CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN

Created: 7/22/1969

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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OF INTELLIGENCE

Central Intelligence Bulletin

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Vietnam

South Vietnam: The five-week hiatus in signifi cant Communist attacks continues.

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Conflicting statements by South Vietnamesehave caused confusion in Saigon concerning planned cabinet changes.

Onpokesman for Prime Minister Huong told the press that Huong planned to reorganize his cabinet soon. The spokesman gave at least somethe impression that "ability and not politics" would be the criterion for any changes. The press conference was apparently called by Huong's office in order to head off growing speculation that the prime minister himself might be replaced.

The next day, however. President Thieu told news men that the planned reorganization would bring into the government members of political groups not now represented. He predicted that the country wouldore "broadly based" government within about two weeks.

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These conflicting versions of what President Thieu and Prime Minister Huong plan may have resultedecision in Prime Minister Huong's office toublic statement before Huong had his lines straight with Thieu.

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f The confusion was compounded onuly,overnment spokesman announced that all cabinethad submitted their resignations in preparation for the reshuffle, only to have the announcement flatly denied two hours laterpokesman for Prime Minister Huong.

North Vietnam: President Ho Chi Minh's address onuly,h anniversary of the Geneva Accords, repeated the standard Communist claims of success on the battlefield and the usual demands for complete and unconditional withdrawal of US forces as afor elections or other political He alleged thatercent of Southterritory andercent of its people have been "liberated" by Communist forces. Exhorting the armed forces and people to be "fearless of sacrifices ande promised "totalo the Communists.

In an apparent attempt to recapture some of the propaganda initiative from President Thieu and the allies, Hanoi Radio and the party newspaper Nhan Dan, as welladio commentary broadcast in the name of the so-called Provisional Revolutionary Government, have all elaborated on Ho's themes. None of these Communist statements, however, has made any newr otherwise suggested that any initiatives

are imminent.

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Laos: The government is sounding out Bangkok on the possible use of Thai trooos in Laos,

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considering moving

Bangkok has apparently troops across the border, |

Prime Minister Praphat

raised tne possibility of sendinghai infantry troops to recapture and hold Huong Soui. Praphat characterized the loss of Huong Soui last monthdisaster" and said that the withdrawal of the Thai artillery battalion during the battle resulted in "much loss ofraphat made it clear, however, that any deployment of Thai troops in Laos would require full US support.

In Laos, meanwhile, General Ouan haseeting of regional military commanders to discuss the Thai troop question and to draw up plans to counter the Communist offensive, Ouan intends to

Jul 69

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ask the generals for an accurate count of the number of troops under their commands. Padded enlistment rolls haveource of graft for years, and Ouan may stirornet's nest if he presses on this issue.

The loss of Muong Soui and the resulting near-panic about Communist intentions has also heightened dissension within the military and civilian Some military leaders have beenreak in relations with North Vietnam and Communist China, while civilian leaders have raisedS bombing halt and early negotiations with the Lao Communists. umber of Lao leaders have hinted darkly that certain "young colonels" who have long been at odds with the top military leaders are increasingly restive. King Savang has labored, thus far successfully, to keep the lid on until Sou-vanna returns.

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situation on the military front is relatively quiet at the moment. No new major Communist attacks have been reported, and there are signs that North Vietnamese troops are being forced to regroup in the Muongesult of heavy us airstrikes. I-

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r Blonduras: El

will dety an oas resolution ordering

by midnight tonight and may bring itsthea further delaying tactic.

Public enthusiasmontinued hard line has made Salvadoran officials fearfuloup if theyeakened position. OAS officials have given blunt warning to El Salvador that serious consequences will result from continued intransigence and havethat other OAS countries will give militaryto Honduras. There is growing sentiment in the OAS in favor of declaring El Salvador an aggressor and to take measures against it. The Guatemalanminister has appealed for strong US pressure and envisions the need for military enforcement of the OAS resolutions.

El Salvador reportedly has acquired three new fighter aircraft, which may be an early result of recent arms and equipment purchasing missions abroad.

Honduras is desperate over its military The public has not yet been informed ofof dead, but official estimates range

recnminationy against the OAS and thet5 ah ne?ri-n9 fever point. Reportsewand stories of the El Salvadoran President

stepping on Honduran territory aretrong impact on the public, and the rising animosity could

reakdown in public order,

is concerned over the threat to the safety of 03

citizens and detained Salvadorans.

The crisis is having its effect in otherAmerican countries. Nicaraguan President So-moza has military equipment readied to assist He appears to see Salvadoran successes and J

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possible threat to the stability of the Lopez government in Hondurasirect serious threat to his own internal position which he has described asuatemala has stiffened its military posture at the frontier and given warning that it would take no responsibility for the results of any air space or territorial violation.

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India: Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has for now bested her opponents within the Congress Party.

The old-guard party bosses have backed offhow-down with the prime minister. They reportedly fearoncerted move to oust Mrs. Gandhi at this time might prompt her to persuade the acting President to dissolve Parliament and call for new elections. Alternatively, she could break with the party andew coalition government with the leftist opposition. Her opponents would now prefer to make their move after the presidential election onugust,andidate more favorable to their interests is expected to win.

Mrs. Gandhi has moved quickly to strengthen her position. Her sudden nationalization ofajor banks by presidential ordinance onuly has left her opponents confused and divided. This action, despite its controversial nature, is in keeping with hallowed Congress Party doctrine. Moreover, the Congress bosses are not united on the nationalization question and thus have been unable to rally behind the cause of Mrs. Gandhi's arch-rival, Morarji Desai. Desai was last week forced from the cabinet,because of his opposition to the prime minister's economic plans.

Although Mrs. Gandhi has won this round with the party bosses, her longer term future is not ensured. Her formidable opposition will be watching for anon which they can unite against her. She has acted skillfully and decisively in the last week, eo)emagoguery implicit in her manipulation has

aroused concern.

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NOTES

_ USSR: Lunapparently did not survive an)tiinten<^ed soft landing on the moon's surface.

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The objectives ot the Luna lb mission are not yat known, but the launchew series of_ lunar probes using theooster.

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