Created: 12/29/1965

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SUBJBCTj Three IVaoronda Attached Re Vietnam

1. are asked the boys, on tbe basis of the boablag pause and press reports of soese kind of US contact with tbe DRV, to talonumber of tbe poosibllitlfs raised If taese atoriee are true. The results,ttach, are:

A paper outlining current Soviet tactics on Vietnan and how theae relate to Moscow's recent aaneuverb against China; it concludes that Aelepin In Hanoi will push hardase for more reliance on diplomacy and politics, leai on militaryTab A)

A paper thinking about China's attitude toward negotiations and concluding that Peiplng "ill threaten big difficulties whenever Iteakening of Hanoi'a resolve to continue fighting. (Tab B)

A paper on South attitudes toward negotiations, which concludes thatre largely negative but not insurmountably eo. Thisw prtdaed to the

LI rector aome tint* ago and boon approved by tne BourO of Rational Kotlraates. (xob C)

tna *ntm


2. of these deal with tne central Question of bow Hanoi 1tneIf now views Its options, ttoon ln this town may be better Informed than ve on this one; perhaps we'll get some evidence soon.

3* hink, you vlll find all of theseoatrlbution to your thinking. At leasttwobove) were written with thismlod and we do not recommend any further circulation. few days we may all know enough more to warrantand circulationider audience.

iAa taarr



SUBJECT; The She Up la

visit. Shalopln tohe strongestdete thee the Soviets an attesting to seise the initiative la

the struggle vith Chios for Influence ever tbe future of tbe Vletosaese wsr. It cllnaxes severalof Soviet aaaeuveriag ceedge between Hanoi sod Pelpen*;. Vhetber Shslepln can bringolitical triumph la euestioasbls, but tbe fact that the Soviets nnd ullV have agreed to this high loval visit suggests that the Soviet role ia Hanoi is graving.

shift la Soviet tectlcs toward China end thereforewas signallede Soptaaber, whan Sreabnev openly adultseveral Booths of Soviet restraint and pacleace basoo results La Sino-Soviet relations. It Is now kaowathe tine of Brcehnev's zuaarktedious vrsnese hadshipments of Soviet war material to Rsaoi. During Octobermade high levelon the urgent need of unitedVietnam sod hlotod that another Communist conference sight boa comBualat gathering in Prague, the Soviet party secretarytested tha reaction of the various Communistthea there haverowing number of rumors, often contradictory.

over whether the Soviets were io feet pressing ahead with the idea ofmeeting on Vietnam. One revert hat it that Shelepla was assigned the took ofay out of the frustrating impasse.

Obvio-Gly the keyfor Koseow wse the attitude of

the Vietnamese. ooting without Vietnam would serve mainly to denoastrste the limits of Moscow's authority snd Influence. eeting with the Vietnamese la attendance. however* wouldiplomatic coup. But, of coarse, th* Chinese were certain to stayand denounce the Russians roundly. In view of this certainty, the Vietnamese vould be caught ln the middle. It is likely that these proa and cons were rehearsed during an unpubllcised vlslc of the DRV Premier, Pbsm Van Dong, to Moscow ia October. And apparently the Soviets did not give up their Ideas.

A. Perhaps nothing would have come of the Soviet plans had it not beenolden opportunity offered by the Chinese. While tho dispute over pansage ot Soviet equlpmeat to the DRV was growing more crlticsl, the Chinese viciously attacked the Soviets, firstrivate latter, snd then in public onovember. 'Du: Xusclans had the Vietnamese issue out la the open snd the Chinese case was far fron strong or convincing. The Soviets not only replied la public but counterattacbdd persuasively that the Chinese were preventing effective sod united support for Viatnara. Apparently, the Soviets elso continued or revived the idee fornew meeting. The purpose ofeeting no described by varioue sources would be first of all to coordinate cottmoH lines on Vietnam.

Soviet* probably have had two things in mind: first,

on offer ofcc-vlJr aid (possibly even on "InternstionsInd secondly, tan creationsituation" which vould lendolitical solution. As described by the Polish party news* paper In early December, thn position wag:

It must be our comma aim sod striving to load toituation In which tha Aimticon tactics of escalation would brook, desra, and the boneless attempts toilltsry solution would give way ia favorearch for political

Thus tbe Chineso are quite right la characterizing the Soviets as trying to buy influence and decisive control with their military and economic aid (already0 million la the lest six months, according to one Soviet source).

confluence of recast eventsthe completion ofaid negotiations, the Ghrlatmss lull, sad,tha pause in US boabingo of the ORV ntskhsth* ShAlepincrucial not only for the DBV'* position betwaaa Monccw

and Peiplng, but for tbe future oi the Vietnamese war. Sbelepin probably intended to outline tha extent of Soviet and Eastern European physical support available if Chinese obstruction could be surmounted. And he probably neaox to try to persuade tha North Vietnamese to assc-ciato thotuselvesoviet-sponsored mooting oo solidarity.

the pause in the booblags probably has chenged theShelepln's instructions. Uc is now likely to put aore emphasis on


tha opportunity to explore the poll'.leal route, on the tactical advantage of responding to any American Initiative anil leaving open tbe doorettlaacatroaise ofupport If this approach should break deem. His argisnent night run something like this

if no respoase Is made to the Americana, you areong difficult sad eostly waradly divided alliance; Chine Is determined to split the Communist movement even et the oxpenss of tbe DRV'a war effort; further escalation of the var la Inevitable; your present course can only resultrowing American commitment sad the postponement of your objectives in tbe South. On the other hand, political tactics offer not only the poaaLblllty of on American withdrawal hut aa opportunity to consolidate preseat galas. Moreover, unlike Khrushchev, the present Soviet leaders ere committed to long term economic end military oldignificant level, but this can only be effective if thereong breathing space la the war. The Americans haveoncession in stopping the bombings, the boat tactic is to probe their position thoroughly before facing tbe dangersreatly expended vsr.

8. In short, thehas arrives ihi eh (he Soviets hove Wen striving for sinea lsst February, and lt vill be up to SheloOin to maki' the most of It.



OJMtCTi Vietnam negotiations: Tbe thlneae Position

Of ell the Ccoramlrt parties at lntereat, China la thelaaaiitly and uocoa Itionnlly opposed to aecotlstlOB* on Vietnam. Thla ncsBoremcua eiplarea tbe reasons behind thla position and the Implications for tbe prospects of on eventual settlement. It concludes that the Chinese have major long-range reasons for opposing negotiations and considerable leverage to Impose thla position on the DEV.

The Chinese Injection of Begotna

1. Three factorshina's viev of tho Vietnamese var, Its policy tovurd tbe and itsh the USSRoperate to form Peking's vlevegotiated settlement.

P. The Vtetnsncoc Var. China vlevs thla var from tbe perspective of its own revolution, oving himself fought for 2Xi rears against an anesy which enjoyed enormous artvantaces at tbe outset, Heoontain 1st victory in South Vietnam as certain and in ln no grant hurry to achieve it. Hia ovn

experienceot exclude negotiations, but purelyanother font of struggleemporary one at that, to be abandoned vhen circumstances paralt aof fighting.

3- Policy TQvard the US. China aeons to eject tharom Southeast Asia altogether. There ie plenty of time, but the defeat auat be total. Tbe Chinese view increased Us conmtt-nenta as aercly Dagnlfying this eventual defeat; they are sarlous in claiming to see ad-rant ages in bigger US deployments. So long aa China Itself le not drawn into tbe var, Peking vlll prefer to see the struggle continue, rather than endorse any 'settlement" which provide*oatlnuing US presence orasis for US re-Intervention.

ft. Conflict with the POSH. This It the =ey to China's

position on negotiations. PeXlng Is ecrnaps an concerned to eject tbe USSR from Indochina as It la to oust the OS. Its greatest fear, therefore,oviet-US deal. It sees no virtue in aa outcome by which Moscow replaces Vchhlngton ns China's rival in Vietnam, particularly since, in Peliine's view, ita tv enemies vould thereafter act In collusion to block China.

5- China is Ova re tbnt almost any fora of negotiated settlement wouldInvolve the USSR and giveontinuing role ta Vietnam. Soscov is the Coezsunist channel

through vhlcb tho din con oxplore nrgotlntioca vlth the US. The USSR la co-chairman of tbe Geneva Conference, and even if sorae new International bod/ vera created to bring about orletaeaweeit la difficult to imagine that Moscow could be eoccluded. In the Chinese view, the USSR la Interested in oeejotisaloas, not in order to elininate tbe risks of var, but to eain forermanent foothold la Vletaas.

Ixirebjllty; of tbe Chinese Position

are long-range propositions vhlcb, herringreversal of Chinese foreign policy, are not likelyin the neat several years. Peking la prepared to valt

a loag timeoemsmlst victory la Vietnam. Zn the meantime,

it vlll vorx to prevent any oettlement vhlcb leaves tbe UB In South Vietnam or provides for some fem of jubsecueotsupervision V'ort, In abort,ttleawnt abort of uocondltional US capitulation.

Chinese Leverage- in soi-th

Fekiotf swke this position sticks Can iteven If liauoi cones to desire thorn?



5. CMu* baa several Mini of leverage, lt almost certainly has political assets among tbe liorth Vlelanaesc toaounlsts,robably lo ta- Viet (nag, who will argue Chinese positions. It canirecton Military am* Industrial supplies, either ay limiting its own shipments or restricting those fromR. These are rather blatant means of pressure, but China bos proved villing to exercise tham by holding up Soviet allltary aid on several occasions.

Chinaverace froa the deterrent vMch It exerclaca,the DRV's behalf, oa the US. Thla

bos bean obscured because Peking has regularly reinforced Hanoi's bard line. Put surely the Berth Vietnamese have tu

the possibility that Cblna'e deterrent cannot be taken for grantee ia all circumstances.

10. Shauld Hanoi cove tovard negQtlatloes against private taioeae advice, It uoulC not be difficult for Peking toeiledg about, say. the dancers of "revialoalsn' or ovvrestlaatlng tlis eusnjr. This vault;nol to contemplate the dangwr of aore direct statement* dissociating China from the DSV's course env cause. To tbe Horto Vletnsaeae, this vould aurely threaten not nerel/ ti. undermine their bargaining poverit the US, but gravely to undercut the restraints on US power. They wonU be bluntly raLsltG. in effect, that It lay In Peking'* power to expose then it. the enemy. (They already realize that

China Is able and willing to block Soviet allit&ryt the save tine, however, they would see aoae eleoeat of bluff in this, believing that Peking's desire to prevent tbe establlstxeeot of an antl-Ceaounlst reglce oa Its Southern border vould severely liadt its hand.

U- Before rest art lng to public ctateneots to pressure Hanoi, Peking would first threaten this kind of action in private concuni cat loos to Hanoi- Its aia vould be to exert pressures which would strengthen the policies and poaltloao of the allitonf crD*bers of tbe Vietnamese leadership. Chinahope that the rvoepect of Its active opposition would cause that leadership to adopt positions so demanding aa to bo uaarceptable to.

It. We do not Know bou far Pnstng vculd jyo In this direction, but the cliancee are good that initial moves of this sort ore underway at present. It seems certain that hoc ia hlghljover Snelepin'a vlalt to Uanolime when tbehas suspended Its attacks on the DRV. inimum, be Is making urgent Inquires Ln Saaol, and be la probably at tne sane t'nc snklng clear Chinese displeasure ut the prospect of eay understondlng with tbe US.

Jolin whitman Lou Srndlce



iCSJfiCT: Vietnam negotiations: Likely South

Vietnamese reactions


To consider South Vietnamese attitudes and reactions to possible negotiations vlth the Communists. Weituation In vhleh the Cosmiunistsignificant Military capability and In which negotiations would not merely be an

acknowledgmentVfl/US "victory."


South Vietnamese leadersr Cotaaunlat gains at tnt negotiating table, and even the negotiating proceaa itself vould appear to thenerious threat to their continued po-vr and independence of action. oy factor vould be tlw maintenance Of Saigon'3 confidence in the US, especially its determination over the long run toommunist takeover. But alrooyt

any step the U3 took toward talks vould weaken such confidence. Thus the task of bringing South Vietnam along ln negotiations vould be difficultould almost certainly require heavy and sustained US pressures and inducements.


appearanceefinite prospect ofshift the main focus of attention from military toand ther-by vouldev and divisivethe situation in South Vietnam. atter vast position

tho Saigon government adopted la the matter, there vould be opposition and some lac react In instability. Fach of the couotry'a various Interest groups would follow its ovn line, and where positions coincided. It vould be more by accident than by design. Even within the various groups tbere vould belements Jockeyed for advantage. In the end, the military would be the group that really counted; as long as lt remained unified, the attitudes of other groups voulci be of secondary Importance la determining she GVU'a position.

of the South Vietnamese peasants, vho formof the population, are war voary. They vould welcome

a move to negotiations, hoping that It wouldespite from terror. Tbe peasantry, however, vould hove little Influence on decision* at the national level.

3- Amongenbvrs of organised political groups,are opposed to Concainlsa primarily oa political or ideological urouaJs, otherscenmlst takeover vould neon personal loss of position and lncoas, and perhaps lroprldoowvnt or death. Both typas are firmly committed to an aatl-Coaaualst position. Both types would probably believe, in toe asHumed aituatioo, that negotiations or anytoward negotiations would weaken resistance to Caaarunlxa and open new nvenuos for Communist penetration and uubverslon of tbe Saigon government. Veny of them also have groat respect for the tactics ofegotiators, and woul almost certainly suspect that US iHtgerness to disengage rcdght lead to excessive concessions.

k. The solitary leaders who control the 3outh Vistnaaese govenunent vould be ln tbe forefront ofpposing negotiations. They believe that the tide of battle is turning la their favor, and any Indication ofa Hanoi's part to negotiate vould reinforce thla belief. ll of them feel that the military advantage gained from the increasing Uo cowitment should be pressedotal defeat of the Viet Cong; they would view any US move toward negotiations priorlear-cut VC defeatoolisn conprondne or even as a cellout. ' They vould also be concernedovc toward talks might divide

tho military loeeership, gravely dosage AI>Y3 morale, and encourage disruptive civilian elementa, thereby Jeopardizing the military'a hole on power. In general, the military leaders fear Cocmmnlat gains at the negotiating table and would prefer to see the end of major hostliltten cone aboutetering out of the VC effort rather than through forsol negotiations.

5- We see little chance of any significant change In this view vithln the military even if the present leaders were replaced by another military or military-dominated reglne. And, given the improved military situation, believe that the likelihood of a neutralist" regime coming to power baa bccoBW very small. Indeed, neutralist oentljoent ia unlikely to become significant uali'sa the war should dreg on and on and the Hi cornel tgtent begin to appear of dubious value or uncertain constancy.

6. Aitiong other Influential groups, thearticularly northern refugee awould be moat actively opposed to any negotiated settlement Coaraunlets. The ntvjority of northerners now ln Oouth Vietnae are tho re because they fled Copmmlst control. Kony vould feel personally endangered by the prospect of any compromise with the Cosnainists, and their actions in opposition might be those of desperation. Catholic

- k

elements exercise substantial influence vitbln the military ana could be expected toard stand by the military.

contrast to tbe clear-cut Catholic stance,of Buddhists toward the prospect ofprobably be somevbat contradictory ana vouldimuteuverlng by the contending BuddhistTarn Cbau, loader of the Buddhists in the southernopposes negotiations and perhaps adopt as hardas tbe Catholics toward them. Thlch Tri Quang,leader in Hue, has said that negotiations undervouldolitical trap vhich would onlyCcmicunlsts. Tri Quang, hovever, has stressed the needand if ha thought the tide vas inexorably setand that he could upstage his Buddhist rivals,

be might modify his present attitude. In short, the various Buddhist leaders would take the course that appeared to offer then the best chance to Improve their political position. If It suited this purpose, none of theae leaders would hesitate to accuse the government or the U3 of betraying tbe South Vietoaseso people.

attitude of the students would probably reflectbut vocal desire for peace, coupled with an acute sense of


national!en. Host of the student leadero axe vociferously againhe fiOvcna?qt. and, given their penchant for demonstrations, would find new opportunities for expressing themselves on the quo atlon of negotiations. They voulc be subject to exploitation by Cosssunlat and other groups, particularly by Buddhist elesssnts which opposed the government.

The only significant legal political parties in South Vletnanhe rationalist Party of Qreaterolnd tho Vietnamese nmttoonlist Partyare badly splintered, but vould probably oppose any compromise math the Conssunlats. The opportunistic leaders of the Coo lei and lion lino, tho territorially-based religious sects, are generally opposed to tne Communists, but vould probably pose no special problems uhould the governaent enter Into


10. Despite Its deep appreboasiono, the Saigon government vould probably hesitate to reject outright tie principle of nagotlatlons and thereby alienate world opinion and, more importantly, aggravate GV3-U3 relations. Instoad, lt vould be sOie likely to adopt tactlco designed to cloud the Issue and to delay the actual holding of talks with the Consaunlets.

11. la resisting US pressurea to negotiate, the South Vietnamese loader* vould be avare af titoir ultlomte uependeacc upon tne US. Tbey appreciate that without continuing substantialupport, South Vietnam would fall to tbe Communists. At tbe same tint, however, they feel that they nave considerable leverage on the US. Tbe totality of the US consltment In South Vietnam and Southeast Asia ln general appears to then to make lt very unlikely that tho Ul would actually cut off Its support to force compliance. The South Vletnatv.oe leaders also probably calculate that the US dreads the possibility of further goverraaental Instability in South Vietnam and would be most reluctant to encourage political elements seeking to oust the present regime.

1?. As long asontinued to aeke substantial suMltory progress against the VC, there vould be little disposition uaong the military leaders to negotiate ana thereby scotch their hopesotal victory. On toe ofcjer hand, should the VC gain the military edge, the OVN vould olao-tt certainly refuse to negotiate since they vould connlcer tue&rctelvesistinct disadvantage. But if the military situation stabilized with couth Vietnamefinite, though not decisive, advantage, there might be soon willingness to enter Into talks vlthCommunists. It .this situation, toe GVH might consider talks as an opportunity to force the Communists to acknowledge Defeat' vblle at the aasse time training increased commitments from the US.

13* Ultimately, however, South Vietnamese coooemtlonbe US concerning negotiations would depend heavily oa the nature of the U3 position as the prospect of negotiations was explored, and tbe degree to which the US consulted the CVS in advance. If the USough line toward the Corawnlsts, it vould not be difficult to persuade tbe South Vietnam? ee to go along. Moreover* if the South Vietnamese lenders wore convinced that theased to the long term protection of South Vietnam and willing to give pre-comaitments of continued aid and the like, toe task of bringing them along would be easier. In short, their cooperation would depend upon tbe extent to which they believed that the US pooltioa threatened their oecurity and upon the conn-last ion of prefigures and Inducements which the US sight employ.

1U. Ifouth Vietnamese leaderu felt forced into negotiations under conditions where they believed the US position tended toward coaprordav and concessions, they would resist vigorously. Ma believe they wouldemanding and unyielding position on almost eveiy issue. They vould oppose anything that appeared to offer any concession to toe Corssunists, and would present demands of their own which wouldk in effect, call for VC capitulation. Under these conditions, the GVTT would, in our opinion, probably be pleased if the talks floundered and Bight deliberately cot out to wreck them.


15* The most difficult lasues preceding actual negotiation* are likely to be tne Questionsease-fire and of toe proper role of tbe Cccsaunlst national Liberation Front (sit) lu tba nepotist loos, lgon would probably oppose aa Isnedlata and formal cease-fire, although lt vould probablyacit scaling down of hostilities. It would not only fearat gains by salami" tacticsorzal cease-fire, but wouldubstantial drop la AHVH morale. Salgpn would anticipate substantial Ccrasunlst sabotage and terror!sa and vouli' probably be concerned tivst the V would honor the cease-fire as long aa toe VC limited itself to iteaU Willi activity, ialgon uoule not want to see either it* ovnrf tbe U3 tied ln countering such VC action. As to the role of the NLP, the GV3 vould be strongly oppooed to seating lt as on Independent delegation, and VMU ngree to such on arranges*at, if at all, only under very heavy IP pressure. It odgot, bovevcr, bo aore willing to accept sonar faco-Mtvlng formla in which the KLP participated in negotiation! but not, in theory at leant,ull nember.

16. Oncectually began, the GVB would in general ojrpooe any concesalons to what it would be inclined

toefooted (oamunlst cause, four specific Issues vould probably cauno tbe aoet friction: (a) tbe BJ military presence; (b) DR7 aid and support of tbe Insurrection and tbe PAW preseace la South. Vletaaaj (c) tbe policlnflease-fire and settlement! and (d)oleost-settleaent government.*

17. Saigon would react very negatively It pressed tourried or fairly complete withdrawal of U3 forces, although it night agree ln principle to an eventual US withdrawal vlth no set tine. The OVN voulc demand tbot the ts aid and support of the VC .nd ulthc-rav all PAVK units from -iouth Vietnam. Moreover, in any arrangement forouse-flrc or settlement, .jalgon voul. not bo satisfied vlth vague diplomatic expedients but vould seek airtight control ofnfiltration Into .iouth Vietnam. To this end, it would strongly oppose uny policing force ln which leftist neutralists participatedletonmunlat oember, as on fie ICC.

The question of rvunification vould doubtless arise duringut little progress vould be likely oo this lusu-j. The CVaee ln principlenified Vietnam, but voulc' bitterly oppose any actual steps to-arc this end.

18. On the role of the Hli"oat-settleuent government. South Vietnam's loaders vould probably refuse to discuss Cormsuuist participation la cloctloou oroalition, viewing both possibilitiesetrayal of South Vietnam's basic Intoresto. Should this Issuee lous negotiatingilitary regise might back out of tbe talks, refuse to accept any ogreewnt, and vow to continue to struggle against tbe Co-asunlsts on Its ovn if necessary.


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