virginia

  • DCI (McCone) Files

Files of John McCone as Director of Central Intelligence, 1961-1965.

  • DCI (Helms) Files

Files of Richard Helms as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, 1965-1966.

Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland

Record Group 84, Records of the Foreign Service Posts of the United States

Saigon Embassy's Coordinator Files: FRC 68 A 5612 Classified sensitive captioned files of the Coordinator, Embassy in Saigon, 1964-1965.

Record Group 330, Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense

McNamara Files: FRC 71 A 3470 Files of Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, 1961-1968.

OSD/ADMIN Files: FRC 70 A 1265, 70 A 1266, 71 A 6489 Subject files of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, 1965

OSD/General Counsel Files: FRC 75 A 0062 Files on the Pentagon Papers

Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Washington, D.C.

Averell Harriman Papers

National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.

Maxwell Taylor Papers

U.S. Army Center of Military History, Washington, D.C.

William C. Westmoreland Papers History File, History Backup, and COMUSMACV Message Files, 1964-1968.

U.S. Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania

Harold Johnson Papers

John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, Massachusetts

James C. Thomson Papers

Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota

Hubert H. Humphrey Papers

Mansfield Library, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana

Mike Mansfield Papers

Documentary Collections

Published Sources

The Declassified Documents Quarterly Catalog and microfiche. Woodbridge, Connecticut, 1975 onwards.

Herring, George, ed. The Secret Diplomacy of the Vietnam War: The Negotiating Volumes of the Pentagon Papers. Austin, Texas, 1983.

Johnson, Walter, ed. The Papers of Adlai E. Stevenson. Boston, 1972.

The Pentagon Papers: The Department of Defense History of United States Decisionmaking on Vietnam, The Senator Gravel Edition. 4 vols. Boston, 1971.

United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967: Study Prepared by the Department of Defense. Washington, 1971.

U.S. Department of State. American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1965. Washington, 1969.

--------. Department of State Bulletin, 1965. Washington, 1966.

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965. Washington, 1968.


The Department takes no responsibility for the accuracy of these memoirs nor endorses their interpretation of the events.

Ball, George. The Past Has Another Pattern: Memoirs. New York, 1982.

Bui Diem, with David Chanoff. In the Jaws of History. Boston, 1987.

Colby, William. Lost Victory: A Firsthand Account of America's Sixteen-Year Involvement in Vietnam. Chicago, 1989.

Cooper, Chester. The Lost Crusade: America in Vietnam. New York, 1970.

Humphrey, Hubert. Education of a Public Man: My Life and Politics. Garden City, N.Y.,


Johnson, Lyndon Baines. The Vantage Point: Perspectives of the Presidency, 1963-1969. New York, 1971.

The Johnson Years: A Vietnam Roundtable. Edited by Ted Gittinger. Austin, Texas, 1993.

Nguyen Cao Ky. Twenty Years and Twenty Days. New York, 1976.

Race, Jeffrey. War Comes to Long An: Revolutionary Conflict in a Vietnamese Province. Berkeley, California, 1972.

Rostow, W.W. The Diffusion of Power: An Essay in Recent History. New York, 1972.

Rusk, Dean, as told to Richard Rusk. As I Saw It. New York, 1990.

Sharp, Ulysses S. Grant. Strategy for Defeat. San Raphael, California, 1978.

Stewart, Michael. Life and Labour: An Autobiography. London, 1980.

Taylor, Maxwell. Swords and Plowshares: A Memoir. New York, 1972.

Thant, U. View from the UN. Garden City, New York, 1978.

Valenti, Jack. A Very Human President. New York, 1975.

Westmoreland, William C. A Soldier Reports. Garden City, New York, 1976.

Wilson, Harold. The Labour Government, 1964-1970: A Personal Record. London, 1971


FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES 1964-1968 Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965 DEPARTMENT OF STATE Washington,


Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965


FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES 1964-1968 Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965 DEPARTMENT OF STATE Washington,

Abbreviations and Terms

AA, anti-aircraft

AAA, anti-aircraft artillery

ADA, Americans for Democratic Action

AFC, Armed Forces Council

AFSC, American Friends Service Committee

AID, Agency for International Development

AIF, Automated Intelligence File

A-1H, Skyraider, single-engine attack aircraft

AKA, attack cargo ship

ammo, ammunition

AP, Associated Press

Arc Light, code name for U.S. B-52 bombing strikes in Southeast Asia

ARVN, Army of the Republic of Vietnam

ASAP, as soon as possible

Barrel Roll, U.S. air operations over northern Laos

BDA, bomb damage assessment

Bks, barracks

bldgs, buildings

BLT, battalion landing team

Blue Springs, code name for U.S. photoreconnaissance drone operations over North Vietnam

Blue Tree, code name for U.S. photoreconnaissance operations over North Vietnam

Bn, battalion

BOQ, Bachelor Officers' Quarters

BTL, battalion

C, Confidential

CAP, series indicator for outgoing White House telegrams

CAS, controlled American source

CBU, cluster bomb unit

CG FMFPAC, Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force Pacific

CIA, Central Intelligence Agency

ChiCom, Chinese Communist

CIDG, Civilian Irregular Defense Group

Chieu Hoi, Government of South Vietnam's repatriation program for the Viet Cong

CINC; C-in-C, Commander in Chief

CINCPAC, Commander in Chief, Pacific

CINCPACAF, Commander in Chief, United States Air Force, Pacific

CINCPACFLT, Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet

CINCRVNAF, Commander in Chief, Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces

CINCUSARPAC, Commander in Chief, United States Army, Pacific

CIP, Commercial Import Program

CJCS, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

CM, Chairman's memorandum

COMUSKOREA, Commander, United States Forces, Korea

COMUSMACV, Commander, United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam

conf, conference

CPFL, Contingency Planning Facilities List

CPR, Chinese People's Republic

CTZ, corps tactical zone

CVT, Confederation of Vietnamese Trade

DCI, Director of Central Intelligence

DCM, Deputy Chief of Mission

DDP, Deputy Director of Plans, Central Intelligence Agency

DEF, series indicator for telegrams from the Department of Defense

Dept, Department

Deptel, Department of State telegram

DeSoto, code name for U.S. Navy destroyer patrols in the Gulf of Tonkin

DF, direction finding

DGNP, Director-General, National Police

DIA, Defense Intelligence Agency

dissem, dissemination

div, division

DJSM, Director of the Joint Staff memorandum

DMZ, Demilitarized Zone

DOD, Department of Defense

DRV, Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam

DSC, Distinguished Service Cross

DTG, date-time-group

Emb, Embassy

Embtel, Embassy telegram

ELINT, electronic intelligence

EST, Eastern Standard Time

ETA, estimated time of arrival

EUR, Bureau of European Affairs, Department of State

EUR/GER, Office of German Affairs, Bureau of European Affairs, Department of State

Exdis, exclusive distribution

FBIS, Foreign Broadcast Information Service

FE, Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs, Department of State

Flaming Dart, code name for retaliatory air strikes against North Vietnam in February 1965

FNL, Front National de Liberation (National Liberation Front)

ForMin, Foreign Minister

FYI, for your information

G, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs

GOB, Government of Burma

govt, government

GVN, Government of (South) Vietnam

H-H, Hanoi and Haiphong

HK, Hong Kong

HMG, Her Majesty's Government

HNC, High National Council

Hop Tac, Government of Vietnam program for pacification of Saigon and surrounding provinces

HQ, headquarters

ICC, International Control Commission

ICRC, International Committee of the Red Cross

IL-28, Soviet-made light bomber based in North Vietnam

INR, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State

IO, Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Department of State

IR, infrared

ISA, Office of International Security Affairs, Department of Defense

JCS, Joint Chiefs of Staff

JCSM, Joint Chiefs of Staff memorandum

JGS, Joint General Staff, Vietnamese Armed Forces

KIA, killed in action

KY-9, secure telephone line

L, Office of the Legal Adviser, Department of State

LBJ, Lyndon Baines Johnson

Limdis, limited distribution

LOC, line of communication

log, logistic

LOR, distribution indicator for closely held exchange of telegrams between the President and Ambassador Taylor

LSD, dock landing ship

LSM, landing craft, mechanized

Lucky Dragon, code name for high altitude U.S. reconnaissance operations over Southeast Asia

MAB, Marine Amphibious Battalion; Mobile Air Brigade

MACV, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam

MAF, Marine Amphibious Force

MAROPS, Maritime Operations

MATS, Military Air Transport Service

MCC, Military-Civilian Council

MEB, Marine Expeditionary Brigade

MFA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

MiG, Soviet-built fighter aircraft

MLF, Multilateral Force

MM, millimeter

MP, Military Police; Member of Parliament

MTU 79.3.5, U.S. Marine unit at Danang as of January 1, 1965

Natl Cap, national capacity

NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization

NBC, National Broadcasting Corporation

NIE, National Intelligence Estimate

NLC, National Leadership Council

NLF, National Liberation Front

NM, nautical mile

NMCC, National Military Command Center

Nodis, no distribution

Noforn, no foreign dissemination

NOTAL, indication that a reference telegram was not sent to all addressees

NSAM, National Security Action Memorandum

NSC, National Security Council

NVN, North Vietnam

OCI, Office of Current Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency

ONE, Office of National Estimates, Central Intelligence Agency

OPLAN, operation plan

OPLAN 34A, operation plan for covert operations against North Vietnam

OSD, Office of the Secretary of Defense

PACOM, Pacific Command

PAO, Public Affairs Officer

para, paragraph

PAVN, People's Army of North Vietnam

Pinta, code name for U.S. peace negotiations during the 37-day bombing pause

PIO, Public Information Officer

PL, Pathet Lao; Public Law

POL, petroleum, oil, lubricants

POLAD, Political Adviser

PolAffs, Political Affairs

PNG, persona non grata

Pres, President

PriMin, Prime Minister

PsyWar, psychological warfare

PT, patrol

PW, prisoners of war

RCT, Regimental Combat Team

recce, reconnaissance

ref, reference

reftel, reference telegram

Rep, Representative

ret, retired

RG, Record Group

RKG, Royal Khmer Government

RLAF, Royal Laotian Air Force

RLG, Royal Laotian Government

ROK, Republic of Korea

Rolling Thunder, code name for long-running program of U.S. air operations in North Vietnam

RR, railroad

RRU, Radio Research Unit

RT, Rolling Thunder

Rupert, code name for Mai Van Bo

RVN, Republic of Vietnam

RVNAF, Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces

S, Office of the Secretary of State

SA-2, Soviet-made surface-to-air missile

SAC, Strategic Air Command

S/AL, Office of the Ambassador at Large

SAM, surface-to-air missile

SAR, search and rescue

SC, United Nations Security Council

SE, Southeast

SEA, Southeast Asia

SEACOORD, Southeast Asia Coordinating Committee

SEATO, Southeast Asia Treaty Organization

SecGen, Secretary-General of the United Nations

Secto, series indicator for telegrams from the Secretary of State while away from Washington

septel, separate telegram

SLF, Special Landing Force

SNIE, Special National Intelligence Estimate

SOG, Studies and Observation Group

Sov, Soviet

sqdns, squadrons

S/P, Policy Planning Council or Staff, Department of State

S/S, Executive Secretariat, Department of State

Steel Tiger, code name for air strikes against the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos

SVN, South Vietnam

SYG, United Nations Secretary-General

TASS, tactical air support squadron; Telegraphnoye Agentstvo Sovyetskovo Soyuza (Telegraphic Agency of the Soviet Union)

Thich, Venerable (title for Buddhist monk)

TOT, Time Over Target

U, Unclassified; Office of the Under Secretary of State

UAR, United Arab Republic

UBA, Unified Buddhist Association

UK, United Kingdom

UN, United Nations

UNMIS, United States Mission to the United Nations

UNSC, United Nations Security Council

UNSYG, United Nations Secretary-General

UPI, United Press International

USAF, United States Air Force

USASCV, U.S. Army Support Command, Vietnam

USG, United States Government

USIA, United States Information Agency

USIB, United States Intelligence Board

USIS, United States Information Service

USN, United States Navy

USOM, United States Operations Mission

USSR, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

USUN, United States Mission to the United Nations

VC, Viet Cong

VM, Viet Minh

VN, Vietnam

VNAF, South Vietnamese Air Force

Westy, General William C. Westmoreland

WH, White House

WNRC, Washington National Records Center

XYZ, code name for unofficial U.S. contacts with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam through Mai Van Bo

Z, Zulu Time (Greenwich Mean Time)


FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES 1964-1968 Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965 DEPARTMENT OF STATE Washington,


Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965


FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES 1964-1968 Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965 DEPARTMENT OF STATE Washington,


Acheson, Dean, Secretary of State from 1949 until 1953

Aka, Moise, Ivory Coast Representative to the United Nations General Assembly

Alphand, Herve, French Ambassador to the United States until October 1965

Arends, Leslie C., Republican Representative from Illinois, Republican Whip

Arkas-Duntov, Urah, intermediary in U.S. contacts with Mao Van Bo

Ayub Khan, Field Marshal Muhammad, President of Pakistan

Ball, George W., Under Secretary of State

Bell, David E., Administrator of the Agency for International Development

Black, Eugene R., Special Adviser to the President for Southeast Asia after April 9, 1965

Boggs, Hale, Democratic Representative from Louisiana

Bohlen, Charles E., Ambassador to France

Bowles, Chester A., Ambassador to India

Bowman, Colonel Richard C., Member of the National Security Council Staff

Brezhnev, Leonid I., First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party

Brown, Harold, Director, Defense Research and Engineering, Department of Defense, until October 1, 1965; thereafter Secretary of the Air Force

Bruce, David K. E., Ambassador to the United Kingdom

Buffum, William B., Director, Office of United Nations Political Affairs, Department of State, until September 11, 1965; thereafter Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of

International Organization Affairs

Bui Diem, Vietnamese Chief of Staff in the Quat government until June 1965; Special Assistant for Planning and Foreign Aid in the Thieu-Ky government from June 1965

Bunce, W. Kenneth, Assistant Director (Far East), United States Information Agency

Bunche, Ralph J., United Nations Under Secretary for Special Political Affairs

Bundy, McGeorge, President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs

Bundy, William P., Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs

Burchinal, Lieutenant General David A., USAF, Director, Joint Staff, Joint Chiefs of Staff

Busby, Horace, Special Assistant to the President until October 1, 1965

Byroade, Henry A., Ambassador to Burma

Califano, Joseph A., Special Assistant to the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary of Defense until July 1965; thereafter Special Assistant to the President

Cang, see Chung Tan Cang

Cao, see Huynh Van Cao

Cao Van Vien, General, ARVN, Commander of III Corps; Chief of the Vietnamese Joint General Staff from September 1965

Carroll, Lieutenant General Joseph F., USAF, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency

Carter, Lieutenant General Marshall S., Deputy Director of Central Intelligence until April 28, 1965; thereafter Director of the National Security Agency

Carver, George A., Jr., Member of Vietnamese Affairs Staff, Central Intelligence Agency

Cater, S. Douglass, Special Assistant to the President

Chiang Kai-Shek, Generalissimo, President of the Republic of China

Chancellor, John, Assistant Director of the United States Information Agency after August 27, 1965

Ch'en Yi, Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China

Chieu, see Pham Xuan Chieu

Chou En-lai, Premier of the People's Republic of China

Chung Tan Cang, Admiral, Vietnamese Navy Commander and Member of the Armed Forces Council until April 1965

Cleveland, J. Harlan, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs until September 8, 1965; thereafter Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Clifford, Clark, unoffical adviser to President Johnson

Cline, Ray, Deputy Director for Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency

Co, see Nguyen Huu Co

Colbert, Evelyn S., Chief, Southeast Asia Division, Office of Research and Analysis for Far East, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State

Colby, William E., Chief, Far East Division, Directorate of Plans, Central Intelligence Agency

Cooper, Chester L., Member of the National Security Council Staff

Corcoran, Thomas J., Director, Vietnam Working Group, Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs, Department of State, until July 1965; thereafter First Secretary of the Embassy in Vietnam

Cousins, Norman, President and Editor, Saturday Review

Couve de Murville, Maurice, French Foreign Minister

Cutler, Lloyd N., Washington lawyer

De Gaulle, Charles, President of France

De Silva, Peer, Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency Station in Saigon; thereafter Special Assistant for Vietnamese Affairs, Central Intelligence Agency

Dean, David, Mainland China Affairs Officer and then Deputy Director, Office of Asian Communist Affairs, Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs, Department of State

Dean, Sir Patrick, British Ambassador to the United States after April 13, 1965

Denney, George C., Jr., Deputy Director, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State

DePuy, Major General William E., Assistant Chief of Staff, J-3 (Operations), U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam; thereafter Special Assistant for Vietnamese Affairs, Central Intelligence Agency

Devillers, Philippe, French historian and journalist

Diem, see Ngo Dinh Diem

Dillon, Douglas C., Secretary of the Treasury until April 1, 1965

Dirkson, Everett M., Republican Senator from Illinois; Senate Minority Leader

Do, see Tran Van Do

Dong, see Pham Van Dong

Dobrynin, Anatoliy F., Soviet Ambassador to the United States

Duong Van Minh ("Big Minh"), General, ARVN, former Vietnamese Chief of State

Ehrlich, Thomas, Special Assistant to Under Secretary of State Ball

Eisenhower, Dwight D., President of the United States from 1953 until 1961

Erhard, Ludwig, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Fanfani, Amintore, Italian Foreign Minister after March 5, 1965; President, Twentieth Regular Session, United Nations General Assembly

Fedorenko, Nikolai, Soviet Representative to the United Nations

Firyubin, Nikolai, Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister

Flott, Frederick W., First Secretary at the Embassy in Vietnam

Ford, Gerald R., Republican Representative from Michigan; House Minority Leader

Forster, Oliver G., First Secretary of the British Embassy in the United States

Fortas, Abe, unofficial adviser to President Johnson; Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court after October 4, 1965

Fowler, Henry H., Under Secretary of the Treasury until April 1, 1965; thereafter Secretary of the Treasury

Fulbright, J. William., Democratic Senator from Arkansas; Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Galbraith, John Kenneth, Professor of Economics, Harvard University

Gard, Richard A., Consul at Hong Kong

Garroway, Dave, television and radio personality and commentator

Gaud, William S., Deputy Administrator, Agency for International Development

Giap, see Vo Nguyen Giap

Givan, Walker, Officer in Charge, Italian Affairs, Bureau of European Affairs, Department of State

Goldberg, Arthur J., Representative to the United Nations after July 28, 1965

Gomulka, Wladyslaw, First Secretary of the Polish Communist Party

Goodell, Charles E., Republican Representative from New York

Goodpaster, Lieutenant General Andrew J., USA, Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Green, Marshall, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs until June 1965; Ambassador to Indonesia after July 26, 1965

Greene, General Wallace M., Jr., USMC, Commandant of the Marine Corps

Greenfield, James L., Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs

Gromyko, Andrei A., Soviet Foreign Minister

Gronouski, John A., Ambassador to Poland after December 7, 1965

Gullion, Edmund S., unofficial U.S. envoy ("X") in the XYZ negotiations with Mai Van Bo

Hammarskjold, Dag, former Secretary-General of the United Nations

Hand, Lloyd, Chief of Protocol, Department of State, after January 21, 1965

Hannah, Norman B., Political Adviser to the Commander in Chief, Pacific

Harlech, see Ormsby Gore, Sir David

Harriman, W. Averell, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs until March 1965; thereafter Ambassador at Large

Helms, Richard N., Deputy Director for Plans, Central Intelligence Agency, until April 28, 1965; thereafter Deputy Director of Central Intelligence

Herfurt, Jack A., Counselor for Administration at the Embassy in Vietnam

Hertz, Gustav C., Public Administration Adviser, Agency for International Development Mission in Vietnam; captured by the Viet Cong in 1964

Hickenlooper, Bourke B., Republican Senator from Iowa

Ho Chi Minh, President of the Democratic Republic of Vietam

Ho Giac, Buddhist leader

Hughes, Thomas L., Director, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State

Humphrey, Hubert H., Vice President of the United States after January 20, 1965

Huong, see Tran Van Huong

Huynh Van Cao, General, ARVN, Secretary to the Armed Forces Council

Huynh Van Ton, Colonel, ARVN, participant in anti-Khanh coup attempt, February 19-20,


Javits, Jacob K., Republican Senator from New York

Johnson, General Harold, USA, Chief of Staff, United States Army

Johnson, Lyndon B., President of the United States

Johnson, Robert H., Member of the Policy Planning Council, Department of State

Johnson, U. Alexis, Deputy Ambassador to Vietnam until September 1965; Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs after November 1, 1965

Jorgensen, Gordon L., Chief of Central Intelligence Agency Station in Saigon after Peer De Silva

Katzenbach, Nicolas deB., Attorney General of the United States

Kent, Sherman, Director, Office of National Estimates, Central Intelligence Agency

Khang, see Le Nguyen Khang

Khanh, see Nguyen Khanh

Khiem, see Tran Thien Khiem

Killen, James S., Director, Agency for International Development Mission in Vietnam; Senior Evaluation Officer, Office of Administration, Agency for International Development, after October 10, 1965

Klaus, Josef, Chancellor of Austria

Kohler, Foy D., Ambassador to the Soviet Union

Kosygin, Alexei N, Soviet Premier

Kraft, Joseph, j ournalist and syndicated columnist

Kuchel, Thomas H., Republican Senator from California

Ky, see Nguyen Cao Ky

Laird, Melvin R., Republican Representative from Wisconsin

Lam Van Phat, General, ARVN, leader in the anti-Khanh coup attempt of February 19-20,


Lansdale, Edward G., Special Assistant to Ambassador Lodge after August 16, 1965

Lapin, Sergei G., Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister

Le Nguyen Khang, General, Vietnamese Marine Corps Commander

Le Van Hoach, Member of the Quat Cabinet from mid-February 1965

Leddy, John M., Representative to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development until June 15, 1965; thereafter Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs

Lippmann, Walter S., journalist and author

Lodge, Henry Cabot, Jr., Ambassador to Vietnam after August 25, 1965

Long, Russell B., Democratic Senator from Louisiana; Senate Majority Whip

Lucet, Charles E., Director of Political Affairs, French Foreign Ministry; French Ambassador to the United States after December 15, 1965

Macapagal, Disodado, President of the Philippines

MacArthur, Douglas II, Ambassador to Belgium until February 11, 1965; Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations after March 14, 1965

MacDonald, Malcolm, Leader of British Delegation and Co-Chairman, International Conference on Laos, 1961-1962

Mai Van Bo (code named "Rupert"), Commercial Representative in Paris of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam

Manac'h, Etienne, Director of Asian Affairs, French Foreign Ministry

Manfull, Melvin L., Counselor for Political Affairs at the Embassy in Vietnam

Mann, Thomas C., Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs until March 17, 1965; thereafter Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs

Mansfield, Mike, Democratic Senator from Montana; Senate Majority Leader

Marks, Leonard H., Director of the United States Information Agency after September 1,


Martin, Graham A., Ambassador to Thailand

McBride, Robert H., Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy in France

McCloskey, Robert J., Director, Office of News, Bureau of Public Affairs, Department of State

McCone, John A., Director of Central Intelligence until April 28, 1965

McConnell, General John P., USAF, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force after February 1, 1965

McCormack, John W., Democratic Representative from Massachusetts; Speaker of the House

McDonald, Admiral David L., USN, Chief of Naval Operations

McLendon, Gordon, Chairman, McLendon Corporation in Texas

McNamara, Robert S., Secretary of Defense

McNaughton, John T., Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs

Meeker, Leonard C., Legal Adviser, Department of State, after May 18, 1965

Meloy, Francis E., Jr., Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy in Italy

Menzies, Sir Robert Gordon, Prime Minister of Australia

Michalowski, Jerzy, Director-General, Polish Foreign Ministry

Minh ("Big Minh"), see Duong Van Minh

Minh ("Little Minh"), see Tran Van Minh

Morse, Wayne, Democratic Senator from Oregon

Moyers, Bill D., Special Assistant to the President; Press Secretary to the President after July 8, 1965

Narasimhan, C.V., United Nations Under Secretary for General Assembly Affairs and Chef de Cabinet of the United Nations

Nasser, Gamal Abdel, President of the United Arab Republic

Nehru, Jawaharlal, former Indian Prime Minister

Ngo Dinh Diem, former Vietnamese President

Nguyen Cao Ky, Air Vice Marshal, VNAF, Air Force Commander and Member of the

Armed Forces Council; Vietnamese Premier after June 19, 1965

Nguyen Chanh Thi, General, ARVN, Vietnamese Commander of I Corps; Member of the National Leadership Committee

Nguyen Duc Thang, General, ARVN, Assistant Chief of Staff, J-3 (Operations); Minister of Rural Construction after October 1965

Nguyen Duy Trinh, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam

Nguyen Huu Co, General, ARVN, Commander of II Corps; Chief of the Vietnamese Joint General Staff from May until September 1965; Defense Minister after June 19, 1965; Defense Minister and Vice-Premier after October 1, 1965

Nguyen Khanh, General, ARVN, Chairman of the Armed Forces Council until February 21, 1965; thereafter Ambassador at Large

Nguyen Van Thieu, General, ARVN, Member of the Armed Forces Council; Member of Quat Cabinet after February 16, 1965; Chairman of the National Leadership Committee and Chief of State from mid-June 1965

Nguyen Xuan Oanh, Vietnamese Deputy Premier until January 27, 1965; Acting Premier from January 28 to mid-February 1965

Nitze, Paul H., Secretary of the Navy

Nkrumah, Kwame, President of Ghana

Norodom Sihanouk, Prince, Cambodian Head of State

Oanh, see Nguyen Xuan Oanh

O'Brien, Lawrence F., Special Assistant to the President

Ormsby Gore, David (Lord Harlech), British Ambassador to the United States until April


Paul VI, Pope of the Roman Catholic Church

Peter, Janos, Hungarian Foreign Minister

Pham Ngoc Thao, Colonel, participant in coup attempts against Khanh in February 1965 and Quat in May 1965

Pham Van Dong, Premier of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam

Pham Van Dong, General, ARVN, Commander of the Capital Military District and Member of the Armed Forces Council in early 1965

Pham Xuan Chieu, General, ARVN, Member and Chairman of the National Legislative Council; Member of the National Leadership Committee

Phan Huy Quat, Vietnamese Premier from February 16 until June 11, 1965

Phan Khac Suu, Vietnamese Chief of State until June 11, 1965

Phap Tri, Buddhist leader

Plimpton, Francis T.P., Deputy Representative to the United Nations

Porter, William J., Deputy Ambassador to Vietnam after September 13, 1965

Procter, Carolyn J., Personal Assistant to the Secretary of State

Quaison-Sackey, Alex, Ghanaian Representative to the United Nations; President, Nineteenth Session, United Nations General Assembly

Quang Lien, Buddhist leader

Quat, see Phan Huy Quat

Raborn, William F., Jr., Director of Central Intelligence after April 28, 1965

Radhakrishnan, Sir Sarvepalli, President of India

Radvanyi, Janos, Charge d'Affaires at the Hungarian Legation in Washington

Ramani, Radhakrishna, Malaysian Representative to the United Nations Security Council

Rapacki, Adam, Polish Foreign Minister

Read, Benjamin H., Special Assistant to the Secretary of State and Executive Secretary of the Department

Reedy, George, Press Secretary to the President until July 8, 1965

Resor, Stanley R., Under Secretary of the Army from April 5 until July 5, 1965; thereafter Secretary of the Army

Reston, James B., Associate Editor, New York Times

Ribeiro, Miguel A., Ghanaian Ambassador to the United States

Rifa'i, Abdul Monem, Jordanian Representative to the United Nations Security Council

Rogers, Colonel Jack A., USA, Executive Officer, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs

Rolz-Bennett, Jose, United Nations Under Secretary for Special Political Affairs

Rosenthal, James D., Political Officer at the Embassy in Vietnam

Rostow, Walt, Counselor and Chairman of the Policy Planning Council, Department of State

Rowan, Carl, Director of the United States Information Agency until July 10, 1965

Rowen, Henry S., Assistant Director, Bureau of the Budget

Rupert, see Mai Van Bo

Rusk, Dean, Secretary of State

Rusk, Howard, physician, founder of the American Southeast Asia Foundation

Salinger, Pierre, Press Secretary to President Kennedy

Schwartz, Abba P., Administrator, Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs, Department of State

Scott-Murga, Guillermo, Bolivian Representative to the United Nations Security Council

Seaborn, J. Blair, Canadian Delegate to the International Control Commission

Sevareid, Eric, author and correspondent, Columbia Broadcasting System

Sharp, Admiral Ulysses S. Grant, USN, Commander in Chief, Pacific

Shastri, Lal Bahadur, Indian Prime Minister

Sisco, Joseph J., Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs after September 10, 1965

Smathers, George A., Democratic Senator from Florida

Smith, Bromley, Executive Secretary of the National Security Council

Sparkman, John J., Democratic Senator from Alabama

Splitt, Orville S., Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs

Springsteen, George S., Jr., Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State

Stanton, Frank, President, Columbia Broadcasting System

Stevenson, Adlai E., Representative to the United Nations until July 14, 1965

Stewart, Michael, British Foreign Secretary after January 22, 1965

Stewart, Michael N.F., Minister of the British Embassy in Washington

Stoneman, Walter G., Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Far East, Agency for International Development

Sturm, Paul, unofficial U.S. envoy ("Y") in the XYZ negotiations with Mai Van Bo

Sullivan, William H., Ambassador to Laos

Suu, see Phan Khac Suu

Sylvester, Arthur, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs

Talbot, Phillips, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs until September 1, 1965; Ambassador to Greece after October 11, 1965

Tam Chau, Buddhist leader and head of Vien Hoa Dao, the Institute for the Propagation of the Faith (Buddhist Institute)

Taylor, General Maxwell D., USA, Ret., Ambassador to Vietnam until July 30, 1965; President's Special Consultant after September 17, 1965

Thang, see Nguyen Duc Thang

Thant, U, Secretary-General of the United Nations

Thi, see Nguyen Chanh Thi

Thien Khiet, Buddhist leader

Thien Minh, Buddhist leader

Thieu, see Nguyen Van Thieu

Thompson, Llewellyn E., Jr., Ambassador at Large

Thomsen, Samuel B., Principal Officer at the Consulate in Hue

Thomson, James C., Jr., Member of the National Security Council Staff

Tito, Marshal, President of Yugoslavia

Ton, see Huynh Van Ton

Tran Thien Khiem, General, ARVN, Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States

Tran Van Do, Vietnamese Foreign Minister

Tran Van Don, General, former Vietnamese Defense Minister

Tran Van Huong, Vietnamese Premier until January 27, 1965

Tran Van Minh ("Little Minh"), General, ARVN, Chief of the Joint General Staff until May 1965; Acting Commander in Chief of Vietnamese Armed Forces after February 21, 1965

Tran Van Tuyen, Deputy Premier in the Quat government

Trevelyan, Sir Humphrey, British Ambassador to the Soviet Union

Trinh, see Nguyen Duy Trinh

Tri Quang, Buddhist political leader and Secretary General of the High Council of the United Buddhist Association

Tuyen, see Tran Van Tuyen

Tyler, William R., Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs until May 18, 1965; Ambassador to the Netherlands after June 23, 1965

Ufford, Leopold Quarles van, Netherlands Representative to the United Nations Security Council

Unger, Leonard, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs and Chairman of the Vietnam Coordinating Committee

Valenti, Jack, Special Assistant to the President until May 15, 1965

Vance, Cyrus R., Deputy Secretary of Defense

Vaughn, Jack Hood, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Afairs after March 22,


Velazquez, Carlos Maria, Uruguayan Representative to the United Nations Security Council

Vien, see Cao Van Vien

Vo Nguyen Giap, General, PAVN, Minister of National Defense, Democratic Republic of Vietnam

Watson, W. Marvin, Special Assistant to the President after February 1, 1965

Westmoreland, General William C., USA, Commander, United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam

Wheeler, General Earle G., USA, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

Whiting, Allen S., Director, Office of Research and Analysis for Far East, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State

Wiggins, James Russell, Editor and Executive Vice President, Washington Post

Williams, G. Mennen, Assisistant Secretary of State for African Affairs

Wilson, Donald M., Deputy Director of the United States Information Agency

Wilson, Harold, British Prime Minister

Winiewicz, Josef, Polish Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

X, see Gullion, Edmund

Y, see Sturm, Paul

Yost, Charles W., Deputy Representative to the United Nations

Zorthian, Barry, Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs at the Embassy in Vietnam; Minister-Counselor for Information at the Embassy after September 1965

Zuckert, Eugene M., Secretary of the Air Force until September 30, 1965


FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES 1964-1968 Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965 DEPARTMENT OF STATE Washington,


Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965


FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES 1964-1968 Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965 DEPARTMENT OF STATE Washington,

Political instability within South Vietnam; U.S. retaliatory air strikes against North Vietnam January 1-February 11

1. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State/1/

Saigon, January 2, 1965, 3 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 15 VIET S. Secret; Immediate; Limdis. Repeated to the White House, DOD, CIA, CINCPAC for POLAD, Bangkok, and Vientiane.

2014. Crisis between government and military is deepening with General Khanh taking harder and more advanced positions amounting to insistence on formal military control of entire government structure.

Prime Minister sent his son Tran Van Dinh to see Johnson late yesterday evening to brief us on situation and express his deep concern, and Johnson also saw Minister of Interior Vien this morning. Both of us have asked to see the Prime Minister this afternoon.

Tran Van Dinh said the Prime Minister was persuaded that Khanh's purpose in taking over was, together with Buddhists, lead country to a neutralist solution. Dinh indicated his father was thinking of the possibility of a "coup de force" by elements of the army against Khanh. Johnson discouraged such concept which would result in fratricidal strife between elements of the armed forces and stated it seemed to him problem of the government was to bring other generals around to point that they would tell Khanh that he was finished and in this way avoid possibility of strife between armed forces elements. During Johnson's call on Vien this morning Vien said that he and Minister Oanh had spent New Year's eve and part of New Year's day at IV Corps with Khanh and number of other high officers. They had held no formal meeting, but Vien and Oanh during "interrupted discussions" with Khanh and others had learned enough of generals' plans to alarm them.

What really concerned Vien, however, was that generals now appear to have gone beyond December 20 action/2/ and to want even more. Vien said that Khanh and number of other officers said they wanted to create new military body to be called "organ of control" (giam sat). This body, to be established at or above chief of state level, would give military control over civilian government. Khanh had made very clear that it was not to serve as

government's advisory organ for military affairs, but to have rather opposite function. Initially (New Year's eve) military had said that body would have no civilian members; next morning, however, they intimated that they might envisage some civilian membership but it was clearly still to be under military control. Vien said military even possibly envisaged letting office of chief of state be merged with new organ, but said military would have authority. Vien said that in response to Khanh's observation that this "would prevent coups", he said government acceptance of this would be "the coup."

/2/The dissolution of the High National Council.

In response to Johnson's questions, Vien said that Khanh and Admiral Cang had argued most heatedly for new organ, with other generals appearing less enthusiastic. Vien said he had impression that Cang in particular was behind proposal.

Vien stated that he and Oanh had pointed out to military that neither chief of state nor Prime Minister could create such new body. Suggested that military wait two or three months for establishment of National Congress and then make their proposal to Congress. Khanh had rejected this, saying that military wanted to establish this new organism soon in order to "give maximum stability to government." Admitted that government now in provisional status, but indicated that provisional status could last longer. Establishment of National Congress could wait for five or six months. Vien said that Khanh's main concern now seemed to be to create organ of control, not to establish Congress. Vien said he considered matter "very serious."

In reply to question, Vien said that during discussion of new organ there had been no allusion to US role; re issue between Ambassador and military,/3/Vien said he had impression that this was on road to resolution.

/3/Taylor had expressed strong opposition to the dissolution of the High National Council in conversations with certain Vietnamese military leaders on December 20, 1964, and with Khanh on the following day. See Foreign Relations, 1964-1968, vol. I, Documents 451 and


Johnson asked whether Vien believed that new body would be intended by Khanh to lead towards negotiated solution possibly including neutralization. Vien replied in rather vague fashion, saying that he had impression from whisperings among Buddhists and others that Khanh might be thinking about neutralization. Noted particularly whisperings to effect that Khanh would not let himself be subjected to foreign (i.e., US) control. Also pointed to activities of Khanh's brother-in-law Phan Quang Tuoc who, Vien said, had returned to Saigon around December 17 from trip to Hong Kong, Paris, and perhaps Germany. Vien observed that Tuoc had close liaison with Buddhist Institute.

Long exchange developed over what to do next. Vien said he knew of nothing in particular which US could do to assist government right now, but would let us know. Said he would see Prime Minister and Suu later to chart next steps. Vien thought Prime Minister and Suu would call in Khanh early next week in order to get clear statement on record of what Khanh wants. In response to Johnson's suggestion, agreed it would be good idea to invite other generals also. He thought that Prime Minister and Suu would attempt at meeting to "confront generals with their responsibility"; would tell them to liberate prisoners and would tell them it was necessary to let HNC function, either under other name or with

changed membership, would also indicate that government not prepared to accept military control organ. Johnson suggested it was desirable that issue be presented in clear manner and resolved as quickly as possible. From the hardening of the military position it no longer appeared that the passage of time was contributing toward finding a compromise solution. Suggested that if Khanh insisted on demand for control organ, Huong might say that in this event he would have no alternative but ask Suu to relieve Khanh in accordance with provisions of the charter. This would present other generals with clear issue of whether to support government or publicly to take position of insubordination. Johnson did not know how generals would react but issue would have been clearly posed. Vien said he thought Prime Minister's position might be "more flexible". Said government had no power to enforce decision to relieve Khanh. When Johnson noted that government could resign, and observed that he had impression most generals did not want this to happen, Vien said that Prime Minister did not want to give Khanh chance to take power by default by government resignation. Intimated government might prefer force military take over by coup d'etat. Later hinted, however, that government might retire if Khanh and generals did not agree to what Prime Minister and Suu would present to them at their meeting. Johnson said he thought that issue of new control organism was strong one for government. Vien agreed that issue had to be clearly presented, adding that in present situation it was impossible for government to operate and this was increasingly reflected in attitudes of provincial


/4/In telegram 1381 to Saigon, January 2, the Department of State noted its surprise that the crisis was deepening, since this contradicted certain recent intelligence reports. The Department observed further:"From this distance problem still seems to be to persuade more moderate generals such as Co, Dong, Thieu and Vien to take lead in pressing for a compromise with government. Realize generals have spent past several days in Vung Tau and may have been inaccessible; but we would be interested in results of any efforts Embassy and MACV officials are able to make to get in direct contact with moderate military elements. Object would be to attempt reverse process of consolidation of military behind Khanh's idea of a military 'organ of control.'" (Department of State, Central Files, POL 15 VIET S)


2. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Johnson/1/

Washington, January 4, 1965.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. VIII. No classification marking. Attached to the source text is a typewritten, undated, and unsigned note apparently addressed to the President which reads: "This was Mr. Bundy's covering memo on that Newsweek article (or was it U.S. News and World Report) that you read the end of last week."

The attached report/2/ has the ring of truth to me, all the way through. The most important thing it says is that our personnel policies in Vietnam are wrong. The Army is running it in a regulation way, and that means that we have too much staff, too much administration, too

much clerical work, too much reporting, too much rotation, and not enough action. (I was an Army staff officer for three years, so this is not just imagination.)

/2/An article entitled "Can U.S. Win in Vietnam? An Inside Report," which appeared in the January 4 issue of U.S. News & World Report. The article was in the form of an interview of reporter Sol W. Sanders, who had just returned to Washington after covering the war in Vietnam.

Taylor and Westmoreland are probably the ablest regulation officers we have, but that is not what we need, and in any case much of the trouble is here in Washington, which sets the policy on rotation and reporting and other forms of paper work.

For reasons that are not clear to me, Bob McNamara has always been hesitant about going behind the regulations on this side of the matter. But today I found him more responsive than ever before.

It may be that a real push from you would produce quite new results on the military side now.

It is true that Bob is very much opposed to larger U.S. forces. But when I asked him why, it turned out that what he is against is more of the overhead and administration and general heaviness that the attached report describes. I think he would be responsive to an instruction to develop a new plan for volunteer fighting forces that would proceed with a minimum of overhead and a maximum of energy in direct contact with the Vietnamese at all levels. At the very least it is worth asking him. We plan to have a meeting with you on Wednesday/3/ on this subject.

/3/January 6.

McG. B.

3. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler) to Secretary of Defense McNamara/1/


Washington, January 4, 1965.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Vol. XXV, Memos. Secret. Copies were sent to Vance, McNaughton, the other service Chiefs, and the Director of the Joint Staff.

SUBJECT Evacuation of U.S. Dependents from South Vietnam

The Joint Chiefs of Staff reviewed this date their previous views regarding the withdrawal of U.S. dependent personnel from South Vietnam in the light of the existing military and political situation. They recommend that all U.S. dependents be withdrawn from South

Vietnam as soon as it is possible to do so in an orderly fashion. This recommendation applies not only to the dependents of military personnel but to all dependents of U.S. Government or U.S. Government-affiliated personnel stationed in South Vietnam./2/

/2/The military aspects of the withdrawal of U.S. dependents from Vietnam were discussed further in memorandum DJSM-65-65 from Lieutenant Colonel David A. Burchinal, Director of the Joint Staff, to Assistant Secretary of Defense McNaughton, January 18. (Department of State, Vietnam Working Group Files: Lot 75 D 167, Withdrawal of U.S. Dependents)

Earle G. Wheeler/3/

/3/Printed from a copy that indicates Wheeler signed the original.

4. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam/1/

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 15 VIET S. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Forrestal, cleared by William and McGeorge Bundy and McNamara (per William Bundy), and approved by Rusk.

Washington, January 4, 1965, 6:48 p.m.

1386. Ref: Embtel 2032./2/ From Secretary for the Ambassador. We view with great concern a head-on confrontation between Huong and generals. From our admittedly limited vantage point the only good card Huong seems to have is evident U.S. support. In the current power equation we do not assess this as being enough to permit Huong to face down the generals with their apparent Buddhist support. If, as seems likely, the generals will immediately and unceremoniously remove Huong and Suu, we would confront, not only a military government which has seized power by force, but one that might have an anti-U.S. bias and, by its victory, lend encouragement to the anti-American manifestations already evident in Buddhist and certain student groups.

/2/In telegram 2032, January 4, Taylor reported the conversation he and U. Alexis Johnson had that afternoon with Huong and Deputy Prime Minister Vien during which they were told that Huong intended to "have it out" with Khanh and his supporters. (Ibid.)

Except as an admirable show of courage, we see nothing to be gained by Huong's proposed action. If there is any hope of resolving the present crisis, it seems to us that continued patient and determined efforts to bring Khanh around or to separate Khanh from the rest of the generals still presents the most advantageous course--as difficult and frustrating as this must be for both the Embassy and Huong. As unpalatable as the present arrangement is, a forceful removal (and possibly the arrest) of Suu and Huong would be even worse.

We are aware that events are moving quickly in Saigon and that you are very much closer and more directly involved than we. However, we felt it might be useful to you to have a consensus of Washington views on this extremely delicate and tricky matter./3/

/3/For the views of Assistant Secretary of Defense McNaughton, see his draft memorandum

of January 4 entitled "Observations re South Vietnam" in Pentagon Papers: Gravel Edition, vol. III, pp. 683-684.


  • 5. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs

(Bundy) to President Johnson/1/

Washington, January 4, 1965.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. VIII. No classification marking.

SUBJECT Comment from Bob McNamara on the State of the Union

  • 1. Bob McNamara called this morning on other matters, and I asked him what he thought of

the State of the Union./2/ He said he liked it, but had one worry. He wonders whether the statements on Vietnam on pages 6 and 7 are too strong in the light of our current policy. I said that they were no stronger than things we had said a dozen times before, but I gathered from Bob that he thought they were stronger than our actions. I get the implication that he fears that if we do not intend stronger action, we may regret these sentences.

/2/President Johnson delivered his Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union at 9:04 p.m. on January 4, 1965. For text of the address, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965, Book I, pp. 1-9.

  • 2. My own view is that, whatever we may decide to do on particular matters in the coming

months, it is absolutely essential to maintain a posture of firmness today. I believe that without firm U.S. language, the danger of further erosion in Saigon is bound to grow. I therefore not only approve, but strongly recommend, the language on pages 6 and 7. Nevertheless, I think you should know Bob's worry.

McG. B./3/

/3/Printed from a copy that bears these typed initials.

  • 6. Memorandum for the Record/1/

Washington, January 5, 1965.

/1/Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (McCone) Files, Job 80 BO 1285A, Vietnam, January 1965. Secret. Prepared by Colby on January 8. The meeting was scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Department of State. Forrestal prepared an agenda for the participants, January

SUBJECT Meeting of the Principals on Vietnam 5 January 1965

PARTICIPANTS Defense: Secretary Vance, Assistant Secretary McNaughton, General Wheeler State: Assistant Secretary Bundy, Ambassador Unger, Mr. Forrestal White House: Mr. McGeorge Bundy, Mr. Cooper CIA: Mr. McCone, Mr. Colby

  • 1. Laos Action Program: Mission against Ban Trim was approved. Mission against Ban Ken

was suspended until the 9 January meeting because it would involve a considerable stepup

in scale. JCS recommendations will be obtained before the 9 January meeting.

  • 2. OPLAN 34-A: Approval was given to the attached cable/2/ authorizing air cover to

maritime operations between the 18th and 17th parallels in order to permit maritime operations to be mounted against targets further north than hitherto. Mr. William Bundy, however, declined for the time being to authorize SAR operations by U.S. forces north of the 17th parallel.

/2/Not attached and not further identified.

  • 3. DeSoto Patrol: Mr. Forrestal said that this question would be suspended until the 9

January meeting for a review in connection with the overall scale of operations. General Wheeler commented that he expected considerable trouble from Congress if we were to send destroyers into the Gulf of Tonkin on a regular basis. He said JCS will come up with some alternate thoughts. In this connection, it was pointed out that the intelligence from DeSoto Patrols is useful but not compelling and it would only require one patrol every six months or so.

  • 4. It was suggested that a general checklist of increases in the scale of operations against

North Vietnam be worked up preparatory to the 9 January meeting, to include such matters as Barrel Roll, 34-A, DeSoto and reprisals. General Wheeler commented that the signal Hanoi is receiving may not be the one we intend. Mr. William Bundy made the point that the basic signal Hanoi seems to have received is that the U.S. decided not to go north after Ambassador Taylor's trip to the United States.

  • 5. Cooper Report on Infiltration: /3/ It was agreed that this should be suspended during the

current political crisis in Saigon.

/3/See Document 171.

  • 6. Third Country Aid: The attached memorandum/4/ was circulated on the status of this

program. Mr. Cooper and Mr. Forrestal questioned whether Saigon was ready to receive substantial third country contingents, especially on the civilian side. Mr. Cooper also suggested the desirability of an orientation program for third country representatives coming to Vietnam, to be mounted by the GVN with U.S. support. Mr. Forrestal will look into this.

/4/Not attached and not further identified.


Binh Gia: General Wheeler gave a detailed rundown of the Binh Gia operation/5/

commenting that the piece-meal commitment of GVN forces seemed to be the main cause for the results. He said the action did not necessarily indicate any move to a new stage of Viet Cong combat, although there were indications of uniformed and steelhelmeted Viet Cong troops. The DCI commented that the attached analysis/6/ did not indicate a move to Stage III. There was then an inconclusive discussion on the effectiveness of GVN operations and intelligence on the enemy, it being stated that both have reasonably improved. However, there is considerable leakage of operational information to Viet Cong intelligence, both through their special intelligence and ordinary intelligence operations. The DCI suggested that a review be made of the ARVN desertion rate in recent weeks and the causes for this increase. Secretary Vance and General Wheeler indicated some surprise and will look into this matter. The DCI again suggested attention to the effectiveness of the psychological effort on the South Vietnamese people and commented that Mr. Zorthian, the PAO, seemed to be unduly tied down by his U.S. press briefing responsibilities. Mr. Forrestal will look into this matter.

/5/In the Binh Gia engagement near Saigon early in January 1965 the Viet Cong killed nearly 200 South Vietnamese soldiers.

/6/Memorandum from Carver to the Deputy Director for Intelligence, January 5, on "The Significance of Binh Gia in Light of Giap's Three-Stage Doctrine," attached but not printed.

  • 8. In parting, Mr. McGeorge Bundy commented that he hoped that the Mission in Saigon

would not push Huong into a vigorous fight with the Young Turk Generals. It was agreed that this would be unfortunate and that the cautioning notes given the Embassy on this should be continued.

WE Colby

Chief, Far East Division

  • 7. Editorial Note

According to Secretary Rusk's Appointment Book, he met with Under Secretary Ball and Secretary McNamara at about 5:30 p.m. on January 5. They were joined by Special Assistant McGeorge Bundy at 5:46, and the meeting ended at approximately 7:20. (Johnson Library, Rusk Appointment Books) No record of the discussion at the meeting has been found. Prior to the meeting, at 1:05 p.m. that afternoon, McGeorge Bundy called Rusk. A memorandum of part of their conversation reads as follows:

"Re Viet Nam meeting, B wondered whether we were ready to talk to the President at 5 tomorrow; McNamara wanted to have a discussion with just Sec and B first. It was agreed they would meet at 5:30 today, following the larger 5 pm meeting. Sec will arrange with McNamara and have Ball there too." (Department of State, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telephone Calls)

For a record of the larger meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. on January 5, see Document 6. Regarding the January 6 meeting at 5 p.m. with the President, see Document 17.


Telegram From the Commander in Chief, Pacific (Sharp) to the Chairman of the

Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler)/1/

Honolulu, January 5, 1965, 4:49 p.m.

/1/Source: Center of Military History, Westmoreland Papers, History Backup, #12. Secret. Repeated to General Westmoreland.

A. JCS 5485-64/2/ eyes only.

/2/For text, see Foreign Relations, 1964-1968, vol. I, Document 479.

  • 1. Your 5485-64 year end wrap up of Washington view on Vietnam was very helpful,

especially the reasons why our recommendations for action get turned down.

  • 2. I have always deferred to Westy and Amb Taylor's views on retaining dependents in

Vietnam because I felt they were best judge of danger to dependents and advantages of keeping them in country. Your message introduces a new factor into this problem.

  • 3. If we are still operating under policy of NSAM 314/3/ and if presence of dependents is a

block on decision for action, then I think we should move dependents out ASAP. Realize

there are other factors which influence decision makers even if dependents moved, but other factors you mention are less of a positive block. Decision to move dependents should include all, not just military. Since movement of dependents takes considerable time, we cannot wait until we are ready to take offensive action before initiating dependents withdrawal.

/3/For text, see ibid., pp. 758-760.

  • 4. Brink bombing/4/ once again demonstrates that VC have capability to attack dependents

any time. Seems entirely possible Saigon could lapse into state of lawlessness under current lack of government control. So, movement dependents justified for other reasons than to facilitate decision for U.S. action.

/4/See footnote 11, Document 9.

  • 5. Announcement of removal dependents should be carefully worded and timed to get most

political mileage. Might mention continued unstable political conditions; let them wonder if

all U.S. personnel would soon depart.

  • 6. As you know, we are ready to take reprisal action on short notice, if that is required. I

recommend against including VNAF in the first strike. They can follow on after Westy gets them cranked up, but they should not be allowed to hold up our forces.

  • 7. On another subject. I concur completely with DIA's assessment of how Barrel Roll is

influencing the DRV given in his memo to you of 31 Dec,/5/ which was passed to us. We will have to make a good sized strike on a reasonably important target before the DRV will know that we are doing anything different.

/5/Not further identified.

  • 9. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State/1/

Saigon, January 6, 1965, 11 a.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S. Top Secret; Priority; Nodis. Received in the Department of State at 1:03 a.m.

2052. For the President--Section I of V Sections./2/ Ref A. CAP-64375./3/ B. Position paper on Southeast Asia originally dated December 2, later December 7./4/ C. Instructions from the President to Ambassador Taylor as approved by the President December 3, 1964./5/ C [D]. Embtel 2010./6/

/2/Sections II-IV are Documents 10-13.

/3/For text, see Foreign Relations, 1964-1968, vol. I, Document 477.

/4/Ibid., Document 433.

/5/Ibid., Document 435.

/6/Ibid., Document 478.

1. In replying to your CAP-64375, rather than to compose a single cable which would be overly cumbersome by its length, it has appeared preferable to prepare a basic cable presenting a coherent report of our views on the overriding issues in CAP-64375 and to supplement it additionally by four supporting sections each addressed to one of the four specific suggestions contained in para 7, reference A. This is the basic cable which undertakes to evaluate the present situation in SVN, to analyze the causes of our troubles and to indicate what we can and cannot do to eliminate or attenuate these causes and closes with our recommendations. We have not repeated herein our views contained in the related cable, Embtel 2010.

  • 2. A description of the present situation needs little amplification beyond the content of

Emb cables filed since the military coup de force (the current phrase here) of December 20, read against the background of the report which I made to you and senior officials in Washington in early December. We are faced here with a seriously deteriorating situation characterized by continued political turmoil, irresponsibility and division within the armed forces, lethargy in the pacification program, some anti-US feeling which could grow, signs of mounting terrorism by VC directly at US personnel and deepening discouragement and loss of morale throughout SVN. Unless these conditions are somehow changed and trends reversed, we are likely soon to face a number of unpleasant developments ranging from anti-American demonstrations, further civil disorders, and even political assassinations to the ultimate installation of a hostile govt which will ask us to leave while it seeks accommodation with the National Liberation Front and Hanoi. How soon these developments may occur is hard to estimate. Some might take place tomorrow--anything like a coalition govt is unlikely for several months. In all, however, there is a comparatively

short time fuse on this situation.

  • 3. When one looks for the causes of this unhappy state of affairs, they fall generally under

three heads: lack of a stable govt, inadequate security against the VC and nation-wide war- weariness. All three are interdependent and react upon one another.

  • 4. Until the fall of Diem and the experience gained from the events of the following months,

I doubt that anyone appreciated the magnitude of the centrifugal political forces which had been kept under control by his iron rule. The successive political upheavals and the accompanying turmoil which have followed Diem's demise upset all prior US calculations as to the duration and outcome of the counterinsurgency in SVN and the future remains uncertain today. There is no adequate replacement for Diem in sight.

  • 5. At least we know now what are the basic factors responsible for this turmoil--chronic

factionalism, civilian-military suspicion and distrust, absence of national spirit and motivation, lack of cohesion in the social structure, lack of experience in the conduct of govt. These are historical factors growing out of national characteristics and traditions, susceptible to change only over the long run. Perhaps other Americans might marginally influence them more effectively but generally speaking we Americans are not going to change them in any fundamental way in any measurable time. We can only recognize their existence and adjust our plans and expectations accordingly.

  • 6. The lack of security for the population is the result of the continued success of the VC

subversive insurgency for which the foundation was laid in 1954-55 and which has since grown to present proportions of an estimated 34,000 main guerrilla force supported by some 60-80,000 local guerrillas. Not only is this a large and well-trained force but it enjoys the priceless asset of a protected logistic sanctuary in the DRV and in Laos. I do not recall in history a successful anti-guerrilla campaign with less than a 10 to 1 numerical superiority over the guerrillas and without the elimination of assistance from outside the country.

  • 7. Obviously neither condition obtains in SVN. With regard to relative manpower, the GVN

military-paramilitary-police forces during the last two years have enjoyed only a little over a 5 to 1 advantage in spite of gaining in strength some 165,000 in the same period. Thus, if there is any validity in the 10-1 superiority requirement, in spite of high losses VC strength and a maximum effort to increase GVN forces, there is no likelihood of reaching a satisfactory strength relationship now or at any time we can foresee under current procedures. Nor does it seem reasonable or feasible to look to US or third country sources to fill the manpower gap. (See Section V.)

  • 8. The ability of the VC to regenerate their strength and to maintain their morale is to an

important degree the result of infiltration from the logistical sanctuaries outside the country and from the sense of support and confidence this gives them. You have doubtless seen the recent study of infiltration/7/ which estimates a total infiltration of 34,000 since February, 1960, and points to the possibility of 10,000 infiltrators in 1964. While there is much chance for error in such figures, infiltration is an important source of VC recuperative powers.

/7/For text of the study of infiltration dated October 31, 1964, see ibid., pp. 864-872; regarding a report on Aggression From the North, released on February 27, 1965, see Document 171.

9. Apart from inadequate forces and frontiers open to infiltration, the inability to give SVN adequate security is a by-product of the weakness of govt already discussed. Effective pacification calls for an intricate blending of military, economic, social and psychological resources which, thus far, has exceeded the capability of the changing Saigon govts. The Hop Tac experiment/8/ is producing some encouraging results but the country-wide pacification program as a whole has a long time to go--years in fact--before we can hope to bring security to SVN by present methods and at current rates of progress.

/8/Hop Tac (Working Together) was a campaign begun in mid-1964 by the South Vietnamese Government, at the urging of MACV, to pacify the area around Saigon.

  • 10. The third cause of the present situation, war-weariness, is easy to understand. It grows

out of 20 years of uninterrupted conflict with the Japanese, the French, the religious sects and the VC. It has increased as the result of disappointed hopes following the overthrow of Diem and the failure of the heralded new revolution. It exists more in the cities and among the intellectuals than in the provinces among the peasants and soldiers. The only cause for surprise is that morale is not worse than it is. There is a toughness in the countryside which is a very encouraging phenomenon. One cannot escape the feeling that there is nothing in the psychological situation here which a few victories, military or political, could not turn around.

  • 11. If these are the causes--unstable govt, lack of security and war-weariness--the next

question is what we can do to eliminate or modify these factors and thus change the situation for the better, bearing in mind that we have limited time. Some things we clearly cannot do--change national characteristics, create leadership where it does not exist, raise large additional GVN forces or seal porous frontiers to infiltration. If one accepts such limitations, then it is equally clear that in the time available we cannot expect anything better than marginal govt and marginal pacification progress with continued decline of national morale--unless something new is added to make up for those things we cannot control.

  • 12. Thus, we are faced with considering what we can do. We can probably compromise the

current governmental crisis in a way which will salvage Huong but will leave him pretty much under military domination. If Huong goes, he will probably be followed by some kind of military government. If it is controlled by Khanh, we will have to do hard soul-searching to decide whether to try to get along with him again after previous failures or to refuse to support him and take the consequences--which might entail ultimate withdrawal. If we can mislay Khanh and get a military chief of state like Co or Dong, we have a fresh option worth trying. But whether a jerry-built civilian government under military domination or a brand new military government, it will not get far unless a new factor is added which will contribute to coalescing the political factions around and within the government and thus bolster its position.

  • 13. To speed pacification, we could consider increasing the U.S. support by increasing the

advisory effort or by adding combat units. With regard to the first possibility, during the last year we have already increased our advisory effort by 42 percent. The increase has taken place at several echelons and has involved not only the military but USOM and USIS representation as well. In the military sphere, the positioning of advisory teams at district (county) level and the augmentation of battalion teams account for most of the increase. Americans are now advising all elements of the regular forces down to battalion and a very large part of the paramilitary forces. Americans are also flying all manner of fixed and

rotary wing aircraft, and are operating an extensive communications system. By February 1 there will be 23,700 officers and men in country; and, in addition, approximately 750 civilian advisors. We believe that our capability to stiffen further, by advisory means, is very limited; indeed, we have probably reached about the saturation point.

  • 14. The introduction of U.S. ground units to help fight the Viet-Cong is still another

question. To take this decision would in effect change the basis of our conduct of the war. This is in itself no argument against such a change, but for the reasons discussed in Section V, we are still of the opinion that we should not get into this guerrilla conflict with our ground units.

  • 15. In the search for some course of action which will help pull the government together,

stimulate pacification and raise the morale, I can find only one which offers any chance of the needed success in the available time. This is the program of graduated air attacks directed against the will of the DRV, referred to in reference B as Phase II./9/ The purpose of such attacks would be fourfold: (1) convey to Hanoi the message that it will become increasingly costly to support the VC; (2) eventually create a situation favorable to talking with Hanoi; (3) turn SVN attention from internal feuding to attacking the external source of their troubles; (4) restore U.S./GVN camaraderie through a joint military effort.

/9/Phase II operations referred generally to graduated military actions against infiltration routes in Laos and eventually North Vietnam.

  • 16. I know that this is an old recipe with little attractiveness but no matter how we

reexamine the facts, or what appear to be the facts, we can find no other answer which offers any chance of success. The other choices are to continue as we are, making marginal improvements and hoping for the best, to open negotiations with enemy, or to withdraw. Nobody on the spot here believes that any one of these will result in ought but loss of SVN and eventually of SEA. It is true that our recommended course of action offers no certainty of success and carries some risks. We are presently on a losing track and must risk a change. How long it will take to arrive at a denouement if we do not change I cannot say but to take no positive action now is to accept defeat in the fairly near future. Furthermore, the action required goes beyond any mere improvement, necessarily limited, in what we have been doing up to now. The game needs to be opened up and new opportunities offered for new breaks which hopefully may be in our favor. The new breaks may also be unfavorable but scarcely more so than those we have been getting thus far.

  • 17. I have shared your feeling that a stable government in Saigon should be a prerequisite to

our undertaking offensive action against DRV. As stated in reference C, the minimum criteria of performance which should be met include the ability of the government to speak for and to its people, to maintain law and order in its principal cities, to make plans for the conduct of operations and assure their effective execution by military and police forces completely responsive to its authority. The present Huong government does not reach this standard primarily because of the uncertain responsiveness of the armed forces to its commands. We will make every effort in adjusting the present governmental crisis to encourage legitimate participation by the armed forces in the government and an acceptance of a degree of responsibility for it. We have some leverage on the generals in the form of

the increased aid which I was authorized to discuss with the government upon my return from Washington last month. The most important single item in the package is the matter of joint planning in contemplation of Phase II operations. My present authority permits me now to initiate planning for Phase II with GVN with the understanding that the USG does

not commit itself to any form of execution of such plans. Actually, because of the recent climate of our relations, we have not initiated this planning and should not until we are surer of our future course of action. It would be of great assistance in reaching a compromise of the present crisis if I were authorized to state explicitly to GVN leaders that we are prepared to initiate Phase II operations in case the new government meets or shows reasonable promise of meeting your criteria. What I am suggesting is undertaking a conditional commitment that if, in the U.S. judgement, the GVN reaches a certain level of performance, the USG will join in an escalating campaign against the DRV. Hopefully, by such action, we could improve the government, unify the armed forces to some degree, and thereupon move into the Phase II program without which we see little chance of breaking out of the present downward spiral.

  • 18. With regard to your feeling that this guerrilla war cannot be won from the air, I am in

entire agreement, if we are thinking in terms of the physical destruction of the enemy. As I conceive it, the Phase II program is not a resort to use bombing to win on the Douhet theory/10/ (which I have spent considerable past effort in exposing) but is the use of the most flexible weapon in our arsenal of military superiority to bring pressure on the will of the chiefs of the DRV. As practical men, they cannot wish to see the fruits of ten years of labor destroyed by slowly escalating air attacks (which they cannot prevent) without trying to find some accommodation which will exorcise the threat. It would be to our interest to regulate our attacks not for the purpose of doing maximum physical destruction but for producing maximum stresses in Hanoi minds.

/10/Giulio Douhet (1869-1930) was an Italian military theorist and proponent of strategic air power and strategic bombing.

  • 19. Thus far I have not specifically discussed reprisal bombing in response to some major

VC atrocity such as the Bien Hoa attack or the Brink bombing./11/ I gather that the decision not to react to the Brink affair resulted from a combination of considerations such as the political turmoil in Saigon at the time, the initial uncertainty as to the authorship of the job, the feeling that the local security had left something to be desired and that, when all considerations had been taken into account, too much time had elapsed to warrant making a reprisal. Without undertaking to discuss each one of these points, I would say that the problem looks quite different here than from Washington. If we are so unfortunate as to have another atrocity warranting consideration of reprisal bombing (and I feel sure that we will), we think this event should be viewed as an opportunity to strike DRV appropriately which should be welcomed. It would not only signal Hanoi but would give the local morale a much needed shot in the arm and should dampen VC enthusiasm for terrorism especially against Americans and thus aid in protecting our people. If, as is usual, the investigation to ascertain the facts takes some days, that delay should be no bar to retaliation. Our intent will be perfectly clear when we act and the advantages derived therefrom will be unaffected. We think here that our policy should be to retaliate promptly after receiving Presidential approval for each case. To justify a reprisal, the stability of the GVN (or lack thereof) at the time appears to us to have much less importance than in the case of the deliberate initiation of Phase II bombing.

/11/On October 31, 1964, the Viet Cong attacked Bien Hoa airfield with mortars, killing 4 U.S. servicemen and wounding 30. On December 24, 1964, a bomb exploded at the Brink Hotel in Saigon, killing 2 and injuring 50 people.

20. The matter of the evacuation of dependents is closely linked to the foregoing

considerations. Because of its importance and your personal interest in it, I have given it separate treatment in Section II which follows. In brief, the study concludes that the flow of dependents should be stopped now. Numbers presently here should be reduced by administrative measures but the order to evacuate all dependents, because of its political impact, should await a decision to execute a retaliatory strike against the DRV or to initiate the Phase II program.

  • 21. If the foregoing reasoning is generally accepted, then we should look for an occasion to

begin air operations just as soon as we have satisfactorily compromised the current political situation in Saigon and set up a minimal govt in accordance with the procedure of para 17. At the proper time, we can set the stage for action by exposing to the public our case against infiltration, and by initiating aggressive DeSoto patrols. We can be ready with prompt reprisal bombing in response to further VC terrorism. As an earnest of our intent, we can open joint planning with the GVN against the North and stop the flow of our dependents. When decided to act, we can justify that decision on the basis of infiltration, of VC terrorism, of attacks on DeSoto patrols or any combination of the three.

  • 22. In conclusion, I would request authority to act in accordance with para 17 in order to

establish as soon as possible a govt meeting the minimum criteria for justifying the extension of air strikes against the DRV in accordance with the Phase II concept. In the meantime, I would hope that, regardless of GVN performance in respect to the criteria, the USG would be ready at any time to approve reprisal strikes to respond as appropriate to major VC terrorism.

Amb Johnson and Gen Westmoreland concur in this cable.



FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES 1964-1968 Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965 DEPARTMENT OF STATE Washington,


Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965


FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES 1964-1968 Volume II, Vietnam January-June 1965 DEPARTMENT OF STATE Washington,

Political instability within South Vietnam; U.S. retaliatory air strikes against North Vietnam January 1-February 11

10. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State/1/

Saigon, January 6, 1965, 2 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S. Top Secret; Priority; Nodis. Received in the Department of State at 3:56 a.m.

2055. For the President--Section II of V Sections./2/ Ref. par. 7(1) CAP-64375./3/ I fully understand and appreciate your concern with respect to the problem of dependents. As we see it here, there are two aspects to this--first, the actual physical danger to the dependents themselves and, secondly, the psychological effects both on our friends here and on the enemy of a decision to withdraw them. Although no one can exclude the possibility at any time of accidental or deliberate injury being inflicted upon some of our dependents, for the moment I am most concerned with the latter problem, that is, the psychological effects on our friends and enemies.

/2/Sections I and III-V are Documents 9 and 11-13.

/3/For text, see Foreign Relations, 1964-1968, vol. I, Document 477.

Immediate withdrawal in the present atmosphere would, I am certain, be interpreted both here and in Hanoi and Peking as a sign of weakness and desperation which could result in panic among our friends and great encouragement to the enemy. (It would also adversely influence our ability to obtain third country assistance from our less sturdy friends.) However, if the withdrawal is directly related to other action against the DRV, it can, if properly handled, be used to reinforce the tonic effects such action will have for our friends and the seriousness of purpose that we will desire to communicate to the enemy. I have, for example, in mind the successful way in which we used the evacuation of our dependents from Guantanamo during the Cuban crisis to reinforce the signals that we were seeking to communicate to both Havana and Moscow.

At the same time, I entirely agree that until the time comes that we want to use mandatory

withdrawal of dependents to reinforce wider action we are taking elsewhere, we should seek to do all we can to reduce the size of the problem. We have already done much to reduce their numbers by voluntary and administrative action. For some time USOM has hired no new personnel with small children. MACV has also been reducing the number of positions requiring two-year tours and thus, under present DOD policy, the presence of dependents if desired by their sponsor. All the agencies have also informally discouraged the bringing of dependents and encouraged the voluntary return of those already here. However, we can, and subject to your own thoughts, I propose to do much more.

We could have all agencies immediately initiate a policy of not permitting newly assigned personnel or those returning from home leave to be accompanied by their dependents. We could also initiate a policy of encouraging the advanced departure of dependents whose sponsors are scheduled to leave Viet-Nam permanently or on home leave orders in the next few months. Additionally, all the agencies represented here could take a harder look at their staffing patterns to see whether staff members, particularly those with dependents, could be reduced without impairing our effectiveness. All of this will inevitably result in some publicity but I think that this is manageable.

With respect to the remaining dependents, I would propose that at the time we initiate a retaliatory strike against the DRV or initiate Phase 2 action against the North we simultaneously announce and undertake an evacuation of all remaining dependents. I suggest that such an announcement should be carefully timed in relation to whatever else we will publicly be saying at the time. I believe that an orderly evacuation of the remaining dependents could be carried out at that time over a period of say seven to ten days with minimum personal hardship and risk to them and without the seriously adverse effects of doing it before that.

Needless to say, if at any time civil disorders in Saigon or other developments indicate an imminent and serious risk to dependents, I will have no hesitancy in ordering their immediate evacuation.

All of my principal colleagues strongly agree with the foregoing views except Jim Killen who, while recognizing the political problems of immediate evacuation, favors a complete evacuation initiated now phased over perhaps a two-month period.


11. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State/1/

/Saigon, January 6, 1965, 2 p.m.

1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S. Top Secret; Priority; Nodis. Received in the Department of State at 5:38 a.m.

2056. For the President--Section III of V Sections./2/ Ref. par. 7(2), CAP-64375./3/ Since receiving your CAP-64375, General Westmoreland and his staff have made a comprehensive study of the requirements for giving maximum security to U.S. personnel and facilities by utilizing U.S. guards and units. He arrives at the startling requirement of

34-battalion equivalents of army or marine infantry, together with the necessary logistic support. He considers that the total manpower requirement would approximate 75,000 U.S. personnel.

/2/Sections I, II, IV, and V are Documents 9, 10, 12, and 13.

/3/For text, see Foreign Relations, 1964-1968, vol. I, Document 477.

The reason for this high figure is basically the large number of installations in which we have important U.S. interests. They total 16 important airfields, 9 communications facilities, one large POL storage area, and 289 separate installations where U.S. personnel work or live. Any one of these is conceivably vulnerable to VC attack in the form of mortar fire or sabotage; and any are vulnerable to attack by VC ground forces. To keep mortar fire off any given point, one must secure an area roughly 16 square miles (a circle whose radius is 4,000 yards, the maximum range of 81mm mortar). Thus large airfields would, in the opinion of General Westmoreland, require up to 6 battalions of U.S. ground forces.

Even with such a commitment of U.S. forces, there would be no absolute guarantee against clandestine sabotage or covert mortar attacks. With few exceptions, critical installations are located in or near towns or cities, or in heavily populated farm land. In most of these areas, it is neither practical nor politically feasible to clear away a 4,000 yard-wide belt that could be controlled by U.S. forces. Consequently, U.S. troops would be faced with discharge of guard mission within populated areas and would lack the authority as well as ability to control the movements of population and to execute the search and seizure procedures required by such a mission. It is likely that such an effort to give greater security to our people would bring us into greater conflict with the Vietnamese people and government.

In connection with guarding U.S. personnel billets and dependent quarters, we are presently conducting a detailed survey of requirements. Under present arrangements, the main burden for security rests upon the Vietnamese police and military services, and we believe that responsibility should remain theirs. However, we have concluded that an additional U.S. military police battalion is required in Saigon area to augment the Vietnamese in order to raise the level of security provided.

Over the past several months and in view of the foregoing considerations General Westmoreland has initiated or has recommended taking the following actions:

  • A. An increase of the Vietnamese armed forces by approximately 80,000 and the National

Police by 10,000 in 1965 in order to provide, among other things, additional forces for the protection of U.S. installations.

  • B. A long series of unilateral U.S. measures such as the dispersal and revetment of U.S.

aircraft, the provision of sandbag personnel shelters where appropriate, provision of additional air and military police for close-in security of U.S. aircraft on major airfields, the augmentation of marine security elements to reinforce company strength for close-in protection of aircraft at the Danang airfield, and the emplacement of counter-mortar and ground surveillance radar near certain sensitive installations.

  • C. Persuasion of the Vietnamese military to take complementary steps, to include the

clarification of command responsibility for airbase defense, the emplacement of additional

artillery and mortar batteries at certain airfields, and the establishment of better intelligence systems, particularly around key installations.

We have no illusions that when the foregoing measures have been taken, we will have created complete safety for our installations and for our people. However, we consider that, on balance, our present plans to increase the size of the armed forces of Vietnam, to improve their combat effectiveness, and, in conjunction with an expanded police force, to maximize their contribution to pacification are preferable to the commitment of a large number of U.S. security forces to static guard missions in South Vietnam. We believe that the current program will, in the end, produce that degree of security which is reasonably attainable.


12. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State/1/

Saigon, January 6, 1965, 2 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S. Top Secret; Priority; Nodis. Received in the Department of State at 5:10 a.m.

2057. For the President. Section IV of V Sections./2/ Ref par 7(3) CAP-64375./3/ Because of his wide qualifications, I have leaned heavily on Alex Johnson, assisted by the political section of the Embassy, to respond to your comments with regard to the need for a much wider and more varied attempt to get good political relations with all Vietnamese groups. In his opinion, there is no country in the world in which we have more extensive or deeper communication with the local population as well as the govt than here. Between the Emb and CAS officers, we have some 45 French-speaking and 10 Vietnamese-speaking officers whose primary duty is maintaining such communication. They have literally hundreds of contacts with every important walk of Vietnamese life. Although we would not suggest your reading its entirety, I do believe it would be interesting for you to turn the pages of Embtel 1836/4/ to get an impression of the extent of our contacts with various political groups.

/2/Sections I-III and V are Documents 9-11 and 13.

/3/For text, see Foreign Relations, 1964-1968, vol. I, Document 477.

/4/Ibid., Document 448.

In addition to the Embassy and CAS contacts, through our integrated USIS/GVN programs, we speak by radio, moving pictures, pamphlets and newspapers to the broad mass of the people. Through the Voice of America, which is very extensively listened to here, particularly in times of crisis, we communicate selectively the views of the US and the world press.

Additionally, we have unusual ability to reach the armed forces of Vietnam and provincial officials through the hundreds of US military officers and USOM field reps who are in

intimate and daily contact with their Vietnamese counterparts. They are linked together by a US communications system which allows us very quickly to pass them appropriate guidance on current matters. We have been using them extensively in the current crisis to make known the US position.

On the whole, the quality of our personnel in Vietnam is high and I believe they meet pretty well your description of "sensitive, persistent and attentive Americans." We could perhaps improve on our use of them but we definitely do not need more. The Vietnamese may even be somewhat smothered now by the quantity of US contacts.

In our use of these contacts, there are two aspects of communications with the Vietnamese which we must bear in mind--the long term and the short term. The long term is directed toward influencing the basic attitudes and characters of the Vietnamese people. The short term is directed against working with these Vietnamese as they are today in order to accomplish our immediate purposes. No amount of persuasion or communication is going to make them other than what they are over the short term. Nothing that anyone can say in the short term is going to change their deep-seated suspicions and fears of each other, their political fragmentation and their lack of any true sense of nationhood. The French background and education of most of the elite have caused them to absorb some of the less desirable French characteristics in this regard and, in addition, given them a certain schizophrenia, being torn between the native Vietnamese and the French cultural backgrounds. Thus, they have no single frame of reference in which to react to events-- hence the seeming volatility of their attitude and the lack of firm principle to guide their judgment.

With such an unstable audience, the question is what to say in order to influence them in the direction of US policy. No doubt with greater experience we can become more effective, but our overriding problem is the inability up to now to give them any hope for an eventual end to their tribulations imposed by 20 years of war. In the absence of a light at the end of the tunnel, they tend to blame us rather than themselves for the continued darkness.

I realize that the foregoing sounds as if we were saying that we are doing as well as possible in this vital area of political relationships. Rather I would say we do not see how additional reinforcements would help us to do better and that this is not an area in which likely improvement offers a hope of reversing the declining situation. The gains here are likely to be for the long term whereas our immediate problem is to change a situation which is very much with us now.

In order to assure yourself that we are missing no real bets in this political field, would you consider sending someone like Mac Bundy here for a few weeks to look at this particular field? I think of Mac particularly because of his perceptiveness in such matters and the fact that he has been physically detached from the local scene and hence would have an objectivity which an old Vietnamese hand would lack. I can think of no one from the outside who could give you a better first hand report on this subject.


13. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State/1/

Saigon, January 6, 1965, 2 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S. Top Secret; Priority; Nodis. Received in the Department of State at 7:51 a.m.

2058. For the President--Section V of V Sections./2/ Ref para 7(4) CAP 64375./3/ Following is an analysis by Gen Westmoreland and his staff in which I concur, regarding the feasibility of stiffening the armed forces of Vietnam by introducing U.S. and possibly third country ground combat forces (Special Forces, Rangers, Marines, etc.).

/2/Sections I-IV are Documents 9-12.

/3/For text, see Foreign Relations, 1964-1968, vol. I, Document 477.

1. With regard to an increase in U.S. advisory effort, we have gone about as far down the advisory route as it is practical to go without passing the point of clearly diminishing returns. At the present, there are a total of 5,100 military advisors within RVN, extending thru all echelons from the high command down to battalion and to district (country) level. During the past year the advisory effort measured in terms of manpower has increased by 42 per cent. In addition, there are at present approximately 18,000 U.S. military personnel involved in operational support of various types. Although certain increases and adjustments will be periodically required, the air, helicopter, logistic and communication support provided or planned by the U.S. services is generally consistent with the size of the total force. However, there are some areas, treated later, in which increased U.S. participation and support are desirable.

  • A. The only significant area where it appears that an addition to advisor effort might be

warranted would be at the district level. Advisors are just now arriving for the last of 113 districts. Initial evaluation clearly indicates that the district advisory program is sound and is paying off. If momentum can be maintained another 25 of the regular five-man teams could be used by early summer and will be requested.

  • B. Our current thinking is that Special Forces teams might be utilized as advisors in remote

and least secure districts--perhaps up to 25 more in all.

2. With regard to the use of U.S. or Allied combat ground forces beyond the deployments programmed under SEATO plans and other existing war plans, several alternative concepts have been considered:

  • A. First Alternative:

Concept: U.S. (or Allied) airborne, Marine and infantry battalions under U.S. command and control to provide reserve striking forces capable of quick reaction to VC attacks and offensive operations against known VC forces and bases.

Forces: We considered both a high and low option and the details have been developed for each. In summary, the high option with 25 bns would provide U.S. quick reaction forces at each of the 9 divisions and certain general reserves. The low option with 8 bns would provide reserves in each of the 4 corps zones. In either case, U.S. air forces and logistical troops are included. The high option would total 60,000 troops--the low option 20,000.

Advantages: Reaction to VC attacks would be under de facto U.S. control, thus increasing the likelihood of rapidity and aggressiveness. VC casualties would increase.

Disadvantages: U.S. would be directly involved in ground combat. It is inevitable that casualties would occur among Vietnamese noncombatants, thus creating adverse reaction by Vietnamese against U.S. which VC would strongly exploit. Command relationships would be difficult. The Vietnamese Army (ARVN) might tend to leave the tougher problems to U.S. troops and thus gradually abdicate its responsibilities. U.S. casualties would be high.

B. Second Alternative:

Concept: Integration of ground combat battalions into ARVN infantry regiments.

Forces: In summary, 31 infantry battalions plus combat and service support troops as well as U.S. fighter and transport squadrons would be required. Total force would approximate 66,000 personnel.

Advantages: Each ARVN regiment would have a trained hardcore U.S. combat unit to lead the way and set the standards.

Disadvantages: U.S. troops would be under the command of Vietnamese officers. As in the first alternative U.S. troops would be engaged in populated areas with many political problems stemming from noncombatant casualties and the appearances of a white man's war against the brown. Again ARVN could develop a tendency to hold back, leaving the U.S. battalions to do the bulk of the fighting. U.S. casualties would be high.

C. Third Alternative:

Concept: Establish three coastal enclaves at locations such as Da Nang, Tuy Hoa and Phan Rang defended by U.S./GVN/multinational forces. These enclaves would be large enough for security of ports, airfields and local population centers. GVN force thus relieved could be available for counterinsurgency operations throughout the country. As a last resort these bridgeheads could be held by free world forces as spring boards for pacification or reconquest and, after massive economic, social and public works, would demonstrate advantages associated with free world and GVN.

Forces: The equivalent of one division would be required in each enclave. Air support, logistical support and Navy requirements for coastal patrol would generate a total Allied strength of approximately 75,000.

Advantages: Provide basis for free-world presence in RVN and Southeast Asia; demonstrate visible contrast between free world and Communist economic systems; facilitate application of full range of free world military capabilities should such become necessary; provide future connecting link between free world and people of Southeast Asia.

Disadvantages: Commits U.S. and free world to indefinite direct confrontation with Asiatic Communists; cost in U.S. resources and forces is unpredictable; provides pretext for Communist propaganda charges of U.S. colonialism; multinational support might be difficult to obtain or sustain. It may also be difficult to confine the force to such an enclave

in the face of guerrilla attacks which would require ever extending defensive actions beyond the perimeter defense.

  • D. Fourth Alternative:

Concept: Increase U.S. operations support to the maximum in areas which involve the least political liability. This would include:

Air forces--in-country use of U.S. jet aircraft (including USN) in close support of GVN forces, including the use of CBU-2 munitions.

Naval surface forces--commitment of U.S. naval forces in coordination with the Vietnamese Navy to coastal patrol and blockade as a means of denying supplies to the Viet Cong.


Air forces: One squadron equivalent of U.S. jet aircraft is now available. Base loading could accommodate one more squadron on random basis with remainder of support as required from carriers of 7th Fleet.

Naval surface forces: Subject to review by CINCPAC, one destroyer squadron and small carrier from Cambodian border to Vung Tau; one destroyer division south of demilitarized zone; and one destroyer division and sea plane tender from Da Nang to Vung Tau.

Advantages: Minimum adverse political impact. Increased operational effectiveness.

Disadvantages: An extension of U.S. commitment and involvement in combat operations. No assurance that these steps will have any significant effect on the overall situation.

3. In weighing the advantages and disadvantages, only the last alternative appears to be acceptable but none is recommended at this time.

  • A. It may seem as though we have weighted too heavily the political problems associated

with the introduction of U.S. ground forces. However, after much soul searching we have reluctantly concluded that their military value would be more than offset by their political liability. The Vietnamese have the manpower and the basic skills to win this war. What they lack is motivation. The entire advisory effort has been devoted to giving them both skill and motivation. If that effort has not succeeded there is less reason to think that U.S. combat forces would have the desired effect. In fact, there is good reason to believe that they would [have] the opposite effect by causing some Vietnamese to let the U.S. carry the burden while others, probably the majority, would turn actively against us. Thus intervention with ground combat forces would at best buy time and would lead to ever increasing

commitments until, like the French, we would be occupying an essentially hostile foreign country.

  • B. We have reviewed the tactical operations of the past two years for occasions where

employment of U.S. ground forces would have been desirable and feasible. We have found such instances to be few and far between. On balance, they do not seem to justify the presence of U.S. units, even disregarding the political problems involved.

  • C. We are not prepared to recommend that U.S. troops be placed under Vietnamese

command and thus reject the second alternative.

  • D. While the military/political enclaves have some attractive features they will not

contribute in large measure to the counterinsurgency war and could be political and

financial liabilities.

4. Recommendations:

  • A. That we adhere to the advisory system improving and expanding it as necessary.

Additional district advisors will be required if the GVN presses on with the war.

  • B. That the U.S. continue to provide only operational support along current lines augmented

and reinforced as the situation requires.


14. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State/1/

Saigon, January 6, 1965, 2 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S. Top Secret; Priority; Nodis. Received in the Department of State at 9:17 a.m.

2059. For the President. Embtel 1988./2/ In view of my response/3/ to your CAP-64375/4/ which I have just dispatched, I have very little to add as a weekly report. The political situation still remains an impasse between the government and the armed forces, both sides unwilling to make any major lead toward opening up the situation. While there is little definite progress to record toward reconciliation, I would say that time is starting to heal the rawness of relations which resulted from the events of the week of December 20. For the moment, at least, there seems to be no danger of a knock-down confrontation between Huong government and the military chiefs. We Americans continue to search for ways to bring the contending parties together on a basis which offers some hope for eliminating the present duality within the government.

/2/Telegram 1988, December 30, transmitted Taylor's previous weekly report to the President. (Ibid.)

/3/Documents 9-13.

/4/For text, see Foreign Relations, 1964-1968, vol. I, Document 477.

As the American press has made abundantly clear, we have had a bad week in the military field. However, in spite of the losses which occurred in the Phuoc Tuy Province action,/5/ we have not suffered a Dien Bien Phu as some describe it. However, there is certainly no room for complacency in assessing the outcome of this particular engagement. In its simplest terms, it was the piecemeal commitment of government forces against a well