North Vietnamese Defense Minister Giap's Analysis of the War-I
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Directorate of Intelligence7
North Vietnamese Defense Minister Glap's Analysis of the War--t
The first partengthy analysis of the war by North Vietnamese Defense Minister Vo Nguyen Giap has been received. This part of thewas serialized in the North Vietnamese press fromoeptember and Hanoi radio beganthe first installment oneptember. Only eight of twelve parts of the first installment are available at the present time.
The first installment appears to beto the kind of article that Giap writes Such articles haveegular feature of North Vietnamese propaganda during past years, one innother innd the last in January of this year. In general they are designed to provide Vietnamese Communist cadre,personnel, and the populace the latestview of the war. Although the articles areprimarily for propaganda purposes, theyuseful insights into Hanoi's over-all thinking about US military strengths and weaknesses.
in the present article Giap attempts toird's-eye view of US military objectives
Note: This memorandum aas produced solely by CIA. It uas prepared by the Office of Current
and strategy in South Vietnam5 and tries to explain Communist counterstrategy in the most optimistic and confident terms. He begins, as usual, with an analysis of current US difficulties. According to Giap, US strategy5 wasto "annihilate the regular units of the Liberation Army* in two major operations, one north of Saigon and another in the "high plateau." Both of these operations were roundly defeated by the Communists, according to Giap; he boasts thatingle "small-size unit of the Liberation main force"ignificant defeat.
In discussing Communist counteroffensives, Giap emphasizes the growing significance of the political struggle in the Southeans of frustrating US ambitions. As an example, he cites the Buddhist-led demonstrations in thepart of the country in the springiap gives the impression that the Communists and their Liberation Front deserve all the credit for this three-month period of civil disorder, whereas available information indicates that the Communists muffed opportunities to exploit these disturbances effectively to promote Communist objectives.
Giap claims that the Communist military answer to the US was to opennew battlefield" in the fall This operation, according to his analysis, forced the US to bring reinforcements into the northern provinces from other areas* The defense minister dismisses the bombings of the North as ineffective, noting that they had served only to harden the determination of the North Vietnamese people to assist the South. He also points to the cost to the US in money, pilots, and aircraft.
The general tone of the article is one of complete confidence in ultimate victory. Giap argues that the military situation has never been more favorable from the Communist point of view. He calls his forces "invincible" and asserts that foreign aid is "increasingly effective." He
also claims that the North Vietnamese people areto heighten their determination to fight" and to "advance toward final victory."
7* Although there is nothing unusual in this first part of the first installment of Giap's new article, it should be noted that he frequently saves his main points, such as current and future Communist strategy and estimates of future USfor final sections,
8, Comments on the remainder ofrticle will follow as it becomes available.