THE INTELLIGENCE ATTACK ON THE VIET CONG INFRASTRUCTURE

Created: 5/23/1967

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

LBJ LIBRARY

Mandatory Review

Ca&eff NI.J ENTRAL "INTELLIGENCE

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INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDUM

Tho Intelligence Attack On The Viet Cong Infrastructure

I. The Targets

1. The Communist Insurgency In South Viet nan lsriumph of organization. Theefficient, flexible, tightly disciplinedorganization has been carefully built upong period of time. Through an intricate network of provincial and district committees, the organization is held together and is able to maintain the insurgency's essential base at hamlet and village level. From this base, control ls exerted over the ruralwhich provides both the local manpower andwithout which, the insurgency would The success of the insurgency, therefore, depends directly on the performance, andol the cadre who comprise the district and provincial lovoL comniltecs. These cadre are, at one time, the Communists greatest source of strength and their greatest area of vulnerability, for losses among this group by death, capture or defectionblows at the vitals of tho entire movenent. Obviously the Communist hierarchy Is no less aware than we of hoth the value and the vulnerability of their cadre. Through their organizational skill and control of the population tho Communists have boon highly successful in enshrouding these cadre from our eyes. An attackt this target group, to be ofloctlvo,eciprocal, painstaking organizational effort on our part. Stated simply, we require a) the collection of precise, timelyon the targets, b) the ability to collate and process rapidly the exhaustive data that we do acquire and, c) the means to take prompt, directcommensurate with the identified target.

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During the pastariety of collection programs have made imprcssivo strides in obtaining intelligence on the individuals who comprise the Viet Cong's provincial and district leadership. Theproducers of this intelligence aref ARVN, the Military Security Servicehebranch of the Directorate General of National Policehe special operations corps of the Central Intelligence OrganizationheReconnaissance Units operating under the province chiefs, the Census Grievance program, the various interrogationrovincialcenters with ten more under construction, the National Interrogationnd unilateralcollection mechanisms of the US Armed Forces and CAS.

Obviously these collection units overlap, but this is desirable since each contribution creates, inaminate of the VC organization,by province. Their progress has been substantial. Our problem now, in fact, is not so much thbof new data as tho collation and exploitation

of the information being obtained through presentsources.

the number of disparatecontribute to the political order of battlethroughout thorovinces and rangesto hamlet level, orderly collation of thea crucial link in its exploitation. The bulkintelligence on tho Viet Cong infrastructure

Is low-lovol and requires collation and exploitation at district or province level. Existing facilities for intelligence collation include the Sectorand Intelligence Centers (SOIC) which operate at province level and are committees of Vietnamese representatives of intelligence organizations and their American advisers; the Province Intelligence Coordinating Center (PICO, an effort by CIO toand systematize province coordination of the Combined Intelligence Coordinating Center (CICC) operating under GVN executive order in the Viet Congegion in and around Saigon and jointly

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staffed by Vietnamese and Americans under Vietnamese command; the collation facilities of the Provincial Interrogation Centers (PIC) supported by CAS andby the National Police; and DistrictOperations Coordinating Centers (DIOCC) of which the center operating ln Dien Ban, Quang Nam Province, is the principal prototype. This DIOCC, although staffed by both Vietnamese and Americans, is under American supervision.

On the American side, special mention should be made of the, Central Registry Detachment which has also taken on the task of developing data on tho Viet Cong infrastructure utilizing therecords facilities of the Combined Intelligence Center. Experience has shown that the Vietnamese producers and users of intelligence are subject to parochialism and inter-agency jealousies whichthe effective collation and exploitation of Under these circumstances,supported, and in effect controlled,centers have been tho most effective of thefacilities devised.

Collation mechanisms procedures at province lovel are fairly well established, although there are variations in effectiveness which are related in part to the competence of Vietnamese officials Improvements in effectiveness at that level will come with time through experience, moretraining, and constant but tactful advisoryfrom the American components. At district level, however, resources collation activity are limited, except in instances where the deployment. combat units has provided additional trainedmanpower and additional facilities. intelligence operations are province-oriented, in part because of shortages in trained manpower, and in part because exploitation means are more readily available at that level. District-level operations, thus, are based largely on intelligence collated and disseminated from the provincial level, fleshed out with whatever additional detail or more current data may be available within the district. This system

has proven generally workable insofar as it hasbasic data on the infrastructure in support of pre-planned operations. It is not, however, geared to providing simultaneous rapid response tofrom lower echelons for intelligenceumber

of targets of opportunity. The pcrlormancc of the province Jovol elements in this regard can beto improve with time, but greater reliance must be placed on developing adequate collationat district level to meet tho need for timely information. This development must be related, to the means available at district level to exploit such an improved capability.

IV. l tatioti

Since speedy action is vital to theuse of intelligence, the DIOCC andC (which is internally organized into district levol desks) appear to be the most useful mechanisms for collation purposes. However, the entire capability for exploitation, ill its many forais, must belest we hastily attempt to recreate in every district capital, the success that has been achieved in special circumstances in the Dinh Ban DOIC in Quang Nam Province. What works best in one place in Vietnam does not necessarily work well in another.

MftuyGriovance is oneunilateral peneti-ationsnot lend thcnsclvcs to reporting at other than province levol. The province headquarters will, of necessity,its clearing house function even where DIOCC programs oxist. In addition, this ovorview is also made necessary by the fact that the Viet Cong have

a province, district, village and hamlet breakdown which, although sometimes similar to that of the GVN, .varies significantly in many instances. Tho Viet Cong military organization is superimposed on this system. Those adminstrativc boundary differences greatly complicate intelligence collation andand necessitate close coordination amongdistricts and provinces. Collection andof intelligence on the VC infrastructure has far outstripped our ability to take action. Atlevel the, the USS, the Censusstudy center, tho PIC ot al, have keptbooks on the VC apparatus as they seo it in oach of the province's several districts. However, in our concentration on the identification of the VC cadre, wo tend to forget that the VC military andorder of battle are closely enmeshed.

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Communists take great pains tocadre irom being exposed, through physicalprovided by their military arm andown intelligence resources, which giveof impending danger from the GVN. Onlyhave sufficient and readily available strength

to cope with the enemy's local military resources can we expect to exploit, as thoroughly as we would like, the extensive intelligence which is at hand.

means available at district levelintelligence on the infrastructureand are frequently inadequate. chiefs have at their disposal no moremobile RF company and,latoonof PF troops, whose operations are notagainst the infrastructure. Policein most districts are negligible. Units normally operate under thoof provincial authorities. Generallywhen American forces are available are thefor operations directedinfrastructure by district authorities. Inof these resources, district authoritieswill and the impetus to do much more thancope with the military operations of the Vieteven if they possessed accurate and timelyon the infrastructure they would not beto react to it effectively.

V. Conclusions

incroased awareness thatprogress was being sharply hinderedof security, has tended to make usproblem solely in terms of the security of the

RD cadre teams, despite the fact that the extirpation of the VC cadre system is the sine qua non for The two thrusts must be considered in tandem. Our successes where Americans have dominated the collation of intelligence at province or district level, have occurred in areas where, because oftroop locations, we were militarily dominant over the VC. In Operation CEDAR FALLS, for example,dvisers, and CAS officers working within the context of the VC/Militaryombined intelligence team were able to provide the military and the police with the intelligence on which they

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were ohle to take action. However, action in this hard core VC area, was made possible by thepresence of the US II field force. Under their protective screen, district-based planning andwas highly productive. Few districts ln Vietnam have less information on VC cadre andand military displacements that was available in the CEDAR FALLS operation. But the reaction assets available to the average district chief areinadequate.

the reorientation of ARVNa role in support of RD cadro programs,be ablo to take advantage of thisplan our intelligence operationsunits or Freo World forces thus assignednew area should dotermine in which districtsconcept will be employed.. Thistho case of ARVNsuch forcesmerelycreen; but, instead, will bein actively socking out province andforce units and destroying them. As thetheir protective elements, their cadreand, thus, vulnerable. Thethat retribution for cooperation with the

GVN is not the all-provasivo threat that it wasroater source of intelligence and more of the arcane VC organization is surfaced.

the very same reason that wepolitical progress, in depth, if the RDworking in an area where company strengthis an ever-present possibility, ourof intelligence will continue to befor the rate at which it can be produced. ond collation techniques are constantlyimproved and show every promise of continuing

ln this direction. Reaction capability is thewhich will be broken only if we are successful inew, broad pacification support pos-turo for ARVN and in seeing that these necessary techniques are diligently practiced. The rate at which the redeployment of ARVN into the RD security role ls processing docs not augur well for anstep-up in the destruction of the VCin the near future.

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Tho long-discussed conceptational Constabulary is predicated on tills real need for an aggressive, locally oriented force capable of coining to grips with the VC. Unfortunately, the National Constabulary ideaong way from realization and cannot be consideredorce in being in thisto increase tho tempo of the attack.

15. In the final analysis, then, the problem beciono of: (a) improving tho effectiveness of existing mechanisms at province and higher levels for providing basic intelligence data to support operations at lower levels; and (b) developing an effective mechanism at district level where the means exist to exploit this basic intelligence as supplemented by locally available and timely The impetus for both of these must come from. sido, in the first case through tightening up our own advisory procedures, and ln the second case by taking the lead in establishing the mechanism built around the intelligence element of. combat forces are deployed in the district. We can press for siiilar mechanisms when Vietnamese Any units arc employedistrict, but in the absence.atalystthe performance will probably not be We can also seek to decentralize Provincial Reconnaissance Unit operations to some extenteans of reinforcing the rosourcos available to the district, but past experience has shown that if this were done without. supervision theof such operations would be diluted;ove would be productive only if. catalytic elemont woro available at the district lovel.

16. asic consideration to thisone which also affects other aspects of thethat available resources do notus to undertake an attack in all areas If properly concentrated, however, our resources are sufficient for us to focus on selected areas where the job can be done effectively. Success and experience thus gained would permit theoftheirextend the attack to other areas. The development ofDOICs should be limited initially to those areas where sufficient resources are available to

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warrant the effort. These areas would presumably be those whore the concentration of other resources would make the attainment of our pacification goals feasible, and those areas where the destruction of the infrastructureriority task. Closeof police, PRU, RF, and PF and RD team activities, and Census Grievance activities should bo developed at provincial level to support the DOICs established in selected districts, usingadvisory and liaison channels. Once the DOIC mechanism and requisite procedures linking the DOIC to province have been refined, efforts could be made to extend the concept to other districts where Free World or ARVN resources provide thefor reaction, again bearing in mind the availability of other resources required to further tho pacification goal. In this fashion, thecan bo attackedational, effec-

tive manner.

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