accepted into tha political life of South Vietnam. Eveneportedly believes that the announcement represents toooncession to theand that Thieu took the step under American pressure.
Thieu's proposal carries far-reaching implications for the South Vietnamese, and such initiatives generally lead to political ferment andbehind the scenes. Rumors of unlikely alliances amongambitious politicalalready beginning, asopportunists look forexploit anyby the President's In addition, Vietnamese divisionbelieve that thecreate morali problemserned forces and willlead to an increase inrate, although aindoctrinationthe issue hasnTq^gMl
Thai Insurgents Attempting to Revive Movement
leaders inThailand have made aroappraisal of theirin an attexpt to regain lost momentun.
Recent reports from aof defectors haveengthy meeting last Decomber of top Communistseyarea to consider how they could revive their stalled The leaders acknowledged that the guerrilla effort had not been successful because of weak mass organization, and made plans to improve politicalin the villages.
Tho Communists also devoted considerable attention to ways of improving the quality of their guerrilla units. Not only were more selective recruiting methods ordered, but plans were also drawn up to upgrade training and political- motivation. Intho participants emphasized the need to expand theireffort into "new areas" free of superior government forces.
The Comnunists in thehave long been aware of their weaknesses. Hampered by serious morale and supply problems, and faced with increasinglygovernment security, they have been on thefor nearly two years. They have taken some remedial steps to conserve their strength such as splitting up guerrilla bands into smaller groups, encouraging unreliable insurgents to defect, and removing ineffective leaders. The meeting in December, however, is the strongest indication to date that the leadership hasto take firmer steps totheir fundamental problems.
The Communists are under no illusions of being able totheir previous momentum soon. Nevertheless, there are signs, including sporadicincidents in some previously unaffected areas, and the first reported distribution of uniforms, that some of their plans arcnplenen ted. (SRTRB . IIU
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