HANOI'S PARIS INITIATIVE AND THE POSSIBILITY OF A NEW COMMUNIST MILITARY OFFENS

Created: 5/3/1968

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

BC No.8

CEIITRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Directorate of6

KE^OBANDUM

SUSJSCTi Hanoi's Paris Initiative andew Cocasunlst Military

tir.inc oC Hanoi's iuovo to break theon selectionito for talks with tho USbe rcltted to Vietnamese Coir.mu.iist(Maria?launch majormilitary actions. Tho North. Vietnamese maypush political dav&lopmonts in the war along towherecan be most directly orchestrated with

, Communist militaryouth Vietnam. Tlioreuuerous indications that the Communists areup for another major offensive, most likoly in the recti's o- Itej or June. Hanoi may havo feared that if the deadlock over the sito of talks persisted much longer, the political impact of any new military puUi would have been largely lost. In view of its decision some months ago to movetcgo of the war, Hsx.oi. would probably wish to preventevelopment if possible.

tho time ofpril offer ofwith the US, the Sorth Vietnamese nayfairly rapid progressull bor<b-

alt ond tho initiation of formal talks onof the WOT. Communist military activities

pr.il may have boon spoolfically tailorod to the prospective diplomatic dialogue. Tho drop in major ono:.iy military initiativos in early April may havo been intended in part to improve tho atmosphere forcontacts with tho US designed to obtain a

Hull bombing cassation. kar.nwmle, the communists used the lull to pro-pare for largo-scalo oflror.cxve opj^icions by early may, whfti'. Hanoi may have expected suivaodci- way. indeed the

u:ij.svs may have expected the US responseegotiating offer to be rapid and thus keep their military and diplomatic timetables synchronized. thisor their cjuito precipitous additionav to phncmh, cv.ee tho US had rejected the

3. hoc.vy tsorth vietr.amese inf litnd logistics operations an support of communistouth vietnwi accelerated in april. majormilitary units in several parte of tho souththe disengagements they had started in late march. some units withdrew from their usual areas of tactical operations in order to resupply and to be rainforced. ijhe hcav flow of infiltrators fromietnam doubtleso is being used to beef upnits and to helpnes. the entire, escort probably was carried oniew toward applying heavy military pressureseriodnegotiations.

&. the ruestion of exact timing in kickingva if-onjectural, oven ii- the communists are attempting to'tie it in withtical^devolopr.onta. umbor of reports lena^

aid that major attacko would

bo launched between late april and early may. other reports, howover, have said such attacks would occur batwoen early kay anday; still others havelater dates. there are indications in somesaigon and iattacks aw -roll bo imminent, although their timing and

approved fdroe upset by allied operations.

DEC ?DDI

5. in sum, the evidence suggests that attacks could come at any time iiut wc ire unable ttoitwhether ohcy will occur before 10

hanoi could bo planning to launch major mili-tv-sy actions in south vietnam juot before or shortly sifter the opening of tho paris talks. we think it ecually possible, howover, that major communistnitiatives in the south may be held back Zo-hile in the hope that preliminary contacts will soon

b"'rr- about r. Sillthis is oc-

iished, offensive actions could bo geared toa maximum impact in ensuing discussions onwar issues.

6. Tho latest roport wo have of ths timing of Co-inunist military operations in the Saigon area in-electee that attackstho city and nearbyr.chod the-t fevi iliijii, fg^Meeea1

rs

APPFEOVEO IDFE1

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