forces last week continued to make soire slight progress in trying to advance farther north, of the Plaine des Jarres. Enemy resistance has Stiffened, however, and there are signs that North Vietnam is dispatching reinforcements into north Laos.
near the1 junction.,units have been checked by several small but sharp enemy counterattacks. The government wants to nold this area as long as possible to impede enemy from N'orth Vietnam.
General Vang Pao's weary troops have had onlyess in repeated efforts to the high ground north of the Plaine, where substantial numbers of North Vietnamese forces are dug in. In the northwest sector cf the Plaine and in the key area
On the more positivemall government element has advanced to within five miles of Muong Soui, meeting light enemy resistar.ee. Northeast of Khang Khay, government guerrillasa large, abandoned cave complex believed to be the former Patao headquarters in north Laos. sse'TT
SUMMARY ep 69
Thai Insurgents Seek To Improve Their Position
guerrilla leaders are striving to strengthen their political base in the villages and to improve the caliber of their guerrilla forces. The new tactics appear to be better tailored to *veet the problems they face, but they are still unable toignificant military campaign against the numericallygovernment security forces.
In the key northeast region, guerrilla leaders seem to be mak Log some progress indecisions taken last year to overhaul their villagestructures and to tighten security procedures * They have tried to establish moresupply and informationin the villages and have concentrated on improving their jungle units by more selective recruiting and better training. To improve their standing with the villagers, the guerrillas are buying rather thanfood and are generally playing down terrorism.
Although the insurgents continue to avoid armed clashes, their improved organizational practices couldewto Bangkok's counterin-surgency programs - One measure
Df the Coirjnunists1 progress in the northeast will be their ability to establish themselves in villages that have active government programs, rather than in remote areas relatively free of government influence. Thai security officials,over stillreports of increased infiltration of men andhave taken sooe renediai steps. Deputy Prime Minister Praphat, for example, hasamy coirjnanders tomore forcefully against known Communist base areas.
The Conmunists appear to be having more success in the north and north-central provinces, where tribalin some remote areas are virtually unchallenged. Although the evidence is the insurgents seem to be using the current rainy season to stock up on supplies and win recruits among the tribal population, Theof additional guerrilla leaders to the north from the northeast indicates the Coxjiunists are trying to solve their shortage of trained and dedicated cadre. This hat*ajor Communist weakness in the north, as in other parts of the country.
8 weekly summary
Senior Thai Securitybelieve the situation in the north has deteriorated and expect the Communists to try to extend control over tho northern border areaLaos during thedry season. On theside the appointmentew, energetic armyin the north offers some hope that newly developed programs will be more than window dressing. Thesewhich are designed to win the cooperation of the
tribespeople whileprotecting the ethnic Thai population in adjacent
lowland areas, so far have not been effectively carried
OUt. ik I'UKESCN
Preparations for China's National Day Proceeding in low Key
regime's preoccupation with pressing internal problems has resultedubduedto the Nationalctober. Peking has set the mood for the rest of the country by discouraging the hoopla that might be expected to accompanyh anniversary of the founding of the republic.
In part, the restrained mood stems from the fact thatragile tranquility has been inside China.
Peking probably does not want to jeopardize the newly imposed order by staging major rallies in Peking and provincial capitals, events which by their very nature
Page 9 weekly summary ep 69
bring crowds into the streets and tend to raise emotions.
Diplomatic sources report that Peking intends to keep this year'sfamily affairr'* with few invitedguests.
Provincial radiobroadcasts havt> taken Peking's cue and are urging restraint in celebration planning- ecent Ar.hwei for example, stated that National Day should be observeddown-to-earth- manner and that unnecessary expenditures should be avoided.
National Day traditionally has been the occasionajor leadership turnout. Rumors that Mao is incapacitated have become widespread- lately, and he has not appeared in public sinceay. Mao has been absent lor longbefore, however, and haseach time to confound speculation about his health. He has neverational
Day celebration,ailure to show up this tixae would giveto reports that he isill. The Chinese, in trying to counter such rumors, have been publici2ing recent decisions they say were made by Hao.
Despite the low-key approach to the celebrations, Peking will undoubtedly exploit the occasion for its niaximum propaganda velue to help promote the conmonly heard themes of national unity and preparedness against war. The regime has taken the unusual step of releasing separatelyational Day slogans, givingemphasis to those slogans concerned with war preparations. This probably reflects Peking's growing concern over theof expanded conflicts with the Soviet Union and also serves to dramatize for the population the seriousness of tho current war preparations drive and the need to economise and increase production. fSECRET y> EDBMCN
WEEKLY SUMSfABY ep 69