PRESIDENT THIEU'S MEETING WITH VICE PRESIDENT KY AND THE SENIOR GENERALS TO DIS

Created: 5/16/1968

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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ftInteUigence Information Cable

VIST MAM

IS MAY3

TKIEU'S MEET IMG KITH VICE PRESIDENT

AHD TKE SENIOR GENERALSISCUSSET

CrtlTY'

Ml 1 ag;s

AND GOVERNMENT POLICIES

IELD NO.

IN t67

G TKE' SAME DAY WITHIEU REFUSED" TO DISCUSS WITH KY

AMD THE GENERALS HIS CABINET REORGAM HATLANS, BUT SAID HE WOULD REVEAL THEMS MAY. CKY CLAIMED LATER THAT TH IEU HAD ALSO REFUSZD^TOJ.

DISCUSS HIS SPECIFICS WITH KIM IN PRIVATE.) TH IEU ALSO TURNED ASIDE THE GENERALS" PLEASORE AUTHORITARIAN STYLE OF GOVERNING ANDANCELLATION OF THIEU'S REFORMS IN PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATION

AND WILL NOT OPPOSE TRAM VA3 HUONG'SE NTOULD RESIGN ALONG WITH KY IF KEY MILITARY ORWERE REMOVED. END SUMMARY. .

PRESIDENT NGUYEN CAO KY AND THE SENIOR GENERALS MET WITH PRESIDENT NGUYEN VAN TH IEU ONAY'TO DISCUSS THEIR DISSATISFACTION WITH THEAND POLICIES OF THE THIEU

GENERALS HAD MET WITH KY AT THE JOINT GENERAL

STAFF COafCIMD. EKO'D KKAHG OTHERS ATT ENDINGDS PS CO&KftNDErl LIEUTENANT GENERAL KCAVG XUAUI CORPS COMMANDER MAJOR GENERAL LU MONO LAN, IV CORPS COMMAMOSR MAJOR GENERAL NGUYEN DUC IKftSG, CHIEF OF TKE JO lit GENERAL STAFF GENERAL CAO VANIST EH OF DEFENSE LIEUTENANT GENERAL NGUYErf VAfl VY, MINISTERCs-IOR LUEUTENAfiTLINK CJASG VIEN, AMD KHISTER CF REVOLUTIONARY. DEVELOPMENT LIEUTERAL NGUYEN BAG TRI.

2. IN THE MAINGENERALS' THESIS AS PRESENTED TO THIEU WAS THAT DURIttG THESE CRITICALITH iiEP'.ESEKTATIVES OFNITED STATESTH VIETNAM MEETING IN PARIS, AND WITH TKE ENEMY A? PLY IS'3RESSURE IN TKE HOPE OF ATTAINING DECISIVE MILITARY AND POLITICAL VICTORIES? INFLUENCINGTALXS, TKE GOVERNMENT -

.STTROM, DECISIVE AS3 TIGHTLY ORGAN IZED, TKE CHIEF EXECUTIVE MUST EE GRANTED FULL POWERS.

7

PACE 4 OFAGES

BY THE NATIONAL ASSE'ISLY'UNT IL THE CRISIS SUBSIDES.

THE GOVERNMENT AND MILITARY MUST FUNCTION AS ONE.

NOV IS NOT THE TIME TO EXPERIMENT VITH CONCEPTS OF

CIVILIAN ADMINISTRATION WHICH MAY BE SUITABLE IN

time of peace but are inadequate i" a'

ORPS COMMANDERS. ASKEO TH EU TO CANCEL HIS PROJECTED OVERHAUL OF THE PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEM UNTIL AFTER THE WAR. THEY CO-HPLAINSD THAT THE CHANGES WHICH* ALREADY HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED HAVE SO FRAGMENTED THEFOR DECISION MAKING AND WEAKENED COORDINATION BETWEEN MILITARY AND CIVILIAN AUTHORITIES IN THE PROVINCES, THAT IT IS DIFFICULT FOR THE CORPS -COMMANDERS TO DO THEIR JOBS.

A. IN RESPONSE THIEU SAID THAT HE TOOBY THERATE.PACE OF THEBUT THAT HE SAW NO ALTERNATIVE TOITHOF THE GENERALS SUGGESTED HE SEASSEMBLY IF IT WAS ROT MORE RESPONSIVE.

W

ace:

SUGGESTED THIS TACK MAS UNREALISTIC, AT WHICH POINT SEVERAL OP THEO THAT TH IEU COULD GET WHAT HE WANTED FROM THE ASSEMBLY IF THE MILITARY WAS BEHIND HIM AND IF HE USED TKE FULL POWER OF TKE OFFICE OF TKE PRESIDENCY.

THIEU THEN EXPOUNDED ON HIS CONCEPT OF HOy THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD FUNCTION. THIS EXPOSITION MADE IT CLEAR THAT HE DID NOT NTEND TO REVERSE ASY OF HIS ADMINISTRATIVE-REFORMS OR CHANGE HIS PLANS TO "CIVILIANIZS"THE

DURING THE MEETING' KY ASKEDIF HE WOULD LIKE TO DISCUSS THE PLANNEDOF THE GOVERNMENT, SPECIFICALLY V IS PLANS TO CHANGE THE PRIME MINISTER AND

THE CA3INET. HOWEVER, THIEU REFUSED TO COMMENT. WHEN PSESSED, THE PRESIDENT SAID-HE WOULD MAKE HIS,INTENT IONS CLEAR ON THIS

LATER IF THIEU HAD GIVEN KY THIS INFORMATION IN PRIVAVJ. KY SAID NO. KY SAID HE HAD HAD

PRIVATE MEETING WITH THIEU3 KAY TO

DISCUSS CHANGES IN THE GOVERNMENT. HOWEVER,'

DURING THE MEETING THIEU TALKED IS GENERAL-

ITIES AND REFUSED TO SAY WHETHER OR NOT HE

PLANNED TO REPLACE PRIME MINISTER LOC UITH TRAM VAtJHUOW

EKERALS HAD NOT

MET UITH THIEU TO DISSUADE HIM FROM REKOVING LOC. ALTHOUGH KY HAS RESERVATIONS ABOUT ' UONGTHIRD CENTER OF EXECUTIVE * OST OF TKE GENERALS ARE NOT OPPOSED TO HUONG '. OR ANYOMMUNIST PREMIER AS LOfiQ S HE AGREES JiOT TO MEDDLE IN THE INTERNALFFAIRS OF THE ARMED FORCES. IF THIEU OR EW PREMIER ATTEMPTS TO REMOVE BRIGADIER GENERAL NGUYEN NGOC LOAN, DIRECTOR GENERAL OF NATIONAL POLICE, OR GENERAL CAO VA.'J VIEN," ' . Y AND ALL THE SENIOR GENERALS WILL RESIGN* .

S.

AGREED THAT THE BEST WAY THE GVN COULD IN-FLUZXCE THE PARIS TALKS WAS TO ACHIEVE SOLID

S-E-

J'i -

IN

PAGE 7 Of 9 PAGES

AND POLITICAL PROGRESS INDO SO.THEY FEELTRONG AND UNIFIEDLED BY THE MILITARY AND THIS WASTHEY WERE TRYING TO CONVEY TO

A RECENTLY CAPTURED ENEMY DOCUMENT SAID THE THE NORTH VIETNAMESE WOULD WINARIS IF THEY WERE.PATIENT BECAUSE OF THE SERIOUS CONTRADICTIONS I* THE SAIGON GOVERNMENT. THERE WERE CONFLICTS BETWEEN THIEU AND KY, BETWEEN THE/ EXECUTIVE AND THE LEGISLATURE, BETWEEN THE MILITARY AND THE CIVILIANS, AND BETWEEN THE AMERICANS AND THE VIETNAMESE. EVENTUALLY THE SAIGON GOVERNMENT WOULD COME APART FROM THE PRESSURE OF THESE COMMUNIST STRATEGY WAS TO EXACERBATE THESE CONFLICTS. IF THE SAIGON GOVERNMENT. COLLAPSED POLITICALLY, THE DISCUSSIONS IN PARIS WOULD BE ACADEMIC.

9- GENERALS WERE VERY DISCOURAGED

OVER THIEU'S UNWILLINGNESS TO MODIFY HIS COURSE. KOW-

.

XHANG MAINTAINED THAT THE GENERALS DID NOT PLAN TO TAKE ANY- PRECIPITATE ACTION AGAINST THIEU OR THE GOVERNMENTj UNLESS TKE PRESlDENTCFFEREO^ SOME STRONG PROVOCATION.

HE PRESIDENT HAD DECIDEDHIS PERSONALjPOWER POSITION NOW WHILE HE STILL HAS THE AMERICAN"jGOVERNMENT AND AMERICAN MILITARY POWER BEHIND HIM. MOST OF THIEU'S ADMINISTRATIVE REFORMS,

ARE DESIGNED MORE TO STRENGTHEN THIEU'S PERSONAL THAN TO STRENGTHEN THE GOVERNMENT.

THIEU FAVORS "CIVILIANIZING" THE GOVERNMENT SINCE THIS IS THE BEST WAY HE CAN NEUTRALIZE THE POWER OF THE MILITARY.

THIEU PLANS

TO USE THE CHANGES IN THE PROVINCES TO ASSIST HIM INERSONAL POLITICAL PARTY IN' THE MANNER OF EX-PRESIDENT NGO DINH.

THE MEETING AT THE JGS COMPOUND TO EXPLAIN TE

NEW SELF DEFENSE FORCE. MOST OF THE

WERE VERYITsTaLUEWANTED NO PART OF IT. HOWEVER,COMMANDERS AGREED TO PROVIDE ARMSIF

BE PRIME MINISTER NEXT WEEX.

RUMOR THAT HUONG WAS RELUCTANT TO TAKE THEHE HAD HEARD .OF KY'S

ALL THREE GENERALS PRESENTLY IN THE CABINET, VY, TRI, AND VIEN, STATED AT THE MEETING AT THE GS THAT THEY WOULD NOT REMAINUBSEQUENT '

EVEN

FAIRLY CERTAIN THAT THIEU WOULD ASK GENERAL *'

TRAN THIEN KHIEM AND LIEUTENANT GENERAL .

DO CAO TRI TOEW*

FIELD DISSEM: STATE (AMBASSADOR BUNKER, DEPUTY AMBASSADOR BERGER, POLITICAL COUNSELOR) USMACV (GENERAL WESTMORELAND, GENERAL ABRAMS, AMBASSADOR KOKER) CINCPAC PACFLT ARPAC pacaf

Original document.

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