FOR THEFOR REPORTS-AND1'ESTIMATES
PROSPECTS FOR THE DEFENSE OF INDOCHINAHINESE COMMUNIST INVASION
PROSPECTS FOR CHINESE COMMUNIST ACTION IN INDOCHINA0
HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE IN FULL
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
copy of this publication is for the information and use of theon the front cover and of individuals under the jurisdiction of thewho require the information for the performance of their official duties.elsewhere In the department to other offices which require thefor the performance of official duties may be authorized by the following:
a. Special Assistant to thc Secretary of State for Research and Intelligence, for the Department of State
irector of Intelligence, GS, USA, for thc Department of thc Army
Naval Intelligence, for the Department of the Navy
of Intelligence, USAF. for the Department of the Air Force
of Intelligence, AEC. for the Atomic Energy Commission
eputy Director for Intelligence, Joint Staff, for the Joint Staff
g. Assistant Director for Collection and Dissemination, CIA, for any other Department or Agency
copy may be cither retained or destroyed by burning In accordancesecurity regulations, or returned to thc Central Intelligence Agencywith the Office of Collection and Dlssendnation. CIA
nrsTHinimoN: Oltlcr or lhe President National Security CouncilNational Security Resources Hoard-Department of Slalc -Office ol Secretary ol Defense Department ol the Army' Department ot thceparlment of the Air Force Joint Chiefs or Staff umilr Energy Commission Research nnd Development Hoard
PROSPECTS FOR THE DEFENSE OF INDOCHINAHINESE
ROSPECTS FOR CHINESE COMMUNIST ACTION IN INDOCHINA Supplement 0 , .
PROSPECTS FOR THE DEFENSE OF INDOCHINAHINESE COMMUNIST INVASION
) The Problem
estimate Chinese Communist capabilities for an invasion ol Indochina, the attitudes of the Vietnamese that would affect their will to resist such an invasion, and pertinent aspects
rogram of foreign aid that would beto stimulate thc will of the Vietnamese to resist an Invasion.
the eventhinese Communistnf Indochina under presentit is almost certain that theforces under the French would soon lose all of Vietnam except Cochinchlna. So long as present political and military conditions continue unaltered, US material aid alonedecisively Improve this prospect.
hinese Communist troops are presently deployed near enough to theborder to makehinesewithout appreciabledditional Chinesetroops could arrive at the border in support of an invasion within ten days. Some reinforcements might be moved by sea to rebel-held sections of the Indochina coast. It is also within Chinese Communist capabilities toair support for an invasion.
0 Viet Minh regulars and0 irregulars that make up the rebel forces of Ho Chi Minh possess significant capabilities for expanding their guerrilla operations and thereby increasing the present cost in troops and equipment borne by the opposing French Aid now being provided from Communist
China, moreover, is giving Ho's army ancapability for an early large-scaleagainst the Frencheveloping potential for conventional warfare.
The operations of thc French Armyegulars)ack ofand arc in part handicapped by aof adequate material. The most that French ground forces, who receive somefrom weak indigenous forces0 men, can presently accomplish is the destruction of enemy supplies and thetemporary postponementiet Minh offensive. The French Air Force in Indochina ts weak and its limited capabilities are severely strained by action against thc Viet Minh. The French Navy possesses forces adequate forof the army in limited amphibiousbutincapable of maintaining ablockade against therms
In balancing the capabilities of theseloices. it becomes apparent that, under presenthinese Communist invasion, which In all probability would be supported by the Viet Minh, could easilyFrench border defenses in Tonkin and
previous estimates that an early Chinese Commonut invasion Is possible bat noiThe scope of then areord with Uie request uf the ODee ol Intelligence Research, Department of Stale.
Th* inirlliEonce onraniiaUona ol the DensrUncnU of Slate. Army. Navy, and lhe Air Force have contuned In thu leporl Itinformation available lo CIA as
withdrawal ol defending forces to the south. The strategic Tonkin plain would probably be overrun within six weeks and the retentionrench foothold In thc Saigon area would depend upon tbe provision offrom abroad. If Chineseassistance to thc Viet Minn were Increased, while foreign aid for the French remained only at thc level presently programmed, and the French were unable to develop thc support of the Vietnamese people. Ho could eventually drive thc French out of Indochina without thc direct support of Invading Chinese Communist forces.
In analyzing thc probable Vietnam reactionhinese Communist invasion,must be given to the fact that theare in general apathetic towardand antipathetic toward thc French. Forced lo choose between present tangible French control and the contingency ofby international Communism, even some of those Vietnamese who have someof Uie nature of Communismwould risk the change In the Interest of early achievement of national identity.the Vietnamese dislike the Chinese,ol theirapid Chinese Communist occupation of Vietnam would not arouse active popular resistance or widespread rallying to the French or Bao Dal. It might
well be met with resignation or opportunistic cooperatlon.
The overriding preoccupation of Vietnamese intellectuals and common people alike is the Issue of independence. The effect of foreign aid on Vietnam will to resist Chineseencroachments must therefore be viewed against this background of Intenseaspirations. If the French should moke satisfactory concessions to tho spirit of Vietnameserogram ofassistance in Vietnam offering visible improvement in the lot of the common people, combined with military aid sufficient not only to maintain French forces but also to develop an effective national army, could be expected to stimulate the Vietnamese will to resist. The channeling of such aid through thethemselves, subjectertaindegree of French influence, wouldthe problems of supply but would have the advantagi' of encouraging Vietnameseto defend the country. Theof such an aid program would be more effective If ithinese Communist invasion. In any event, the effectiveness of the announcement would be seriously lessened if it were not precededeclaration ofFrench concessions and followed by the prompt and substantial delivery of such aid.
PROSPECTS FOR THE DEFENSE OF INDOCHINAHINESE COMMUNIST INVASION
Under present political and militaryInhinese Communistin force would quickly overrun Tonkin and severely threaten the maintenance ofrench foothold in the south. US material aid alone cannot decisively change this
In the event of an invasion, effectiveopposition will depend at least as much on substantial modification of the present anti-French attitude of tho Vietnamese people, as on the French Army or foreign assistance. French guarantees of independence, iffollowed by the expansion undof an indigenous army, would stimulate some Vietnamese will to resist. Evenappropriate French concessions tonationalism, however, successfulopposition to the Chinese Communists would depend on the amount of time available toopularly supported Indigenous regime and on the speed with which effective Vu tnarn*forces could be created
Chinese Communist Military Capabilities.
Any invasion of Indochina by the Chinese Communists would probably be undertaken In cooperation with the forces of Ho Chi Minh Sizable Chinese Communist military forces are in position to Intervene in Indochina.reports of actual and scheduledmovements of certain Chinesefield forces, approximately lOO.OOO troops remain deployed along the Indochinese border These units could launch an invasion ofwithout appreciable forewarning. Al though reliable reports do not indicate the presence of armored units on the Indochinaivision of armored cars, plus aof tanks attached to the Fourth Field Army, are stationed In South Chinailes of the frontier.dditional Chinese Communist
troops could arrive at tho Indochina border within ten days to bolster initial invading forces. Even in thc eventimultaneous assault on Taiwan, these reinforcements would be available and would bring the potentialforceotal of atroops. In view of the Chinese Communists' Improving capability for waterllft, it isthat some invasion forces might be moved by sea to Viet Mlnh-held sections of thecoast. There Is no evidence, however, ot Chinese Communist preparations forove.
Although there have been no indications of any significant build-up of ChineseAir Force strength in Southwest China and although this air force has not yetin combat, theperational combat types (Including fighters and light bombers) ln the Chinese Communist Air Force could furnish effective air support to operations in Indochina. There are sixIn Chinailes of the Tonkin border. In addition, construction of newand the restoration of others InChina are reportedly In progress in the Tonkm-Kwangsi border area and on Hainan Island.
Viet Minh Military Capabilities.
The forces of Ho Chi Minh, which have been cnguged in resistance activities against the French sincere capable ot expanding their operations. Ho'scommonly known as the "Vietossesses0 regular troops and anrregulars. The Viet Minh forceshmer Issaraks In Cambodiassaraks in Loos.
The Viet Minh forces are geared primarily for guerrilla warfare. Theew task forces, each totaling an many as three to five thousand men and equipped with adequate infantry weapons and some artillery, pointseveloping capabil-
(or more conventional warfare. Under present circumstances, the Vict Mlnh should have little difficulty in maintaining relative freedom of action throughout most ofwhile simultaneously supportingof resistance within French-occupiedand continuing to harass French lines of communication. In addition, the Viet Mlnh is capable of seizing one or more French border outposts and holding themhort time at least.
Following the de jure recognition of the "Democratic Republic of Vietnam" byChina and theeneral plan for closer collaboration between the Chineseand the Viet Mlnh probably was formulated. As many asohousand Viet Minh troops are being trained inChina. There is evidence that the Chinese Communists have supplied the Viet Mlnh with significant quantities of materiel, probably confined to small arms, ammunition, mortars, and light artillery. Access tofaculties In Communist China, theof routes and facilities for supply, and the possibility of accelerating recruitment give the Viet Minh the potential capabilities forarge-scale offensive against the French at an early date.
Capabilities of French-Controlled Forces.
French ground, naval and air forces Inare under the operational control of GHQ, Armed Forces in the Far Eastsrench regular ground forces totalleden.roops hi the armies of theStates, although subject to thc nominal political control of these states, are under FAEO operational control. In addition thereuasi-military and miscellaneous Indigenous troops under over-all FAEOOf these local forces, only thearmy, at present weak and Ineffective, has the potential for developing into aforce French ground forces areof penetrating the Viet Mlnh-hcld areas of Indocblnn but at the expense of garrison strength engaged in pacification dutiesThe French haveack of aggressiveness. The French-controlled ground forcesualelimi-
nation of the Viet Mlnh forces and the de tense of the China border. Indications an that current emphasis Is on the former, tin der these circumstances, thc most they car hope to achieve In the lnunediate future Is tht destruction of enemy supply caches and the consequent postponementarge-scale Vict Minh offensive.
The strength of the French Ah* Force In Indochina, which Is severely strained by its actions against Viet Mlnh forces, presently totalsighters and fighter-reconnaissance aircraft.ransports andiaison planes. The level of serviceability of fighter aircraft, now aboutercent, will probably continue to drop as maintenance shortages become more acute. Many of the French airfew in number and generally in poorvubierable to sabotage and some even to direct Viet Minh attack.
French naval forces are adequate forthe army hi small-scale amphibious operations and lor conducting raids against the rebel-held sections of the Indochina coast Their inability toompleteof the const is demonstrated by the extent of over-water arms smuggling now In progress. French Naval Forces. Far East, stationed in Indochina, consistmall craft and ships, andircraft mannedersonnel. Vessels in the most important categoriesstationed In Indochina waters include one old cruiser.leet minesweepers, two LST's. nine submarine chasers of various typesumber of supporting service andcraft. Naval aircraft include nine patrol bombers andeconnaissance aircraft.
Comporiion of Opposing Fo'cei.
A Chinese Communist invasion coulddifficulty penetrate thc extended French perimeter In Tonkin and rapidly overcome the defending forces Although thc French Air Force would be capable of limited defensive action in the event of an invasion, thererave risk of Its being overwhelmed if the Chinese Communists committed their air force in support of the attack. On the ground, only iu thc coastal border area of the strategic Tonkin plain, where the French arc organized
some depth, could effective resistancehinese assault be expected and even in this area Inferior front line strength and the lack of reserves would inevitablya withdrawal. It is estimated that aCommunist loreehousand could overrun the whole Tonkin plain within six weeks, but that the French couldemporary beachhead in the vicinity ofA successful second-phase Chinese Communist drive further to the south would take longer and require additional troops. In this circumstance, French maintenanceirm foothold around Saigon would depend upon the provision of military reinforcements from abroad.
Although French forces In Indochina are at presentrench offensive inwith considerable outside aid, probably could carry through to the border and might even effectively isolate the Viet Minh from overland Chinese Communist aid. However, such an offensive probably would not result in the destruction of the Viet Minh forces. If Chinese Communist aid to the Viet Minhtoseemsif the French receive no more foreign assistance than is now programmed and are unable to develop thc support of the Vietnamese people, the Viet Minh could eventually defeat the French in Indochina without the help of an overt Chinese invasion.
Key Vietnamese Atlltudoi.
Key Vietnamese attitudes which would largely determine their conduct in thc eventhinese Communist Invasion arc their views concerning: International Communism, the local Chinese, Ho Cht Minh and the Viet Minh. and thc French.
The Vietnamese people,hole, know little about international Communism. Thc opposite poles of political attraction inare represented by the Viet Minh and the French-Vietnamese regime. The fact lhat the Viet Minh is an instrument of International Communism causes the average Vietnamese little or no concern Although most educated Vietnamese are aware that the espousal ot Communism entails the risk of Soviet control, it is probableto choose between actual French control and hypothetical Soviet
Vietnamese intellectuals would be willing to grantrial.
Among all classes of the Vietnamesethe local Chinese, who compose the majority of the small merchant group, are generally disliked. The memory of previous Vietnamese wars of liberation against Chinese overlords and the Chinese occupations painful. To thcthc Chinese are unpopular, regardless of their Ideology.
Ho Chi Mirth's Viet Minh ls widely regarded by all classes of the Vietnamese population as the potential liberator of Vietnam from the French yoke. Most Vietnamese Intellectuals, even some of those who are In the Bao Dai Government, regard armed opposition to the French as Justifiable and, to this extent,of the Viet Minh's activities. Although In some areas of Tonkin where the Viet Minh has used scorched-earth tactics, the peasantry has reportedly become bitter, such hostility (if measured ln terms of popularity of the llao Dai Government) has failed to produceresults.
The French are the targets of historical Vietnamese antipathy, rooted in decades of colonial rule. Postwar French policy has done little lo diminish this antipathy and the desire for Independence has grown progressively stronger. The French today are regarded by almost all Vietnamese as the prime obstacle to the attainment of these Intense nationalistic aspirations.
Proboblo Conduct in the Event of Invaiion.
In allhinese Communistof Tonkin would be rapidly accomplished.esult, the Tonkinese intelligentsia, most of whom would be basically opposed to the entry of Chinese troops, would have littlelo manifest opposition in anand effective manner. Those now in Ho's camp probably would continue loyal to him; the rest could be expected to make themselves as Inconspicuous as possible while awaiting developments.
Elsewhere in Vietnam, the attitude ofintellectuals would be largely affected by thc determined nature of the Frenchand by the prospects for US intervention, either locally or as part of general US-Com-
China hostilities. Absence of strong defensive action by the French or lack of US interest in the conflict would probably force those Vietnamese,fearful ofsee tho futility of solitary resistance, to accept Communist rule.
In contrast to the Intelligentsia, the mass of the Vietnamesethe absence of effective and popular anti-Communistwould accept the burden of Chinese occupation much as they havelt In thcact with Communis; China which offered Ho ostensible controlost Invasion Vietnamese government, would probably be welcomed, at least at the outset, by thc vast majority of Vietnamese. Even evidences of Chinese Imperialism subsequent to the invasion probably would be rationalized by the majority so long as tho Ho government did not actively oppose such actions.
Foreign Aid ond the Vietnamese Will to Resist Invasion.
All problems connected with theof the indigenous will tohinese Communist Invasion of Indochina by means of foreign aid inevitably are related to thc Issue of nationalism.hole, both Vietnamese intelligentsia and the mass of the people are preoccupied with the problem of their
The character of whatever aid is granted in thc immediate future will have little effect on the Vietnamese because of thc present atmos pherc of mutual Franco-Vietnamese distrust. So long as French monopolization of thc key elements of administrative and military power continues, the Vietnamese are likely to view foreign military aidevice actuallyto strengthen French hegemony and would probably either be apathetic to aCommunist Invasion or would welcome the Invading forces. Economichealth, agriculture, transportation, andengender some gratitude but, If the allocation of such aid were subject Ui French control, its effect on the Vietnamese will tohinese Communist invasion would be minimised.
If. instead, it were assumed that nof the difficulties arising from mu-
tual Franco-Vietnamese distrust had been achieved, the character of foreign aid required to stimulate the will of the Vietnamese people tohinese Communist Invasion could be estimated asrogram ofassistance which, in the manner of the Griffin Mission proposals, would offer visible improvement In the lot of the common people;iliiary aid beyond that necessary to maintain French forces in the area andto permit the developmentizable and adequately equipped national army. It ls recognized that the development of anVietnam armyong-range task made difficulthortage of trained personnel and by the fears of the French authorities that they may not be able totrong native army. Nevertheless, theand the rapid implementation of plans to createorce would at once stimulate the spirit of Vietnamese resistance toand lessen antipathy toward the French.
The utilization of French managerialis essential to efficient administration ol foreign aid in Vietnam. However, as earlier discussion has shown, Vietnamese suspicions are such that unless the indigenousgovernment is clearly recognized as the authority through which aid is dispensed, the local reaction will be unfavorable. In this connection, it is probable that If the French were willing to make full concessions inof form, the Vietnamese would be willing to concede much in matters of substance. these circumstances, French participation (possibly with third-party or UNs paid advisors and techniciansubstantial managerial function within the framework of the Vietnamese government, might well prove toatisfactoryformula. Thc device of channeling aid through the Vietnamese, subject toegree of French influence, would do much in develop respect for the Bao Dai regune and concomitantly toietnameseto aid in defense of their country.
A final factor in stimulating the will of the Vietnamese to resist Invasion is that of timing, which although subsidiary in Importance to thi; French attitude toward grantingis nevertheless significant If what-
ever aid that may be offered Is announced subsequent to, rather than prior to, anby the Chinese Communists, the effect on the Vietnamese will to resist will be minor regardless of other factors which maythc timing of the announcement. Fur-
thermore, unless the announcement of aid is timed in the light of practicable delivery dates,romise of assistance made against the background of French guarantees ofwill be followed by disillusionment and disappointment.
PROSPECTS FOR CHINESE COMMUNIST ACTION IN INDOCHINA0upplement)
Introduction and Conclusion!.
Communist China at present possesses the capabilityuccessful invasion ofIf Communist China,articipant in the world Communist movement, were called upon to invade Indochina, It couldbe persuaded to initiate such anChinese Communist militaryelsewhere would not necessarilyagainst an invasion of Indochina because the Chinese Communists possess the forces necessary for militaryorIndochina, Korea, Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macao.
Despite this general capability and despite the existence of Chinese Communist military concentrations along the Indochina border, adequate for the task, it is estimated that an open Chinese Communistand capable of being launched with little or no preliminaryImprobable0 because considerations (from theof Ho Chi Minh, the Chineseand international Communism) favoring such action appear to be outweighed byopposing lt.ighly probable however, that the Chinese Communists will continue to expand military assistance to the Viet Minh forces (by measures short of open invasion)cale sufficient to provide those forces with the capability of achievingbut limited, objectives0 and. assuming that the French receive no more aid than Is presently programmed, of eventually expelling the French without the aid of aCommunist invasion.
2. Types of Chinese Communist Action.
The two major courses of action open to the Chinese Communists in support of the Viet Minh are: (a) overt intervention In the form of an invasion; or (b) assistance short of open invasion.
a. Overt Intervention.
Recent Chinese Communist activity In the two border provinces of Kwangsl andconstruction and improvement of roads, railroads, and airbe construed as positive indicators of aninvasion. It is equally valid, however, to interpret these activities as indicators of an increase in the flow of Chinese Communist aid to the Viet Mlnh and itsos and Cambodia.
Thc presence ofhinesetroops in the Indochina borderthey could launch an invasion without appreciablealso be construedositive Indicator. Theof these troops, however, can beart by thc need for "pacification" forces in Southwest China, where thousands of anti-Communist guerrillas have been operating. It is also noteworthy that the present strength of Chinese Communist troops In the Indochina border area is only one-third of that reported in May of this year.
The following factorshineseinvasion of Indochina
hinese Communist Invasion ofwuiild be the most rapid means of build-
This estimate was prepared underrocedures upon the request of tlie Intelligence Organization ot the Department ni state,ecause of tlie limited lime available it was not feasible to Integrate It with) which was already in process of coordination
The intelligence organizations of Uie ivp&itraents ol State, Navy, and the Air Force have concurred in this* report: tor tlie dissent Ol thc Intelligence Organization ot thc Department of the Army, sec Knclosuie A.
up thc military strength of the anti-French forces.
Moreorer, it Is doubtful that the French will be able to provide large-scaleto their forces In Indochina in sufficient time to oppose such an invasion.
Further, decisive Communist action in Indochina0 would expel the French and bring that area under Communist controlany appreciable build-up in the military strength of the western bloc could be achieved.
In addition, the fall of Vietnam to the Communists would hasten the accommodation of Burma and Thailand to Communist power.
On thc other hand,hinese Communist invasion of Indochina0 not be immediately decisive, and should US or other western forces subsequently intervene, the invasion would serve to containmilitary strength of thc western bloc In inconclusive peripheral warfare In the Far East.
actors Opposing Intervention: The following factors appear to reduce the prospects for an invasion under present:
(a) without major external assistance to the French and their supporters. Communist "liberation" of Indochina would beultimately without resort to overtCommunistn order to achieve his objective of expelling the French. Ho Chiat present is estimated to0 regularrregulars, and extensive manpowerand probably prefers materiel and technical-advisory assistance rather than directi.'i'VOn'lol'..
fb) The presence of Chinese Communist troops inaddition U>he nationalistic appeal to the Viet Minharouse local anti-Chin escanderious source of command conflict between Peiping and the Viet Minh leadership.
<c) World communism thus far haso present Communist aggression under thc guise of Indigenous "civil wars."
cr OH I' fill &g
A Communist invasion would havenegative effects on thc presentlystates of Asia, particularly India.
Communist China's prospects forin the UN and UN-sponsoredwould be eliminated and thefor the establishment of diplomaticwith non-orbit powers would be
The USSR may hesitate to urge ora Chinese Communist Invasion ofbecause to do so would risk thc possible substitution of Peiping's influence, backed by Communist forcesccupation" of Vietnam, for its own present remote control over the Uo Chi Minh regime.
In addition lo the specific factorsabove, an open Communist invasion of Indochina would greatly increase thc risk of global war.
b. Assistance Short of Open Invasion.
A second general course of action open to the Chinese Communists in support of Ho Chi Minh is the crpansion of military assistance short of open Intervention. The Chineseduring the past six to eight months have provided substantial assistance to the Viet Mlnh In the form of materiel, technical-advisory aid, training, and personnel. They have thc capability of greatly Increasing this assistance.
nterlel ls now reported to be ilowing into Indochina in increasing amounts, not only across the border but also from Chinese coastal ports via Hainan. Communications ui Southwest China and in Tonkin are being improved and the Chinese Communists have secured control of many former Nationalist -hcld islands off the south China coast Both these developments greatly facilitate theof materiel into Indochina, The Vict Mlnh has been short of heavy equipment, particularly artillery, and although the present volume ls unknown, considerable quantities of such materiel probably will be forthcoming from the Chinese Communists in the future.
echnical-advisory aid could andwill be greatly expanded by increasing ihe number of persons detailed lo Indochina
by enlarging the already substantial .raining program for Indoehinese within ^hlnJk
s to personnel."volunteer" soldiers are believed to have already Inconspicuously foincd the Viet Minh forces in small numbers. Although individual "volunteers" probably will be further encouraged, such reinforcement ls not likely to attain extensive proportions since the language problem, among others, willa limiting factor. Problems entailed In utilizing "volunteers" can and probably will be partly overcome by integrating small units of Chinese Communists into the Viet Minh forces, operating under Viet Minh command. Those elements most acceptable to thc Viet Minh probably would bepecializedsuch as artillery, tank, mortar, engineer, signal, and medical units, capable of providing support and services now limited orto the Viet Minh. It Is Improbable that units larger than battalions would befor fear of exposing direct Chinese Communist involvement and because of the increased applicability of those considerations which reduce the prospects of open Chinese Communist invasionbove).
3. Proipects for Success ot Chinese Communis! Courses of Action.
If the Chinese Communists openly invade Indochina under present circumstances, it is almost certain that defending forces under thc French would soon lose all of Vietnam excepthinese Communist forceould probably overrun thc Tonkin plain during the first six weeks of operation, reducing the French position In the northemporaly beachhead In the vicinity ol Haiphong.econd-phaseCommunist drive further to the south would take longer and require additional troops, Pciping Is capable of providing the
forces required from areas south of thc Yangtze River without Immediate jeopardy to other possible operations.
Available information does not permit firm quantitative estimates of either materielin the hands of the Viet Minh forces or of present or future rates of flow from China-Supply from China Is presently confined to transport over secondary overland routes and by coastal smuggling, with French forcespositions on the main overland supply routes. In addition, Viet Minh forces up to now have shown no indicationapability for orthodox warfarecale approaching that essential if French forces arc to befrom Tonkin. Although thesedo not rule out the possibility that the Viet Minh may already be equipped and trained in the use of heavy arms on ascale, with lis presently estimatedthe Viet Minh probably could notustained offensive capable of driving the French from Indochina
Nevertheless, It Is estimated that during the autumn0 thc Viet Minh will be capable of launching the initial phase of such anwhich could result In the seizure or destruction of several key French border posts. Neutralizing these French strongholds, into further reducing French strength through attritional warfare, would permit the flow of heavy equipment from China to the Viet Minh in greatly increased quantity.of this equipment, assuming lhat the Fiench receive no more aid than liprogrammed, would enable the Viet Minn toreponderance of force over the Frenchatter of months. Meanwhile, the earliest reliable test of the actual military strength nf the Viet Minh forces will be their showing in the campaigns ol limited objecti* cs which it is anticipated they will undertake in thc coming weeks.
DISSENT OF THE INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION OF THE DEPARTMENT
OF THE ARMY
Office of the Assistant CtUef of, dissents for the following reason:
Pageection, second paragraph, lastas neverroop strength figure higheror thc area of South and Southwest Ctuna (Yunnan and westhis area Includes more territory than the border region denned in
page.econd paragraph, first sentence, as nowhinese Communist troops.igure for the larger area was carriednut troop strength in the border region as defined above was approximately the same in0 as It ls now, that.
fully accepts thc accuracy ofroop strength figures. The discrepancy in CIAiews arisesifference in the definition of "borderhe "border area" referred to in this paper onaecond paragraph, last sentence,trip of land approximatelyiles In uniform depth along the Indochina
border from Mengtzu to the Gulf of Tonkin (see enclosedborderowever, appears on the one hand to exclude the Kwangtung coastal strip adjacent toand on thc other to include the Kunming areailes from the border. The conclusions of the paper are not affected by this difference in definition.