Memo 4-30-57 AGRARIAN REFORM AND INTERNAL SECURITY IN SOUTH VIETNAM

Created: 4/30/1957

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

DATE: JAN

INTELLIGENCE

7

MEMORANDUM PORi Director of Central Intelligence

SUBJECT* Agrarian Refom and Internal Security In South vletnan

he moderately ffivorablo outlook for South Vietnam projected in, "Probable Developments ln Horth and South Vietoom, XIasains generally valid. However, while tho government has dealt with the major throats to its continued cxtfltenoo, much rcmoino to bo done to improve local security. Moreover, the government has only recently begun to concern itself with basic eoononlc problems, Tho government apparently is aware that tho resolution of certain faoote of its eoononio problem, namely agrarian refom and resettlement of refugees, arc essential stops to tho establishment of effcctlvo security in tho rural areas. As conditions improve, the allure of banditry and membership In one of the remnant groups of the sects' guerrilla fighters will diminish and the cnpabilty of tho Conmunist underground to subvert the pensill be lessened.

internal security prcblosa In South Vietnam aro ofnature and ccne from scattered Viot Cong, (Viotnaneseand bandit bands. iot Cong andremnants assunod to exist in the country aro widely dispersodprobably not capable of nore than local haraasacnt of goand local populations. Aroas posing tho aost seriousaro tho sparsely populated border regions and tho Ca Maudoo Jones regiono in the south, Continued governmentwill probably rosult In further dispersal and neutralisation

of those fore oa in the next few art tha. The naturo of the security throat posed by tho Viet Cong has changed in tho past yearrimarily paramilitary one to subversion and countar-propag-inds,

tho government has not yot rcorrcniacd itsto olisdnatc excessive duplication and to providecontrol nochanlsms. The missiAn of tho oivil security servloce

* Official South Viotnom rcvomncntroi Viot Cong, lossocts, less.

is to prevent intimidation and infiltration by Conmuiist dementso intervene rondily in local internal security disturbances.for the jnwonticn nhaso belongs primarily to the Solf Do fans o

Corps, the Municipal Police, and the newly fornod Vietnamese Bureau of Investigation, Tho Civil Guard, aorganisation undor the Dopartraent cf the Interior, is charged vith responsibility for local intervention. In practice, the functions of these services overlap with each other ond with the Vietnamese National Amy which ls theoretically responsible for rosiotanco to external agression, but Is in many areas the only government Toreo sufflciontly twined ond equipped to maintain security. In this situation characterized by inadequate defenses against Cessninist subversion and dissident activities, agrarian refom measures are particularly importanteans of establishing tho baaio requisite for securitya loyal population.

Iu An agrarian refom program was initiated Inut was United to measures designed to improve conditionsby providing for lower rentals and tenure securityprogram also included provisions for sens tax relief andfarmomprehensive agrarian refom program6 when tho proclamation of Ordinanoo Ho.ecreedup of estatescres and provided for the transfergovernment of all rico land thus released. Peasants may thaniron tho govornmont,six years to pay. The program1 is intendedbe self-supporting after the first year. So far onlyOO tenants0 acres havo taken3 -

o oohlovo mornontum in its programarion reform, thessential problem is to transfer the revolutionary impetus of early agrerinn reform measures into bureaucratic machinery for continuing implementation of tho program. It must also successfully cope with such specific problcHS as reluctant landowners, many of when are Important government officiolsj inadcouatc transportation; inexperienced acbdnietrators, and lack of clear channels for carrying out land reform measures. Approximately three million pcoplo, including the country's remaining unintosratod refugee population, will be affected by tho ir^lonentation of land transfer, tenure security contracts and the special land development projects*

6. Despite those problems, tho prospects for aGrarian reform in South Vietnam aro considerably brighterear ago* Tho first concentrated, continuing economic leadership was ostablishGd in6 by the elevation of Hguyen Ngoo Tho,apable administrator, to the vice presidency and the delegation to him of responsibility for economic matters, including land development projects. Ordinance No,rovided tho essential implementing law for tho completion of agrarian reform. Refugee resettlement on plots of land defined by the agrarian reform program is scheduled to be ocmplotod and tho vlll arcs Integrated into the government's provincial admlnistrativo opparatus by tho ond of tills year.

conjunction with its agrarian rofora program* thoseeking to resettle reliable peasants on abandoned land insusceptible to Communist subversion. It presontproject areasCol Son in tho south*cat, Ca Kau in thoPlaino des Jones district in the west, ond the Bar- Mo Thuot areacentral Viotnarahavo been chosen as pilot sites forof substantialThe success of the Caiwhich was inplenented last year, has lied aninfluence cn the surrounding country and has attractedvoluntary settlers in addition to tho approximatelyresettled there. The Ca Hou and Plaino des Jones areas

are the two most important remaining centers of Communist strength. The Communist threat in thoso areas is primarily one of subversion, counter-propaganda and intimidation of tho local populace. Lend development, whileinal answer to this threat.ecessary first step to establishment of security In tho area.

Ban Mo Thuot area nay prove to be tho most difficult Tho Viet Xinh controlled largo areas of tho mountainMcntagnord duWS) for several years and during thatmany of the mountain people. In ndditltn, tho Vietnamese

regard the mountain tri boa as cultural inferiors ami havo noterious offort to gain tholr confidence However, tho central government Is apparently at least sware of those problem, and, while Ban Me Thuot reactUenent will profcebly prcoeedlow paeo, tho government will probably be able toelatively stable eoreamity there within tho next two years

Prospects

PCR THE BOARDATIOHAL

9. Barring major disasters, tho land transfer program, tho tenure ecurity program and land development projects will probably be largely ccerloted Refugee rcs^tUcmont will probably bo oonplotod by the endho increased agricultural production resulting frcsi those programs will probablybo great enough within the next few years to significantly affect tho economic situation of tho country. However, the eonplotion of these programs will atir-ificantly improve the standard of living of the irm basis for maintenance of Internal security.

SHERHAH KENT Assistant Director National Estimates

At tho invitation of the South Vietnam government, the British Adviser on Aborigines, Federation of Malaya, toured the PKS country in6 andetailed rc.<ort, including policy recommendations, of scenrity conditions in tho PK9 to the SouthIM!

Wtiuy"rwi *VSSBBasm)l

implenonted thus far.

Original document.

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