Page 1




A formal p1ar.:.:"1ing and budgetary process for the phased uithdrawal of U. S. forces fron~ Vietnam ..ras begun a'llid t};le euphoria and optjmj sm of' July 1962, and was ended in the pessdnrism 0:' !·:arch 196!1. Initially, the specific obj ective» "7(;l'e: (1) to dra,·: doen U. S. Jrlilitary personne.l, then engased in ad-risor;;, tl'ai1!:~ng, and support ei'fol'ts from a FY 64 peek of' 12,008 to a FY 68 bottO=i~b out of 1,500 (just HQ, ~L~~G); and (2) to reduce j-·:';'P fl'c:n a FY 64 pea~: of $180 million to a FY 69 base of' $40.8 million. South Vi~tn~~~se ~orces ~ere to be trained to perform all the functions then being cE:.l'ried out by U.S. personnef., What the U.S.G. v:as actu~lly trying to acc(;.r~plizh durh:; this period can be described in ei tIler or both of ti'TO i'7a~'s: (1) a real desire and att.empt to extricate the U.S. from direct Jl.lili tary involve~E:!:'~ in the r:ar and to make ita war ,·!hic..l], tbe GVN would have to Learn to i·rin, a..."21 (2) straight-fori:"ard contingency Flannil'lg and the ~se of a political-~~:aberial tecr~tque to S1~ff dcvnl ~ess"~es for grer~::~l' U. S. Lnput.s • A b.l.end of the ,-;ish e~"o1ied in the first explanation and the hard-headec~ess of the second se~~s lJlausible. }!eedless to sa:/: the phase-out never caz;e to pass.

The Df.em coup

idth the political instC'.bi1ity an:! :5.etcl'ioration of the


situation soon ~ere tc lea1 U.S. decision-~~l:ers to set aside this planning precess. An ostensible cut- back of 1000 nen did take place in December 1963, but this vas c:ssenJ~:ial1y an accoun~i::"g exercise -- and the U.S. ror cc Leve.l l':!'ior to t::l~ !'e~uction had a.lre~:~r r-eached 16,732 in October 1963. By Dec~ber 1964, U.S. strength ha1 risen to 23,000 a.~d fUrther dep.lcynerrts ver-e O~ the ...: ay. \';Jhat, tnen, did t~e 1-?hole p]1:1set1-.dthdrf..~:al exercise accomplish? It may have irn.peded. demands for more men ani money, but this is doubtful. If the optir.listic reports on the situatio11 in SVII were to be believed, and th€:;y- apparently r:c;re, little more ":auld have been requested. It rn~.y have frightened the GVl'~, but it did not induce Diem or his successors to reform the political apparatus or make Rv:t~F fight harder. It Ir!J.y have contributed, hovever , to pu".:>lic charges about the Adninistration I s credibility and over--cptdzdsn about the end of the conflict. Despite the carefully i'1Orded ":hite House announceaent of the phase-out policy on October 2, 1963, tentative Johnson Administration judgme'lts came to be regarded by the public as firm predictions. v1hile this announcement made clear that the U.S. effort would continue "until the insurgency has been suppressed or until the national security forces of the GVN are capable of suppressing it, II the lJublic tended to focus on the prognosis ,-rhich folloi'led -- "Secr eta-7 McNa.:mara and General Taylor reported their jUdgment that the major part· of the U.S. military task can be completed by' the end of 1965•... II In . i

August 1964, Mr. McNaIr,ara. further eA'J)1ained the policy: "i-Ie have said -as a matter of fa.ct, I sa;y today -- as our training missions are completed, ~1e ,-:ill bring back the training forces. II Quite apar-t, from 't'rhat 1fas actua.lly accomplished by the phase-out policy ~nd the cvsts in terms of domestic political perceptions of Administration statement.s on Vietnam, there are some important lessons to be leB.!"ned from this exercdee , What ~las the U. S. rationale behind the policy? 'v]as it sound, feasible, and consistent ,'lith statements of national objectives? By 1'That policy and prograrlw..a.tic means were '\'le trying to brLlg about the desired results? v!ere these, in fa.ct, the most appropriate and effective vehicles? Ho,: did the intelligence and re!)orting system in Viet!1a!!! help or hinder policy :rorl~u1atio:n? 1'111y \.;as not the Diem coup in its darkening aftermath grasped as the opportunity to re-examine policy and una!jbiguously to decide to phase out, or to do 't'rhatever 't'!as deemed necessary? The rationale behind the phased l7ithdra.'lial policy vias by and la.rge internally consistent and sensible. . -- To put Vietn~1 i~ the pers~ective of other U.S. ''lorld interests. Vietl~<';'~Q., at this ti.>ne, \fa.S not the focal point of attcntion in lTa.shi~gtcn; Berlin and Cuba. weze . P"c:.rt of this exercise ,,~c.s to make clear th~t U.S. interests in Europe and in the vestem hendsph路::re came first. Even in terns of So~theast Asia. itst;lf, Laos, not Vietna..--n, 1路ras the central concern. So, the phase-out policy made the kind of sense that goes along 1-lith the struct\lI'ing of priorities. To avoid an open-ended Asi~'1 ms-inland la.'1d war. Even thongb violatcd b~: U. S. involve~ent in the Korean ~er, this was a central tenet o~ U.S. national security policy and donestic politics. The notion of the botto~uess Asian pit, th~ difference in outlook about a human lif'e, ljere well understood. -- To plan for the contingency that events might force withdrav.tal upon us. Seen in this light, the planning process lias prudential :prep~ation. --To treat the insurgency as fundamentally a: Vietnamese ma.tter, best solved by the Vietn&.mese themselves. Most u.s. decision-makers had well-developed doubts about the efficacy of using "white faced" soldiers to fight Asians. This vie,'1 was invariably coupled r ~u9Ucly and privately vlith statements like this one made by Secretary McNamara: "I personally路


believe that this is a war tbat t.lle Vietna..'1lef:e must fight, ,.r don't believe v:e can take 011 that combat task for them. I do believe we Ca!1 carry out training. We can provide advice a.~d logistical assist~~ce.n To incl'el;.se the pressure on the Glll: to make the necessary refol'!::s and to make RVK~F fight harder- by making the eA~ent aud future of U.S. support ~ little more tenuous. This ~a.s eA~licitly stated in S~atels instructions to A:~bassadcr Lodge en how to hanale t~e ffuite House statexr..ent of October, 1963: f1Actions ar~ designed to indicate to Diel:~ Government our disple~.sure at its political policies and activities ~~d to crc~te significant uncertainty in that goverpJr.ent and in key Vietnal~ese groups as to future intentions of Unit.;d Sta.tes, II In other words, pha~ed \vithdra,·;al vas thcu£ht of as a barga.ining counter ~ith tbe GVIf•


To put tr.e lid on inevitableburea'.lcratic and :political pressures tor increased U.S. j.nvol".rement and inputs into Vietr:~. It ~·;as. to be expect ed ~!'!.:1 anticipated that these int:i.lLa/.:.ely ir.volv-ed in the Vietnam problem ~i'ould be ,·:ar.:ting more U.S. resources to ha.ndle that problem. Pressures ~or greater effert, it ~~s rea~oned, eventually i'~ould CO:!1e into pla.~: U!1less counteracted. :·:b.a.t Secreta.r~· =.:~:~a::.ara. did vas to ::o!'~e a.ll tneater justification:::: for force bui Ld-ups i?~tc' tension riith longterm phase-dcvn plans, On 21 D·::;ce::;bsl', 1963, in a. me.'no to the President ar"'ter the D:'c:,. cor.. .? , l~, 1,1c!~~"""'!'a. urged' hclding the line: ItU , S. rescurces and personne.l cannot, usefully be substantia.lly in( II To deal ~ith interna.tio~al and cc=estic critici~ ~~d pressures. 1';''lile Vietnam \·~a:: net a front burner itec) there were those who al~eady h~: besun to questicn and 0 0' 3 , .I.~or ~~er nO:1- '-v••.: ~-~~~ ~'t~~~~~~~·~ ~,~in c .... 1:11SUS c:._ __ •• c:. \.1_ \ t: S , u_<_ _ •• g 1 .. exanpl.e , both Genera.l de Ga.ulle a!::.~ Senator l·'ield r:ere" strol1bly urginG the neut:raliza.tion of' Vietnam.

It is difficult to sort out the relative hportance of these varying rationales; a.ll were important. Paramount, perhaps, vTere the desires to limit U.S. involveme.~t, and to put pressure on the GVN for greater efforts, And, the ratior.ales ~~ere all consistent i'lith one enother , But they did not appear as being l'Tholly' consistent l'1ith other statementa of our national objectives in Southeast Asia. For example) on July 17) 1963, President Kennedy said: "We are not going to withdra'\'T from !f>ri't'.ging about a stable government there, carrying. on a struggle to maintain its national independency. In my opinion, for us to withdra"l from that effort would mean a collapse not only of South Vietnam, but Southeast Asia. II He added: IIl'1e can think . of Vietnam as a :niece of strategic real estate. It I S on the corner of mainland.~sia, across the East-West trade routes, and in a position that would iii

make it an excellent base for further Communist aggression agai.nst the rest of free Asia." In a. September 9, 1963 interviel'l, the President stated: "I believe fthe domino theory:]. I think. that the struggle is close enough. China is so large, looms up high just beyond the frontiers, that if South Vietnam \-Tent, it "lould not onJ.y give them an improved geograPl:ic position for a g'J.errilla. assault on Malaya., bt't would also give the imt>res?ion that the ,·;rave of the future in Asia ,-:as China and the Cor.llJ.unists. tr One could argue tha.t such an unequivocally strong statement of strategic importance wo\i1d not be consistent with a~y sort of phaseout proposal short of' a. clco.r-cut victory over the COT:l~u!lists. De~pite the cavea.ts about it being essentially a Sou~h Vietnamese struggle, President Kcn..7ledy' s statem.cnt~ vere very st!"cng. And, insof~!" as the U.S. '\-las intere::;ted in greater leverage on the GV:~, these statements tended to reduce U.S. barga.ining pO\'Ter because of the explicit and vital nature of the com.~itment.

The rationales behind the phased ,dthdra.lolal policy ","ere incorporated

into a. progrenming and planning process the. t began in July 1962 a.nd ended on 27 !;:arch 1964.

It vas at the Honolulu Conference on 23 July 1962, the same day t.1Jat the Ilf-nation neutralization decla!'ation on Laos ":~3 for=~l1y siGned, that the Secreta.ry of Defense on gu:i.d:mce from the Presidt:nt put the J>la:nni11g machine in motion. I~oting that "tremendous proeress" had been f:l~de in South Vietnam. and tha.t it might be difficult to retain pUblic stl})port for U.S. o,erations in Vietnam i.n~e5Ditely, }'ir~ NC!~:'!i~artl c1:!.rected that a conprehenedve long range pl'cgr~ be developed fa'!' buildinG up SVJi !1ilitary capability and for phasins-cut the U.S. ;role. He asked that. the ple...."}.;lers assur;e th:.t it ~:ould re=i~irc t.:;::~·:ro~:i.r:ately three years, that is, the end of 1965, for the RVl!.I\.F to be trained to the point that it could cope "lith the ve. On 26 July, the JCS forr::=.lly directed cn:cp"JI.c to develop a. CO!!"prehensive Pla.n for South Vietnc2'!l (CPSVH) in accordance \'lith the Sp.cretaryl s directives. Thus began an ir:.tricate, involved r·-rb.;tl'='!....y be...::'a-1rd"O'0 ""....ocess ';nvolv-i 1)!T ~.; ,J~~ •.~r,cv , the and somet.Ines c:;;.. :-_ , • W __ .. ..... .... _ Joint S~.:,a.ff, and 18.4.. Th~!"e vere 't.·:o madn pegs that, pe!'sisted throughout this processr 1·;;'.P planning for the support and build-up of' RVl'll\.F, and dra.~·I-dcims on U.S. advisory and training personnel. ...w,;.

"'~ .... <tJ'..l.~;...




-. ~

'I -

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The first CO:·:lJS!·:A.CV CPSV1! vas floated on 19 Janua.ry 1963. It envisioned M.4.P for FY 1963-1964 at a total o:t $405 million. The total for IT 19651968 vas $673 million. The RV1!AF force level was to peak in FY 64 at 458,000 men. U.s. personnel in SVE were to drop from. a. high of 12.2 thousend in FY65 to 5.9 thousa..l'ld in FY 66, bottoming out in FY. 68 at 1.5 thousand (Eq MAAG). No sooner was this first CPSVl'I cranked into the policy machinery than it conflicted with similar OSD/lSA planning. This conflict bet\'ieen lSAjOSD guidance and COMUSMACV/Joint Staff planning was to be continued throuVlout the lite of the CPSVN. . Secretary Jlfcl'! opposed General Harkins version of the plan for a variety-of reasons: (1) it programmed. too many RVNAF than were trainable and supportable; (2) it involved weaponry that was too sophisticated; (3) it .did not fully take account of the fact that if the insurgency came into eontr01 in FY 65 as anticipated, the U.S. MAP investment thereafter


should be held a.t no more than *50 million :per year; (4) the U.S. phaseout ,-ra.s too slO\-:, and the RVNAF trainine had to be speeded up. In other words , }.~. NdIamara 't.~!1ted both a more U. S. "Tithdra,·:a.1 of personnel, and a faster redaction i,n U.S. rnilitary/econer:.ic support. The Secretn'Y 1 s viet-rs prevailed. The embodiment of ~ir. Mcllamara. I S desire to qui cken the pace of pll~~~c-cut '01a!'~inG vas embodied first in a 1-10c1el }·1 plan prepared by the JC.s and later i11 '-That came to be called the Accelerated Model Plan of the CPSV11J". The Accelerated Plan provided f'or a rapid phase-out of the bulk of U. S. nilitary personnel. It also provided for building up GVl\T forces a.t a. faster pace, but at a more reduced scale. I-~.P ceets ~cr FY 1965-1969 totaled $399.4 million, or nearly $300 million lower than the original projection. All of this plf'..!1.ning began to take on a kind of absurd quality as the situ!tticn in Vi~~na:'1 deteriorr;,ted drastically and visibl:1. Strar-gely, as a result of the ~:lblic 1'lhite House p!"crr,i.::e in October and the power 0:''' the i'7heeh set in ::otion, the U.S. did e~fect a. 1000 man i-~:'thdra,-!al in Decezber of 1963. ;'.ll the planninr; for J;!, however, i-:as either ignored or c:a1.~£11t "'1.1' i.'I'l the new thin1dng of Ja.YJ.u~..ry to l~Clrch 1964 that preceded [SAI-~ 288. The thrust of this dccunerrt was that greater U.S. support i';[;:.S needed in snr. l·!r. I·IcI:a!:;arf.. ide!1tified these neasures as tho~e th~t '\;ill ir:."lOlve a limited i!lcr~:;.se in U.S. personnel and in direct Defense Dcp..rt~e~1t costs." He added e "Eore sigilifican.tly they l ce P.'r om-az -In''o've S.;":"...... i-:...l·,..~n~ ;\1 J)";l·~"n'YI":r ·'ss';t"OJ.O. ," .... ; -",••__ _cw., i''Y''''''r''''·sec.'' _•• I,,;~'" l_ -I.'~.l r. __ >:0 I,,~! c.:. .....1 costs •••• plus "E:.dd:~tjcnal U.S. economic ai.d to. sup?ert the increased GVU budget." ·· 27 J."~"(;'c-·.,.n~,,., ··~s .. nst.ruct.ed -_.:. "'0 .La'·",...... fWW-J "'r.'. ~..." ...4'ner act"'" Ion ... • .1 ., .... ,..1. ... \''d:' ..,.1 c;:,,_ .;. 0J,.!. 021 the Accele;:rated ?2z.11. Quickly, requests for more U. S. personnal poured into 1·Ta.shi:r:~:'on. The :pl,~n.'1ing process i-:a.S over, but not forgotten. Becretary I·!cI~~~-.r:.~a. stat·::d in his Augus t 1964 testimony on the Tonkin Gulf crisis tLat even tcd~y "ii' our tr~ining l:issiollS -are, lie l-Till bring back the tra.i:-~i.'·1g forces. It .......





.J.;J~ \.1_

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vlhile the phase-out :policy vas overtaken by the sinking arter-effects of the Dien ceup, i~ is irr.?ortant to ~'1~~!"stand that the vehicles Chosen to c:"'fec:t that poli::y- -- r.:AP plC'_l'l.YJ.i!!g, ::'V:7!'2 a:'ld U.S. fOl-ce levels -"lere the riGht ones. They vere progr~;e.tic and, therefore, concrete and visible. 1':0 better ....-a.y could have been fou..'I'ld to convince those in our own goverrment and t!r.e leaders of the GVlJ tha.t ve ,;ere serious about liI!liting the U.S. com.rnitrient and tl11'O\'1ing_ the burden onto the Vietnar::ese themselves. The :pUblic announcement of the policy, on October 2, 1963, after the I,1d:arr.ara-!"2.ylor tri:p to Vietna.!:l. "las also a. "lise choice. Even thoug.'I1 this announceaent may have contributed to the so-called "credibility gap," publicatiqn was a necessfty, Without it, the fomal and classified planning process lqould have seemed to be nothing more than a drill. While the choice of means was appropriate for getting a handle on the problem, it proceeded from some basic unrealities. First, only the most Micawberesque predictions could have led decision-~~ers in Washington to believe that the fight against the guerrillas would have clearlyturned the corner by FY 65. other na.tions I experience in interne.!. warfare pointed plainly in the oth~r direction. Witl1. more propitious .


circumstances) e.g. isola.tion from sanctuaries, the Philippine and l.alayan insurcencies each took the better part of a dozen years to bring to an end. Second, there l~S an unrealistic contradiction "rithin the ClSYN itself. As directed by Secretary J.~cI!amara., U.S. l':A,P ,·:as to decrease as . RV!'!A.F increased. In practica.l terms, MAP costs sho".l1d have been pro!7a..W!l!led to increase as the South Vietnamese A:nrry increased, and as they themselves began to bear most of the burden. The desire to keep r,1AP costs down after F'f 65 could, at best, be per-cedved as a budgeting or prcgram gD.ic1r not a serious policy•


. Three, the political situation in South Viet!la..~ itself should have . prompted more realistic contingency pla.llS against failure of the Vietnamese, in order to give the U.S. some options other than i':hat a:!,?~ared as precipi- . tous lori thdra,r~·. The intelligenc~ and reporting systems for Vietnam during this period must bee.r a principal reeponsibility i'or the lmfounded optimism of U.S. policy. :SXce:pt for some very tenuous caveats, the picture '\'las repea.tedly painted in terms of progress and success, In the July 1962 Honolul"':1 Conference the tone 't':as set. Secretary asked ca·!Js:·:c"CV hC"r long it '\-muld take before the VC could be expected to be eliminated as a significCl..nt force. In reply, C01·IDSMACV estimated about one yee:r fro~ the tme RV~'::'\F and other fo!"ces became fully operational and began to press the VC ill all areas. J,l!". !·!cl· "TaS told and that there ha.:i been "treraendcus progress" in the past six months. This theme vas re-echoed in April of 1963 by CO:~jS:·::'\.CV a.Y1d by the int.elligence co:::":!u."lity through e...Y1 IUE.. All the statistics and evalua.tion.s pointed to GVI~ i1:provement. l-Tnile noting genezaL progress, the mE stated that the situation re!'.:e..ins flexible. E-ien as late as July 1963 a rosy picture vas bedng :painted by DLI\ and SACS.~. The first suggestion of a. contra.!"Y evaluation ldthin the bureaucracy cane from II':R. Noting disquieting statistical trends since July, ~1 llilpcpular II{Rm~o stated that the "pattern eho\-;ea. stea.dy decline over a period of Ito!"e than three months duration. II It was greeted 1'lith a stern of disagreerec!lt, . and in the end "las disregarded. 1-1cl~Q..-ma.r~

The first, more ba.le.nced evaluation came 'l-rith the Mc!!a;ma.ra-Taylo!" trip report late in Septe..lYlber and October, 1963. While it called the political situatio..Tl "deeply serdous," even this report was basically optimistic about the sit.uation, and sa"l little danger of the political crisis affecting the prosecution of the war. Not until after the Diem coup, the assassination of President Kennedy, and the December Vie~ trip of Secretary McNB.!n2.l'a. vias the Vietnam situation accurately assessed. In Secretary McNamara's December memo to the P.resident, after his trip, he wrote: "The situation is very disturbing. Current trends, unless reversed in the next 2-3 months, will lead to a ne~traliza.tion at best and more likely to a. communist-controlled state. II One of the most serious deficiencies he found "las a II grave reporting we~k­ ness on the U.S. side." Mr. McNamara's judgment, apparently, was not vi

predomtnant , He noted in the conclndfng paragraph of his memo tr..a.t he "may be overly pessimistic, Lnasmuch as the ambassador, COMUSMA.CV, and General Minh lrere not discoura.ged and look fon.~d to significant :i::lprovements in January. n

6 J.farch :964 when another major Secret~.rJ or Defense Conference"' convened at CINCPAC Headquarbers , the consensus \-las the the military situation was dei'initely deteriora.ting. The issue \-las no longer \-lhetber there \-Tas or "Tas not satisi'E.ctor~r progr-ess ; the question ves hOl'I much of a setback had there been e.!!1 ,·rha.t "las needed to make up f'or it. l'Jr. Z.1ci;~mara observed that at.tentdcn shou1d now be focused on near term objectives of providing for necessary grerc.ter U. S. support. It l;as finally agreed that the insurgency could be expected to go beyond 1965. By

The intelligence and reportdng problem durbg tl1is period cannot be eA-plained a'f;lay. In beha.lf of' the evalua.tors and assessors, it can be erg-Iled the.t their reJlort1:r~ up unt.LL the Die~ coup had sone basis in fact. The si·~uation re:e..y net have been too bad until December 1963. Honest and trail1ed men in Viet!:ar- Lcoking at the prob1e:::s were reporting '\':hat they believed reality to be. In retrospect, they~ere not only ~:rong, but more i,r.:portantly, they veze l..'"lflu.ential. The m~.shi:lgto!l decision-ma..~ers could not help but be guided by these continued reports o~ progress , Pha.sed "t:i thdl'a.·../a.l vas a good policy tha.t teas being res.sc11a.bly 't':e) 1 executed. In the ,·:ay of C'..U" Viet:!la.!1 invo1vc:::'~!lt, it vas overtaken by events. I'rot borne of deep conviction in the necessity :Oor a U.S. '\dtht.c io..... 1,r c~"''r''Y the a" "'~·~·;f!·l or J..l"'! the noc°":"';"''' --.l,J 0'" -~o""",';nC" -"""'--I;,) the ••- ('!.~m ..... V.II" "'---.1 --• - lc"-d -, it vas bound to be suc::!ere:;ed in the rush of events, A policy more determined might have used the pretext and the fa.ct of the Die=! coup and its aft,e:rl:' as res-son to push for the cuntinua.tion of ,,:ithdra,·:a.l. Ir.stea.d, the instability and i'ear of collapse resulting fro:n the Dieltl coup brought the U.S. to eo decision ~or gre~tcr Co~lltment. _ _ •• _







EvRi 01'



23 JlI1 62

Ge::eva Accorda

23 Jlll 62



SlXtll Secret.vr ot Deter-ae c~e. llonolulll


,j,,:luatio:. or. tt•• neutral1ty ot Lal:I.

Called to ex-=.i:e prese~t ar.~ rlItllrt :1../tlc;.--.*,.t& 1c So',1tb V1etr.c:: - .r.;1ct. lookeJ roo~. Mr. Hc::.c-.:.n l::eolSate ;l1.,..~.l:.g fcr u,~ ~!.&Se-o:;t or :J.S. dl1tu)' icletve:e£t b7 1965 ar.:I de~·c:lol=er.t or a pro£!,= to tu!U a C'''S =11U,U1 ca~,"'l:!Ht)' :tro~£ er.O'.:e~. to tUf' over ~1 :le:'e1:H resO'OI:&1b111t1cc b~ 1~5. CI1i:PAC vu f"r=ll~ S'.structeJ to :level~ a -::C=jjlretdr.alve 1'l&:l for Solr.t. •..letr.a::" (CW.":.) if. 11:.e with ir.atnc:t!or.s ciVen at i:o:.,).i.~~I:.

26 Jul62

COli:P;': lI,euqt to "'';'::'1, 11i~2SZ

1., •

M:.:-i "'as ,d1r~:te~ ~o ~~bV :"Pr"."":i ~e'::!t=:e2 ~o e:'..I1:I'e =.P5 cHtvy a..,1 r~r1·::H~tary .trer.gtn c=er.s~rate v~t.!. Its aO'/erflo:&fo rez;:~:$~~~ltt~e-s. rt* :'r:......~. It::.s to au=e the' In.~£t::''.~y ,..c~!~ ~e \::.~er co:.trol !I. t.t.:ee )·.&:'1. t!lllt. exloer.l!ve t;~ Slo~;,)rt "'''101: be &VI: lla~:e 1::r1r.t: tte tt.r~f-~..r per1aji tt.~ t:~$e 1~~s .~=~r.ti~: to ~.~e:c~~=t of !~l: .-''':;J.F cr.r-a~:l~ti" .':'\:!~ ~ ~:L:"£el)·} &va~l.~:~ ttr~h t~t:

z1Utal')' &:os15:&.'::.. rN~cr. ~l!:'P}. Cc:t-:iO\'



:;at.1onal Cc:pa1£l1

PlaD 4evtl1lJitol

Mll1tU)' P.eorpr:1ZatlolJ


7 Dee 6Z

19 Jet 63

J'1rat ~ratt ot c:P":'::; Cc=p1ttd II~:V Letter to .3010 Scr 00:11


In a.!Jlt.~c:. t9' t!".~ £I"&te1. ~.&tlo~~!1e

:?:!.'~" K!..-:-~· ;:rerllrt~ I:. a.;-:::ree ~r I:: S£&tofte~s~'ie J:lllttr)" c=¥~~i=. to :e$tro)' lohe 1r..suttn::.· a:~~ rl":~ort' ';.~. C'C':.~:-ol ~f. ~:~et.r.a::.. :t'.e:o£. cept "1.1 a.::0fte~ 1.). the ~.":.. 11~ ~.ove=!ler.

:»!e: on.. re~ :-~~~!i::o::er.~ 0:" ~.~:: :.&:'~ t'~~a!~. at c:a:::st.~. r..crg&:.l&&t.10:. or !-!.~'I~F. est&:l:s~=e:.t o!" rO~ :;:'5 .:.~ a ':o~::t Opera.tlo:.#':'" to et:::r~: ::e :o:".~r"l c~t :.::~tlLl'J orerr.t~o~s. (:~: ~ecl:e o;t'r~t:c:;al 0:: ;C :'ect'"'~r :9lS.'.) CI:~:PA= ~!sartre·.~~ !'~~~~ jrU'~ Sna:lequate ~re.l,.!t"f ~N·I!S!O::I.

l'_~. 'I:=it~e!




t.l£!.. cost.


Ex~r.1.~ tl:r~

i'! 19t.:; u.d !:1:t:a.ry forces to ;-eu \~ :.~~.:~:. ::: ::. l~.'" (:.~:.;_;- !~t"::.r:!. \ic\.l! 'te ~3:>.9CO !:: :, l~l,); cest ;-To':e:teJ aiz )'CIr$ "'t'1.!j to~&1


a 1't"11st:

1~. ~:.. ~:-.e ;.:::'~!'! ..~o:.





$9'."3 z11110:•• 22




"f:1 63

7 Mat'


20 I!ar 63

C!!:( IS:,) Meria.. 1.0 CX:;CP;':. 22~2"~ CX:;:;>A:: Let tel' \II


3010. Ser 0079 JCSlC 190·63



lilU.1i£~.ts. " Feb f-2-



JI)J'.1tetr.a:: ~olla!" ;:-.! ~el::~a ~a~~ej. :e~ 1!:.£& dlfrcrf'::t fr= ~~~ ~!~. t~~st' 1& ::~.~•• Approved t~e :"r=.'":•• st.l'i-or~eJ COlts rro':e~~e1 ~y it.

a:.~ ~:a~ !r:e~



~l£!ler !,_;?

JCS reee::e-r":ej ~~=:~~ a;p:a:c t~.~ -:::S-.-.; S~;'~~~:"-6 t!.f!l !.lc:-'1er "jJ> costs. "::5 rTC;-o:e:! :?r".-:. te th!' ~u~. ~CT re.·:alQr,. or F't l~ !'.~.P ~.i ~e'ielc;,:e::~ or ,: 19i:5·E9 pro~. ReJ'Orte~ cO;.t.l:,:ul:,:~.£ro.·~::'i: ~~·:.A: e!tectl"e:"sl~ !~c:reued; ~;t atrt!'.;;t~ e:o:.~ic.:l)· a:':~ pcl~tle.;}!Jo·' ":'~t' S:r&:~g!c 1Ia:l1et ~:-o;:rl: lClOke:l espec:~an;,' gc.::~. !t'.:-; forec:ut vl,.e:rol

lobe zllltl>l')' p~~~e 1:. 191.3 -- bur1~". ~t:utl. 1:.eftue~- -.: re1r.t'orce=ent .:,1 resupply.

17 Apr 63

1\IE ~3"':3

Alt.1:o-.:c:!l "tuslle." ~.e a~t\:l.tlor. In


el1-1 r.olo appesr sel'l_;

..roeral prou"ss "aa reporte-j In =oat Ireu.

61'.q 63

Seventh SeeDef iIllaGl\llll


91!q 63

B1:ddh1at•crus. 1leS1na

8JI.q' 63

!\Ill Sedlet JCIS:IanIId& for ASrJ/lSA

CaUG to revleo' 1.:.. CP;;;:.. tartely l:eca~e ot pre..r.lli:-e opt1Jc1s: over ~'1 e~r.e::., Yor. lCc:;a:.ara rOl::,oJ t!.e :J'S''':' ullst&::ce too costly. the plL"l:,e~ v1tMr~al or ::5 torees too alOll ...,d 1'r.;AF develClp1Ce::t ~a4lrected. 0."1 w,)rlhlpers eelebr.~lfol !ll:~!!l&'a bIl'1.bdq (leYeral killed, 2:Oft ",our.:le:1) tor 110 Sood ca.Ie. t«.£ clo.."IdSq antIpathy tOllud COr,; 1i!:1 ckly tun:e4 I"to acthe oppol11.1011.

C'r.; tore.. tlrd

Fll'st: Dlrecte:! JoInt. lSA!JCS develop::ent c:t plooM to replace US forcu wl\h C'o'li t~ as .00ft as 1'Oas1ble ad to 0I1an the vltMra...a l ot 1.000 US troop&. 'by t.he eM 0:' 1963.

Second: Ret;l:ts1.d the efrlee.

t ir~:t .......

o~ ~i ~~t.r;,·


Assh1.a:.ce. lSA, -co=plate1¥ rcvo:-t- the I!.:.P P!"0Ua reea::::e::1e4 lr. the CPSV:\ and su=! t. nev £II1dellnea bl 1 'Sept..1ler. The Sec:retU')'

felt CPS\'lo tota1l vere too 1Ii8l' (e'8" eqer.cUiure. prOpoaed for FYa 19t5-68 coll1d be Cllt bv $270 MllUOll Sn 1111 view'


JCS Meua..--e CI:'CP,..,c

11 Y.ay 1:3


llIrecte4 CI:.CPAC to rcvhe the CPSi .• L"lci pro£rlC tile withdrawal or 1,000 Iten ~ tile e:l4 ot 19t'3. Force red\iC'tloc YU t.o ~ by L'S u:,itl (no~ 1i.~1­ v14l:ala>; \:nIU vere 1.0 be nplaceo1 by lpecJAUy tra!nd i·.r.n \IIIlta. I'lth4r&\lal pI-=vere t.o be co::~l~r:cr.t uro:: contl~. ue4 prouell 1n tI'.e eolL':ter1r.sUJ'~ney cc:r:pa1&::.


Cl:.CP;': ree=~dcd cC'::e e!IL'l6e&, 1.ben a~:-ove:i lo'oAC'I" "",1110:1 or tl:e C?S'';:; &:::1 the 1I.:J:V plL"l tor v1t!i:l.ra"'al or 1,000 ::eD. .... lr,ltr::ete4, tbosc 1,000 r:e:: vere ;!rev:•• N:r. 1oo;htlc L:.d .el'\"lce . 1:Jl'JIOrt Ilota; actl:&]. GperatSocl ~~14 be ur.a.rtecte4 by their &b-

CI:.CPI.C ~t:er to JeS, 3010 Zer 00:.1.7~3


17 I'!ay e3


A~ Xe:'.or&:.~= t~e Seeretcr,;


IliA' a )II'CIIlOKd II:Jl.tlet::a


progc bue4 c ~ Seuet&r)-" kat.ruc:t~ ...

1I1P. 41rec:d to

re.1ectd u ... .1ll ~9

Kay {,3

CI:;cm _ deve1ctl U:ree a1t8uU". IIAP p1a::.a lor n. 1965-C9

OS:> 'l'5A Kes:..-e to




MId 011 \!:e:e


$5~5 Ie (~ nc:c=er.4at1o:l)

$"50 II (CC=prca1-1 $365 It (~ p&1) IlJol' tor

n 191M l1li4 IIeCIl act

at $130JC. .~~~-~l::!~!'I:!s:'


·"""1 &1;0::,

(State :':reTc ... \0 ~:='~.s.1~' ~ 1(1 ,; u.' Ie)

17 .luI f3

Dl" :nteIl1Ee,-ce S=&r7

1'3 Jul 63



L~~ tel'l~;;S

"'>' 1::.

t~C5 ...~1e~ fh.·d l:':ejia~e::i ~;'. ~o~~


sides.'cel'lt. of

.,·,st JIDaU11-


':~e 1.nee "as rer;;:tta~ a!::DIt !~j~&-:' a11e:.&t!~ ~ ~ c;;:;

JOIe.r~7e~: ~~lt111t.lec Ipre~.

Reported tt.e ::111tL'"Y sltua~~o:l vea l:.' t7 t!le JDUUeal cr:111; X; prol~ets ror co::~lr.~e:1 coli.~teriMl:r£ucy ~ vere ·eu':.a~l'l1.)' better- tbe.... IT. 1952; ~-= act11'ltJ" ... I'dIIce4 . but VC capa'.Jll.1t.:r n:ent1ally 1:.~~"4.

CI:;C!'''C·p~~ M:.P I::~tttd t.o


avaeat... dUtuy

uatsteT.ce pro;;n::r; at tee


three levela act. ~ Ule .res but. ncm::::e::de4 c!DpUo= of a tourt1l 1'1..'1 t!InoeJDpe4 b7 CI~I.C. -P1uI tot.aUc4








" Aug 63

ilIA Inte1l1ger;ft Bullet1r:

Rathel' a:c14enl,y, Viet. COfl£ o.~endYe ac:t1ol:ll_ ftpa1eIldP flIr the t.hl rd conaeeutSve ~-eek; tlle UpUcaUOII . . "UIIt. tile 1IC were eapltallz1r.a on tbe pol1Ueal c:rlJ1. u4 za1&IR Rep . . t!le


1" Aut 63

SACSA MftIOrv-=:

20 Aug 63

!lIe: declared EL-tlal lav; ordered attacta 011 !luddhJ at .... "'Od&a

tor 1.1le SeuetL7

DlIeol:l1te4 the 1laportanee ot IDCftue4 ve actlv1t)"; t!le ~ t.1ve U&Jllt.ude or Ut.ada vu lIN; deftlOJ1M1lU 41d lllIt JWt. _ aUent or lasUnS.

Th1. decree plua reprn.11'e uuun. ap1ut t.1Ie .......",'... abattered hopea of l'econc111aUon. aIl4 lnoevoca1l~ 1Iolald ~

!lIe: £Ovel1llltJlt.


Rec=en1 ;; a.;'pro... U:f! Cl:.C1'I.=:'I!.:.'. prc~se:1 pl&:, for 1.000-1:1oll v\t.!"~:"av:lol !::


to tour 1r.ercr.e::ta tor pla.::r:11l& purpo=es 0::11• recc==e~ded tillal decls~o~ 0:: ~!t!"~:".w41 be delaj'cd Ill1Ul Octoter. 21 AliI; C;3

D1rec~0:" >


rar.dl.: for SPCilct

t&t~tc:d that l:1s', ae~a vlll !:au

·serlo::s reperel:lls!~,s·

tlu'o~,:hG::t fr.:.: tore.." =re co"l1 CC'l:Ilter-c:oup a;t!Yl~. But reJOrtel11ttlitaT~ operat1o:.a vere .0 tar unart'ectri :»"

these events.


-::...• : ...

27 AI:(; 63' . JCSl! ~0-63


ad:Sed ,et a tift.!: -v.otel "f" Pla::. te ::·-:PAC'. tour a1ter..•~lYe ".iJ' Ineols.

Provi:l! •.£ tor !;!c:l:er force leypls terce:S r.eeec;afl ~ the ':::5. U:e ~:!el 1I t.o~~ va: elose to $:'00 II. ;:5 reelZ:l:ler,dp:! t.!:e lI.04e! X P1ar. be approvet!.

30 Al:& £3


CO.'ISA MC:O:'&l'.dc



o~ .:~st

(,29-t3. 3::~ ::o',e:l Uo::j' "I:r.lts" te be v!ttjra.~. were a.d toe ere.Uocs o!' cxi"":.claHe sl.:;por.t perso:.::el. ea::t :0::10:1 tc.a.t ~:'llUc

~:.e ~tcret&...

reo&ct:o:. to "j)~.c::j·" ~1:~,~:''''''41 vo~l:l ~·e dr..~"'i~:"'f·: a:";.:i~s~d

actal 'tre~.~~ e:.cI .:.;':~.crlzd eelll::£ le~els ~e rl.:~l!elze:l ar:d

3 $ep 63

to::~ tore:!.

Se~e! l!~~1C to

A~r::o"e<l ;~·'::9-E.3. :.~v:.e:l



aia;::E~ crE'a.~~:'·i 5~eci&l

1JJi.! ~s as • :.(-L-.S !.O

:-.;~ ~-a:t

~~n~(estl:i' rp~s~~~~l: que~~e~ t~~e ~1"C:~cte~


5 $ep E3

M::,.'!~ !!C;)raI.:1l:1





19t-3. Co:.r:Jrre:l fr.';::; ftC'OCe::datto:': v::!: ~:.,,: "s~r"a­ t.10~5 that thr ~:~l ~





.. ass:s-

c:::~ ~

t to SO.':. teo .Prro·... :I.

• 6.Sep 63

Sec'e! ~:=ar.:t.:ll


U Sep £3

AppJ'O".·eo:l I'.o:le1 IC i'le::. •• tt-e tor Fr ii~ 9 !',;,.? rla:~,i::£: .:lv!s~ that l:S l:a~erlel t ..r:'.~ O"ler to r::.,-: 1'::r.. te et.&r£C11 to ...11 a!>:or~.e:! ty t:oe .,.t.!". .rbe:l ~o)Cfpl ~ ?:.... eel!!:•.:••


C:::S XC;):-&:.:1l: tor Sec::le!




Itr~r.~~ rjc~~e' ~~~~=~

t'ecc~.C':} to !~:::pr; .j-/lse~ ~!~Il~ ~:.e I,X:&at:: v:~ "~,,\;.1 ~':~1:1 ~e eou."l~e:1 a.:a:::st t~.e ~rak

Oetoter stre::it-h .(It:. -V). ffrst l~ere=e::: 'as le~e:l· 1I1~ tor llit!::lr'wa.l ~:: :iO"/cber. tt.e rest 1:,. ~cuber.

21 Sep 63

PreI~:!e::t1~ !'.conn-

lila for

27 Sep 63



J)1rected lIC::;ar..r.ra. a:::1 :.;,10: (~CS) t.o persor.all): USCSC ~e eritical .1t>;ll~i01: ir. S::. -- both pol1tica.1 ar~ t111tU')'; 1.0 '",fr:e v!lat ~, at>t.:o:: ~u req;drecl tor u.4 .".....1. t!le US .h')u1d do t.o procll:ce l\:ell aetlcm.

1..."'"!ISA (C!llIA) "MAl' Vim..::: Y.SDpolo~r .::d nlla::clal s ~

APFO'Ied IU.P totall !!II:fleeted t.he JI.odel MPlu: F'! l~ : $190.6 I! F'! 1965-69: $:?U.€ N TDtal: $392.2 II The Cv:: toree le-lel. 111"0polell vue 11lbItallt.1al~ "elDlf t.hDae or the January CJ'SV;. (traa a peak .tren£t.b in

rr l~Jo or 1oJ;2.500.

leve15 were to tall to 110.~ 111 F'! 1969).


~. Seil -

$toeDer 'c;JCS 1Il1DJ0Il. \0 Solltt. "In-

1'Ul~Sw de~.!1ed e'/:d'~ce

2 Oct. 63

MC:.uva·O:-aylor !rletI~.r ror tile Pftsfdel1t, and latet. 'the:;:;C

Co::cllldd tt.e rUltal')' CII.pa1t"}1 bas we great. procreaa and'S to lIro~ress. ~ut varr."" that. fllrtber Dla-lam npreull111 coool:! cl:c.ce ~!:e ·prec:er.t favorable 1l111t.ary toftr:da.·

lIC:;uva-':aylor At

The 1'rellldc::t approved t.he wlUt.a~ re=en4&\I011a III4e b7 tile Secret.ary a::,s Cllal"-lIr.: '

2 Cct. €3

5 Oct E3

vt th l'realde::t. IIId

prelent.ed In nVEerou brleftllp indicate:! co:::I1tlo::a "ere tOOd v.d .'O"~ld il::!lrove. lfecce. the Seenta~ orderc.i accelentloll or tile plar"'ed :J.S. terce plIUe-Dllt.

:;SC t~t :":;.~. a:.d Illc revS ... cbar.. ea !Ieeeslary &0 caplet.e the :.111 tarl cc::palsr. In J. II, L'Id III Corpa b)' 'UIe end

ot 19G1., In IV Corpa. b)' 1965:

t.hat a t.rallll:l£ progUl be enabl1cbfocl to en"-1e llV:>AF to tll!!e O\'~r ll.Ultary t'II.'Ict.lonl frm. t.1le CS 111 end or 1965 v~.e-: tile bullt of liS pcrGOllnel could be vi ua-


that t:::; l::for:a.l1)" &nJ:o\lllce plua to v1t.blIrav 1.000 Ee:: b)' the e:::S or 19133. :.0 turt:;er n:!~ctlo.-:a !~. t·s atrl!.~Eth vou14 be &ade lIIIt.ll :req~ re::'e:o:t.1 or t.!.e 19tJ. ca::ra1cn "cre clear. Ap~ro~cj

the :U" ~er:r re=er:daUona cO:lt.e~:led 111 tile KC:'aara4jr(=te~ ToO fOl':'31 anno:; be z:aIIe of' l:p!e::c~.tat!o~ of pla:.a to vltt.d:av 1,000 I:eIl bJ t.1le &lld of




22 Oct (3

State DepU'tZec:t Ilc::o !F£-~

Acseue~ ~rc::~:; II.::ce ·ul)· 1~3 as evidence of I:l lCtawrable a!1!~ i'. ~:lit""'i ';d~ee. (TlIlc vu ~e o!' t.he tin.t. irAtca-

tio::s t:.a~ aa ves ~.ot as a::~ ':&;)'101' to ~elle...e .} 1 :.OV (3

20 :;OV €3

D:e ::O~C'J'lZ:Cl:t. OverU.ror.:

Al1-&!:e::cJ' 0:1 ..·tet~.=. !!a::t>]1I1\l

1'01)' ,.. ~:M:''' ~

!! t.&4 led l/e:'lo:&I'a

':'~e rea.·e~ l'Clitl.:&l ehaQa, clvll va: ar.d colla]::e of t.toe war dU root =a~c::'1al;1C"; :;s ~oQV'tn=il'r:t vu u.'lCertafn as t.o ,,~at ~!'.e :.ev c:1T<:;.:rtc::cc: Itea::t.. Ge:eral M1& Ilea.:!cd tlle j~.t& re:~~.:1l:1e to:' t.he co~'P.

1J:~.s$l!.~or :.o~i"e






rs c:c:,t!::.:e t!;.c p~l!c:)' or c"er.t~&1 z:ll:tary vltlldrs':~1 t'ra= S't:.' as!~ L":~.c.;:-:c:e:l 1,ooo.:&.'1 vlthdzawal vas 1l&Y1Jt& errec:ta. YJ,:-" .,.;ree:!. In t.h!1 lSi7-t, oN'1cla1a ac:recd t.hat t.he 1.c:ce:e,.te:1 F:a:: (a~ccd-:'"p cot torce v1t.b4:ra~ IIJ aill: 1I0::t~.S :I:rcctd to:; !o!c';r::/ll'a 1n a!XJ~14 be ~~t&1ncd. Mc·.Il",:s:a "c.."te~ 1(.. ... aperocllng helll close to OS!l'a $175.5 atW. celli::o: (lecal.:lle of accelerat.lon... F'! 0. .~ o! *13j.71dWlIII 1ook~:S PQssl~l~)•.

22 :;CIV


23 :;ov £3

l'realcle:lt. ltelO:ltd)'

en.e rcsult:


tor tile .lke of con:.2r.ult)', to allDII' ad::daJst"at1on t.~e to lettle a::d ~lISt. t.e!l:ler.~ t.o n1!lrorcc eztatIn& policies arbUrul1)". j\l&t. to keep t.t:c= 8011'0£. mCllded the phuc-out. vlUldraval aM)IAJI eon" -- probab1¥ trw too long.

secDer l!aimIlIdUII for the huldent.

Calling cv:: politieal atallll1ty Y1t&1 to the \IV and calUlI£ at t.erotton to GV:-; f1r.anclal atraUa. secret.CJ'Y Alll t.lIe US Euat. ~ llrcpved to bcreue dd to S&1&OD. Flmd1n& well above cllnellt. MAP pla:'.a Vall envlsaeeil.

l:S COYer:llllcnt policies In




Preatc!en1. Jo~.nlOn app2'GvCI! recClllZencla1.1D11a to eoct.1Due Cllfttllt pol1Q' tovard Vletna JIIIt. ftlrvard at the 20 !lovaber lloIlOll11u uet1r.S: rcattlrltCd lIS obJectlYea Oft vSt.hdJ'&V&1.


3 Dec 63

Director, Far ELit Re0:10:: !1~ ~c:or~:\­ dlO:ll tor ti".e ~"':! 'ISA

In rc:po"se to the Prcs!1..:.t '. "'~s!l tor a reappra:sal o!' 'letnam ~evelop:"oe:lts. tcir A ·fru~. r.".... 10(;k" ...t U.e pro: 1=. aecor.d-ccllel"" lea:1ers O'~tl!r,,! a ~roaj Irter1 ....e..tre::t.1 -RrvJe..· or th.

S~n.:t~ ~'~et:.1!':: ~~!~·..:a~Jo:t."

~h!s s~·s~c~.s~:~

e1'ton 4!4 .,ot c.1::lratel:. ~':bl. lenl r:atlo:.&1 reeSL.,:::::unt or apeeltic polley re-orlentatlor. SutDltted the a 'LOt.l or

Pla:l vers!o.. 0:' ::I'S'.-.. FtClIt ::tre:·t~~ :~..... :et::a: Ir. F'! 19<5 (vice 13.100 nc=er.:1el1 ty

A1:eelerate~ ~~o.:lel


tt. r;" 19,. .. , :"S t;.ilitarj

would drop to 11,m 'Ule f'!:odel ~ r:a:.). to .to~t. 3,,:::0 ;~. n' 19..f a:.:! ~,;:)O !r. rr 19i'~. cr: force le·:e1. vere a bit lo:oer h~ -:..... reree bUll:l-up a btt raster :':.t...

B92.2 1'11110::

:":". t:lf> ":1eol ~o~lI11ea ~399.l: 1I'.11110r.


YAP costs for ::'a 19t5--1!'_9

ur.;ler :~,:lel ~ ple::).

~ rl~.

{"'!ce --

!~- e1~ust.. i ~:ea.r·e:.j 6i~re:".•~~.

!'!et::-e ~a.s 11).~~.. ,U:'!.o:;~·!,: l,OCK> t".~~ l:ere teet:.i~ft~~y ~~ ... ~.~:'"&~:':. r.o a~~l;lll re~:..c~~o~ wI US stre:.£lh "ea 1I':':::e1e:l. ::.~ !.ece::er fl;::re waa :.ot 1.o.::{) less tt•.." the llro.... ~clo~.,r le1e1. -

11 Dec 63

:ire=~C'r. ~:A !,~C!O,.&:.:dw=

tor t::e SecretLr,y

Poeported t.he "J: :-.&:1 i::rro...·~~ :0=:&.... et're=~ t-:e:.r::: a:-.~ ro~~ 1'Oct':.:J"c d;;r;'!':i) 19. 3~ ~r.L" .,,: (,f.~~~ ~ ~:.:; WIl: '-."'.::;,e~:~. (Ql.:: teo a dJ rfere:.:' plc~\.;!'c ~.~ ~ ... (-r, et.!r ....ei ~:' ::~.:-~;. :~ 1.~e O(':'o~'er:


"A:: O·/er-..!e. o!' :':.e "·ie:=.c iIl'e.r.

0-1.c,...3 ," rer-

~!rf"e:'C';1 ~o ~~,@' ~C':r":'e.::; • •'IS tL ~"lo"'i:'I:


.. :eo~~~ of"

atea=, =ll!tar, pro,ress.) Cer.eral Y.l~h'. ~11~tG.:"~ bl Ce~.eral t:~a."~.. .

1:>, 11, Ill, DeF~tl Dlre~tor, C:A 1'1 reb £,10 I!c.-.=re: ~& tor Scclle!', SeeSte.te, ~ !!:


"look a

o!' rro,:re:::


a~" SOU~!". "~le:':.=.



Ttrl8,ce.:1 to;,' ..

:re;:~1:e '-'~s


f:t~.~ .. $:'tC:~:' ;:-O~7 ~o

!~S ;:,:ee';'e::~e:.:.

s~et~ilj' c~~t':"~c·:'l:.~~:-.r.

~;.::,t .. :-.eaJ~



$~"'-..;a~;c.: .•

r~"'°l:a!e~ ~·:e:.eo:.i


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17 JIlIr (Ii

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1962-1964 TASLE OF COi:TEETS



·. ........ The of Honolulu Decisfons of 1962 . . . . . National Plan • • • • • • • • ·......... carnprehensiYe Plan for VietneD ... ..... . . . . . . . ·. .

Introduction • Se~retari





Becret.ary of Defer!sG Eor,olnlu Decisions of I:Ia:r 1963. 1~1AP

.. ... . .


3 5

6 12

Plann in5 • . · • . . . . . . . .. . · . · · • . • . • . • • • • 13

. . . · . ·. · . . .. . . . . . The Dud4hist Crisis • • • • • • • ·. . ..... . . • • ~ici';zmara-Taylor i·:i.3sio~1 to SO:lth Vidr..~J octcccr 1963 . . . . . . · ... .... . . Assassination of . · . . . . . . . . . .. . . Accelerated l·:odsl Plc:n of the • ·........... · . . .. .. .. . . . The Vietnall1 Sit'l.;,stio::. \lorser.s. • • • • · . · .. .. . . . . DeT.lise of the r.PSV';:: • • . . . . . . . ·..• • · . . . · • . · P:'..::s::'de~t K~lmec.y


15 16 18 24


26 30



Build-Up oZ the U.S. Force Ccmmitffient • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 37 Postscript to

i·:ith:5.ra~·7al Pl~nning

·... •


• • •



Total U.S.





Forces • •

of Phase-Out of U.S.



of U. S. Forces • •




of GVI'l Forces. •

}lJA!' Cost. • • • •

Forces. •

. . . . · . ... . • • g

·• • • • · 8 · • · • • · • · 10 • • · • • • • · 27

• • •

·•·•• · • • ··• • •



• • • •

· 28

• • • • • • • •


IV. B.





mid-1962 to early 1964 the U.S. governmerrt went tln'ough a. formal planning process, ostensibly designed to disengage the U.S. frm direct and large-scale milita.ry involvement in Vietn~. In retrospect, t..1rl.s experi- . ence falls into place as a more or less isolated epis9de of second&r,1 importance; eventually abortive, it had little iI:i.:fact on the evolu.tion of the Vietna.!ll war. It does, houever-, serve as a vel'dcle for understanding one long phase of the '\far and the U.S. role in it. The genesis lay in a conjuncture of circumstances duri."3g tbe first half of 1962 that prompted ·the U.S. to shift its Vietnam perspective frem the hitherto restri.cted one of la.rgely tactical responses to current, localized, and situa.tional requirements, to fitting tllese to more strategic and purposeful long-ranee courses of action. The eA~ndej perspective was :;:rogra."E.~tic in outlook, and oriented tm·:arj specific goals - .. end the insurgency and ~~thdra~ militarily frc~ Vietn~. At the outset , the motivation for the idee. of phased l-lithCr~.'t~al of .w.... of........ ".".f'''''c:.~. v...... In• ...."'... t t'h.. _. """ __ " •';n V;e+,.-"", h.=.1·jr- ..... +h"'t ..\.:._. "",,,.1,,...--,,,,,..+s nam itself ~ere going well; in ~'t, Joubt over the effica~y of using U.S. forces in an interr.::.l 't'lar; and in part, the de::':;;'~lds of o~her crises in the world that were ~ore ~~r-ortant to ~~shingtcn tb~n Vietnam. In the course of ~aterializing into policy and ass~,ir~ fe~n ~s plans, these ~e~ses uere transformed into conclusions, desiderata i~stitution~lized as objectives, and wish took on the cl1ar~cter and force of ~tperative. _to. nv. S . . .4'orc"s





For exampf,e, in }.:arch 1962, Becretary :·:c?ia.!:!s,ra testifie~ before Congress tha.t he "las "optimistic lt over prospects for U. S. success :in aiding Vietna.:'U, and "encouraged at the progress t.he SO'.lth Vietna.!'!ese ere ma.lting." He expressed convtctdon th~t the U.S. l'1Ould att:>.in its objectives there. ~~t he emphasized that the U.S. strategy-was to avoid ~ticipating directly in the l'I'ar l'lhile seeking an early military conclusion:


J1r vTould say definitely lole are approaching it :rrom the point of vie1'1 of' trying to clean it up, and terminating subversion,cov,ert a.ggression, and combat operations...•


" . _.We 'Vrise to c~ry on the operations against the Commuuists in that area by assisting na.tive forces rather than by using U.S. forces for combat.



"Not only does that release U.S. forces f'or usc e1sel\'here in tile l-lorld or for stationing in the United States, but alsq it is probably the most effective '-lay to combat the Communist subversion and covert aggressdon, To introduce \illite forces -U.S. forces -- in large numbers the~e today, vlhile it rri.ght have an initial favorable military irr~act would a~ost certainly lead to adverse political and in the long run adverse military ope::1tions. And therefore, ve ttink the prograa ,,:e are carrying out is the most effective one and certa.inly it is dirc~ted tOvlard termination of operations as rapidly as possible." In late spring of 1962, the I!1ilita....-y situation in South Vietna.!n shoved hopei'nl signs of at last having tux'ned a corner. The vZ:.rious progrc.rts under i:ay, :i.nit:i.ated the :previo~s a. result of decisions in imAM 1'70. lll,e.?!)eared to be bearing out the basic soundness of the ne'li approach, Assesszerrts and e'lralna.tiolls being reported from the field i!l::iicated a :p;.ttern of progress on a broad front, and their consistency through time reinforce3. the L"!lpressien. By rlid-ye~l· the prospects Looked bright. Ccntim1.in3 favorable develop."Uel1ts nee held forth the pre:-:ise of eventua.l success , and to ~ny t.lJ.c end of the Insurgency seened in si!;ht. This c})t;'"!is::~ W:l.S net 'l.'1ithouJ~ the recognition that there were tmsolved political p!'obl,;!':lS and sez-Ious soft spots in certain areas of the tili tary effort. U.S. IB~dersl"Jip, both on the scene in Vietn<::.."':l &S ,{ell as in '·:e.shil:;;ton, vas confident and cautiously optir:istic. In scme quarters, even a measure of euphoria obted ned , At the same tilne, events outside Viet!~a.!:'!, some of the:: cst.ensfb'Iy were asserting a direct and i~~~diate rele,~nce for U.S. policy a.nd str::.~.cgy in Vietnam.. A~ cor;;:p-:tirl[ priorities, they fe;r ovez-shadcved Y\ " ~' Tn t'),t'> '~'r-e'r ~n ~'~d::>f'1n~tr> _ 1 _ ~-c - seheae -__ of'- .lhi1·~C: "'~-"'-'-' ..._..... ... .;. ..";1'1'"'a ~ '" ry ca".···'~t .._"..:.V-; e ·......_... Il::-ant in Southeast Asia vas bedng releGated perforce to a ;';:~~'enthetical ......_ -. • the • wt,.,_ _ could then _ . . "'11 . """ """' . . .~:oro . ''O'l l'l<:..l·;on o~.:oO"'~ centre ,;c::"u""s m' ~",.,.l;n a' ,J.''v''''''s CUba, and in Laos were at stake, perh~~s even to the exten~ o! survivel. tL~elated,









Loo:ning foremost vas the Berlin problem. Fraught \dth grave overtones of :potential nuclear confrontation with the USSR, it reached ·crisis proportions in the spring of 1962 over the air corridor issue) and ai'ter a temporary lull, flared anew in early suraaer •. By the first of July it ~as again as tense a.s ever. U.S. reserves had been recalled to active duty, additional forces were deployed to Ettrope, and do~estic Civil Defense activities, inclUding shelter construction programs, "i'lere accelerated. The burgeoni:Jg eub~ problem too l·~as taking on a pressing urgency by virtue of both its proximity and grOl'ling magnitude .. The Castro aspects 8.lGlne l-:ere becoming more than a vexing localized embarrassment. Given the volatile caribbean political climate, CUban inspired mischief could raise tensions to the flash J)oint m.omentarily. Moreover, by early summer of 1962 increasing evidence of Soviet machdnatdons to exploit Cuba militarily"las rapidly adding an alarming strategic dimension. Though the

nature and full sicnificance of these latter developments "TOuld not be revealed until t;1C cJim~ct:tc CubCl...ll 1-'lissi1e Crisis a fCl'1 months later, the U.S. was already a~~ehensive of serious da~ger on its very doorstep. Oi'ficial interpretive evalua.tions at the ti.r:ie sav an intiInate causal nexus between Berlin ar.j Cuba. Finally, another set of factors altering the strategic confieuration in southeast. Asie. and affectine; the U.S. !>Osi-tion there also came to a head in •.:id-su=~r.;;r of 1962. These v:ere deve.lcpxerrts rega.rdix'l-s laos, ,,;hich impinged upon and helped reshape the U.S. relationship to\?a.rd ·Vietnam. In the fall of 1;61 and through the sp:dnc: of 1962 the U. S., its objectives frastrated in Laos, had decided to salvage as much as possible by settling for neut~lization. After lengthy e.2~a. complex di:plor..atic maneuvering, this vas essentially achieved by ea.rly summer . On 23 July 1962 the 14-natic~ de~laration and protocol on the neutrality of Laos ~as signed torl~ally, er..:'i!1g the 15-month Geneva Conference on Laos. The outcome had at once tte effect of extricating the U. S. from one insoluble dilell'J'''a. and se~v:'!;G as a sta1'k obj ect lesson for e.nothez-. The Laos settlement nov both al1o~·~ed t1'~e U. S. a. free hand to concerrtrate on Vie:'ne.n and provided tt: incentive and dete~Bination to bring to a close its military cor.-:r:it::ent there; as ~ell -- but this t;'lle successrul.Iy. It ~as in this s~irit and cont~~~ th~t th~ U.S. decided to pursue actiVely the rclicy obj~ctive of divcsti~s itself of direct ~ilital-Y involvenent cof 0'. S. per sczne.l in the Vietnam ins:; ~G~!~CY. The ab was to create Il:i1i taril~" favcrab.le cc::::'ition::> so tha t i'..~'ther U.S. !!lllit?ry invo1vement '··oUJ.a' no -'0"1"''''''' ~~"":"~r."l lj10 tr.;<" fl"-; ....w.. '··0 .... satds... ... ..t ) - - be - ... __ :;'-.,."'r·.,,..u;~;t.,.s - _...,L _ ..... _ - -l->"""l - - _ to be ...., .., tied: bri!1ginS the i.'lsU!'ccncy efJ'cctively t-:r..:le:;- control; a..'11 sir2u1t?, deveJ.opi::3 a r.ilit~-ily viable South Viet!:~..!.-: cap:'..ble of carl'"'.;~g its ovn def'ens e burden ~:it!;.cut U.S. milital'y heIp , In p; vrith the :pl'cf:ress tcvard beth th~se £, there then could be p::"C:f.o:i.'tionate redu.::ticns in U.S. fo~ces. ,"",_\A..




In July 1962, as the prospect of the !:~utr3.lizatj.Cl-=' of Laos by the Geneva Ccnference be~e ~~inent, policy attention delibc~'vtelJ turned touard t}:e rer:e.inir.g problem. At the behest of the President, the Secretary of Defense ~udertook to reez~~ine the situ~ticn there and address himself to its future -- vTith a vie\'T to assuring the.t it be brought to a successful conclusion 1'1ithin a reasonable time. Accordingly, he called a full-dress conference on Vietna~ at CINCPAC Hea.dquarters in Hawaii. an 23 July, the same day that the 14-nation neutralization dec1aratipn on Laos i-Tas forI!:~lly signed in Geneva, the Sixth Secretary of' Defense Conference convened in Honolulu. The series of briefings and progress reports presented at the conference depicted a generally favorable situation. Things \-;ere steadily


improving and promised to continue. }·fost prOcrf..Ir..s unde~'1ay 'Were moving forward, as the .statistice.l indicators cle~rl~t demonsbrabed, ~ose directly relate·:J, to prosecution of the counter.. i!lsu.reency effort sllo'ied measurabf,e advances being made tel·:ard ,·lim:ling the war , Programs for expanding and improving RVl:i\.l" cap-:l.bility were lih;:dse coming along uell~ . and in most cases, vez-e ahead of' schedule. Confidence and optjm-iSIn prevailed. . ImJ':'cssed, J.!r. !·fcI:aJnara acknouledged that the "tremendous progress" in the past six months vas gratifying. He noted, hcwever, that these achfeversents h::.1 bE;~~1 the result of short-t~rt::. a:1 hoc actdons en a. basis. ~·21e.t ,·ms needed nov \·:as to conceive a. Lcng-zange concer-ted program of systematic r:af.sures for tre:.iJrl.!1g and e=lu:i.:f!ping the RVI~U" and for phasing out t""ajor U.S. a:hl'isory and logistic E"J.;·;~rt The Secretary then as::e: hov long a p-:;riod it voul.d before the VC could be expected to be eli!'d~ated as a significant f'o:rce. COI·1US:.:lJ.CV, in rep~ C·,''''''''....,on r·~ ...I..·_••• ·~y··~..I·ed aboutIl.J one y-to-.. f'ro~ the toil"''::' R~P,Ti\"[;\ _ ......\,,0\,_".'-'_ ..._ , ....... -vl· c:: ....... __..... the w :...r , to t h._e a"'i"'ec'" the Civil G'U.::.rd, a!:.:1 the Sc1f-Dci'en5e Corps becaxc fully operatioll!o.l and began to :press the VC in all areas. C'o;.\)v




The S~c:retar:,' sai':l that e. conscrvatdve yi~·.: h;;.d to be taken and to assume it vo.. ~.ld ta}:e t:r~ce instead '01' C~:~, P::~~t is, b~' the la.tter part of 1965. He observed that it m:i ght be di:::~fj.cult to pUblic support fe.' U. S. O:;:~!'f.~.;:i.C:lS in Vietl':IJ.!.Zl inj::J~i:',j, Po1iti~~.l pressures would buil:1 u-p - as Lessee continued. Therefor':;;: }~':' couc'luded , ::J.~.nilinr:: mus t be 1:l~:1ert~}:e~l :!~~;: ~!l:l a. 1-,!'czr£:..~~-~ c1C1Ti~£'~~ to r~:~"re out, U.S. ~':1 itary ';""VC"'':'l'''''>''~'. r .., .l-·:>~·:"",o"';:> ...ect...· .... "d th~·t ,·c.•..;.. .···~··,·-:.hc·..,S·:~T'" ........ _li_-__............_, v... - - , o"·i --""" • ..-~ \,.•.- - - -.......... -...... lc.... =-~1'1~." 0 _ ""' . I. • _ ... .., . ...._ •• \oo_¥_ .... c ;;r a:"1 be develc....·..,,, 'f'c'" bTj',~'i"'..,. UP :'l.:",\u.,11 V~",J·""r_, ...:.",.-:. .."ii·it~·"-J· ... s ..........·o·J.·,.;ty pr ro..._ ta'\..-.; r-:o ov::'l' .:!=-~::,., ) ", ... ··<" ,..,;;... T·~··O:: ".; "".co ~ role , ..&.1 __ u ...-r-r-'~sib·.,·j.z.;,."s c:..__ _••----• ..:.u outv ...",.·0'"_ U • ....,. ..i l'!':' -!·1'Q~·. i + '\"(""lr~ ..."'... ".j '" "' ......······o·.··iJ··,·t'" '1" . . . ; ..,.'" "I;-='''' '''5 (;:>n··' leo"' =» fol'"_ . ass~;," """"-_.1",) ""'••"........ -"" .'-.'10 J_V"'-" _ .,,,, 't.l·v-:'t.~" "'0 '\..:. ""w .."" ·..,in'" l:ot t 1__ ()" ~-.__ .,. '1C ......... '" iJ_ ';'Y'<>':Y'\::.;~ ""_ w.._ ...:._ ... "'0 u __ ... .vv __ ... "", fJ • .:....... """ ..-r "c·'1·-1 cope .....~ .", \: • the L\ The progr~~~ ,·:as to ir..~lude t~aillin~ rcg,uirE;:~ent~, eq,1.1.ip?f:ent re~'.dr€:I:!ents, u. S. advisOl'~r rec:.cirE::!::c!:ts, ~nd U. S. units. ~






.. _ _















.. ""~:

_ _,.;






For the reccrd, t~e for~:lD8.tion of the de-::isions rt:~:le tives for action to be ta.ken resulting frc!:: the Ccnference








[~~d l;~.Z

the direcas follovlS: plans for the gradual scaling dmm of uS:·~';'CV during the next 3-yeal' period, el:i.::inating U.S. units and detacr~ents as Vietnamese were trained to per~or.m their functions. Prepare progra...Tlls "lith the objective of giving South Viet~~~ an.ade~uate military capa~ility without the need for s~ecial U.S. military assistance, to include

(1) a long-range training program to establish an officer corps able to manase GVN military operations, and (2) a long-range program and requirements to provide the necessary materiel to make possible a turnover to RVNAF three years from July 1962.

The U.S.


Assistance Ad.visory Group, VietmJ:"l, had been by aviation, cQ~unications, and intelligence units, as well as by Speciel Forces and other advf.sers , The Secretary of Defense plainly ~ntended that plans be devised for tenuinating the mission of the augaentdng units. au~ented in


Three days later 011 26 July, the JCS formally directed CINCPAC to develop a CO::lprehensive Plan for S')uth Viet.llaJ:l (CPSVU) in accordance uith the Secretary's decisions of 23 July. 3/ CllWPAC, in turn, so instructed. Cc.:路lJ8:路:ACV on 14 August, at the sa:.~e time furnishing additional gufdsnce and. terms or reference elaborating on the original SecDef decisions at Horlolulu and the JCS directive. The stated objective of the CPSVl; lias given as: Develop a capability uithin military and para-:lilitary rorees of the G'lH by the end of' CY 65 H:at uill help the GVN to EC~lieve the strength necessary to excrcf se permanent and contdnued sovereic;nty over that part of Vietnrc \,hich lies belo~T the deaarcatd on line i-i":i.thout the need for continued U.S. spcci~l rr~litary assistance. Devc.Iopment of the plan vas to be based on the follmTing assumptions: .


!LIne ir.~u.:::"oe!!cy l:ill be ucder years (end. of CY 65).



E:<tensive u.S. support ..T ill contdnue to be required during the three ~..ear perio:1, both to b:=oi!'!拢; the insu:,[;el1cy under control 8=.1 to :prepare <r'm forces for early take-over of U.S. activities.


Previous 1路:f"p funding ce Ll.Ings for SVI~ are not sFnlicable. Probrma those iterls essential 'to do this job. '=.T



end of three

Planning, in t't;lO complementary, got undervsy i'l!mediately. Concurrently '\-lith develo})!!lent of the unilateral U.S. CPSVN, U5:::'L\CV planners prepared. a concept and proposed. outline of a GVl'; 1':3tional Campaign Plan (NCP) for launching an integrated nation-t-Tide campaign of offensive military operations to eliminate the insurgency and restore the countr-i to CYN control. A central purpose "las to reorganize and redispose the V1~ and streamlme the chain of command, in order to improve responsiveness, coordination) and general ef'fectiveness of the military effort against the VC. Greater- authority 'Would be centralized in the Vietnamese Joint General Staff (JGS); Corps Tactical Zones (CTZs) would be increased from three to four; and each CTZ would have its own . direct air and naval support.


Over and above organizational considerations, the NCP provided for systematic intensification of aggressive operations in all CTZs to keep the VC off balance, tihile si.':1ultaneously conducting clear and hold operations in suppor-t of the expsnddng Strategic }I~mlet Program, Priority of military tasks vas first to concentrate on areas north of Saigon, then gradually shj.ft to\4'ard the south to saigon and the Delta. 5/ The proposed NCP vas subnut.ted to the GVN in October and a month later '18S adopt.ed in concer-t and outline. On 26 r-:ove:n.ber, President Diem promulgated the necessar~ ~plementing decrees and directives to effect the reorganization of the SVH armed forces end realien the chain of CQ11nand, An integrated Joint Operations Center (JOC) vas also establisted and becane operational on 20 Decezber, vith representation from JGS and its count erpart, in U£··!..I\CV to centralize control over current operations. The foDm-ling January the draft of a detailed iT,"ple.":!enting plan for the ~~CP itself vas cor:mleted and su':Jsequently approved. 6/ .





MeamThile, the first cut at the CPSVN vas also ccop.let.ed by the MACV planners. It vas fOI"!ardcd to CIKCP1.C on 7 Decezcer-, but CIKCPAC, upon revie\:ing the proposed pl~n: considered it infeasitle because of tne high costs involve;d and t'he I:srtii!lal capacity of the RV~:.i2 to train the necessari' personnel in the rcq,uired skills \lithin the ti::-.e frar.:c specified. As a re::ii.l1t of CIl:CP.AC's react.Lon to the initial versf.on, the CPSVi~ vas revised and resl.':b:litte.i b~r CO:·:us:·:.t,C·; en 19 Jarlu:'l~..r 1963. 7/ Tne new CPS\T?; covered the period FY 1963-196:3. In transmitting it, co:5S::ACV reccennended that future l·iilitary Assistance Prozra:~ls (1.;"'!U'5) be keY~:l therefore to the CPSVI~. He also L"liicated that the cpsvn had been coo:rdir.~ted. \-lith the P.~b3s:::aior, who concurred in it.


Force levels laid out in t:;c C?5VN provided for total personnel increar.cs reaching a peak of ~5S,OOO (resular a~d psra-nilita~) in FY 64, with RVI'liiF manndng strength rafsed from 215,000 to a peak of 230,000 in the same FY period ana. rer.l<lining on that plst(;aU t1:ereafter. Order of magnitude costs (in $ mllions) of the C~SVN 'Would cone to: FY 63

187 .


FY 65






J.y 67






CINCPAC approved the CPSVN as submitted and sent it on to the JCS. However 1 in the fnteri.I!1, OSD had issued dollar guidelines for MAP :planning for Vietnam. The ceilings indicated therein were significantly at variance with the costing figures employed by MACV in developing the CPSVI~. 9/ When CINCPAC forwarded the plan, therefore, he \-Tent to considerable lengths to explain the discrepancies and to support and justify the higher costs. Comparison of the DOD dollar guidelines with theCPSVN, projected through FY 69, shoved a net difference of apprcxmately 66 million dollars~ with'


the preponderance of the i.l1crease occuzrdng in FY Br. 10/ Most of this difference lias accounted. :ror by additional PacJ{ing-Cl'Bting-nandlingTraneportation (PCliT) costs associated with the c.PSVl'I but not accO::mo:lated in the DOD guideline i'igures. The bo:ly of the CP5"\1!! laid out the costs in relation to the DOD dollar guidelines~ as follows: CPSVH - DOD D:)LLAR GUIDELTh"ES COST CO::::;'RISm~ ($ r:dJ.lions) CPSV1'i* roD Guidelines Difference PCb:T .Added. Difference

FY 6tt FY 65 210 153 16:l






FY 66 F'Y 67 Ijr 169 160 150 =22 +19 +11 +tl +30





FYCB 113 140 -21 +10 -1.1

FY8} TOTAL 110 901 122 897 -12 i 4 +8 +62 ""':4 +b()

*Excludes PC!ir. The rationale o:fer€d vas that ~ in order to prosecute the counter-insurgency to a successf'ul concIuefon, ~-!hile at the- same t:iJ::e building up GVN cspabili~y to a1loi-r early ,·;iti".1re:·-al c: U.S. forces, the r.;c..:ior costs of the progrsm bad to be cccpres sed into t:.e IT 63-65 ti.r."le rraze, -....:!.th a particular increase in Fi 64 and another fol1.:;lin.:; U.S. \;rithdra,·:al in FI 61. 11/ But clearly most of the greater cost thr.),,-[;:.o·-<~, the periol reflecte:i PCHT. The pat.t.ern of force levels for all S:>uth Vietna::1ese forces that the CPSVII pro'lidej ror, includir.;3 t~e separate non-!·:J.:P func.ed. Civilian Irregular Gro~p, is sh~;n in Figure 1.


60:lr-----.,-------.-----.....,---------:------~-...., ClOG -Civilian Irrei)u/:ar DefcRJe Group __575.0 (Non-'JAP fun:!ed)

SOC -Self-Defense Corps CG - Civil Guard RVNAF-Repu~lic af Vietnam Armed FOlces 500




CPSVN - Total U.S. Supported Forces (U)


Since the ult:i!:ste objective of the CPSVI'1 ,.ISS early \lithdrai-la1 o:f U.S. special military assistance, the plan 'provided for phasing out U.S. advisory forces. The afi'ected major commands of US.路lACV that would largely not be required arter FY 66 were: . 1..

The U.S. Msrine Elcn!ent which provided. helicopter transportation support.


The 2d Air Division lvhich provided the US.4F portion of the special military assistance support perfomed in SV1~. This support included "Farmget.e" (Fighter), "1路!ule Train" (Transportation), and "Able Z.:able ll (Reconr:.aissance). It also provided Us..~ acir:linistration and lc.:;istical support for USAF personnet and equip!!:ent engaged in special military assistance to SVIi.


U.S. Amy Supp:n1; Group Vietna:n (USP.SGV) 101hich provided. the U.S. ArrJ.y portion of the special military assistance support for SVE (except that pert'orned by I路:'!J~G and Eeadquarrters r.:Acv),

wing air transportation, signal It also provided U.S. a~~inistra~ive and logistical support for assigned and attached personnel end equdpnent engaged in the special military acsastence. including helicopter and


ccemumcatdons, and special forces.


HeadCj,tlsrters Support, Activity Ssigon (ESAS) \lhich provided. edr:1inistrative support to tb U.S. nc:ac.quarters and o't:~er U.S. governaerrt sponsored agencies end ecti.... ities located in Saigon.


HAAG Yietns:1 "'lO'.lld have its st.rengt.h reduced by one-hall after

FY 65. Only 1,500 J路i.LLI\G personnel vere to re::ain in country after .FY 63. The target schedule for U.S. force withira\:al, as then forecsst, is contained in F:iBure 2. ];g/


(thousands )
























1. i


































CPSV N - Forecast of Phase -Out of U.S. Forces (U)


On 7 11arch 1963, the JCS accepted the l·r..4.CV CPSV1l in toto and rorvarded it to the Secretary of D:.=fense. They reco!l!.!'nended approval, and proposed that it be the bas Is for bot.h revisinG the FY 64 1~1l!P and development of the FY 65-69 I,k'IPs. They requested an early decision cn the CF5V11 because the greatest increase vould occur in the ~""Y 64 l·~AP. The JCS i'u11y supported the higher costs of the CPSVI1 above the DOD dollar guidelines. 13/ In OSD, the proposed CPSVN underv-nt, staffinG revaeu in IS.4. J.t4 Plans and e.Isevhere , Draft responses to the JCS vere prepared and then llithdra~. n , Becret.ary I~~c?;aI;1ara '·ms not satisfied. i:ith either the high funding levels or tte adequacy of the plan reear~~16 exactly ho~ the R'~i forces were to take over .fro::! the U.S. to e.ffect the desired phase-out of the U. S. r.~ilita!J" ccmatnent.. In mid-April he dec:i.ded to withhold action pending full revie\i of the CPSVl'f at another Honolulu conference Yhich he expre s.sfy scheduled for that purpose for 6 l·;ay. I,!€ant~e, the various OSD agenc Les concerned vere instructed to prepar-e detailed analyses and background studies for hira. 14/

The IT.sin focus of interest of the Secrct.ary of Defense lias on the policy objecJ.;,ive bC;',""1d the CPSVIJ, DC:.":!clJ", to r€d:J.,~c systc!'"!5ticelly the scale of U.S. Lnvcd.vez.errt until pf.!!:!3ed out c~::'::\lE't('J:... Ilovever-, the beginnines of a vere alr-;;e:1y evtderrc , r,:;.; c.c!:::.:r,ds .for il1crea ces all al'o~;:l uere to overvhe.lm the ph9Sj~:G out o~<~ectiv(:. Ad. hoc r(:'luire:JE:nt.s for nore U. S. forces ~ . being GE:~.srete.:l r:icc.:e;:;~al, each i1": its 01:11 :ri[;:lt s'.ll'i'::'cier,-':ly ressr::·nsble and so hC:1';1"-:,l. ~:·.is current, counter-current -fU"<'+"'s.L 'h J.,.... ,.,.~,.<:: "s de... .;sfons 0'''' If:>'''<. ~.-'\J... "" e,· 'J. u<>ll ,-_ ....'•• lOr '_ ..... _.:. •.;•.•.-:.__ ';;\,,;.L, .. • _ ~"-'- !'''''rc'., '._ .1.._ liS T"r'" sccre... ~ •........Jr'. . . f")ll·C·/... 0''''J.. a.~--.~.-.1-· .... ~_. st r ict ecccunt tna .fi .J.r": .., or ..L t.he \".-.10 Ir".; C ~c... l3 l-I.... :..•• .;.- .:.- .... ~.:. J.~ -~o an"! .v.. "'''-',+ u.J.c,!... ", contrc.l on ~i:t.horized U. S. f n-ccuntz-y st2't:::-.:'::':.h ceilings, he a sl,(,(~. for the ";"l""'~'; c~r· _." 1~~ .... r> _ c,



'-,,"'.... : '"


re:c.::'r:s on p:,'ojectrd U.S. !:ili~s:·~.~ st:"'e!"l:;th to be reached in He vas rca ssur-ed b;r t1:.e Cl::.:~rL3:n, JCS, t!.-=t. the esti715tecl pea:~ voul.d not .",-'1 1: . . . ;'0 r;;;-r-""'-'''''''l or. " - .'-';;-01 - - ......r ;:,;,;;,-(; -~-- Cl:. ~<>., , t'l~· ~r' e-""r" e}.ce..:.... J, VT ;,....",_. y_.:. I::t" •• ':"1l. •• .l.::' '''C Sc e",c.: ;;. .:..::-~ ...;\1oed oJ a E.utsts:~ticl :,.""'or(:e £r.g:lcr/c5tiorl) T-=q·.. ~~~.tE.:j. eE.rli~r, for F.riF~:G-~TZ and e Lrlift SU]?:,Po::.'"... , i!wolv ing III addi"'l.ic::G.l air~::'<:;.i't and a total 0:' eI)pro:·:i·:,~te1y 1475 &Cd.itio~ial pez'sonne.L 15/ Other 5i1::11ar special requfrenerrts and ad hoc approvals soon vere to folloiT. _I,;

Assecsnent.s of continuing favorable developments in the il.1provi.'1g Vietl'J:::""'l sit'!lation in the spring of 1963 aeened to varrant nore t.hcn evergoir::; ahead . . . ith the planne-d phase out. The general tenor of appra Laals at the USI·:'4CV level 'l-lere that the RV1!..t,F had regained the injt.iative rrom the VC and that the GVN' position had improved militarily, econceatca Lly, and :politically. Evaluations expressed in the "SUInl-nar y of Highlights II covering the rirRt year. of V~CV's ~~istence cited in detail the record of the increasing scale, rrequency, and effectiveness of R\~W~ operations, while those or the VC '\-Tere declining. Casualty ratios favored RVNAF by more than two to one, and the balance of weapons captured vs weapons lost had also shifted to the GVN side. Cited as perhaps the most signiricant progress vas the Strategic HaI7l1et Program. The future looked even brighter~ e. g., t; • • • barring greatly increased resupply and reinforcc-wnent of the Viet Cong by infiltration, the military phase of the war can be virtually von in 1963. II 16/ .


Other evaluations, though more conservative, still tended to corroborate this optiI:liS!:l. lUE 53-63, issued 17 April 1963, found no particular deterioration or serious probleas L~ the military situation in South Vietnam; on the contrary, it sav sene noticeable il'lproveracnts and general progress over th", past year. The vornt th;~t it could say .....a s' that the situation "r emains fl-agile." 17/ SECRETARY OF DEFEESE F.OI~OWW DECISIOIxS OF I,lAY 1963.

At the 6 :,:ay Honolulu Conrcr-ence, briefing reports again confirmed. gratifying progress i-"l the military situ'3tion. Addressing the CPSVl'J', 1-ir. question-ed t.he need for more Vietna:~ese forces in FY 69 (224.4 thousand) than the pr-esent level of 215 t.housend, His reasoning ~:as that a poor nation of 12 millio~l like Vietnar.l could not support that rlany men under arras. Qu~litativel~r, i'urther.liore, the planned evolution of V1!Jl.F seemed overambitious in ter:l£ of sophisticate': '!S9:p0::1ry such as fighter aircraft. In siza, the Secret.ary felt the CPS\/::: e ssuued an unrealistically high force LeveL for t:he Sill: r:ilita:ry establisr:,cnt and assigned. it equtpment that vas both co:-:plicated to operate and expensive to procure and maintain. Based on these cons Ideratdons, the Secretary of Def'ense coac.luded that, if the insurgency ca=e u:!~er co~trol in FY 65 as entjcir5tc~) the U.S. }~~ investruent ll! SYI.~ tce~c~fter sl~ )',lld not be more ttD!l c.t the rate of about $50 million per year. In his vie"T, thus, the ~)573 I:;illi.o~i l·:.r.p proposed in the CPSVI: for the per~o:l ~f 65 t~l'ough Ff 63 nos e t lc-!:zt $270 zillion hieher than an accept.abLe p::-cgra:l. With regard to.p~6sL"lg out U.S. forces, the Secretary of D~fe~s~ stated that the pace conte::?lete.:l in t!~e CP3VK ':85 t oo slm:. lie :':~~~ltcd it revised. to acco~ylish a icore :rapi.::l ·,Tith-ir!n·r~l by accelerating trai!1jn~ :r;roG;"91!2S in order to speed up rep.Iacexerrt 0'-:: U.S. w::it.s t~r G~n.; unz.ts as f1;1S"t as possdb Ie , ~1hile recognizins ti:at th~ ·ouild-up of' RVJLF vs s i~~:O'e:-,t]y a SlOl: process, he stressed t~et int~e instance of SC8e U.S. ~1its which ~gd been in svr; since 1961, it ~·;culd be possible more rapidly to t ransf'e r f'..~:::(:tio~s to Vietnamese. Specifical~ tO~3rd this end, he de~idcd that l,OOS U.S. ~ilitalJr personnel should be "dthdraHn from South VietnerJ. by the end of CY 63 and directed that concrete plans be so drawn up. 18/ On returning to l!ashington the Secretary of Defense instructed the ASn(I8..4.) on 8 l:'ay to develop, in coordination 1-7ith the Joint Staff, a plan for replacing U.S. forces currentJ.y deployed in Vietnam ,lith in1ig€;uous SV1~ forces as rapidly as possible, and particularly, to prepare a plan fOI' '\'iithdrauing 1,000 U.S. troops before the end of 1965. In another menorandua the same day to "the ASD(ISA) regarding the MAP, he noted that "the plan needs to be completely reworked. II He therefore instructed ISA also to develop a new, lower l'iAP for Vietnam :ror the period FY 65 through 69, requesting that the ISA recommendations be submitted by the ~irst of September. ]!J/ ....


A day later, on 9 May, the JCS fon':lally directed Cl!~CPAC to take the necessary actions resulting from the Honolulu CO!1ference and revise the CP3VN. Guidance and. t.erus of reference were providci reflecting the Secretary of Defense reactions and sp:=ci:L'yin.: -t.!:e decisior.s reacted. Single3. out especially tras the reg,1.::Lr-E):ent for U. S. force ~lithdra"lal. TheJCS directive read: As a II".atter of urgency a plen for the ilithdrcmal of about 1,0:)0 U.S. troops before t.he end of the year should be developed based upon the ass~ption th9t tr.e progress of the counterinsurgency cat:psi;:n would varrant such a Ino·...e. Plans should be based upon withdra¥al of US ~its (as opposed to-ir.dividuals) by rep.lacdng them .lith selected and speciall:r trained RVHAF units. 20/

Co.:-:US:-:!l.Cil in tum vas tasked to draft the re-~ised CPS\lJ~ and prepare a plan fer t.he 1000-men reduction. CII~CP.AC, after sene changes and revisions, concurred in the proposed plans end. f'orvarded the::, to t!1e JCS on 11 lr.~y. '?he revfsed out.Line CPSV1~ nov provicle~ for the follc',ling S\il"! force levels ( in -thousands ) :

FY64 Total !.:ilitery and Para-~ilit6ry

¥.y 65


FY -66

FY 67

FY ~

FY 69





l·:'t.'p levels provfded for ver-e as fcllo;·;,s (in

$ zr.illicns):

FY. 66



FY 63




The pTopcsed plan for



of U.S. forces, in co::;,lif..r.ce i:it:h mst.ructdons, e.::;?::?sized undts nt·;'.'?r tl:~:'l individuals, but the list. of 50-called "unrt.s" schedul ed to be i:1~l~c:.~·.:l '.:;:;,::·'e all E!!slle:r than company size. All Services vere repre sent.ed , 'I::Je cl'it.e:~:!_~ c:'.:-,loycd, also based on earlier guidance, were to select most of the r'f.,::'se;r,!:(;;l i"rro service support and logistics skills most easily spsred and w!lose rcleDse would have least effect on operations. The total cane to 1,003 u.s. !:,:i1itsry }:,:;rson.'tlel to be withdra~m fran South Vietn9m by the end of December' 1963. 21/ ~itr.~ra~al



Grand Tetal


lSA meanwhile developed tentative dollar guidelines for NAP plannil1g for Vietnam. The :first cut, ba sed on the Secretary of Defense's ovn suggested total for the py'65-69 period, was rejected by the Secretary of De.fense as too high and returned, vith various desired reductions entered by the Secretary of Defense. 22/ Reconciling the HAP "ith the CPSVN pr-oved to be a difficult problem. As CPSVN succeeded, it was logical that 1..1AP would have to fncz'ease; yet CPSVIv tried to cut back loW as well. Fo!' instance, the contemplated phase-out of U.S. artillery-spotter aircraft squadrons cnt3ile~ an add-on to K4P to accommodate the squadron.' s equdpnent end maintenance after transferral to the Vi et.namese , .



Toward the end or May the :f\1AP dolla r ce iline for FY 64 ,las established at $180 million. But for the period after FY ~ both the MAP and the CPSVN were far frOli1 being settled. On 29 l·!ay CII~CPAC 'las directed' to develop three alternative plans in conparut fve terns based 011 the follOi:ing total dollar levels for the FY 65-69 period: a.

$585' million (derived from the current proposed CPSVN).


$450 million (compromise).



million (SecDef goal).

:Fu.l'l·:ling guidelines for each of the tr.:ree versaons were provided as f0110\o15: Plan ($ millions)




:FY 65

FY 66


.. 150



















]npliea wes that a choice vould be made sonevhere \Tith:i.:l this ranr-e . ...... _23/ e:.t".~

A new, cO;llplex 1·tt,p-CPSV1J plsr,r:i~g cyc.le vas th:.:.s set in !.lotio~ tr.:::.t not fully run its course for a:!osi. a ~re:Jl' lons:::r. CE.:F.AC ri;:~r:~'.ied by preparing the cceparatfve analysis of' the aJ.terr~~tive I':.:'I.P Leve.ln, as instr~ctedJ but besides the three plans rcquiT~d; introlu~e5 a fDurt~ verSiC~1 co;velo?cd. by the Jci}1t Stafl' ar~:l ic.entii'iE:d as "PJan J, II \Thich fell ... ~~ ranee cane to ~),co 9 ",-'1'1.'0'" ~l.,. 18 "'''''y w..lo....... 6'; -"'0. 0.:. •.• _ .... S,,'hT·l·t+'-··~"'o .... ..... v,': ...... It t.....:..... tJ~cs C',) .. the four plans i"'ere rev.ieved at lc:nsth, "7ith the ~?:L-;'" tr,'3t the JCS a~:d.ei a i'iI"'t.h :plan identified as the "1:c.:'el l·! Plen, II the tut~l cost of "lhic}~ fell closer to the botta:l-ra!lc;e f:i.5u~e but still csae to :;) OJ ::HJ.ion. It. Pl"Ovi6.ei for higher force levels deemed necessary duri..'13 ".:::1:: (:Titical }':!;rioi FY 65 and FY 66, and thus go abo.e the Secretary of D~fc~se desired ceilLl'lg of $365 :million. The breakout of the }·:odel 1-1 Plan vas as follows:



! .•\:'


SVll military strength (thousands) l-\AP costs

($ millions)




FY 65



£:.Y 67











All five :plans were forwarded. by the JCS on 2rt August, 'With the recomnondation that the Secretary of Defense approve the Mod.el 1-1 Plan. g}:,/ lSA concurred in the JCS recommendation with certain minor reservations, ~ and on 6 September, the Secretary of Defense accordfngly . approved the Model MPlan as a basis for development of the FY 65-69 ~~s. Rowever~ the Sec:Leta.ry at the sane time 'advised the JCS that U.S. materiel turr~ed over to SVN units 'Would hencef0r:th be charged to the t·1,AP. S' costs



thcrefore 'Would have to be absorbed uith1n the authorized 1-1odel Plan ceilings. 26/ Nonetheless, there ..sere still further refine~ents made. As finally published, the approved l:.t'.P rei'lcctine the .Model I-i Plan version of the CPSVN provided for the follo:':ir.,e; s\r:~ active m.ilitary st rength levels (in thousands) :


FY 65

FY 66

F'l 67










Total (All Services regular and para-oilitar.>')







Costing levels 'Jere as follo·.rs (in $ millions):


FY 65

FY 66

FY 67











This final product represe~te~ a radical reduction in both force leVels and financial investtlent litter IT 66, consistent 'lith the Administration's original policy gos1 of' ending the var and the U.S. nilitery involvi:l':~nt by December 1965. 271 ... •

I.ieam:hile, planning for thc= lO)~\-~9n witb~rr ..,·al directed by the Secretary of Defense on 6 ~.:ay vas' off fro:.:. t.he CrSYr~ l'roper and the f.i[P, and 'Was be;i.n3 trE:~ted as a separate entity. On 20 AUS..lst, the JCS, concurring in tne proposed plc::u developed by Cc,!'JS:J,CV, ar.d C:U:CPAC, f'or~!e.I'ded it to the SJcretary of Defense. They rec~:~."e:n1cd. e1'1':-0\'51 at 1 1-' S "-l!'m"" for l~nr.";YI"" .. ·~v,-.:: '" c""'" fo; <>1 - "c-",..., ' .. "''''~_ Up , tIn • J. e" ._~ P a .;;, p .:'-'_ e., .J_'; 1 n_ cec.:._ ..;. ",.1 o'-'C' ,",;;.. ~ t o ~ c..p t cdrcuustances as t1"e"T o.",:,"C'''-'''..1 m'- e JCC! ~'S-' C'&':~.,..",-':.:;,4 C,.'","D,'C'S e~"'oc.' ::;H,"f;i... C' d ..... J \,,-. ... • _'wI,:!.:..... ....,!U"J.. l;!'O?ossl to vlithdr6.'-' the 10)0 troops in three or fc'.l!' ir:~~·~1:.~.!lts, ret-her than all at one tillie. The reasons given vcre t!:st this \!{;:..:J.d ~e nor-e practical and effici€rtt for the U. S., 'Would minirlize the :i.l:.p~ct on on-going lfI.ilita:ry operational activities ~lithin South Vietl:am, and 'Would af'fo:rd the opportunity for "nellsprauinence and coverage over en extended !.eriod of time. II 28/ . t"ot ....



.. ...: .... ~:..:.._ _ ......

_ ... \.-... .:..

\w. ........ _

1SA, l1ith certain reservations, recommended approval. of tee 'Wit!1drslial plan submitted by Jes. ISA pointed out to the Secretary of Defense that the plan as it stood would not dXal., all of' the 1000 troops fran U.S. units that v..ere to be relieved by adequately trained. SVN umt.s, as had been int.ended. lofany of the so-called "units II designated therein actually were not bona fide existing units but vere specially formed "service support units It made up of random individuals most easily spared throughout USl·1ACV. ISA cautioned that the arbitrary creation of such ad hoc "units" solely for the purpose of the '\'lithdrawal might backfire in press reaction. lSA also reccemended, in order to' show credibly that the final year-end U.S. in-country


strength hed· dropped by 1000 frOI:l peak strengtbJ that U.S. military strength figures in Vietnam be made public" and that the actual strength as well as the authorized ceilings at any given time be caref~·moni­ tared to insure that the desired reductions were indeed achieved.


A fel: days later the Secretary of Defense approved the lOOO-man withdra\'lal plan fonlarded in JC&~-629-63 as recommended. He agreed, however, with lSA and advised the JCS against creati.llg special units if' their only purpose was to be a holding un,it as e vehicle for \Olithdra\·:al of individuals. He also requested that he be provided "ith a projection of' U.S. military strength in South VietnSDJ by month, for the period Septet'loer through


Decenber 1963. 30/



The follot'ling weel.. the Chairman" JCS" responded to the Secretary of Defense t s request and. furnished the fcllorling projection of end.-o:r-month U.S. militer,)" st!engths in South Vietr~aJ:l: .

It lias noted that the planned. 1000-I:!~n \lithdraual would represent a reauction based on the october peak strenf)i.h. The first ancreccnt of 216 personae), \:ould be \iitMra",n1 during r~ove=,ber and. the r.E'l:.sil-:ing ir1crements in Deceacer, 31/ !Chis, as it turned out, vas destirled to be changed SOl'te~lhat before the withdra~ral vas executed; TEE BUDDHIST CRISIS

'fnile the CPSVU-l·1AP and \lithdra\:al planning vere goir.g on, significant developments altering the character of the entire situatic~ to 'Which the planning effort vas addressed--in tact threa'~ening to invalidate the very premises from lihich the planning sprung-s-vere occurring liithin South Vietnam. The Buddhist crisis was rocy~g the ro~dations of what precarious political stability the Diem goveraaerrt enjoyed and there jras grOtli.l1g concern about its effect on the prosecution of the \lar against the VC and on improvements of RVlW. A series of incidents beginning early in May revealed betveen militant Buddhist fa~tions" l-Tho purported to speak the South Vietnamese population, and the Goverment. lack tor the Diem regime had now turned to open opposition. As .


the deep divisions for the bulk of of popular support passions flared .

and Buddhist activism vas ~et with increasingly severe counter.mcasures, violence spread and gre~i nore serj ous , A tenuous truce vas reached briefly betveen Buddhist leaders and the GVN an 10 June (for::lally signed on 16 June) in a mutual effort to reduce tensior~s--but proved short-lived. &ost immediately the actions of both sides repudiated the agreements. ;e./ The U.S. began to be apprehensive about the possible consequences of the Diem goverrment falling as the result of a ccup , By early July. the crisis was recognized as serious at the highest levels of the U.S. Covernmente ~/ . Through mid-July assessnerrts re.llaincd reesc:l?b1y r€9ssurinB. There was little evidence of ~F~ct on the milit~ry sector. In ~actJ indications pointed to the I!lilitsrr situation continuing to i!::prove. DIA reported on 17 July that the general level of VC-initiated actions during the first six months of 1963 vas ccnsfderab.Iy 1..0~ler than for the same period the year before. Battalion and. C0:1p911y-~ize attac}~s vere at about half the 1962 level. It vas noted, hovever-, thl:lt despite reduced activity, VC capability re1:lained essel:.tit.lly u.l1il~paircd. Regar:!.L':G the progress of South Vietna~esc counterinsurgency efforts, the DIP. evaluation ~as cautiously optinistic: though there ~as still a long ~ay to go, GNTl prospects "are certainly better_ then 'they vere one yeC4r ago. 11 3~.j Quite abruptly-, a disturbing ele-nent began to emerge. Little nore than tvo veeks later, the DI.4. Intelligence Bulletin of 4 August reported' a significant increase in the level of VC orrensrve e.c.~tions. l-loreo\"er, the rate vas high for t~; third veek in a row since :mid-July. 35/ The clear :i.r.lplication vas t!:at the VC at last vere ta~~i~1g advantageof the opportunity presented OJ' tl~e B'.1ddhist crisis. It Ls d been expected-» and feared--that the:;- \-;o:uc. seek to hasten political collapse and exploit whatever silitery vclnera~:'lities there verc. The U.S. vas thus justiriab1;)' concerned lest the recent revrved VC ae5~essivel1ess be the opening phase of a stepped. up ins'..trgency. lrithin ten days of this DIA report, hovever, a re:evalustlon of the signii'ican\:e to be etteche:l to the incr~$ed rate or enemy actions allayed fears soaevhat , On 14 August, a4CSA, reportfug to the Secretary of" Defense, discounted the upsurge in va activity over the past month. Its magnitude, comparativelY, vas beloll the average of the preceding year and fell far short of the previous high. In this perspective, SACR4 saw no cause to read undue implications into develo~~ents tr£t were as yet neither particularly salient nor of long duration. ~/ . The political crisis meanwhile took a turn for the worse. President Diem, in an attempt to _regain control, declared martial lall on 20 August. The decree vas acco:npanied by forcible entry into pagodas and mass arrests of Buddhist leaders and laity, and vas immediately folloiled by a series of preemptory repressive measurea, AIry hope of reconciliation ,laS no« shattered, and the Diem government vas irrevocably isolated.


The Director, DIA) in a special report to the Secretary of, expressed concern that the declaration of nartial 1a\1 "will have serious repercussions throughout the country _II He foresaw :fuJ'ther coup or countercoup activit:,· in the making, though for the time being the military had efi'ective~' assuned full control. So far) he say little military effect on the var effort; relatively feu troops had been withdra,m 1'1'0.':1 nonnal missions. 37/ At an August 31 revie,., of the problem for Vice President Jop~son, Secret8T,)r of Scate Rusk and Secretary NcN~llara agreed that U.S. planning had to be based on t"10 principles--that the U.S. lIOuld not pull out of Vietnar:'l until the ,~ar vere won, and that it would n~t participate in a coup d letet against Diem. 1l/ For the next month, as the precarious political situation balanced on the brink of im:.inent disaster, U.S. am:ieties nount.ed , The Administration \185 confronted by a dilemma. It was helpless to ameliorate conditions as lonz as Diem renamed in po".·~er--n::>r did it vant to approve end support such e resll1.e. Yet at the seme t':iJ:1e) it vas equally helpless to encourage a change of goverr.!:1ent--there vas no feasible replacement eny-.:here on the South Vietna:lese political horizon. The upshot was an sr.;bivalent policy of uatchful waiting tO~lard tr.e GVI'r, l7hile the main preoccupet.rcn and focus of attention was on the conduct of the So~th Vietna~eEe military forces and the progress of the progracs. These still r~ained ,the first order of business. c 1 ',t:cFL~':j\!RII-Ijl"'YLI"\~ _\.= _ _ _.:. >J • • •t:TC:STOF • _ ... ,






SO~FT'u V~7:~!.' ! i,J_~


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By the middle of Septem.ber, the President vas deeply concerned over the critical :politi~al situation, but nore ~1:portantly) over its effect on the var, A decision juncture had been reached. At iSS1;e \:3S the U.S. l:lilitar-,r co!:"~itn(;nt i.~ South VietnsI:l; a rE!direction of U. S. policy and objectives TJisht be required. On 21 SeptG'l~ber, the Pr~sicle:lt directed the Secretar~r of Defense, in company \·,ith the Chain:lan, JCS, to proceed to South Viet!~a:J. for a personal exammat fon of the military aspects of the situation. The President gavr- as the purpose of the tri;' ", • • my desire to have the best possible on-~ ~-spot appraisal of the military and psramilitar-.f effort to defeat the \'.Let Congo II He stated that there had been, at least until recently, IIheartening results) 11 but that ]?olitical deterioratio..~ since ~,~ay had raised serious questions about the ccntdnued effectiveness of. these efforts and the prospects for success. The President, therefore, needed an assessment of the present situation) and. if the 1·1cNamsraTaylor prognosis were not hopeful) they were to recommend needed actions by the SVN and s~eps the U.S. should take to bring about those actions.


Secretary· of Defense and the CJCSJ accompanied by a team of civilian and military assistants to help in the survey, arrived in South Vietnam on 26 September and returned to Washington on 2 October. During their visit" detailed data ,Tere compiled for them). presentations prepared, extensive briefings given, conferences convened, and consultations held. Emerging frO!ll the investigations and appraisals was a body of positive evidence ~he'


indicating that c:·:,::cl.itions vere gc:-c. and prospect.s im?rov:!nf;. In fact, in t:i.~ c:ou:.~~.:.: of ":. . :~t;c:: 1'~c.z3~~::'n:c:es, tbe S(;cret~ry of D::::l'cnf.;c decided to order a speed up of the pl<.:r.oned Pl'OSl'a:.: fo::.~ 1 elecf>c of U. S. forces. In guidance fUl'nis~1ed at th~ t:lllle, he'ectt.d tils.t the proj~cted. schedules for force reduct Ion ,rovitled' for i~! the cm.·l'E:ntJ.~' approved £.:oQe1 II; Plcn vereion of the CPS\il( be accelerated b~' ap?rox~Gltcly six !!~onths. Accordine;ly, necessary r,lannir:g :rev':':3iCir_s vere m:c:.ertal:.en}i~,tely on a . priority basis.

In contrast to the gcnerall~" f6'~oreble military situation, hovever, . there vere grave ebout tl~~ political state of affairs. Earlier, a draft text of a p~'o:;oS(;d letter f":ro~'"; t.!_~ Presicknt 0::' the United S-t.ates to Pl'esic.ent Die:::. of the R'n; he6. l'E:e-n fc::.~\:er~~C: by cable to the Sec:r~ta~' of DefenS'3 611\:1 tr..e l:!;;', l:ith e •.'ec;.1.H:st for' tl'".e:;:i.r reaction and. cca..... s , ... n.·... ... ...__ :''''''··'lCr.>rj·, ,c'._... i~~"el.::'· 1 ...+-~···- too extreze ....~,_ _ . . t""_ ..:._ s~r~""'·· ..L"""'..... 1.1'" _. t'r.·-'···:-~'··· ...""'¥:....:: ...'- .:.~-.:::> ""--\0,- __ e;.;.u. J ar.." .. uo~d reluctf.ntly rcso~~ to it only if tee situati~n waz fOTInd. 50 ssrious that such direc'~ US P~(;sid~ntial ~reESi.:.l'E: ',:6,S neceassr;..l . The text of the 1=-rol:·osea. letter ~:ES cl:.eracterizea ::~: f£rSD.; bltmt cendcr , In effect it ~ ~ do!t·~ "'to .:·r·".;.t· m• un._-=... Less ""rl~ •·.. ···"~""s~ve ..... . . €~ oj__ " ' . ul... .....:...• z; .. "-'-. "'..- G"7~r:.., c~-"\·s""rl '-.:•. t;, +"l~ .. , -.... ';;,;..,-;;,::.... .t"o....·,.·. ..I..J.... J. la .!."" . • " t" 'h •••• , 1 "'" , 1 'I • met~looS, enc CC~lCl;S p~~:c ace« ... ~: sci;e J.r:~::.Y1Cl1.~ Oi.·:D.c:::.a 5 ar,a ga::.ncu..::I'" ror itself' a broad base or popular' political ~u:f.]!ort, the Unitec. States ;!·::i.Cr.t bave to consader :,";;C'",,~:e·~""·J.·<:+ir.:"" ~+.Qol'.)~ ~ {'"""~:' i +~,~ Di C'":l G"""'i.~,~·"'·· nent J av.~" .L.J::1. __' ... """" ..... .:.... "" US Q·, ··"' o ·,...4 ,.,." V·~ ",.l.l·'t'-,: ,.-:-: :-~ •..:. \.. ..,.~. r>: -~ .;".,. o"'·s··~'lc r.'l".,,\.:. secre a·'·· r-'" .... ..,_.J v_ _ ..... '-' ......._ ..._"""'.... _he:_ •. _v • J.:........ ......... ' w oo' " .J.J ,-,,_ the ! .. - ...... ~J








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The "Dro'nosei ~E.sicLel":.tiE:l le"o:;t,c:r ",;<:;5 ~ct se-nt. ll-:o£:t';:ed, EerN of cc...,·-.:.y.:-·j ';Y, cr.,.·";:,·,''''~"''':''''-'' '··i+..... J'ust ·or.·.::o"re .... '-", _vJ.! D··ir_-~ _ ....... , '",,' a""'-: ".""', '-J..w the ·.r"-;·~r"~·",,~-""···-,1~ ~:'~_ S<'~""": ..,+ . . ,~ ..; cn"'t'-''''r '1 ·""+t,.. .,L ~".., ". __ .. .... .1_'--_._ ...c.:. C4. J,.(;.l ... _" _ ... w _ _•• r"..... o··~ -_ Vi • _\; .I........ __ """ ...... ~· _ t . . . e a.-e···~···,.4"l''''' o.&> to Die:!:. ~:6.S CG!:i~os~6. 2::-::. S~!:"; in its };Ilc:ce. Ti1e r.:;.~; ve:tsion .iE.S l10t or:ly l::.u::h s:·?ter ill tcor~; f.1:i j::):te circU!:'ls:~ect but '-lent out 0\1:::the sier:<:.ture of G2::cral T<:Jlor cS C~"a::.:..-::trJ, J~:Jnt Chiefs 0:' Steff. Tl:.e ... t el'" ~;as ~'l·cea. .:l ' ... C ' . "o"'~" • ... • Of.: &:. .... 0Ct ODel", . , .. " ..!.c'tOQer ~;.Oj, n......: ~.-£.s c.C..Ll'fe!·~u 1·f·1.~:" ~.n.e 1 ew aiJ~lrovaJ. of tl:.e Sec~e~~r-J of ~~fe::se 5::,1 ;..-itl: the conCt~rence of the US ,k;1e f,sac.or to ViCJ~l:~~" ( "'"'Ol'r."'·S ~'·-:"'e Jt ... v .,,,,,,,...


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In ttis letter the CJCS offerei his ?ersonal, ~rofessional cOT.ments or. the I:2ilita:ry sii..-uation, in res; to Diem's ea:die::.' e.~:ressed ir.'tel'cst in l'eceiv';ng then. k4;er ac::nmrle.c:'gin(3 the enc01.u'aging ::r..~li­ ter:>-- prog~ess oyer the ?receding t"TO ;iears, t:~e CJCS s-::.ated, tilt \:as not tuatil the recent political disturJances beginning in Nay and continuing th:t:'ouSh August and beyond that I personally had. any doubt as to the ultimate succe::.s of' our ca~paign agail'lst the Viet Cong. 1I He then addeC!.:

1l110il, as Seoretaz:" r·;cN';!Iltma has t"l:l you, a serious doubt hangs over OUl' hopes for the futur(·. Can ve Vin tOGether in the face of the reaction to th~ m~&sttre~ taken by your Govcrn~~~ t" '" B ' ::'.. -rc-""'s ,. . r...? Ac.'" ~ t'\'il"ta r:i. man men" aLa:ulI;)~ t.;. '"'~:~-..,,, r. ~\,l.: ~.~", ,,~.'" '" v ;.. •• l·~· • I wlould sa:-: that ve can ~·~:'n provid:i.I::G t!:~re ere no ft~ther political set.oa~ks•. ~~le lililitary'S are still [;~nerally favorable and can ~e made more so by actions readily vithin the pover of your C...'le:.·r::::.::nt. If' you \lEl a:lo-:: ne, I \-Focie. mention '1 .. . • • T' . , ' a fe"l of "t•.~~ r:.:...:..::.:~z.:,"Y ec ...l.~. ons •erucn _ ce.iaeve necessery f 0:· tlus im'ul'o.";'~'l-;nt• II .... -.L


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' .. , . .... . "nous11 tlie J::::l..:..:.'Vc:ry S:L cua...aon an I, II, and J::L C02.11s, ereas vas £e~1erc::ll:lr £;ood., some of the hard-core lFa.::.· zones of ···the Viet ConG vi",~·~t~all~l unt.oucned , T:1E;::.'e vere not enough offensive actions ec&il~st t:!:e -e~.;;:"./ iri the field ar.c, in his Ol)inion, the :full potential of tiLe r.:i.lite:..T"j ~::ts vas not being c:x:;:;loi.teu., for II • • • only a ruthless, ';"""l "'" ss o'''l''e""",''re c:·n -rol" +;..'" 'W,,;: .L \ ""'",Jot: ''''1' II t .... .

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. .,. t:.e~y T.':::,ou_8!!lS, ne Tiou~"eC\. 01.<.1'. ••rere now an t'ne rne nr-mc ma1 LL.:l Delta, Cl1~ th·? tir~~ ~:2.G. ,cc:.~ to ccrcentc-atc effm:";'s there, I::n overhad of' the Strete::;::: Ec::.:let :PrO':::;l'c::'l lies p-ec:~:d.. For it to succeed, there be E:: re:'steCi C1C'~,l·-;;nd.-::old Ct;2.:·:- ':':':"~1 b',,' tho cC'~;,ba.t ur.i ts _ -J..}. Cr.ry,co . . " .....", £,\1d . . . t 1-::: +~r··~"~·s "1__ __ 5\0"''':: ..._ -. 0:;;: or::,..·'·-'-····, __.. -..1_...... \01.........., ... . _,j w +h"t '" to ";'10·" rate·,·,'''''--''' Of' '1 .,:.."1....) ,...... ""':""'\. .. -''"'''''''0'' .,...r.,... ".ere Cl r~o:. wu;rs_ C~l;:_=:O""wC':'.I."''''_ .- I.Uc; _."'::.... '"'~_. J. v..... \.on.::....... c, ~....... c..!;\.o .. J' line 'units 'louIn have to cperat e at i'-u.11 ~t.:re:,:~:::·~n, ,~ithOl~~ civersion "O~··1 .. "'''~'''''''' ~ ...:. _"''"" ..I ... ··~._... "'0 W _ - ........... __ ~n ..... f'~·\tio··,<' _ ..\.; .;.4...... rp',.<;:o __.. "'" CTCS .;". ~t'~~'e"+"'''l .. l.-\,,):"';'.";' ... _..... t-..,~.:. .;-;.u th" . .!.:' 0,"..,. 'latter !JrvbIe:il, "~as the case in ARVn gen(;rell~r, ..~hich Pl'€:~ident Di.;:i!! might WaI,t t.o ~.£:.!C.:'r~e closely. rn"



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inteno:"2;c. es the statemer.t of the US

IIrn closing, t:=-. Presiderlt,

In.OY' I Give ~"'Oi.1 Tr:Y r10st i!r:rJorto no',!, t::'3 battle aGainst. the Viet Cons r.cs se~eQ endless; no one he:s been ',illing to set a de'lie for its s,",ccessful conclusion. .Ai'te::-' tE<11:ing to scores of officers, Victr1arr.ese anG. br:erican, I aT;: cor:Tincea. tr~5t the Viet Cong ins~'~ancJ in the north a~d ~;nt~r can be reduced to little mOl'e th~!l sporadic incider~ts b;-{ the e..'ld of 1964. The Delta ",ill take lor:ger but should be co:.r.?leted by the el1d of 1965. But for these predictions to be YE:lid, certain conditions must be met. Your Government should be prer;ared to energize all agencies, mi1-itary and civil, to a hisher output of activity than up to novl. Ineffective commanders and r,rovince officials must be replaced as soon as identified. Finally, there should be a restoration of domestic tranquility on the honefront if political tensions are to be allayed 811d external criticism is to abate. Conditions are needed for the creation of an atmosphere conducive to an eff'ective campaign directed at the objective, vital to both

tsnt overall

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The results of the survey b;r the gcre;,n.uI'a-TayJ.~rmission c:orjsolidc"~E"d into C: J..~u.::.~}:~·} fO::-.J£1 !'CIJO!·t to the PrcsiCler..t ecnt~ining s:gec1fic findi!:~s; SE:l~el'el €Y£iJ.ustior.:s, e.r..1 :recc!!~l':.enc1~tions. !l'he subster..ce of ta.e report vas :?resent;:d, in an hour-long; oral brief'ina; to the President. m!)sdi.etel~r u:~:on the return of the missiO-l1 on the l!lOl'ning o:t 2 Octo:'er. 1:~te!.~ir;g t:.~ b:::ief::'r:~ vcre the U~&el" Secreta:ry of' Sterte} the S3cretc.:t:y or stet€.: :f'o:.· Political .u.J,"'i'a:i:::·s, t1:e Director rlf the CI.~, and the B::5cial Assistan';' to tb: President for X;s.tional Secu.rit;,' Affai!'s. Fcllc;..:ir.;; t:~e p3r3:,,·!:el l'~1'crt, the Pres:!.C.6r~t celled f;:,l." a s:p0ci~1 meet:ir:s 0:' t::; full I~atio:r:al Sec:u!'~.t~! C(;..~:.::il, l:hich vas held fro:ll six to seven tl:at sane eveninZ.


The 1·~clrE;~E~:ca-T~j"~or R~lJort be~el'e.lly ~Tas orti:::tst:tc BJOut the militarj situation ~nd S~~ little (ir~ct effsct of tee ~~litic~l crisis on the prosecutaon of the ver , r:;;~'..ei:r ccnc'rusaons, in-:'e:.-- alia, vere that c:.esilite serious :politic~l ter~sior~s am"! ti:.e ~~creas'; "':; t~:})-:;:..:;de:l'ity oi' the Die;;],-!;nu

n r ·' ce-.··,,·~,.,··... ('r·s .-t:>,1 ~y~ c·.'"."._ .1'lt~ ·,""., to .. '" "d1J.·t "'___ ..-·... .a•• _.... e c- ~:=.+ .,.. r·=-···~-s ct........ r .=.rr 'me , lIr,>h,;:> ...y."' ..... " GV';'! O''';'''C'''"'''" 'l..oc:J--"e t.o +;.,~ C "o"7err.''''''''~ prct.i-t.::~..... , ... "'.··1.:.:·<, ~.J._-", tJ 010_ ... '--~J t;.,o"l"l. -- ~;:')L~ .1 .... v __ ""' I."".:.~.., and its rej-ressfve ;,olic:i.~sJ c~ntir:u~cl to IJel'f'ol;;l t:t.ei::.· I,il~t~1.~,y· du.tic~ in the c ..,·... C::"'S'" 01" .-o-. -:-"''1,1'':'','.';'-:,...,... •.,:.. '1' COl' . . . .:>,..I~·V·.. 'J."~~C'~";"'; ... ;: e-;-1u""+1'O"'" . ..l..., t "r...... _.1,;,.............. rp~,·:s __ _w .... .Q_ 1 "'.s:. . o-.... hovever, '·:as caveated to t~a effect that u ••• furt-l:~l'\ represci\re cctions b~r DiE::t! enCl r:hu could c~~ l'.:;e tl".e }:"l"'::scnt i'E. VOX·E. ~le :::ili ter~7 tl.cnc.s. II """~J.!.



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W o w '. .,


s:?ectlic f'irJcli11Ss in thei!' €;.}~)rai::;<:.:l 01' the I::ilita:l:~; situation bora out the gene::-al ~\· L"1 t:he b~Cly of the re?;:>rt th~y stated: ello-..:e~~ces

for ell t'1'lcertainti;;s, it is cue :f'in contIle CF-t:Z !;~i:i':":'~!'~l :p~"'ograrl has r::.a::;:: Greet ?~og:::·ess in the last ~rear Ed. c; :,e.lf, ar.d ".;h!:t the :r,ro::::;:·E.~S hs s at ' " s.l.e~':;'· ,··.,c;;.. ...lJ c .... ;1" +".=- ~.~,~.:...V 8-1·' ..1_.......... ,.",~.l.""'.<:: ......._J. ~'ro"""h t!-:'" '" c"\wO,,,,, _ v__ e--"'Y, .. a f ° J.· r -.1 period o~ 6rc~test politi~al unrest in S~~G~n. The tacti~s and techniC1.t'. es e1plo~reJ. by the VietnbEese ill:.c.e!' U.S. Iilonito:rsb.iJj are sound and ghTe lJroni~e of ultiuate victo~.f.1I "Hith



lJ .... _






.... _

E>.'];lecially note~~crthyI in their vie;1, was the J'roG:tess cleaJ.'J,y being achieved in the nort~,e:l."n erees (I ar.d II Corps). Their apPl~aisel of the proGress of tha St:r:etegic Rellilet p:z.~ograrJ. \laS alf::o la::,gt:ly :favorable. In both connections, t:ie;;.' cited t:J.e cf'f:;;ctivenees of' th~ U.S. zr.ilite.::'"l adviso:-:r end support effort •


Included a'nong their military l"acoTlll.'lJ.endatioDS llere:



General Harkins /COXus'!JACV7 l'eview wlith Diem the military changes necessal.y to conplete the military campaign in the Northern and Central areas ( I, II) III Corps) b~r the end of 1964" and in the Delta (IV Corps) by the end of 1965.


A program be established to train Vietnatlese so that essential functions no:.. . 'terfonnea. . by U.S. militaI"1 personnel., can be

Ltr CJes (Taylor) to President .Diem of' RYN" 1 OCt 63 (delivered 2 Oct 63)~

·cBl':ded out by Vie"tns!:E:se b~' the end 0:';' 1955. It should be pos~;5.ble to witl:d.l'a·.: the bulk vl' U.S. J:"::l'sonr,~l 'by t:ir.e. C.

In accordance with the program to train progressively Vietnamese to take over reil~tary fu...YJct ions, 'the Defense Department, should announce in' the near future presr:ntly prepared :plans to ",..UhdraH 1000 U.S. nilHarJ' personnel 'by the end of 1963: Tilis action should be explained in Iml key as all initial step in a long-term pro~r(::':l to re:ploc€; U. S. pel'S o~nel uitil trained Viet- . namese Hithou.t :iJ;.pairment of the var effort.


to the above recornendat Ions, bcvever, it vas stated elsewhere in the report, "No further reductions should be made until the requfrement.s 01' the 1964 caInpaign becceie firm. II 4 0 1 ' . Folloi:Ting the I;SC !:lceting or 2 October, the ''I':lite House issued a fOl'l! public announcenerrt of the major polic;:,' aspect.s of the gc!;=u::araTaylor l-1is~ion Rellort. Th~ Uhite House stater.:er:t is reproduced belo".·l.

u.s, POLICY 0:: VIE:T-I:Pl·;: \'ffiITE HOUSE STNI£.:EI:T, OCTOBBR 2, 1963


Secretary LOr Derense.Ro~el~ s·7 11cr8~sra and General /ir:a~~ell n.? Taylc~ reported to the Presid.ent thj.6 and to the l:atim-~al Security Council this efte-rLoo~. Their report included a nurcber of cla~sifjed fin5ir.S5 and ricc~~c~dations which will be the subject of further revi~~ a~1 action. Their basic preser.tstion was endorsed by all nezbers or t·r.e Sec~iJcy COU:1C:!.l ar.,i 'tne follo-.:ing state.::~nt of United stEltt.s Folicy vas approved b;:,- tl:3 President on the 1:;a;:;i~ . .. ....., .... ~, .:l t;; of reC~iOenc.a'tl.On5 r eceavec, lrCl -t:.nelrl ana.. .ro::J. Joi""0csss""or I.p:cnT"j Caboy Lodge.

1. The security of South Viet-l:~n is a !·.ajor 11lterest of th-e United states as other free nat fons , He \;ill adhere to our Jlolic~r of ,,:or}~i.l'lg llitb the people and Goverr~ent of South Viet-l;~::n to deny this count:ry to cC:":.-:~is~ end to suppress t1-,-= exterr.elly 5til~u.l.sted and supported insurgency of the Viet Cong as pro::lptly as possfb.le , Effective perfo-""":'~~nce in this U:l~erta}~ing is the central objective of our policy in So~th Viet-I:an.. 2. The militar;y· program in South Viet-!~a!'!l has made progress and is sound in principle, though improvements are being e:l.ergetically sought.

3. Major U.S. assistance i.l'l support of this military effort is needed only until the insurgency has been suppressed or until the national security- ·forces of the Gover.ament of South 'Viet-I\am are capable of sUpp-""essing it. Secretary l,!cNamara land General Taylor reported their judgment that the major part of the U.S. military task can be completed by the end of 1965, although there may be a cont.inufng requirement for a limited number of U.S~ training personnel. They reported that by the end of this year, the U.S. program for training' Vietnamese should .~..:. ... .

have progressed to the point vhere 1, 000 U. S. oilitsr,}' personnel assigned to South Viet-i'rSM can be \·lithdl'awn.

4. The political situatio:1 in South Yiet-r;3rl.


deeply serious. The Unitei States had zade cLear; its cO:ltimling opposition to any repressive actions :in SC·.lth Viet-l;:=or:::.. \':'"1ile such actions have not yet significantly affected the military effort, they could do so in che future.

5. It remains the policy of t::e United. States, in South Vietas in other parts of the \iorlcl, to support, t;'e efforts 01' the people of that country to def'eat 5;3sres~icn al:d to build a peaceful and free society. r~am

,.:>c: r.i"e'''' ··",,··ce 5 ... ~~·r.-en+ ana.' to th". . ••,_6.1 0_'1 • to t}"" T"-"';"e .~_~..:..l, !.J:--.J. \"dl".·~._ ~\,I" l:ission ge~"eralJ.J', ix: ne:...z r~:d:i.e. Pla~'ea up p9rticular.!y was the U.S. force \-:ithd:L'eval, espec Ia Hy the prosj ect.fve lO~O-L:~n reductzton,

-l a.'• e"'ab _' e ermbasds _ • ......... ~ .L CO'ls




Three days later, on 5 O:::tooel~, in enct.her I::~ctin3 ,dth the President, follo,·;ed. by another !:SC ::":;etir:c, the ~.:c:~::::,,:::rc-~e~·lc:" re.::c:-.:::endations then' ''' 5 ',1 .. ".,)· e-s e.... ~ T~'r.. "'~'-1"'", J r:r ec"_·"'c ...,..... "'t·o se1\1_ ,ere- a ::l,. ..l. e" ..~ Fr e s~"<"·-"'''' .."'~_.l.o "ar.orcvec <::':',:-'- • ,._ +~'.", ....-_ -,..:...L.-l" ........~."_ ~ ns cont.sdned in the report. 11 ~[he F~esiie:::t el so d:i:"~c:c:, in lille '<lith their sUGGestion, t.hat no fO::'-;-::':11 e:2~nCi:l!:CE;r.:~r.t. be ITerl.: c.:' tl:e i:.:r;le:::entation of .....lg..,s to '·~"hQ~r-·· ..:..<1·.... • l-':" ""~ ... "'·""_• .....•• .. ie.L ..I..'~r('''' C'~.,-!-}, by t.he ...._ b.l."o (:lh 1000 U. S . . . .'.,··1... '''!''It.'_''';'' • ... .:.4_ ..._ ... 1;)""..,4.\0 __ u;e..."'''''.... If_ lw.. _ end o:f 1963. "b.'2./ ~



The effect of t ae l,:c!·;s::!!rc;-~8:.-1~r r.-,issio:1, thus, vas to revalidate . ' +. S p O'1'C' c::''''''''or .....'P ~-!"", •• .....,., e.....c.e .-'1 'To"'" tl..ue ..~n;;,no U •• _ J p::>wl ... .L... r"-"""'~~!1:-' ~t..~_ ......... <.> "l·e..:. ~ ~ ••-.... ..e_...... J........ th €:xls milit.sTy objectives, courses of ect i(.'1, and ?1'0;:;::"5::5 esser:tially as U::.ey vere laid out by the Secr(;~e:'y 0:" D~:\:::se at t:.e E:::::::>lt:.l~1. Conference over 'Y" l' e'_Y' ,.., on.. Co ~3 Ju'y 1-('."":;: l"~::~""''V';''J:"""~"'~e. , - _:>,.~ soundness /0:::: . . . r;;:·c . ...... t._ ••__ •• ""';;, ... a year ea _.&. of tl:e rationale seened nor-e cogent t~f:!: ever . ~ fact., a nev ll~:pet".lS was thereby given to pu.rsuir::; the S~::.:' £;o?ls "lith e.....en :;rcater th..""'Ust end S" '-1.L an ou...l",c,......'" could l-Q'.~ beei I"'O"'~"",""\.t, :'5 rT'lW"n"'''''' rVw\oo. -1 ....'_a_ v.............. c""c •• _ __noted ,\" U. ""'ar').'er "" _ , vhen l·:r. I\:Cna!lSra set in l:1otion ano"tl:e1' CPSVI': pla::ci.r.s; c:-'cle to revise the l·:odel It. Plan an~ develop an eccel.:rated ple.r: to \:it-~drS"l U.S. f'o:'ces. e~



.L. . .


...... ~~-J




~ ..



• __


Part of the motivation behind t~::.e stress placed. on U.S. force \1ithdra\·,'al, and pal·ticularly the see.~ingly arbitral":{ desire to effect the 1000man reduction by the end o:r 1963, apparently '\-,a s as a sienal to il'.flt:.ence both the North VietnSI:lese and the SO'lth VietnsI::.ese and set the stage for possible later steps that v,'ould help bring the insurgency to an end. With regard to the SVN, the .denmnstratiol1 of determination to pullout U.S. forces was intended to induce t.he South Vietnamese to increase the effectiveneSS of their military effort. 1+3/ State t s instruct ions to .Ambassador Lodge resulting from h'SC act~onon the I>1cNamara-TsJ.-lor mission indicated that:

. UActions are def3igned to indicate to Die'Tl Goverment our displeasure at its political policies end activities and to create signifi~ant uncertainty in ~hat government and in key Vietnamese groups as to future intentions of United States. At same time" actions are desig~ed to have at most slight :impact on military or


" " +"' ....... " ' ''' ''_ •• '' ~" :- ' l• 'M '' ,'.,.••• t"·;> ......OY't \,," ...... .L ............. ) ~_ C "'~




",,,,o·lrr.t ").",,,+, -... Co:;!'·""uJ at Jeast l"n

~W~- ... -




With respect t.o Hanoi, it Iaicht present an o:pportlU1it;~r for a denarche-« eXf.loiting uithc.ra;:cl of U.S. forces fro!J S~uJ',h Vietnam. by a specified date as exchange for r;orth Vietnc!n' s c'b!:ll1:'onin~ its c~gressj.on agc.inst South Vit;tn~rr.. But events vere alrcc::.:l~' co.~s~·'irir.g othal":dse, and. "lould soc~ fr~~t~8tc such exnect~tions and i~te~tion5 os develo0ed. mhe ~ illt~l·nal S'il: situeti.on was about to t:..:..~~rGo :.c· ·~rQnsfo:tr.1Er':.ion.



By late Octo~er" there lias il1cre~.s:'l;:; skepticism in SOJle quarters

about the r.:i1i·~ary situ~tion in South Viet~:a:!l. Jndeed; it vas beginning to be suspected the.t relJorts of progres s by U. S. I:lilitary sources actuall~-i C Loeked. e sit';.Stion thct was not only bleak" but dete:L'lo:rating. A stete Der:srt!~:~nt il::'celligenc:e evalu!~tion of 22 O;:to'bel' 511.0<:(:0. I:.arkedly pess~~ietic st~tistical trends since J\uy 1963, in most er~as of ene~y­ frier.,~~" relativ-e proGress neasurenent, ir,dicatine en unrevorao.le shift in tl:e militarj" 'balance. lfnat vas disq,1:.iet:n::; ';-85 that the pettel·n shoved ste£ldY decline ever a period of 11l01'e th~~ tl1.ree months' o.urat.ion. 45/



Circu1=tion or the I[m evalus;ion occas~one~ controversy and no little r",cril'1inatior.. S~stcmtive diffe~(;n.::e~; d(;G~neratecl into a procedur-af issue. The ou:tc=':':e vas a ?ersoI:c.l memo:r~l1d1.:::: frc~J. the S0CI'etaX'~' c.f St.ate to tI.;;; SeCl'etcn~~,P of Defense on 8 r:ov€I!iber, f,:::o":l!".ti:n2, to an 8poloror for the incident.. The Secreta!';)" of.' stat.e stated in regar5. to II:R' s RPE-9C of 22 Octob"'l·: ...... it is ~ot the polie:r of tlle Stc.t~ D;:~a!'t:;-,ent to iss'le military appreisals vithout seel:i.q; t1:e v:i.e,;s of the Dsfense Depart.-:.cnt. ! have request-ed that an:·; nemcranca eiVCll illterdep~rtnelj,tal circulatioll which incl'L~C:€ Eilitar~r a!jpl'~:i.tals be coordina-:'~ed. ".\ith your De"Cs:l'tme:nt. II 46/




or DIE:·I

On 1 Iiovember, the politicc::l sit1.~ation fell apar-t , The long-anticiy:ated C01.1.p occurred. The Die!:l reginle , cver-thr-o:..~n" end buth Die?:l and n:~u vere assass~nated. A m~liter,y junta of politically inexperienced generals took over the sover~lnent as their SUCC~5£ors. The signii'icance of the great change, for good or ill" vas not reed.::!.J.~· apparent. Over the next three veeks the feared political chaos, civil var, and collElpse of the tiar effort follo,ling a coup did not seem to be materializing. For the United States" the important question '\-las what did the new circ~tances mean militarily for existirg policy and plans oriented to bringing the insurgenc;}'- under control and to phasing out US force cOm:litn,:nts.

On 20 November, at the President's direction, a special all-agencies conference on Vietnam was convened in Honolulu for a "full-scale review" in depth of all as:pects of' the situation and to reassess U.S. plans and policies in the political" militar.:r" economic and infol'Yaation fields . since the change of government , Attending vere some 1~5 senior U.S. officials, military anc'i civilian, including: the Secretary of State" Secl'etcr"j of Defe.nse, Special Assistant to the President for Uational


Securit:! J.~.:.~:: )'5, C~ain:~cn; JCS, Director of' CIA, Cn~CPAC, J.... bassador to to Vietnam, and ca~mS:·JACiJ'. Ambass£iClor Loose asaessed the prospects 'for Vietne1'l as hopeful. In his esti.~tion the nev g:.>vernJ!1ent vas not without pTcndse. Vietnrolzsc milit.cI"'J leecl£:l'ehip a~):;e&re(.l to be u.Tlited end dete~'­ mined to step up the '\oler effort. The ~b!lssador advocated continuins to pursue the goal of' settin~ d~t~s fOl' :?he:sir~g out U.S. activjties and turX!i11g thell. over to the Vietnm:1cse, arlcl 16 volunteered that the announced "lithdr~~!E:l of 1000 troops by the end of 1963 was aJ,j,"eac'ly haYing a salutal~' affect. CO..·:-J~·J.CV agreed with the P.doessa1cr that the conduct, of the ""'ar agaim:;t the VC lias cOl:ling alOl1g satisfactorily. J.&uitting that the ~'C\-ce shot up 300 to 400 percent after the couj., he noted since 6 H0\7E;U1JE:r , ho,lever, it had d~'op!}ecl c:.o"\'ffi to "no~:lal" end r~rilaine~ so to the pl'esent. Hilital'"i 0l)cl'ational statistics nO·,7 gcn.;rally sh:n·1ec. a Jr:ore or less favol'ai)le balance, In short." the briefir~cs end. asaossnerrts rc~ei~icd at the conference comr~itute6. nan encou:cegins oatlook for the princi}:le oojectiv~ of' j01l1t U.S.-Viatr~6:",;;~e polic~v" in South V:tetna:il--tl:e successrut prosecution of t~e wiar azair;:.t t;:ii~ Viet Cong co:.'llliu-l'Jists. II r.:oreover, "excellent ~·:o:-king relations cetveen U.S. officials and. the 1ll~1ioers of the nev'lese goverlJlnent II m:.a. been esteblishecl. All plans for the U.S. phEsin::; out. vere to go ahead &S Echeciuled. In this light the U.S. l:lilit~r:{ plH.i.E. and prosra:ns for \'ietna.m uere ac..G.resse:d. ~'he revision. of the l·:o~el t·; of tne CPS'll:, ordered b~· t:r..:: S~cl'etar-.r of D~i'ense c.1.lrinS his lost visit to Vietr.~!::. ir. O:tober :'7as .........,!"'\ C': ..~"""("'!'" c. ~_.-..=t "''''''d t'\~ of- ~~ ~t-'~ _ ~~ ~ d p, ''''""",,,' .4.-d t. 0 'oe . . _•.;.• l.~ _In_s._~\.i. ......... e~e.a\oe __ r.-, -""'('0 \",0 .. C".w ..C\o\;, p. ..- o,.l.t;s. .... -•..c;,c... C:;.l .. "' "'", -~ ;.. .-··J..l' T + · ' · ","'. ~".. h I'': 1 ~ -\ r , _.. ~ 'I. . ." _ Pl-c.;n, I o~ \. c;:rCtc~ S •• '-J_ I.> y. ...... ..OU.l.c. co •. I.> .. IV.. !"!'_.~_....n t.ore \01:0':'. ,",ce l"~Co.E' hovever , Ind.icut:i.on~ "ilere that '~he FY C~ E4P ';'10'.l1d. also cost !!o!'c becrure of the accele=~tion--to a total nov of $187.5 million. Tlle Seere-;;arZi 0:: Defense Iilde i:t cleaT that he :felt that tee proI.oSec. CLCPAC 1~4P could be cut back ar.i c.i:tected th~t the proO'u:, be revie-:·red to rei'ine it aLa. cut costs to sta:r as close as :possible to the OSD ceiline of' $175.5 million. Ee "':8S e~i.'.all~r ~:;>~~tic, hovever, t;:E.t . .·,r~le he '\l:)i.i.ld r.:.ot tolerate fat 0= ine?ficie~cy in the pr08r[r~ he vas p=e:; to proYie.~ i.:!;l.ate-.•r er funcls miC~1t be requfred under !.i!j) to s~?:;'lort the GVI-;. In fact, he obser-ied. th:.t the GVi; vas already ru.'r}Iling into "t.recezdous finEi!.lciel a.ef'icits, II and opined that neither Am nor ~2hP had budgeted enough to "Orovide for the ~,ergencies \'lhich "'ere likely to arise dcring 1964. !rJ..f





J. -, - ""


On 22 Nova."lber 1963, President Kenr..edy was assassiuated. The consequences vere to set an institutional freeze on the direction and momentum of U.S. Vietnam' policy. Universally operatdve vas a desire to avoid change of aI1Y kind om'mg. the critical iLterregr:.~ period of the nen Johr.f:on AdI:1inistration. Both the Presiclent and the governmental establisbment consciously strove for continuity, vlith x:espect to Vietnam no less than in other areas. In Vietnmn this continuity meant that the phase-out concept, the CPSVN \iithdral'Ts1 plan, an~ the )!AP programs probably survived , beyond the point they might have otherwise.


The iJr:l.llecliate JOhnsOll st~:r.p on the Kennedy policy caae on 26 };ovember. At s l:SC L:eetil1£; convened to consider the results o~ t.he 20 November Honolulu conrerence, the Presic.e:l"~, "r aaffimc:d tht.t U.S. objectives ,vleh respect to withd~a~al of U.S. military personnel remain as stated in the 'White H~:mse st&temcnt of O::tob~r 2, 1~63. II 1:8/ The only hint thot something r;liBr~t be c1ifferent from on-going planscame in a Secretary of Defense Jlie!.10 for the President three da~ls prior to this l;SC meeting. In that memo" til". l·lcl:s!:i~ra said that the nev S~uth '.'j.etnmacse gov~r'r,ment vaa confronted by seriol..1s fil!ancial problE~s, end t~at the U.S. must be prepared to raise plar.:r.ed Ul~ levels. J:!1./

In e~r1y Deceaber, tee Pres:!.c.ent began to have, if not second thoughts, at leest e sense of' unessmess about Vietnam. In discussions .lith his,:,s, he set in L'\otion \ihst 'he h:>peci. .,;"01.'.10. be a major policy rcvie~l" fully 5te~fea in de~th, by Ac~inistration principals. The President ~anted lie fresh ne: fOOl: taken" at tf~e \·:::ole proble:::. in preparation for such a basdc rcsTJ~raiEiel. . . . , an interG.e')s~t:-::o;;ntel meetinC!:...... of' secozd-ecnefon ."Orinci:oals accordir;sl.3-" convened on 3 Decezcez and laid out a broad outline of basic t0l'lics to be f;c1c~r;;ssed 6110. st~f:' p8:fel's to be develo::;' "arious c1epc;.rtnerrts E;nc. tlsencies. 2!l/ T!1is atte,~})t at a systel'!atic ano ccmprehensdve recj:ar::in(;.t:L~m, hO',re-,,"er, did net culmir.ate ill a national reassessment.







\-lith no indication of poJ.ic~,.. change in t~e of'f'ing, U.S. milita~ plannin.; thus \·:ee~ fOr"llal'd ,.ith hardly e. bresk in stride. On 5 December Cn-:CPAC su.bmittec. the Accelere-ted ljoiel Plan to the JCS. It '"a'8S the revision to the I'lodel !·I Plan versdon of the CPSV"]" that t~~ Sscreta:.::r of Defense he-a.. ordered during his early Oc'~ober vitit to Viet.nam. The AccelE;rated Pl!l11 ~roviQ.ed for zore rc:.rid phsse-out of t:~; bulk of U.S. l1ilit~I'"! }:;el'so:nr.el ar~ units eriC. e decrease in the resicLual strensth rel!:air!ir,~ the:tE;after [see Fi~l!i~ 3). l't also p::.':) i'or buildir"3 u, GVE forces et a faster pace but O~ are-ore zeduced seal a, then cutting back frcm: the peak sooner and le-"eling out sax.e~·ihE:t lo?~er (see FiQl::::,e 4). NAP costs for the FY 1965-69 perio11;ould be a little higher than the $392.2 million under the Kod.el l·~ PlaIi, coming to $399.h million in the Accelerated Plc:.n (see Figure 5). 51/ .














.....; e






.... J:














~,~2/(;.1 2,782 ~ ~ ~~~O ~! ··.1 1,034 tSI . I .:. ! :(/.1.: -;1 ' .:.~r~ dJ


~- ~,~



AP M? 1964


'AP MP 1965


AP MP 1968


FIGURE 3 (5). Comprehensive Plan South Vietnam (CPSVN) Phase Down of U.S. Forces (U)










·······1 .". 122.01 \22.0






" I

I .. ,



1 ..... ~


...Z ..:










;": ~;:·.: r:




..'0 .

011().cJ ~

1!;lril 2i1kil ',11'1


S5.C~ 55.0 ~



30.01,~~·0 ~~~b~ ~~

~.(l ··~~.O






AP MP 1965







FIGURE 4 (5). Comprehensive Plan Vietnam (CP5VN) Phase Down of GVN Forces (U) •


MP 1969









16u $153.0








-.. t;; 90



~fX¥ } 'i~~


~{:::.:.. ..




: :. :-..

so 40 30 20


o •

1964 .


. FIGURE 5 (S). Comprehensive Plan Vietnam (CPSVN)


Cost (U)


THE 1000-M.l\N W:rrHDRAl-IIJ, OF DECE'~ER 1963 During the month of December, the planned 1000-man reduction was executed. It proved essentially an accounting exercise. Technically" more than a thousand U.S. personnel did leave, but many of these uere part of the normal turnover cycle, inaS!Iluch as rotation policy alone, not to mention medical evacuation or administrative reasons, resulted in an average rate of well over a thousand returnees per month. Though the :ref:ac:E.l:1ent pipeline vas slo:'!ed so.lle\lhat, ye~r-end total in-country strength nevertheless 1-185 close to 16, 000. ~/ This did not even represent a decline of 1000 from the October peak of 16,732. . .. . That the avowed goal of 1000 1-,ould not be reached had in :fact been anticipated and acknowledged before mid-December. Despite close monitoring of authorized ceilings and actual strengths, the force level kept rising. On 11 Dece~ber, :for exa~ple, the estimate of projected year-end U.S. strength in Vietnam had to be revised upvard to reflect additional deployments approved since SepteI:!ber. The adjusted figure nml came to 15,894, a net increase of 162 over the earlier est:iJuate. This new strength ceiling vas l-lhat would be left after the 1000-man ,,:ithdra't';el then in progress was cODl"D1eted. 53/



In December coni"licting estir.late5 of the situstion in Vietnam indfcated that the brieht hopes and :pred~ctions of the past were increasi..7!gly less than realistic. A KcE'a:::ara mer.o to the President ioiritten follo\:ing a trip to Vietnam or 21 Decenber, vas laden with g10o.1n. 54/ He "-"rote: "The situation is ver:{ disturbing. Current trends, unless reversed in . the next 2-3 months, '\lnl lead to neutralization at best and more li.ltely to a co::r:::unist-controlled state." He went on to note that ''the nev [:overnEent is the greatest source of concern," and that "it is ind.ecisive and drifting. It T'ne COtmtry Teen, he added, "lacks lesdership" and has been poorly informed." One of the most serious deficiencies he found \-Ies a "grave reporting 'Weakness" on the U.S. side. "Viet Cong progress has been great during the period since the coup, with r:JY best guess being that the situation has in fect. been deteriorating in the countryside since July to a far greater extent than 'We realize because 'of our undue dependence on distorted Vietnamese reporting." Mr. l·lcNamara clearly concluded th;!·t none of these conditions could be reversed by the influx of more American personnel, nor did he even mention that the U. S. could continue to 'Witr..draw troops at all or as scheduled. His proposal ''las to hold the line: ''U. S. resources and pe'"sonnel., tl he said, "cannot usefully be substantially increased••• ," although he did announce his intention to increase staffs "to sizes that w111 give us a reliable, independent U.S. appraisal of the status of operations.· In his concluding 'paragraph, however, the Secretary of Defense admitted t~t his 0\,'Il est:imate ''may be overly pess:imistic," inasmuch as the Ambassador, CU\iUSY..ACV, and Generall·11nh were not discouraged. and looked forward. to significant iIP.provements in January. 2/ .


Vestiges of optimism still persisted. in one degree or another in same quarters. The earlier sense of confidence that been est~blished \i"8S deep-rooted and not easily shaken. A retrospective evaluation of the VietnaJ!l situation ostensibly covering the :fleriod 1960 through 1963, . prepared by MCSA (General Krulak) is indicative. Althoagh intended as a broad overview (and so called), and thoUSh actually cut off as of soaet:iI:J.e in O~tober 1963, it ,.,8S fOI"irarded in late October or I~ovember directly to the Secret.ary of Defense. The SACSA report presented. nothing' less than a glOlli.l'J.g account of steady progress across the board in the military situation. Significantly, it contained no hint that the rate of progress p:lssibly might have temporarily slmred scmei-i'hat 1..'"1 the second half of' 1963, despite the fact that it expressly treated. events as late as O:::tobcr. 55/ Yet by this ti.::.e, other evaluations givi.."'lg a quite different picture were already assertin3 themselves. rear the close of 1963 the Director, D~4, reported to tte Secreta!"'1 of Defense that yearend revie1-r and. reassessment of the cr:e::v' situation revee Ied VC capabilities had not been wpaired over the past yea:r. Cb the contrary, the VC had in man~' regards :improved in ccebat errect rveness ar.d nov enjoyed a generally bp!'o'v'ed f'orce posture for insurgency. 56/ Hopeftu bias alone does not e):plain the endurance ot past firmly the overvaev, The dit':ferel1~-e between tho~e who stressed tbe positive ani those ~ho sa~ decline .~s, in part, the pr-oduct of' vie~1ir.~ the situation in greater or shorter time fr&:es. ~hose vho ap:plie1 a racroscopdc pers'ective, be:lievecl--ar.a not r;ithoo::.t cert adn loc::;ic--th'3t current unfa...,ora~,lc reports were, at 'Worse, a tez:.porary lapse in the larger curve of progress over the years. !['hos~ '\-lho took spot checks tended to be acre ir.:.pressed by the :j"'~ediate situation" and at tM s tiJ::e, the :ir.'11iedJate ~ituatio:l vas critical. The feelings of' this latter gro~~ 1tere butt.reesed vhen on 30 Jcml:.ary another coup, this t.Le larC;t:~1 blociless, ousted the ruling !~inh governnent , It vas s factiOl'lal pover struse1e in \;"hich one military Erou.? replaced another, this tiIle 'With General l:'19,nn E!terging as Pre..-:.ier. The latest devel0:t:::ent held forth lj.ttle pro:路~ise of giving the count.ry the political stability so desperately needed in the midst of a for survival. T"lle event \lould pr-ove o~ly s~~pto::i.atic as part of e sequence of government upheava.Ls that ..r ere to follou. roo路~e::l optil:!.isr.:.--su~h as

In the U.S., the coincidence of dCl!:estic tragedy and patent instability in Vietnam. evoked. a chorus urging a Laos-like resolution or the Vietnam conflict. In late AUo"llst, 1963, President de Gaulle had. issued a policy stateaent on Vietnam 'Which was subsequently officially interpreted as a proposal for lIir.dependence and neutrality" for Vietnam--meaning eventual U.S. vitbdrawal. In the aftermath of the assassinations, speculation'turned increasingly to this solution. For example, Senator l~ansfield wrote to President Johnson to propose, a division of Vietnam betveen the GVN and the Viet Cong, coupled Ylith a U.S. withdrawal. In early January, 1964, Secretary McNamara furnished the President the follOWing counters to senator. Mansfield I s arguments:


"l. \ore should certainly stress that the var is essentially a Vietnsmece responsibility, and this \-Te have repeatedly done~ particu1arl~' in our announced policy on U.S. troop withdrawal• .At the same tme ve cannot disengage U. S. prestige to anysignificant degree .••• "2. The security situation is serious, but 'Ie can still win" eVen on present ground rules ••••

"3. •.•. Any deal either to divide the nresent territory of Sout.h Victn~;.~ or to 'neutralize' SOU"t!l Vie;"nan v1.ould ine....itably mean a nei-l goverment. in Saigon thst liould in short order becO!!le Co~~~nist-dc~inated.

"4. The consequences of' a Car::l"J!-:ist-dcr:linated South Vietnam are extre~ely serious both for the rest of Southe&st Asia ~ld for the U.S. position LYJ. the rest of Asia and indeed in other key areas of the 'lorld ••••

"5. T:.'1US, the stakes in preserving an anti-Communist South Vietna'l are so high that" in our jude!~ent, ve must go on bendine every effort to vin ••••And, I am confident that the .American people are by and large in favor of a policY' of fiI'I"'.••n ess and stren~h in such situations." 21./ Secretary ~cl:~ra in his testir~ony before Congress on the fiscal year 1965 budget in early February, 196'-;., declir.ed to li!.ll~ the previously planned U.S. witc1rs1-lals 'lith either "pessdndsa" or nopt:ir'~S!J.n regarding events in Vietn~, saying si.":lpl:r that the ·.-iithdraiTals had all along been;ed. upon Vietn~e5e capability to assume full responsibility from the U.S. trainers, end that there would be a "substantial reduction in our force as l-1e tra in them. II Further: "Last fall. •• I ~TBsn 't as opt:illlistic perhaps about the course of the var as I ."as about being able to bring back our personnel in certain nuaber's by the end of last year and also in increments betveen then ar..d the end of 1965.

"I still aI:l hopeful of doing that. \ole did, of course, bring back 1,000 men toward the latter part of last year. I am hopeful. we can bring back additional nU!!lbers of men later this year and certainly next year. I say this because I personally believe that this is a war that the Vietnamese Ill.\~st fight ••• I don't believe we can take on that combat task for them. I do believe we can carry out training. We can provide advice and logistical assistance. "But after a111 the tra ining, by the very nature of the vork, comes to an end at a certain point. l~e wlll have started this expanded training ar.d carried it out for a period of 4 years, by the end of next yea:!". lole started at the end of 1961. The end of next year will have been .4 years later and certainJy we should .


have completed tlle majority of the training task by that time. This, in General Taylor's viei-l and mine, is what ve should be able to do. If ve do, we should bring our men back. I don t~. believe ve should leave our nen there to substitute for Vietnar.:ese men i-1ho ere qualified to carry out the task, and this is rea11~' the heart of our proposal. I think it ws a sound proposal then and I think so now•••• n 11

Unsureness about the actual state of affairs in Washington spread eventt4a~l:l to the highest levels of government, and prompted the dis- . patching to SO'..lth Vietnar:l in e&rly FebruaI'"j' of a CIA "Special C.Afr'Oroup" for an ir.~epenc.ent evaluatdon of the military situation. A series or four repcrts, dated. 10, 11, ll~ and 18 Februsr-I 1964, were produced, each transr~itted. by the Deputy Director, CIA, to the Secretar-j' of Defense, Secrete..:ry of S:'ate, and others as soon as it came out. Instead of finding progress, these reported a serious and steadily deteriorating situation. Cited ve re VC gains it"! the past several months" and particularJy noted \~S . that VC E'.:!:lS vere increasing in Q,uantity and quality. As for the Strategic He:nlet I-rogra~, they found it nat present at vir"'"ual standstill. 11 The Special C.t.S Grou3l' S appraisal vas pessiDist. ic: ''Tide of in5u.rC:;t:!.c~: in ell f~ur corps areas appears to be going against GVI{. II 1}./ ca·:-:JS:·:i:C~.' (~-:ho hed no prior knmlledee of the Special CAS Group's reports) took iss~e '.lith the Group's findings, contesting less the data used than the conc.Iusfcns, especially the "personal," evaluational opinions as to • deGree cf ceterioration. He sUeGested thst in the future such reports be :first coordanated before being diEpatched.


On 6 l:a:=.'ch a major Secretary of Defense Conference again convened at


for a broad reassesscent , The eonsencus vas that the militar~' situatioll vas definitely deterioratir.g. No longer vas the issue whetLer it vas progress -j'.g satisfactori1~r or not. The question nov vas ho:.. . I:uc~: cr a setback had there been and 'ol!:at \:8S needed to make up for it. A."1 opini0:1 shared by many vas that the insurgency could be expected to go beyond 1955. This general reorientation o~ perspective \.'8S reflected i.n the SecrE:tsr'J of Defense t s observation that attention should be focused on the near-tel~~ objectives or providing the greater U.S. support that Yould be necessary" ani suspending fo:r the time being consideration or longcrrange concer-ns such as 5-year 1w!!1P projections. 6')/ The visit to Vietnam on 8 l':arch corroborated the gravity of the :iJ::lE.edIate problems at hand. !:e~~qu;-.rter's

FollO'\oling his return trCllll. Vietnam, !-Ir. l.!cl~amara, on 16 )mcb, submitted to the President a fomal report. In it the Secretary or Defense acknovkedged, liThe situation has unquestionably been growing vorse, at least since September." RVNAF desertion rates were increasing, and the GVN military position generally was weakening noticeab]y. The VC position" on the other hand, ShOi-led signs of improving•. He referred pointedly to the increase in North Vietnamese support. The conclusion was that greater U.S. support was needed. •

In (leseribine t,1hat vas req,uired to Improve the situatio.'1 in 50~th Viet Lam" lofr. l.fcl'lnmara identified measures that 1\1111 involve a 1:imited. increase in U.S. personnel and in direct Defense Department costs. l-Iore si~nific~~' they involve significant increases in Militaly Assistance Program c .•••• " n plus "a ddi t.i ona l U.S. econcntc aid to support trle increas~d Gvn budget. II The estlr:sttJ. additiQnal a~jr:~::<: J·7jjl costs l:o·l.'.J.d cane to b~t:ween $30 ar.d ~.40 tlillicn each year: plus a one-tit:" ad.ditional cost of $20 million for military equdpmerrt , In the reccenendatdon section of the r sport., the Secretary listed t.he 12 items: 1.

To make it clear that ve are prepared to furnish assistance

and support to South Viet-ns::'.:. for as long as it tal:es to brirlg the insurgency under control. . .



To assist the Vietne!:lese to i..l1crease tl:e anced fo~ces (=egular plus psrani1itaI)p) by at least 50)OO~ r.en.

To assist the


Adnir.istl~tive Corps


to create a grestly enlarGed Civil ~o!'k

at province, district

£n~ h~~~et


6. To assist the Vietner.-,ese to i!o1prove

e~~':l recrgsrdze the para-

militar-.)' forces and to i!lcrease their



·ro assist the Vietnsnese to create an offe:J.sive g..lerril1a force.



urovdde the Vietne::e::e Force 25 A-1H e:':rC'l"



l'or- the present T-28s.


provide the Vietna::ese amy 1:.-113 a~nD!,p(l I'i:!'sonnel carriers ("ithdra'\iing the 1::-1l4s there) J sc1ditio::el river bcat.s, """'''v """:~+ o' ,, cr l!:-,_10 ""~'11'O"__:.1. o~ other a(~Q"~tl'Or""'l So":''''-l·· ': ~_ _ _.-. '-........ 1. ......... oJ':: c:._.• and all~J_

1'0 ..


...... ""' _ _.'



To announee publicl~' the Fertilizer Preel'am snd to e):p3~~ ~!. with a vie'l within two years to trebling the anount 01 fert.ilizer J:ade ava ilable •


To authorize continued high-level U.S. overl'lights of South Vietnam I s borders and to authorize "hot pursuit II and South Vietnamese ground operations over the Laotian line for the purpose 01' border control. .:·lore 8:! operations into Laos invohi,.~ units beyond battalion size should be authorizec. only 1-lith the approval or Souvanna Phouma. Operations across the Cambodian border should depend on the state of relations with Caobodia.


To prepare im.JD.ediately to be in a position on 12 hours! notice to initiate the full ranee of laotian and cambodian "Border Control 11 act Lons (bE'~rond those authorized in r-a:!'sgl'aph II above) and tbe "Retaliatol·.:t Actions·r esa:i.nst l~Ol"th Vie:tna;.:l" and to be in a position on 30 days I notdce to initi.ate the program of "Graduated Overt Eilitary Pressure" against Uorth VietnaJn.

As for the future 01' the phs sed-;..ithdra\la1 plans" the Secretary of Defense 1 s report contained the follo~'lin~: "The U.S. policy of reducing existing persormef, .....n cre South Vietna"llese are :in a position to aSSU1.'e the functio~'ls is still sO'U..'1d. Its applicati~~ ui11 not lead to any ~ajor r€du~tions in the n~3r future" but adherence to this policy as such hes a sound effect in portraying to tee U. S. and the 1rorld that ve cont.tnue to regard the war as a cor!flict the SO:lth Vietr.n:-::cse must \-1i2'1 end take ulti:?:ate responsibility for. S~1~s'~antia1 reduction!" in the maabers of· U.S. military trainine; personnel, should be possible bdore the end of' 1965. HO"'lever~ the U.S.. should cont.tnue to reitel'ate that it ~rill provide all the ass fstance S:J.:' ao'\'icc reg,uired to do the job re~arc"i­ less of ho. long it tahes. 11 61/ at t.he I:SC session of 17 l·iar~h, the President approved the Secreten'J of Def'ense l'E:;.:Jrt of 16 l·:a~ct 1964 and dire~tcd all "--"C"-S WO ca'rl'"'J......... 0"'" t1-:::. ..".~." 0..:: r.,,/ 4"'1A C;cc,u"'&"c .I.,&.t.: 1" '- r:.c.-····..., '""" _'__ .; '~··,.· ... "'~,··"" co........ ~"'...,.,·~ ~"'.~ w ....r..:.'-...... l\nite H~use st.atcnent, reproduced. b:.:lo~l, vas issud the sane dsy-:By fome1




\000. . . _ _ "' . . _.;.""",


Karch 1'{,



Office 0:1' the \·:hite Eo· Pr-ess Secreta.r:r

8ecrets.ij l·~cI·:arr:.ara and G€nel~51 lJ:'aylor, follo"ll!':£; tr;~.i.l' initial oral re:port of Friday, today reported fuHy 'to Pl'esidt.. ~t Jor.Jlson and the nembers of the i:9.tiona1 Security cou...cil. Tne l'cP~l1.. covered "the siT.ustion in S~u'~h Vietmm,!e3 h;J..: .~~ takt.n by General Khan:I and his govermcent, and the need for Ud"t.eil St,::;t,t;:5 as::;iste:.ncE. to s:~:::mle..::t'~1t and Z-":I'Joort tr..ese measures. Th,-,.r~ vas also ~iscussion of the cQ~t:nuin~ SUpPOI~ ana dire~tloll of ~~e "Viet Cong insurgency from North Vietnarl1.



At the close of the meeting the President accepted the report and it;> principal recommendations" 'Which had the support of' the i~Qt::,v.lJal 5ecuri"cy Council and AmbaSSador Lodge.

CO!Ilyar.lng "the situation to last October, vhen Secretary 1,1cNaJill:1ra eml GCDI:Iea1 TaJlor last reported fully on it, there have' unquest.i(.un·~.i'y cetn setbacks , The Vii':t Cone nave t~ken l!lSXiIaU!ll advGl!1l.<1ge

01' two changes 01'


and .or more long-standing


including a

serio~s \leakne~s

and over-extension which had developed The su:pply of arms and cadres fro.!:'! the ncr-ch has continued; carerul and sophist.icat.ed control of 'liet Cont; operat.f ons 1".35 been o!'rs:rent; and evidence that such control is centere-d in Han:li is clC'ar and U:~~i o::ta1":.eble. in the besieally sound program,

To meet the situation, General Khanh and his government are act illS Vigorously and. effectively. T;1C:Y have produced a sound central plan for the prosecution of the ,:a::-, recognizing to a far greater degree th~n berore t.he cructaf, role of econoatc and social, as ~ell as ~ilitarJ, action to ensure tt?t areas cleared of the Viet Cone; survive and prosper in fl'ed.o:t.

To carry out this plan, General !~~en~ requires the ~ili·enlist~er.t of the people of South Victn~m, partly to at;GY.~nt the strength of !'~is anti-guerrilla forces, but particuJarly to ~rovide the a~~inistre.tors} health ,\'o!'l~ers, teachers and others ~:!10 nus t 1'0110;-; U? in c.learcd areas. To neet this need, and to previa", a nor-e eg,uitable and cczaon basis of servtce, Generc.:l Khsn:~ tS3 :i.r..f'o:::~e:1. us tbat he proposes in the near future to put into e:::'f~ct a I~9tion!ll J.:obiliz~t :'o:~ Plan that vill provfde condd.tdons an::' t.err.;s or in appro;:r:::+;: jobs for all able-bo:1iec1 Sout.h ViE:trl::;::es~ 'b :.t'.;ecn cert.afn t:.ges. In addition, steps arc rcquircd to t:-:..::,:; up to !'e;;.~ired leYeol~ the pa:,.. a~~d status of th~ pt::r~!:~ilita=:t far~·.:..3 one to c::·'C~te a ~~.::::;.1~· tra Ined £uerl'llla force that CS:'l beat t:-.C: ':iet CC~3 Ci.: its 0',;:: i7;:/:';' ~.'::'. Finally, l~itcd but siGnirica~t aQdition~l e~~ir-~~n~ is !ropose~ for the air i'orces, the river navy, a~ld tr"e ::obile forces. In short, vhere the South Vietm':::cse G:";~r!'..::::er:t no:·: has th~ pove r to clear an"l part of its terrii..(".~!) G~I:e}"S] :-:::::r:!1'S nev program is deci[;'led to clear end. to hole" step by 5t"T' and l'ro·ii.'1C(~ by provdnce , ~his program ~il1 involve substa~tial incr~ases in C8~t to tne South Vietnan:.ese econccy, which in turn depends heavily on U!!i-r.ed States econcof,c aid. Additional, thoush less subst.ant Ia.r, r:iJ. i·;.a!'~! assis·..ance :funds are also needed, an::' ir.c:retscd Ur!"o 8'7":"::: traip.ins activity both on the civil end r:>ilitary side. Ti:~ :PC'l] ~C\' should continue or withira1dne; United States personnel ":~e~e tte:ir roles can be assumed by South Vietna:::ese and of scr.c.i~Z ec.d.itlon91 men if they. are needed. It ~lill remain the policy of the Unit'2d. 5'ta'tes to furnish assistance and support to South Vietna:!l for as long as it is required to bring Communist aggression and terroris.'Il under control.

Secretar,y McNamara and General Taylor reported their overall conclusion that vith continued vigorous leadership 1'1'0=1 General K:.'lanh and his governnent., and the carrying out of the~e steps; the s~tUP.tiO:l c...n be signi:fic8!!tly improved in the cming months.



Before the month of I'larch vas over the CPSVN.I as well as the }·tAP plan.'ling that had been such an integral part of' it, finally received th.e coup de grace. Sacl'ificed. to tee U.s. desire "to mal~e it clear that W~ fully support" the GVH, they '~ere fomally terminated, for the record, on 21 Narch in the OSD message reproduced belo~l: FR(l1:


DEF 963028 (Col. J. Yates) CnWPAC a. CII:CP_4C l10626z l·!ar ~






DTG 132352Z t·!a::-

Date: 21 March 19&


1. As indicated in ref. b., ceiling for Vietnam }'Y 661-iAP is $143.0 million against $143.1 I!!illion for FY. 65. Requirements above these pr-ogram levels should be identified as separate pachages, 2. Subnission of' five-year prcgrans FY 66-70 for Vietnam is suspended until further notice. Your test estimates of FY 66 requirerr~cnts are necessary inas!! line detail as feasible by 1 Jul 64 in order that (a) the gUitary Dupar'tnerrts can revie\: for pricing, lead tilne, availabilities} azd prepare for procurement action ar.d (b) req"uire.llents can be processed \:ithin DoD, State/AID and BoB for bUdget/Con3ressic~alPresentation purposes.

3. Previous gutdance rc

Plen projection for J:haseJ.o';;'D 01" U.S. forces end G\i1~- forces is superseded. policy is as announced by H'i-lite House 17 I·:a.r e~: Quote l'ne policy shoul.d contdzue of w:i.l.,l'dr..mir!g U. s. per-soune.l vhez-e ...heir .roles con be assuned by Soutn,c-se ana of" send.i!~g men if t[~ey are needed , It \iil.L r~ain the policy of the U.S. to furnish aseastence and support cr South Vietnam for as lcng 8'; is re~ui1" to bring CO.:.r.JUli.i&t aggression and terJ'OriSll unler control. U:lCj:,;,c,t.e.' J.~o~el

4. No further action required or being tsken here relativ e to accelerated model plan. !rhus ended dejure the policy of phase out and 'Ilithdra"lal and all tile pl£4r,3 and progl-ams oriented to it. Shortly, they 'Would ODE: cancel.Led out tie rlC'tiO.

Soon the whole evolutionar., direction of: the U.S. military commitr!le:r~, began to change. Rather than d:iminishing, the magnitude rose the:.:c'e.l'teJo. In earJy Nay the approved U.S. milit!lry st:rengt,h ceiling for Sout.h Viet:c!a.m 'Was raised by more than 1500 so that total in-country authorizatian (';C'Ull(; to ov;:r :;':{, 000. Further increases 'Were in sight. 63/ As the IriUio·_~.rJ situation ill '..ietna:n :t'ailea. to shoW' signf> 0.1' amer11Orating, pressures



t.O deve.lop in Lat.e


ror ~j!1 €ver~ mor-e siBnif·icant inc?c!lse in

U.S. forces. A s~ecial mEeting on S0utheect Asia was caJ~ed at PACOM Readquartcrc in Honolulu for :-2 ~Tlme because ()f t,pe "I"'~El+.i::fa('t('::r:{ :nrogress in ex: C~·· tion of'the Nstiom::l c at i np 'Pl~n. 'JT!<>l'€". C'O?·:TJSf·:ACV lirC'!.osed exti::l;d:nc; and int.ensify:i.!I,:! the U.S, to.\"1.SCl''Y ~f'fort jr: order to :iT:lpr~we the ';rcraticnal effectiveness of the VIt.~ perfcman~e gcnera.l.Iy, !(Ihe idea was discussed en~ s\lI'Ported in l'rincj~le) and n f;.tb~l' \lC:....:;tillg I:Clper outlining the concept vas prepared by the conferees. r~ear the end ,of June, C~'1Ug.1ACV submitted to JCS (info CIl:CPAC, DC'D, State, l:hit.e Ilouse ) his formal proposal recoamenddng enfargement of the advfsory .~ssist~nce pr0c3ra~. He reiterated, and offered further justification fnr, th~ need to 6ufr:er.:t the current, ad.....;;..s;:,ry detachments at the battalion level and to extend tl:.e a::1visor:,~ effort at botn the diRtrj.ct and sector levels. His detailed breakout of primary personnel requirements caueto a total of 900 more advisors as the net in-coll.'I'ltr-i increaEie, but conceded that edcitio~al ed.":\inil::trH~jy€· 9r:1 loej.stic SUj;;IJort requirements vould be substantial and ,.;ot~ld be Sublitted separately. Also, approx~ately 80 additional U.S. Esvy advisors would be requested, i~ connection wit.h reC'0'::l"ierl(l..ations I:"£cle earlier in t.ho u:n-~~c}i.J E-W Report II for e Jun.l: Force and other neasures to COU.!1ter infil~:l"<tion by sea. C!riCPI-.C indicated concur-rence and. recornended approval of the propof:l'1l on 4 Jl.J,~. e:1

In the middle of ..T uly, the nev U.S •.Amh~ss~dor to Vietnam) (',.::J"lr~r.'31 Maxwell Taylor, sent an evah~stion of the milit.a:r.r situation to the Secr',,tery of Stet~, S~cret~rry of Def?I:sE'.! ?r'o ..TeS t!""'t lprt, strr>r.5 su:-.!.o:rt t.c CO: ~US:·J\(;V I r. propo::al. T!'1e .P~·:he!':f ~~oJ" p.c.Y:i.~(, '1 t 1::~t forr.'~~l est ir.;ete; cr regular VC strer.gth in So~th Vietna: had been revised ar-d ~ow were rei~:~ to oetw~en 2tl,OOO an1 1h~O~~. He a>~lajn~~ tbi~ uia not Tf-rl,~t :. sudden drartat Lc incrc:lsE>, brrt 'hac ~e{:'n si..~s"pec+'€d :'c...~ th~ :;~st ti-l0 or "Cr.'!':;::: ~/€c:r5, trlo~13h confiI'E<:tor;{ evddence hd~ become ~v6"ih'ble only in tIl!; l<'l';.:t i'el-; zorrths , Trlere vas t::IU~ no o~c8",,"in~1 TO~ Al~m... ~nt. t-:-·e nr-~'7 ?~ti~.?~ ..:" ('rml~ssized the ' f!rO""ll-.7 o~ t.h~ ~)ro'blc""": a"'~1 t.r:- n::.::c. to ;nc!'; . .m:'" .7h~ le'V-21 of U.S. /(;V;; efforts. Ti1e.." ef')re,. eed:!:~:i.o~:~.l - r. ~~~i:::"'.:~cn-c.n iTCTIJ "'''1'!10 f"''''''.'''''-~~ ,.,"] "''''...'.,,';' ~.--l'',..., ,...,,_ ..':-...-.-._'~-"'~ ~.""" '0004. l·...... 1.,"'.·.,~ F ~ !. l't"'~"'T ,.. .. ll.B. ;;lc;us c.urin~;; the ens1r;n~: ncnt hs to c0!1f' W'jt.h thE' r.1:-:r '1.."""~0'!'!='-:'I"}'!::::i~e of the realities of the situation. He rorecast. an mcreese in U.~. r.1i1.1.t.ary str('>!)~[\ to aro1<l1d 2L 000 O',,-C-J' t.r.::, r:E'xt ~j.x-~j!'tr. T.e-'Y'if):l t.e· ~!~(.t. 'n'~ ~:: l:t::-C. ..I ........


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Immediately t.he s;.zf' (If the er.::U",<>t.d force !'(>~l11~":!"'i~J"'+~ r!".'r-"";-'"'+E;(l vit::' the nroncsed of tr.~ c>dvi.sory t. .• rHc.b. 0'n . . . eXDgr.sio~1 . ... er'fC':r., 1::c:,-~.,) ..' ~~ ~ulv crn·u~<lACV submi~ted the s~~~c~. requirp~~nts er.~oc~ate~ vjtr ~h~ program, For tb"'l next year he llould need, 0\'(>1" ~r.d above the or:i.e:1naJ 9llO additional advisors requested, more than 3200 other personnel, for '" tote.l f!ross military strenrth incl'E"ase o:r shopt 1J200. 667 The Am~~sr."dor 10 f.3j~on concurred in CQ'.IDS!·:ACV's Tlro'Po~prl inc'T'eaue inU.~. militgry strt:'l'"'th by 4200 over the next ninE" l':ont.hs, 'h:::",ineing the total j,n-COu.l1t.~r 7,0 nearly 2'~tOOO, and he urged ? action. The Secretary of statE'! also rece-m1llp.ndf'd approval, as did Cn~('pAr. ~nd ,~CS: and on 20 Ju)v, ~t the .1CS~-~E'.::l)~f J!leet,in~. cwerRll s.m~(.rt, ;.;af= Rive~ t.e tbe CO!'~!S1'·!ACV requestC':l '

deployment package !he fC].lop;i::2; de"J, ~t the NSC meetine of 21 July., the P:rc~;id0nt eave it fim:l ar-r'!"o'!~lJ t·hout:;:1. that. act Ion vas not incl~4d.ea. in t.he NSJll1 issue1. th~ next dav, 67./



As c\Ycnt\..'.:lll~" refined, t'1E~ +.1"\" a1 f''''''''i-' incre!jnnt a"tu"l1"" came to over 4900 u.s. pe..·so~1~cl. n; at:.~~~::~~rl:"'~·~!~(,l·--rcq~~i:e~e~ts- n~t dir~ctly rel~ted to the ad\"isory effort itse'-P. vere be Ing generated and met :i21uependentily , By the close of 1964 th€: .{ea:c-end U.S. in-country strength figure had cl:lmbed to appro..'i:imatelv' 23, 000 per'sonnef and :further authorized deployrJent.s \lere under vay or in preparation. The actual effect of "phased 'uithdrm:als" \lOS mirl;rlal. Though 1,0~O spaces among the personnel autho~ized K..-\C'V vere el:L~lll!l.ted in 2903, add-cns overtooa cut-backs . As an exar.ple, U. S. Amy strength in Vietnam--the bulk.

of the advisory ei'i'ort--'las allocated as


PERCEl·:TAGE OF U. S. AK':! Bt! & 8?t U:1its

Totnl ·r"..."TJY strc;-n,::h

!:.,,"5.a-:ion CO:=T!1l.11icaU:::itR t f cn Unit::

Special F:)rces

Ct{ter A~\"is~rQ

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the !'!'es; t.b"!!' tr.ic; att~ck co.."n./;'!';, uhich .....o~l~ J'ut us t:-{, '?re~j r-'r. !:It l":'a~t change our- r.~~d. ThE" \ibi.le tHng., is c~rJ_etP.J~'.; ~t l~ast, not undersbandmg.

Bt·nt.~~ -P"':'GiI. ~5~1~· i~

-!:"r, '!':".',

!SE(,R~AR"! ~~eNflJ{~.?.A:

"The perini, December 1961, through the e p"!!'ica. cf gr€'~t progress ",i:thin So~.'th Vietmm.• ":T1. :''''.....;t~:''ir.C ~~e efof'f'\,,!·t of tJ:f' Vj ~t C~ng t·o cwe,.t.hrow i·hat goverc~:-r.'t. R~':"". .,~l', . ~+"I"rt:;.ne :in 1-19:r: 1963, Yl"li! vill recall, a series ,..r r21.i£;~,}Uf: ri""tf r~""("c~ed; c~:1troversy'W'ithin the cou:ntry deveh 1')••• .:1. :' ':'{'I~~""r;; .-'t':-"+'J~:P'.' UTI')!: !':~'!c..""!~f.:1' ?nil t" t~e overtr-....o'i of t.he ~~:-'?' :~~....'?'r.~:·~t. P:ri~r' i:~-."th~t. tj.":1e "in Per+.ernberj 1963, GeneT.1J. ~l~":""~r ~f




Taylor and I had advised and visited thst country. At that t:ime, the progress of the counter insurgency effort. was so great it appeared that 'We 'lould be able to llithdrm·r much of our training force by the end of 1965, and not 196'}, and ve "tTould -- \ole so stated upon our return. But follo.:ing that -- and I should also mentdcn that in. that same ststem.ent, we made in September, 1963, we pointed. out the very serious nature of the political dif'i'icul"ties that were building up in South Vietnam, because of the conflict between +he B'.lddhists and the Catholics, and the govemment , "1.'1 any event, as I say, in November, 1963, the g~·:erll:lent vas over-throvn. There \laS another change of government Jar~i.<.9ry 30th, and this canpletely changed the outlook ar.d the politicsl instability that follo'..J'ed the two coups has given the Viet Cong en opportunity to take advantage of the political and. ~ilita!'Y veakness , They have taken advantage of it. It is nov necessary to add further U.S. mil1tal'y- assistance to counter that Viet Cong offensive ••••

"We have never made tpe st.atement since Scptc:1oer, 1963, that He believed ve could bring the bulk of the traj.!1in~ forces out by the end of 1965, because the actions in' l:ove.~oer and January made it quite clear that voul.d not be possible. "~le have said -- as a matter of fact, I sa~r today -- as our trainlns niss:! {':1S are co~:pleted, ve 'TilJ. 'l:>r:!.n~~ bacl; tbe- training fo·:cef:. I tbink thi.s is only 1;;001 sense, and Good jua.~ent. ~le have certain training missions thet I hope ve can co=~?lete this yep..r, and others next year, and. the rcrceo assocdat.ed 'lith those T!dssio!ls should be brought back. lIt.le have forces there trainil:g the Vietn:'lD.eSe t o fly spotter fiircrefT., for artiller~r spotting purpos es , I am vey"/ hopeful, that we can bring the U.S. forces out as the Vietn~~e5e acquire that, c8yabjlity.

"On the other hand, the Vietnao.ese quite clearly need addit.ional assistance in training for counter guerrilla operat.Lons, bF-l'aUSe of the ir.~reaE,ed guerrilla ect.avrt res of the '.lift CO~).€:, .:;nd we are sending additional special forces to Vietnar!i for tha"t. ilurpose.

"There will be a tlm., in both directions, but. I am certain in the next several months the net 1'10\1 will be strongly t.ovard South Vietnam. \I f!Z./ . Arter


Gulf, the policy objective of gradual disengagement was no longer relevant. The hope, as r!ell as the concept cf. pbsse out and withdrawal, dwindled, since such i'iithdrawal 'las now seen as tar.temount to surrendering SVN to Hanoi. The issue for tht future ~:')llld no longer be vithdravals, but lihat additional U.S. forces would be ". ·... l.~he(;. to sti"JI'I the tide--and how :fast ·they \{c..:.ld have to be th~·own into




HASC Pentagon Papers Part IV B4  

HASC Pentagon Papers Part IV B4

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