VIETNAM IN KAMPUCHEA: NO WITHDRAWAL IN SIGHT (DELETED)

Created: 7/1/1981

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

in Kampuchea: No Withdrawal in Hiuhifl

alf years after Vietnam began its cosily occupation or

Kampuchea. Hanoi Slid shows no willingness toegotiated solution. The Vietnamese leadership believes lhal the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will eventually acquiesce in its dominance of Kampuchea and cease supporting Ihe resistance. Vietnam considers iis international isolaiion and heavy dependence on ihe USSR caused by the occupation of Kampuchea to be short-icrm expenses. Hanoi might change iis mind only if economic and polilical difficulties in Vietnam ilScirihrcatencd Ihe authority of the Vietnamese Communistis is an unlikely prospcel for thefuture.

Vietnam in Kampuchea: No Withdrawal in Sightl

The Military Situation tnamcsc forceslargely in defensive

positions near populated areas, lines of communication, and ricegrowing regions. With the rainy season already under way, we believe that Ihe Vietnamese will conduci limited sweep operations but no major offensives until the weather improves next fall.i

Pol Pot's DKare live backbone of the

resistance. Over the past year or sc. DK forces have stepped up their activities; ihey are now not only harassing Vietnamese positions in northern and western Kampuchea, but also control portions of severalhe central and eastern pans of Ihe country. The DK guerrillas have paid special attention to interdicting vital lines of communication serving Vietnamese uoops, they have ambushed convoys alongnd blown up portions of the Battambang-Phnom Penh rail llne.fl

This resistance, however, is noi likely lo become strong enough lo oust lhe Vietnamese Only Pol Pot and his DK guerrillasiable military force, and his unpopularity among Kampucheans not only precludes any significant recruiting effort, but has so far prevented any meaningful cooperation with other resistance groups in Kampuchea. Sonhmer People's National Liberation Fron: (KPNLF)is more popular than the DK

Kampuchcam who are aware of Son Sann's organization apparently believe lhat in any DK-KPNLF alliance ihe DK would eventually overpower its partner. Olher non-Communisi resisiance forces are small, disorganized groups with Tillxperience in guerrilla

People's Republic The Vietnamese could noi renin control if they withdrew significantof troops; indeed, lhe puppet People's Republic of Kampuchea would

quickly collapse wiihoui Vjcinam's backing. Although President Heng Samrin's regime is slaffcd by Kampucheans. all instruments of slaic arc effectively under Vietnameseeceni electionational assembly allegedly drew nearlyercent of ihe populationhc polls, bui il did little io gain popularity for thero-Vieinomesc Communisi pany, called the Kampuchcan People's Revoluiionary Party, recenilybut il is having trouble recruiting reliable cadres untainted by past association with Pol Pot BJ

Kampuchea's economy is at subsistence level and dependent on external aid for about one-third of its food needs. The infrastructure of (heears is still largely in shambles, and all Kampucheans live in varying degrees of poverty. Despite these living conditions and the regime's unpopularity, the Khmer people remain generally docile, in part because of their war weariness and perceived inability to do anything effective to change their lot. and in part because of their fear that ouster of the Vietnamese would lead to the return of lhe more hated Pol Pol

Seiret

A United Front?

and the Associalion of Somheast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are pushing the resistance groups tonited front againsi the Vietnamese, but the prospects for its formation arc only fair. Pol Pot and exiled Princesay thai they are willing to form an alliance, bui KPNLF leader Son Sann has long resisted taking pan innionj

Sann's colleagues in the KPNLf- also have visceral fear and haired for the DK, which killed many members of their families5BJ

In recent months Son Sann has agreed, under heavy internationalnegotiate with the DK lo

'hile Pol Pot has already sleppcd down

from the formal DK government structure (but remains the effective power).

|Thcy are on record, however, as being willing to .MIoTHieKPNL^rj assume ihc major postsevised DK government]

>cspite agreement in principle

nited front. Son Sann may. in fact, be sticking to his apparent long-term goals ofredible independent non-Communist force, and

el

being available lo foimietnam bc forced ioe:;lerr.cni.|

oalilion were to be formed!

would be unlikely lo endure. DK and KPNLF forces have an explicit agreement not to oppose each other inside Kampuchea, but they refuse to operate as integrated unili and are unlikely to do so in the future. The only significant byproduct ofnited from would probably be the reconstitulionegime that would be more acceptable internationally

The Vietnamese arc likely to remain in Kampuchea for the foreseeable future. The resistance is likely to go on in some form indefinitely da unlikely to ot ive the Vietnamese.

Hanoi is nonetheless aware that there is more to the cost of staying the

Joursr^nKampuchca than continuing the war cffortJ

J^^HLbbbbhHime when Vietnam's economy is in ruins and the parly is suffering from corruption and malaise, the regime's Kampuchea policy is indirectly exacerbating these serious internal problems!

isolalion would end. and its to'.al acpcnacnce on which is grating to Vietnamese nationalism, would bc reduced.

Vietnam's

lOSCOw.

the costs and problems. Vietnam holds on to Kampuchea for two fundamental reasons. Hanoi now has something in its grasp ihat iu leaders have sought for manyover all Indochina Because the Vietnamese calculate thai the toppling of Pol Pot8 was an act of self-defenseoslile Chinese surrogate, they also consider dominance of Kampuchea vitalheir national security. When historic destiny isin Hanoi's eyes with strategic necessity, its motive Tor slaying in Kampuchea is strong.

Vietnam's leaders believe that they can dominate Kampuchea, along with Laos, and still obtain eventual international acceptance and aid. Their current straicgy is to retain their military presence in Kampuchea and seek, through regional negotiations. ASEAN's acquiescence in their dominance in Indochina

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