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Full text of "Pentagon Papers"

Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number; NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



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IV.B Evolution of the War (26 Vols.) 
Counterinsurgency: The Kennedy Commitments, 1961- 

1963 (5 Vols.) 
3 . The Advisory Build-Up, 1 96 1 -67 




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UNITED STATES - VIETNAM RELATIONS 

1945 • 1967 






VIETNAM TASK FORCE 

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE 



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lY. B. 3. 



THE ADVISORY 3UILD-UP, I96I-67 



Sec T)ef Cont Nr. X-. 



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IV. B. 3c THE ADVIS ORY BU ILD-UP, 1961-67 



SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS 



The United States decided, shortly after the Geneva Accords and 
during the period of French withdrav-^al from Indo-China, to give military 
assistance and advice to the newly proclaimed Republic of Vietnam. It 
might as easily have decided not to undertake this effort to prevent 
South Vietnam from falling to communism. 

The Joint Chiefs of Staff were pessimistic. The creation of a 
Vietnamese Army, they said, might not even lead to internal political 
stability, much less assure the capability to protect South Vietnam 
from external aggression. The JCS also believed that the limitations 
imposed by the Geneva agreements on the number of U.S, military personnel 
would make it impractical to attempt to train a new Army -- particularly 
given the paucity of experienced leaders which was the legacy of French 
colonialism. The President's military advisors did not wish to assume 
the responsibility for failure without the resources and influence which 
would offer a better chance for success. 

THE AMERIC AN GAMBLE 

The available record does not indicate any rebuttal of the JCS»s 
appraisal of the situation. What it does indicate is that the U.S. 
decided to gamble with very limited resources because the potential gains 
seemed well worth a limited risk. "I cannot guarantee that Vietnam will 
remain free, even with our aid," General J. Lawton Collins reported to 
the National Security Council, "But I know that without our aid Vietnam 
will surely be lost to Communism." 

Secretary of State John Foster Dulles was instrumental in deciding 
for political reasons to undertake a modest program of military advice 
aimed at producing political stability. Once launched, however, the 
program of advice and assistance came to be dominated by conventional . 
military conceptions. Insuring internal stability is a "lesser included 
capability" of armed force, the reasoning went; the principal purpose of 
such a force is to protect the territorial integrity of the nation. 

It was such a conventional force that the small USMAAG attempted to 
produce from 1955 until about I96O. The Army of the Republic of Vietnam 
(ARVN) was made to "mirror image" the U.S. Army to the extent permitted 
by differences in equipment and locale. The number of U.S. advisors 
(approximately doubled by "The Equipment Recovery Mission" -- a thinly 
veiled device to increase the number of Americans in Vietnam) remained 
stable throughout this period. ARVN developed into a mul t i -d i vl s ional 

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force oriented primarily toward conventional defense. The later 
transition to a force designed for counter insurgent warfare v/as 
thereby made more difficult. 

It seemed for a V'.'hile that the gamble against long odds had 
succeeded. The Viet Minh were quiescent; the Republic of Vietnam 
Armed Forces (RVNAF) were markedly better armed and trained than 
they were when the U,S, effort began (at which time they were un- 
armed arid untrained), and President Ngo Dinh Diem showed a remarkable 
ability to put down factions threatening GVN stability and to maintain 
himself in office. 

This period of apparent stability disappeared, however, In the 
events of 19^9-51 as the Viet MInh (relabelled Viet Cong -- a contrac- 
tion for Vietnamese Communist) stepped up terrorism, sabotage, and 
military action by increasingly large units. By mid-196l, the prospect 
for South Vietnam's independence was at least as dark as it had been 
six years earl ier . 

But the U,So military advisors in Vietnam had learned -- or at 
least thought they had learned -- during this period of gradual dis- 
integration the true nature of the battle In which they were engaged 
by proxy. This was an unconventional, internal war of counter Insurgency 
rather than a conventional struggle against an external foe. It was a 
battle for the "hearts and minds" of the indigenous (and especially the 
rural) population rather than a contest to win and hold key terrain 
features. It was an intermeshed pol i t I ca 1-economIc-mI 1 i tary war rather 
than one in which political and economic issues were settled by military 
victory. 

U.S. advisors in Vietnam — and U.S. military and civilian theorists 
in other places, as well — formulated during this period a rudimentary 
doctrine of counter I nsurgent v^arfare. In response to Premier Khrushchev's 
endorsement of "wars of national liberation" they proposed to help free 
world nations save themselves from communism by a series of sequential 
actions that dealt with the symptoms of social revolution (the insurgency) 
as V'^;ell as its causes (the frustration of expectations for social justice). 

Thus, at almost the same time that the U.So began its advisory build- 
up in South Vietnam in late 19^15 military and civilian practitioners 
found themselves in possess ion of a s imple, apparently log I ca 1 , out 1 I ne 
sketch of a method by which to counter the communist-captured insurgency., 
Physical security from the acts of the insurgents was a necessary but not 
a suf f i c ient cond i t ion for success . In add i t ion to secur i ty the V letnamese 
government had to establish the services which would link it in classic 
terms of legitimacy to its subjects. We would fight fire with fire and we 
would fight it with water, too. 

THE LIMITED PARTNERSHIP 

The decisions made by the Kennedy Administration from mld-196l onward, 



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culminating in the expansion of tine UcS. advisory effort follovjing 
General Maxwell Dc Taylor's mission to Saigon in October, did not 
simply set out to explain this newly-articulated counter insurgency 
theory and doctrine to the GVN. They attempted to induce the GVN to 
reform itself so that identification with its populace would be possi- 
ble. Beyond this, they chose to attempt to help the Vietnamese, in 
Taylor*s words, "as. friends and partners -- not as arms-length advisors -- 
/a n^/ show them how the job might be done -- not tell them or do it for 
them.'' 

The "limited partnership" which General Taylor proposed —• and which 
President Kennedy accepted — was designed to place U.S. advisors at many 
levels within the RVNAF and GVN structure rather than merely at the top. 
An earlier proposal, to concentrate on advisors at the top with wide dis- 
cretionary authority and to count on influence as the product of the 
demonstrated commitment of a carefully selected handful of men, was 
rejected in favor of many advisors at many levels, each serving normally 
only for a twelve month period, and with the advisory manpower furnished 
through normal personnel selection and assignment processes within the 
mi 1 i tary services. 

The expectation among U.Sc policymakers — recorded in NSAM 111 — 
was that the GVN and U.S. would mutually agree upon necessary steps to 
end the insurgency. The UcS., for its part, would underwrite an increase 
in RVNAF and provide advisors throughout the military structure down to 
battalion level and in each provincial capital. The GVN would rationalize 
its lines of authority and begin reform measures to bring it closer to the 
Vietnamese people. This was, of course, a U.S. expectation, not an agreed 
quid pro quo . Diem was unwilling to permit the U.S. to share in his 
formulation of plans. He was even afraid to discuss the U.S. expectations 
candidly with his own cabinet ministers. It is a matter of record that he 
did not reform his governmento ("He will not reform because he cannot," 
J. Kenneth Galbraith cabled President Kennedy.) Vihat remains in issue is 
whether he could have done so. If he could not, the U.S. plan to end the 
insurgency was foredoomed from its inception, for it depended on Viet- 
namese initiatives to solve a Vietnamese problem. 

COMMITMENT AN D EXPECTATION 

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Thus the U.S. overall plan to end the insurgency was on shalcy ground 
on the GVN side. Diem needed the U.S. and the U.So needed a reformed Diem 
As UoS. advisors began deploying to Vietnam for service with tactical 
units in the field, the gamble of the mid"50*5 was transferred into a 
broad commitment. President Kennedy and his advisors were determined to 
save Vietnam from communism by helping the Vietnamese to save themselves. 
One side of the dual U.S. thrust (GVN reform) was already in trouble. 
What of the "friends and partners" who vjere to share the dangers and tasks 
of RVInIAF in the field? V/hat was expected of them? What advantages would 
accrue from their presence in Vietnam? 

The available record is almost totally devoid of any explication 



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(much less any debate) on these questionSo General Taylor's report of 
his mission to Saigon implies an unambiguous convergence of interests 
betv'jeen the advisors and the advised. All that was needed v/as greater 
competence. More UoS. advisors at more places woricing on problems of 
Vietnamese training and operations could not but have an overall bene- 
ficial effect « 

It is necessary to surmise the expectations in the policymakers 
minds "of just how this v\fould come about. First, they seem to have 
expected the increased UoS. advisory presence to lead directly to 
increased RVNAF competence in technical and tactical areas. Basic 
military skills — how to move, shoot, and communicate -- could be 
improved and the improvements sustained by a continuing U.S. presence 
at many operational levels. Second, the U.S. policymakers could receive 
reports from an omnipresent U.So "network" which would permit them to 
become better informed about what was really taking place in Vietnam, 
not only with respect to VC activity but with reference to ARVN plans, 
operations, and problems as well. Finally, the U.S. expected to realize 
increased influence within RVNAF from the presence of advisors. (And it 
expected, as NSAM 111 made clear, to realize increased influence with 
GVN in exchange for increasing its visible commitment to South Vietnamese 
independence.) 

Increased influence can, of course, be gained in many ways. U.S. 
advisors could, by example, promote more aggressive Vietnamese leader- 
ship and improved standards of conductc A well-coordinated advisory 
network could exert persuasive pressure throughout RVNAF to adopt certain 
policies or practices. And the U.S» providers of the material resources 
could, if they wished, keep a tight hand on the spigot and control the 
flow. They could exert influence negatively. The U.S. was anxious to 
avoid this last-mentioned approach to increased influencec "Leverage," 
as it is now commonly known, was a subject rarely discussed, much less 
practiced. The "limited partnership" finessed the whole issue of sanc- 
tions by assuming (or hoping or pretending, one cannot know which) that 
no problem existed. 

PACIFICATION A ND STRATEGIC HAMLETS 

The process of countering insurgency, most commonly called pacifi- 
cation, received a great amount of attention and publicity at the same 
time the U.S« was increasing its field advisors with ARVN from a handful 
to over 3,000. Earlier, in I960, the USMAAG had pressed upon the GVN a 
national Counter insurgency Plan for Vietnam (CIP) which was really an 
organizational blueprint for reordering the GVN-RVNAF lines of command 
to permit effective action. The nub of the problem was that the politi- 
cal leaders in rural areas (Province and District Chiefs -- almost all 
military officers) vjere responsible to Saigon directly while RVNAF had 
a separate chain of command. In 1961, the MAA6 presented its complemen- 
tary Geographically Phased Plan which specified the relative priority 
for clearing out the VC, holding, then building GVN at the "rice roots." 



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The objects as the U.S„ advisors saw it, vjas to have a v^/orkable 
national plan upon which to base the entire US-GVN effort. 

The Strategic Hamlet Program soon became the unifying vehicle 
to express the pacification process. The theory vjas that of physical 
security first> then government programs to develop popular allegiance. 
The fact vjas over-expans ion> counter-productive coercion in some areas, 
widespread mismanagement, and dishonesty. U.S. policymakers were not, 
however, aware of how badly things were going until they became much 
worse» Optimism dominated official thinking. No need was perceived 
for new departures. Throughout the period of the Strategic Hamlet 
Program -- that is, until Diem*s regime was toppled in late I963 "" 
the number of U«Se advisors remained relatively stable at its new 
(1962) plateau. 

The expectation that more LI. So advisors would mean better informa- 
tion for UcS. policymakers was not realized. One cannot judge accurately 
the reasons why U.S* leaders in Vietnam and Viashington thought the counter- 
insurgent effort was making headway, but the fact that it was not is 
crystal clear in retrospect. The expectation that GVN and U.S. interests 
were sufficiently parallel to permit greater U.S. influence solely as a 
result of a larger U.S. presence foundered on the personalities and the 
felt necessities of the Ngo brothers. The extent to which RVNAF techni- 
cal-tactical competence was increased during this period remains a subject 
of disagreement but it was not increased sufficiently to "turn the tide" 
of the war. That much is indisputable. 

ANOTHER ROUND OF INCREAS ES 

After Diem*s fall there was a brief period of optimism based on the 
expectation that the new military regime in Saigon would be more recep- 
tive to U.S. advice than its predecessor had been. By the summer of 196^+, 
when the decision was made to expand the advisory effort again, this 
optimistic hope had foundered on the fact of continued VC victories and 
instability within the GVN. 

NSAM 288 had, in March \SGh^ stated U.S. objectives in Vietnam in 
the most unambiguous and sweeping terms. If there had been doubt that 
the limited risk gamble undertaken by Eisenhower had been transformed 
into an unlimited commitment under Kennedy, that doubt should have been 
dispelled internally by NSAM 288 's statement of objectives: 

We seek an independent non-Communist South Vietnam. 
V/e do not require that it serve as a Western base or 
as a member of a Western Alliance. South Vietnam 
must be free, however, to accept outside assistance 
as requ i red to ma i nta in i ts secur i ty » Th i s ass i stance 
should be able to take the form not only of economic 
and social measures but also police and military help 
to root out and control insurgent elements. 



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If we cannot save South Vietnanij the NSAM continued in a classic 
^— ' statement of the "domino theory," all of Southeast Asia v^ill probably 

fall and all of the Western Pacific and South Asian nations will come 
under increased pressure. 

There were at this time several steps which the U.S. could have 
talcen to increase its assistance to the GVN. Carrying the war to 
Hanoi was one; introducing UcS. combat forces was another. Neither 
appealed much, however, in terms of helping the South Vietnamese to 
^'^^ ^hei r war. Both were anathema in the midst of Presidential elec- 
tion year politics. Bombing was discussed and plans laid, but no 
action taken. Troop commitments were not even discussed -- at least 
in the written record of proposals and decisions. Rather, a number of 
palliative measures to help the GVN economy and RVNAF were adopted and 
the advisory effort was expanded. 

The 1964 expansion of the advisory effort consisted of the beef ing- 
up of the battalion advisory teams and the establishment of district 
(sub-sector) teams. Thus, a new dimension of American presence was 
added and the density of U»Sc advisors in operational units was increased 
There is nothing in the available record to suggest either a challenge to 
the old, unstated assumption that more U,S. advisors would lead to in- 
creased performance or any change in the assumed expectations of U.S. 
policymakers had changed. The determination remained to advise rather 
than to command, to develop Vietnamese leadership rather than to supplant 
it, and to induce the GVN to take the steps necessary to pacify its own 
f dissident elements. 

ADVISORS TEMPORAPx ILY FORGOTTEN 

The expansion to district level placed UoS« military advisors 
throughout almost the entire RVNAF hierarchy (from JGS to battalion, 
with enough men at the lower level to advise companies on a "when 
needed" basis) and the political hierarchy as well (sector/province 
and sub"sector/d i str let) . U.S. advisors were not present in large 
numbers with the old Civil Guard and Sel f -Defense Corps -~ now re- 
labelled the Regional Forces and Popular Forces under province and 
district control respectively -- but they advised the military men in 
political positions who controlled these paramilitary forces. 

St i 1 1 the s i tuat ion cent i nued to deter I orate, Pol i t ica 1 insta- 
bility within the GVN had by I965 become a perennial rather than a 
transitory problem. The U.S. had initiated a continuing series of 
military air war measures to dissuade North Vietnam from support of 
the war in the South. The results were obviously inadequate; they may 
even have been opposite to those expected c Then ARVN suffered a series 
of disastrous defeats late in the spring of IS65 vjhich led knowledgeable 
observers to fear an imminent GVN collapse. U.S. combat units -- a fe 
of which were already in-country with restrictive missions -- began to 
be deployed to South Vietnam in earnest. 



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VJhen the build-up of U.S. combat forces got underway the build-up 
of U.S. advisors had already been essentially completedo Being an 
advisor in the field had been the most challenging assignment a U»S. 
soldier could seek; being vjith a U.S. unit in combat now became the 
aim of most. The advisory effort sank into relative obscurity as the 
attention of policymakers (and of the press and public) focused on the 
U.S. force deployments, on building the base complexes from which U.S« 
military might could project itself into the countryside, and in ex- 
ploring the new relationships and new opportunities occasioned by the 
commitment of U.S. land forces to the Asian mainland. 

A number of measures which would have changed materially the U.S. 
advisors' relationship to their Vietnamese counterparts were examined 
briefly in mid-1965. Each was dropped. The encadrement of U.S. and 
ARVN units was favored by President Johnson. General Westmoreland 
opposed it — apparently because of language problems and the difficult 
logistic support problem it would create "- and the issue quickly died, 
except for the experimental Combined Action Platoons (CAPs) formed by 
the Marinese The subject of a combined U.S.-RVNAF command was brought 
up. Secretary McNamara was more favorably disposed toward achieving 
"unity of command" than were his senior military advisors and the U.S. 
Mission representatives in Saigon, They were keenly aware of GVN 
sensitivity to any measures which would explicitly finger the increas- 
ing Americanization of the war effort.. So combined command was shelved, 
too. The GVN even opposed a joint US-JGS staff to coordinate the war 
effort. The staff was never formed. 

PACIFICATION REEMPKASIZED 

As the build-up of U.S. combat forces reached a level permitting 
offensive forays against the VC (and North Vietnamese Army) forces, 
there gradually evolved a division of responsibilities between UoS. and 
Vietnamese forces in which the former were to concentrate on defeating 
the main forces of the VC/NVA and the latter were to give primary em- 
phasis to the pacification program. Half of ARVN was to operate in 
support of pacification. 

This division of effort threw most U.So advisors into pacification 
with ARVN units as well as in the province and district advisory teams. 
It also threw the U.S. military advisors into closer contact --• and 
competition and conflict -~ with the growing number of advisors on civil 
functions (many of whom were U.S. military men on "loan") representing 
the CIA, AID, and USIA. The question was raised of the optimal internal 
U.S. organization to support the Vietnamese pacification program. 

The result of a drawn-out, occasionally acrimonious debate on this 
question was an intermixed civil-military organization embracing the 
entire pacification effort, headed by a civilian of ambassadorial rank 
under COMUSMACV*s direction. Called Civil Operations and Revolutionary 
Development Support (CORDS), it replaced a bilinear system in which 



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military advisors were controlled through a military chain of command 
and all civilian advisors were controlled (at least in theory) through 
an Office of Civil Operations (OCO) . The creation of CORDS was hailed 
as a victory for the "single manager" concept even though some very 
substantial U.S. programs were defined as outside the pacification 
program and, hence, beyond CORDS' competence. 

RF/PF ADVISORS 

The creation of CORDS affected only the organizational context of 
U.So advice to the South Vietnamese. It did nothing to change the re- 
lationship between advisor and advised. U.S. expectations continued in 
the v/ell"Worn furrows in Vsihich they had travelled from the beginning: 
better information, more U.S. influence over Vietnamese plans and actions, 
and improved GVN (including RVNAF) performance were the hoped for products 
of the advisory effort. 

This pattern was repeated in I967 when an increase of over 2,000 
military advisors was proposed by HACV to assist the Regional and Popular 
Forces -- whose security missions were almost exclusively devoted to 
support of the pacification program. The RF and PF vjere, at that time, 
the only RVNAF components without a sizeable U.S. advisory complement. 
Vihen the question of improving their effectiveness was addressed the 
old assumption that more U.S. advisors would equate to improved effec- 
tiveness again went unchallenged. 

The question debated was whether this new dimension of the U.S. 
advisory effort should be structured to give continuing advice to RF 
companies and PF platoons or should be constituted on a mobile training 
basis. The decision was to form mobile teams for both tactical and 
logistical support trainitig. Advisors were detached from their parent 
U.S. combat units and detailed to these duties pending the manpower 
accounting change vjhich would transfer these individuals to MACV 
advisory control and replace them in U.S. units with newly deployed 
f i 1 lers, 

AVOIDED ISSUES 

This was the situation when the VC/NVA launched a massive series 
of attacks against urban population centers and surrounding pacifica- 
tion program forces during the I968 lunar new year (Tet) offensive. 
In the confused aftermath of this radical change in VC/NVA strategy 
the U.S. announced in V/ashington its intention to give renewed attention 
to modernizing RVNAF so that a larger share of the war effort could be 
turned back to the Vietnamese. This policy decision, follovjing as it 
did an unprecedented six-year period of U.S. attempts to wage counter- 
insurgent war by proxy^ constituted an adequate reason to reexamine the 
experience of the past and to explore more fully some difficult questions 
which have been consistently avoided in the desire to assist South Vietnam. 



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The most basic of these questions is whether the U.S, can in any 
way serve as a makeweight sufficient to change the continuing unfavor- 
able trend of the war in South Vietnam? Can it, that is, overcome the 
apparent fact that the Viet Cong have "captured" the Vietnamese 
nationalist m.ovement while the GVI-^ has become the refuge of Vietnamese 
who were allied with the French in the battle against the independence 
of their nation? Attempts to answer this question are complicated, of 
course, by the difficult issue of Viet Cong allegiance to and control 
by Communist China. But this is the nature of the situationc The issue 
of whether the U.S. can energize the GVN has been too long submerged by 
repeated assertions that it must do so. 

A part of any tentative answer to this fundamental question will 
turn on the issue of how the UoS. might better promote a more adequate 
pace of GVN reform and improved RVNAF effectiveness to cope with the 
VC/NVA threat„ (A related question, of course, is whether reform ajid 
increased effectiveness can proceed s imul taneously Asking this ques- 
tion would open for examination two aspects of the advisory program that 
have come to be treated by reflexive response: where are advisors needed 
and what should be the relationship of the advisor to the advised? 

The continuing U.S. unstated assumption has been that more advisors 
somehow equate to better performance. This can be traced in the success- 
ive expansions of the military advisory effort -- first to the provinces 
and down to battalion level within ARVN, then to the districts, and most 
recently to the paramilitary forces within RVNAF. It may be that large 
numbers of advisors are, in fact, the best way to influence events but 
one cannot reach such a conclusion validly without first aslcing the 
quest ion. 

The relationship of advisor to advised has gone through recurrent 
changes relative to judging an advisor's performance according to the 
performance of his counterpart. It has almost never deviated, however, 
from the belief that the conscious and continuing use of leverage at 
many levels would undercut Vietnamese sovereignty and stultify the 
development of Vietnamese leadership. Given the results of this policy 
over a number of years it is fair to ask whether the stick ought not to 
be more routinely used in combination with the carrot. Again, the answer 
is not obvious but it is obvious that there can be no sound answer in 
the absence of inquiry. 

Finally, and closely related to any examination of the leverage 
issue, there is the question of the adequacy of counter insurgent theory 
and doctrineo The progression from physical security through the es- 
tablishment of socially oriented programs (political and economic) to 
the objective of earning and winning popular allegiance seems both 
simple and logical. It may also be simplistic, for its transformation 
into operational reality bumps head-on into some very difficult questions 
Is security a precondition to loyalty, for instance, or must some degree 
of loyalty be realized as a precondition to intelligence information 



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adequate to make security feasible? This chi cken-and-egg argument 
has been debated for years without leading to any noticeable consensus 
on guides to operational action. 

Seeking answers to any of these questions is a difficult, frus- 
trating business. There exists no "control" by which laboratory com- 
parisons of alternative courses can be made. There is almost surely 
no hard choice which will not carry with it very real liabilities 
along with its advantages. But if the lives and effort expended in 
the U.S. military advisory effort in South Vietnam in the 1360*s are 
to be justified, a substantial portion of that justification will 
consist of a closer examination of past assumptions in order better 
to guide future policy. 



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TEE ADVISORY BUILD-UP^ 1961-67 



CHRONOLOGY 



21 Jul 5J4 



Geneva Cease-fire Accord 



22 Sep 54 



11 Oct 5^ 



19 Oct ^k 



22 Oct 5^^- 



26 Oct ^k 



17 Nov 54 



20 Jan 55 



21 Jan 55 



Memo^ JCS for SecDef, 
Retention and Developnent 
of Forces in Indochina 

Letter^ J. F. Dulles (See 
State) to C. E. Wilson 
(SecDef) 

Memo 5 JCS for SecDef ^ 
Development and Training 
of Indigenous Forces in 
Indochina 

Msg^ State to Saigon 1679 



Memo^ SecDef to JCS 



Memo^ JCS for SecDef ^ 
Indochina. 



Memo, Gen. J. Lawton 
Collins for SecState, 
Report on Vietnam for the 
National Security Council 

Memo, JCS for SecDef, 
Reconsideration of U.S. 
Military Program in South- 
east Asia 



Ended fighting between Viet 
Minh and French; divided 
Vietnarti at 17th parallel; 
limited U.S. military personnel 
in RVN to current level (3^^2). 

U.S. resources could better be 
used to support countries other 
than RVTf. 

Only sm^all U.S. training forces 
to RVN to promote internal 
stability - 

Opposed U.S. training RVN 
army. Risk not v^orth the 
gamble . 



Set in motion "crash program." 
to improve RVN forces . 

JCS to prepare long--ra,nge 
program to improve EVl^ forces. 

Developraent of effective forces 
and prevention of communist 
takeover cannot be prevented 
without Vietnamese effort that 
is probably not forthcoming. 

Vietnam might be "saved" with 
U.S. aid; would be "lost" without 
it. 



r 



Outlines alternative U.S. 
courses of action in EYNt 
present program, advice with 
leverage 5 U.S. forces, or 
withdrawal. 






1 



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NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 




TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



I 



2i| Oct 55 
31 Aug 60 

9 Dec 55 



16 Dec 55 



1959 



7 Jnn 59 



27 Feb 60 



10 Jun 60 



1 Sep 60 - 

5 Mar 62 

k Jan 61 



17 Jan 61 



I 



Memo for SecDef^ 
Raising U.S. Military 
Personnel Ceilino; ±n 
M_AAG Vietnara 



"■tj 



Memo 5 Director CIA from 
SecState 

Report, The President's 
Committee to Study the 
United States Military 
Assistance Program 

Msg, State-Defense-ICA" 
CAS to Saigon 28 

Msg, Saigon to State 2525 



U.S. Army Command & 
General Staff College, 
Study on Arm,y Aspects of 
the Military Assistance 
Program in Vietnajn 



Counter Insurgency Plan 
for South Vietnam (CIP), 
enclosux'e to msg, Saigon 
to State 276 



Memo, General Lansdale 
for SecDef, Vietnam 



Lt Gen Samuel T. Williams, 
Chief of MkkG to Vietnam. 

MAAG needed twice the current 
3^2 personnel to train RVME. 



TERM also to serve as cover 
for intelligence gathering. 

Emphasized need for promoting 
internal security; coined term 
"mirror Imaging." 



Forbids ©.dvisors to participate 
in combat . 

Abolished TERM but added equal 
nufnber of spaces to MAAG, 
Vietnam, increasing it from 
3^2 to 685. 

Prepared for Gen. Lionel C. 
McGarr, described Viet Cong 
strategy but deprecated ARVN 
pa.rticip3.tion in pacification. 



Lt Gen Lionel C. McGarr, Chief 
of MAAG to Vietnam. 

Blueprint for RVMAF reorganiza- 
tion, containing Gen McGarr 's 
recommendations for integrating 
ARVl^F and CG/sdC in a comonon chain 
of command to promote internal 
security. 

Proposed extra -bureaucratic 
advisory effort carried out by 
specially selected and qualified 
personnel. 



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NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 2011 



/^ 



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r \ 



15 Mar 61 
1 Aug 63 

28 Mar 61 



12 Apr 61 



19 Apr 61 



20 Apr 61 



27 Apr 61 



1 May 61 



3 May 61 



11 May 61 



15 May 61 



NIE 50-61, Outlook in 
Mainland. Southeast Asia 

Memo, Walt W. Rostov to 
the President 



Memo, Qen. Lansdale to 
SecDef, Vietn3;na 



Memo, SecDef for DepSeQSef 



Memo, DepSecDef for 
President, Program of 
Action for Vietnam 



Memo, R, L. Gilpatric for 
Presidentia.l Task Force 



Memo, State Department 
to members of Task Force 
on Vietnam 



KSAI^ 52 



Msg. Saigon to State 17^-3 



Frederick E. Nolting, 
Ambassador to South Vietnam 

Report that VC controlled 
most of countryside. 

Suggested appointment of 
PresidentJ.al Agent to oversee 
Vietnaiu programs in Washington. 

Proposed creation of inter- 
departanente^l task force on 
Vietnam. 

McNam-ara asked Gilpatric for 
program to "prevent communist 
domina/tion" of Vietnam., in 
response to Lansdale proposal. 

Recommended expa.nded UcS. 
effor't in Vietnam., MAAG increase 
of 100, MAAG takeover of CG/SDC, 
U.S» advisors in field operations 
creation of Presidential Task 
Force. Foreshadovred later 
decision. 

Recommended augmenting l^'IAAG 
by 2 training commands (I600 
each) and deploy ^tOO Special 
Forces (increasing MAAG from 685 
to 2285). Marked shift to con- 
ventional approach. 

Recommended revision of Gilpatric 
task force, proposed interdepart- 
menta.l task force under State 
leadership. 

Recorded President's decision to 
increase UoS. forces slightly and 
r e -emphas i zed U.S. coiimiitment . 

Recorded Diem's refu-sal of U.S. 
combat troops on bilateral 
treaty. 



3 



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r'i 



n 



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I- 



18 May 6.1 



23 May 6l 



27 May 6l 



9 Jun 6l 



15 Sep 61 



1 Oct 61 



Oct 6l 



5 Oct 61 



10 Oct 61 



n 



Memo BG Lansciale for 
DepSecDef;> Vietnam 



Memo 5 Vice President 
Johnson for President 
Kennedy 

Letter from President to 
each American Ambassador 
abroad. (See Memo, Presi- 
dent for Heads of Executive 
Departments and Agencies , 
29 May I96I5 "Responsi- 
bilities of Chiefs of 
American Diplomatic Mis- 
sions/' Eederal Register j, 
Vol. 26 Nr 22 5 1? Nov I96I5 
p. 10749 (F.R« Doc. 61-11012). 

Letter, President Diem to 
President Kennedy 



Recorded Diem's acceptaaice of 
U.S. forces for training but 
not for fighting. 

Report from Johnson* s trip to 
Vietnam that "deeds must 
replace words." 

Set for'bh coordinating authority 

for amba.ssadors . 



MAAG, Vietnam, Geograph- 
ically Phased National 
Level Plan for Counter- 
insurgency 

Msg, Saigon to State ^21 



JCSM 717-61 



DF, Distribution Division, 
DCSPER, DA to Multiple 
Addr es s ee s , Improvement 
of Personnel Continuity 

and Effectiveness in Short 
Tour Overseas Areas. 

SmE 10-3-61, Probable 
ComiTiUnist Reactions to 
Certain SKA.TO Undertakings 
in South Vietnajn 



k 



Proposed 100,000 increase in 

RVNAE 3.nd corresponding expan- 
sion of MAAG. 

Suggested operational sec[uence 
of priority areas for coordin- 
ated counterinsurgency effort 
under single chain of comjnand. 

Diem asked for bila/leral 
defense treaty with U.S. 

JCS proposal to send 20,000 
UeSo combat troops to central 
highlands. 

OSD decision to increase tour 
of duty to 30 months with 
dependents, I8 without, instead 
of 2k and 12. Never put into 
effect. 



Examined proposal for U.S. 
troop intervention. 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



f 



I f 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



11 Oct 61 



11 Oct 61 



25 Oct 61 



25 Oct 61 



1 Nov 6l 



3 Nov 61 



li| Nov 61 



22 Nov 61 



22 Nov 61 
25 Nov 61 



Dec 6l 



Study-;, Concept of Inter- 
vention in South VietnaiUj 
n.d,5 discussed a/b NSC 
meeting 5 11 Oct 6n. 

Memo for Record Roswell 
Gilpatric 



Msg;j Saigon to State 



Msg;, Saigon 537jj General 
Taylor to VJhitc House , 
State;, Defense;, JOS; 
Msg, Baguio 005^ 1 Nov 6l, 
Eyes Only for the Presi- 
dent from General Taylor 

State Dept^ Burea.u of 
Intelligence and Research^ 
RFE-35 1 Nov 6I5 Communist 
Threat Mounts in South 
Vietnam 

Report on General Taylor's 
Mission to South Vietnam. 



Msgj State to Saigon 619 



NSAM 111, First Phase of 
Vietna^m Program 

Msg, Saigon to State 687; 
Msg5 Saigon to State 7O8. 



Msg, State to Saigon 693 



Proposed sending U.S. combat 
troops . 



Recorded decision to send 
Taylor to Vietnam and outlined 
alterzia/bives to be considered. 

Diem^s assurance that he 
favored deployraent of U.Se 
troops. 

Proposed sending 6-8000 troops 
under guise of "flood relief." 



Reported increa.sed VC activity 
in first half I96I: 5OO assas- 
sinations ^ 1000 kidnappings 5 
1500 RVNAF KIA. 



Discussed VC strategy and 
threat and the weaknesses of 
the Diem regime. Proposed 
shift in U.S. effort "from 
advice to limited pa.rtnership. " 

Recorded U.S. expectation of 
sharing in GVN decision-making. 

Outlines U.S. actions and 
expected improvements in GVN. 

Ambassador Nolting reported 
that Diem refused to bovr to 
U.S. pressure. 

Dropped insistence on explicit 
U.Se influence on GVN decisions;, 

but assuj'fied such influence as 
by-product of close partnership. 



5 



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NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 2011 



11 



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16 Jan 62 



r 



13 Feb 62 
1 Aug 6h 

23 Jul 62 



1 Aug 63 

1 Jul 6^1- 

2 Oct 63 



1 Nov 63 



1 Nov 63 ■ 

16 Aug 6^4- 



26 Nov 63 



7 Mar 6k 



Hq, CINCPAC5 Record of 
Second Secreta^ry of Defense 
Conference 



Record of 6th Secretary 
of Defense Conference 



White House Statement 



Military Revolutionai*y 
Council 



NSAJ^4 273 



Briefing Paper ^ Establish- 
ment of Critical District 
Advisory Teajns (c)^ Brief- 
ing Book for McNaughton^ 
Saigon ^ay 196^7 



Recorded decisions of Honolulu 
Conference: establish battalion 
advisory teams 5 province s.dvisors 
CG/SDC training. 

Gen. Paul D. Harkins, C01vIUSMA.CV 



McNamara. plan for phe.sed with- 
drawal of U.So forces^ based on 
optimistic I962 expectations, 

Henry Cabot Lodge;, Amb8.ssador 
to South Vietnam. 

Announcement by President 
Kennedy of UeSo hopes for planned 
pha,sed withdrawal of troops. 

Diem overthrov/n by military 
coup d'etat. 

Duong Van Minh^ Chief of State 
and Chairman 5 Military Revo- 
lutionary Council. 

Reaffirmed and continued Kennedy 
administration policies in Viet- 
nam; placed emphasis on Mekor.g 
Delta; maintained military assist- 
ance at least as grea.t as to 
Diem.; reiterated plans for troop 
withdrawal; proposed no new 
programs nor increased U.S. 
assistance; authorized operations 
up to 50 km. within Laos. 

MACV extended U.S. advisory 
effort to district level in I3 
key districts around Saigon. 



I 



TOP SECRt]T - Sensitive 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 




TOP SECRET - SensitiTe 



17 Mar 6k 



I 



I 



17 Apr 6k 



ii 



22 Apr 6^ 



May 6k 



I 



12 May 6^4 



22 May 6k 



23 May 6k 



NSAJ/I 288, Implementation 
of South Vletnajn Programs 



Memo^ DIA for SecDef, 
Statiis of the Vietna^rnese 
Hamlet Survey 



Memoj DepSecDef for CJCS 



Briefing Book, Miscellan- 
eous Messages, Status 
Reports, and Recormnenda.- 
tlons for Secretary 
McWamara, n.d. 



Draft Memo for the 
Record, Lt. Col, S. B* 
Berry, Jr., Mil. Asst. 
to SecDef, n.d., U,Sc 
Embassy B riefing,_S3J:gon. 



12-13 May 6k McNamara trip to Saigon 



Msg, JCS to COMUSmCV 6kk8, 
Vietnamese Civil Guard and 
Self -Defense Corps. 



Msg, CINCPAC to JCS 
23 oi|l8s, Vietnamese Civil 
Guard and Self Defense 
Corps 



7 



The situation in Vietnajn had 
deteriorated and was grave; 
VC controlled much of country; 
North Vietnamese support of 
V.C. had increased; RVm? should 
be increa.sed by 5C5OOO; con- 
tingency plains for opera/bions in 
Laos a.nd. Cajnbodia and overt 
retaliation against DRV should 
be developed; hov/ever, no major 
increase of U.Se advisory effort 
was called for. 

Aerial photo reconnaissance 
revealed far fewer fortified 
hainlets than province officials 

claimed- 

Secretary insisted tha.t he 
persona^lly approve every m^an- 
power space for M/ICV. 

Reported grea;t instability in 
province governments, decline 
in GVN controlled popula.tion, 
increase in VC control; important 
provinces vrere in "critical 
condition." 

USOM 25/0 ujider strength, half 
this shortage in rural affairs 

staff. 



Situation appeared critical. 

COMJSmcv asked to study 
encadrement of CG/SDC with U.S. 
teams similar to V&ite Sta^r 
teazns in Laos. JCS was examining 
a.lternative a.dvisor expaAisions 
(1,000, 2,000, 3.000). 

MACV opposed to "flooding" RVW 
with U.S. personnel; preferred 
build-up on selective basis, 
challenged "encadrement/' 



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Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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t-- 



25 May 6^1- 



27 May 6k 



27 May Gk 



27 May 6k 



r 



28 May 6k 



30 May 6k 



30 May 6k 



30 May 6k 



Msg, JCS to CINCPAC 6^73? 
Vietnamese Civil Guard and 
Self Defense Corps 



Msg, COMUSMACV to CINCPAC 

^1-259, 2700^-5^. 



Msg, CINCPAC to JCS, 
270805s, Vietnamese 
CG and SDC 



Msg, White House to 
Saigon (Personal for 
Gen. Paul Harkins) 

Msg, Saigon to State 2338 



JCSM-li6U-6U, Pilot Program 
for Provision of Advisory 
Assistance to Pa.ramilitary 
Forces in Seven Provinces 



JCSM"3-f65"6U, U.S. Advisory 
Assistance to the Viet- 
namese Civil Guard and 
Self-Defense Corps. 

JCSI^/[-'Jl66"6^, Provision of 
U.S. Advisors to Company 
Level Within Vietnamese 
Regular Ground Forces 



8 



JCS plan for 6 Mobile Training 
Teams in each province and 
training center, 70 advisors to 
each critical province, increase 
of 1000 personnel. 

Gen- Plarkins disputed the value 
of UcS. conducted training for 
CG/sdC and of Mobile Training 
Teams; proposed advisors be used 
at district level for opero^tions; 
accepted 1000 man increase. 

CINCPAC agreed T^ith COMUSM^CV 
and outlined specific a.dvisory 
build-up recomuiended: 956 per- 
sonnel by end CY 65 « 

Gen. Harkins req,uested to 
return to U.S. 



USOM desire for gradual, not 
rapid, build-up; need for effec- 
tive local administration and 
security. 

One of two JCS proposals sub- 
mitted to McNamara outlining 
pilot program for advisory build' 
up: teams in k^ districts over 
6 month period, 3OO advisors. 

Second proposa.l - Broader 
advisory increase program: 
1000 personnel for all 239 
districts over l-^lg" years. 

JCS opposed extending U.S. 
advisors to company level, 
because of increased casualties, 
language problems, ARVN opposi- 
tion. 



TOP SECRET " Sensitive 



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NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date; 201 1 



■Jl 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



O 



1 Jxxn Qa 
25 Juri 6^ 



1 Jul Q\ ■ 
31 Jul 65 

17 Jul 9\- 



28 Jul 0\ 



Jul G\ 



1 Aug 6^-l- 
30 Jun 68 

2 Aug Q\ 



h Aug G\ 



5. Aug Q\ 



7 Aug 64 



Honolulu Conference 

Msg, COIviUSMACV to JCS, 
MAC 7325380, Extension 
of U.Se Advisory Assist' 
ance 



Msg, COMUSMACV to CINCPAC, 
MACJ"3l6l80, Support 
Requireraents for Extension 
of U.S. Advisory Prograi^a. 



Msg, COMUSmCVAto JCS, 
MA.CJ1 70^^!-, Personnel 
Augmentation. 



Hop Tac 



Tonkin Gulf Incident 



JCSM-665-64, Additional 
Support in RVN on Accel- 
erated Basis 

Tonkin Gulf Resolution 



Memo, SecDef for CJCS, 
Additional Support for 
Republic of Vietnam on 
an Accelerated Basis, 



El8.borated decision of Hono- 
lulu conference to expand advisory 
effort to district level, and to 
increase batta.lion~level advisory 
groups to make company level 
exlvisory teams a,vallable. 

Maxwell Taylor ^ Ambassador 
to South Vietnam. 

COMJSMACV reached ^200 per- 
sonnel in additiozi to 926 I 
battalion and district advisoz's -• 
"the straw that broke the 
camel *s back" of the over- 
"bu-rdened support base. 

COMJSMACV requested 4200 per- 
sonnel by 1 Dec 0\ and remainder 
of 4772 total increase by 
1 Feb 65. 

Idea for Hop Tac^ special com- 
bined US/gVN effort to secure 
critical area round Saigon^ 
proposed by Amb. Lodge at 
Honolulu Conference - 

Gen. William C. Westmoreland, 
commavnder of MACV. 

U.S.S. Maddox allegedly attacked 
by Horth Vietnamese torpedo 
boats. 

McNamara wanted additional m,en 
provided more q.uickly than 
Westmoreland ' s plan . 

Congress passed joint resolu- 
tion supporting "all necessary 
action" to protect U.So forces 
and assist Vietnajn. 



McNamara directed that accel- 
erated deployment be completed 
by end of September. 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



11 Al3g 6k 



I 



15 Aug 6^ 



16 Aug 6k 
26 Oct 6k 



12 Sep 6k 



k 'Nov 6k 
11 Jun 65 

Dec 64 



Dec 6k 



Msg, comsmcv to cincpac^ 

MACJ3 7738, Additional 
Support for RW 

Msg, JCS to CSA, CWO, 

CSAF' et al^ JCS 7953, 
Additional Support in RW. 



Khanli coup. 



Hop Tac 



"Troika sign-off" for 
piasters a^bolished 



Westmoreland replied tho.t he 
could not absorb build-up in 
time req^uested by McNamara,. 

McNamara cancelled accelerated 
deployment, services instructed 
to deploy personnel in a,ccordance 
with Westmoreland's initial 

recommendations . 

Nguyen Khanh, President, Head 
of State and Chief, Revolutionary- 
Military Council (30 Jan 6k to 
26 Oct 6k, 27 Jan- 65 to 21 Peb 

65). 

Hop Ta.G launched with a sweep 
through Gia Dinh Province. 
Mission aborted follov/ing day 
by coup- 

Phan Klac Sun, Chief of State 



Crisis betv/een Amb. Taylor and 
Gen. Khanh resulted from Taylor's 
attempt to use U.S. decision to 
begin bombing DRV as lever to 
get GVN reform, Taylor aban- 
doned further attempts at 
leverage. 

USOM Director Killen decided 
to abandon joint sign-off for 
release of piaster funds for 
pacification - import a.nt leverage 
tool. 



23 Jan 65 



7 Feb 65 



10 



McHam^ara approved RTOAF force 
increase proposal for MAP sup- 
port. New strength authoriza- 
tions: 275,058 Regular Forces, 
137,187 W and 185,000 PP. 
( Alt e r nat i ve 1 ) . 

FIAI^IING DART reprisal attacks 
against DRV launched. 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



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- 2'i 






I 



I 



22 Feb 65 



26 Feb 65 



26 Feb 65 



6 Mar 65 
16 Mar 65 



20 Mar 6 



5 



21 Mar 65 



26 Mar 6 



5 



1-2 Apr 65 



6 Apr 65 



12 Apr 65 



15 Apr 65 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



JCS message O936 



COmSMiACV message I566 



MACV "Coimiander's Esti 
mate of the Situation" 



NSAM 328 



MACV Command History I965 



Defense Department 
message 00916^1-5 Joint 
State/Defense Message 



11 



Gen. Westmoreland recommended 
sending two Marine Battalion 
Landing Teams to DalTang for 
base security* 

ROLLING TI-IUITOER^ sustained 
bombing of DRV, initiated. 

Decision to send Marines to 
DaNang made in Washington. 

Marines went ashore at DaNang. 

Gen, H. K. Johnson returned from 
trip to Vietnam with recommends/cion 
for deployi^aent of U.S, combat forces 
and crea.tion of joint command. 

Westmoreland rec^uested authoriza- 
tion to implement Alternative 2 
RVNAF strength increase (greater 
than a3-ternative 1 by l^^OOO)^ 

Westmoreland opposed any forma.l 
merging of coimnands, preferred 
informal cooperation. 

As a stra.tegy alternative , 
Westmoreland rejected proposal 
for accelerated RVNAF build-up 
as insufficient to prevent VC 
victory. 

Washington strategy conference 
with Brig Gen De Piiy, Anib. Taylor. 

President approved dispatch of 
two more battalions and an air 
wing and authorized their employ- 
ment for active combat missions. 

McNamara approved JCS recorraiaenda- 
tion for RVNAF expansion of 17,2^7. 
160 additional U.S. advisors 
approved . 

Defense Department sought to have 
U.S. Army civil affairs officers 
introduced in provinces to improve 
civil administration. Axnb. Taylor's 
opposition killed -^roposaA. 

TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



15 Apr 65 



15 Apr 65 



18 Apr 65 



Apr 65 



3 May 65 



11 May 65 



1^1- May 6 



5 



Department of State 
message 2332 



DOD message I51233E 



Honolulu Conference J 
MACV Command History 



MACV Command ?Ii story 
1965 



Hop Tac pacificB.tion 



JCS message 1^22282 



McGeorge Bundy informed Amb. 
Taylor that Presidejat we.nted 
to try "encadrement of U.S* 
troops with Vietnamese/' 

DOD requested COICISM/VCV's 
opinion about feasibility of 
encadrement of U«S, officers 
in ARVN divisions to improve 
effectiveness. 

Based on study by Gen. Throck- 
morton 5 encadrement proposals 
were rejected beca.use of 
language problem;, expa.nded 
support req.uirement^ and adverse 
effects on South Vietnamese 
morale - 

Westmoreland suggested joint 
M/iCV-JGS staff. Gen. Thieu and 
Gen. Minh were opposed. 

Corps commanders for I^ II, IV 
Corps presented Hop Tac plans 
for their zones 5 each to extend 
"oil blot" pacification from its 
headq.ua.rters city. (By end of 
1965 became schem.e for National 
Priority Areas. ) 

Viet Cong attached and overran 
Song Be 5 capital of Phuoc Long 
Province, and a UoS. advisory 
compound in the city. 

McNamara authorized creation of 
formal, combined command in Viet- 
nam and coordinating MCV-JGS 
staff. 



21 May 6 



5 



26 May 65 



COMaSMACV message 
Combined Command; 
JCS messagr2iro6032 

CINCPAC msg to JCS 3027, 
260332: 



■ S 



Westmoreland recom^nended against 
proposed combined command because 
of Thieu* s .and Ky*s opposition. 

CINCPAC supported COMaSMACV's 
opposition to combined command 
because of fears of Vietnamese 
hostility. 



12 



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NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



late May 65 



Z^' 



Jun 65 



7 Jun 65 



19 Jun 65 
present 



Jun 6 



5 



25 Jun 65 



26 Jun 65 



Jul 65 



Jul 65 



7 Jul 65 



Origin 01" CAP 



MA.CV message to CINCPAC 
and JCS I9II8 ' 



MA.CV Military Report^ 
19-26 June 



MACV Cor/ffiiand History;, 
1965 



13 



VC force ambushed and deci- 
mated ARVN 51st Regiment 
and 2 ba.ttalions near Ba Gia^ 
west of Quang Ngai City. 

Several Marines assigned to 
v/ork with local PP near Phu 
Baij I Corps. 

Mora.toriiMi on RVMAF build-up 
req,uired because trainees needed 
as fillers in existing units to 
replace heavy casua3.ties. 
Westmoreland requested kk addi- 
tional U.S. battalions; reported 
severe ARVN deterioration. 

Nguyen Van Thieu^ Chief of 
State and Chairman ;» National 
Leadership Council ^ 20 Jun 65 
to 9 Nov 67? elected President 
31 Oct 67. 

Viet Cong attacked Special 
Forces camp at Dong Xoai with 
more than two regiments. 

VC Central Highlands offensive 
began;, district headquarters 
at Tou Morong^ Kontim Province, 
was overrun. 

MACV noted 5 ARVN regiments and 
and 9 battalions combat ineffec- 
tive. 

18 US/fw combat maneuver 
battalions vrere in Vietnejn. 

11 of 15 ARVN training battalions 
had to be disorga.nized to 'pro- 
vide fillers for line units due 
to heavy casualties. 

Six district capitals had been 
abandoned or overrun . 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



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NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



.?y 



TOP SECRET " Sensitiye 



( 



20 Jul 65 



25 Jul G'^j 



28 Jul G3 



7 Aug 65 



Sep 65 



Sep 65 



1 Oct 65 



16 Oct 65 
18 Oct 65 



21 Oct 65 



SecDef Memorandum for 
the President 



Saigon message 266 



MA.CV Command History 
1965. 

Lodge Ajnbassador 



M/ICV Command History, 
1965. 



State Dejjt msg IO39 
Saigon msg 132^ 



McNama,ra urged U.So to lay 
dovm teiTas for continuing 
assista^nce before introduction 
of more forces; su-ggested 
exercise leverage through control, 
of rice policy. 

Amb* Taylor did not want to 
appe3.r to impose conditions 
for increa^sed aid. 

President announced expanded 
U.So effort and increased troop 
conmitment to Vietnam. 

CG III MF designated as Senior 
Advisor to ARVN I CTZ Comjmnder. 

Lodge returned to Vietnam for 
second term as ambassador. 
Term of office: 31 J*^l 65 - 
Apr 67- 

COMJSMCV evaluated 3-rt^onth 
experiment with "single manager" 
teams in 3 provinces ^ found it 
partia.lly successful but scrapped 
the idea. 

MACV created separate contingency 
fund for each subsector advisor 
for urgent projects, in attempt 
to overcome de3-ays in Vietnam.ese 
pacification system. 

USOM sought to restore troika 
sign-off but State Dept. opposed 
this idea. The attempt was 
abandoned. 

Commander of HQ Field Force, 
Vietnam (FFORGEV) designated as 
II CTZ Senior Advisor. (At 
ins i stance of ARVN Corps com- 
manders, who felt they vxould 
suffer loss of prestige if 
advised by less than Senior 
U.Sc officer in corps.) 



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3 Nov 6 



5 



5 Nov 6^ 



Kov 65 



28 Nov 6 



5 




15 Dec 65 



SecDef Draft Me^riorandiJjni 
for the President 



MA.CV Command Pli story 



CAP Program. 



Lodge memoranduju for 
Gen. Lansdale; MA.CV 
Command Plistory 



8-11 Jan 66 



¥arrenton Conference 
Report 



Jan 66 



MACV Analysis of 
RVNAF for CY 66 



McNamara recorded im-patience 
with GVNj recommended giving 
larger role to advisors at 
province e.nd district level. 

Westmoreland recommended increased 
RVNAF force levels for FY 66 and 
FY 675 to limit of available 

manpower. 

Agreem.ent betv^een I Corps Com.- 
mander and CG III MAF permitting 
integration of Marine sqviads into 
PF platoons in DaNang area to form 
Combined Action Platoon (CAP): 
MarJ.ne Rifle Squad (ik) and PF 
Platoon (32-38)- 

McNamara trip to Saigon ;, approves 
RVNAF force increase recormnenda- 
tion. 

Lodge specified that GVN pacifica- 
tion effort was primarily civilian^ 
conseq.uently on UeS. side the 
two civilian agencies ^ USAID and 
CAS 5 should be generating support 
agencies. 

Members of Saigon Mission^ Viet- 
na,m Coordinating Comjnittee and 
other senior officials met at 
VJarrenton^ Virginia, to review 
pacification problem. It fore- 
shadowed a redirection of advisory 
effort toward pacification. 

At Mission Council meetizig^ Amb. 
Lodge expressed concern that 
the number of U.S. advisors not 
smother the Vietnam.ese at all 
levels . 



k Feb 66 



State to Saigon 2252 



r> 



U.S. requested Honolulu meeting 
with Thieu^ Ky to express concern 
about pacification^ economic prob- 
lems, GVN lack of popular support. 



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6-8 Eeb 66 



Honolulu Conference 



28 Feb 66 



Mission Council Minutes, 
Feb 28 5 1966 



Feb 66 



Mar 66 



PROVN Study Smmary 
Statement 5 Mar 66 



23 Apr 66 



Saigon to State ^Il60, 

Apr 23, 1966; ^i200, Apr 265 

^^135, May 7; 55^-1-6, June I5 



Jul 66 



LBJ" concern about the "other 
v/ar/' Tliieu and Ky made pledges 
of increased pacification;, 
promised elections. Amb, William 
Porter was assigned responsibility 
for civil support of RD, 

Porter described his under- 
standing of his duties to Mission 
Council: coordinating effort for 
all civil aspects of revolutionary 
development; through the Mission 
Liaison Group. 

MACV subsector pacification 
contingency fond abandoned after 
4-month trial period due to 
opposition of GVIM RD Minister 
Thang; it would encourage 
Vietnamese dependence on U^S. 

Program for Pacification and 
Long Terra Deve]-opraent of South 
Vietnam (PROVTT) completed for 
interna.1 8.rmy use. Revealed 
lack of coordination among U.S. 
agencies in pacification. 

Lodge reviewed prospects for 
introduction of U.S. leverage 
in Buddhist "Struggle Movement"; 
desired to bring dissidents lU'ider 
GVN control;, but saw no way to 
achieve decisive results. Recom- 
mended to Washington that a sign- 
off system be reinstated to 
reduce corruption and increa^se 
U.So inf3-uence at lov^-er levels. 

Stepped-up pacification effort: 
Operation Lam Son, combined ED 
"Search and Seal" operations with 
U.S. 1st Infantry Division and 
ARVN 5th Division in Bihli Duong. 
U.S. 25th Division "adopted" 
districts in Han Nghia Province. 



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Jul 66 



Sep 66 



29 Sep 66 



Komer^ "Memorandum for 
Secretary McNamara" 



23-25 Oct 66 



Manila Conference 



Oct 66 



7 Nov 66 



MACV/JCS Combined 

Campaign Plan I967 (AB 1^2) 



7 Nov 66 



Memorandum; Amb. Lodge 
for the Secretary of 
St9.tej SecDef and Komer; 
message 5 Saigon 11125^ 
Nov. 17- 



i 



17 



"Roles and Missions" Study 
Group began work for Arab. Porter. 
Completed in August. Recom- 
mendations for support for a 
reemphasis on pacification. 

Mc]\[3.ma.ra proposed that responsi- 
bility for sole management of 
pacification be a.ssigned to 
COiyiaSMCV, who would have a 
Deputy to command a.ll pacification 
activities. AID, CIA, USIA 
opposed such reorganizationj 
Komer and JCS concurred. 

Komer stressed that unified 
ma.nagement of pacification was 
needed. 

At Manila. Conference Thieu and 
Ky formally accepted commitment 
of ARVN to support RD, and 
"National Reconciliation" progi-am 
to attract VC back to government 
wa.s announced. 

McNamara trip to Saigon. Kj 
agreed to shift in combat mssicns 
for U.S. and RVNAE forces: U.S. 
to conduct large-scale offensive 
operations, RVNAF to provide 
security to RD. 

Spelled out new division of labor 
betvj^een U.S. and RVNAF. JGS 1 
agreed to keep 53 ARW battalions 
(50/0 of ARVN combat units) assigned* 
to support RD. 

Lodge defined terms of reference 
for what was established as the 
Office of Civil Operations (OCO). 



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8 Dec 66 



mCV msg 52U4 to 
CINCPAG 



17 Dec 66 



27 Dec 66 



9 Jan 67 



18 Jan 67 



20 Jan 67 



2k Jan 67 



W* W. Rostov?-; Memoran- 
dum to Secretary of 
Defense and Acting Secre- 
tari'- of State 5 draft 
I^rSAM attached 

JCS Memorandwii for the 
Secretary of Defense ^ 
JCSM-792-66, line-in, 
line-out revised draft 
NSAJvJ attached. 



MACV msg 009i|9 



mcv msg O21U9 to 
CINCPAG from MACCORDS 

ASD(ISA) John T- McNaughton 
Memorandnm for the Secre- 
tary of Defense 5 Subject: 
Draft NSAM on "Strategic 
Guide3,ines for I967 in 
Vi etnam j " McNaught on ' s 
line-in, line-out revised 
draft and the JCS revision 
attached, 

MACV msg 029165 Westmore- 
la.nd sends 



Westmoreland reported to CINCPAG 
on poor quality and perform,ance 
of ARW. First 10 months of I966, 
the number of ARVN maneuver 
battalions ^^rith minimally accept- 
able operational strength fluc- 
tuated from 31 to 78 of total of 
121 organized units. 

Po.cification listed as third 
strategic objective and five 
programs concerned with pacifica- 
tion were outlined, heralding re- 
emphasis on pacification in I967- 

JCS replied to Rostov/ 's draft 
after consulting CINCPAG; stiffen- 
ing and making more specific UoSo 
comjraitment to v/ar, introducing 
terra "revolutionary development," 
eliminated references to "national 
reconciliation" for ex-VC, and 
v/atered down commitment to 
constitutional-electoral efforts 
undervray. 

In Dec 1966 a 12-officer team 
from- each ARVN had undergone 
tra/lning on RD support so that 
each might instruct its division 
on the new duties. The division 
training programs began in Jan 67. 

MACV described nevi Ham.let Evalu- 
ation System (EES) to CINCPAG.' 

McNaughton draft for Vietnam 
strategic guidelines incorpora.ted 
most JCS recommendations, empha- 
sized security, anti-infrastructure 
and intel3.igence in support of r/d, 
pushed "National Reconciliation." 



Westmoreland stated that the 
effectiveness of RVNAE must be 
increased and that its image must 
be improved. 



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28 Jan 67 



Feb 68 



18 Mar 67 



20-21 Mar 67 



25 Mar 67 



Mar 67 



1 Apr 67 



Deputy SecDef Cyrus Vance 
letter to W. ¥- Rostow 



"Pacification Slowdoma" 
Southeast Asia Analysis 
Report, Feb 68, OASD(SA) 
SEA Programs Directorate 

MA.CV msg 09101, Westmore 
land sends 



Guam Conference 



Embassy Saigon msg 21226, 
Eyes Only for the Presi- 
dent from Lodge 



Vance sent McNaughton version 
to Rostov/ as Defense Depart- 
ment reply to his memora.ndnm. 
No NSAl^i was ever prormlga-'ued. 

OASD(SA) reported that pacifica' 
tion effort in I967 had failed. 



Westmoreland cabled CINCPAC 
req.uesting an "optimism force" 
Increase of ^1-2/3 divisions 
(201,250 men) or as a "minmum 
essential force", 2-1/3 divisions 
(100,000 men). No major expan- 
sion of RVNAF called for: 6,307 
more spaces for ARVN, 50,000 
more RF'/PF. 

President Johnson met with Thieu 
and Ky in Guamo They presented 
draft constitution and agreed to 
a proclamation on National 

Reconciliation, 

Johnson decided to transfer control 
of pacification to MACV and send 
Robert Komer to head new opera- 
tion in Saigon. 

Lodge stressed importance of 
RVNAF for MACV success, praised 
Abrams as man to oversee RVEAF 
improvement . 

Gen. Creighton Abrams became 
Westmorels.nd deputy and assumed 
responsibility for U.S. advisory 
effort to RVNAF. 

New South Vietnamese Constitution 
promulgated. . 



( 






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2h Apr 6? 



1 May 67 



7 May 67 



9 May 67 



12 May 67 



13 May 67 



15 May 67 



I 



28 May 67 



May 67 



/^ 



R- W. Komer Memorandwii 
for the President 



MA.CV msg 1506^1 



NSAM 362 



Embassy Saigon Airgram 
622 5 Subject: Revolu- 
tionary Development 

Ambassador Bunker state^ 
ments to the press in 
in Saigon, May I3, I967 



Embassy Saigon msg, 25839 



State Departm.ent msg 
DTG O923OUS; MA.CV Dir 
10-12, 28 May I967. 

JCSM-530-67, Subject: 
Increase in FY I968 RVKAF 
Force Level, 28 Sep 67 (a 
revj.ew of the yea,r*s 
actions) . 



20 



Komer asserted that decisive 
contest leiy in pacification in 
the South, rejected Westmoreland \s 
request for additional 200,000 
troops, proposed methods to 
improve RVKAF and pacification, 
suggested increa-sed pressure on 
GVN for reforms. 

New Ambassador, Ellsworth Bunker, 
arrived in Saigon. 

Reported Jan. decision to make 
a unit by unit effectiveness eva.l- 
uation and to cut off support for 
superfluous or belovr standard 
units. Resulted in several 
warnings but no suspension of 
support. Also reported RVMF 
desertions were vron for Jan-Feb 
1967 from Jan-Feb I966. 

Kom.er's appointment as single 
manager for pacification announced 
internally. 

Gloomy account of progress of 

RD in first three months of I967.- 



Announcement of transfer of OCO 
to MACV, Bunker stressed combined 
civil-military nature of pacifica- 
tion. 

First meeting of Komer vrith Ky. 

Ky declined to place GVN RD efforts 

under JGS. 



c 



MACV issued directive with instru 
tions on new RD organizational 

arrangements. 



McNamara imposed a temporary 
ceiling on RWAF to prevent 
further inflation in Vietnam 
and to arrest some of the bala^nce 
of payments flow of U.S. spending. 



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lil- Jun 67 



l4 J\in 67 



17 Jun 67 



k Jul 67 



13 J^-1 67 



l4 Aug 67 



Ainb. R. W- Korner;, Me:r:oran' 
dimi for General W. C. 
Westraoreland^ Sub J ect : 
Organization for Attack 
on V.C. Infrastructure 



Embassy Saigon msg 28O95, 
For the President from 
Bunker 



MA.CCORDS, Project Take- 
off^ prepared by the 
ACofS, CORDS, Headquarters 

MA.CV 



ASD(SA) Alain Enthoyen 
Memo for the SecDef , 
Subj : Improvement in 
RVimF Force Effectiveness 



ASD(SA) Alain Enthoven 
Memorandum for the Record, 
Suba : Fallout for SecDef 
Trip to South Vietnam (TS- 
SENS -EYES ONI.Y for Dr. 
Heyinan); and OASD(SA) 
Genere.l Purpose Forces, 
W.K. Brelim, Mem.o for the 
Record, Subj : SFA Deploy- 
ments, Jul 1^, 1967 

ASD(SA) Alain Enthoven 
Mem.o for the Secretaries 
of the Military Depart- 
ments, the Chairman of the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff and 
the Assistant Secretaries 
of Defense, Sub j : South- 
east Asj.a Deployment 
Program #5 

21 



Pvomer recommended consolidation, 
under his direction, of U.S. 
ant i "infrastructure intelligence 
effort. Desired unified GVN/uS, 
civil/milit8.ry "management stru.c- 
ture targeted on infrastructujre." 
ICEX (intelligence Coordination 
and Exploitation) structure vas 
developed. 

Bunker described MCV actions 
TonderiT'ay to j-mprove RVDLA.F: 
improving leadership, better 
pay, improving coimnand structure 
and eq.uipment of RF/pF training, 
integra;bed US/rVMF operations, 
reviews. 

Project TAKEOFF contained anal- 
ysis of reasons for part failu-re, 
apxjraisal of cujrrent situa-tion, 
and recommendations for future 
emphasis in RD; suggested increased 
use of UcSe leverage and control, 

Enthoven claimed that primary 
reason for RVNAF ineffectiveness 
was the c[uantity and q.uality of 
lea^dership and recomjiiended that 
the Secretary q.uery MCV on 
leadership problems. 

In Saigon, McNamara gave plavUning 
authorization for UeS, augmenta,- 
tion up to 525,000 spaces, a.nd 
civilianiz8.tion of 10,000 addi- 
tional spaces to fulfill Westmore- 
land's lower force alternative. 



New U.S. force level of 525,000 
prom.ulgated as Deployment Program 



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30 Aug 67 



31 Aug 67 



7 Sep 66 



15 Sep 67 



r^ 



16 Sep 67 



19 Sep 67 



28 Sep 67 



7 Oct 67 



rASD(SA) Memo for the 
SecDef 



Dept of State Msg 3OO23 



COmsmCV Memo for 
Ambassador Lodge 



JCSM 505-67, Subjt U,S„ 
Forces Deployments Vletziam 
(Refined Troop List) 



Review and Analysis SyS' 
tem for RVmF Progress^ 
MACV-J3HI 



Embassy Saigon msg 7II3 



JCSI^4"'530-67, Subject: 
Increase in FY 68 RVMF 
Force Level 



SecDef Memo for CJCS, 
Subject: Increase in FY 
68 RVKAF Force Level, and 
attached OASD(SA) memo 
for the SecDef, 5 Oct 67 



Amb. Komer complained that the 
CORDS advisory element's actual 
strength was seriously below 
authorization due to birreaucratic 
dela.ys. 

Study of leverage by Ha^ns 
Heymann and Lt Col Volney Warner 
recoxiimended increased use. 

Westmoreland disagreed with 
Roles and Missions Study Group 
recommendation to remove division 
from chain of corrmiand below CTZ 
level and strengthening role of 
Province Chief* 

JCS submitted final detailed 
troop list for Program ■//5' Con- 
tained 2^577 additional advisors 
and 666 Special Forces to -pevtcym 
advisor-like functions. 

First published Review and 
Analysis for RYMF appeared: 
long catalogue of RVMF defic- 
iencies • 

Komer replied to recommendation 
for increased use of U.S. leverage 
that it must be done discreetly. 
Proposed comprehensive system 
of country-wide levercige was 
never adopted. 

JCS forwarded with endorsement 
the MACV-CINCPAC recommendation 
on FY 68 RVITAF force increases: 
total increase of 63,586j ^7,839 
for RF/pF and 15,7^7 for regular 
forces. MAGV req.^iested further 
increase of 78;20li for FY 1969* 






McNamara* approved the requeste 
FY 68 augmentations for RVMF, 
against the wishes of Enthoven. 
v/ho would have authorized only 
half as many. 



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26 Oct 67 



15 Dec 67 



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"information on MTs 
(Mobile Advisory Teams) 
and MALTs (Mobile Advisory 
Logistics Teams)/' 8 May 
19685 working paper pre- 
pared by the ACofS MA, 
MACV 



31 Jan 68 



Tet Offensive 



MACV conference on RF/w^ 
convened to study problems of 
RF/PE expansion and to pla.n 
for expansj.on of advisory 
effort 5 recoimncnded complete 
reorientation of advisory 
concept- for RF/pE, establish- 
ment of Mobile Advisory Teams 
to be used on a rotating basis. 

Westmoreland approved new RF/pe 
advisory system: MATs and 
MALTS; to be phased in dirring 
1968. 

VC/WA initiate massive attacks 
on population centers throughout 
Vietnam during Lunar New Year 
(Tet) holida^y period. 



n 



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IV. Bo 3. 



THE ADVISORY BUILD-UP, I96I-67 



TABLE OF COr^TEIslTS andOUTLIFE 



INTRODUCTION, 



e e • « 



Page 
1 



PART ONE - ADVISORY STABILITY, 19^14-1960 ^ ...... 3 

A. TinC U,S. GAMBLE WITH LIMITED RESOURCES . 3 

Origins of the U^ So Involvement in RVl\f • 3 

Initial Military Reluctance ,.,*..... ^ .... ^ 3 

The Decision to Ganiblc with Limited Cormnitment h 

From Internal to Conventional Defense 5 

The Early MAAG and the Eq.'Ltip^ent Recovery Mission - . - 6 

B. THE TRANSITION PERIOD: 19^9- 1961 8 

Early Steps Toward Emphasis on Internal Security 8 

Tlie McGarr Emphasis on Counterinsurgency o 

The Counterinsurgency Plan for South Viet -.Nam o 9 

The Supporting Operational Plan c , -'•1 

Stability in the Number of U.S. Advisors • H 

PART TV70 - TPIB ADVISORY BUILD-UP, 196l-196 _7 ' ^'^ 

A. The Kennedy Programs (196I-I963)' " * * -*-3 



^ ^ . ..l ii w 



The Context of Decisions ^ ^3 

Proposal for Extra -Bureaucratic Advisors 15 

Back to Normal Channels » . • - » * lo 

Planning Begins in Earnest c c ^2 

GVN Asks for Additional U. S. Assistance 23 

The Taylor Mission to Saigon • • • ^^ 

The Kennedy Decisions : NSAJ4 111 ^ ^6 

Working Out the Basis for U.S. Advice ^7 

U.S. Expectations: The Benefits from More Advisors 29 

Implementing the First Build-up • <^ 31 

The U.S. View: I962 - I963. - • - - 33 

The Actuality: I962 - I963. - . - - 3^^ 

The Stage is Set for "Better GVN Receptivity" 36 



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B. 



C. 



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District Advisors amljbhe Beef-Up of Battalion 
Advisory Tearas (l^Vo^SJT^ 



•«•••• 



• •••••'oc«*c*e'* 



• •ecpeca 



• • • e 



Optimism Turns to Frustration. • . . « 

WSAM 288 ... B ...... c „,» o ....*... o o ... * • * " ' 

Increasing Political Instability in the Provinces 
MACV's Gradualistic Approach to Expansion 
McNaniara*s Willingness to Approve Expansion 

The Initial Proposals and Responses 

MACV Focuses on Operations Rather Than Training 

The JCS Alternative Programs . . . . c - 

MACV^s Preferred Approach Accepted 

Unresolved Issues: Speed and Discretionary Authority 

Secreta.rial Pressure for a Speed-Up 

MACV' s Preference Upheld Again « "' 

Events Overtake Implementation of the Expansion 



.«c*«*.e.<.<'**^* 



* . * . 



U.S. Corn-bat Forces and the Possibility of New 
Relation ships~7l9637 ^* * * • ' • 



The Abortive Limited Expansion of ARVN, 



ea. •......''<. 



evce..** 



o . . . 



New Po s s ib ilit i e s . . 

Encadrement Considered a.nd Rejected •••• 

Marine Combined Action Platoons (CAPs) 

Joint Command Considered and Rejected. ...... • 

TAORSj Senior Advisors ^ and a Combined Staff. 

Leverage : The Hidden Issue 

Withdrawing fro^n Overt Influence - 

McNamara's Minority Position on Leverage 

U.S. Proposals for GVN Execution: An Example 

^- 0? gang zat ion a s the Key to Effectiveness in 
Pacification Cl95^^1^7rr7777T, 



........ 



••.......••. 



37 

37 
38 
1|2 

Jj-3 
kk 
hk 

kQ 
k9 

51 
52 

53 



58 

58 

59 

59 
60 

61 
62 

63 
6)+ 

65 
66 



The Ba.sis for Organizational Procedures 

Unresolved Issues = 

>/ho Shall Lead? 

COEDS Replace s OCO 

RVmF' s Role in Pacification 

The 1967 Combined Campaign Plan 

Leverage and Sovereignty 

The Inconclusive Debate Over Leverage.. 

No Decision as a. Decision 

Groping Toward Better Information 

RVHAF Effectiveness • • 

The Latest Expansion of Advisors 



c o 



70 

70 
71 
71 

7^ 
82 

81i 
92 

9^ 
97 
99 

10l| 

107 



FOOTNOTES 



113 



A 






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APPENDICES 



\ 



f t 



I. U,S. Advisory Effort - Manpower 1*^5 

II. Distribution of U.S. Army Field Advisory Effort 126 

III. Total Cost of RVN Army Regional Forces and Popular 

-| p7 

Forces .,..,, r -^^- ' 

IV. Distribution of US Financial Resources in Support 

of RVN Army, Regional Forces, and Popular Forces 128 

V. Distribution of RW Army Financial Resources in 
Support of RVN Army, Regional Forces, and Popular 

Forces , * < ' -'-^9 

VI. Annual Per Capita Costs for RVN Army, Regional 

Forces and Popular Forces • -^-^ 

VII. Distribution of U.S. Army Advisors by Assigrmient 131 

VIII . RVNAF Total Strength -"^32 

IX. Distribution of U.S. Field Advisors by Assignm.ent. . . 133 



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IV- B, 3- 



THEAJ)^nSORY BUILD-UP, I96I-67 



I 



INTRODUCTIQr; 

Froxa shortly after the founding of the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) 
in 195^- until the first year of the Kem:ecly Ad-ministration the U.S. 
supported RVN v/ith a Military Assistance Advisory Group (MA/VG) v/hich 
was reasonably stable in size. Beginning in I96I the number of U.S. 
military advisors to RVN increased sharply. This increase continued 
unevenly throughout I967 and into I968.' 

This UoS. military advisory buildup did not mark the first U.S. 
attempt to conduct "advisory warfare" in the post-V/orD.d War II era. 
The first such attempt v/as in Greece. T'cr did it mark the initial U.S. 
prograjn aimed at creating a modern military force from meager beginnings 
in a foreign nation. The first attempt of this kind was made in the 
Republic of Korea. I'Jhat it did m.ark was the first sustained U.S. effort 
to advise foreign national forces engaged in combatting what the commuj^ists 
have termed a "vzar of national liberation," a struggle which took the form 
of a civil war with external assistance to both antagonists and in which 
winning the adherence of the population vas at least as central an issue 
as was the tide of military battle. This has been the first sustained 
U*So advisory effort to be concerned in a m^ajor way with "pa^cification 
by proxy." 

The present study exaanines the major decisions to undex'take and to 
expand this large military advisory effort. It attempts to describe the 
context in which successive decisions were raade to send advisors to South 
Vietnam^ to record the expectations of the policy)n3.kers or, when appro- 
prlate, to note the absence of explicit expectations,, and to trace the 
expansion of the U.S. military presence in the advisory role through the 
various levels of the South Vietnamese military and administrative m.achinery. 
Finally, this study a.ttem.pts to assess the impact of the U.S. advisory 
buildup in terms of the exl-.ent to vrfiich U.S. expectations have been realized 
or frustrated. 

The main study is divided into tv/o pa,rts. Part One describes briefly 
the U.S. advisory effort in 'RW from I95I; through I96O, It sets the stage, 
as it vrere, for the more com-prehensive examination of the advisory buildup 
from 1961 through I967 in P9.rt Two. (The latter year marks roughly the 
final period for which information is available at this writing, not any 
necessary end to the general process described.) The summary and analysis 
"which accompanies this study constitutes in effect Part Three of the study. 
It assesses the U.S^ advisory effort in terms of expectations and develop- 
ments a.nd examines persistent issues throughout the period under discussion. 
Finally, the grov/th of the U.S. military advisory effort and related data 



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is Bhomi in tabular form at the end of the study. 

The development of the U.S. military advisory effort from 195^^-1959 
is presented in another docujiient in the present series.^"" Tlie purpose of 
the initial part of the present study is not to replow the same furrows 
but to highlight the legacy of this earlier period as it affected the 
later advisory buildup. Although the U.S. attemvpt to conduct revolutionary 
warfare by proxy may be said to have begun in I96I5 it did not proceed 
entirely free of the inheritance from earlier situations^ attitudes^ and 
actions. 



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PART OI^IE 



ADVISORY STABILITY, 195^-1960 



A- 'Uhe U,S. Gamble With Limited Resources 



ORIGIA'S OF TliE U.S, IKV O LVEMEMT IN WN 

The U.So decision to atterapt, generally v/ithin the strictures imposed 
by the Geneva Accords ^ to shore up the Governxnent of South Vietnam (GVN) 
and to prevent the ne\f nation ^s fall into communist hands appears in 
retrospect to have been, in Wellington's phrase, "a close run thing." 
The prevalent Ajnerican attitude in 195^ was that the deplojorient of large 
U.S. forces to the mainland of Asia should be permitted "never again/' 
Spending on national security was to be pegged at tolerable levels vrhich 
would not threaten the well-being of the domestic economy, yet comjinmlst 
expansion v/as to be deterred by the threat of massive retaliation cora- . 
bined vd.th UoS. support for free nations ca.pable of managing their ovm 
internal order and insuring that any act of armed aggression would appear 
as just that — the unambiguous precondition for nuclear retaliation. 



IMITIAL MILITARY RELUCTANCE 

The policy solution to this probJ^em in national security strategy 
has been accurately and exlaaustively described in recent literature, l/ 
It need not be repeated here. The important thing to note is that the 
attempt to achieve stability in RVI^^ v;as recognized to be a marginal 
ga.mble to retain a small but potentially important piece in the larger 
jig saw -pMzzlQ which was U.S. national security policy. As such, it 
seemed worth the risk of a moderate outlay of assistance and advice. 
General J. Lawton Collins stated the case succinctly in his assessment 
for the National Security Council; 

...There is at least an even chance that Vietnam can be saved 
from Communism if the present programs of its government are 
fully implemented. ,. .1 cannot guarantee that Vietnam will 
remain free^ even with our aid. But I know that without our 
aid Vietnam will surely be lost to Communism- 2./ 

The gamble consisted in making available to the GVN that material support 
and advice which v^oiild enable it to assure its own viability. Much of 
the military equipment was already in RVN, the residue of earlier efforts 
to suiTport the French war against the Viet Minh. The framework for mili- 
tary advice was present, too, in the form of I^IAAG Indochina which had 
assisted (and attempted to influence -- generally unsuccessfully) the 
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The military establishment was not eager;, however ^ to ujidertake 
this effort. Tlie JCS feared that the advisory limit imposed by the 
Geneva Accords (3^4^ military personnel) was too restrictive to permit 
a successful training program even if all administrative tasks were 
performed by civilians and all military personnel freed for advisory 
duties in training the army of the new nation. Even this would create 
a situation, the JCS argued, in which the U.S. would have only very 
limited influence, yet assume the responsibility for failure. 3/ The 
sdjme resource al.locatlons would bring a. grea^ter retuj-n, in the JCS view, 
if devoted to the support of military forces in other nations, h/ The 
Joint Chiefs were agreed that the creation of a Vietnamese Army miglit not 
even be adequate to the task of establishing a stable GTO, let alone to 
protecting that nation from external aggression: 

The Joint Chiefs of Staff further consider that the 
chaotic internal political situation within Vietnam will 
haraper the development of loyal and effective security 
forces in the support of the Diem Government and that it is 
probable that the development of s\ich forces will not result 
in political and military stability within South Vietnam. 
Unless the Vietnamese themselves show an inclination to 
make the individual and collective sacrifices required to 
resist commmiism no amount of external pressure and assistance 
can long delay a complete Communist victory in South Vietnam. 5/ 

Tlieir conclusion, ''from a military point of view," was that the risk v/as 
not woi'th the gamble: 

.../T/he Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that the United States 
should not participate in the training of Vietnamese forces in 
Indochina. However, if it is considered that political con- 
siderations are overriding, the Joint Chiefs of Staff would 
agree to the assignment of a. training mission to MAAG, Saigon, 
with safeguards against French interference with the US 
training effort. 6/ 



THE DECI SION TO GAMBLE WITH L IMITED COMMITMENT 

Political considerations v/ere indeed overriding. Reasonable fears 
of failure, claims about the inadequacy of resources, and caveats on the 
necessity for Vietnamese initiatives are iniaerently inconclusive arguments 
when one is speakj.ng of a calcula^ted gamble. Indeed, low value chips for 
high stakes made the gamble all the more appealing. Secretary of State 
Diilles' position aumiediately prevailed: only relatively small military 
forces were needed^ their principal purpose should be to promote internal 
stability rather than to guard against external aggression; nations 
acting in concert (under the mibrella of U.S. nuclear superiority) 



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wouJ.d guard against external aggression, jj On 22 October I95U 
Ambassador Heath and General 0' Daniel in Saigon v/ere instructed to 
"collabora..te in setting in motion a crash prograjri designed to bring 
about an improvement in the loyalty and effectiveness of the Free 
Vietnamese forces/' 8/ Four days later the JCS were directed to pre- 
pare a "long range program for the reorganisation and training of the 
minimum nujnber of Free Vietnamese forces necessary for internal secujrity." 
The earlier objections of the JCS were neither refuted nor ignored; they 
were accepted tacitly as part and parcel of the policy gamble. 

FEOM IJlCTERmi. TO COIWEI\!TIOML DEFENSE 

The language of this decision to train the Vietnamese National Army 
(VEA), as it was then called, would in.dicate that internal (rather than^ 
external) security \/ou].d be the principal purpose of that force. That is 
not the wa.y it developed, for three reasons. First, basic U.S. national 
strategy (embodied in NSC 162 and NSC 5602 during the period under exam- 
ination) and Southeast Asia policy (NSC 5^29 and NSC 5612) were both 
ajjibiguous on a key point: to what degree were indigenous military forces 
to be expected to defend against a conventional, "limited vrar" attack by 
an aggressor? The continuous, unbroken tendency throughout the 1950s 
v/as to desire ever more ce^pability for conventional defense. 

Second, U.S. military forces vrere unprepared by their own experience 
to assist in the structuring of forces designed for other than conventional 
warfare. The U.S. advisory experiences that were ciirrent in terms of 
institutj.onalized memory were those of aj.d to Greece and Korea where the 
job had been one of training for technical and tactical competence along 
conventional lines. It was eminently natuj:al for the U.S. advisory effort 
to follow in this identifiable path. Indeed, to have expected the 
advisory effort to have stressed "counterinsurgency" early in this period 
would have been completely unrealistic: the term had not been invented 
and its concepts had not been either developed or articulated. This 
natural tendency to develop conventional forces was not only in step with 
the dominant trend in U.S. military strategy, it was also reinforced by a 
third factor, the generalized assujiiption that the ability to promote 
internal secua:ity was automatically provided for in the creation of forces 
capable to promote external security. 

The confluence of all three factors led, in fact, to an attempt to 
create Vietnamese forces along lines which were later called "mirror images" 
of conventional U.S. force structures. MA.A.G Vietnam proposed and led in 
the creation of the Arm-y of Vietnam (ARVN) in formations comprising divisions, 
regments, battalions, and companies organized as closely parallel to^U.S. 
organization as local differences in equipment and support would permit. 9/ 
This was not, for the reasons already indicated, an unreasonable or indefens- 
ible development -- at least not until about 1959 or I96O -- and by that 
time efforts were underway to transform the focus of ARVN to internal 
security. These later efforts were faced with the reality of a sizeable 



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army — conventionally organized^ trained^ a,nd equipped -- which had 
been created under different circumsta.nces and for different purposes. 
One is forced to wonderj if Vietnamese institutions are as difficuJ-t to 
remould as their American coxmterparts, whether the later advisory 
effort was not faced from its inception with an almost insiirmountable task. 

THE EARLY MMG- AND THE EQUIBIElTr RECOVERY MISSION 

The nujiiber of U.S. advisors to the fledgling Republic of Vietnam 
Arm_ed Forces (RVEAE) were^ as already indicated^ limited by the Geneva 
Accords. Article l6 of the Accords limited mi3J-tary personnel in Vietnajn 
to the miinbcr present at the time the Accords V7ere signed. The magic 
number xms 3^42. The U.S. MlikG Chiefs General O'Daniel^ complained that 
he needed twice this nujnber to train the new RVMF and to oversee the 
redistribution of U.S. equipment already in RVH as a result of U.S. 
support for the French during the war just ended. lO/ The eventual out- 
come ^ v^hen it was learned informally that the Indian Government would 
instrvict its representative on the ICC to interpose no objection^ vras 
the creation of the Temporary Equipment Recovery Mission (TERI'^) with 35O 
military personnel. TERM served as the principal manager for the redis- 
tribution of equipment, assisted in developing RVNAF's embryonic logistical 
support system^ and provided a convenient cover for a larger intelligence 
effort. 11/ 



This combined a.dministrative-advisory force remained stable in size 
diu''ing the period prior to I96I. American milita.ry advisors were located 
physica].ly 3.t only a very few locations in RVH* They were notable by 
their absence in field units. The U.S. effort was concentrated in training 
centers and in Saigon. In the former it was largely technical j in the 
latter it consisted prim.arily of attempts to persuade GVN to adopt measures 
recommended by the U.S. advisory group. It vras essentially an attempt to 
give a.dvice from the top. This does not mean that the question of leverage 
wa.s never considered; it was. Early in our involvement, in Ja.nuary 1955 5 
the JCS la.id out available U.S. co-arses of action in South Vietnam and 
urged that a decision be made at "the highest level" to indicate which of 
these should be followed: 

a. To continue aid to South Vietna^m as currently being 
developed with the cooperation of the French and Vietnamese. 

b. To institute a unila.teral program of direct guidance 
to the Vietnajnese government tloi'ough an "advisor" system. 
Under this course of action, the amount of U.S. aid should be 
dependent upon Vietnamese adherence to U.Sc direction. 

_£. In the event the courses of action In a and b above 
are not sufficient to insure retention of South Vietnam to the 



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Free Worlds to deploy self sustaining U.S. forces to South 
Vietnam either unilaterally, or as a part of a SKA.CDT 
/Southeast Asia Cormaon Defense Treaty -- a term used prior 
to SEATO/ force • 

d. To withdraw all U.S. support from South Vietnam 
I and concentrate on saving the remainder of Southeast Asia. 12/ 

Ko such decision was made. Indeed^ as explained in the summary and 
analysis J there is no reason to believe that the need for such a 
decision was even seriously considered at "the highest level." 



MAA.G Vietnam was by I96O still q.uite sm.all in size, though it loomed 
ever larger in importance. (it was the only U.S. MAAG comjnanded by a 
Lieutenant Genexcil; all of the other MAA.G Chiefs were officers of lesser 
rank.) It was essentially city-boujid, training center and Saigon- 
oriented, devoted to technical-tactical training and high level per- 
suasion aim,ed at influencing EVmF organif-'ation. The personnel lirnita- 
tions imposed upon it resulted in highly centralized advice. But through 
its efforts and material support this MAAG assisted in the creation of a 
sizeable ( 1^10,000 man) conventional army and of small naval and air 
forces of approximately 5,000 men each. 

The U.S. FAAG was also concerned with the establishment and training 
of paramilitary forces, but it was not as directly concerned as it was 
with the creation of conventional forces in ARVTJ. The Civil Guard (CG) 
and Self Defense Corps (SDC) were at various times under the control of 
the Ministry of the Interior or directly \mder President Diem. In the 
field they were invariably under the direction of the Province Chiefs. 
The U.S. civilian advisors who had been called in to give assistance 
with police and internal security matters tended to favor making these 
paramilitary forces less military per se and more police inte3.1igence- 
minded. MAAG tended to favor raaking them more consciously military and 
territorially oriented in order to free ARVl^ for mobile, offensive opera- 
tions rather than tying its forces down in static defense duties. I3/ 
By i960, when Civil Guard training was passed to MAAG control, neither 
course of action had been followed consistently but it was highly probable 
that MAAG's views would henceforth prevail. Thus, auestions of local 
physical security would a.Tjiiost inescapably be decided with reference to 
the effect they would have on the functions of ARVN, itself created with 
an eye to external defense. This may be said to be an avjla-.^ard structure 
from v/hich to launch an effort aimed primarily at internal security. It 
was, however, the structure that existed. 



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B - The Transition Period: 19?9"196l 

EARLY STEPS TOWARD EMPHASIS ON INTKRNAL SECURITY 

- — — ■ ■ ■ - - - — — ■ I ■ I "—I ' 

By the time of the Draper Coiraiiittee (The President's Coimiittee to 
Study the United States Military Assistance Program) in 1958-1959^ there 
was an aljnost imperaptible but growing U.S. awareness of the req.uire- 
ment to promote internal stability. The committee's papers, ^ for ^ instance, 
sought to popularize military civic action prograias and to link them to 
politically acceptable precedents — such as the U.S. Arm.y's role in the 
development of the American West. iH/ The very term "mirror imaging 
was coined in a Draper Committee staff study. 15/ One of the committee s 
studies questioned even the easy assumption that internal security was a 
"lesser included capability" of forces structured to promote external 
security: 

It is seldom that a government considers its military forces 
to have only a mission of maintaining internal security. Their 
size, organization, eciuipment, habitual deployment, and so on, 
are nearly always related to real or supposed requirements of 
defense against external attack. They are usually considered 
capable of performing internal security missions as part of 
^ ■ ■ this larger role. However, the requirements of the two missions 

are different, if overlapping; and tailoring a military force to 
the task of counterinp: external aggression -- i.e., countering 
another regular military force -- entails some sacriiice oi 
cap3.bilities to counter internal aggression. The latter requires 
widespread deployiaent, rather than concentration. It requires 
small, mobile, lightly equipped units of the ranger or comm^ando 
type. It requires different weapons, command systems, communica- 
tions, logistics .... 16 / 

THE_ McGARR EMPHASI S_ ON COUNTERIHS URGENCY 

These developments were only harbingers of a dawning awareness, how- 
■ ■ . ever, not indicative of a fundajiiental shift in focus which had already 

occurred. The degree to which ARW and paramilitary forces should be 
consciously structured to deal with internal security rather than to pro- 
tect against external invasion was the subject of a developing debate 
rather than a settled issue. It fell to Lieutenant General Lionel^C. McGarr 
to head the U.S, RAAG during the confusing period of transition vzhich 
" ■ accompanied this debate. He did not come to Vietnam unaware of the issues; 

a long study prepared for him by his staff at the Army's Cowaand and General 
i Staff College (his post before coming to Saigon) laid out in som.e detail 

I the Viet Cong's strategy as adapted from the Viet Minh's struggle with 

the French: 



This form of warfare permitted the Viet Minh to ^ retain the 
mobility so essential to jungle and mountain operations, 
facilitated the gathering of detailed, accimite, and timely 

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intelligence inforrnationj kept the level of violence at a lo\r 
enough level to preclude the active intervention of another 
major power , accomplished the slow attrition of the French 
while permitting the Viet Minh to build the regular forces 
necessary for the final battles , offset the serious logistics 
problem by the very primitiveness of transxjortation methods^ 
and surmounted the manpower shortage by making political and 
economic operations inseparable from military operations. I?/ 

One could conclude from this assessm-ent that RVMF should be restruc- 
tured to deal with this essentially internal challenge to South Vietnamese 
stability. In a statement which may reflect the difficulty of reversing 
institutional thought patterns ~- at the U.S. Army's principal doctrine 
formulating instit'ation^ in this instance -- it was clairaed that pacifi- 
cation operations were undesirable because they detracted from training- 
The suggestion was that the CG and SDC takeover of pacification should 
be expedited: 

The /South Vietnamese/ Army is still req.^ircd to engage 
from time to time in major pacification (internal security) 
operations 5 pending the development of a higher state of 
operational effectiveness of the Civil Guard and the Self- 
Defense Corps. Since units have considerable personnel 
turnover and are filled out vri-th drai'tees^ who have had only 
basic and perha^ps advanced individual training before arrival 
in units 5 the ordex-ly pursuit of a progressive unit training 
schedule is essential to uji.it effectiveness. Each comjnitment 
to e.n operational (pacification) mission^ though of some 
training value ^ in general interrupts the planned training 
of participating units and delays arrival at a satisfactory 
state of operational readiness. 18/ 



TIffl COUICTERIK SIJRGEN CY PLAN FOR SOUTH VIET-NAM 

General McGarr's approach v/as to give emphasis in his advice to 
recommendations designed to integrate the activities of ARVN and the 
CG/sdC. He consistently (and persistently) recomm.ended the establishment 
of a single chain of military command to guide all three forces. He 
also pushed for steps which would free ARVN from static security (pacifi- 
cation) missions in favor of offensive operations against the Viet Cong. 
The vehicle for the first of McGarr^s desired reforms was the ^'Counter- 
insurgency Plan for Viet-Ram" (CIP);, produced in late I96O. I9/ The 
CIP was a blueprint for RVMF reorganization^ not an outline of the 
strategy to be pursiied. Not until September I96I did MAA.G present GVN 
with a set, of operational proposals in the form of a "Geographically 
Phased National Level Operations Plan for Counterlnsurgency." 20/ 

The CIP marks something of a halfV/ay house between concern with 
external defense and internal seciu^lty. Both m.lllt3.ry tasks were recog- 
nized, but Internal security assumed primacy for the first time: 



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Military force ^ in the form of increased commimist insur- 
gency;, is clearly the irmediate threat to the stability of 
Viet-Nam today. South Viet-Kam is iiniq.ue in that it is the 
only country in the world which is forced to defend itself 
against a conniumist internal subversion action^ v/hile at the • 
sarnie time being subject- to the militarily supportable threat of 
a conventional external attack from communist North Viet-Nam. 
The RVNAF. force basis is inadequate to meet both these threats. 

The problem is tv/ofold^. although at present the counter- 
insurgency phase is the more dangerous and immediate. In this 
counterinsurgency fight RVNAF is on the defensive. Approxi- 
mately 7% of ARVl^ is committed to pacification missions ^ about 
hs.lf of these being cojimiitted to ste.tic gua.rd 8.nd secujrity 
roles.. ..The guerrilla problem has _/as a result of fragmented 
lines of authority/ "become much more serious than the Civil 
Guard can m^anage^ thereby requiring a disproportionately large 
RVNAF comjnitraent;^ which has further resulted in a serious 
weakening of the RVNAF capability for defense against internal 
or overt attack in force. 2l/ 



This last point reflected General McGarr*s apparently Ycry real con- 
cern that ARVN \re,s becoming incapable to meet internal (as well as 
external) threats posed by the VC in conventional troop form^ations. As 
the VC became stronger and formed larger regular units -- as distinct 
from guerrilla bands "- the differences between conventional and "uncon- 
ventiona.l warfare seemed to disappear. The problem^ as I^A.G viewed it^ 
became one of guarding against a spectrum of dangers by means of a short 
run emphasis on meeting the internal challenge in both its conventional 
and UJiconventional (guerrilla) form. In this view ARVN should become 
the conventional offensive and mobile defensive force, the CG should be 
the static force in support of pacification efforts. The t\io should be 
under a common chain of command, it v/as argued in the CIP, as should the 
logistical organization for their support. Such a common chain of com- 
mand did not exist in I96O-I96I: 

The military chain of command has usually been violated 
at the expense of unity of effort and command. No adequate 
operations control or overall planning system presently 
exists. .. .The President has exercised arbitrary control of 
operations J by -passing command channels of the JGS _^oint 
General Staff/ and often Corps and Division steiff. Resources 
he-ve been fragmented to provincial control. The above prac- 
tices appear to have been designed to divide responsibility 
in order to guard against the possibility of a military coup 
through placing too much povrer in the hands of a single sub- 
ordinate. 22, 



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of organizing the military and paramilitary forces of South Vietnara into 
an effective combination • Only th_rough a single chain of command could 
ARM be freed to take the offensive, the CG be built up to cope with 
local guerrillas 5 and the GWI place itself in a position to start devel- 
oping useful intelligence -- a field which was judged to have been, thus 
far, a notable faiD-ure. 23/ 



TH E SUP PORTING- OPERATIONAL PIAN 

^ ■ m I ! ■ m il ■i»*«^i^^Bi— — III iM w i ■ ■ ■ n ui" !■<■■■■ fc 1^ ■ I fc ■ m >■ ■ ■ ■ I m ill! ■ ■ 1 1 i > ■■ ^ i ■ i i 

The Geographically Phased National Plan laid out the priority areas 
for tlirls coordinated effort under a single chain of command. ^ A three 
phase seq.uence of actions (preparation, military action to clear and 
seciire, and combined action to establish civilian political control and 
consolidate intelligence and security programs) would take place, sequen- 
tially, in each of these priority areas- The process would be repeated 
in expanding spheres as successive areas became pacified* 2^1/ 

Together these two American-generated and proposed plans constituted 
a comprehensive blueprint for GVN action to end the insurgency- Two 
things comxaon to each should be noted for the purposes of the present 
inoLuiry. The first is the simple fact that each was UcS. -generated and 
proposed. The proposals addressed President Diem's persistent fears of a 
coup by asking him 'to ignore those fears. The second point is that neither 
had anything to say about U.S. advisors. Each was an attempt to give 
advice, hnt neither recommended that the U.S. advisory effort in RVN be 
expanded in scope, size, or content. 



STABILITY IN TIJE NUMBE R OF U.S. KDYISORS 

The nimbev of military advisors had remained fairly level throughout 
this transition period (roughly, 1959 to mid-196l). TERM had finally 
been abolished but an approximately eqiial number of spaces \ms added to 
MAAG Vietnam, increasing it from 3^2 to 685. 25/ The ICC agreed that 
this increase was consistent with the limitations imposed by the Geneva 
Accords. 26/ I^UIG advisors had been authorized down to regimental level 
but ex-pressly forbidden to participate directly in combat operations or to 
go near the South Vietnamese national boundary. 27/ The U.S. had begun 
to provide Special Forces teams to GVIM in an effort to tram Vietnamese 
ranger companies in ant i -guerrilla tactics, but this was regarded as ^ 
temporary undertaking. 28/ As late as November I96I, the total U.S. mill 
tary strength in South Vietnam vas only about 9^0 personnel. 29/ ^Dis- 
cussions and arguments had been underrro-y for some time, however, with a 
view toward increasing U.S. involvem.ent in South Vietnam. The nature of 
this debate, v/hich took place largely during I96I and terminated in_the 
decisions at the end of that year to establish a "limited partnership 
with GVK, is important to an accoimt of the U.S. advisory build-up. It 
was in the shadow of opposing contentions about how to make the U.S. 



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contribution most effective in helping GVN to defeat the insurgents 
that the advisory build-up was to b-gin in earnest in late I96I. These 
opposing viev;-s^ in turn;^ vj-ere cast against the situational develop- 
ments^ already outlined: U,S. military desires to make RVMAF more effec' 
tive in couaiter insurgency by improving the military chain of comms-nd;, 
Increasing the mobility and effectiveness of ARVW-, and upgrading the 
CG/sdc for the performance of pacification tasks. 



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PART TWO 



THE ADVISORY BUILD-UP, 196l-ig67 



k. The Kennedy Pro-ams (1961-1963) 



THE CONTEXT OF DECISIONS 



By the end of I96I5 the U.S. had decided to double its military 
advisory effort an South Vietnam by establishing advisory team.s at the 
province (sector) level and within ARVN's battalions. The decision to 
take this step was one of a large number of decisions designed to "buy 
time" in RVTT so that GVN could mobilize its resources and swing over from 
the defensive to the offensive. A3.1 of the m_ajor participants appear 
to have agreed that the situation in RVN was bad and becoming worse 5 that 
additional U.S. actions were needed if South Vietnam was to be saved ^ and 
that the issue was of sufficient importance in terms of U.S. interest to 
justify doing whatever v/as necessary. The q.uestion was what should be 
done 5 not if anything could be done* Defea/fc v/as too catastrophic an outcor:' 
to bear examination. Moreover^ decisions about Vietnam in I96I were^ until 
the very end of the year^ m.ade in the shadow of more pressing emergencies-- 
the Berlrin crisis and events in Laos/^" It n.s most important to recognize 
this relative lack of centrality if one is to understand the apjjarently 
incomplete process by vrhich decisions on Vietnam were reached. Moreover, 
the dimensions of the Vietnamese problem were clear and agreed to by all. 
E3.usive so.lutions had to be sought in the interstices , as Jt. were, of the 
policyTiiakers' limited time. 






It is difficult to imagine any responsible individual or group, for 
instance, taking exception to the litany of problems ticked off by General 
Taylor in his report following his importo.nt October I96I mission to South 
Vietnam: 



Lack of intelligenc 



e 



ARVN^s defensive posture 

Poor command and control 

Poor GVN administr8.tive procedures 

Lack of Initiative 

GVN failure to comjiiunicate with and mobilize its people, 
particula/rly the intellecturals and the young people. 30/ 



"X- This period is described more fully in a volujiie in the present series, 
IV.B.l., Evolution of the War: The Kennedy Programs, Igol. 



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But various individuals and groups would stress the importance of different 
shortcomings and propose quite different methods of "persuading" GWI to 
overcome them. 

The prevalent military viev^ a.s already suggested in the summary 
explanation of the CIP and the Geographically Phased Plan, was that ^ organ- 
i2^.tional reform and national planning were prerecLuisites to effective 
action. If these could be achieved, the military foresaw a pacification 
process which would proceed from the provision of physical security^ in the 
rural a.reas through the establishment (or reestablishment) of civilian 
political administration to a state of political stability. The first nut 
to crack was that of military secuj^ity. Political axmlysts, including those 
of the Department of State, em_phasized the need for the Diem government to 
liberalise itself, to attract dissident groups at least into a lo;^ral active 
opposition and away from indifference and disaffection. In this view the 
heart of the matter v/as essentially political, rather than military. 

In both views, it should be noted, advocates agreed that the GVN must 
be persuaded to take certain necessary steps. Just how such persuasion was 
to be achieved was a prime subject for discussion. l*to was to persuade whom 
and in what organizational framework was another such subject. But ^ although 
these subjects were bound to be discussed, neither v/as the central issue — 
by late I96I the question of whether or not to send U.S. combat forces to 
South Vietnam had clearly earned that title. 

'^ The U.S. determination of what steps to take was driven^as much by 

events as by arguments. By late I96I the com^se of events dictated that 
physical security would take primacy over governmental liberalization, not 
because the arguments for security were inherently more persuasive but 
because of the very real fear that there wouJ-d be no GVN to save if the 
U.S. did not do something very quickly. During the first half of I96I, 
terrorists and gu,errillas had assassinated over 5^0 local officials and 
civilians, kidnapped more than 1,000, and killed alanost 1,500 RVT^/VF per- 
sonnel. 31/ The VC had gained the upper hand in most _ of the coimtryside 
and were drawing an increasingly tight cinch around Saigon* 3^ Viet 
Cong regular forces were now estimated to nuraber 25,000 and v^ere being 
organized into increasingly large regular fonmtions. The terrorist- 
guerrilla apparcvtus had grown to embrace an estimated YJ ^000. 33/ The 
operative question was not whether the Diem goverimient as it was then 
moving could defeat the insurgents but v/hether it could save itself. 

The deteriorating situation \ms one reason vrhy the military seCTTity 
arg-oment quickly gained the ascendancy. Another reason was ^ the military's 
recognition that, vrhile secvirity was an important precondition, political, 
economic, and social reforms were necessary to the realization of viability 
within South Vietnam. Thus, security was recognized as a means to a polit- 
ical end. The process outlined in MAAG's Geogra,phically Phased Plan, des- 
cribed earlier, gave recognition to this fact. This process would shortly 
become known as the "pacification process," widely accepted throughout^ 
^- important places in the U,S, Government (specifically to include what is 

usually referred to euphemistically as "the highest level") and stilL 
widely accepted at this writing (I968). 

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A PROPOSAL FOR EXim^HIPl^ATTni^ATTn ATWT.qn^.q 

If the deteriorating situation and the potential "breadth of the 
rrdlitary^s view of the pacification process both augiired for at least the 
short run primacy of security considerations;, that still left the question 
of how best to enhance security and to lay the groundv:ork for the govern- 
mental programs which vrould, hopefuaiy, begin to operate behind a geo- 
graphically expanding security screen. These questions v/ere addressed^ 
but in a rather one-sided way. An approach to U.S. advice-giving and 
the ^organizational context in which it should proceed vj-as tabled as a 
radical proposal. First the approach ^ then the organizational frejnework 
were struck down. The U.Sc decided to take an opposite advisory approach 
in a very different organizational context as much because of disagree- 
ment with the debated proposals as because of reasoned elaboration of the 
benefits to be realized from the course vAich was eventually followed. 
In the process 5 the difficult question of U.S. leverage got shunted off 
L "^^ "^^^ side. GVI^ reform v^as simply stated as an expected quid pro quo for 

increased U.S. aid. What the U.S. should do if no reforms materialized . 
was apparently a subject too unpleasant to be considered. 

The radical proposals were first floated in January I96I by a uniquely 
qualified professional military officer serving in Secretary McNamara's 
office: Brigadier General Edward Lansdale. Although an Air Force officer, 
Lansdale had worked closely in the Philippines with Ramon Magsaysay in the 
latter 's successful, campaign against the Huk rebellion and served later as 
head of the U.S. intelligence mission in South Vietnam in the mid-50' s. He 
knew President Diem well and was trusted by the GVN leader. He had gained 
some notoriety as the real-life hero of the pseudo-fictional best seller 



The Ugly Americe.n." His vlev/s on counterinsurgency coimnanded attention. 

Lansdale 's proposals lend themselves to summarization, not to compre- 
hensive description. Tnat is, he put forv-^ard a proposed attitude of mind 
which should govern U„S. actions, not a program, in the usual sense. The 
thrust of his argument pertaining to advisors was that the U.S. should 
select dedicated Americans with empathy for the Vietnamese and send them 
to advise GVN "with sensitive understanding and wisdom/' 3^^ / The course 
of action he recomraended v/as to get such men on the scene, give them total 
responsibility to match their total commitment, and free them from the 
encumbrances of the regular buree.ucratic machinery (be it military or 

civilian) in order that they might operate effectively according to the 
situation: 

j When there is an emergency, the wise thing to do is to pick 

the best people you have, people who are experienced in dealing 
with this precise type of emergency, and send them, to the spot 
v^ith orders to remedy the situation. V/hen you get the people 
in position and free them, to work, you should then back them up 
in every practical way you can. The real decisions v^ill be made 
in little daily actions in Vietnam, not in Washington. That's 

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vrhy the best are needed on the spot. 

Our U.S. teeia in Vietnam should have a hard core of experi- 
enced Ainericans who knovr and really like Asia and the Asians, 
dedicated people who are willing to risk their lives for the 
ideals of freedom, and who will try to influence and guide the 
Vietnamese tov^ards U.S. policy objectives with the v/ann friend- 
ships and affection which our close alliance deserves. ¥e 
should break the rules of personnel assignment, if necessary, 
to get such U.S. military and civilians to Vietnam. 35/ 

Not only should the U.S. depend on advisors who earn the trust of 
their counterparts, Lansdale argued, it should depend on them to get the 
job done without coercion and threats. Leverage should be the product 
of persuasion and trust, not the result of control over funds arid 
materiel: 

...Many of the Vietnamese in the coimtryside who were right up 
against the Viet Cong terror were full of patriotic spirit. 
Those who seemed to be in the hardest circumstances, fighting 
barefoot with makeshift weapons, had the highest morale. They 
still can lick the Viet Cong with a little help. There ^s a 
lesson here on oiir giving aid. Maybe we should learn that our 
funds canjQot buy friends or a patriotic spirit by mere materi- 
alistic giving. Perhaps we should help those who help themselves, 
and not have a lot of strings on that help. 3§j 

If the U.S. could adopt this free-wheeling approach to advice, said 
Lansdale, it vrould do well to do it at the action level, to get down^and 
share the risks and discom.forts of the ARVN rather than to restrict its 
advice to pa.per plans and confrontations in offices: 

...U.S. military men in Vietnam should be freed to work in 
the combat areas. Our MAA.G has a far greater potential than 
is now being utilized. U.S. military men are hardly in a 
position to be listened to when they are snug in rear areas 
and give advice to Vietnamese officers who have attended the^ 
same U.S. military schools and who are now in a combat in which 
few Americans are experienced. MAAG personjiel from General 
McGarr on down expressed desire to get more into real field ^ 
viTork; let^s give them what they want as far as U.S. ^permission 
is concerned and let them earn their way into positions of 
greater influence with the Vietnamese military in the field. 37/ 



BACK TO NOPvMAX CHA.]Mli;LS 



In SLun, General Lansdale ixrged an extra -bureaucratic, uninhibited ^ 
advisory system consciously built on shared U.S. -Vietnamese goals (vali 
dated by shared experiences) and based on mutual trust and admiration. 



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It was-"he v^ould be the first to admit-"the kind of. unstructured ^ unpro- 
graroned, "non-organisation" which v/as antithetical to that v/hich the 
professional military might be expected to propose and so foreign to the 
typical vievjs of the State Department, with its traditional anti-opere.tlonal 
bias., that diplomats v;ould inevitably regard it as a proposal for power 
without responsibility. Thus, one contemporary account suggests that 
Lansdale^s approach vzas eventually rejected because of governmental inertia 
and bureaucratic in-fighting: 

VJhen Lansdale returned to Washington ■- after he had submitted 
his report to his own superiors - he was sudden3-y surmnoned one 
afternoon to the Iftiite House and, much to his surprise, ushered 
into 8. conference room vrhere the President v/as presiding over a 
mixed group of high Pentagon, State Department, and National 
Security Council officials. To his further surprise, President 
Kennedy, after commending his report, indicated that Lansdale 
would be sent back to Vietnam in a high capacity. Kennedy's 
declaration at the meeting obviously raised the hackles of many 
officials whose agencies had been criticized by Lansdale. The 
upshot was that nothing fua-^ther happened a.bout Lansdale *s appoint- 
ment. It is now knov/n that objections to it were raised in the 
highest levels of the Kennedy administration; in fact, there 
were threats of resignation. In the sense that some drastic action 
in Vietnam should have been taken at this time, whether it Involved 
Lansdale or not, this vras another vital turning point in the long 
and tortuous history of America's Vietnamese involvement. Tliere 
was still a chance to do something to S8.ve the Diem regime, depending 
largely on getting Ehu out of the country. Difficult as it would 
have been to achieve at this late date, Lansdale might have been 
able to persuade Diem to do it, because he had remained one of the 
few Americans Diem had ever trusted. More important, some feasible 
ideas about how to fight a guerrilla war might have been set in 
motion, and the miscalculation of what had always been essentially 
a revolutionary situation might thereupon have been altered. 38/ 

This account simply does not sq.uare with the existence of several 
cogent objections to Lansdale 's proposals for "unfettered quality" --though 
there most certainly vras a fair share of bureaucratic in-fighting as the 
proposals were studied, expanded, and reshaped. Moreover, it compresses 
the time frame within which Lansdale 's two major theses were struck down. 
His first proposal, for selected individuals to act as advisors, implied 
--at the very minimum--contlnulty of personnel selected by an extra- 
bureaucratic process. Extra -bureaiicratic selection was dead by mid-196l; 
the issue of continuity v/as finally settled in favor of year -long tours 
in December I962 (and has remained in effect since that time). The issue 
of a supra-departmental organization was fought out in mid-196l. It 
succumbed to an organizational principle v/lth very deep roots. 



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The specific form which Lansdale^s supra-departrnental organisational 
proposal advanced was that of a Presidential Agent to manage the U.S. 
effort in RW, On 12 April I96I, Walt W. Rostow sent a memorandum to 
President Kennedy which suggested ^ among other things ^ that it was impera- 
tive to appoint a "fulltime, first-rate back-stop man in Washington" to 
oversee the U.S. involvement in R"\/I\[. 39/ Lansdale was either aware of 
a meaning not conveyed llters.lly by the memorandum or interpreted it to fiu 
his preferences. In any event, he used this springboard to propose, in a 
19 April meraorandum to Secretary McNamara and his deputy , Roswell Gilpatric, 
that the President create an inter departm_ental task force on Vietnam to 
"supervise and coordinate the activities of every U.S. agency carrying 
out operations. . .in Vietnam to ensure success of the ^/President's/ approved 
plan." kO/ On the following day Secretary McNamara, presumably after 
discussing the matter with the President, requested Gilpatric to prepare 
within a week a report for the President, setting forth any actions 
necessary to "prevent communist domination of that country." Ul/ 

On 27 April Secretary Gilpatric submitted his recommendations. Much 
of the flavor of the earlier Lansdale pleas for a select, individualistic 
advisory effort v^as missing from this product of an interdepartmental 
committee. The earlier recommendations for an expanded U.S. effort were 
still there, however. These included an RVMF force Increase of 20^000 
with a corresponding increase of 100 MAAG advisors, a MAAG takeover of 
the entire CG and SDC programs, the employment of U.S. advisors in field 
operations, the continuation of U^S. Mission efforts to get GVN to carry 
out reforms, the initiation of covert operations with CIA assistance 
against lines -of communications in Laos and North Vietnam, and a U.S. 
economic team to help GVN speed up national developm.ent . k2/ One would 
be hard pressed to identify any other document which, over six months 
before the operative decision, so closely foreshadov/ed the U.S. actions 
that would be agreed to at the end of I96I. 

But beyond these programm.atic recommendations (hence, contrary to 
Lansdale *s initial proposals) Gilpatric recoirmiended the creation of a 
Presidential Task Force to provide "over-all direction, interagency 
coordination and support" for this program of action. Gilpatric was to 
be Director of the Task Forces lansdale its operating head in Vietnam. 
In order to appear not to fly into the face of Ambassadorial primacy in 
Saigon the memo vj-as forced into some rather fancy obfus cation; 

The Ambassador as head of the Country Team, is assigned 
the authority and the responsibility to see that the Progroin 
is carried out in the field and to determine the timing of 
the actions. He is authorized to advise the Director of the 
Task Force of any changes which he believes should be made in 
the Program. 

In carrying out his duties in the field, the operations 
1 officer of the Task Force will cooperate with the Ambassador 

; V ^^^ "ti^e Coimtry Team. Us/ 

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This equivocation ch-arged directly against the mainstream of current 
thought as it related to the question of integrs-ting operations abroad. 
The "Country Team" concept of the late 1950's^ buttressed by a series of 
increasingly comprehensive Executive Orders on the subject, assigned 
clear primacy to the Ambassador. The State Department was not long in 
asserting its claim to leadership in accordance with this prevailing 
concept. On 3 May it provided a recomjnended revision of Gilpatric^s 
task force proposal in which it pr opposed an interdepartmental task force 
under State Department leadership to coordinate the Washington effort and 
a coujiterpart task force in Saigon under Sterling J. Cottrell^ then 
POLlAD to CINCPAC. ^4;/ It was this proposal which was incorporated into 
NSAM 52 later in May. k^ 

In retrospect, the Lansdale-Gilpatric proposal to conduct the U.So 
participation in the Vietnamese war through a supra-departmental agency-- 
whether by a Presidential Task Force or by some other means --probably 
never had much of a chance. The Department of Defense had too large an 
operational role to agree to leadership of such an undertaking by anyone 
other than one of its own principals. (Thus, Gilpatric vzas acceptable, 
but few others would have been; Lansdale almost surely was not acceptable 
as the operating chief in RVN.) The State Department had at stake both 
the legacy of theoretic interdepartm.ental primacy and the oft-expressed 
hope of giving this theory more m.eaning abroad. Indeed, it was during this 
same month (May I96I) that President Kennedy sent his oft-quoted letter to 
each American Ambassador, reminding the recipient of his coordinating 
duties even while reaffirming that these did not extend to supervising 
operational military forces. The effect in South Vietnam, as distinct 
from some other coujitries, was to preserve claims for Independent authority 
for each of the major goverrmiental departments involved. The Presidential 
letter to Ambassador Frederick E. Nolting in Saigon read in part: 

In regard to your personal a.uthority and responsibility, I 
shall count on you to oversee and coordinate all the activities 
of the United Sta.tes Government in the Republic of Vietnam. 

You are in charge of the entire United States Diplomatic 
Mission, and I shall expect you to supervise all of its opera- 
tions. The Mission includes not only the personnel of the 
Department of State and the Foreign Service, but also the 
representatives of 8.11 other United States agencies which have 
programs or activities in the Republic of Vietnam, I shall give 
you full support and backing in carrying out your assignment. 

Needless to say, the representatives of other agencies are 
expected to communicate directly v/ith their offices here in 
Washington, and in the event of a decision by you in v/hich 
they do not concur, they may ask to have the decision reviewed 
by a higher a.uthority in Washington. 



However, it is their responsibility to keep you fully 

1 informed of their views and a.ctivlties and to abide by your 

decisions unless in some particular instance you and they 

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are notified to the contrary. 

If in your judgment individual members, of the Mission are 
not functioning efi'ectively, you should take whatever action 
you feel may be rec[uired5 reporting the circunistances^ of 
course 5 to the Department of State. 

In case the departure from the Republic of Vietnam of 
any individual member of the Mission is indicated in your 
judgment^ I shall expect you to make the decision and see 
that it is carried into effect. Such instances I am confident 
will be rare. 

Now one word about your relations to the military. As 
you know, the United States Dlplom.a-ic Mission includes Service 
Attaches, Military Assistance Advisory Crroups and other Mili- 
tary components attached to the Mission. It does not, however, 
include United States military forces operating in the field 
where such forces are under the cori-and of a United States 
area military commander. Tlie line of authority to these 
forces runs from me, to the Secretary of Defense, to the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff in We.shington and to the area commander in the 
field. 

Although this means that the chief of the Ajnerican Diplo- 
matic Mission is not in the line of military command, nevertheless, 
as Chief of Mission, you should work closely with the appropriate 
area military commander to a.ssure the full exchange of information. 
If it is your opinion that activities by the United States mili- 
tary forces may adversely affect oujt over-all relations with the 
people or governments of the Republic of Vietnam you should 
promptly discuss the matter with the military commander and, if 
necessary, request a decision by higher authority. _^/ 

It is reasonable to surmise that in mid-196l events did not seem 
pressing enough to cast aside a developeci--if imperfect--concept of opera- 
tional integration in favor of an ^^ntried substitute arrangement. In 
fact, if one wanted firm leadership one -.rould have had less radical 
alternatives to which to turn. To mention tv;o. Secretarial Jnvolvement 
to a degree tantamount to taking charge of the v^ar (much as Secretary 
McNamara did in I962) or the appointment of an Am.bassador to KVN with 
such military preeminence that he need not defer to other military judg- 
ments (as, General Taylor in I96U). 

The decision to supervise the American effort in a more or less 
conventional way had a direct bearing on the nature of the advisory build- 
up then, being discussed. It was highly unlikely that General Lansdale^s 
radical advisory proposals would be kindly received under a system managed 
along conventional lines. Even before the Presidentia.1 Task Force idea 



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wa,s abandoned L-ansdale's proposals for a select^ committed advisory 
group had been reshaped by interdepartmental committee. Instead of 
"old Vietnam hands" in key spots j the discussion turned to the use of 
existing organizations and much larger numbers of advisors: 

Augment the MAAG with two US training comm.ands 
(comprised of approximately l600 instructors each) to 
enable the MAAG to establish in t]ie "high plateau" 
region of South Vietnam two divisional field training 
areas to accelerate the U.S, training program for the 
entire GVIV army 

Deploy-j as soon as possible^ a Special Forces Group 
(approximately 400 U.S. military personnel) to Wlia Trang 
in order to accelerate GVN Special Forces training, hj/ 

Under this proposal the size of ^{[AAG Vietnam v^ould be increased from 
685 to 2285^ not Including the Special Forces or training corixmands 
mentioned above or the 100 mian increase already proposed to advise the 
20,000 men v/hich were to be added to RVNAF. ^{8/ 






After the shift to thinking in terms of existing military organiza- 
tions (or, alternatively, of individuals drawn as it were by "requisitions" 
in normal channels) and the understandable—if not inevitable— demise of 
the Gilpatric-Lansdale proposal for supra -departmental direction, U„S, 
thinking about possible steps in Vietnam remained firmly within conventional 
channels. There were subseq^uent attempts to reintroduce an alternative 
advisory scheme and an organizational framework compatible with it but 
these appear to have not been seriously considered. 

President Kennedy did not permit the Gilpatric Task Force recommenda- 
tions to commit him to action. Rather, he used them in an attempt to 
demonstrate the U.S. commitment to Vietnam. The proof of this contention 
is in NSAM 52, which records the President's decisions. Only about l4 
personnel were to be assigned, for instance, in U.S. Army civic action 
mobile training teams to assist ARVN with health, welfare, and public 
works projects. Although it was decided to deploy the Special Forces 
group of 1|00 men to Tourane /Da Nang/, this was in support of a CIA- 
directed effort v/hlch could be kept largely covert. Increased aerial 
surveillance assistance required only 6 U.S. personnel. The establish- 
ment of a Combat Developm,ent and Test Center in RVW req.ulred only h 
additional U.S. personnel, k^/ The point is not how much was done but, 
in retrospect, how firmly the probable lines of future actions had been 
drawn as a result of v/hat it had been agreed not to do. 



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PIAWI'n:NG BEGINS IN FAEI\TC8T 

The President did, however, issue several "hunting licenses." 
The Defense Department was directed to examine ful.ly (under the 
guidance of the State Department's Director of the continuing Task 
Force on Vietnam) "the size and composition of forces v/hich would be 
desirable in the case of a possj.ble cojmitment of U.S. forces to 
Vietnam. 50/ The Ambassador was authorized to sound out Diem on 
a bilateral defense treaty. 51/ President Kennedy also apparently 
decided to feel out Diem's reaction on the subject of U.S. combat 
troops ^ in Vietnam. Vice Pi^esident Johnson left almost immediately 
to visit South Vietnam and other Asian nations. He was empowered 
to bring up the question of troops as well as the treaty. 

But discussions are one thing; firm commitm.ents are quite 8.nother. 
The range of alternatives that President Kennedy was willing to consider 
seems clear. What he v?as vj-illing to d£ was quite another matter. Unless 
he v/as most unlike other politicians and unless the many personal accounts 
of his style are completely erroneous he vzas v/illing to do what he believed 
^^ li^l ^^ ^o — and events in mad-1961 did not force action even though 
the drill that the Administration went through \ms instrumental in 
defining the probable responses when events did force action. 

As it quickly turned out, President Diem v/anted neither U.S, troops 
nor a treaty at that time. He told Vice Pi^esident Johnson that he wanted 
troops only in the event of overt invasion and shov/ed no interest in a 
treaty. 52/ Nevertheless^ the Vice President, upon his return, was trenchan 
in his observations that the time for deeds to replace words v/as fast 
approaching if the U.S. was to make its declared commitment credible: 

Our mission arrested the decline of confidence in the 
United Sta.tes. It did not — in my judgm.ent -- restore 
any confidence already lost. The leaders were as explicit, 
as courteous and courtly as men could be in making it clear 
that deeds must follovr words — soon. 

We. didn't buy time -- we V7ere given it« 

If these men I saw at your request Mere bankers, I vrould 
know -- without bothering to ask -- that there would be no 
further extensions on -mj note. 53/ 

Diem may not have been OAiite so disinterested in U.S. troops as he 
appeared to be. NSAT-l 52 of 11 May had discussed, inconclusively, the 
proposed buildup of RVNAE from 170,000 to 200,000 in order to create two 
new divisions to help seal the Laotian border, t'/hen President Diem 
responded (on 9 June) to Vice President Johnson's invitation to prepare 
a set of proposals on South Vietnam's military needs, he recoimnended a 
quantuii\ jump in strength to 270,000 and suggested a substantial increase 
in the US NAAG, perhaps even in the form of U.S. units: 






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To accomplish this 100^000 man expansion /above the strength 
recommended in the CIP^ v.^hich was 20,000 above the existing 
strength/ of our military forces, which is perfectly feasible 
from a manpower viewpoint, will require a great intensification 
of ova? training programs in order to produce, in the minim-um of 
time, those qualified combat leaders and technical specialists 
needed to fill the new units and to provide to them the technical 
and logistical support required to insure their complete effec- 
tiveness. For this -pur-cose a considerable expans ion of the 
TJTLJj^d Stp .tes Militar y Advisor y Grou p is an e ssential re quire- 
ment. Such an exDansion, in the form of sele cted ele m.ents of 
the Ame rican Armed Forces to establis h tr aining centers f or 
the Vi etnam,ese Armed Forces , would serve the dual purpose of 
providing an expression of the United States^ determination 
to halt the tide of co]3.iir:unist aggression and of preparing 
our forces in the m.inimiujn of time. 5^/ 

The response to this letter is not part of the available record. No 
doubt the initial reaction was one of surprise. The U.S. vras not accus- 
tomed to GVi^ initiatives; it seldom sought them. "We have not becom.e 
accustomed to being asked for our ovm views on our needs," Diem rema.rked 
in his letter to Kennedy. 55/ But Diem\s proposal did certainly strike 
one appealing chord: the Joint benefits of training coupled to demonstrated 
commitment through the deployment of existing troop units. As the situ- 
ation in South Vietnam, continued to deteriorate throughout the summer and 
early fall the issue of U.S. military advice continued to be addressed 
in terms of U.S. units^ These could, of course, do even more than had 
been suggested by President I)iem_: they could fight as units. Diem's 
generally consistent position, however, continued to be that he would 
accept U.S. combat forces, but only to train G-VN forces. He had said 
as much to Vice President Johnson: 

General McGarr, vrho v/as also present at this discussion 
/between Johnson s.nd Diem/ reported that while President Diem 
would not want U.S. combat forces for the purpose of fighting 
Comimunists in South Vietnam, he v/ould accept deplo;^/ment of U.S. 
combat . forces as trainers for the Vietnamese forces at any time. 56 

GVN ASKS F OR ADDITIOML U.S. ASSISTA NCE 

By October the situation within South Vietnam had become sufficiently 
grim for President Diem to reverse his earlier sentiments and to ask for 
a bilatere.l defense treaty \vith the U.S. 57/ His new willingness, coupled 
with the deteriorating situation, kicked off a new series of proposals 
within the U.S. Government. Walt Rostow proposed that the U.S. x^l^^ce an 
internationalized force of about 2^,000 men into RVN to perform a border 
sealing mission. The JCS responded v/ith a counter proposal emphasizing Laos 
and calling for the deployment of a sizea^ble (initially 20,000) U.S^ 
contingent to the central highlands. 58/ Another proposal blended elements 



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of both the JCS and Rostow papers. ^SJ ^ Special National Intelligence 
Estimate v/eighcd in with a hard Iccr: at this rash of proposals. GoJ 
The President's reaction^ on 11 October ^ was to decide to send General 
Taylor on a mission to South Vietnam to examine several alternative 
courses of action: 

(a) The plan for military intervention discussed at this 
morniiig's meeting on the basis of the Vietnam task force paper 
entitled "Concept for Interver.ticn in Vietnam"; 

(b) An alternative plan for stationing in Viefeiam fev^er 
U.S. combat forces than those called for tinder the pla-n referred 
to in (a) above and with a mere limited objective than dealing 
■with the Viet Congj in other -.-rords, such a sm_all force would 
proba-ble go in at Tourane Jj)z. l^oxigf and possibly another southern 
port principally for the purpose of establishing a U.S. "presence" 
in Vietnam; 

(.c) Other alternatives ir. lieu of putting any U.S. comba,t 
forces in Vietnam^ i.e. stepping up U.S. assistance and training 
of Vietnam* units, furnishing of more U.S. equipment;, particularly 
helicopters and other light air craft , trucks and other ground 
transport, etc. 6l/ 



jIFIE TAYLOR MSSIOH TO SAIGON 

This range of alternatives suggests, even without "20/20 hindsight," 
that if som ething was going to be done, and if the President v/ere to decide 
not to send U.S. combat units to Vietnam, there would be an advisory build- 
up of some kind almost by default. Thj s is close enough to what happened 
to warrant the risk of oversimplification. It does not do justice to the 
Taylor Report, of course, but Taylcr's mission and his reports have been 
covered fully in another study in the present series."^ For their impact 
on the advisory effort, and to place this in perspective, it is sufficient 
to describe only a few salient features. First, the Viet Cong were pur- 
suing, in Taylor ^s appraisal, a political-military strategy aim.ed at 
overthrowing Diem and opening the -.ray to unification of Vietnam on Hanoi's 
terms. Military action by the insurgents wa.s aimed at this objective 
rather than at a complete military victory: 

The military strategy being p'orsued is, evidently, to 
pin down the ARVN on defensive missions; to create a pervasive 
sense of insecurity and frustration by hit-and-run raids on 
self-defense corps and militia /cg/ units... and to dramatize 
the inability of the GVN to govern or to build.... 

Despite the considerable guerrilla capabilities of the 
Viet-Cong, Coimnunist strategy now appears, on balance, to 



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aim at an essentially political denouement rather than the 
total military capture of the country^ as in the case of 
Mao^s caa^ipaign in China.... The enemy objective seems to be 
to produce a political crisis by a combination of military and 
non-military means out of which v/ould come a South Vietnamese 
Souva.nna Phouma^ willing to contemplate ujiifica,tion on terms 
acceptable to Hanoi^ including disengagement from the U.S. 62/ 

In order for the Diem government to defeat this insurgency ;, General 
Taylor reasoned, the Saigon regime must reform itself. It had allowed 
two vicious circles to develop v/hich vitiated its effectiveness. In the 
first, poor military intelligence resulted in a defensive military posture 
which put most of the forces under provincial control. This, in tu-rn, 
meant that reserves could not be expeditiously employed. The resultant 
high losses in unsuccessful defensive battles further dried up the sources 
of intelligence and completed the circle. The second vicious circle was 
attributable to Diem^s instinctive attempts to centralize pov/er in his 
own hands v.^hile fragmenting it beneath him. His excessive mistrust of 
criticism and fea^rs of a coup caused large elem.ents of society to stand 
aside from the struggle while the province chiefs and generals were forced 
into frustrating struggles^ further increasing Dlem^s fears and his 
inclination to fractionalize authority. The task, then, was to strengthen 
Diem while, at the same time, inducing him. to reform so as to break botl'i 
of these vicious circles. 

In order to strengthen Diem with a U.S. military presence — very much 
along the lines of the smaller US deployment discussed at the NSC meeting 
prior to his trip— Taylor recommended the deployment to South Vietnam of 
a task force of 6-8,000 troops under the guise of flood relief work. This 
task force, primarily logistic8>l, would necessa^rily become involved in 
some defensive operation and sustain some ca-sualties, but its deployment 
need not commit the U.S. to a land war on the Asia.n mainland: 

As the task is a specific one, we can extricate our 
troops w^hen it is done if we so desire. Alternatively, we 
can phase them into other activities if we vzish to remain 
longer .... 

Needless to say, this kind of task force will exercise 
little direct influence, on the campaign against the VC. It 
will, however, give a rauch needed shot in the arm to national 
morale, particularly if combined V7i th other acti ons showing 
that a more effective wor kin g relationship in the commo n 
cause has been established between the GVN and the U.S. 6h/ 

Taylor had already received President Diem*s assu-rances that he favored 
the deployment of U.S. forces for tliis pujrpose. 65/ 

. 1 In conjunction with this U.S. troop deployment, Taylor argued that 

'" f the U.S. should initiate increased assistance to GVN in a new relationship: 



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A shift /should occiir/ in the American relation to the 
Vietnamese effort from advice to l:united partnership. The 
present character and scale of the war in South Vietnam 
decree only that the Vietnamese can defeat the Viet-Cong; 
but at all levels Americans must^ as friends and partners-- 
not as arms "length advisors --show them how the job might be 
done— not tell them or do it for them. 66/ 

General Taylor v/as most explicit that the purpose of the proposed 
troop deployments and the new "limited partnershjp" v/as to buy time for 
the Vietnamese so that they couJ_d marshall their considerable resources 
and assi^jne the offensive against the VC. As mentioned above ^ this would 
require internal reform in GVN. The limited partnership would contri- 
bute to both of these interacting objectives: 

The present war cannot be won by direct US action; it must 
be won by the Vietnamese, But there is a general conviction 
among us that the Viennamese performance in erery domain can 
be substantially improved if Americans are prepared to work 
side by side with the Vietnamese on the key problems. More- 
over j there is evidence that Diem is^ in principle ^ prepared 
for this stepj and that most--not all- -elements in his establish- 
ment are eagerly awaiting it. 6?, 



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THE KEM^EDY DECISIOHS: NSAM 111 

It is useful to a.pproach the effect of General Taylor's mission on 
the advisory effort from the sim.ple recollection of what President Kennedy 
decided not to do. lie decided not to deploy U.S. combat forces to South 
Vietnam, This meant -- given the U.S. assessment of the importance of 
HW and the felt necessity to do something ~ that the expansion of U.S. 
assistance was a. foregone. conclusion. This was the general course of 
action that would be followed as the ineluctable result of having decided 
not to do something else vrhich was more dramatic, involved m.ore risk, 
and was more contentious. 

Given the decision not to send troop units, then, the general thrusts 
of U.S. actions were determined — but the specifics were not. Just how 
did Taylor's "limited partnership," for instance, propose to influence 
GVN's attitudes and organisation, to develop initiative matched by comipe- 
tence, and to insure that the Vietnamese would assume successfully the 
responsibility for winning the struggle which it was said only they could 
win? How was this expanded U.S. effort to be organized? From whence 
would come the new junior partners of the firm? \Iha.t would be their 
preparation, their instructions, their duties? 

The first of these two groups of q.uestions is more easily answered 
than the second; the ansvj-er to neither of them is retrospectively very 



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satisfying in terms of suggesting that the U.S„ entered into its eiKpanded 
effort at the beginning of I962 v/ith its eyes wide open and fully aware 
of oust what It was doing. The available record indicates that the U.S. 
hopefully assumed that material aid and good Intentions would be adequate 
to the task^ that a larger U.S. presence would spur the Vietnamese to 
effective action without incurring the stigma of a U.S. "takeover," and 
that the increase in assistance would be -- in and of itself -•- accepted 
as an adequate quid £ro quo for the desired reforms within GVN, 

^GVN org?.nizational reform would be realized^ MSM 111 suggested, by 
getting Diem to agree to clean vip his lines of authority in exchange for 
the U.S. commitment to the limited partnership. One section of the docu- 
ment is a list of approved U.S. actions; another sets forth the expected 
improvements to be accomplished by GW. 68/ Ambassador Nolting was 
instructed to use the substance of these decisions in talks to secure 
Diem's approval. He found Diem despondent that the U.S. asked so much in 
retu-rn for so little, played into the hands of those who claimed u.ndue 
American infringement upon Vietnamese sovereignty, and p.laced him in a 
position where he feared even to make knov/n to his own cabinet the Ameri- 
can expectations. 69/ Unless the U.S. were to suspend its increased aid, 
and at the very t:hne it was just gearing up to provide it, Diem had made 
it clear at the beginning that he would govern South Vietnam in his way 
e.nd that the U.S. had no choice but to support him v/holeheartedly, get out, 
or find an acceptable alternative to him. The U.S., in turn, had refused 
to consider the last two of these alternatives- It was stuck with sup- 
porting him, at least for the time being. 

WOEKING OUT TIIE BASIS E QP U.S. ADVICE 

But the U.S. approach vras only partially framed to secure Diem's 
acceptance. There was a parallel suggestion that the existence of U.S. 
advisors in the field, working hand-in-hand in a counterpart relationship 
with Vietnamese, would reform GVN from the bottom up. This line of policy 
was neither spelled out in detail nor thought out in terms of operational 
implications, risks, and costs. But it clearly existed: 

Through this working association at all levels, the U.S. 
must bring about de facto changes in Diem\s method of admin- 
istration and seek to bring all elements of the Vietnamese 
Government closer to the Vietnamese people -- thus helping 
break the vicious political circle. 

By concurrent actions in the fields of intelligence, 
command and control, mobility, and training, the U.S. must 
bring about a situation where an effective reserve is 
mobilized and brought to bear offensively on clearly estab- 
lished and productive offensive targets — thus helping 



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break the vicious military circle.,.. 

Behind this concept of a strategy to turn the tide and 
to assutJie the offensive lies a general proposition: when an 
interacting process is yielding a degenerative situation^ the 
Vfise st course of action is to create a positive thrust at as 
many points as are accessible . 707 

Thus^ the U,S. addressed the critical leverage issue as the expected 
product of its ovm willingness to increase its participation in the 
countorinsurgency effort. It did so^ moreover, without any conscious 
examination of the question beyond stating its expectations. There was 
no plan to me.ke the provision of additional assistance contingent upon 
GVN actions 5 only a statement that GVN actions were expected. There 
was no willingness, in fact, to consider the conscious exercise of leverage j 
the situation was too critico-1, the available tme too short, the issue 
too important. 

The effect of this avoidance of hard choices -- for good and under- 
standable reasons, but avoidance nonetheless -- was to place a vevj large 
burden on the benefits to be realized by an expansion of the advisory 
effort. The language of General Taylor *s report is reminiscent of Lansdale's 
earlier proposals for an unstructured, flexible advisory effort comprising 
totally committed, carefu.lly selected individuals who would earn the respect 
and cooperation of the Vietnamese. Lansdale had renewed these proposals 
at the time the Taylor Report was prepared. Vj But when it vras suggested 
to the GVN that the U.S. would expect to share in decisions the Vietnamese 
reaction led the U.S. aliaost imjnediately to modify this expectation. The 
original communication on the subject to Ambassador Nolting stated that 
"...we would expect to share in the decision-making process in the political, 
economic and military fields as they affected the security situation" as 
compared to the earlier arrangement of "acting in an advisory capacity 
only." 72/ By early December insistence on this point was quickly dropped 
in favor of a view which suggested that close collaboration would produce 
automatic uns^nimitv: 

What we have in mind is that, in operations directly 
related to the security situation, partnership vj-ill be so 
close that one party vn.ll not take decisions or actions 
affecting the other without fall and frank prior consulta- 
tions. . . . 73/ 

Unless such exchanges invariably resulted in unanimity one of the partners 
would have to give way to the other or inactivity would result. "What 
line to follow if this occurred seems not to have been examined. This 
simply v/'ould not happen. 

■ 
The "close partnership" envisaged by General Taylor -- and endorsed 
by President Kennedy — suggested something akin to the "total comjnitment" 
which General Lansdale had earlier urged as one criterion in selecting 



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advisors for South Vietnajn* This, in turn, implied at the very mini- 
mun a period of long exposure to the operational problem (and personal- 
ities) with which these advisors would deal. In the event, it vms 
decided to expand both the military and sector (provincial military) 
advisory efforts without any such long term, exposure- These q[uestions 
were settled in detail when Secretary McNamara met in mid-January I962 at 
Honolulu with the principal managers of the U.S. effort. It was decided 
to establish battalion level military advisory teams within ARW; each 
to consist of either 5 (infantry battalion) or 3 (artillery battalion) 
personnel. Each province (sector) would receive 3 U.S. advisors, one 
officer and 2 enlisted intelligence specialists. The Civil Guard wouILd 
be trained in a series of 6 training centers by 120 advisors (20 in each 
center) plus 12 mobile teams of 3 men each. The SDC would be trained in 
30 centers, jh/ Secretary McNamara made it clear that he wanted these 
deployments completed as quickly as possible. He suggested that if an 
ARVN unit was not prepared to receive its advisors the designated indiv- 
iduals be sent to RW and placed temporarily with another unit to gain 
experience. 75/ He agreed that temporary duty assignments to Vietnam 
were generally undesirable and asked the JCS to address the question of 
optimum tour length for advisors. 76 / 

The length of time a military meniber spent in Vietnam at that time 
varied slightly from service to service, according to vrtiether or not 
dependents accom-panied the serviceman and whether he served in Saigon or 
in some other part of the country. In October I96I it v/as allegedly 
decided at OSD level — without consulting the services ~ to make the 
tour of duty 30 months with dependents and I8 without dependents rather 
than the 2l|- and 12 mionth tours that were then typical. 77/ The effect 
of this decision vmuld have been to increase the field advisors' tours of 
duty from one year to one and a half years. Each of the assignment 
branches within the Army opposed this change as one which would be 
ineq.uitable unless reflected in changed tour length for other "unaccom- 
panied" (by dependent) tours. The order was not put into effect. Thus, 
there v/as some backgroujid against which to reexamine the time which 
advisors (among others) should spend in RVN. The decision ~ again 
based on considerations of equity in "hardship" assignments, health, and 
resultant morale issues — was to retain the one year tour in the field. 

U.S. EXPECTATIONS: THI] BENEFITS FROM MORE ADVISORS 

To sujii up the decision to expand the advisory effort to battalion 
and province level, it was one reached without extended study or debate - 
There v/as neither opposition to it nor any comprehensive explication of 

5r^t has remained basically unchanged, it should be noted, until the 
present. An unstructujred program of voluntary 6 month extensions was 
inaugurated throughout Vietnam j.n 1967? a volujitary extension prograiri 
begun for "selected officers" in key positions in the same year, and 
a sm-all program initiated in I968 by which selected Province Advisors 
would agree to serve two years in Vietnam, then receive aliaost one " 
year's training prior to deployment. No officers have departed the 
U.S. under this last program as of the present writing (mid-1968). 



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what would be involved and the benefits to be expected* This was due in 
large part to the fact that it was a decision made almost offhandedly in 
the shadow of a larger issue ^ the deploy^nent of U.S. combat forces to ?m^, 
When it v-^as decided not to send the combat forces it was a foregone con- 
clusion that m-ore advisors would be sent. This v/as consistent with the 
U.S. desire in late I96I to demonstrate its coimmitment to South Vietnam 
and apparently compatible with the oft-expressed belief that only the 
South Vietnamese could bring their struggle to a satisfactory conclusion. 

But the decision to expand the advisory effort attempted^ at the 
same trijne, to finesse the o[uestion of leverage. GVKf was informed that the 
U.S. expected certain reform measiires to be adopted in exchange for increased 
U.S. assistance. It received no clear signals about witMrioDxling U.S. help 
if these actions were not taken. The U.S. had, in fact, m.ade no decisions 
along this line; it had avoided addressing the issue because of conflicting 
desires to act forcefully, yet to a,void Americanizing the v/ar. Thus, the 
U.S. did not know what it would do if GVN failed to respond as it was hoped 
that it would. In this sense the U.S. advisors became potential pawns in 
a leverage game of uncertain intensity with no set rules. This dc facto 
position was in continuous potential conflict with the expressed hope that 
a greater U.S. presence v/ould lead -- by example, persuasion, and mutual 
interest — to increased effectiveness both within ARVN and in the political 
administration of the provinces governed by U.S. -advised ARVTT officers. 

Not only did the Kennedy Administration decide to enter in General 
Taylor's "limited partnership" without a careful examination of the 
relationships being established, it also apparently did not state or 
debate precisely what benefits were expected as a result of an increased 
advisory effort. There was, it appears, a generali^-ed and unchallenged 
assumption that more A,m.ericans in m_ore places addressing Vietnamese training 
and operations could not but have an overall beneficial effect. Tlie avail- 
able record reflects no explicit discussion of expected benefits. Wiiile 
oral discussions must have addressed this point at some time, it seems most 
likely that policymakers agreed tacitly on three over3-apping categories 
of expectations — each susceptible to varying interpretations and degrees 
of relative importance and emphasis -- vi^hich were neither clearly stated 
nor critically examined. 

The first, and most obvious, v/as the expectation that an increased 
U.S. military presence with tactical units and at training centers would 
lead to improved technical-tactical competence within ARVN. The assumption 
which underlay this expectation v/as that the teaching of basic military 
skills v/as probably a sufficient (rather than merely necessary) condition 
to enable ARVN to begin to operate more effectively — and more energetically 
and aggressively. Earlier experience in Greece and Korea would have seemed 
to valida.te this expecta.tion v/ithin reasonable limits. 

Second, U.S. policymakers probably expected the increased military 
advisory effort to result in a more effective informational "netv/ork.". 



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It must have seemed reasonaI-)le to expect that an increased but diffuse 
U.S. presence v/ould not only enhance information on VC actions and 
probable plans but also improve U.S. knowledge of AP71\F plans and per- 
formance . 

Finally -- and most difficult to pinpoint in terms of what po-licy- 
maker or policymaking group emphasized which aspects — the U.S. expected 
to gain' additional influence from an increased advisory effort. General 
Taylor viewed this as the natural product of individuals with parallel 
interests working hand-in-glove in the field (as distinct from large 
headq,tiarters). Hils v/ould enable them to escape the petty differences 
which grow up in the absence of operational responsibility and permit 
the U.S. advisors to "lead by example" even though they would not be 
technically em.powered to lead. 

Other expectations of increased U.S. influence could take a variety 
of forms. Improved information, for instance, in a hierarchically ordered 
U.S. advisory system., would permit the U.S. to push more effectively any 
line of endeavor which it wished GW to adopt. This potential for improved 

sa.lesmanship' W8.s not unrelated to an increo.sed potential for coercive 
influence. Wliat the U.S. would give in material support it might also 
withhold selectively. Influence need not be dependent upon example alone. 

I\Ione of these expectations were, however, articulated fully or spelled 
out in terms which V70uld provide operational guidelines for the new U.S. 
advisors who were being deployed to SVN. The expectations of benefits were 
implicit and generalized. The potential existed for a comprehensive, co- 
ordinated U.S. approach to advising but the potential was not the reality. 

II4PLEMENTING THE FIR ST BUILD-UP 

The decision just exa-mined to increase the U.S. advisory effort was 
preceded by a series of marginal increases in the U.S. military strength 
in Vietnam. (Actual "in-country" strengths are available for only a fev; 
months during the early build-up period so it will frequently be necessary 
to use authorization figures and to rea^lize that nev/ly authorized spaces 
were generally not filled vj}.t±l some tim_e had passed after their establish- 
ment.) Presidential decisions in April and May I96I, taken in the light 
of a central concern with Laos rather than Vietnam, increased the authorized 
size of MAAG Vietnam from 685 to 785. The 100-man increase V7as divided 
almost equally between technical advisors and e^dvisors for ARVN^s tactical 
training centers. 78/ In October I96I the authorized strength v/as 
increased again, to 9^2, of which 9^18 spaces were for U.S. Army personnel; 
603 of these 9^8 spa.ces were actually filled by the end of November. 79, 



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The increases in advisory strength which reflected the NSAM 111 
decisions were authorized In Deceiriber I96I and January I962, By the 
end of 1961 MM.G's authorized strength had been more than doubled, to 
2067. This number vras increased again in January to more than 3OOO. 
Included in these increases v/ere the new dimensions of U.S. advice: 
battalion advisors , province advisors, and an additional 5OO Special 
Forces advisors (making a new total of 8O5 in the Special Forces program 
under CIA control). 80/ 

It has already been noted that Secretary McNamara gave forcefu-1 
impetus to manning these new3.y created positions in the shortest possible 
time. They were, indeed, filled quickly. By April I962 the total number 
of Army field advisory personnel in RVN exceeded the authorized nujnber. 
By this time, too, the authorized total for all services had been stabilized 
at about 3^00. This total was reduced in November to 3150, then remained 
essentially constant until a new roimd of increases was inaugurated in 
mid"196U. 81/ Thus, the build-up associated with the Taylor mission 
L consisted of a fourfold increase in U.S. advisory presence (a much larger 

increase if one counts U.S. support units). After the build -nip v/as 
completed, in the spring of I962, the number of advisors remained stable 
until many months after the fall of the Diem government. 

While the total number of advisors remained fairly constant, however, 
shifts occurred in the distribution of advisory personnel. From the 
completion of the build-up, for instance, until the coup which overthrew 
Diem, the number of field advisors at corps and division level increased 
severalfold and the number of province advisors doubled while other field 
advisory strengths rem.ained about the same. These developments are shomi 
in detail in the tabular summary at the end of this study and simnarized 
in the following table: 

Selected Field Advisor^p_A.pril 1962 and Noveii^ er_1963 Q^J 

Activity Advised April I962 November I963 

Corps 63 380 

Divisions , l62 ^-^^6 

Regiments I5O 13^ 

Battalions 366 ^17 

Province a 117 ^35 

Schools & Training Centers 212 201 

cg/sdc 281 215 



Total 1351 



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THE U.S. VIEW: I962 - I963 

Six months after Diem fell the U.S. would conclude that these 
advisory levels were inadeqiuate, but during the Diem area the predom- 
inant official attitude was one of sustained optimism. The war was 
being won^ it was m-aintained^ by adherence to the newly articula^ted 
theory of count erinsurgency. The U.S. even made tentative plans to 
begin reducing the American presence in Vietnsjn. By the time the U.S. 
began seriously to consider attempts to exercise leverage against the 
Ngo family's conduct of affairs Diem's regime was already well down the 
road to its eventual overthrow. 

The Strategic Hamlet Program vras the principal operational vehicle 
by which the recently articulated theory of counterinsurgency was to be 
translated into reality. In general^ the plan was to begin by providing 
to the rural populace a degree of security sufficient to serve as a pre- 
condition for fm-ther military and political action. In the military 
field the peasants' increased secui'ity was to be the wedge by which more 
effective intelligence gathering could take place. Ihe rural population 
could not be expected to inform on VC v^hereaboutSj it vms reasoned, ujiless 
it was safe from retaliatory acts by the insurgents. Political action to 
promote identification between the central government and the rural popu- 
lation was also to take place in the shadow of these improved physical 
secujTity arrangements. Security was viewed, then, as the precondition to 
the military and political gains at which General Taylor's mission had 
■ aimed its recomraendations. 

The evolution and demise of the Strategic Hamlet Program is examined 
in another volume of the present series.* It is pertinent to the present 
study, however, to note the points of stress in this program as they 
pertained to RVKA.E. Most of the new American advisory effort was directed 
to improving ARVN, in its equipment and mobility capability and in its 
aggressiveness. The central U.S^ expectation v/as that a greater capability 
to move q.uickly could be combined with improved leadership so that ARVN 
could, on one hand, be capable of responding quickly and in force wherever 
and whenever the VC chose to concentrate for local superiority and, on 
the other, be m.ade aggressive enough to beat the Viet Cong at their own 
game ~ to "take the night away" from the VC and to use guerrilla techniq.ues 
to hunt down and defeat the insurgents in their own bailiwicks. 

The realization of these expectations was dependent upon several 
developments, each of which had to occur if APVN was to become capable 
of turning the tide in the insurgent battle. .First, the CG and SDC had 
to become sufficiently effective to permit ARVN to be used as a mobile 
reserve for protective purposes rather than as part of the static pro- 
tection force. Second, ARVi^ had to be given adequate capability to move 
quickly, whether in reacting or in seizing the initiative. Finally, both 
ARVN's leaders and the political leaders to v.liom they were responsible 
\ had to accept and put into operational practice a spirit of aggressiveness 

to take advantage of the existing static defenses and the new.ly-gained 
m.obility. 



I 



-X- Volume IV. B. Evolution of the War: The St/rate glc Hanaet Proeram , I 96I- 
1963 (TS). "-- — "" '^ 

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THE ACTUALITY: 1962 - I963 

V'/hat happened during I962 - I963 is that only the second of these 
developments actually occurred to any significant degree* The U.S. 
provided helicopter companies for rapid tactical transport, small arms 
and automatic weapons for Increased firepower 5 and tactical air and 
artillery support to assure ARVN firepower superiority over the insurgents. 
There were complaints -- as there have been ever since — that individual 
weapons were too heavy for the Vietnamese, that one helicopter company 
for each Corps area was too little, and that supporting air and artillery 
were an inducement to rely on- indiscriminate firepower as a substitute 
for aggressiveness. But the basic tools were provided. 

The other developments did not take place. Training of the CG and SDC 
was speeded up at Secretary McNamara's insistence in order to get a more 
effective protective force quickly in being. Even by cutting the course 
of instruction in half it required the remainder of CY I962 to give a 
basic familiarization course to even the bu3-k of the CG- and SDC, GW v/as 
not eager to put weapons into SDC hands, fearing that the weapons might 
v/lnd up in the possession of the VC. 83/ In the event, both forces emerged 
as something much less effective than had been expected. The strategic 
hamlets which they were to protect proliferated in quantity in an ujicontrolled 
manner and varied widely in quality. It never reaJ-ly became possible for 
AEVN to free itself from static defensive duties. 

Even if it had become possible for ARW, to be cut loose from static 
duties it is questionable that it could have risen to U.S. expectations. 
The period in question is one in \fhich the rigo family felt itself con- 
strained constantly to play off the military against the provincial officials 
(who controlled the CG and SDC) in order to forestall attempts at a coup 
d'etat . Military leaders seem.ed inclined to rely increasingly on firepower 
as a substitute for aggressive maneuver. Rosy reports from the provinces 
made it unappealing to sustain casualties engaging an enemy who was said 
to have already been driven from the area. 8^ / The all-too-common result 
was that ARVN did not im.prove as the U.S. had expected it would. U.S. 
advisors became frustrated and embittered. Even rare opportunities for 
decisive engagement on the ground were allowed to pass or were mishandled. 
The deba.cle at Ap Bac-, in , I962, stands as a landmark of this 

continued impotence. 

The failure of ARVIT to develop as expected was, however, not officially 
recognized until much later. Even then the reasons for this failure were 
variously interpreted. In mid-1962, after the initial advisory build-up 
had been completed, the comrp.ander of the recentDy established U.S. Military 
Assistance Command, Vietnam (M^CV), General Paul D, Rarkins, estimated 
tha,t the U.S* task was simply one of training ARVH leaders on a one-time 
basis and that the VC cou]_d be eliminated as a disturbing force within 
a year after this had been accomplished, (This was a clear instance of . 



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the "technical"tactica,l competence" expectation.) Secreta^ry McN9.m3.ra 
-" probably wishing also to form prudent contingency plans and to have 
the capability to exert pressiire on the Diem regime — directed tha.t 
the U.S. plan for a phased withdrawal of UoSc forces over a three year 
period. 85/ This decision and the subsec[iient plans for its implementa- 
tion^ chronicled in another volinne of this series 5"^" indica^tes the extent 
to which optimistic expectations existed at some high official U.S., 
levels even v/hile (as we v/ere later to lea.rn) the situation in the 
countryside continued to deteriorate. This^ in turn;, helps to explain 
why the advisory build-up com.pleted in April I962 v/as not followed by 
any additional increases in advisors' for more than tv/o years. 

The central problem in this regard was that the U.S. had neither 
a firm grasp on reliable indicators to determine how the war was pro- 
gressing nor a V7i3.1ingness to accept claims th3.t it was not going well.. 
The second of these tendencies was attributable to the approach which 
finally emerged from the decisions following the Taylor mission: The 
U.S. would support Diem unstintingly and expect 5 in return 5 meaningful 
reforms and improvements v/ithin GVN. But it was caught in a dilemma 
when the expected reforms did not take place. To continue to support 
Diem v^ithout reforms meant q.uite simply that he, not v/e, would determine 
the course of the counterinsurgent effort and that the steps he took to 
assuz-e his continuajice in power would continue to take priority over all 
else. To deny him support in any of a variety of v.^ays would erode his 
power without a viable alternative in sight. The tendency may not have 
been precisely to "sink or svn.m with Ngo Dinh Diem/' as Homer Bigart 
phrased it, but it came very close to this. 

The inability to know just how things were going presented an even 
more difficult problem. The tendency was to use forces retrained or 
newly equipped, strategic hamlets constructed, and trends in VC activity, 
as indicators of the progress of the w8.r. But training does not neces- 
sarily ec[ual effectiveness, the iixmbex of hamlets constructed does not 
tell one of the loyalty of their populations, and enemy attacks might be 
a misleading guide. Were GVN making progress in a contested area, for 
instance, Viet Cong rea.ctions might be expected to increase ra^ther than 
to diminish. in freq.uency a.nd intensity. Conversely, the insurgents would 
have no good reason to attack populated areas vrhich they had already 
succeeded in penetrating and over which they had established effective 
de facto control. 86 / Data and observations could be va^riously inter- 
preted -- so variously, in fact, that President Kennedy was led to a.sk 
two observers just returned from Vietnam v/ho gave him divergent reports, 
"You two did visit the S8.me country, didn^t you?" 87/ 



-X- Volume IV. B. ^4-., Evolution of the War: Phased Withdraw a l of U.S. Forces ; > 

1962-19611- (TS). 



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TOE STAGE IS SET EOR "BETTER GVN RECEPTIVITY 



■ri 






While the U.S. groped for a better way to determine how the counter- 
insurgent effort was going and debated how (or if) to exercise leverage 
against Diem, it was overtaken by events. The I963 Buddhist crisis in 
VN^ V7as met by increasingly repressive measures by the GVN. These 
developments finally led the U.S. to reassess its support for Diem and to 
consider other non-comjiiunist alternatives to his leadership. On 
1 November I963 Diem v/as overthrown by a military coup d'etat > The 
pacification effort organized around the Strategic Haiialet Program died 
with him; the advisory effort was left untouched in terms of size and 
scope. To the extent that Diem and his family were the ones preventing 
ARVN from meeting the expectations of late I96I5 it was reasoned, now was 
the time for the military advisory system to begin to function m.ore 
effectively. To the extent that ARVN commanders in the field had been 
unresponsive to U,So advice because of indifference and opposition in the 
Gia Long Palace, it was hoped the difficulties of the p3.st might be 
rectified by the new military regime. 



^- See Volume IV. B. in the present series, Evolu tion o f the Wa - The 
Overthrow of I^feo Dinh Diem, May-November I963 (TS). 

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B> District Advisors and the Bee f -UEof 

Battalion Advisory Teams Tl96V"19^I 

The initial U.Se reaction to the Diem coup was thus one of modest 
optimism. Even given the U.S. disappointment at the death of the Ngo 
brothers the fact remained that the new regime in the Saigon saddle 
v^as expected to be more responsive to U.S. advice than the previous 
government had been. It v^as necessary that GVIv programs be redirected 
into more realistic channels ^ that the efficiency of operations be 
increased^ that additional steps be taken to seal the infiltration 
routes through Laos, and that the U.S. reaffirm its coimaitment to GW 
in a credible way. The key to success«-the pacification process—had 
already been discovered; the task was one of skillfu-l, sustained execu- 
tion. 

Each of these points was addressed by National Security Action 
Memorandum 273^ approved 26 November I963. The immediate cause for 
NSAl-1 273 was the assassination of Bresident Kennedy four days earlxer;^ 
newly-installed President Johnson needed to reaffirm or modif-y the policy 
lines pujTsued by his predecessor. President Johnson q.uickly chose to 
reaffirm the Kennedy policies. Emphasis should be placed; the document 
stated; on the Mekong Delta area, but not only in military terms. Polit- 
ical, economic, social, educational, and informational activities must 
also be pushed: ''We should seek to turn the tide not only of battle 

but of belief " 88/' Military operations should be initiated, under 

close political control, up to within fifty kilometers inside of Laos. 
U.S. assistance programs should be maintained at levels at _ least eq.ual 
to those under the Diem government so that the new GVN would not be 
tempted to regard the U.S. as seeking to disengage. 89/ 

The same document also revalidated the plan_ned phased withdrawal 
of U.S. forces announced publicly in broad terms by President Kennedy 
shortly before his death: 

The objective of the United States with respect to the 
withdrav/al of U.S. military personnel remains as stated in 
the vniite House statement of October 2, I963. 92/ 

No new programs were proposed or endorsed, no increases in the level or 
nature of U.S. assistance suggested or foreseen. The emphasis was^on 
persuading the new goveriiment in Saigon to do well those things which 
the fallen government was considered to have done poorly. 

OPTI MISM TUENS TO ERUSTRATIQN 

This attitude of cautious optimism changed gradually by the early 
summer of 196'l to one of deepening gloom. No radical shift marked this 



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transition; it was one of a heightened at^/areness of instability in the 
central government in Saigon (the IC'.ani-i coup and maneuvering for 
advantage by the generals);, of a deteriorating situation in the country- 
sidej and of the discovery that things had been v^orse to begin with than 
the U.S. had suspected. I\[ot only did events indicate a Viet Cong ascen- 
dancy in the coujitryside; the U.S. vas not even able to determine with 
assurance just how things stood. The informational returns were inadequate 
from the existing advisory effort, ARVF had not become an effective fighting 
force, and the extent of U.S. influence was questionable. 



^This deterioration of the couriterinsurgent effort (including the 
growing a\v^areness that earlier reports had been unrealistically rosy) vzas 
one factor v^ich was to lead to an expansion of the U.S. military advisory 
effort. A second, s.nd complementary, factor was the increasing conviction 
in official circles that the struggle in Vietnam was so ij.nportant that we 
could not afford to lose it. Although these two factors in jujxtaposition 
created a determination to take whatever steps were necessary to ensure 
a free non-conimunist South Vietnam, this commitment operated in the shadow 
of an equal determination to work tlxrough the GVN rather than around it 
and to avoid radical policy departm-'es dujring the Presidential elections. 

A further buildup in U.S. advisors v/as not the major product of this 
determined commitment. Rather, there \7as in 196^- a growing conviction 
that only by consciously expanding the war --by "going North" in order 
to punish and dissuade the DRV from support of the insurgency -- could 
the deteriorating situation be arrested and reversed. Governmiental 
stability in South Vietnam and the reduction, if not the elimination, of 
pressures from the north came to be regarded as desiderata which would 
turn upon actions outside RVN rather than within it. The decisions to 
expand the U.S. advisory effort were overshadowed by plans to ca.rry the 
war to the DRV.^' 



NSAJ-l 288 

NSAM 273 had, as described above, limited cross-border operations to 
an area 50 kilometers within Laos. NSAI/I 288, published in March 196^, 
reaffirmed these mea.sures but went considerab.ly fujrther in authorizing 
contingency preparations to be employed in the event that border control 
operations proved inadequate: 

To prepa.re immediately to be in a position on 72 hours' 
notice to initiate the fu.ll range of Laotian and Cambodian 
"Border Control actions" (beyond those authorized. . .above) 
and the "Retaliatory Actions" against North VietnaBi, and to 
be in a position on 30 days' notice to initiate the program of 
"Graduated Overt Military Eressaire" against North Vietnam. 91/ 



■5^ The sensitive files of the Secretary of Defense for the period under 
discussion consist in large part of .detailed plans to bring increasing 
military pressure against DRV under careful political coirbrol and under 
"scenarios" v/hich would ensure adequate domestic and foreign sup)port 
for these actions. 

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This Initial official signal to prepare to expand the war was 
cast against a conviction that U.S» objectives in South Vietnam were 
critically important: 

We seek an independent non-Cormnunist South Vietnam. 
We do not require that it serve as a Western base or as a 
member of a Western Alliance. South Vietnam must be free, 
however, to accept outside assistance as required to ma.intain 
its security. This assistance should be able to take the 
form not only of economic and social measures but also police 
and military help to root out and control insurgent elements. 

Unless we can achieve this objective in South Vietnam, 
almost all of Southeast Asia will probably fall under Communist 
dominance (all of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia), accommodate to 
Communism so as to remove effective U.S. and anti-Communist 
influence (Burraa), or fall under the domination of forces not 
now explicitly Communist but likely then to becom_e so (Indonesia 
taking over Malaysia). Thailand might hold for a period with 
our help, but would be vmder grave pressujre. Even the Philippines 
would become shaky, and the threat to India to the west, Australia 
and New Zealand to the south, and Taiwan, Korea, and Japan to the 
north s.nd east would be greatly increased. 

All of these consecLuences would probably have been true 
even if the U.S. had not since 195^^ and especially since I96I, 
become so heavily engaged in South Vietnam. However, that fact 
accentuates the impact of a Commujiist South Vietnam not only 
in Asia, but in the rest of the world, where the South Vietnam 
conflict is regarded as a test case of U.S. capacity to help a 
nation meet a Comjmmist "wa.r of liberation." 

Thus, purely in terms of foreign policy, the stakes are 
high. . . . 

The situation has unq.uestlonably been growing worse, at 
least since September: 

1. In terms of govermhent control of the country- 
side, about kO% of the territory is under Viet Cong 
control or predominant influence. In 22 of the ^3 
provinces, the Viet Cong control 50/^ or more of the 
land area, including 80/, of Phuoc Tuy; 90/^ of Binh 
Du.ong; ^% of Hau Nghia; SOPjo of Long An; 90fa of Kien 
Tuong; 30% of Dinli Tuong; 90% of Kien Hoaj and 85^ 

of An Xuyen. 

2. Large groups of the population are now showing 
signs of apathy and indifference, and there are some 
signs of frustration within the U.S. contingent: 

a. Tile ARVN and paramilitary desertion rates, 

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and particularly the latter ;, are high and increasing. 

b. Draft dodging is high while the Viet Cong 
are recruiting energetically and effectively. 



c. The morale of the harnlet militia and of 
the Self Defense Corps ^ in which the sec-urity of 
the hamlets depends ^ is poor and falling. 



o 



3- In the last 90 days the v^-eakening of the govern- 
ment's position has been particularly noticeable. For 
excfj-fiple : 

a. In Quang Fam province ^ in the I Corps ^ the 
militia in I7 ham2.ets turned in their weapons. 

b. In Binli Duong province (ill Corps) the 
hamlet military vzere disarmed because of suspected 
disloyalty. 

c. In Binh Dinh province , in the II Corps ^ 
75 hamlets were severely dam3.ged by the Viet Cong 
(in contrast, during the twelve months ending 
June 3O; 1968;, a.tta.cks on strategic hamlets were 
few and none was overrun). 

d. In Quang Ngai province ^ at the northern 
edge of the II Corps , there were 14-13 strategic 
ha.mlets londer goverrmient control a yes^r ago. Of 
tha.t number 5 335 ha.ve been damaged to varying degrees 
or fa.Uen into disrepair^ and only 275 remain under 
governjnent control. 

e. Security throughout the IV Corps has deteri- 
orated badly. The Vict Cong control virtually all 

■ facets of peasant life in the southernmost provinces 
and the government troops there a.re reduced to 
defending the administrative centers. Except in An 
Giang province (dominated by the Hoa Hao religious 
sect) armed escort is req,uired for almost all move- 
laent in both the southern a/nd northern areas of the 
IV Corps. 

h. 1!he political control structua?e extending from Saigon 
down into the hamlets disappeared following the J^Iovember coup. 
Of the kl incujnbent province chiefs on rj'ovember 1^ 35 have 
been repla.ced (nine provinces had three province chiefs in 
three months; one province had four). Scores of lesser 
officials vj-ere replaced. Almost all m.ajor military com- 
mands have changed hands twice since the November coup. The 



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faith of the peasants has been shaken by the disruption in 
experienced leadership and the loss of physical security. 
In iiiany areas, power vacuums have developed causjng con- 
fusion 8.mong the people and a rising rate of rural disorders. 

5* North Vietnamese support , always significant, has been 
increasing. 92/ 

The major new action under consideration to help achieve critically 
important UeS. objectives in the face of this gloomy recording of recent 
events was, as already noted, that of carrying the v/ar to North Vietnam. 
Secretary McNam.ara, whose memorandum to the B-esident v/as published en 
toto as NSAM 288, did not foresee the need at that time for a further 
major buildup of the advisory effort or for U^S. steps to take greater 
control of the v/ar. Again, the approach already selected was deemed 
adequate. Only qualitative improvement was needed: 

A. The military tools and concepts of the GVN/uS effort 

are generally sound and adequate Substantially more can be 

done in the effective employment of military forces and in the 
economic and civic action area.s. These improvem.ents m.ay require 
some selective increases in the U.S. presence, but it does not 
appear likely that major equipment replacement and additions 

m U.S. personnel are indicated under cuj:*rent policy, 

B. The U.S. policy of reducing existing personnel where 
South Vietns.mese are in a position to assume the fimctions is 
still sound. Its application will not lead to any major reduc- 
tions in the near fivture, but adherence to this policy as such 
has a sound effect in portraying to the U.S. and the world that 
we continue to regard the war as a conflict the South Vietnamese 
must win and take ultim.ate responsibility for. Substantial 
reductions in the numbers of U.S. military training personnel 
should be possible before the end of 1965, Hov/ever, the U.S. 
should continue to reiterate that it will provide all the 
assistance and advice required to do the job regardless of 

how long it takes. 93/ 

Two actions v/hich were explicitly considered and rejected indicated that 
the^U.S. would still adhere to its oft-stated (and sometimes ignored) 
position that the South Vietnamese must win their own war through their 
own efforts: 

Furnishing a U.S. Combat Unit to Secure the Saigon Area. 
XT, IS tne un.ivers5.1 judgment of ouj? senJ.or people in Saigon, 
with which we concur, that this action would now have serious 
adverse psychological consequences azid should not be undertaken. 

• 

UeS. Taking Over Comn-iand . It has been suggested that the 
U.S. move from its present advisory role to a role that would 



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amount in practice to effective comraemd. Again^ the judgraent 
of all senior people in Saigon, with which \je concur, is that 
the possible milita.ry advantages of such action would be far 
out-weighed by its adverse psychological impact. It would 
cut across the V7hole basic picture of the Vietnamese winning 
their ovai war and la.y us wide open to hostile propaganda both ' 
within South Vietnam a.nd outside. Moreover , the present 
responsiveness of the GVN to our advice — although it has not 
yet reduced military reaction time — raa.kes it less urgent. 
At the same time, MA.CV is steadily taking actions to bring 
UoS. and GVIJ operating staffs closer together at all levels, 
including Joint operating rooms at key coiranand levels. 9V 

Thus, it was stated national policy that the critically important 
struggle in South Vietnam must be won by the South Vietnamese, that the 
U.S. would do all within its power to help o.rrest and reverse a deteri- 
orating situation, and that plans should be made to employ graduated 
overt military pressures against the supporters of the insurrection, the. 
DRV. This \ias the principal thrust of KSAM 288 even though a sizeable 
portion of the docijunent was devoted to programmatic steps which GVN and 
the U.S. should take in order better to mobilize South Vietnam's assets. 
Specifically, RVNAF needed to be increased in size by at least 50,000 
men, reorganized, and provided with selected items of modern eq.uipment. 95/ 
These programs presaged more U.S. advisors because there would be more 
RVKAF units to advise, but there was no mention of more advisors for given* 
ujiits or advisors to perform nev7 fujictions . 



INCREASING POLI TICAL INSTABILITY IN THE PROVINCES 

The dark picture painted in NSAl'-I 288 in March had become even darker 
by May 196^4. Secretary McNamara visited Saigon on 12 and I3 May to inquire 
into progress in the "oilspot^' national pacification program. What he 
learned could scarcely be called encouraging. A follow-on conference 
was scheduled for 1 Jujie in Honolulu and the planning wheels began to 
turn — or, more accurately, the vzheels began to churn -- for there was 
barely two weeks' time in which to propose 8.nd coordinate U.S. actions 
acceptable to the GVN which might reverse the dov/nward spiral of events, 
and ^'going North" was not yet feasible in terms of domestic U.Sc politics. 

Illustrative statistics (the same which Secretary McNamara saw) give 
the tone of events in South Vietnam. In an effort to determine exactly 
how many rural cominunities even existed — much less whose control they 
were under — the Department of Defense had earlier initiated an aerial 
photogre^phic survey of the rura^l areas of RVI\f* Even this expensive under- 
taking left great factual gaps. In Tay Ninh Province, for example, 
photointerpreters identified 39 fortified hamlets; U.S. reports from 
provincial officials claimed that there V7ere IO6. 96/ The discrepancy 
was not one to appeal to those who vzished to base policy determinations ■ 
on solid facts. 



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Other facts v/ere more easily ascertainable. Since the Diem coup^ 
for instance, only 5 of WE' s k2 provinces had not experienced a change 
in Province Chief. Change is, of coiirse, inescapable in the aftermath 
of a coup, but by 8 May I5 provinces were under their third chief since 
1 ATovember I96U, 7 had their fourth, and 2 provinces were governed by 
the fifth officer since the Diern government fell. Instability in admin- 
istration was accompanied by a marked GVR decline in nujiibers of population 
controlled and a comparable increase in VC population control. These 
trends were reflected in the official estimates (them.selves suspect of 
being overly optimistic) of control in the rural villages: 

Comparison, Number of Rural Villages Controlled 97 



RVN 



VG 



Contested 



Sep 63 
1682 

709 

139 



Apr 6k 

11^-85 
866 

187 



Of the 1^- provinces considered critical in terms of location and popula- 
tion, all V7ere reported by their advisors to be in "critical" condition. 
The prospects in 10 of these were judged to be "poor." Four provinces 
were regarded to have "fair" prospects. 98/ It was apparent that the 
U.S. could not depend on eventual actions against DRV to save the day in 
South Vietnam. By the time such actions were politically feasible there 
might be nothing to save. It v/as time to take some further direct action 
within South Vietnam itself — and to take it quickly. Increasing U.S. 
advisors was an obvious and available action. 



MCV'S GR/^DUAL]^I^£^A mOACH TO EXPANSION 

As early as December I963, MACV had studied the desirability of 
extending the U.S. advisory effort to district level in I3 certain key 
districts, mostly around Saigon. No action was taken at that time but 
the proposal was revived in February and implemented during late March 
196^. 9.9/ Each of the original I3 "key districts" was assigned one 
Captain and one noncommissioned officer. Of the original 26 persons 
selected for this pilot project, 21 were newly arrived in RVN. lOO/ 

This gradualistic, experimental approach to expanding the advisory 
effort typified the method preferred both by the military and civilian 
agencies in Vietnam -» although for somev^hat different reasons. .MACV 
was concerned with the experience and skill levels it could command ajnong 
necessarily lower ranks as it expanded deeper into ARVN and the political 
(staffed by ARVN) hierarchy, about increased support requirements, and 
about increased casualties. USOM claimed that its operatives could work 
effectively at the "spigot" end of tlie aid pipeline only where the local 



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administration was energetic and effective and vrtiere some modicum of 
security had already been provided. 10 l/ USOM had severe recruiting 
difficulties 5 too. Secretary McNamara discovered on his 12-13 May visit 
to Saigon that it v^-as about 25 per cent understrength and that approxi- 
mately half of this personnel shortage was concentrated in the expanding 
rural affairs staff. 102/ 



McMMRA^S WILLCTGKESS TO APPROVE EXPANSION 



Thus 5 the general attitude among the U.S. agencies in Saigon was to 
go slov^-ly, to avoid the danger, as it \ras frequently expressed^ of ^'strewing 
Americans all over the coimtryside." Secretary McNamara appa^rently had 
other thoughts after his May visit in Saigon. The available record does 
not reflect that he directed an expansion of the advisory effort "- but the 
Joint Staff was almost immediately hard at work examining which of several 
levels of increase would be most desirable. The available record leaves 
little doubt that the Secretary of Defense wanted it made clear that he 
V70uld approve any reasonable proposals for personn-el, materiel, or funds. 
Those sections of NSAM 288 which dealt with recommenda.tions for South 
Vietnam ha.d concentrated on programs which vT-ould assist GVN to mobilize 
its resources. By May it was clea.r that the hoped-for actions had not 
taken effect. The obvious conclusion — given the importance which the 
U.S. attached to success in South Vietnam -- was that additional steps 
must be taken to halt the deterioration in the countryside. 



THE INITIAL PROPOSALS AWD RESPONSES 



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The initial recorded exchange among the planners occurred when 
COMUSMACV was asked on 22 May I96U to provide an input to a JOS study then 
in progress on " . . . encadrement of South Vietnamese Civil Guard and Self 
Defense Corps with U.S. teams along lines of IVhite Star teaais in Laos, 
with objective of making these units as effective as possible in Vietna.mese 
pacification plan." IO3/ The message made it clear that the JCS was 
examining alternative levels of increased advisory effort (1,000, 2,000 
and 3,000 personnel), not asking if the advisory effort should be increased. 
The compressed time frame 8.vail3.bl^ for prior coordination on a recommended 
course of action was also clear: C0I4USMCV v^as asked to provide his com- 
ments on the draft JCS proposal by the following day (23 May). "Regret 
circumstances do not permit more time," the message stated. lO^t-/ 

The reply from Saigon, processed through CINCPAC, adhered to the 
established MA.CV preference to ■uiiderta.ke new departures only in a selective, 
experimental way: 

I do not think we should flood RVN with number of personnel 
you mention. Think better solution is to do /thls^/ on selective 
basis starting with critical districts and provinces and once we 
get feel of problem expand to remainder of RVN as experience 
dictates. IO5/ 



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Then^ in a significant ps^ssage^ the reply from the field asked in bl-uait 
language Just what the intended pui-pose was for the proposed expansion 
of the advisory effort. The "White Star Teams" used in Rios, the message 
noted, had the p'orpose and effect of establishing U.S. control over foreign 
forces: 

The question arises as to whether you mean encadrement or 
increase of "advisory" effort. Do you want to take control 
or improve the perfoz-mance of CG and SDC by step-up within 
current policy? 106/ 

Although this direct question was never answered, the JCS'^ initial 
proposal for encadrement was q.uietly dropjjed. The U.S. might wish to be 
in a position to control elements or all of EVMF but it woiad not con- 
sciously follow any scheme explicitly aimed at such control. Instead, 
the JCS coLintered with a plan for six Mobile Training Teajns in each 
province backed up by a Training Center Team and a small Provincial Training 
Detachment. This proposal would put an additional 70 U.S. training advisors 
in each selected province in an effort to improve the level of effective- 
ness of the paramilitary forces. Its reconmiendation was that the U.S. 
military advisory effort should be increased by 1000 personnel, enough to 
provide this new dim^ension of advice in the fourteen critical provinces 
which had experienced so m.uch recent instability- 107/ 

This JCS proposal for Mobile Training Teams for the EVMF paramilitary 
forces was tied to an explicit statement of how best to organize this 
effort without any mention of how much influ ence or leverage the U.S. would 
or cou^d exert through this expanded system. The problem was treated as 
one in the development of technical proficiency^ the issue of the extent 
of U.S. control was largely ignored— though surely not forgotten: 

Conce pt of US Advisory Effort 
a. Genera.! 

(1) An underlying principle in the oil-spot ^ concept 
is accordance of maxmum flexibility to province officials in 
solving individual province problems which vary widely from 
province to province. This study recognizes that principle 
and outlines a plan for assignment of additional US instructor 
and training resources to the province to provide the training 
and advice needed to improve the effectiveness of the provincial 
paramilitary forces. 

(2) The shortage of trained personnel is acute in the 
paramilitary forces because of the nature of the forces ^themselves. 
They are recruited at province or district level to perform mili- 
tary tasks in those same regions. V?hile the CG and SDC are con- 
sidered full-time troops, many of the individuals, in fact, must 
combine earning their livelihood with military duties. Movement 
of these people long distances away from their homes to training 
centers disrupts their lives, creates morale problems, and 

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undoubtedly contributes greatly to the high desertion rates 
which have been experienced. It appears a.ppropriate;, there- 
Tore j to bring the trainers and training facilities to the 
areas where the pa.rarailitary forces live and operate. 

(3) According to US standards 5 the military training 
needs of the Vietnamese paramilitary are extremely modest. 
There is no requirement for elaborated technical schools or 
complex instructional courses. Instead^ the Vietnamese para- 
military re quire military schccling at the m-ost basic levels ^ 
gjiljl. ■^jg pfr^-^^^s o^ basic infantr-y vzeapons and small unit t actics. 
S.V^'^Jl, ,J'-^s'fc^'"^-<^tion would be provided by the additional nutnbers of 
US military pe rsonnel , 

b. Organization for Adviscry Effort . The training defi- 
ciencies and problems of the paramilitary/' are as many and varied 
as the number of provinces and districts in which those forces 
operate. Needs in Quang Ngai^ for example 5 may be extremely 
different from those in Dinh T-aong. Within the provinces^ each 
district also may have different training needs. The reasonable 
method of approaching this prcblemj then, appears to be establish- 
ment of highly flexible training detachjnents operating under 
supervision at province level^ which can provide local mobile 
training teams 5 small training centers ; and temporary encadre- 
ment for the smaller pa.ramilitary units when dictated by a 
specific situation. 108/ 



MACV POCUSES ON OPERATIONS RATHER Ysik'N TMIMNG 

COI^JSMACV and CINCPAC were asked to comment within two days on this 
study which had been "...considered at the highest levels^ where initial 
reaction has been favorable." IO9/ Their replies, in which the thea^ter 
commander supported his nominal subordinate in Saigon, contested the value 
of U.S. -conducted tr aining for RVKA_E ps.ramilitary forces 5 proposed that 
advisors be used at the district level to assist in operations ^ accepted 
the l,000-man magnitude, but stretched out the target date I8 months — 
thereby proposing a gradualistic approach without ca.ndidly saying so. 
General Plarkins devoted most of his reply to the question of training 
teams : 

A. A basic premise of the study is that training at the 
established centers is at the root of many morale and desertion 
problems. This premise is incorrect as rega.rds the Civil Guard 
(Regional Forces). It is in part true with respect to SDC 
(Popular Forces); but the underlying cause thereof ~ lack of 
per diem - is in the process of being removed by the new allow- 
ances that are a^bout to be pro::ulgated. This is not to say there 






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are not formidable morale problems (one manifestation of which 
is desertion) within both categories of forces. These need to be 
and are being ta.ckled. However ^ basic point is that they do not 
stem from the present system of training. 

B.' Mobile training teams have been organized iinder special 
circrimstances when units have ha.d prior combat experience and/or 
as an expedient mea.sure only. Experience has proved tha.t units 
trained by such teams have subsequently req.uired formal training 
at an established training center where proper facilities are 
available. The Civil Guard and Self Defense Corps had many units 
trained by mobile training team_s in I962 in order to provide an 
iimnediate operational force. Almost all of these units have since 
been retrained in the complete miit poi /program of instruction/ 
because it was determined that the mobile team training was inade- 
q,uate. The mobile training teams consisted of U^S. personnel and 
Vietnamese interpreters. 

C. "While the training requirements of paramilitary forces are 
relatively m.odest by U«S» standa^rds, an adeq.ua.te poi must be backed 
up by firing ranges ^ training areas ;> class rooms ^ training aids and 
other facilities. These requirements are met by the regional and 
popula.r forces training centers. There are five regional force 
unit training centers; nine regional force/popular force leader 

;^^. training centers; and thirty-seven popular force training centers. 

They are properly distributed geographically; they are staffed 
with qualified Vietnam^ese instructors; and can be expanded^ with 
little difficulty to support programmed force increase. Some 
augmentation of the U.S. a^dvisory element at these severa.l centers 
is desirable 5 on a selected basis - 

D. The concept of U.S. personnel conducting training for the 
paramilitary forces on either a training center or MTT basis (and 
especially the latter) is not realistic - 

(1) The Vietnamese have an adequate training ba.se with 
experienced instructors; the latter are doing a satisfactory 
job. For the U.S. to assujne the instructional effort 5 vice 
the Vietnamese-, would generate serious morale problems and 
would probably be imacceptable. 

(2) The interpreter support requirements would be pro- 
hibitive. 

(3) Previous experience (sub-paragra.ph B above) of using 
U.S. a.dvisors as instructors was unsuccessful due to the 
inability to commujiicate. 

2, As indicated above ^ the current method of training both the 
1 ; regional 8.nd popula^r forces is a^dequate^ although we do have 

under review the length and content of the training. Where the 






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U.S. can iiiake its best contribution to the paramilitai-'y forces 
effectiveness is in the area of operations. Our formula^ dis- 
cussed in 23 May telecon on this subject^ is to increase greatly 
the UcS. advisory effort at the district level. Therefore^ 
strongly urge that you support om? position that approximately 
1000 advisors 5 in the general proportion of one officer to three 
nCO's be a.uthorized as district detachm.ents^ with the precise 
composition and deployment of said teams lefl: to the determination 
of COJ\lUSmcv. 110/ 

CINCPAC Informed the JCS that he agreed with COMaSMCV' s arguiiients and 
quoted the telecon referred to above to explain the course of action pre 
f erred by the military commanders in the field: 

1. Our coBiment is based on CG/SDC reorganization concept 
of 7 May v/hich includes elimination CG Bn PIq. in provinces and 
establishment 90 man sector Hq. in .lieu thereof with TAG CP 
capability;, and sub-sector Hq. I6 men at each 239 districts. 
This is expected to be accomplished in two to three months. 

2. Recommend use of one team, composed of mature company 
grade officer and other specialist as you suggest (Wpns/Demo, 
Commo Med) per district. 

3. I^oposal para 2 represents end req.uirement for 239 teams ^ 
totaling 239 officers, 717 enlisted spec aggregate 956 personnel, 
by end calendar year 65. 

h. MA.CV current plans call for 1 officer and 1 NCO at II6 
districts by June 65. Req.ulsitlons have been submitted for 100 
of these by end CY 6h. Tvm man detachments now assigned to I3 
districts. 



5- Assume GVW will agree to use US teams at district which 
represent reasonable security risk. At present time approx 40 
of 239 districts are not sufficiently secur-e to enable use of 
US advisors. 111. 




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WE JCS ALTERmTIVE PROGRAMS 

The JCS, given the very few ds.ys remaining until Secretary McNamara 
was to meet in Honolulu with COMJSMACV and Ambassador Lodge, did not 
attempt to reconcile the time-phasing and eventual size of the proposed 
advisory effort at district level. Rather, it submitted to the Secretary, 
just prior to his departure for the conference, two separate raemoranda: 
One laid out a prospective program for district advisors throughout WN; 
the other outlined a pilot program at the district level. The purpose 
of both outline advisory efforts was the same — "improving the effective- 
ness of these paramilitary units in the Vietnamese pacification plan" — 
but the rate of advisor buildiip differed. 






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In the proposed "pilot prograra," for instance, the concept envisaged 

the phased establishjiient of teams in h9 districts of seven key provinces 
during a six-month period. This would require approximately 300 addi- 
tional advisors. 112/ The broader program called for an additional 1,000 
8.dvisory personneD., plmsed over a. period of I-I2 years, to cover all ^39 
districts 'by the end of CY I965. 223/ T^e more comprehensive program 
estimated that 63 districts (compared to ^1-9 districts in the "pilot 
prograan") would be m.ann.ed by the end of CY 196^. Both were represented 
as suitable bases for the Secretary's impending discussions ^ in Honolulu. 
Both were hu_rriedly drawn up alternative schemes for expanding the 
advisory effort to district level. Both, moreover, incorporated the^ 
argujnents of COMU'SmCV: concentration on operations rather than training 
and a time-phased buildup with due attention to existing security con- 
ditions and interpreter availability. The point was also m.ade that the 
total n™ber of additional personnel would necessarily include a support 
slice of approxima,tely 35^. llU/ 

One other question of expansion was addressed before the Secretary 
of Defense's conference in Honolulu in June. The JCS studied the possi- 
bility, also in late May, of extending the advisory effort to regular 
ARVN u_nits at the com^pany level. The JCS agreed with the COMQSMCV and 
CINCPAC reasoning that such an extension would be un.desirable because it 
would lead to greatly increased U„S. casualties, would be unsupportable 
^ in terms of necessary language training (one year to I8 m.onths necessary 

to provide 5OO "bilingual" advisors), and would meet resistance^ from 
ARVN commanders faced with strange new relationships and potential loss 
of face. 115/ 

MACV'S PREIERRED APPROACH ACCEPTED 

The prevailing military advice, then, when the Secretary met on 
1 June with the principal U.S. m_anagers of the Vietnamese effort, was 
that it was desirable to expand the advisory effort to district level 
on a careful basis in order to promote better effectiveness in the 
paramilitary forces engaged in pacification activities, but that U.S. 
advisors should not be extended to company level In the regular forces. 
The available record does not make clear the exact positions and^argu- 
ments put forward at Honolulu. VJhat is clear is that it was decided, 
following basically the revised estimates proposed by COMUSMCV, to 
expand the advisory effort to district level at some rate (to be worked 
out later in detail) and to increase the size of battalion-level advisory 
groups by two noncommissioned officers in infantry battalions and cavalry 
■.. troops and by one commissioned and two noncommissioned officers m 
artillery battalions. 116/ The acknowledged effect of the latter 
decision was to make company-level advisory tearas gA^-la^ble on an ad hoc 
basis without assignin g them on a permanent basis, llf/ It ^-s unclear 
how this scheme solved the previous reservations relative to language 
O* training, higher casualties, and Vietnamese sensibilities. A likely 



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explanation Is that MACV was mader a nev/ coiiimander^ General Westmoreland^ 
•v^ho was more willing to expand the advisory effort and less inclined to 
cite ^ the potential disadvantages of a larger American presence. General 
Harkins had already returned to the United States to receive the DJ.stinguished 
Service Medal in a ceremony on 2.k Jiine and^ at the reauest of President 
Johnson, remained in the U.S^ until he retired. 118/ 

At any rate, it was a new COMUSMCV who cabled on 25 June his pro- 
posals for the buildup discussed at the beginning of the month in Honolulu. 
In sum, he asked for 900 additional advisors for battalions and districts, 
suggested a small increase at province level, and noted that "significant" 
nujiibers of personnel woiild be needed for administrative and logistical 
support of the new advisors. He also suggested, in the emphasized pox^tion 
of the message q_uoted below, that many of the district advisory teams 
could complete their work and be moved to new areas for pacification 
within a year: 

1. Augmentation of current UvS Advisory detachments at 
the battalion level 8.nd further extension of the advisory 
effort at the district level a.re necessary now to influence 
the successful planxiing and execution of the National Pacif- 
ication Plan. These additions to the currezatly authorized 
advisory detachments have been discussed v/ith and agreed to by 
GVN, and will enable us to place advisors at the lowest level, 
as needed, in order to insure that all possible actions are 
properly coordinated, .. .Extension of US Advisory effort to the 
districts as an initial step toward intensifying the Pacification 
Program at the lowest level is essential. Tliis will insure 
supervision and coordination in the employment of para.m-ilitary 
forces and a general reinforcement of the pacification effort 
at district level. Initially, teams of two (2) officers and 
three (3) enlisted men (one (l) of vjhom will be a radio opera- 
tor) be placed in the forty-five {k'}) districts of the eight 
(8) priority provinces. In ten of these districts, and in 
three (3) districts of two other provinces, a limited effort 
is novr being made by district team-s of one (l) officer a.nd one 
(1) enlisted man; these teams will be increased to fall strength 
district tea.m.s. In the provinces outside of the eight top 
priority provinces teams will be placed in another sixty-eight 
(68) districts. Starting 1 Jan 6^ it is envisaged that an 
additional fifty (50) teams can be placed, and that by 1 Jul 65 
teams from the original districts can be placed into the 
remaining districts in SVN. This extension of US Advisory 
effort to the district level must be conducted on a phased 
basis V7ith actiial composition and employment as determ_lned by 
COMUSMACV. Tv70 (2) officers and three (3) enlisted men are 
considered as average team strengths for planning purposes 



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^ • ggCAP ITTOATIQH OF REQUIR R r-CSmS 

Capts/Lts e6 E5/U 

123 Inf Bns (incl k Marine) 123 123 

29 Arty Bns (incl 1 Mardne) 29 58 

Ik MII3 Troops 5 Armd CA Sq.dns 1^ l4 

^5 District Adv Teams (Priority province) 90 90 k^- 

68 District Adv Teams (Other provinces) I36 I36 68 

255 363 308 
TOTA.L5 adjusted for 13 districts teaans now in place, 9OO (2^2 
officers; 658 enlisted). 

3. While this message deals only with the increased advisory 
effort at the battalion and district levels consideration is also 
being given to increases at sector level, also discussed at Plonolulu. 
Those recommendations which will be submitted separately will not 
approach the m.agnitude of the increases recommended in this message 
for battalion and district levels 

•' 5- Administrative and logistical support personnel and eq.uip- 
ment req.uirements will be studied separately. From our earlier 
studies it is apparent that req.uirements will be significant. 

6. An increase of approximately eighty (80) US Naval ^Advisors 
will also be recommended. Chief US Naval Advisory Group, 'in coordina- 
tion with CNO VNM, has identified areas in need of additional advisory 
effort. I concur in the need and will support recominendation to be 
submitted separately. II9/ 

UNRESOLVED ISSUES: SPEED AND DISCgETIO NA.RY AUTHORITY 

The decision to increase the advisory effort in the magnitude and 
fashion just cited ha.d already been made in effect. It was necessary, 
however, for the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of Defense personally to 
approve every manpower space for MCV or MA.AG Vietnam — not because such 
decisions could not be delegated but because the Secretary chose to 
reserve them to himself. 120/ The q,uestions which rema^ined were, first, 
how much freedom to adjust numbers to situations (a discretionary 8.uthority 
COMUSMCV had consistently requested) would be permitted and, second, the 
rate at which the agreed expa.nsion would take pla.ce. There could have 
been other q.uestions, of course: should the district advisory effort 
spread in close geographic relation to the pacification plan or follow 
some other schem.e; should the advisors be conscious agents to increase 
U.S. leverage or essentially technical-tactical assista.nts to their 
counter pa.rts; how deeply involved should a^dvisors become in local polit- 
ical a.dmlnistration? There is no indication that these and other related 
q,uestions of the advisors* role were brought ^'up the tape" for examina- 
tion. The principal issue was simpl;/ how q.uickly they should be brought' 
( - into South Vietnam and at what level discretionary authority would be 

exercised. 



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The latter question was settled by default. MkCY^s proposed 
Joint Table of Distribution (JTD) of 15 May. 196^5 replete with errors 
and omissions and antedating the decision to expand the advisory 
effort^ bec8.me the base line for authorizations to expand. Nobody in 
the game seemed CLuite able to keep the detailed numbers straight. OSD 
came quickly to focus on the total authorization for U.S. personnel in 
Vietnam and^ as the papers in the Secretary's files demonstrate;, found 
itself pencilling new numbers in even final draft copies which had 
\mdergone several checks and redrafts. IP.lf The product of th:l s con- 
centration on minutiae at high Washington levels was almost complete 
freedom of em-fjloyment in the field. The Washington policymakers asked 
hov7 many men were 8,uthorized in various activities a.nd how many were 
assigned. There is no evidence thSvt^ once the decision was made to 
establish district advisory teams , these same policymakers probed into 
priorities of employment or the roles of these advisors. 

« 

The rate of the build --up was a much more complicated matter 5 not 
because of the additional battalion advisors and the new district 
advisors bixt because the numbers represented solely by the e.dditional 
advisors quickly became a relatively sm_all percentage of the total U.S. 
build-up "« all of which was justified as contributing to the GVN pacifi- 
cation plan and a sizeable portion of which was specifically earmarked to 
provide administrative and logistical support to the newly arriving 
advisors. By mid-July COI^SmCV V7as recommending feOO personnel in 
addition to the 926 battalion and district advisors ^ at least two more 
helicopter companies , one Caribou company^ and nujnerous major items of 
equipnent as part of the required build-up. 122/ The increased advisory 
effort was identified as the cause of this large increase: 

The increa.ses envisaged. . .will provide for the extension 
and reinforcement of the advisory effort at the combat unit 
level andj concurrently, a major extension and reinforcement 
of the advisory effort at the district level in order to improve 
and ©.ccelerate pacification operations. That extension and 
augmentation of effort has an immediate impact upon the adminis- 
trative and logistical support base. In a sense the addition of 
advisors in this quantity becomes the "straw that broke the 
ca.mel's back" to e.n already overburdened support base. I23/ 



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SECRETARIAL PRESSURE FOR A SPEED-UP 

The Secretary of Defense and JOS met on 20 July to discuss these 
requirements. The JCS supported C0J\1USMACV. Secretary McNamara had no 
argument with the levels of men and equipm.ent requested; his question 
was why they could not be provided more quickly than indicated by the 
time-phasing in General Westm.oreland^s detailed breakdown. 124/ COIViUSMACV 



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had asked for almost ^-200 personnel by 1 December 1964 and the ba.lance 
(comprising only Special Forces miits) of the ^772 total increase by 
1 February I965. 12^/ Secretary McNamara asked the JCS to study the 
feasibility of accelerating the build-up so that it V70uld be comxjleted 
by 30 September- The JCS replied that the advisory personnel could be 
made available this q,uickly but that several support ujiits — particu- 
larly aviation units — could not reach South Vietnam by 30 September 
without causing extreme difficulties and the degradation of tests of 
the airmobile concept then in progress. 126/ The Secretary of Defense 
directed on 7 August that the accelerated deplo^/ment^ except for certain 
critical aviation items and jeeps ^ be completed by the end of September- 
He farther directed that COI^QSR/VCV be queried as to his ability to absorb 
these personnel and units by that date. 127/ 

Genera.l Westmoreland's reply stated that he could not reasonably 
absorb this build-up in the time desired by Secretary McNam.ara. To do 
SO5 he saidj v/ould generate an unorderly situation with respect to support 
facilities and an undesirable h-ump in personn.el rotation. The proposed 
acceleration would not, moreover, satisfy the desired standards of advisor 
training or dovetail with the planned expansion of the advisory effort: 

The required training/schooling of Bn/District advisors 
will be fX)xVaBx sacrificed ujider the proposed compression. A 
two week in-country orientation is being established to ha.ndle 
the Sep-Oct increments which will not receive COMJS schooling 
prior to arrival. Any further compression would create a 
requirement for in-country training which is beyond our capa- 
bility. 

Districts must be able to accept advisors based on their 
status of pacification. The present schedizling of district 
advisors is phased with the pacification plan and projected to 
coincide with its progress.. 



c a 



In summary;, the compression of personnel e.nd units wouJLd 
overlo8.d our existing facilities and create administrative prob- 
lems beyond our capacity to handle in an orderly manner. COMJSMCV 
has discussed v/ith Amb. Taylor who concurs. 128 / 

MA.CV'S PREFERENCE UPHELD AGAIN 

Faced with this reply from the individual responsible for me.naging 
the U.S. contribution to the advisory a.nd support effort. Secretary 
McNamara cancelled the accelerated deployment. The military services 
v/ere instructed to deploy personnel and ujiits to South Vietnam in accordance 
vrith General Westmoreland *s initial recoBMondation fox^'/arded to Washington. 
a month earlier, in mid -July. 129/ 



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The effect of this sequence of decisions stretching from mid-Ma.y 
to mid-August 196^4 was to increase the advisory effort by over 1000 
personnel: 

District Advisors: 553 

Battalion Advisors: 350 

Naval (and Marine) Advisory Group: 82 

Air Force Advisory Group: 80 

TOTAL 1065 130/ 

This expansion, and the rate at which it was to proceed^ was the product 
of what m3.y be termed '^tacit bargaining'' between Washington and Saigon, 
Washington typically assumed the initiative in proposing increases and in 
reconiQiending that they be accomplished as q.uickly as possible. The 
domina.nt concern was the fear that the countryside was being lost to the 
VC and that the impending U-S. moves to exert direct military pressure 
against DRV might come too late unless the pacification program coul.d be 
vitalized, U.S. officials in Saigon tended to prefer to expand gradually 
and to insure that adeq,ua.te support facilities were in place before addi- 
tional advisors were deployed to the field. The product of desires driven 
' ' by political awareness of impending failujre, on one hand, and desires 

driven by ma.nagerial av/areness of operationa.l conditions, on the other, 
was an advisory increase almost precisely of the magnitude and rate pre- 
ferred by the managers in the field. 

EVENTS OVERTAKE IMP LEJVIEIMTATIQN OF THB_ EXPANSION 

The really important points to be noted, however, do not concern the 
relative influence of General Westmoreland, Secretary McNamara, the JOS, 
or other participants in determining the size and rate of this buildup. 
Rather, the important points are, first, that the carefully studied deci- 
sions did not address some central issues and, second, that events a-cted 
■ to overtake the decisions which were made. The policyma^kers did not really 
examine how district a.nd additional battalion advisors would improve the 
execution of the pacification plan: they simply assumed that a grea/ter U.S. 
presence would produce beneficial effects. The basis for opeDr'ationa.l ( 

advisors for the paramilitary forces was, q.uite simply, COMUSIvlACV^ s reasoned 
elabora.tion of the disutility of training advisors. There wa.s no comple- 
menta^ry assessment of the usefulness of opera^tional advisors. It v/as 
necessa.ry to do something in South Vietnam to try to reverse a clearly 
deteriorating position. The provision of more advisors came very close 
to being a. reflexive response to this situation. 

^^^ The overall magnitude of the advisory i.ncrease bears directly on the 

second ma^jor point, in which events in RVN overtook the new U*S. response, 
lliis is particularly true in the instance of the new dimension in the 



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advisory effort;, the provision of advisory teams at the district (sub- 
sector) level. Thirteen teams of one officer and one noncoiiimissioned 
officer had been deployed in critical dJ.strlctS;^ it will be recalled, 
in March ISGh. The final August decisions to make 553 district advisors 
available in RVN by 1 Deceinber was designed to provide for a larger team 
(2 officers, 3 EM) for each of II3 of the total 239 districts. The MCV 
plan, then, was to provide U.S. military advisors only to about one-half 
of the total number of districts in RTO. 

By the end of CY 196^ all II3 teams were actually deployed. Their 
total strength at that time was 532 as against the authorized total 
strength of 565/^ By January I965 the n-omber of district advisors 
assigned exceeded the mirnber authorized. These teams were deployed, it 
will be recalled, in the expectation that by some time in I965 a sub- 
stantial number of them would have worked themselves out of a Job and 
be available for reassignment to new areas. This expectation was, to 
put it mildly, not validated by events. 

In February I965, roughly a month after the limited expansion to 
district advisors had been completed, the IChanh government was replaced 
by the Quat regime. Over a year of U.S. effort to bring about political 
stability within the GVW seemed to have been fruitlessly wasted. The 
U.S. began the sustained bombing campaign against North Vietnam, ROIilNG 
THUPTDER, on 26 February. Shortly thereafter, two Marine Battalion Landing 
Teams (BLTs) were landed at Da Nang for air base security. These measures 
presaged a growing U.S. material commitment; the trend was heightened by 
ARVN's performance later in the spring of I965. 

During May and June ARVN suffered a series of near catastrophic 
defeats that were Instrumental in deciding the Johnson Adialnistration to 
act on General Westmoreland's recorranendation for a greatly expanded U.S. 
ground combat role in the war. On 11 May, the Viet Cong attacked and 
overran Song Be, the capital of Phuoc Long Province, and a U.S. advisory 
compound in the city with more than a regiment of troops. Both the U.S. 
and Vietnamese took heavy casualties. Before the end of the m-onth, a VC 
force of undetermined size ambushed and decimated the ARVN 51st Regiment near 
the small outpost of Ba Gla a few kilometers west of Quang Ngal City in 
I Corps. The ARVN commiander in the area Immediately rushed reinforcements 
to the battle scene only to have them become victilms of a second ambush. 
The battle dragged on for several days, but ended in a total defeat for 
ARVN. Two battalions were completely decimated, but more importantly, the 
ARVN senior comm-anders on the scene had displayed tactical stupidity and 
cowardice. With a crisis of confidence in leadership clearly developing 



-X- The discrepancy between the 553 additional authorization and the total 
district advisor authorization of"'565Ts"accounted for by the transfer 
of some of the spaces involved in the initial experimental program at 
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within the arraed forces^ the very real possibility of a complete KR\m 
collapse could not be excluded. COMJSmCV suMiiarized the situation in 
his 7 June cable to CINCPAC: 

ARVN forces.., are already experiencing difficulty in coping 
with this increased VC capability. Desertion rates are 
inordinately high. Battle losses have been higher than 
expected; in fact^ foui- ARVN battalions have been rendered 
ineffective by VC action in the I and II Corps zones. 
Therefore, effective fighting strength of many infantry 
and ranger battalions is unacceptably low. As a result, 
ARW troops are beginning to shov/ sigias of reluctance to 
assujne the offensive a.nd in some cases their steadfastness 
iinder fire is combing into doubt. I3V 

If a.nything, Westrnorel6.nd's assessment may have been too generous. The 
next week the Viet Cong launched an attack on the new Special Forces 
camp and adjoining district headquarters at Dong Zoai on the northwest 
corner of War Zone D. ARVN forces were committed piecemeal to the 
engagement and successively chewed up by more than two regiments of 
enemy troops. The battle lasted for five days and marked some of the 
bitterest fighting of the war to that date. The VC sunmier offensive 
continued unabated through June and July. On 25 June, the long expected 
offensive in the central highlands began v/hen a district headquarters at 
Tou Morong in Kontiom Province v/as overrixn, reportedly by an NVA regiment 
reinforced with local guerrillas. Other remote district capitals came 
under attack in the following weeks and by 7 July a total of six had been 
abandoned or overrun. 

Casualties soared on both sides; ARVN alone sustained 1,672 in the 
second week of June. But the important factor was the dangerous degrada- 
tion of ARVN unit integrity. By the end of May, the heavy fighting had 
rendered two ARVN regiments and three battalions combat ineffective by 
MACV ratings. By 26 June, MACV was forced to rate -5 ARVN regiments and 
9 separate battalions ineffective. I32 / Losses were so high that in 
July, 11 of 15 ARVN training battalions had to be temporarily disorganized 
to provide fillers for the line units. 133/ It was this major degradation 
of unit effectiveness that evoked the alarm and sense of crisis in Saigon 
and Washington and constituted the seemingly incontestable arguments in 
favor of substantial American forces. ARVN units were defeated in most 
causes by their own tactical ineptness, cowardice, and lack of leadership 
rather than by overall weight of numbers or inferiority of firepower. 
The U.S. advisory effort had sought to strengthen precisely these mili- 
tary intangibles, in addition to eqLuipping, training and generally sup- 
porting ARVN troops. These skills and qualities are, of course, difficult 
to teach or impart, but a successful advisory effort must at some point 
produce a force ca.pable of engaging the enemy and defeating him when the 
ratios of strength and firepower are roughly equal. 

Far from finding many of its advisory teams finishing their task 
and moving on to new areas or to new units, the U.S. found itself in 



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mid-1965 beginning the coiimiitment of major ground forces to South Viet- 
nam. The deployment of these forces m.arked the end of a m^ajor phase in 
'^advisory warfare." From this time forv^ard the role of U.Sc military 
and political-military advisors would be determined and practiced in a 
radically changed environment. 



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Cj_. U.S. Combat Forces and the Possibility 
of Hew Relationships (I96FJ 

THE ABORTIVE LIMITED E XPANSION OF ARVN 

During the spring of I965 General Westmoreland's staff prepared a 
full-blovm "Commander's Estimate of the Situation." The estimate, 
delivered to Washington at the beginning of April, examined three 
courses of action for dealing with the crisis in South Vietnam, Among 
these was an accelerated WNKF build-up. 

Even by accelerating the rate of ARVN expansion^, C»IUSMACV con- 
cluded, the ratio of ARVN to VC battalions would decline by the end of 
1965 from 1.7;1 to 1.6:1. General Westmoreland rejected this alterna- 
tive on the grounds that it could not prevent a VC victory. It would 
take too long to accomplish the build -up and there was little assurance 
that ARVN performance would match that of a constantly improving enemy. 
(His lack of confidence in ARVN is further reflected in his argument 
for U.S. forces, in v^hich he estimated that one U.S. Army battalion is 
the fighting equivalent of two ARVN battalions and one Marine BLT the 
equivalent of three ARVN battalions.) I3V 

These reservations notwithstanding, Westmoreland had requested 
authorization on 20 March to implement the Alternative 2 RVNAF strength 
increases proposed by him the previous November. After the April 1-2 
conference in Washington and a review of the "Commander's Estimate," the 
JCS recommended approval o.nd Secretary McNamara agreed on 12 April to 
expand RVMF by an additional 2.'J ,2k7 spaces. An additional I60 U.S. 
advisors were approved at the same time. I35/ In late May, the JCS 
asked the Secretary of Defense to authorize MAP sirpport for another 
2,369 ARVN spaces to fatten out division bases for the eventual creation 
of a tenth ARVN division out of existing separate regiments. I36/ This 
request was approved on h June. 137/ 

Thus, while it was decided not to continue to depend exclusively on 
la.rger Vietnamese forces with U.S. air and naval support, the plan was 
to conduct a modest expansion of ARVN in conjunction with the deployriient 
of U.S. forces. In the event, even the modest plans went down the drain 
in the aftermath of the heavy casualties sustained in combat during late 
May and early June. On 7 June, General Wesfanoreland informed CINCPAC 
and the JCS that a moratorium on RVNAF build-up was unavoid8,ble because 
trainees in the pipeline would have to be used as fillers for existing 
units. 138/ 

The U.S. build-up continued during the spring and early sunFner, 
particularly as a resiilt of ARVN reverses in combat. By the end of July 
there were I8 US/fw combat maneuver battalions deployed in South Viet- 
nam. In the same message in which he advised of the halt in ARVN 



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expansion^ General Westmoreland had requested a significant increase 
in the number of U.S. troops for Vietnam (the famed "J-t^! -Battalion 
request). After more than a month of deliberation, the President 
finally approved the request sometime in mid-July» His historic 
announcement of the expanded U.S. effort came on 28 July. Under- 
standably, this momentous expansion of the U.S. involvement in the 
war completely overshadowed the advisory program and the growth of 
RVNAF during the remainder of I965. 



r^ 



MilW POSSIBILITIES 

^ ■1 I ■■■ I -■ ' - 111 I -1 - I J— !■ 

But the deployment of U.S. forces to South Vietnam did, however, 
open up a new range of possible relationships which would not have 
been possible without the presence of substantial U.S. combat forces. 
Each of these relationships might conceiva^bly promote one or all of 
the several piorposes which this study has reasoned to be behind the 
U.S. military advisory effort: the developm_ent of improved tactical 
and technical competence in RVMF, the generation of better intelligence 
(both friendly and enemy), and increased U.S. influence. 

Tvjo categories of new relationships were considered: the encadre- 
ment of U.S. and ARVN units (in several forms) and the establislmient of 
a joint coimncand to conduct the war. Both of these coui-ses were rejected 
by COMUSMA.CV, In their place General Westmoreland attempted to create 
a Joint US-RVMF staff to coordinate independent national efforts. The 
basic arrangement enabling tactical independence— within limits --was the 
creation of mutually exclusive Tactical Areas of Responsibility (TAORsJ 
for each combat maneuver force. 



ENCADREMEIW CONSIDERED AM) R EJECTED 

Deficiencies in ARVN leadership had long been recognized by U.S. 
military advisors as one of the key impediments to increased ARVN 
performance. In April, when the first major imput of U.S. combat troops 
took place, consideration was given to the encadrem.ent of U.S. officers 
in ARVN units as a way of solving this problem. The proposal was touched 
off by a DoD request on I5 April for COMUSMCV^s opinion about the feasi- 
bility of using U.S. cadres to improve effectiveness in the ten ARVN 
divisions. 139/ The same day, McGeorge Bundy sent ^ a personal^^NODIS 
message to Ambassador Taylor stating among other things, that The 
President has repeatedly emphasized his personal desire for a strong 
experiement in the encadrement of U.S. troops with the Vietnamese. lj£/ 
Genera,l Westmoreland turned the issue over to his deputy. General 
Throckmorton, for a recommendation. Throckmorton's study considered 



-X- See Task Force Paper IV. C. 6., Phase One in the Bui Id -U;^ of U.S. Forces 
The Debate, March -July I965. 



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three alternative encadrement possibilities: (l) assujnption of officer 
and senior NCO command positions by U.S. persomiel within the designated 
ARVN battalions; (2) assignment of U.S. personnel as staff officers^ and 
in technical and specialist positions within the battalions; and (3) the 
emplo-yment of U.S. troops as fire support elements within ARVN- commanded 
battalions. Two critical difficulties applicelile to all of these schemes 
were identified: the language barrier and the expanded support require- 
ment that would be generated for U.S. personnel. Another negative factor 
was the expected adverse effect of any such step on South Vietnamese 
morale. These formed the basis for General Throclanorton's reconimendation 
that encadrement be rejected. COMUSMCV endorsed his deputy* s recommenda- 
tion and the general encadrement idea was officially pronounced dead 
during the I8 April Honolulu Conference, l^l / Only three days had 
elapsed, from the birth of the proposal to its burial. 

MARiro; C0]-4B1]\^D ACTION PLATQOHS (CAPs) 

But while general encadrement v/as effectively killed by COmSmCV 
a specific, limited experiment in encadrement v/as beguJi later in the 
year almost off^-handedly by the U.S. Marines near Phu Bai- Since the 
Marine \inits had been assigned TAORs larger than they could secure, 
innovative conmianders sought ways to maximize local security resources. 
In June, a company commander of the 3d Battalion, Uth Marines near Phu 
Bai assigned a few Marines to the villages in his tactical area to work 
with the Popular Forces platoons. Marine leadership, training, and access 
to powerful fire support brought measurable improvement in the PE units. 
As a result the Commanding General, 1st ARVN Division, placed six PF 
platoons under the operational control of the Marine battalion. 

By November, the effort had achieved such results that it v?-as brought 
to the attention of the CG III M/IF. Later that month an agreement was 
reached between the I Corps Commander and the CG III MAE permitting the 
integration of Marine squads into PF platoons in the DaNang area to 
improve their effectiveness and stiffen their combat performance. The 
ba.sic unit of the new venture was the Com.bined Action Platoon (CAP) form.ed 
by adding a Marine Rifle Squad of 1^- m.en plus a Navy corpsm_an to a PF 
platoon (32-38 authorized strength). The PE platoon retained its own 
organization and the integrated Ma.rines advised the entire unit, living 
with it, sharing its food, conducting combined patrols, and training 
counterparts. At the end of I965, there were seven such Combined Action 
Platoons, but the success of the experiment in enha.ncing PE performance 
and extending security prompted a rapid expansion during the next year. 
The Marines have continued to press for expansion of this program and to 
see in it an effective methodby which to produce increa,sed perform.a.nce in 
PE units. Critics have noted that the Marine advisors quickly become 
de facto leaders of the CAPs and argued that a higher level of current 
performance is purchased at the cost of stultifying the development of 
South Vietnamese leadership. No general consensixs has developed on the 
relative merits of this assumed trade-off. 



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JOINT COMMA.ND COlVTSIDERED AED INJECTED 



The 1965 conmitment of U.S. forces also prompted a high level 
U.S. debate on the advisability of creating some form of unified 
combined command. The question was first raised in Washington in 
mid-March when General H. K- Johnson^ Army Chief of Staffs returned 
from a visit to Vietnam with the recoiimiendation for deployinent of 
U.S. combat forces. Ik2/ The idea had the same conceptual origins 
as the encadrement proposals j nam.ely that if RVMAF could be commanded 
by or associated with U.S. troops it might be molded at last into an 
effective fighting force. In addition, such a unified allied cormnand 
would have given the senior commander-'-presumably COI-IUSMACV far 
greater freedom to deploy forces and fight the war in the straight- 
forward pu:rsuit of unambigu.ous objectives , rather than restricting 
him to coordination with Vietnamese counterpa^rts whose motivations at 
all times were a composite of political and personal as well as mili- 
tary considerations. 

When queried on the matter, General Westmoreland ^opposed any 
formal merging of comms^nds, preferring instead the maintenance of 
informal cooperation and coordination together with a limited combined 
staff under an American chief with a Vietnamese deputy. This arrange- 
ment would better assuage the GVN's sensitivities to questions of sovereignty 
and "neo-colonialism." Full integration of comma,nd. General Westmoreland 
advised, should be deferred until some later time V7hen the influx of U.S. 
forces might require it and GVN sensibilities might be more disposed to 
its acceptance, iks/ In May, Secretary McNamara authorized the creation 
of a formal combined authority in Vietnam. iM/ ^^"^ since both Ky and 
Thieu had just publicly condemned any joint coimnand idea in press inter- 
views, both Ambassador Taylor and General Westmoreland recomjnended against 
the proposed action, ik^/ CINCPAC backed up CO^^SMACV's concern about 
alienating the South Vietnamese: 

Refs A and B /Saigon m.essage 3855. 2^ May; and COMUSMACV 
message 17292, 2U0603Z May/ again point out the formidable 
disadvantages which obstruct early establishment of any formal 
combined coiiMand authority in South Vietnam. I am fully in 
accord with the views of the Ambassador a,nd General Westmoreland 
in this regard. 

The long-range nature of the actions directed by Ref C 
/JCS msg 3159> IU2228Z May/ is recognized. At the sam.e^time 
it is apparent that we should anticipate continued public 
speculation as to the purpose and motive of any consolidation 
of multi-national forces into a single command if we pursue 
even the most limited measures. Although a combined coimnand 
might generate an outward illusion of imity, many divisive influ- 
ences will remain at work beneath the surface to exacerbate claims 
of American neo-colonialism and self-assujned leadership. 



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Conventional operations of Corps -level magnitude, In 
contra.st to counterinsurgency opere^tlons, would of course 
reauire closer coordination and possibly some form of inter- 
national command mechanism. Until a combined corrmiand is 
clearly in our best interests we should continue to stimulate 
RVN resolve to fight a counterinsurgency v^s^r which is and 
must remain their primary responsibility. B:em_ature experi- 
mentation with ne\j comjnand arrangements would be counter- 
productive should it weaken national ujiity within the RVFAF 
or promote a feeling of apathy in the countryside. ikG/ 

^A,^S;,...glSgOR ^VlSQRS, AND A CO^IBIMID STAFF ■ . ' 

These exchanges effectively ended the question of miified command. 
In the absence of unity of comjiiand. General Westmoreland had already 
accepted ^ the concept of the Tactical Area of Responsibility (TAOR), 
an expedient coordinating mechanism originally worked out between the 
local ARVN commanders and the Marines defending the DaNang perimeter. 
The concept was a practical one for a war in which there are no front 
lines and in which military units operate throughout the country. 
Specific geographic areas were assigned to specific units v/ho then 
had exclusive authority and responsibility to operate within them. 
Military ^ units could not enter or fire into another unit's TAOR without 
the perm-ission of its commander. Subsequently, the concept would raise 
some problem.s as the requirement for rapid redeploy^nent and the extensive 
use of air mobility made such formal, fixed arrangements awkward. But 
in 1965 the TAOR provided a simple and effective solution to the coordina- 
tion problem raised by units under different commands operating throughout 
the country. Its adoption may be viewed as an attem_pt to provide limited, 
territorial unity of command in the absence of an overall, national 
unifying mechanism. 

General Westmoreland attempted to compensate for this absence of 
unity (which he had endorsed for non-military reasons) by the creation 
of a combined coordinating staff at the national level and by making 
the senior U.S. military comm.anders also the senior military advisor 
within their respective areas of concern. In April he decided to raise 
with the GVN the question of a combined M/ICV-JGS staff. (He had already 
extended the tour in RM of the general officer he had chosen to head 
this staff. ) Such a staff might have permitted the development of 
agreed operational plans based upon agreed priorities. It would have 
been a possible intermediate step toward unity of effort. But the 
GVN (represented by Generals Thieu and "Little" Minh) resisted any. 
suggestion for an integrating mechanism of this kind. The proposal was 
quietly dropped. 14?/ 






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On the U.S. side^ vAere his suggestions had the force of orders^ 
General Westmoreland took one step to integrate the U.S. combat and 
advisory functions. The Conmianding Generals-Ill Marine Amphibious 
Force^ the senior U.S. officer in the area, was designated on 7 August 
as the Senior Advisor to the ARVF I CTZ Comraander. The former U.S. 
Senior Advisor became the Deputy Senior Advisor mider CG, III MAF^ 
although no further integration of the advisory structure into the 
U.S. chain of command was attempted. This pattern was soon extended 
to the other two Corps areas vAere major U.S. units were operating. 
Tlie latter changes were made at the insistence of the ARVW Corps 
Commanders who felt that they would suffer a loss of prestige if they 
were "advised" by anyone other than the senior U.S. officer in the 
zone. Thus, on 21 October, the commander of Ka? Field Force, Vietnam 
(FFORCEV), with operational control of all U.S. units in II Corps, 
was also named II Corps Senior Advisor. On 1 Pecember, CG, 1st Infantry 
Division was named III Corps Senior Advisor, following the pattern 
already established. No such arrangement was made, however, in IV Corps 
since the U.S. had no major units deployed there. 1^-8/ La.ter, when 
U.S. force deployments had led to the establishment of another FFORCEV 
headquarters, each ARVN Corps Comjnander was advised by a U.S. Lieutenant 
General with equivalent U.S. responsibilities and a U.S. general officer 
was appointed Senior Advisor in the Delta area, which had no U.S. combat 
maneuver units. 



LEVERAGE: TPIE HIDDEN ISSUE 

It is relevant to ask vrhy COMUSMACV (backed up without exception 
by the Ambassador and CINCPAC) uniformly opposed integrative measures 
designed to provide that which vras and is almost an article of faith 
in the military profession--unity of coimnand. U.S. troops in both 
World Wars and in Korea had fought under at least nominal command unity. 
There had been reservations for national integrity, to be sure, but the 
principle of unified conmiand was both established and generally accepted. 
Why then did the U.S. military commander in Vietnam recommend against 
its adoption? 

The answer to this question is not to be found by an examination of 
military factors. The issue, rather, was a political one, as CINCPAC's 
message quoted above makes clear. The U.S. military leaders feared the 
exacerbations of US-SVN differences vrhich they thought would accom.pany 
an overt Americanization of the war. They wished to increase U.S. influ- 
ence in the conduct of the war but only as a result of persuasion and 
example. They tended to eschev/ the use of leverage. A imified command 
arrangement would have provided--"assuming that a U.S. officer would have 
been the over3.11 comim3.nder""an open and obvious means by v/hich to 
exercise leverage. The U.S. leaders in Saigon rejected its adoption 
for this reason. 



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WITHDR./l>Hl^JQ p^o^ QYmT IMPLUENCE 

The rejection of a -unified military comimnd is only one example 
of the tendency in I965 to renounce leverage oriented mechanisms at 
the very time that the U.S. v/as committing major land forces to the 
v^ar. It was as though the U.S. increased its determination to avoid 
arrangements vzhich smacked of direct^ open leverage at the sam.e time 
that the inadequacy of ea^rlier, indirect measures was made obvious by 
the deploy:nent to South Vietnam of U.S. ground combat forces. 

This may 5 in fact^ be what happened. Some sporadic earlier attem-pts 
at leverage had not borne the desired fruit. Ambassador Taylor had had 
a disastrous experience in trying to use the U.S. decision to commence 
bombing North Vietnam as a lever to get GVI\f reform in December 1964. The 
net outcome v/as a violent reaction by General Khanhj v/ho very nearly 
had Taylor thrown out of the country as personna non grata , In the end, 
it v/as Klianh who went^ but the political turmoil that this produced in 
the first months of I965, when the course of the v/ar v/as taking a dramatic 
turn against the GVN, convinced Taylor that such attempts should not be 
made again at the national level /^^ 

Concurrently, one of the most direct U.S. tools for influencing 
policy implementation at lower levels, the Joint sign-off for release 
of piaster funds for pacification, was also being abandoned. The decision 
was m^ade in Decem.ber lS)6k by the USOM Director, Mr. Killen. Early in 
1965;. AID stopped buying piasters for the U.S. -controlled sector funds and, 
in June, agreement was reached with the GVN for province chiefs to begin 
requisitioning and releasing AID commodities on their own authority. 1^9/ 
Thus, the "troika sign-off" came to an end. "While elaborate arrangements 
were made for getting reports of U.S„ advisor concurrence or non-concurrence, 
the practical effect was to remove the advisor's leverage and restrict 
his influence. In October, USOM began to have second thoughts on the 
wisdom of abandoning control of its resources In the field and proposed 
a restoration of the "troika sign-off." The Mission Council endorsed the 
plan and had already launched discussions with the GVN when the State 
Department objected to the idea, insisting that it would undermine our 
efforts to make the Vietnamese more Independent and effective. I50/ There 
the matter died. 

In a somewhat related effort to overcome the delays in the Vietnamese 
pacification system, MACV acceded to its advisors* recoimnendations and, 
on 1 October, created a separate contingency fund of 50,000 piasters for 
each subsector (district) advisor to be used for urgent projects. Sector 
advisors were also given access to special funds. The program was highly 
successfu-1 and toward the end of the year consideration \ms given to 
permianent establishment of such revolving funds. I51/ The plan was 

^ See Task Force Paper IV. C, Evolution of the War: US/gVN Relations , 
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abandoned^ hov/ever^ after the four-month trial period due to the strong 
opposition of the GVN Minister for ED^ Genera.l Thang, who contended that 
such funds were un.dermining the legitimate efforts of his organization 
to meet urgent province needs; it would encoura.ge Vietnamese dependence 
on the. U.S. I52/ 

But USOM did use successfully a form of direct-, selective leverage 
in the late summer of I965. The Province Chief of Binh Tuy Province, 
Lt Colonel Chi;, v/as accused of m.isusing som.e $250,000 in AID funds. 
When USOM pressure on the GVN for his removal produced no results, aid to 
the province vzas suspended on 23 September, ^^nd USOM field personnel were 
withdrawn. In spj.te of Chi*s friendship with the Defense Minister and 
Deputy Premier, General Co, Premier Ky removed him six weeks later. 
Aid to the province then resumed, but Ambassador Lodge made it clear to 
the Mission Council that he disapproved of the action and did not W8.nt 
it repeated (particularly the press coverage). 1^3/ 

As already indicated, both Ambassadors Taylor (after his near- 
disastrous experience in December 196^) and Lodge preferred not to force 
the GVN or attempt to use high-level pressure to reach solutions we 
felt necessary. The fragility of the political arrangements in Saigon 
at any point in time seemed to dictate against any U.S. action that 
might precipitate coups or disi'uption from elements even less disposed to 
be cooperative than the cu:rrent group, whoever they m.ight be. In this 
view, the successive Ambassadors were strongly supported by the State 
Department. Thus, while we resented the Ky coup in June, we did nothing 
to exacerbate our delicate relations with Ky. In July, during Secretary 
McNamara's visit, the GVN req.uested a devaluation of the piaster and a 
hefty increase in aid. l^k/ Rather than use the request as an opjjor- 
timity to press the GVN for action on m^atters of U.S. concern. Ambassador 
Taylor preferred to restrict our counter-demands in the interest of quick 
8.greement: 

We would avoid giving the impression of asking for new 
agreements or imposing conditions for our increase AID...- 
We do not want to rs.ise conditions in terms likely to be 
rejected or to req[uire prolonged deba.te. 155/ 

Consequently, agreement v^as reached between the two governments on 
28 July, providing only for "Joint discussions to precede policy 
decisions. . .for control of inflation," and scarcely mentioning GVN 
obligations.- I56/ 



McNAJ-IARA'S MNORITY POSITION ON LEVERAGE 

^■■J ■!■ Ii I ■■ ■■ 11 Jill ■■■■■ M ■■ L i' n w^-Ji till . ! -r-^ ^ ■! ■ I ^ .^ II ■ ■ H ■■ Ji ■ ^ -1 ^i^wm r m r ^.^^M^ I 1 " ■ ^ I ■ ■■ ■ ■ ■> ■ ^. ^ 

The only consistent supporter of increasing and exercising U.S. 
leverage vrlth the GVN during I965 "was Secretary McNamara. As previously 
noted, he was one of the principal proponents of the joint command idea 
and a supporter of the encadrement proposals. In April, the Defense 



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Department had J^aunched an ill-fated effort to have U.S. Army civil 
affairs officers introduced in the provinces to assujre competent^ 
corruption-free civil administration in the combat zones. 1^?/ Ambassa- 
dor Taylor's stout opposition had killed the proposal^ but the Secretary 
continued to push for stronger U.S. action with the GVN. After his 
Ju.ly visit to Saigon he sent a memorandum to the President urging the 
U.S. to lay down terms for its continuing assistance before the intro- 
duction of more U.S. forces. He suggested that we exercise leverage 
through our control of rice policy and gain a 'Veto on major GVN 
commanders^ statements about invading wm^ and so on/' 1^8 / 

Again in Novem:ber5 McNamara recorded hj.s impatience with the GVW 
and his belief that we should give a larger and more active role to our 
advisors at the province and district level. 159/ But the overall U.S. 
approach to the GVN in I965 was dominated by oixr felt need for any kind 
of governmental stability which would provide a base from which to 
conduct the war. Proposals for taking a tough line were widely regarded 
as rugs that if pulled out from u-nder the GVN would bring it crashing 
down, rather than as levers that might bring effective change. 

U.S. PROP OSALS FOR GVN EXECUTION: AN EXAJVCPLE 

With leverage-oriented arrangements effectively ruled out, U.S. 
advisors in South Vietnam were left with the alternatives of advising 
their coixnterparts only on hov/ best to coziduct a decided course or of 
expanding their advice to embrace what ought to be undertaken. The 
tendency was to follow the latter course, to urge upon GVN plans and 
programs American in concept and design for execution by the South Viet- 
namese. The Chieu Hoi ("Open Arms" for VC who return volujitarily to 
GVN control) program was one example of this tendency. The Hop Tac 
("cooperation," in Vietnamese) program., to clear and hold the immedia.te 
area around Saigon, is another. Hop Tac's significance with respect 
to U.S. advisory activities resides in the fact that it was the most 
concerted attempt to apply the "oil blot" concept to rural pacification 
since the demise of the Strategic Hairilet Program. Its failiire can be 
attributed in large measure to GVN lack of interest in and support for 
what was widely regarded as an "American" program. 

The idea of a special combined US/gVN effort to secure the critical 
area ringing Saigon v/as first advanced by Ambassador Lodge in July 196^1, 
at the Honolulu Conference. His concern with the problem went back to 
late 1963 when the re-appraisals of the war following Uiem's overthrovr 
revealed b. dangerous deterioration in the III Corps area. A special 
USOM report on Long An Province ha^d particull.arly troubled the Ambassa.dor. 
In July 1964, as he V7as returning from, his first tour in Vietnam, he 
proposed a special effort in eight provinces (Tay Ninh, Binh I^aong, Hau 
Nghia, Long An, Dinh Tuong, Go Cong, Vinh Long, and Quang Ngia), all but 
one of which was near Saigon. The proposal was picked up by Ambassador 
Taylor and the program, set in motion during the summer of 196^1. The 



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initial objective was to stabilize the situation around Saigon and 
protect the capital^ then extend the zone of security in an ever 
V7idening ring around the city. MCV appointed Colonel Jasper J. Wilson 
to head the effort and by September 196^!- a plan had been produced and 
the Vietnamese reluctantly induced to set up a special council to 
coordinate the multiple commands operating in the area. The plan 
created four roughly concentric zones arom:td the capital, each to be 
successively cleared and secu-red;> working from the "inside of the 
doughnut out." Conceptue^lly, three phases were involved in each zone: 
first, search and destroy missions to eliminate main force units; then 
a clearing phase using primarily sq.uad and platoon size forces in patrols 
and ambushes; and finally, the securing phase in which ARVN turned over 
responsibilities for seciu?lty in a zone to Kf/pf and national police and 
in which heavy emphasis was to be laid on positive rural economic and 
social development efforts. 

Hop Tac was launched on 12 Septem.ber 196^, with a sweep through 
Gia Dinh Province to the west and southwest of Saigon by the ARVN 5lst 
Eegiment. The mission was aborted the following day, however, by with- 
draw3.1 of the forces to participate in a coup. Nevertheless, organizational 
efforts continued and more ARVN forces were concentrated in the Kop Tac 
area. A special survey of the area by USOM, USIS, and MACV in October 
revealed that little real progress was being made. In spite of the lack 
of any visible evidence of genuine mom.entumi, the Ambassador and MACV 
continued to be encoua^aged by the modest statistical progress of Hop Tac 
at a time when nearly every other activity in the country looked blacker 
and blacker. The 196^ I4A.CV Command History reflects the official view: 
"At the end of 196Ii-, Hop Tac was one of the few pacification areas that 
showed some success and greater promise." I60/ 

Whether in response to Hop Tac or not, the VC substantially increased 
their forces in the Hop Tac area in the first six months of 1965. MA.CV 
estijnated the growth at 65 percent and also noted that the new troops 
were freq.uently equipped with Chinese weapons. This growth j.n enemy 
strength in turn prompted some redeployment of RVNAF to strengthen capa- 
bilities in the Capital Military Region. In February, 1965^ Just at 
the time the U.S. was initiating the sustained bom.bing of North Vietnam 
and beginning the first Marine combat deployments in the South, CO^iU■SMACV 
asked the I and IV Corps senior advisors to review current programs and 
to develop Hop Tac-like plans for their respective 8.reas as a basis 
for discussion with their counterparts. General Westmoreland hoped to 
concentrate the a^vailable resources of each Corps into its most critical 
areas at a time when VC activity and successes were continually mounting 
and enemy control of the country increasing dangerously. Again, the 
operative concept vms to be the oil blot. By April General Westmoreland 
ha.d convinced Minister of the Armed Forces Minh to ask each of the ARVN 
Corps Commanders (except III Corps, in whose area Plop Tac was being 
conducted) to drav/ up smilar plans for their own a.reas of responsibility. 



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The U.S. effort was clearly aimed at sp'orring the practical 
application of the "oil blot" analogy. The effects, however, were 
to demonstrate hov? difficult it v^as to translate simple counterinsurgent 
theory into practice, how convoluted and personal were the ARVN lines 
of influence, and how frustra,ting it was under these circumstances to 
exercise influence by persuasion. 

In May, the Prime Minister proposed organizational changes in 
Hop Tac to retirt'n much of it to the operational control of the III 
Corps commander. These changes were rejected by COMUSMACV, but he did 
agree that the III Corps commander might be named chairman of the 
Plop Tac Council. In June, before anything could be done on this pro- 
posal, a coup with General Ycj at its head returned the military to 
power. By the sujnmer of I965, Hop Tac was being completely over- 
shadowed by the build-up of U.S. forces. 

In September, Lodge returned to Vietnam for his second stint as 

Ambassador. He iTiimediately asked a U.S. Mission officer for a private 

assessment of the Hop Tac program. The report frankly described Hop Tac 

as a failure and stressed as reasons the unrea.listic goals of the program, 

the irrelevance of the concentric circle concept to actual areas of GVN 

and VC strength, the fact that it was an American plan never really given 

first priority by the Vietnamese, the area's political vulnerability to 

fallout from Saigon political changes, and General Ky's lack of support 

for it. The report recommended letting Hop Tac slowly die. On September 

15; the Mission Council deliberated inconclusively on the fate of the 
program: 

General Westmoreland said that while Hop Tac could be 
said only to have been about 50'^ successful, it had undoubtedly 
averted a VC seige of Saigon. Ambassador Lodge then briefly 
reviewed the original reasons for the emphasis placed on the 
area surroujiding Saigon and said that they v/ere still valJd, 
primarily because of the heavy densj.ty of population. He noted, 
however, lack of a clear commitment to Hop Tac on the part of 
the GVN, possibly due to the fact that the Vietnamese consider 
the program an American scheme. Hie view was also expressed 
that the trouble may also lie in US/gVN differences over some 
fundamental concepts in Plop Tac. I61/ 

By the end of 1965, the proposal for Plop Tac programs in I, II, and 
IV Corps had refined itself into tPie scheme for National Priority Areas 
that became the focus of attention in I966. Hop Tac itself, in the 
Saigon vicinity, continued on into I966 to be finally phased out at the 
end of the year and replaced by the III Corps r/d Council and a U.S. 
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As a. test case for the ever popular oil blot theory of paclflca- 
tion. Hop Tac left much to be desired. It did, hav^ever, point up soim 
of the difficulties to be encountered in any attempt to implement this 
appealingly simple--and perhaps simplistiC""*concept. The oil blot theory, 
like all abstract analogies ;, emphasizes the similarity between phenomena 
and ignores the differences. The important similarity of the pacification 
problem to the oil blot is the expressed goal of progressively extending 
the secure 2one until it embraces the entire country. Unlike a blank 
piece of paper, hov^ever, the environment in which pacification must take 
place is neither neutral nor passive; and ujilike the oil blot, the 
pacification forces are not impervious. Moreover, implicit in the theory 
is the notion that the secure area, like the oil blot, will expand in all 
directions simultaneously, at roughly the same speed, and that expansion 
is irreversible and irrevocable. Further, the analogy fails to take into 
account unique problems of terrain or variances in government and insurgent 
strength in different areas. One need not belabor the point j the concept 
is fine as a theory, but not as a program, design. In fairness, it must 
be said that the idea does focus the need for concentration of resources 
in priority areas. All this notwithstanding. III Corps was less than the 
optimum place to test such a program. It contains several longtime Viet 
Cong strongholds and base areas and is extraordinarily sensitive to polit- 
ical changes in Saigon (28 of 31 district chiefs were replaced during the 
lifetime of Hop Tac). 

The most important reason for the failure of Hop Tac, however, was 
the lack of South Vietnamese support for it. From its inception to its 
demise, it was an American idea, plan, and program. While the GVN adopted 
it, established a high-level council to supervise it, and committed some 
troops and other resouj.-'ces to it, this was seen as a way of appeasing the 
Americans. The South Vietnamese never accorded Hop Tac a high priority 
in their own thinking. Moreover, its low^ status v/as further emphasized 
by the massive U.S. force build-up. As this U.S. build-up became rela- 
tively routinized, however, the issue of pacification reasserted itself.^" 
When it did so, the prim-ary U.S. concern C3.me to focus on the issue of how 
best to organize the m.ilitary, paramilitary, and civilian advisory efforts. 
Since even the civilian advisors in the field were military personnel on 
loan in many instances, the account of the military advisory build-up 
decisions became essentially an account of organizing advice for pacifica- 
tion. 



^ See Task Force Pamper, Vol. IV. C. 8., Reemphasis on Pacification: I966 - 
1967 > 

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D. Organization a.s the Key to Effectiveness 
in Paci f icaHorrTl96r" 1^ 



TH E BASIS FOR OEGAJ^IZATIOmL PREOCCUPATION 

Several factors contributed to the persistent U.S. preoccupation 
in 1966 and I967 with reorganizing the advisory effort in order better 
to support pacification activities • Firsts it had been an article of 
faith for several years within U.S. policymavklng circles that only by 
winning the "other W8.r" of pacification could the U.S. hope to realize 
its objectives in South Vietnsjn.. Secondly, the pacification struggle 
was still regarded essentially as a task to be performed by the GW "- 
as the "main force war" no longer was after the introduction of inajor 
U.S. combat forces. Reinforcing this belief was a third factor, the 
widely held conviction tha.t U.S. forces could best concentrate on the 
main force war while RVKA.F focused on pacification. 

Such a U.S.-RVMF division of effort, it was reasoned, would permit 
U.So forces to take advantage of their greater tactical mobility and fire 
support vrithout endangering civilian life and property, employ RVMF in 
a manner calculated to minimize the adverse effects of its persistent 
inability to generate an offensive -minded esprit, and avoid the cultural 
acclimitization and language difficulties which would face U.S. forces 
in the pacification role. It seemed, in short, that RVMF concentration 
on pacifica.tion and U.S. concentre.tion on the main force enemy would con- 
stitute the optimal use of a.vailable resources. 

This division of effort meant that most U.S. military advisors vj-ould 
be directly involved in pacification -- at least periodically if not con- 
tinuously. Advisors to regu_lar ARVN units could expect to spend a consid- 
erable portion of their time secuj:'ing pacifica.tion programs. Tliose 
advisors whose counterparts had political and administrative responsibil- 
ities (e.g., province and district 8.dvisors) and paramilitary advisors 
(RF and PF) could expect pacification to be their major concern. 

But while the majority of U.S. military advisors would be engaged 
in pacification activities they would not be the only U.S. advisory 
personnel whose responsibilities focused on pacification programs. 
Advisors from USOM, CAS, and USIS had overlapping and in som.e Instances 
competing responsibilities. Thus it was logical for the U.S. to a^ttempt 
to devise an organizational fraraework which woul.d serve to coordinate 
adequately the activities of the large and diverse body of advisors and 
which v7ould be capable to integrate their overlapping functions. 



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UKRESOLVED IS.SUES 

At the beginning of I9665 three mportant issues concerning the 
pacification effort were unresolved. Each of these issues v/as tenta- 
tively resolved during late I966 or in I967 -- in the sense that 
decisions were made rather than that these decisions were final. The 
remainder of I967 and early I968 (mitil the Tet offensive) constituted 
a period of consolidation and refinement based on limited experimentation. 
The shock caused by the Tet offensive then brought to the fore new ques- 
tions of RWAF effectiveness and of U.S.-RVMF roles and missions. 

The first of the unresolved issues in I966 v/as that of v/hich U.S. 
agency or group should take the lead in coordinating pacification programs. 
The role which RVmF should assujne in support of pacification v/as the 
second unresolved issue. Finally, the extent to which the U-S. should 
be willing to exert leverage in order to influence pacification activities 
was also unresolved at the beginning of I966- 

The following account of the decisions addressed to these three 
issues may seem to suggest that a master list of problems was somehow 
approached as part of an orderly, comprehensive, logicaj- process. This 
is not, of course, the way it happened. Hie policy process was confusing 
and the policymakers were occasionally confused. Decisions were made in 
the ref3-ection of both U.S. and South Vietnamese domestic pressures and 
in the shadow of an on-going W3.r. They were affected by personalities 
on all sides and involved no small am.ount of bureaucratic in-fighting. 
The account that follows attem.pts to reorder and to explain this evolu- 
tion, not to recreate it. 



WHO SHALL LEAD? 

The "reemphasis on pacification," as another study in this series 
aptly names it, may conveniently be dated from the Honolulu Conference 
of February 1966,'"^ With the build-up of U.S. combat forces proceeding 
rapidly and with expectations high that I966 v/ould see the U.S. take the 
offensive, policy attention returned to address the "other war" in v/hich 
the object v^-as to provide rural security followed by steps to improve 
living levels and establish a link between the GVN and its populace. 
President Johnson made it clear in his informa.l remarks to the conferees 
at Honolulu that he wanted concrete resuJ-ts to follow the splendid 
phrases of the U.S.-GW communiq.ue: 

Preserve this communiq[ue, because it is one \re don't 
want to forget. It will be a kind of bible that we are 
going to follow. When we come back here 9^ da^ys from now, 
or six months from now, we are going to start out to the 



^- Task Force Paper, Evolution o f the War: Reemphasis on Pacification, 
196^-1967 , Part II. 

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the amouncements that the President ^ the Chief of State 

and the Prime Minister made You men \iho are responsible for 

these departments 5 you ministers and the staffs associated 
with them in both goverimients , bear in mind we are going to 
give you an examination and the "finals" will be on just what 
you have done, 

...How have you built democracy in the rural a.reas? How 
much of it have you built ^ when and where? Give us dates ^ 
t im.e s 5 nujiib er s . 

...Larger outputs, more efficient production to improve 
credit, handicraft, light industry, rural electrification -- 
are those Just phrases, high-sounding words, or have you 
"coonskins on the wall?" I62/ 

All parties rega.rded it as necessary for some mechanism to coordinate 
the U.S. advisory activities v/hich would help the Vietnamese to turn 
promises into solid accomplishments. But they did not agree on how broad 
should be the unit of the coordinator. Was he, or his office, to be 
primus inter pare_s or a single manager? Did effective coordination 
req.uire policy primacy or operational supervision -- or both? Above 
all, the participants did not agree on vrhich individual or agency should 
exercise whatever supra-departmental authority v/as needed. 

Ambassador Lodge, v/-ho had consistently stressed the centrality of 
the other war," began by assigning responsibility for all civil support 
for Revolutionary Development (read "pacification") to his deputy. 
Ambassador Porter. The latter described his concept of his duties in 
traditionalist Foreign Service Officer terms: 

Ambassador Porter described briefly his new responsi- 
bilities as he sees them in the pacification/rural develop- 
ment area. He pointed out that the basic idea is to place 
total responsibility on one senior individual to pull together 
all of the civil aspects of revolutiona^ry development. He 
sees this primarily as a coordinating effort and does not 
intend to get into the middle of individual agency activities 
and responsibilities. As he and his staff perceive areas 
which require attention and auction by a responsible agency, 
he will call this to the attention of that agency for the 
purpose of emphasis; he intends to suggest rather than to 
criticize. I63/ 

Porter's "cooi^dination by suggestion" approach was not only an example 

or extremely limited effective authority, it v/as also restricted explicitly 



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to the civil side of support for pacification. I-'Jhether the coordinator - 
in-chief emerged a,s a persuader, or a director it was clear that his 
charge had to embrace both military and civil advisors, {in this respect 
"civil" is more accurate than "civilian" , for a sizeable niomber of the 
civil advisory duties had devolved upon active duty military officers 
who were "loaned" to other agencies for this purpose.) 

It is not surprising that MACV viewed itself as preeminent in this 
area. It was^ as General Westmoreland rightly claimed^ the only U.S. 
organization advising the GW at all levels and -- in one v^ay or another -- 
in all functions » It >ras to MA.CV that General Thangj the Minister of 
Rural Construction (read "pacification") looked for advice and assist- 
ance. 16 V It is ec[ually unsurprising that Ambassador Lodge was of a 
different pers\3,asion, as he explained clearly in a memo setting forth his 
views to General lansdale in December I965: 

I consider the government of Vietnam's effort in this 
domain (apart from, the military clearing phase) to be primarily 
civilian^ economic^ socie;l and political in nature and in its 
aims. Consequently 5 on the American side;, it is preferable 
that the tv/o civilian agencies miost directly concernedj i.e. 5 
USAID and CAS^ be the operating sui3port agencies upon v/hom, you 
should rely for the implementation of the necessary programs 
as they develop. Other sections of the Mission^, including MCV^ 
JTJSPAO ... should consider themselves associated with... USAID and 
CAS, but not as agencies directly responsible for operations. 

The foregoing is intended to insure that the number of 
persons and agencies contacting the GVN and particularly the 
Ministry of Rux-al Construction^ on the subject of pacification 
and development is reduced 5 and in fact is limited to yourself 
or your representative^ plus the representatives of the two 
operating agencies, USAID and CAS. I65/ 

Operational and coordinative responsibilities remained on this particu- 
lar wicket throughout most of I966 while Washington fumed over the slow 
pace of pacification. These months saw the development of sufficient frus- 
tration in Washington to permit the grovrth and final acceptance of the 
proposal that all U.S. advice for pacification be placed -under MACV. An 
account of this development is treated m.ore fully in a/nother document in 
this series and will only be s"ummari?.ed here."^ 

President Johnson's Wa.shington coordinator for pacification, Robert W. 
Komer, set forth in August I966 three al.ternative organiza^tional approaches: 



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Altern8.tive J\ro> 1 — Give /^eputy Ambassa.dor 7 Porter 
operational control over all pacification ac tivity, 



« » • • 



AlternatJAre No. 2 "- Retain the present separate civil 
and military coimaand ch annels bnt strengthen the manageraent 
structu-re of both mCV and the U.S. Mission. 



• • • 



Alterna tive Uo. 3 -- Ass 1 gn res ponsibility for pacification^ 
civil and milita ry^ to COMUSmCV. 16^7 ' 

Mr. Komer's ca.tegorization was prescient- Ambassador Lodge's personal 
preference and the fact that most pe.cification advisors were military 
seemed to rule out the first course of action. 16?/ The second alter- 
native described essentially the organiza.tion followed mader the Office 
of Civil Operations (OGO) from November I966 mrbil June 1967- By this 
late date the U.S. decided to follow the third of Komer's alternatives. 

The first of these reorganizations 5 that which created OCO5 vj'as 
q,ulte literally forced upon Ambassador Lodge. Particularly in view of 
the fact that OCO was to be given only a 90-120 day trial to produce 
identifiable results ^ he was not eager to imdergo the turmoil and lost 
motion of one major reorganization only as a prelude to yet another 
reorganization. He wanted to retain as much non-milita^ry flavor to the 
pacification effort as possible -- regarding it as compleraentary to 
military programs ;, yet separate from them. Military security activities 
were^ in his view^ essentially the negative precondition to pacification 
activities which were the positive acts leading the GVN to vitalize 
itself at the same time that it developed real ties to its own people. 168/ 






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CORDS KEPIACES OCO 

Thus OCO entered the world foredoomed by the combination of too 
short a prescribed life span and the tendency of some of its uxiwilling 
partners to do more than support it tacitly while they maneuvered to 
get their blue chips into another basket. Secretary McNamara had recom- 
mended in October I966 that MACV take responsibility for pacification. 
Undersecretary of State Katzenbach had marshalled a strong case s,gainst 
this step at least until embassy leadership of civil operations v/as given 
a chance. The upshot was that it was given half a chance — which may 
have been worse than none at all. 

OCO didj however^ accomplish the creation and selection of Regional 
Directors and OCO Province Representatives. One individual was made 
responsible for all civil operations in each Corps Tactical Zone (CTZ) 
and in each province. The U.S. military chain of command had already 
adapted itself to parallel the RV1\LAF organization^ but below Corps level 
it was more complex. Each division within ARVN was advised by a senior 
advisor (a colonel) who was given supervisory authority over the mili- 
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for which his division had responsibility. Thus, while civil lines 
of authority went directly from corps level (the region) to province, 
the military advisory chain added an additional link at division. 
Sector advisors under this arrangement found themselves working under 
a military officer whose advisory responsibilities were actually mili- 
tary whereas theirs were only partly (and sometimes only nominally) 
milita.ry. 

OCO attempted to have the ARVN divisions removed from pacification 
responsibilities, but without success. When the Office of Civil Opera- 
tions and Revolutionary Development Support (COEDS) was established under 
MCV in mid-1967 as the single manager for all pacification advisors, tlie 
issue could not be argued with the same force. For by^the time COMUSMCV 
assumed responsibility for pacification (through a civilian deputy -- 
Ambassador Komer), ARVN had also expanded its role in the pacification 
effort. The ARVN division, it could be argued, was as much a part of 
the pacification effort as were the programs supported by the U.S. civil 
agencies. 

But although the argument for removing the Senior Division Advisor 
from the U.S. chain of command over provincial advisors lost theoretic 
weight with the creation of CORDS, the new civilian deputy to CO^'IUSMCV 
secured General Westm^oreland's approval to remove the division advisors 
from the pacification chain of commaaid and to work to get ARVN to take 
parallel action. This step illustrates the extent to which civil influ- 
ences were able to operate within this new section of MCV. CORDS was 
of such size that it became quasi-independent. One would have to carry 
an issue in dispute all the way to COMUSMCV before it moved outside of 
CORDS channels. 

The comprehensiveness of this reorganization may be seen in the 
I following MCV Directive, reproduced in its entirety, and especially m 

the schematic diagram laying out the new U.S. command structure for a 
Corps area: 



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Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3 3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



I 



■ MACVDir 10-12 

- I 

HEAEOUAriTSRS 
UNlTiCD STATES MIUTAJlY ASSISTANCE COMMAND, VTSTNAM 

- APO San Francisco 96222 



DIRECTIWi 
NUMJ3ER 10-12* 



28 May 1967 
(MACCORDS) 



ORGANIZATIONS Af^EUNCTTONS 

2J±g^j^igAT£QNS_AND FlJNCflONS FORCIVIL OPE RA TIONS 

A^^jgil^OLUTIQNARY DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT 

"^* I'^J^^^.'^^'^'jt, '-f'o provide for (he integration of Civil Operations . 
and nevoliitionary Development Support activities v/ithin MACV. . ' • ' 

2. GEl^RAU 

a. To provide: for single manager direction of all US civil/mili- 
tary Revolutionary Development activities^in 'ihe Republic of Vietnam, re- 
sponsibility has been assigned to COMUSMACV. ' " 

b. The position of Deputy for Civil Operations and Revolutionary 
Davelopmcnt Support to COMUSMACV is established and carries the per- 
soiial rank of Ambassador. The Deputy for Civil Operations and Revolutionary 
Development Support to COMUSMACV assists COMUSMACV in discharging 
his responsibilities in the field of military and civilian support to the GVN's 
Kevolutionary Development Program. Specifically, ho is chai'gedby COMUS- 
MACVvvith supervising the formulation and execution of all plans, policies 
and programs, military and civilian, v/hich supoort the GVN's Revolutionary 
Development program, and related programs. 

c. All activities and functions of the former Office of Civil Opera- 
tions (OCO) and the MACV Directorate for Revolutionary Development {VCD) 
Support are con^.bined in the office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Civil 
Operations and Revolutionary Developm.ent Support (CORDS). 

cl. Tne Assistant Chief of Staff for Civil Operations and Hcvo- 
lutionary Development Support is assigned functions as follov/s: 

■ ' (1) Ad\dses COMUSMACV, MACV staff 'elements and all US 
civilian agencies on all aspects of US civil/milita.ry support for tlie Govern- 
ment of Vietnam's RD Program. .■ .\ ' 



*This„diroctiye_Rup3j:£edas.XACV.Direc^ 



76 



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Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number; NND 63316. By: NWD Date; 201 1 



C 



. MACVDir 10-12 . 
28 May 19 G7 

(2) In conjunciion v/iih Governi^^ont of Vietnain authorities, 
develops joint and combinsd plans, policies, concepts and programs con- 
cerninv?; US civiVmilitary support for Revolutionary I^evelopinent. _. 

(3) Supervises the execution of plans and programs for US 
civil/military support of Revolutionary Development. 

(4) Provides advice and assistance to the Government of ^ 
• Vietnam, includdng tlie Mirdstry of Revolutionary Development, the Rspuolic 

of Vietnam Armed Forces Joint General St.aff and other GVN agencies on US 
I civil/military support for Revolutionary Development including US advisory 

and logis-cica.1 support. 
I 

(5) Develops requirements for military and civil assets 
(US and GVN) to support Revolutionary Development. 

: " ■ ' ■ (6) Serves as the contact point v/ith sponsoring agencies for 

RD programs. Maintains liaison v/ith sponsoring agencies in represenang 
..tlieir interests in civil non-RD programs and activities in the field. Main- 
tains clirect operational communications v;ith field elements for these pro- 
grams. 




• ■'••" • (8) 'provides MACV focal point for economic warfare to 
. include population and resources confeol, and for civic acnon uy US ior^Cb. 

(9) Evaluates all civil/military RD activities including pro- 
vision of security for RD by US/Fw7vIA/GVN military forces ana reporu-. on 
I progress, status and problems of RD Support. 

(10) Acts on all RD Support policy matters pertaining to svJo^ 
ordin?.te echelons. • . . 

(11) Directs advisory relationships with GVN on RD and RD" 
related matters. ■ ■ ■ ' -. .. 

3. IMPDEMENTATiON. 



v/ill be ace 

ince and district. 



a. Integration and consolidation of OCO and RD Support^actiNdtlos 
xomplished at all levels: Ileaceuarters MACV, region/CiZ, prov 



77 



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NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date; 201 1 



' in 



Q 



I 



n 



MACVDir 10-12 
... 28 May 19G7 

•b. Organization for CORDS v,'ill conform generally to the schematic 
orgajil national diagram at-aclied at Anr.ax A, allov/ir.g for difiereuces in ihe 
situations in the various regions/CTZ's, j;royinces and districts. 

'c. Additionally, in developing detailed orgamzations and functions 
ac each level, force commanders/senior advisors v/ill be guided by the fol- 
lovving principles: , • . 

(1) Region/CTZ. . 

* # ■ - " 

. : ■ • (a) The OCO regional director v^^ill be designated the ■ ... 

Deputy for Civil Operaiions and Revolutionary Development Support to the . 
force conirno-nder/serior ad\nsor. As such;, he v/ill be charged with super- 
vising the formulation and execution of all military and civiJian plans, poli- 
cies and programs which support tiie GVN's RD program to include civic . 
action performed by US units. ' ' 

0^) For all matters relating to RVNAF military support . 
for Revolutionary Development, the deputy senior advisor v/ill operate under 

the supervision of the Deputy for CORDS. . ■ ■ ■.■.'■ 

■ . ■ • 

(c) Itie deputy OCO regional director v/ill be designated 
the Assistant Deputy for Civil Operations and Revolutionary DeveJopment 
Support or the Assistant Chief of Staff, CORDS. In this capacity, he v/ill 
head an integrated civil/military staff v/hich parallels, as appropriate, the , 
MACV CORDS organization. Further, he \yill direct headqu?a'ters-based 
RD-related a.nd non-RD technical programs. 

(d) Except for psychological operations and intelligence, 
tliose elements of the staffs of the force commander/senior advisor and deputy 
semor advisor engaged primarily in RD Support activities v/ill be integrated 
into the staff of the Assistant Deputy for Civil Operations and Revolutionary 
r/3velopment Support or the Assi'stant Chief of StaJf, CORDS. At a later date, 
after on-going studies are completed, further guidance may be issued if 
needed for tlie integration of civil and military intelligence and psychological 
warfare functions v/Mch represent special cases. "■ ■ 

. (2) Province. ■ ■ 

. (a) At province, an integrated pro\dncial advisory team 
composed of tlie current OCO provincial team and MACV sector. advisory 
team v/ill be organized, '.'.-.■. 



78 



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Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 2011 



— f-^ 



MACVB-ir 10-12 
2 8 M':iy 19 C7 



(b) T'm nev/ provir.cial toarr: V7ill continue to carry out 




(c) A single team ciiie-, designated the Senior Provincial 




qualii^ications and experience of the current OCO senior pro\'lncial ad\dsor 
ana MACV sector advisor. T.hc individual not selected v/ill serve as tlie 
otiier s deputy as v/ell as being his orinci~oal advisor for civil operations or 
military sv.p-,oi-t as th.e case rnay be. ^ 



,!■; ,. 



(fi) The province senior advisor v/ill receive operational 
direction from and report tlirough the Deouty for CORDS to the force com- 
mander/senior ad\dsor. The military element of ma provincial team v/ill 

receive logisucal and administrative support from the division advisory 
team. '■ ■ 

J, , (®) V/here RVI\^A? units are attaciied to the province 

chiei ior direct support of RD, advisors to tliese units ^vin come under tlie- ■ ' 
operational control of the senior province advisor. 

(f) 'Die senior province advisor v/ill serve 8.s tJie Viet- ' 
namese province chief's principal advisor. Hov/ever, technical advice, 
military or civil, should continue to be given to the province chief or his 
representati.ve_by the most qualified member of the provincial team. In all 
cashes, the senior province advisor must be av/are of the advice given an( 
will set the policies to v/lucli advice vvill conform. 

(3) District. . • ■ . : 

(a) At dlstiict an integrated dist3.ict advisory team 
composed of the current MACV sub-sector team and OCO di.strict repre 
sentativc v/i.n be organized. 



id 



ij 



(b) Tne nev/ district team v/ill be responsible for civil/ 
military advice to thie GVN district organization and for the implementation 
of all US.ciyil^uid..military, support programs at district. 



I 



79 



m 



r 



» 






Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



MACVBIr 10-12 
'. . ^8 May 1967 

(c) A sinijle toa:;^ ciiie:, desli^nated Sorior District Ad- 
visor will bG assigned to each dislrici. The senior disfxicl advisor v/ill bo 
chosen by [lie sciiior province advisor v:ica the concurrence of (he I>opuiy 
CORDS to liio force coinn^and^r/senior advisor on (he basis of securiiy in 



y -■■ 

tho district, civil-nulitary b?ilanco in fee RD effort and quallficalions and 

experience of the current CCO district representative aiid V^ACV sub-sector 

advisor. The individual not selected v,'iirserve as the oth.er's deputy as well 

as being his principal advisor lor civil operations or military support as t::\e 
case ina.y be. 

(d) V/iicre no GCO district representative is present, 
the jvoACV sub-sector team v/ill become the district Civil Operations and 
Revolutionary l^velopment sfeaf and the sub-sector adnsor v/ill be desig- 
nated senior district adadsor. 

(4) The ra CTZ organization for Civil Operations and Revo- 
Kraonary Development Support v/ill conrornj generally to the schematic organi' 
xationai clia£ram attached at Annex B. . 

(^) For the tiTne being there v/ill be no change in the present 
IV CTZ organization. Im.plernenting instructions for ihe IV CTZ organization 
for Civil Operations and Revolutionary Cevelopment Support mil be pro\dded 
at a later date, 

4 

(C) Force commanders/senior advisors v/ill revise their 
orgardzations and redj^aft their statements of functions to comply v/ith the 
guidance set out in this directive. Tne revisions v/ill bo forv/arded to this 
headquarters for approval by 15 Jun 87. 



y 



4. ADMINiSTRAl^VE AND I^GISTICS SUPPORT. 

a. For tiie time being, there v/ill be no change in administrative 
and logistics support. Civilian elements of the integrated organization v/ill 
continue to be supported (funds, personr:el, and other requirements) by their 
respective agencies, i.e., Embassy, AID, JUSPAO, USIA and OSA, 

b. It is intended that a continuing effort be undertaken tov/ard 
logistic and admiiiistrative economy through consolidation and cross- 
f-ervicing of appropriate support acUvl ties. . 



5. 



REFEK ^NCE. State iDepartment MSG DTG'09230'1Z May 19 67 (C), 



80 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 2011 



MACVrcr 10-^12 
28 May 1967 



Force 



General Staff 



US 

Units 



■*ii»»--»*h— •-^•-fcrf^* .^.^t«.t.kj< 



'■_^^* V*^^'^':^ 1b^ 



U- 



V 






Mgmt. 
vSupport 



Force Co:-;'i:^.ianclcr /Senior Adviso:' 



Deputy Fore 
Connma.ndej 



'"'1 



■\'" 



Deputy For 
CORDS 






hie I 01 btcLii 






Asst Chief 01 St'ciii 

for 

CORDS 






Deputy Senior 
Advisor (Milit?.3'y) 



1 



Plans ^c 
Prograzns 










A 






Reports 



— * 



Refugee 



Psy Ops 



Public 
Safetv 



^/ "^y 



M- 



A 









Provincial 
Rcpr c s entativc 



ARVN Div 

Advisory 
Team „ 



(aRVN Regt 



- 



- 



<f'^^\ Advisory 



o 



■ 

o 



I 



J.jC;a.iXi- 



*«-. 



District 

Representative 



I 



„.™i 



ARVN Bn 

Advisory 

Team _ 



-O-O-O' 



Coordination-— Military and CO^RIOS matters. 
Ope rationcd_Cont3:.ol_v/hen^Ui4t_^vS signed on 
RD direct support mission. 



f 



81 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 2011 



//^ TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



lA 



KVmF'S EOLE IN PACIFICATION 

It has already been noted tha.t the U.S. gradually came to espouse 
a division of effort between U.S. forces and RVNAP in which the former 
would concentrate on defeating the main forces of the insurgents in the 
unpopulated areas while RVHAF concentrated on securing pacification 
operations in the populated areas. 

General Westmoreland first informed Washington of his intention to 
follow this general division of effort in late August I966. But his 
emiihasis was one of degree, he made clear , rather than of mutually 
exclusive categories: 

...Our strategy will be one of a general offensive with 
maxijnujn practical support to area, and population security in 
further support of Revolutionary Development. 

The essential tasks of Revolutionary Development and 
nation building cannot be accomplished if enemy m^in forces 
can gain access to the popula.tion centers and destroy our 
efforts, US 5 Free World Forces 5 with their mobility and in 
coordination with RVEAF, must take the fight to the enemy by 
attacking his main forces and invading his base areas. Our 
ability to do this is improving steadily. Maximum emphasis 
will be given to the use of long ra.nge patrols and other means 
to find the enemy and locate his bases. Forces and bases thus 
discovered will be subjected to either groimd attack or quick 
reaction B-52 and tactical air strikes. When feasible 3-52 
strikes will be follov;"ed by ground forces to search the area. 
Sustained ground combat operations will maintain pressure on 
the enemy. 

The grov;-ing strength of US/Free World forces will 
provide the shield that will permit ARVN to shift its weight 
of effort to an extent not heretofore feasible to direct sup- 
port of Revolutionary Development. Also, I visualize tha^t a 
significant nujnber of the US/Free VJorld maneuver battalions 
will be committed to tactical area,s of responsibility (TA.OR) 
missioias. These missions encom.pass base security and at the 
same tme support Revolutionary Development by spreading 
security radially from the bases to protect more of the popu- 
lation. Sa.turation pa^trolling, civic action, and close associ- 
ation with ARVN, regional and popular forces to bolster their 
combat effectiveness are a^nong the tasks of the groujid force 
elements. At the same time ARVN troops will be available if 
required to reinforce offensive operations and to serve as 
reaction forces for outlying security posts a.nd governjnent 
centers under attack. Our strategy will include opening, 
constructing and using roa.ds, as vrell as a start toward opening 



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NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



r- 



2 3 TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



I 



and reconstructing the national railroad. The priority 
effort of ARYN forces will be in direct support of the 
Revolutionary Development prograjn; in rnany instances ^ the 
province chief will exercise operational control over these 
imits. This fact notwithstanding the ARVN division struc- 
ture must be maintained and it is essential that the division 
commander enthusiastically support Revolutionary Develop- 
ment. Our highly capable US Division Commanders, \jho are 
closely associated with corresponding ARVIT commanders, are 
in a position to influence them to do what is required. 

¥e intend to employ all forces to get the best 
results measured^ among other things, in terrr^s of population 
secured^ territory cleared of enemy influence; VC/lWA bases 
eliminated; and enemy guerrillas, local forces, and main 
forces destroyed. 

Barring unforeseen change in enemy strategy^ I 
visualize that our strategy for South Vietnam will remain 
essentially the same throughout I967. I69/ 

General Westmoreland had already reached agreement v/ith Genera^l Vien, 
Chief of the Joint General Staff (JGS), to reorient ARVN to pacification 
support. General Tillson, MACV J-3, had briejT'ed the Mission Council in 
Saigon on the general plan: 

In the 1967 campaign plan, we propose to assign ARVN the 
primary mission of providing direct support to RD and US/w 
Forces the primary mission of destroying VC/nVA main forces 
8.nd base area^s. Agreement ha^s been ree.ched between General 
Westmoreland and General Vien that, in I, II, and III Corps 
areas, ARVN will devote at least 50f, of its effort directly 
in support of the RD progra^i. In IV Corps, v/here there are 
no US forces, it was agreed that ARVN might have to devote 
up to 75fo of its effort to offensive operations I7Q/ 

Genera.l Taylor, now serving as a personal advisor to President 
Johnson, immediately recognized the importance of this communication. 
A considered response should be sent to CO^fJSMCV, he advised the Bresi- 
dent, lest General V7estm.oreland regard silence as tacit consent for his 
proposed strategy. Taylor was enthusiastic about the expressed intent to 
reemphasize revolutionary development (pacification), seeing in it the 
best hope for bringing the war to a speedier concH.usion. But he was 
uneasy about futua:»e charges that the U.S. had taken over the main war 
and was sustaining larger numbers of casualties than RVNAE. He v^as also 
concerned about involving any U.So troops in pacification — suggesting 
that U.S. displacement of GVN leadership would, in the lon-g run, be 
counterproductive. I71/ 



I 



83 TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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'^-"^ TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



f' 

Ambassador Lodge ^ on the other hand^ waxed ecstatic over the 
involveraent of U.So units in pacification work. The crux of the prob- 
lem, he argued^ was seciority. To promote security U^S. units should be 
used in a kind of advisory function. They would energize ARW by exajnple: 

To meet this need we must make more U.S. troops avail- 
able to help out in pacification operations as we move to 
concentrate ARVN effort in this work. U.Se forces would be 
the cata.lyst; would lead by example j and would work with the 
Vietnejiaese on the 'buddy* system. They would be the 10 per- 
cent of the total force of men xmder arms (90 percent of whom 
would be Vietnamese) which wouD.d get the v/hole thing moving 
faster. 

This has been done on a small scale already by elements 
of the U.S. Marines, 1st and 25th U.S. Infantry Divisions , and 
the Koreans. We think it can be made to work and the gains 
j^ under such a program, while not flashy, would hopefully be 

solid. Everything depends on v/hether -vie can change ARW habits. 
Experi already made indicate that U.S. casualties would be 
few . 172/ 

General Taylor's doubts about the benefits of involving U.S. troop 
■units in pacifica.tion carried some v/eight in Washington. State was later 
to signal Saigon to go slow on U.S. participation: 

We understand General Westmoreland plains use of limited 
number of US forces in buddy system principle to guide and 
motivate Rd/p. However, we have serious doubts about any 
further involvement US troops beyond tha,t....We feaj? this would 
tempt Vietnamese to lea.ve this work more and more to us and \je 
believe pacification, with its intimate contact with population, 
more a^ppropriate for Vietnamese forces, who must after all as 
arm of GVE" esta.blish constructive relations with population. 
Hence we be3J.eve there should be no thought of US taking sub- 
st antia l share of -pac^ifi cation . The ui^gent need is to begin 
effectively pressing ARVN . 1737 

THE 1967 COI-ffilMCD CA?-lPAIGI\r PLM 

The upshot of these exchanges, which illustrate the wide acceptance 
in UcS. quarters of the proposed division of effort between UcS, forces 
and RVMF, was that the MACV/JGS Combined Campaign Plan for I967 (AB 1^2), 
published 7 November I966, reflected "primary missions" for US/Ft-&IA.E and 
RVNAF and implied that few U.S, forces would be comtnitted direct2.y to the 
pacification effort. The exact number of such forces was not specified; 
it was left to COMUSMCV's discretion within the restraints already sug- 
gested by Washington. The JGS did agree, however, to keep 53 ARVN battalions 
in support of revolutionary development duaring 1967- In addition, 230-odd 
RE com-panies and over 8OO RE platoons were to support the pacification 
^^' prograjn. 

8k TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



17^ 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



Conceptually^ the regular ARVN units were to conduct the more 
difficult clearing operations and then turn over responsibility for 
the "securing phase" to the KP/PF outfits. All of this was outlined 
in considerable detail in the Conibined Campaign Plan^ with specific 
assignments to certain kinds of units for each phase of the pacification 
effort. The pertinent sections of AB 1^2 follow: 



W 



2o (c) mrn regumr foplCes 



' 



PH/iSfi 



AHVN REGUJ..AR FORCES 



i^aw wwttKc:; 1 :sv3 aJgyaiwjggBrr; v- j^-:^s4*xa^^Ki^i^ >tsauMnr«aiicraaaCTBB:wofc>;-.c:Tir'-rc 



r;E.v"iCJj--»^ana>jc3'ciciO:2.TC'-t;_-C«3. 



OiGsrinr^ 



fc? 



. Tj 



Tasko in direct GUpport of ED activitiR.qS 

le Conduot operations to clear VC/rlVA 
rrain forco imits from provincial priority 
areas and other critical areas in accordance 
Tjith establl-isbod provincial RO plans « 

2 c Conduct p in conjmction vrith prorln- 
cial Military forces and civil intelligence 
and police elements ^ operations to destroy 
VC guerrillas and infrastructure in specified 
hamlet or %dllago ejc^eas in accoi^.ance i-rf.th 
established provincial RD plans o 



)r«:£kr^iVa«-Q„£^'7jSn:C;ic^XS£;;:LCXti'« "] T'rTT"T--rnr-ri' ^MTiTr-MMJiwriili 



Securing 



t*K=™js»"<^Ka^ iTstWSSTTfiira.- !JJW2^ ti 



TasksJnJJ^ect^ju^^ 

3e Conduct J in conjunction \rith pr-o- 
vincial military forces and eivil^intelli^ 
gencG and police elements;^ operations to 
destroy VC guerrillas and infi'astructuro 
yfaBXi provincial forcoa aro inadequate for 
. this task© 



ilLiiiiN .mill ■! !■■ ■ liMi I 'ini niTi-^ I i- -r— r~"'T"" 



r 



85 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By; NWD Date: 2011 



llir^ 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive' 



. <} 



)-crv 



ARVN R]53UL/iR FORCES 



m 

ho Frovj-dop in conjunction ^rith proYin 
cial military forces and llationrJ Police, 
local area sccv-riiy and seciu^lty for tho 
population and GVN cadro olemants vhen pro- 
vincial forces are inadequats for this tasJco 



C--J 



iiL=;:;'.iucsTvwi- _ 



DoYolopin3 



T 



^0 Fi'oYido^ in conjunction -jith pro- 
vincial military forces and National Police, 
locivl area securcity and security for tha popu 
nation and G7TJ cadre cleraents vihon provinoial 
forces are iJie.deouate for this tasko 



CO 



.triCMrtV, 



All Ph?.De3 



f • 



6o Conduct military PSIOP in eupport of 
RD activities irith emphasis on op3rations_ in 
eupport of th3 Chieu Hoi programo 

7c-' Conduct, in coordination vdth sactor 
conunandsrs, military ciTlc action to help \rln 
the support of the people for tho governxaont 
vdth ejnphasio on tho proper bohavloi' cM dis-' 
cipline of troops o 



8o Assist' sector coMmndors in the re 
cimitin;?: and traininf' of RF/I 



C3 



''r 



Related tasks s 

9o Conduct offensive search and destroy 
operations against VC/lIYA nain forces to pro- 
vent their incursion into areas undergoing ?Do 

3.0* ProTide elements for reserve/reaction 
■forces in support of military forces in areas 
imderKoin'^ RD« 



Ml • ilT" ■ — JJJirr^-r— r^T-irrj: • 



.■^(iwKi^ 



• t 



86 



TOP- SECRET - Sensitive 



r 



! -- 



irf 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



TOP SECRFrT - Sensitive 



,.'V 



3« (0) US/FVJiLW 



■I 



*\ 



ij 




K-iaiAntf u9H«)uKX^b«>..-%*' 



v\\/ifm 



Cloarinr' 



Tr.'3/FVJ*I.^l'' 



p.dEr«Ed%Ci;>4:^hi«0M«Ctf^l^£v1IJA«O=ftBgfc7H^> 



yj« jt.j&am 'cu jm g -jJ 



j;auc»cux>v.**n 



Tasks 'in direct support of Ig^actiyitica 



•iit!-«j 11 1 ■'I a p»s.aii>-«.— mj^-ijit-' ii*-^ rj-^ ■=««~.ni..ti;-»,ojwrf.'i™ 



I'o Conduct combined and unilateral 
oporations to cloar VC/NVA main forces from 
provincial priority areas and other critical 
areas in accord?Jico vrf-th established provin- 
cial RD plans o 

2* Conduct combined operations in con- 
junction v/ith mVN and/or provincial iaili~ 
tary forces and police olemap.ts, operations 
to destroy VG guerrillas and infrastructure 
in specified hamlet or village areas in 
accordance vji.th established provincial RD 
p3-anso 



■ ■ nw ■, » j i a ai m. ^ -r m cm t n i ^ t 



i -j-^^^wTVfVf tyiwi -f J" 



All Fhasjos 



Tasks in direct support of HD f^^ivUdess 

3o .Conduc-b othe-^^ corabincd ba'otalion 
and smaller unit oparations vrlth }miK!? to 
accomplish spociric RD tasks in areas under- 
going clearing^ ceouilngp mc\ developing 
as appropriate 



lio' Conduj3b^ in coordination \A'Va 
sector and subsector comriianders, railltar/ 

clvie action to liGlp \:in ths supporb of 

the people for the govo-rnmont vith eiaphasis 
to ensiu'o that credit is given to the QiJlU 

■"'" ^* 'Assist sector cor.imsr.ders in the 
training of R5'/P?o 

Related tasks s 



•tt».««i=i 



6« Gonducb combined and unilateral 
offensive seai'ch and destroy operations 
against YG/IP/A main forces to prevent their 
inouraion into areas undergoing KD, 



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NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 






1 









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intoX34.soi:oa and poHoo b^c::oat3;> cporatlong • . 
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t:dn Icxj c:^' ordca' cvnd pxst^st piiblio o^'jtyo . 



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NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



Ci 



121 



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FrIASE 



Dovoloping 



e^' . ^:*'fit M ai O ' I ' . tm imn 



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oi'ganize and train peoplo's self-defenso 

foixjeso 



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by National Police or othor author- 
.-'ovincial police forces vfnich rmy 



10c 

lieved 

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be Gstablishedo 



lie Provide elements for i^esoi-vo/re- 
action forces to covintor tho return of VG/ 
OTA main or irregular forces into aroas 
undergoing developing o 

12 Continue task 6o 

13 ContiviP,o task 7 aa necessasyo 



bo Popular Forces (PF) 



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lation r;nd GVIf civil cadro eleinsnts in )iD.n- 
let end villj'.ga ai'easc 

■ 2e Assist PiP to provide local area 
secuj'it/o 

3o Assist GVVi civil cadre elements to 
perfora econoraic and social developirient 
projects i» 



lu Assist National Police in population 
aiid resources contr-ol and/or to p^aintain Iza 
and order and pi-^otect public safety* ^ 



89 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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13^ 



■i^««es««S!.-r»ie»*-'*'J>"* i . fc'i u *-' t'oui-pasitajesi 



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forces 



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lieved by ^lational Police or other author- 
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establishedo 

7o Gontiviue task 3o 

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lo' Develop and raaintain info'/raant neus 
and other Intelligence notso 

2o -Supply intellisenoe to military 
for-cosc 

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rations to destroy VG miorriUas raid in- ^ 



oper 
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90 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



r, 



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cexb.'G elements 



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controlc 

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f 

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VC iiifrrstruotureo 

12 ' Prevent and control riots and cabo- 
tage of public secujrit^o 

l3o Relieve railit-ary forces^ vhen capa- 
ble; and pro-ride local area ssourUy and ' 
secmlty for tlio popul?.tion and GvJ eada-<3 
eleinehtss ' ' . 



itV 



91 



y 



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IZ^ 



J I 



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LEVER4G-E A ND SOVEREIGNTY 

The decision to effect a division of effort between RWAF and 
.US/fWMA.F suggests how far U.S. policymakers were willing to go (perhaps 
"determined" would be more accujrate)' to carve out an area for independent 
(^Vl] conduct of at least some major phase of the war- It suggests, too, 
^ their relative dissatisfaction with RVMF improvement during the years 

. in which the U.S. advisory effort had been directed toward such improve- 

f ment- The question remained whether U.S. influence could be brought 

I ' effectively to bear through exam.ple and persuasion or should be back- 
I stopped by more direct measures --by the use of a range of negative 

, measures gathered under the rubric of "leverage," 

General Taylor's recomjnendations at the beginning of the U.S. 
advisory build-up in I96I, it will be remenfoered, emphasized a "limited 
partnership" in which U.S. advisors would actually work alongside their 
Vietnamese counterparts instead of merely "advising them at arm's length." 
By means of this closer working relationship in the field rather than 
just in various headquarters , Taylor had suggested, RVmF effectiveness 
would becom.e the product of m.utually shared goals pursued through mutually 
shared experiences. Conscious adoption of an alternative course, the 
use of leverage, would have changed the relationship from one of nominal 
^- "partnership" to one of de facto^U.S. leadership -- bordering in some 

instances on U.S. cormnand. This, in turn, would have been a very real 
infringement of Vietnamese sovereignty and an admission that the GVN 
could not manage adequately its ovzn affairs- It would have undercut 
Vietnamese independence in both a legal sense and in terms of GV1\[ com- 
petence. 

Vftien the Diem regime did not respond as it had been expected (or 
hoped) it would, and after Diem's government was overturned, the U.S. 
again refused consciously to adopt leverage procedures to compel improved 
performance. First with General Minh, then with General Klianh, the hope 
was that improved receptivity (as compared to the most recent past exper- 
ience) on the part of the GTN would permit the carrot to work effectively 
without the stick. The period just ended in mid-1965 >*en U.S. troops 
were committed to South Vietnam marked another occasion to examine the 
putative advantages and disadvantages of the use of leverage. 

Generally speaking, Washington policymakers (less so in the State 
Departm-ent), were prone to suggest the use of leverage in the abstract. 
The U.S. Mission and MACV tended to oppose such proposals. Field 
advisors were, as a group, most favorably disposed toward the use of 
leverage. Those whose dealings included establishing a close working 
relationship with GVN" (to include RVNAF) officials found that the threat 
of leverage was a stumbling block to such a rela^tionship. Some also 



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found that the price of acceptance without leverage v/as the virtual 
absence of influence. Robert Shaplen sufmnarized this phenomenon in 
a pessimistic I965 eval-uation of the U.S. advisory effort: 

The advisory program^ while it had been a tribute to 
the politeness of both parties ^^ had failed in its primary 
aim of persuading the Vietnamese officers to get their 
men out into the countryside and to stay there^ if neces- 
sary^ day and nighty for weeks on end in order to bea,t the 
Communists at their own game. This view of the failure of 
American efforts at persuasion was privately expressed to 
me by most of the advisers I spoke with during my trip 
through the vital plateau area^ and it was reinforced by 
what advisers from other battle areas told me. The con- 
sensus was that the system was inherently anomalous and 
unworkable in that it reflected the American predilection 
for trying to get a difficult and probably impossible job 
done in v/hat a British friend of mine described as ''jomt 
typical nice Aaaerican V7ay." Ijh/ 

Having rejected proposals for a combined command (presumably under 
U.S. leadership) and for the encadrement of U.S. troops with RWAF 
units, the U.S. was left -- in late I965 -- with the continuing and 
perplexing issue of v.^hether or not to adopt the use of leverage in some 
comprehensive and planned manner. Earlier decisions had been to avoid 
the issue by side-stepping it. But the isolated occasions on which its 
use had been attempted did little to substantiate the argument that 
cries of neocolonialism were simply the price one had to pay for short 
run effectiveness. Indeed , some backfires tended to have the opposite 
effect. Ambassador Taylor , for instance ^ had had a disastrous experi- 
ence in trying to use the U.S. decision to commence bombing North Vietnam 
as a lever to get GYN reform in December 1964. The net outcome vras a 
violent reaction by General Khanli who very nearly had Taylor thrown 
out of the country as pe rsonna non grata. In the end, it was Khanh who 
went, but the political turmoil that this produced in the first months 
of 1965? when the course of the vmr was taking a dramatic turn against 
the GVN, convinced Taylor that such attempts should not be made again 
at the national level /^" It was at this time that the "troika sign-off" 
was abandoned because of claims that it stifled GW development. Then 
in late I965 USOM began to have second thoughts on the wisdom of aban- 
doning control of its resources in the field and proposed a restoration 
of the troika sign-off. The Mission Council endorsed the plan and had 
already launched discussions with the GVN when the State Department 
objected to the idea, insisting that it would undermine U.S. efforts 
to make the Vietnamese more independent and effective. 175/ There 
the matter died. 



'^ See Task Force Paper, Evolution of the War: US/gVN Relations, I963-67, 
Part I, pp. 5^-59. 



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In a related effort to overcome delays in the Vietnamese pacifica- 
tion program, MACV acceded to its advisors* recomjnendations and, in 
October, created a separate contingency fund of 50,000 piasters for 
each subsector advisor to be used for urgent projects. Sector advisors 
were also given access to special funds. The program was highly suc- 
cessful and toward the end of the year consideration was given to 
permanent establishment of such revolving funds. YjGj The plan was 
abandoned, however, after the four-month trial period due to the strong 
opposition of the GW Minister for RD, General Theing, v/ho contended 
such funds v/ere undermining the legitimate efforts of his organization 
to meet urgent province needs. . They would encourage, he said, Vietnamese 
dependence on the U,S. I77/ 

But USOM did experiment successfully with one nev7 form of direct, 
selective leverage in the late summer of I965. The Province Chief of 
Binh Tuy Province, Lt Colonel Chi, was accused of misusing some ^250,000 
in AID fimds. "When USOM pressure on the GVN for his removal produced no 
results, aid to the province was suspended on September 23, and USOM 
field personnel were withdrawn. In spite of Chi's friendship with the 
Defense Minister and Deputy Premier (General Co) Premier Ky removed him 
six vj-eeks later. Aid to the province then resumed, but Ambassador Lodge 
made it clear to the Mission Council that he disapproved of the action 
and did not v^ant it repeated (particularly the press coverage). 178/ 

As already indicated, both Ambassadors Taylor (after his experience 
in December 196^) and Lodge preferred not to force the GVN or attempt 
to use high-level pressure to reach solutions v^e felt necessary. The 
fragility of the political arrangements in Saigon at any point in time 
seemed to dictate against any U,S. action that might precipitate coups 
or disruption from elements even less disposed to be cooperative than 
the current group, whoever they might be. In this view, the successive 
Ambassadors were strongly supported by the State Department. 179/ The 
one consistent Washington advocate for an increased use of leverage was 
Secretary McNamara. I80/ But the Secretary of Defense's views did not 
prevail in this issue as they did in so many others. The overall U.S. 
approach to advice in South Vietnam continued to be dominated by the 
felt U.S. need to avoid undercutting governjnental stability. U.S. sup- 
port was figuratively regarded as a rug which if pulled out from under 
the GVN would cause it to fall, not as a lever whose use might spur 
increased effectiveness. 



THE_ . INCONCLUSIVE D ljgATE OVICR LEVEiy\.CxE 

This persistent U.S. avoidance of the planned use of leverage was, 
until about I966, paralleled by an equally persistent avoidance of any 
candid examination of the vzhole pandora's box which was conjured up by 
the m.ere mention of the subject. But during I966, and continuing into 
1967 and beyond, there were repeated attempts by lower echelons within 
the policymaking apparatus to promote an internal examination of the issue. 



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Those who made such proposals were in favor of some kind of authorized, 
premeditated use of leverage, of course , else they would not have pushed 
for an examination of this hitherto avoided topic • 

When operational groups — as distinct from policymakers who 
could defer when to implement -- urged the adoption of leverage measures 
the recommendations tended to be suimnarily struck down. In I966, for 
instance, an inquiry hy the MCV staff into the poor performance records 
of the 5th and 25th ARW Divisions — both stationed near Saigon -- 
concluded that if other measures failed to im-prove these units, COMUSMCV 
should withdraw U.S. advisors and Military Assistance Program (MAP) sup- 
port. General VJestrnor eland deleted from the study the recoimnendation for 
the withdrawal of MAP support. He further directed that sanctions against 
ARW be avoided. The U.S. 1st and 25th Infantry Divisions were instructed 
to assist the tvro ARW divisions and to Increase their ovra participation 
in pacification operations in Binh Duong and Hau Nghla Provinces. I81/ 
It was clear that the time was not ripe for actlonj there was no agreed 
basis upon which action might be taken. 

But another Army staff effort, the PROW Study referred to earlier, 
set out to rectify this omission. Commissioned in mid-1965 by Army Chief 
of Staff General Harold K. Johnson, the PROW group was charged with 
"developing new sources of action to be taken in South Vietnam by the 
United States and its allies , which will? in conjunction with current _ ^ 
actions, modified as necessary, lead in due time to successful accom.pllsh- 
ment of U.S. alms and objectives." After eight months of intensive effort 
this select group of middle ranking officers produced a comprehensive 
argument calling for emphasis on the pacification effort. A radical 
decentralization of U.S. and GW directive authority was held to be 
necessary for this purpose. And to make sure that national plans were 
turned into concrete actions at the operating level, PROW called for the 
calculated use of leverage: 

The situation in South Vietnam has seriously deteri- 
orated. 1966 may well be the last chance to ensure eyenti^al 
success. 'Victory' can only be achieved through bringing 
the individual Vietnam.ese, typically a rural peasant, to 
support willingly the GVN. The critical actions are those 
that occur at the village, district, and provincial levels. 
This is where the v/ar must be fought; this is v/here that 
war and the object which lies beyond it must be won.' The 
following are the most Important specific actions required 
nov?- : 

— Concenti-ate U.S. operations on the provincial level 
to include the delegation of command authority over 
U.S. operations to the Senior U.S. Representative at 
the provincial level. 



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~ Reaffirm Rural Construction as the foremost US/gM 
combined effort to solidify and extend GW influence. 

~ Authorize more direct U.S. involvement in GW affairs 
at those administrative levels adequate to ensure the 
accomplishment of critical programs. 

-- Delegate to the U.S. An:bassador unequivocal authority 
as the sole manager of all U.S. activities, resources, 
and personnel in-country. 

— Direct the Ambassador to develop a single integrated 
plan for achieving U.S. objectives in SVN. lo2/ 

The PROW Study proposed that leverage be employed at all levels 
within GW to achieve U.S. objectives. Noting that past uses had been 
haphazard, it recommended the eraployraent of a "continuum from subtle 
interpersonal persuasion to withdrawal of U.S. support f ollowing _ u . b . ^ 
GW agreement on specific programs. The South Vietnamese would, in 
short, be aware that leverage would be employed if they failed to live 
up to agreed obligations. I83/ 

After an initial period during which no discussionof the PROW 
Study was permitted outside the Army staff, the study finally receivea 
wide distribution. Secretary McNamara was briefed on_it, as were t e 
Joint Chiefs of Staff. MACV's co'mments were also solicited. _ine care 
fully worded reply from Saigon stated succinctly the case against tne 
use of leverage. 

MCV is in complete agreement with PROVII position that 
■ immediate and. substantially increased. United. States direct 

invo3.vement in GW activities in form of constructive in- 
. fluence and. manipulation is essential to achievement 01 u.b. 
objectives in Vietnam. PROW emphasizes that leverage 
nust originate in terms of reference establish ea. oy^govern- 
I ■ ment agreement," and "leverage, in all its implications, 

must be •understood, by the Vietnamese if it is to becor.e an 
effective tool." The direct involvement and leverage en- 
I visioned, by PROVN could, range from skillful diplomatic pre.s- 

I ure to U.S. unilateral execution of critical programs. ^ 

MACV considers that there is a great danger that the e^^^^ent 
of involvement envisioned could, become too great. A govern- 
ment sensitive to its image as champion of national sov- 
ereignty profoundly affected by the pressure of militan. 
minorities, and. unsure of its tenure and legitimacy will 



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resent too great involvement by U.S. Excessive U.S. in- 
volvement rn.ay defea,t objectives of U.S. policy: developjnent 
of free J independent non-coinniunivSt nation. PROWI properly 
recognizes that success can only be avttained through support 
of Vietnaniese people, v/ith support corrang fron the grass 
roots up. Insensitive U.S. actions can easily defeat 
efforts to accomplish this. U.S. manipulations couJLd easily 
become an American takeover justified by U.S. comjjulsion 
to get the job done." Such tendencies raust be resisted. 
It must be realized that there are substantial difficulties 
and dangers inherent in implementing this or any simi].ar 
program . 184/ " • 



NO DECISION AS A DECISION 

Events remained stuck on this fundamental disagreement. The subject 
of leverage came, during 1967, to be discussed more fully, but there v/as 
no real authoritative decision to employ it or to reject its use londer 
all circumstances. Thus, vrtien CORDS completed its first major study of 
pacification pi^ograms (Project TAKEOFF) in June I9675 ^-"t included some 
candid discuss j.on of the need for some kind of leverage. Entitled "U.S. 
Influence -- The Necessity, Feasibility and Desirability of Asserting 
Greater Leverage," the analysis proceeded from problem to alternative 
courses of action: 

A. Necessity of Leve rage. 

1. The most crucial problem in achieving the goals and 
objectives of the RD. program is that the programs must be 
carried out by the Vietnam^ese. Present US influence on Viet- 
namese performance is dependent upon our ability to persuade, 
cajole, suggest, or plead. Political and practical consider- 
ations usually have argued against developing any systematic 
use of the various levers of power at our disposal. The 
potential reaction of the Vietnamese may become even greater 
now that they appear to be reasserting themselves and when 
the q.uestion of sovereignty is an increasingly sensitive one. 

2. However, the factors of corruption, antique adminis- 
trative financial procedures and regulations, and widespread 
lack of leadership probably can be overcome in the short run 
only if the US increases its influence on Vietnamese performance. 
The increasing raagnitude of corruption and its damage to any 
program make the need for developixig and applying a system of 
leverage which forces the Vietnamese to take US views into 
account greater now than ever before- Even the best conceived 
and executed RD program will result in failure in terms of 
gaining the allegiance of the people so long as such ex-tensive 
corruption prevails . I85/ 



in 



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The study argued that leverage was feasible either at the national 
level with the GVN leadership in the classic "oriental" style or on 
a more systematic basis to be applied through the control of resources 
at all levels down to province and district. The study concluded: 

B. Courses of Action, US influence over key deci- 
sions must be attained as quickly as possible. We recom- 
mend the "oriental" approach. However , should the other 
alternative of more open exercise of power be selected^ 
the system would have to include US control of resources. 
As a tactical measure , such control could be associated 
initially with the introduction of additional resources. 
The introduction of greater US control and the procedures 
that would be necessary to ensure an adequate US voice in 
the decision-making process should be tied to the "New Team" 
and the new US organization for RD. For that reason^ too 
long a delay would be unfortunate. 186/ 

Whether or not Komer approved this recoiimiendation, it did not figure 
in the presentations of pacification given to Secretary McNamara during 
his 7-8 July visit to Vietnam. The Saigon policymakers were simply not 
prepared to come down on one agreed line of conduct in this contentious 
area. This tendency was exhibited later in the summer of 1967 when a 
long study on leverage produced in Ambassador Komer 's old Wliite House 
staff office by two staff members^ Dr. Hans Heymann and LTC Volney 
Warner 5 was forvxarded from State to Saigon: 

In anticipating the US/gW relationship in the post- 
election period, it is generally agreed that the US should 
find ways to exercise leverage with the Vietnamese govern- 
ment v/hich are more commensurate in degree with the importance 
of the US effort to South Vietnam's survival and which reflect 

the climate of growing restiveness in the US In its impatience 

to get results and make progress, the US has increasingly 
resorted to unilateral programs and action with inadequate 
consultation with the Vietnamese. On the other hand, the 
indiscriminate and careless exercise of US leverage could 
undermine the self-respect of the Vietnamese government in 
its own eyes and in the eyes of the South Vietnamese people. 

To be effective, US leverage must be exercised in the 
-ext of a relationship of mutual respect and confidence,^ 

in ways commensuratR with the ob.iective sought. It must 



context 



and in ways commensurate with the objective 
also be backed by credible sanctions. I87/ 



Might not the post-election period, State suggested, be a proper time 
to consider such a new emphasis on the use of leverage. Ambassador 
Komer, who had been ardent in his advocacy of leverage while working 
as a Presidential assistant, replied in tempered language which reflected 
the chastening effect of several months on the firing line in Saigon: 



i 



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All of the above forms of leverage ^ and yet others ^ could 
be useful at the proper time and in an appropriate way. But 
they must be applied with discretion^ and alwe^ys in such manner 
as to keep the GVN foremost in the picture presented to its own 
people and the world at large. ...The exercise of leverage in a 
personal manner and hidden from the public view is likely to 
be most effective , while of the more operational means estab- 
lishment of combined organization under a JCRR-type concept, 
to include joint control of resources, would be most desirable. 
In sum^ we're gradually applying more leverage in Pacification, 
but wish to do so in ways that least risk creating more trouble 
than constructive results. 188/ 

What Komer really meant -- as his opinions expressed in a time fra.me 
later than that embraced by the present inquiry would make clear — was 
the necessity to reserve the use of leverage for those few occasions in 
which all else had failed, in which copious records detailing the failure 
had been accumulated over time, and in which the proven offender could 
be severed from responsibility after his shortcomings were presented 
behind the scenes to his superiors. Thus, the GOT would serve as execu- 
tioner, the U.S. as observer-recorder. Leverage would be a last resort 
rather than a continuing tool. The product of the intermittent debate 
on 3.everage was not so much a decision pro or con as it was a decision 
to resort to leverage when all else had failed. In this sense it dodged 
the difficult choices. 



GROPING TOWARD BETTER INEORMATI ON 

One of the programs that came under Komer 's jurisdiction after he 
took over CORDS was the controversial Hamlet Evaluation System (HES). 
Secretary McNamara had requested, during his October I966 visit to Vietnam, 
the development of some ADP system for evaluating the status of rural 
security on an on-going basis — data which would m^ake possible com^para- 
tive JT-^cignients of progress over time. In November, he sent Mr. George Allen 
and Colonel Carter Clark to Saigon with a proposal. MACV revised their 
suggested system and recommended it to the Mission Council which endorsed 
it on 13 December. MACV described the new system to CINCPAC in January 
1967 : 

HES provides a fully automated procedure for evaluating 
hamlet Revolutionary Development progress and establishes a 
hamlet level data base. Data input for HES is provided by 
MACV subsector advisors and district representatives, where 
assigned, who evaluate all hamlets not under VC control. 
They record their assessments in terms of I8 entries on a 
hamlet evaluation worksheet utilizn'-ng six factors, each with 
three indicators. Also, eight problem areas are evaluated. I89/ 



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r 



The system operated throughout the year as something of a barometer 
for the entire pacification effort. It also became one of the focal 
points of criticism of the excessive reliance on statistical measures 
of progress, a criticism favored by the press in particular. Never- 
theless, it was the most systematic attempt to compare results over 
time ever used in the assessment of rural security in Vietnam. As 
such it is a useful indicator. The following tables give summary data 
from HES for 196? . IgO/ " The first table shows population distribution 
according to security and development factors. The second table depicts 
the distribution of hamlets according to different measures of security. 






100 TOP SECRET - S ensitive 



H 
O 

H 



O 
CO 

o 



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1967 

M A K C H 



POPULATION WeiGHTLl) INDKX* 
StCU^'.h / GOUO 
A Ha.SLEIS 
(3 HAMLtrS 

C HAMLF-TS 
,>jUN-HAi'^LET 
TUTAL 
CUKTESTtD/PUOR 
HAMLETS 
E HA'^LETS 
**aTHKR HAViLtTS 
NON-HAMLET 
TOTAL 
VC Ci;rjTkQLLLO 
VC HAMLtTS 
MON-HAHLLT 
TUTAL 
TUTAL PUPULATKJM 



2.33 

300.9 
?ti6l.9 



10^9^.7 (63.3'fo) 



2;^3'J.7 
4BO.0 

.0 
^ 7 --t . 



2989.7 (17.9/,) 

2955.8 
19 6.4 



3 r.>^.? fis.a; ,') 



16736,0 



( ^ 



POPULATION DATA 

TOTAL SCPRH - COUNTRYWIDE 
THKUUGH DFCb^.[iE^<f 19ft7 

POPULATION IN THOUSANDS 



JUNb 



StPTEMDFR 



DECE.VMFf^ 



NET CHANGE 



2.A2 

439.4 
3120.7 
43r50.5 
3277. 3 



U2Sb.9 (65.6%) 



2.50 

646.0 
3489.7 
4044.2 
3 13 5-1 



2 .54 



69/, .0 

3 '• 'U . "\ 

4?79. 1. 
3050./, 



1976,-2 
402.3 
152.3 

290. S 



11315.^ (66.5^/;) 

2087.2 
33 7.2 

91.7 
237.4 



115 1^.7 (67.0:0 



215 7.6 

68.3 
2 61-6 



2821.6 {16. k%) 

2923.2 

164.2 



275 i. 5 (16.27;) 

2 809.5 
13''*. 1 



2801-1 (16.3/,) 



2748.4 

1 1?.5 



-^MlAA_aS..Qll 



_ZI!±i^\_XlZ3;y. 



w i 6 4 . 9 



17 012.9 



__2860.jj 
1 fi H :)\ 7' 



UG^7il 



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394 


.0 


619 


.4 


57 


.3 


150 


-L 


9;^o 


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78 


. 1 


1^1 


.4 


68 


.3 



10-4 



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• »-\-l VAL JATlO MAc.Lh TS- 



*1N HAMLETS RATED A =5 . 3 = '=» f C = 3 • = 2, F = 1 t VC = 
INCLUDES Al^ANDONEO, PLANNED. 



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CD 

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1967 

f-'.ARCH 



SECURE / GOOD 

A HAi-^LETS 



3 
C 



hAi^LETS 



HAMLETS 
TOTAL 

cuntesteo/poor 
d hamlets 

e hamlets 
**other hamlets 

tqTal 
vc hamlets 

TOTAL HAMlcTS 



99 

1639 
3138 



A876 

2348 

599 





2947 
4262 



12035 



ha^Lft OATA 
TOTAL SCORE - COUNTRYWIDE 

THROUGH OECEMt^ER, 1967 

NUMBER OF HAMLETS 



JUNE 



SEPTEMBER 



DECEMBER 



NET CHANf^^ 
MAR - DEC 



166 

1776 
32z^5 



51S9 

21'56 

528 
686 



3370 
3978 



12 5 3 7 



**\Q\-EVALUATED 'HAMLETS- INCLUDES AtJANDONED , PL ANNEO 



^1? 
1902 
3_1_37_ 
5252 



2206 

4B3 

713 



34 02 
3987 



1264 1 



231 
1809 
3300 



53 40 

2230 
A45 

825 




3500 
3882 



12722 



118 
I 54 

5 53 

6 37' 



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Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 

NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 2011 



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In February I968 an analysis of I967 pacification-R/D results as 
revealed in the HES was published by OSD Systems Analysis. 

Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) reports for CY I967 
indicate that pacification progressed slowly during the 
first half of 1967? and lost ground in the second half. 
Most (60/0) of the 1967 gain results from accounting type 
changes to the HES system, not from pacification progress; 
hamlet additions and deletions, and revised population 
estimates accounted for half of the January-June increase 
and all of the June-December increase. In the area that 
really counts— .VC-D-E hamlets rising to A-B-C ratings--we 
actually suffered a net loss of 10,100 people between June 
and December 1967, The enemy's offensive appears to have , 
killed the revolutionary development prograjn, as currently 
conceived. Recent reports state that to a large extent, 
the VC now control the country-side. I91/ 

Written in the pessimistic atmosphere of the I968 post-Tet period this 
view may over-emphasize negative factors. Ambassador Komer wrote a 
stinging dissent that appeared in the next monthly issue of the Systems 
Analysis Southeast Asia Analysis Report. I92/ Statistical analysis 
aside, pacification clearly failed to make the significant strides 
that the President had hoped for in I967. It certainly did not initiate 
any Revolutionary Development likely to transform the qualify of life 
for the Vietnamese farm.er or to alter fundamentally the course of the 
war. 

Concurrently with attempts to improve information on the security 
programs, MACV exhibited increased interest in I967 in improving RWAF 
effectiveness. Early in the year it vms decided to undertake an extensive, 
unit-by-unit effectiveness evaluation. Units judged to be superfluous or 
consistently below standard were to be cut off from U.S. support. I93/ 
Decisions on support withdrawal were to be made semi-annually as new 
evaluations were received. MACV explained to CIHCPAC that the review 
would include: 

...all VHAF, Vm, VHMC, ARVN tactical and logistical 
units, and RF/pf units in the current projected FY 68 force 
structure. The methodology for the evaluation includes: 
identification of the credibility and feasibility of current 
plans of RVMF officials to guarantee increased effectiveness j 
study of unit performance trends during the past six m.onths; 
determination of availability of necessary plans to train 
personnel in the required skills; and evaluation of the degree 
of command interest at all levels for improvement of the 
ineffective or non-productive imits. Considering these 
factors, units are categorized as improvement probable, 
x doubtful, or unlikely. For those units categorized as 



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improvement doubtful or unlikely, justification for continued 
military assistance will be required or action will be initi- 
ated to reduce the FY 68 Military Assistance Prograia. I9V 

The first review (completed in March) cut two marginal navy vessels 
from the list of U.S. supported units, but only vrarned JGS of the unaccept- 
able effectiveness of two marginal ranger battalions and an armored cavalry 
squadron- The Jun.e review, v/hile producing recorrjraendations from U.S. 
advisors that aid be suspended in several cases, again resulted only in 
warnings and threats. There was no suspension of U.S. support, 

RTOAF EFF ECTIVENESS 

Quantitative efforts to rate RVMF effectiveness continued in the 
field, at MCV, and in Wa,shington throughout the year with no clear 
agreement on what set of statistical indicators best portrayed RWAF 
performance and potential. During I966 MACV had relied on a minimum 
present for duty strength as a means of evaluating ARW battalion effec- 
tiveness. This method permitted wide fluctuations and was unreliable. 
The 1967 statistics on RVMF desertions revealed an improving ability of 
units to hold their men. MACV soon began to use this trend as an indi- 
cator of effectiveness. In May, for Instance, COMUSMA.CV noted with 
satisfaction the marked reduction of January and February I967 desertions 
compared to desertions in the same period in I966. The average improve- 
ment for this period V:^as about 5O percent: 

Desertions/Rates (per 1000 assigned) 195/ 



1966 
1967 



January 

9,251/16.0 
5,900/9.6 



Februar y 
ll^,110/2ij.3 
5,860/9.6 



In the same message, MACV noted with satisfaction recent aggressive 
actions by the JGS to correct the unacceptably high Incidence of deser- 
tions, including the singling out of three regiments for special warning 
on their excessive desertion rate- Year-end statistics compiled by OSD 
Systems Analysis indicate that the figures q.uoted by mCV in May erred 
on the optimistic side somewhat by under counting RF desertions in both 
months by about 1,000. Nevertheless, the trend to which MACV was pointing 
was confirmed during the rest of the year. After rising slightly to 
8,127 in March, RVMF desertion rates leveled off at between about 6,000 - 
7,000 per month for the remainder of I967. I96/ Thus, I967 produced only 
80,912 desertions compared with 117,740 in I906, an overall reduction of 
almost one-third. I97/ (it also should be noted in passing, that VC/nvA 
desertions reached a peak in March and thereafter fell off sharply.) 



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At the Pentagon^ Systems Analysis sought measures of RWAF effec- 
tiveness in a comparison betvreen the i:)erformances of Vietnajnese and 
American units in selected categories: VC/lWA KIA ratios^ battalion 
days of operations, days of enemy contact , number of operations , weapons 
loss ratios, etc. Sumiriarizing the results of some of these statistical 
studies. Systems Analysis stated in September 1967* 

Per man, Vietnamese forces were about half as effective 
as U.S. forces in killing VC/lTA during the eleven months 
(Aug 66 through Jun 6?) for which detailed data are avail- 
able. Effectiveness differs vridely among Vietnamese vmits 
of the same type and between units in differing parts of 
the country. Poor leadership is the key reason for ineffic- 
iency in most cases, I98/ 

The MACV staff rebutted many of the premises on which the statistical 
comparisons had been based and again revealed the difficulty in develop- 
ing meaningful statistical measures with respect to anything Vietnamese.. 
Their most telling criticism of the Systems Analysis compo.rison of U.S. 
and Vietnamese units was the following: 

(a) It is generally accepted that US maneuver battalions 
have a combat effectiveness ratio of about 3:1 to RVKAE maneu- 
ver battalions due to their greater unit firepower and depth 
of combat support/combat service support forces; RVT^AF also 
lacks the mobility assets available to US units. 

(b) Approximately one -third of the RVME maneuver 
battalions are coimnitted to direct support of Revolutionary 
Development, a mission which constrains the overall poten- 
tial to find, fix, and fight the enemy forces. In this 
analysis an RVMF unit that is U5 percent as effective as 
US units which have three times the RVHAF combat effective- 
ness would appear to be doing very well. In fact, anything 
over 33 percent would reflect superior performance. 199/ 

But here again one can be misled. One reason that ARVTT was given the 
r/d support mission in the first place was its demonstrated inability 
to engage effectively and destroy the enemy main force, r/d was regarded 
as a residual and semi -passive role m.ore suited to ARVN capabilities. 
And so the statistical arguiaents raged, partisans marshalling whatever 
statistics they could to defend what in most cases were their own pre- 
conceived notions. 



All of this is not to imply that qualitative estimates, diagnoses, 
prescriptions, and prognosis were lacking in 1967- At the Guam Conference 
with the President, General Abrams ' appoizitment as the new Deputy COMUS- 
MACV had been announced along with the others already mentioned and his 
responsibility for overseeing the U.S. advisory effort with RVMF re- 
i f emphasized. Upon return to Saigon prior to his own departure. Lodge 



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IHC. 

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sent a message to the President stressing the importance of RVMF: 

mCV's success (which means the success of the United 
States and of all of us) will. . .willy-nilly, be judged not 
so much on the brilliant performance of the U.S. troops as 
on its success in getting ART.I, W and PF q.uickly to function 
as a first-class counter terror^ counter-guerrilla force. 200/ 

Lodge concluded with a glowing endorsement of Abrams as the man to see 
that RVMF did become an effective force. There is ample evidence that 
Abrams did work with great energy to do just that. 

In mid-June 5 after Abrams' first quarterly review of RVMF, Bunker 
included a report on actions to improve RVMF in his weekly report to 
the President: 

A; Improving the leadership and enhancing the personnel 
effectiveness of the APVir/RF/PF through such things as 
improvement in the awarding of commissions and promotions , 
selection procedures, training of officer candidates, the 
introduction of an effective personnel management and 
accounting system, tightening up on discipline, improve- 
ment in the treatment of veterans in order to clear the 
^ rolls of those Incapable of f'orther active duty and an 

e^s-nded advisory effort to support properly the Revolu- 
tionary Development prograjn^ 

B) To improve motivation and m.orale through more eq,ui table 
pay scales, improvement in rations, and revitalization of 
the dependent housing program; 

C) Improvement in the command structure and equipm.ent of the 
Regional/PopuJLar Forces and a revised m.otivation and indoc- 
trination program to reflect the role of the PF soldier in 
Revolutionary Development; 

D) a comprehensive training effort to improve intelligence and 
reconnaissance operations and to improve the combat effec- 
tiveness of battalions; training of ARVN/rf/pF for support 
of Revolutiona^ry Development particularly in providing 
security and support to the civil population; 

E) Experimentation with various forms of integrated US/rvNAF 
operations. . ./discussed already/; 

F) Institution of quarterly reviews at which tme progress is 
measured against objectives, problems discovered 8.nd deci- 
sions taken. First of these reviews vras held last month. 201/ 



( "^ 



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In May^ General Abrams established a Program Review and Analysis 
System for RVIIAi"^ Progress. This was essentially an internal MACV 
effort to exaraine the problems facing RWAF in order that MCV might 
structure its advisory assistance to make the most headway against 
these problems. The first published review, covering the January-June 
1967 period 5 appeared in September. Like many similar efforts it was 
a long catalogue of RVMF deficiencies by U.S. standards. 202 / The 
benefits of these reviews were supposed to be reaped as they v^ere brought 
to bear during the quarterly RVMF self-review called for in the Com- 
bined Campaign Plan. There is no available information as to how effec- 
tively this has worked in practice. This plethora of programs and 
activities through which we sought either to improve the effectiveness of 
RVMF directly or to promote it indirectly by mproving the lot and life 
of the soldier received a full-blown exposition during Secretary McNamara's 
trip to Saigon in July. 203/ With respect to improving RVMF morale -- 
in addition to the pay scale adjustments ;, im.proved rations , and provision 
of dependent housing — the U.S. has helped the South Vietnamese develop 
a miniature U.S. style Conmiissary/PX system. 



The leadership problem received very detailed attention by MCV durin 
the course of 1967* Prior to the Secretary's departure for Vietnam, 
Alain Enthoven, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Analysis, 
sent McNamara a memo that flatly stated, "There are a number of reasons 
for the ineffectiveness of many of the WMF iHiits, particularly ARVN 
combat battalions, but the primary one is the q.uantity and q.uality of 
the leadership." 2.0k/ kftev itemizing the contributing factors to this 
deficiency, he recommended that the Secretary query MACV in detail on 
leadership problems during his visit. In the briefings for Secretary 
McNamara in July, fourteen different MACV/JGS actions or programs were 
cited as ways in which this problem was being addressed. These ranged 
from better officer career management to regular merit promotion proced- 
ures and the publication of leadership materials. 20^/ One example of 
the lengths to which we have gone in efforts to remedy the leadership 
deficit in RVI^F is the replication in South Vietnam of the U^S. elite 
officer schooling system — a four-year Vietnamese Military Academy, 
enlarged Command and General Staff College, and, most recently, a National 
Defense College. 






THE LATEST EXPANSION OF ADVISORS 

C0MUSM/\.CV faced difficult choices in determining whether he wished 
to emphasize more U.S. advisors for RVMF -- or advisors for new functions 
or to stress a build-up of the number of UcS. combat forces in-country. 
RVMF strength had increased by 152^ from 1960 to I966, going up by over 
100^000 in the I8 months preceding the beginning of 1967* The table below 
shows the growth and distribution of RVNAF over the I965-I967 period. The 
slight decline in forces from January to April I9675 reflects efforts to 
weed out absentee personnel still being carried on padded unit rolls. 



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RVNAF STRMGTPIS 





1 Jul 65 


1 Jan G6 


1 Jul SG 


1 Jan 67 


30 Apr 67 


RVKFAP 












msri 

MA.RIMES 
ATR FORCE 
REGIOmL FORCES 
POPULAR FORCE 


23^^,139 
9,037 

6,842 

12,081 

107,652 
1^9,029 


267,877 

14,559 
7,380 

12 , 778 

132,221 

136 , 398 


276,473 
16,380 

6,848 

13,895 
l4l,4ii7 
137,689 


283,898 

17,349 
7,049 

14,647 
149,844 
150,096 


283,200 

16 , 000 

7,100 

15,600 

142,018 

142,491 


Sub Total 


518 , 780 


571,213 


592,732 


622,883 


606,405 


PARA-MILITARY 












National Police 

CIDCt 

Armed Cmbt Youth 


h2.,'J00 

21,700 
39,000 


52,300 

28 , 400 

39,600 


54,600 
30,400 
22,800 


58,300 
34,700 

20,000 


63,457 
31,477 
19,930 


Total 


625,800 


691, 500 


700,500 


735,900 


721,269 206/ 



In March, two days before the Guam Conference was to meet. General Westmore- 
land sent an important cable to CINCPAC requesting an ^'optimum force" increase, 
above and beyond the approved Deployment Prograin k, of k-2/3 U.S. divisions 
(201,250 personnel spaces), or a "miniimim essential force" of an additional 
2-1/3 U.S. divisions" (8^,100 spaces). 207/ The optimum force wouid have 
raised total UoS. manpower in Vietnam to over 670,000 troops. This reciuest 
was to kick off (after Guam, where it was not specifically addressed) 
another prolonged internal administration debate and review of forces in 
Vietnam which would eventually culminate in Secretary McNamara's July trip 
to Saigon and the subseq.uent decision to adopt deplo;yment Prograjn 5, raising 
total authorized strength to 525,000. COI-lUSMCV's orientation toward 
RVKAF's role in the war is clearly revealed in this message: 

Whereas deployment of additional US forces in FY 68 will 
obviate the req.uirem.ent for a major exjjansion of the RVKAF, 
selective increases will be necessary to optimize combat 
effectiveness. Regular forces proposed for FY 68 total 
328,322, an increase of 6,367 spaces over the FY 67 authorization. 
As US, Free World and RVmF operations are expanded, additional " 
areas will be made available for the conduct of Revolutionary 
Development operations. Based on experience gained thus far, 
an increase of 50,000 RF/pf sps.ces will be required to provide 
a planning figure of 350,000 spaces for this force. The 
increase will acconmiodate necessary support of Revolutionary 
Development and concomitantly, will be " compatible with 
requirements incident to implementation of the constabulary 
concept. 208/ 



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Without going into detail on the debate and decision on Program^ 5, from 
the advisory standpoint the important development was COI-IUSMCV ' s view 
of RVMF. In March, RVIMAF had been regarded almost as a residual, but 
by September, when the ambitious U.S. force proposals had been rejected 
in favor of only a modest j.ncrease of about I^5,000 COI^SMACV reasserted 
the importance of RVmr and asked for a major increase in its authorized 
strength. Slowly, then, the realization that there was a ceiling on the 
number of U.S. forces which could be deployed without calling up reserves 
turned everyone's attention once again to RVMF. 

The one significant increase proposed in the MACV message cited 
above vras the increase of 50,000 in RF/pf. This was not to be immedi- 
ately forthcoming. In May I967, Secretary McRamara imposed a temporary 
ceiling on RVME at the level authorized for end FY 66 to prevent further 
inflation in South Vietnam and to arrest some of the balance of pa,yments 
imbalance stemming from U.S. Vietnam spending. 209/ Subsequently, 
|» CINCPAC was authorized to ms-ke adjustments among the various components 

within that limit, thereby permitting augmentation of m^/TF at the expense 
of AWN. , - 

The question of additional U.S. troops had refined itself considerably 
by the time the Secretary went to Saigon in July. Of the two force mcreas; 
proposals presented by mcv at that tme, the first was merely a restate- 
(_• ment of the old "minimum essential force" which would have brought total 

U.S. troops to 571,071 (2--1/3 division force eq.uivalents) ; the second pro- 
posal was a much smaller req.uest for an authorized strength of 535;390 
(1-1/3 division force equivalents). 210/ Both of these proposals con- 
tained a request for 2,577 additional advisors — primarily to support the 
anticipated expansion of Rf/pF and to flesh out the sector and sub-sector 
advisory teams supporting the pacification effort. The following table 
shows the breakdown of the I967 advisory increases, including the request 
presented to McWamara in July and subsequently approved. 



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(u) 



22 Oct 6? 



• ■ 

. Other Nctioiv...! .Level 

Air Force Ad\-:t.r;ca;v- Gr'on.p 

AlWrl and mypF 

Corps Ilq end Siijipojpt (/,) 
Capital Kilita-j Dlc-oilct 

• l)iv:i.r:iono (lO) c: 24t.h Sp-cdal 
Zone and 5ur;y.o/. t 

ft 

r" BattalioiiG (120 Iiifc-ntrr) 

r 

JRancex- CcTi^iond ( 5 G]:,r;/20 Bn) 
Kogional Force BattaiLxonrj (12) 



I Ai-jL-orcd Cavalry Squad roiio (lo) 



Avd-h 

740 
517 
493 



1,147 



59 



a66 



9S 



613 
130 

31 



Popular Force Trainij:- centers ■ • 122 



107 

Socior Advicor Tc:.an3 (Rc^ov.bic^O ^-y^ 

Subooctor Adviror Tenuis (Dir>ti^ct) 969 
J^c^:lono.l Force Conipanlos 

}io-;:Lonf^l ro--co Cvt\pa (ConvorLcd 

from CIDG) . ■ "' 



Rcqiur cd Add- or.Ls 



23 

30 



29 



eu 



12 



'l/;3 



-12 



21 



"13 



56 



137 



20 



52 



V.1 



3/;" 



294 



8 



• 6 



1 



11 



120 



92 



2 . 2/.. 






.32 50 



rot el 



296 



828 



517 
493 



1,176 

67 

861 



•-*.'' 



110 

590 
• 118 

109 
107 
1.342" 
1,406 



2 2''^ 



'p^ A 



Totals 



6, 910 



251 '699 2,577 10,/,37 211/ 



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The large Rf/pf advisory element in this rec^uest included spaces for 
82i| W Company Advisory Teams of tvo men each and 119 Company Training 
Teams of five men each. Before returning to Washington, the Secretary 
gave planning authorization for a U.S. augmentation not to exceed 
525,000 spaces, but fulfilling VIestm-oreland* s lower alternative by 
civilian! zing an additional 10,000 military spa^ces. 212/ A month 
later, after approval by President Johnson, this new force level was 
promulgated as Program #5. 213/ The final detailed troop list for 
Program #5 submitted by the JCS on September 15 contained, in addition 
to the regular advisory spaces already mentioned, a 666 --man Special 
Forces augi^ientation to perform advisor-like functions with their Viet- 
namese coujiterparts. 2lJj-/ 

Even before the Pi-ograza #5 troop list was completed by MCV and 
submitted by the JCS, however, Ambassador Komer was complaining ^ that 
the CORDS advisory element actual strength was seriously below its 
authorization and that bureaucratic delays had forestalled even the 
deployment of the 100 priority advisors requested in July- 215/ The 
following day, OSD Systems Analysis advised Secretary Mclamara that the 
shortfall in the actual strength of the overall advisory complement was 
a longstanding problem. In March, the advisory program had been^under- 
strength 600 men while VMM headquarters exceeded its authorization by 
1^73- In response to Systems Analysis prodding this discrepancy had been 
partialD.y rectified, but as late as July the advisory staff was still 
short 237 while MACV had an overage of I3O. Systems Analysis further 
advised the Secretary" that while total strength authorizations had been 
made, MACV^s delay in submitting detailed lists of grades and specialties 
of desired personnel had, in turn, engendered delays at this end m 
filling the billets. Moreover, the requirement that advisors receive 
preliminary Stateside background and lang-aage training further delayed 
the actual deployments. Only priority recLuests could be filled very 
rapidly, and these necessarily could only constitute a small percentage 
of the total. 

In order to study the problems presented by the anticipated expan- 
sion of RF/pf and to plan for the significant expansion of the U.S. 
advisory effort to these forces, MACV convened a conference on RF/PF 
matters on 26 October for all interested elements of MCV and USARV. 216/ 
The conference recommended a complete reorientation of the advisory con- 
cept for RF/pf. Rather than assigning tea.ms to RF companies and PF^ 
platoons on a permanent basis, the conferees recommended the establish- 
ment of 35U seven-man Mobile Advisory Teams (mis) to be used on a 
rotating basis under the direction of the Province Advisor to whom they 
would be assigned. Itirther, the conference recommended the deployment 
of an Engineer Advisor to each province, an S-1 advisor to all provinces 
without one, increasing the Administrative and Direct Support Logistics 
(ADSL) companies from three to seven, and creating 7 seven-man Mobile 



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Advisory Logistics Teajiis (M/lLTs) to support the EF/pf. Altogether^ 
the conference produced some fifty-odd recommendations from vAich a 
30-polnt package was fonvarded to COmSMCV. 

On 15 December^ General V/estmoreland gave his approval to the nev/ 
system which was to be phased in d-'^ing 1968^ the first half by the end 
of March and the rest by the end of that year. By the end of December 
1967;* MACV v/as recommending a further increase of 366 advisors fox the 
FY 1969 program^ primarily for district level intelligence slots. 

Meanwhile, on September 28, the JCS had for^'rarded with their endorse- 
ment the MACV-CINCPAC recoimnendation on EVMF force increases, of which 
the KF/PF component was the largest. 21?/ Requested \ms an increase 
in FY 68 RVNAT' authorized strength frcm 622,153 to 685,739? a net of 
63?586. Of this number, ^7,839 were P^f/PF spaces, and only 15,7^-1-7 were 
for the regular forces (of which AHVN's share was 1^,966). To achieve 
these higher levels, MACV proposed the reduction of the draft age from 
20 to 18 and the extension of tours of duty for active RVMF personnel. 
The advisory support for these new Vietnamese forces had already been 
provided for by Program #5. In their concluding paragraph, the JCS took 
note of a MACV request, to be considered separately, for an FY I969 RVWAF 
authorised strength of 763,9585 a farther increase of 78, 20^ over the 
newly proposed FY I968 level. Of these new troops, 69,000 were to go 
to RF/PF (including some draftees) and only 9,000 to ARVl^. Secretary 
McNamara approved these requested FY I968 augmentations for RVTIAF against 
the recommendation of Ms Systems Analyst, Alain Enthoven, who V70uld 
have authorised only half of the request pending better justification. 218/ 
But the JCS were informed that a judgment on the proposed FY I969 increase 
would be reserved until the military had responded to a series of questions 
relating to equipment availability, officer supply, costs, and distribu- 
tion of the new forces between ARVIT and RF/pF. 

Thus, by the fall of I967, two factors were pushing U.S. leaders 
toward increasing the size and role of RVMF in the war -- a step which 
would increase the importance of the U.S. as advisor rather than combatant: 
(1) the approaching ceiling on U.S. forces deployable to Vietnam v/ithout 
mobilization (politically unpalatable in an election year); and (2) a 
growing U.S. Congressional and public clamor for a larger South Viet- 
namese contribution to the war and assumption of burdens. 

This was essentially the situation that existed when, on 3I January 
1968, the VC/WA launched a series of major attacks on South Vietnamese 
population centers. This radical change in enemy tactics challenged 
the efficacy of the division of effort between U.S. forces and RVMAF, 
shook U.S. public support for the war, and marked the beginning of a 
new, imcharted phase in the history of UoS. attempts to advise the govern- 
ment and armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam. 



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FOOTNOTES 



!• Warner R. Schilling, Paul Y. Haimnondj Glenn H. Snyder, Strategy , 
Z2^i:tj££_a£d^ (New York, Columbia University Press, 

19o2); Henry A. Kissinger, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Po licy (New 
York, Published for the Council on Foreign Relations by Harper, 1957). 

2. Memoj Gen. J. La.wton Collins, for SecState, 20 January 1955? 
Rep ort on Vietnam for the National Security Council (TS). 

3. Memo, JCS for SecDef, I9 October 195^, Development and Training of 
lnM g_enous Forces in Indochina (TS). 

k. Memo, JCS for SecDef, 22 September 195^, Retention and Development 
o f_Forces in Indochina (ts). 

5. Memo, JCS for SecDef, I7 November 195^+, Indochina (TS)- 

6. Memo, JCS for SecDef, I9 October 195^, 0£. cit. 

7. See letter, J. F. Dulles (SecState) to Charles E. Wilson (SecDef), 
11 October I95I1 (is). 

8. Msg, State to Saigon 1679, 22 October 195^ (TS). 
8a. Memo, SecDef to JCS, 26 October 195^ (TS). 

9. The similarities and differences are depicted graphically in Vol. IV.A. , 
this series, pp. 27-29, 

10. Memo for SecDef, 9 December I955, Raisi ng US Military Personnel Ceiling 
in MAAG Vietnajn (s), 

11. See memo. Director CIA for SecState, I6 December 1955 (S). 

12. Memo, JCS for SecDef, 21 January 1Q5S. " Reconsideration of US Military 
^logram in Southeast A 5^1 a (ts). 

13. John D. Montgomery, The Pol:Itics of Forej^gnjUd (New York: Praeger, 
1962)5 pp. 6U-70; Robert Scigliano, South Vietnam; Nat i on Under 
S:^:es£ (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 19*^7 PP- 163-^7- 

li|-. The President's Comjnittee to Study the United States Military Assistance 
Program, Report, Volume 11, passim. 

15. Ib^^-, Voliune III (Classified Studies), Study No. k by the Committee 
Staff, "Mirror Imaging," pp. 115-14?. 



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16. rbl^. , Volime III (Classified Studies), Study No. 2 by the Institute 
for Defense Analyses , "The Role of the Military in Promoting Internal 
Security in Underdeveloped Areas ," pp. 33-3^' 

17- U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 10 June I96O5 Study on 

Army Aspects of the Military Assistance Program in Vietnam (S), pT^lO, 

18. Ibid., p. 13. 

19. The plan is contained as an inclosure to message, Saigon to State 276, 
h January I96I, Counte r Insurg ency Plan for South Vi et-Nam (S), Cited 
hereafter as CIP. 

20. MAA.G, Vietnam, I5 September I96I, Geof^ra-phically Phased N ational Level 
Plan for Counterinsurgency (s). Cited hereafter as Geogra.phically 
Phased Plan. 

21. CIP, pp. )4-5. 

22. Ibid., p. 5. 

23. Ibid., pp. 7-8. 
2^. Geographically Phased Plan ^ pp. A-1 - A-7. 

25. Message, Saigon to State 2525, 27 February I96O (s). 

26. Message, Saigon to State 3O36, 23 April I96O (s). 

27. Message, State-Defense-ICA-CAS to Saigon 28,, 7 July 1959 (S). 

28. See Message, Saigon to State 212, 2k July 1959 (s); Saigon to State 
24^6, 18 February I96O (c)^ CINCPAC Command History , I96O, pp. 162-63 

(ts/np). 

29. Enclosure to SM-139^"6l, 19 December I96I, Project BEEF-UP (TS) 

30. Adapted from Report on General Taylor ^s Mission to So u th Vietn am, 

3 November 19*5iV looseieaf (TS), Section on Summary and Conclusions. 
Cited hereafter as Taylor Report . 

31. State Department Buree.u of Intelligence and Research, RFE-35 1 November 
1961, Commu^iist Threat Mounts in South Vietnam (S), p. 5- 

32. NIE 50-61, 28 March I96I, Outlook in Mainland Southeast Asia (S), p. 7. 

33- RFE-3, 1 November I96I, op. cit., p. k; Briefing Paper, n.d.. The 
North Vietnamese Role in the Origin, Direction, a^nd Support of the 
/^^ Wa^r in South Vietnam (sJV P- iv. 

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3^. Memo, General Lansdale for Secref, 17 January I96I, Vietnam (S), p. 1; 

35. Ibid., p. 3. 

36. Ibid. , p. 11. 

37. Ibid ., p. k. 

38. Robert Shaplen, The Lost Revolution , Rev. Ed., (New York: Harper and 
Row, 1966), pp. 11+8-149. 

39. Memo, wm /wait W. Eostow/ to the President, 12 April I96I, no 
subject (S). 

kO. Memo, I9 April I96I, Vietnam (s). 

kl. Memo, SecDef for DepSecDef, 20 April I96I, no subject (s). 

k2. Memo, DepSecDef for Presrldent, 2? April I96I5 Erogram of Action for 
Vietnam (TS). 



Ibid. 



Memo /state Department/ to Members of Task Force on Vietnam;, 3 May I96I (TS 

NSAM 52, 11 May I96I (TS). 

Memo 5 President for Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, 29 May 
1961 5 Responsibil ities o f Chiefs of Am.eric an Di plomatic Missions j 
forv?-arding letter of 27 May to each American Ambassador abroad. 
Federal Register , Vol. 26, Nr. 22, I7 November I96I, p. 10749 (F.R. 
Doc. 6l"11012)"T"" 

if7. Memo, R.L. Gilpatric for I^esidential Task Force, 1 May I96I (TS). 

48. Ibid . 

49. NSAM 52, 11 May I96I. 

50. Ibid . 

51. Ibid . 

52. Msg, Saigon to State 17^3, I5 k'ay I96I, 

53. Memo, Vice President Johnson for President Kennedy, 23 May I96I. 

54. Ltr, President Diem to President Kenjiedy, 9 June I96I. (Emphasis added.) 
55- Ibid. 



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56. Memo, BG Lansdale for DepSecDef, l8 May I96I5 Vietnam. 

57. Msg, Saigon to State 1+21, 1 October I96I. 

58. JCSM 717-61. 

59- Study, Concept of Intervention in South Vietna gi^ n.d., discussed at 
NSC meeting, 11 October I96I. 

60. SNIE 10-3-61, 10 October I96I, R;obableCominun^^ 
SEATO Undertakings in South -Vietnam (TSl 

61. Memo for Record, Roswell Gilpatric, 11 October I96I. 

62. Taylor Report , Evaluations and Conclusions, pp. 2-3- 
L 63. Ibid. , pp. 6-9. 

0\. Msg, Saigon 537, General Taylor to White House, State, Defense, J CS, 

25 October 1961 (TS/Eyes only) (Emphasis added); See also fg^ fsuxo 00„ 
1 November I96I, Eyes Only for the R-esident from General Taylor (TSj. 

65- Msg, Saigon to State 536, 25 October I96I (TS). 

66. Taylor Report , p. 9. 

67. Ibid., p. 11. 

68. NSAM 111, 22 November I96I, F2£,Et_Jh^^.oOM2^HL^:2SHl (^S). 

69. Msg; Saigon to State 687, 22 November I96I (S); Msg, Saigon to State 7O8, 
25 November I96I (s). 

70. Taylor Report , op. cit . , pp. 9~10. (Em.phasis added.) 

71. Ibid., Appendix G (Unconventional Warfare), Memo, BG Lansdale for 
General Taylor, n.d., "Siimmary of Recommendations. (.Sj. 

72. Msg, State to Saigon 619, ih November 1961. 

73. Msg, State to Saigon 693, December I96I. 

7I+. Ha CINCPAC, 16 January I962, Record of^Second_Secreta ry of De fense 
Conference (tS), pp. h-l - U-C 

75. Ibid ., p. k-k. 

76. Ibid ., pp. l|-5 - U-6. 

77. DF, Distribution Division, DCSPER, DA to Multiple Addressees, 5 October 
1961, Improvem,ent of P e rsonnel Continuity a nd^ffec tiveness m Short 
Tour Overseas Areas ^TsT* 

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78. 



study, ODCSOPS, DA for Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, I5 September I965, 
Ti me Phased Build-u p of Unit Advisory Effort in RVW (s). Cited 
hereafter as Time Phased Advisory Build-up . 



79. Ibid. 

80. Ibid. 

81. Ibid . 

82. Ibid. 

83. US CINCPAC, Com ijiand History, I962 (TS), pp. 173-75. 

8l-. David Halberstam, The Making of a Quagmire (New York, Random House, 
1965). 

^5- Record of 6th Secretary of Defense Conference , 23 July I962 (o?s), p. 2-1. 

^G. Sir Robert Thompson, Defeat ing Comm unist Insurgency (New York: Eraeger, 
1966), p. 136. 

87. Roger Hilsman, To Move a Nation (Garden City: Doubleday, I967), p. 502. 

88. NSAM 273, 26 November I963 (TS). 

89. Ibid. 

90. Ibid. 



91. NSAM 288, 17 March 1964, Implementation of South Vietnam Pr ograms. 

92. Ibid. 

93. Ibid . 

9^. Ibid . ■ 

95. Ibid. 

96. Memo, D.1A. for SecDef, I7 April 196^^ Sta tus of the Vietnamese Ha mlet 
Survey (ts), •" ~— 

97. Briefing Book, Msce llaneous Messages, Status R ep orts, and Recommenda' 
tions for Se cretary McNJ mara. n.d. /Mav"l964/ fTS") . 

98. Ibid. , Re ports on Critical Provinces. 



33- 



Briefing P3,per, Briefing Book for McNaughton, Saigon ^ay 196^, 

7 March I96U, Establishxaent of Critical District Advisory Team.s (c). 



100. Ibid. 



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101. Msg, Saigon to State 2338, 28 May 1964 (S). 

r 

102. Draft Memo for Record, Lt Col S. B. Berry, Jr., ^dl Asst to SecDef/, 
n.d., U.S, Embassy Briefing, Saigo n, 12 Ma y 1SQ-\ . 

103. Msg, JCS to COJ^iaSi^CV 64^8, 22 May I96U, Vietnamese Civil Guard and 
Self Defense Corps (s). 

lOU. Ibid . " 

105. Msg, CINCPAC to JCS 230I+I8Z Kay I96J+, Vietnamese Civil Guard and Self 
Defense Corps (S). 

* 

106. Ibid . 

107. Msg, JCS to CINCPAC 6^73, 25 ].:ay 196^-, Vietna.mese Civil Guard and 
Self Defense Corps (s). 

108. Ibid. (Emphasis added.) 

109. Ibid. 

110. Msg, COmSMiACV to CINCPAC ^^259, 2700i|5g May 196^ (s). (Emphasis added.) 
'^ 1^1- Msg, CINCPAC to JCS, 27O8O5Z Kay 1964, Vietnamese CG and SDC (s). 

112. JCSM-U6^-6J!, 30 May I96U, Pilot Program for Provision of Advisory 
Assistance to Paramilitary Forces in Seven Provinces (S) ." 

113. JCSM-^65-6U, 30 May 196^, U.S. Advisory Assistance to the Vietnamese 
Civil Guard and Self Defense Cor-ps (S). 

llif. Ibid . 

115- JCSM"^66-6J|, 30 May 196^, Provision of U.S. Advisors to Company 
Level Within Vietnamese Regular Ground'Fo rces (¥)". 

116. Msg, COMUSmcV to JCS, MAC J32 538O, 25 June 1964, Extension of U.S . 
Advisory Assistance (s). 

117. Ibid. 

118. Msg, VJhite House to Saigon (Personal for General Paul Harkins), 
27 May 1964 (C). 

119. Msg, COMUSMiACV to JCS, MAC J32 5380, op. £it. (Emphasis added.) 
\\ 120. Memo, DepSecDef for CJCS, 22 April 1964 (u). 



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121. See, for example, the papers in Secretary of Defense files, Vietnam 
381 (16 January 196^0 for July-September 196^. 

122. Msg, COICFSmCV to CINCPAC, MACJ-31618O, 1? July 196^4, Support 
Req.uirements for Extension of U.S. Adviso ry Program (SJiT 

■ mw I ■> I II ■■■■*■«!■ M^w. — - 1 ■ ■ - 111 I . . i_ ■ ■ ■ I I ■ I I ■ I ■ 1 ■■ ^ !■ ■■■■> ■-■ » ■ - ■> - ■ ■ ■ ' ■ ' — —ll." ■ ■■ ™ 

123. Ibid. 

12H. JCSM-665-6'4, k August 196^1-, Additional S up port in RVW on Acce lerated 
Basis (s). 

125. Msg, COMUSmCV to JCS, MAC Jl 70^^, 28 July 196'+, Pg£spnnel_Augmenta- 
tion (S). 

126. JCSM-665-6J1, op. cit . 

127. Memo, SecDef for CJCS, 7 August 196^, Additional Support for Republic 
of Vietnam on an Accelerated Basis (S). 

128. Msg, COMUSMACV to CINCPAC, MAC J3 7738, 11 August 196^4-, Additional 
Sup port RVN (S). 

129. Msg, JCS to CSA, CNO, CSAF et al, JCS 7953, 15 August 196!^-, Additional 
Support in RVW (S). 

130. Msg, COMUSMACV to JCS, MAC Jl 70^1, 0£. cit. 

131. MACV Msg 19118, op. cit. 

132. MACV Military Report, 19-26. June 1965- 

133. MACV Command History, op. cit., p. 60. 

13^. MACV "Commander's Estimate of the Situation," 26 March 1965. 

135. 1965 MACV Command History, 0£. cit., p. 58- 

136. JCSM ^17-65, 27 May I965. 

137. Memo, SecDef to CJCS, k June I965. 

138. Msg, MACV to CIRGPAC and JCS I9II8, 7 J^me 1965- 

139. Dod Message I51233Z April I965 (TS). 

ll^-O. Department of State message 2332, I5 April 1965, 3:^^6 p.m. (TS-RODIS). 
lla. 1965 MACV Command History , pp. 81-82. 
II+2. JCS message O936, I6 March I965 (TS) 



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143. COMUSMACV Message I566, 21 March I965 (TS). 
Ikk. JCS Message, l42228s May 1965- 

II1-5. COMUSMA.CV Message, 21 May I965, Cmbined_£oj™and; COWSm.CY Message 
17292, 2I1O6O3Z May 1965; Msg, Saigon to State 3855, 24 May 19o5. 

146. Msg, CINCPAC to JCS 3027, 260332 Z May I965 (TS). 

147. 196 g MACV Comrmnd History , p. 101. 

148. 1965 MA.CV Command History , pp. 98-99* 

149. Memo, Vincent Riritano to James P. Grant, "Joint Provincial Sign-Off 
Authority," with attachiaent , 25 Sep 65. (Both officials were with 
AID, Vietnam Section. ) 

150. State Department message 1039, October I6, 1965; Saigon message 1324, 
October I8, I965. 

151. 1965 MACV Commaiid History , p. 240. 

152. Pu.ritano Memorandiim, op.cit . 

153. New York Times, October 5, 7. 8 and NovemlDer 26, 1965; Mission Council 
Action Memorandum No. 15 , October 7? 1965- 

■ 

15^. Saigon Air gram A -665 July 27, 1965* 
155- Saigon Message 266 , July 25, 1965* 

156. Saigon Message 290, 28 July I965; Saigon message 36^, 3 August I965. 

157. Defense Department message 00916^, Joint State/Defense Message, 
15 April 1965 (TS-NODIS). 

158. Memo, SecDef for the President, 20 July 1965- 

159. , Draft Memo, SecLef for the President, 3 November I965 (TS)- 

160. 1964 MACV Command Histor y, p. 68. 

161. Mission Cou:acil Minutes, September 15? 19o5« 



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162. Pr-esident Johnson's final statement to Honolulu Conference, 
Plenary Documents, 9 February I966. 

163. Mission Council Minutes, 28 February I966. (Emphasis added.) 

164- 1965 MA.CV Conmiand History, p. 2k3; Memo, MACJS, Rural Const ruction 
Cadre (S). 

165. Memo, Ambassador Lodge to General Lansdale, 15 December I965, 
Roles of Dif f erent U,S. Agencies in the Three Phases of Rural 
Reconstructi o n, i,e.; Milita ry Clearing^ Pacificat ion, and 
Development [c); q.uoted in I965 MACV Command History, pp. 2^5-^f-6. 

166. Memo, Robert W. Komer, 7 August I966, Giving a Nev/ Thrust to 
Pacification . (Emphasis in original.) 

167- A similar plan was, hov-^ever, espoused by an influential study by 
a select group of officers on the Department of the Army General 
Staff. See Study, Progr am for the Pacification and Long-Term 
^YgJigPEggJ^Qf South V ietnam (Short "Titl e; P ROVN) , March 19^6. 
Cited hereafter as PROVl^ Study . 

168. _ Lodge's definitions do not agree with this explanation but it is a 
fair oversimplification of his views. 

169. Msg, COMLISMACV to CINCPAC (info to White House, State, SecDef, JCS, 
and CIA), 26 August I966, Concept of Military Operations in Sou th 
Vietnam (TS). 

170. MajGen JCF Tillson (j-3, MiACV), Briefing to Mission Council, 8 Aug 66 

171. Memo, General Maxwell D, Taylor to President, 30 August I966, Concept 
of Military Orierations in South Viet-Nam (TS). 

172. Msg, State to Lodge 83699, 12 November I966 (Emphasis added.) 

173- MACV/JGS Combined Campaign Plan, I967 (AB 1^2), 7 November I966, 
pp. 193-205. 

17^. Robert Shaplen, The Lost Revolution (New: Harper and Row, 1965)5 
pp. 329-330. "^ ^ 

175. State Department message IO39, October I6, 1965; Saigon message 
132^^, October 18, 1965. 

176- MACV Command History, I965, op^ cit., p. 2^0. 

177- Puritano Memorandiim, op. cit. 



121 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



ic-l 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



178. New York Times, October 5, 7, 8 and November 26, I965; Mission 
Council Action Memorandum No- 15? October 7? 1965* 

179. For a review of this entire period, see Task Force Paper IV. C, 
Evolution of the War: US/gVN Relation s,_1963;:67? Part II, pp- 1-10. 

180. See, for example; Memo, SecDef for President, 20 July I965; Draft 
Memo, SecDef for President, 3 November 1965- 

181. 1966 M/5.CV Command History, p. U65. 

IS2. PROVN Stu dy, op. cit ., Summary Statement, pp. 1-2. 

183. Ibid., p. 67. 

l8i|. Msg, MACJ33 I82I+U, 12 May I966. 

185. Study, MACV, ACofS CORDS, 1? June I967, Project_TAMK)FF, Vol. II, 
p. XI-1. 

186. Ibid., p. XI-U. 

187. Msg, State to Saigon 3OO23, 3I August 19^7 . 

188. Msg, Saigon to State 7II3, 19 September 1967- 

189. Msg, MACV to CINCPAC 0211+9, I8 January I967. 

190. Sm Hajnlet Evaluation System Data _Book^ through December I967, 
pp. I-l and 1-k; OASD/SA, SEA Prograjns Directorate. 

191. "Pacification Slowdown," So utheast Asia A mly£is.ReEort, February 
1968, prepared by OASD/SA SFA Programs Directorate, p. hb. 

192. "Ajnbassador Komer Rebuts our February Pacification Article, 
South e ast Asia Analysis Report , March I968, pp. 33-34-. 

193. Msg, MACV 009ij9, 9 January 1967- 

194. Msg, MACV to CINCPAC l^OGk, 7 May 19^7. 

195- Ibid > 

196. Southeast Asia Statistical Tables, OASd/SA SEA. Programs Directorate, 
Table kk (as of January 196^)- 

197. Ibid. 

198. Southe ast Asia Analy sis Report, August I967. prepared by OASD(SA) 
SEA Programs DirectorarteTTsJ^ P- ^6. 

100 TOP SECR ET " Se nsitive 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



IL^i 



s 

X 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



-^99* Sout heast Asia Analysis Rep ort; November 196? :> prepared by OASD(SA) 
SEA Programs Directorate ^ Cs)7 p. l6. 

200. Embassy Saigon message 21226^ EYES OKLY FOR THE PRESIDED from 
Lodge, March 25, I967 (TS-NODIS). 

201. Embassy Saigon message 28095, For the President from Bunker^ 
June lif, 1967 (S-NODIS). 

202. Review and Analysis System for RVNAF Pr o gress , MACV"J3^1> I6 Sep 67 (S) 

203. "MACV J-3 Quality Improvement of RVNAP" and "MACV J-1 RWAF Personnel 
Status," in Briefin gs G iv en the Secret ary of Defense, Saigon, South 
Vietnam, July 7 and '57T95TTTST^ompi'led by QASD(SA) SEA Programs 
Directorate, pp, 163-170, pp. 249-279. 

20^1-. ASD(SA) Alain Enthoven Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense, 

U July 1967? Subject: Improvement in RVNAF Force Effectiveness (s). 

205. Ibid ., pp. 257-259. 

206. Briefin gs for the Secretary of Defense , op . cit . , p. 2^9. 

207. MACV message O9IOI, Westmoreland sends, I8 Mar 67 (TS). 

208. Ibid. 

209. JCSM-530-675 28 Sep 67? Subject: Increase in FY I968 RVMP Force 
Level, (S); contains a review of the yea,r's actions to that date. 

210. Briefings for the Secre tar y of Defense , op. cit., pp. 171-176. 

211. MAC-J3II;, Supplemental Data Sheet A, dated 22 Oct '67? Subject: 
MACV Recognized Advisory Requirements (u). 

212. ASD(SA) Alain Enthoven, Memorandum for Record, July 13, I967, 
Subject: Fallout from Secretary of Defense Trip to South Vietnam, 
(TS-SENSITIVE-EYES only Dr. Heyman); and OASD(SA) General Purpose 
Forces, W. K. Brehm, Memora.ndum for the Record, Subject: SEA 
Deployments (TS), July 1^1, 1967* 

213- ASD(SA) Alain Enthoven Memorandum for the Secretaries of the Mili- 
tary Departments, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and 
the Assistant Secretaries of Defense, l4 Aug 67? Subject: Southeast 
Asia Deployment Rrogram #5 (TS); refers to SecDef decision memoran- 
dum, 10 Aug 67. 

214. JCSM 505-67, 15 Sep 67? Subject: U.S. Force Deployments Vietnam 
(Refined Troop List) (TS). 

215, OASD(SA) Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense, 30 Aug 67 (S- 
EYES only) . ' ) 

123 TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



ic^ 






I 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



TOP SECi^T " Sensitive 



216. Information in the paragraph is from "Information on MA.Ts (Mobile 
Advisory Teams) and MLTs (Mobile Advisory Logistics Teaaiis)," 

8 May 68, working paper prepared by the ACofS MA, MACV. 

217. JCSM 530-67, 28 Sep 67, Subject: Increase in Yi 68 RVMF Force 
Level (S). 

218. ■ Secretary of Defense Memorandum for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs 

of Staff, 7 Oct 67, Subject: Increase in FY 68 RTOAF Force 
Level (S) and attached OASD(SA) Memorandum for the Secretary of 
Defense, 5 Oct 67 (s). 



12^ 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date; 201 1 



( 



r\ 



\- 



n 



is. 

i 

o 

CO 




) 



o 

APPEM)1X I 
U.S. Advisory Effort - Manpower l/ 



{ ) 






Hq. MA.CV 



HcL MAAG USA Section USN Section USMC Section USAF Section Total 



H 



f-3 

o 

o 



I 

CO 

CD 

H- 
Cf 
H- 
<! 

(T) 



Date 



Jun 1956-^un 1959 
April 1961 
November I96I 



June 1962 



■\ 



December I962 
June 1963 
DecemTDer I963 
June 1964 
December 196^ 
June 1965 
December I965 
June 1966 
Decem-ber I966 
June 1967 
December I967 



Auth Asgnd Auth Asgnd Auth Asgnd Auth Asgnd Auth Asgnd Auth Asgnd Auth Asgnd 



216 206 



335 
35^ 



291 
330 



339 321 

921 910 

1072 1107 

1820 1820 

2kQ2 2030 

2535 . 2527 

2571 2636 

2797 2831 

3067 3268 



^59 2/ 
89 



172 

ll|2 
225 



170 
530 

169 2658 2lf09 

16^ 2586 2h66 

171 2585 2598 

169 2)+93 2582 

2276 l85)i 



22 

111 

53 

123 

li+3 
1^3 
li^3 



3i+ 
73 
7h 



335 
685 
7k6 



119 
123 

135 
i4o 



135 130 



3067 3135 215 216 

505I1 3573 ^66 ^71 

5I4O9 ^411.52 1516 617 

<^kk6 53U1 710 718 



21 

19 
15 
17 

19 
20 

30 
32 
38 



21 211 216 3401 3138 



17 

111 



261 219 31+85 3280 
271 232 3510 31+80 



Ik 2I+5 388 3I+62 361I+ 

15 229 ^11 3580 3320 

29 305 306 1+619 ,^793 

29 1+22 3I4O 7792 6233 

33 ^99 391 9938 7523 



35 



505 502 923^ 9123 



539^ ^575 ^65 ^67 38 32 1+93 ^88 8961 9123 



5607 5380 1+79 1+85 
5811 5995 ^75 ^79 



30 



y 



37 493 ^9^ 9^15 



39 



9227 



35 kSh . U77 9856 1025^ 



^ 



1/ Data on Assigned manpower not available prior to June I962 

2/ Includes 350 men in TERM 

Source: I956-I96I data.ODCSOPS (OPS OD), 15 September I965; I96I-I967 data, MACV Monthly Strength Report, 

RCS CINCPAC 531^1- 



\-3 
o 

en 

O 

■r-3 
I 

CO 

CD 

U) 
H- 
c+ 

<: 



2; 

S o 

5 2. 

^ a- 

Z r? 

uj o 

^ z 

2: to 

O CO 

oE 

o Lk) 



— - ^ 



API-. JIX II 



^ 



r-v 

^ 



Distribution of U.S. Army Field Advisory Effort 


















I^End of 


Period) 














* 


























Cariital 

•1. 






• 


Corps Hq 


ARVN Units 


Ranger 


Armor 




Air 


borne 


Distri 


ct 


Sec 


tors 




Auth 


As gnd 


Auth 


Asgnd 


Auth 


Asgnd 


Auth A 


sgnc. 


Auth 


Asgnd 


Auth 


As 


gnd 


Auth 


Asgnd 


CY 1956 







65 









4 




1 
















1957 


5 




65 









k 




1 
















1958 


10 




:6l 









k 




1 
















1959 


15 




61 









4 




1 
















i960 


15 




61 




7 


■ 


4 




1 
















1961 


100 




92 




18 




4 




4 











37 




1962 


380 




605 




36 




4 




33 











117 




1963 


380 




785 




33 




20 




26 




4 






235 




1964 


370 


422 


956 


967 


101 


77 


42 


39 


39 


27 


14 




21 


447 


469 


1965 


791 


871 


1466 


1368 


108 


117 


113 


8 


39 


35 


52 




43 


757 


627 


1966 


788 


777 


1371 


1213 


127 


118 


115 


122 


7 


8 


85 




78 


711 


576 


- 1967 


1009 


965 


1348 


1535 


106 


120 


77 


103 


6 


8 


53 




67 


838 


982 


1968 


978 


892 


1734 


1384 


93 


86 


85 


100 


7 


6 


68 




62 


1434 


1042 



Subsectors 



RF Units 



PF Units RF/PF Units 



Other 



Total 



Auth Asgnd Auth Asgnd Auth Asgnd Auth Asgnd Auth Asgnd Auth Asgnd 





CY 1956 

















5 




53 




128 






1957 







■ 









5 




48 




128 




^ 

-i-^ 


1958 

















5 




47 




128 







1959 

















5 




42 




128 




02 


i960 

















3 




37 




128 




M 



1961 

















3 




8 




266 




^ 


1962 







3 









3 




1405 




2586 




1-3 


1963 







3 









55 




io4i 




2582 




1 


1964 


541 


512 


45 


55 


79 


69 


54 


58 


463 


517 


3151 


3233 




1965 


851 


633 


63 


39 


91 


82 


87 


75 


662 


555 


5080 


4453 




1966 


1025 


789 


59 


51 


88 


72 


84 


69 


1031 


751 


5491 


4624 


t-i. 


1967 


1160 


1238 


66 


76 


99 


88 


■ 57 


56 


1035 


802 


5854 


6o4o 


<! 


1968 ■ 


1259 


1056 


55 


55 


74 


68 


54 


27 


3182 


1172 


9023 


5950 



Source: ODCSOPS (OPS OD), 15 September I965, MACV Monthly Strength Report, RCS CINCPAC 531^ 



t-3 
O 

•x) 

CO 

o 



H3 
I 

CO 

CD 

CO 

H- 
ci- 

< 

CD 



n m 

z £ 

£ J 

uj O 

I — "^ 

CO Z 

Z to 

CD 

to ^ 

o i^ 






Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



I !a 



( 






\ 



$293.2 

'l3.71-J 



U 



APPENDIX III 



$312.9 



$250. :> 



$258.3 







$2^5.0 



z^.6% 



$230.5 

■537.1 J 

$V8;/,o 



m 



mUwV: 



m 



-$35.8'' 
:i 4.39V 









S20S.0 
83.0%" 



, n .'.v/;--- 



1958 



1959 






~'jn-rJUj^,'-V 



I960 



5213.0 



S2.4^b 



til5.,6.V^-^^^$290.8 
5.39.3; 



iii^l 



S260.0 



83*1 /o 






w*i UWfcAAJ-; 



:s2i.9 :j/.5'?c 



^362.6 

:$76.2; 

• • • 
• • ' 

• • • 

: 1*2.7%' 

$60. A^ 



.$30.9'^ 

10.6^b 




5238.0 



81 .b% 



m 




J6.7% 






$256.0 



70.6% 






1961 



1962 1963 

fiscal' year 



1964 



$558.1 

:$39.9: 
' . • • 

'7!i%: 

• « * 

y//A 

10.4:0 
//// 






4>460.C 



32.4% 



^Oj'fcv;-^.'.. 

1965 



$737.1 
:-:-:-3 

-$72.2 3 

- • • < 
:9.8?^*: 














5552.0 



74.9% 



1966 



$745.9 



;s2.o 



n.0% 










.■.•.■.■.v.".' 



;■:•■^ 



5S35.0 



71.7% 






I 



n 



».ij~'-^~^ 



1967 



r^ 



I 



-Tola! Cosf of RVN Army Regioiia! Forces and . 

Popular Forces 

(In Millions of dollars) 




F^ojjular Forces 



[/^ F^egional Forces 



127 






iii RVM Arrny 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 2011 







/ 



1 



r 



il' 



APPEMDIX IV 



$433.5 



V 



$360.7 



'J 2. 5% 



m 



$204.6 



29.4% 




199.4 

/»- ■ 

1| 
I 

I 

ill 



$244.9 










:■:-: i- 



li 

ii 



1^ 



28.3""' 



/o 



71.7-7o 



:;:;::ix 



$207.3 



1958 



1959 



1960 



1961 



i 

li 
11^ 



1962 






;w%^ 50.35 












A 

m 

m 

Ml 

m 



....... ^ 

li 



1963 



$215.6 



46.5?c 



49.5% 









3.9% 



3.7% 



:|'>^39.3% 



48.1% 



■.■:■:.( . 



/ 



'm 



> 



!>3 



::-::f^ 



v.-w 



m 
il 

ii 



i;iX 



:'>9 



1 

il 

■.'■J / 
■.\// 

^■^^ 
■:-rv 

if 






60.9% 



31.3% 



1964 



1 965 



FISCAL YEAR 






5.6% 




\'yA\ 



\'.'-^ 



4.2% 



/i? 



56. S% 



29.2% 



1966 



DistribuHon of US Financial Resource-^ in Support of RVN Anny, 
Rccjiona! f'orces^ and Populor f"crcos 

(Cost in millions of dollars) 



rr^^."^ 




^ RVN Army ^22 Regional Forces [?^ Populor Forces 
^^ US Suppor: of RVN Budget ^^ //.ilitcry Assistance Funds 

128 

ft 



$429.2 

■VK ^-^^^ 

■ . I V 



-.■.■ • X\ 



i 

m 

I 



/i.K6.B% 




:■: ;■! 



::{>>;45.6% 



;■:■:•) 



31.9% 



1967 



"t." 



/ 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



ni 



AEEENDIXJZ 



$317.0 



$^6.3 



1958 



$-11.8 



$57.3 



$45.2 






23. 9>;:;: 



1960 



1961 



$67;o 




$34.4 




vx-:-:-:-:-:-:':^ 
/;-:':-:'-:vi:';-'-' 

■:-;:-.-::;vX>x 
;fc:::::::x::::5 



^j^-^^^^-j^ 



1962 1963 

FISCAL YEAR 



$147.5 



.25. 6 ^/c: 




i46.2%:: 



1964 



y*. 



$198.5 



• ■ • 

'15.0% 




64.5%>; 






$304.2 




1965 



■ ■ « 

18.05:- 



■ * 
















53.9%!:; 



>:ii;i 

iiiiil 






•-^^Wiii'-V** 



1966 



Disfribulion of RVN krmy Financicil Resources in Support of 
RVN Army, Regiona! \^o\coz, oui f^opulcir Forces 

(Cost in millions cf dollors) 




:i6.6%: 



i:i^ 



:•'■*• 
.-.■J 



63.9%^: 



U 



■'— 'j J 



1967 



r^ 




■y:-:'.-zr-^ 



\ Popular F-oiccs Y//\ Regional Forces |||| RVN Army 



129 



C0rJFIE3[:[^TIA!l 



no^ 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



I 



• r 



mmmEmi)! 




4 ■ 



t • 












' l- 






:•:■<::: 



-:■■■:. "4 







C-, 



,» CO 



v: 


U. LL 


% IL. U_ 


> 


Cil D- 


> ct: n. 


Oi 


■• 


DT 


< 




< 



2: u. u. 

> Ck^ CL 
< 



J^ 


IL LL 


^ LL LL 


:Z IL LL 


> 


D^ D- 


> Di CL 


> D^ a. 


oc 




OC 


a: 


< 




< 


< 




to 
r^ 
o 

. « • 
* ■ • 

CD 

■ « 

I m • 



:•:■:■:■■■( 



o;- 



-:■;-:-;, 
.■!■:■;■'■ 



:• v6 



■:y<i^ 



■:, o> 



'/ym 



CO 

•— 
Vt 

* * 
■ t 

» ■ 

• ■ 

* ■ • 



•■-' 



■•-■.■.-.■* o. 




Z: LL LL 


2: u_ iL 


> Dr: CL 


> VC 0- 


DT 


Oi 


< 


< 



FY 1958 FY 1959 FY 1960 FY 1961 FY 1962 FY 1963 FY 1964 FY 1965 FY 1966 FY 1967 



■ Annual. Per Capita Costs for RVH Army, 
Regional Forces and Popular Forces 

Pay & Allowcnces ^m§[ Moleriel & Mainfenoncc [v/J ^^^^'^ 




V 



130 






Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



m 



\>\J^^)iiL\JY.Ul inh 



APPENDIX VII 



y 



7*. 



FY 1965 



FY 1966 



FY 1 967 






-41«^J.I-<%A^^J 



^p ' -^ ' .^ VT . ' * ' ,r^ 





f-rv4 -itv^rr^^ ^■-™ , *y* TVr 



i2 



< V/o-x 



J.i'V lIv*lC#-A^l^'hA >^4/<J.bZ^>.1^ 




;'r' . ':7r^ . r ' '.v;-'. - ', ' ; ' ??'.'T.'r^."^;;vrv,'' 
"'''■•'''■:■;• !*;'>/l ■ I ■'■ !"X"- ■■"'■-*-!•:■;-'■;"■ ■ 

::-::;::-:::■:■:-;■:■:':■:' ')/'L'^::>: 
iXv-i-xv/t-x-x/O/Ov:' 



2iJiJJ.i^ JA 1.'-™' ii J 



2Z^. 









••••• 



. . . . I O/c • • • • 






/ 






'«i 



mm^. 




i^ 



100"' 



/o 



1 00% 



100% 



-Disiiibution of US Army Advisors By Assignment 




r:v:?^=f 



Corps Hq and Kq Units and Capita! Military Region [Hi Divisions 
Y/A Sector and Subsector [^^ Army training installations 



V-X-l Other non-divisionol elements p|^ F^egionol and Popular Forces 



r 



131 



cor^i-iDLfrjTi/iL 




Y 






I 



r 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date; 201 1 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



APPENDIX- VIII 



RVMF TOTAL STRENGTH 
(End of Period in OOO) 



Subtotal 



Source: Table lA, OSD(SA) Statistical Tables, July I968. 



i960 1961 1962 1963 196^ 196^ 1966 1967 

RVMF Total Strength 

Regular i^e.O I79.3 218.8 216.0 25O.O 302.6 322.9 3lf2.9 

Regional 55.2 66.6 77-0 85-9 96.0 I32.2 li+9.9 151. i^ 

Popular ^^.^ 60.1 99.5 95.5 168.3 136.^ 150.1 li|8.8 



2^7.7 306.0 395.3 397.^ 51^1.3 571.2 622,9 6i|3.1 

CIBG - .5 15,0 18.0 21.5 28.4 3^.7 38.3 

Armed Combat Youth 10.0 I5.0 kO.O 9O.7 4^.5 39-6 20.0 n.a. 

National Police 16. 7 I6.7 I6.9 I9.7 31-^ 52.3 _58.3 73-4 

Grand Total 27^.!+ 338.2 i|67.2 525-8 6II.7 69I.5 735-9 75^.8 



132 

TOP SECRET - Sensitive 




r 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 1 



TOP SECRET - Sensitive 



APPEKDIX IX 



DISTRIBUTION OF U,S , FIELD ADVISORS BY ASSIGME.NT 

(End oFfy) 



Corps Combat Sector Training 

Hq.s a/ Units b/ Subsect or wJjF Installations Other c/ Tota^ 



Number 










FY 6^)- 


333 


7^5 


375 


116 


FY 65 


kG3 


1,1^5 


1,000 


218 


FY 66 


961 


1,5^-3 


1,^95 


250 


FY 67 


966 


1,735 


1,913 


195 


FY 68 


960 


1,570 


2,098 


150 


Percent 










FY ^k 


m 


hli 


21% 


6io 


FY 65 


13 


33 


28 


6 


FY 66 


19 


30 


29 


5 


FY 67 


17 


30 


33 


k 


FY 68 d/ 


16 


26 


35 


3 



138 


113 


1,820 


123 


5U8 


3,^97 


230 


692 


5,171 


21+5 


678 


5,732 


182 


990 


5,950 


8io 


6io 


100/0 


k 


16 


100 


k 


13 


100 


k 


12 


• 100 


3 


17 


100 



a/ Includes Capital Military District Advisors. 

b/ Includes ARVN divisions, regiments, battalions, ranger, airborne, and 
armor units. 

c/ Includes MAT, intelligence, and logistic units, 
d/ May 1968. 



133 TOP SECRET - Sensitive