REACTIONS TO ROK PARTICIPATION IN THE INDOCHINA WAR

Created: 2/23/1954

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: JAH clBTRAt CE AQBHCT

oFTics of Htnna sstwates

KDIOHAHim FOB THE DIRECTOR OF CJKTHAt 1HBUIQSBCB

SUBJECT i to BOX Participationho Indoohln. Mt

im In coaplianoe with tha roquaot of tbS USD Planoine Planning Board, thar* follow tba Board cf National EatiMtoeof Comuolat and non-Conwwilat raactlon* to tho ootnifeaant of BOX forces against tha Tlat Minh. The rtawa

not boon ooordlnatad wlta tho UC ageaelaa.

2, athor or net tbeof ftlK foraaa to tho ear la InoOoMca would la fact raquira OS logistic support, world opinion would aleoat oertainlj and with virtual unanlmltj oonalder taut tha operation had been supported andby

I. THE RZACTIWS Of FFUSCf. AID Tffi AfSQCIATH) SW7ES

3. Tho French bara bean ofpoeod to tho introduction of any oonbot foroM fro* ooteldo tha Franoh Union. Tbua,attf ROK tareas In Indochina would be regarded by tha Franohejor blow to French praetlte. In addition, tba ON of

South Korean troops la Indochina, would ba regarded In France aaew ally with alaa of its own, thus obwnglng tho Baton af tha war, and ao altering tha preeent political droua-ateaoaa of tha conflict aa to ellalnate any proapaete for an early negotiated eettlonont of the Indoohlna problaa. Tbe French would be psrUoularly seralUM on tod* aeore la tha light of the furajeoedag Oeneva Conference.

Ii, We have estimated that French policy toward the Indoohlna

war currently en visages inpro*eoant of the ndllUry aituatlon

only to tbe point of allowing France to negotiate with the Coav

Bvalatetrengthened poeltioo. The French probably would oonelder that tha propoead ROK force could not deelBlvely change the allltary situation. the Frenoh probably believe that If aufflatentr otheroroee were enployedleprove tbe situation significantly, Cowuniat China would in-areeee lto sigiport oft Hlrh, poeslbly up to tbe point of entering tbe conflict overtly and in force.

We believe, therefore, that France would oppose the eoanltoent of ROK troopa ln Indochina. Moreover, we believe theould obtain French consent to this ccnalUnant only bj exerting

"YBJdA'f *rrob*ble Short-tore Developeento in Frenchffi-W, -Estimate of the World Situation,ctober-

aa would damage uS-Frenah relatione with reapeot to BUV lnporUnt lanuae of oonjion OoDoarn.

6. Tba Introduction of RDK foroaa In the Indochinaba recanted with eased feelings la Tlat Baa. Uoe, trengl* rationalist officials andefdadon la aeoh of tba eta tee would"llllaij eesleteaee froa ehateeer ooeree, that official aad unoffloial eentiaeot would baagalaet the ROK email ta-mU Opposition to thewould probably be baead in part on fear ofCojtaanat Intervention, there would else bethat thaof RO* foroaaeakon the part of France and tha OS In thothat auUlteiy aid which shouldtha force*

of the laeoolated Stetee wee being diverted to foreign Asian troopa, and that there would ta leaa opportunity to ertraot poll-tloal eonoeaalona froa the French than If the Associated States theaeelwes were asking the Increased war effort. Wa therafora believe that none of tha SUtea would willingly agree lo tho oajrataaot of ROK foroaa In Indochina. If Prone* permitted the ROK force* to Join the conflict, the Associated SUtea, regard-lsss of their earn feallnga, aoald base to go along. However, if tha ROK for aaa ware easadtted In tho face) of the objectiooa of

jww. haWr

sgcjef

tat AwoeLatad Stawe, tfaaie would ba awn late popular InoUnatlon than row aHata to raelat tha Tlat Hinh.,

A. REACTTOffl OF OTHER BTX-CCWnMiaT COUNTRIES

A. Aal*

7. Raactlorw to tha oonBduaant of ROl foroaa In Indochina uould ba adrana In noat of Aala, and in ear* countrlao Btrongljr

i

Ihls idT^raa raaotlon Mould ba baaed In largoaxlating ncn-Coiwualat attttooaa toward tha Indochina war,BOK gow-naant, and tho ooneapt of oollaetWa action

tha clooa ralationahlp botwaanNinh and tha InUroaUonal Connurdat noiwwntracopilaad In lata. Ultra la alao aboliaf that tha IndoeMna war la prlawUjbatwan lndlaanoua natlonallaa and Thla anfclvalaooa atrengthanain countrlaa auch as India, anCof Uaetarn pollciaa toward Indochina avancountrlaa as Japan and Thailand.

Asian goramnenta and moat leadarapublic opinion ara not prepared at present to

pertlolpete la oolleetdvw aetioa against Cosoiunloe. IMi reluctance would apply particularly to any action in which President Rheeoading part, for woet Don-Conmolat Asiareat distrust of Rbss and fears that he deelree to provoke World Mar in in order to obtain his objective* ln Korea.

ft?

The oeandtoent of ROK troops to Indochina wouldexisting euspiolons of Rhee. Many Asians would believe that Rhee was attenptlng to establish Mreelf asleader of an Asian snU-Cosrranist bloc withupport. Asian nationalistsneutralist* would bs eepeelsUy critical of thsor supporting Rhee, and would consider the ROK troops as OS *er-eeasrles, Tbses oriUoisne of Rhee and the ES would be greatly lntecelfied If the ROK foreae were not enthusiastically greeted and supported by the Aaeoeiatsd SUtcs thsnselses.

10. Zn addition, there would probablyeneralln non^oKRunlBt Asia that tha comlteent of ROK foreee in would not inflictdecisive defect on the 7iet Klnh and that tha ROK action sight result In Chinese COsnunlst Intervention end thua risk precipitating general war ln Asia.

S. The PK

11. Tha UK would Bluest certainly oppose ths Intro--

duotlon of EOK force* Into rndoohina.

ft, The British would be concerned tautova would lead to Increased Chinese Coierordstand possibly to full-eoale Chinese partleipetlen ia Indochinaonsequent expansion of boetill-tiea in Southeast Asia. British Interest In MalayaBong Kong tends to sens londoo especially appre-bsnslTe of widening the conflict la this area,

The Britishrofound distrust of Rhee end the rox. Any reservations London would have vith respect tc bringing "foreign" troopa Into Indochina would therefore be signified In the case of roe farces.

The British would also rear that whatever prospect there asy be for settling Far East questions at the forthoosdng Geneve Corifersnce would beIf ROI troops ware cosvdtted ln Indochina-

12. Although rox forces could be oondtted ln Indochina without British consent,osRltaent in the face of strong British disapproval would seriously strain US-UK relstdoo* In general, snd would nek* It no re difficult for the US and DT to reach agreement on Asian questions,

- 6-

13, Tba reaction of moat other leportejit non-Coa-ssBlet countries to thef BDK foroM In Indochina would be adverse.

XXX* COSMJUgT lOacrWeB

lb. Ihe Caewaailsl* would oossldor the oosaltaent of BOX foroaa to Indochina asD ratherOC uodertoUnc. However, they would alsost certainly estiMta that tbsss HOI foroes eould not sauce an early desleive differ-anoe ia the Indochina war. Moreover, thsy would alwst csrtelDly astlsets that eonsldsrsbls political advantage could be gained frost exploiting tbe unpopularity of the QB-ROX action. Ms tharofore believe that the OoasiwRlsto would Initially not ooa-sdt Chin see Qaasailit forees to an Invasion of Indocfd.no or renew hostilities la Korea. Chinese Oeaaaedet assistance to

tha netlairisjii Ifbut this aid

would oontlnus to be Halted to logistic sad rear area support, Keanwblle,eald eaplelt say differeneaa over thet of BOX forees that would probably arias eaong ihe DS and other rcn-icoTunlel counlrles, and, is particular, would sake propaganda attacks on theor Jeopardising tha success of tha flanavu Confarsnoe.

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