Memo 12-29-65 THREE MEMORANDA ATTACHED RE VIETNAM

Created: 12/29/1965

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

hi

DATE: 5

5

fob me. hkuis SUBJKCTl Throe MeMmatia Attached to Vietnam

1. ave ashed the boys, on the baaia of the bombing i

pause and prensf aoese kind of us contact with the DRY, to thinkumber of tba possibilities raised If these stories are true. Toe results,ttacn, are:

(a) aper outlining current fioviet tactics on Vietnam and ha* these relate to Kotow's recent raarteuver* agalnat Chim; it concludes that Jhelepin in Hanoi villard th* case for more reliance on diplomacy airfeaa oa military rscaa*. (Tub A)

(fa) aper thinking about China's attitude tovard negotiations aad concluding that Peiping will threaten big difficulties whenever Iteakening of Hanoi'a resolve to continue fighting. (Tab S)

(c) aper on South Vi^toame-ae attitude* toward negotiations, vhlch concludes that they ore largely negative butourccnuitably so. This one vua pixialsed toector acne tine ago and ban been approved by the Board of Satioual Katiajatea, (fab C)

Bone of tdeal vita toe coatral question of now Hanoi Itself acr-Its options, ikam In this tovn maxbetter iaforned than ve on this one; perhaps ve'il get eon* evidence soon.

I think you *ill find all of these papers Interestlne. andontribution to your thinking. At least the first twobove) were written vlth this princlppLly inand ve do not rocoanead any further circulation. In

a few days ve zsay all know enough oore to warrant review, revision, and circulationider audience.

5

ONE STAFF HEHCEAfilMJM

SUBJECT: Tht Sltcl^'n Kiaoioo

visit. Shelepln co Hanoi Is tha strongestdata that there acttseptlag to salse th. lolttatlva lat

the struggle with China for influence over the future of tba Vlctoaaese war. It cliaaoooss aaveral uonxthe of Soviet awoauverlng toedge between Hanoi and Pelpenig. Vhather Shalcpin can bringolitical txluasphtloaable, but the fact that tho Sovietslatv have agreed to this high level visit euggeac* chat the Soviet rote la Hanoi la growing..

shift In Soviet tactics coward China and thereforei-.uui was signalled In 1st* Septeauer, wtien nreahnev openlyseveral ooncha of'Soviet restraint nod pecloacc haano remit* la Slno-Sovlet relatione. It is now knownthe cine of Broahnev'suthor tedious vrsngta badsUlpntsnta of Govlat war material Co Hanoi. During Octoberoaile high level stateatcnta oa tbe urgent need of unitedVletoao aa- blntod that another Coeaaonlat cw.tertnc* night bea cooanoolat gathering id Praguet th* Soviet parcy aecrataryteated the reaction, of the various Conaunlatthan there haverowing ouotber of ruenre, often contradictory.

/

over whether tbe Soviet! were la fact pressing ahead with the ideaeeting oa Vietnam. One report has It that SheIepIn was assigned the task ofay out ol tbe frustrating impasse.

-sly taa key quest Ion* for Hoscow vs* the attitudeVietnamese. ooting without Vietnam would serve mainlytbe limits of Ho scow's authority sod Influence. Athe Vletaanase In attendance, however, wouldiplomaticof course, tha Chinese were certain to stay away and denounce

the Susslens roundly. In view of this certaluty, the Vietnamese vould be caught in the middle. It Is likely that these proa and cons were reheerssd during an unpubllclsed visit of tho DRV Premier, Pban Van Dong, to Moscow ia October. And apparently the Soviets did not give up their Ideas.

nothing would have cost* of Che Soviet plsns badbeanolden opportunity offered by the Chinese. Whileover passage of Soviet eoulpavrat to tbe DRV vsa growingthe Chinese viciously attacked the Soviets, first in asad then lo public on II November. The Russians badIssue out la tbe open and the Oilnesc case was faror convincing. The Soviets not only replied in publicpersuasively that the Chinese were preventingunited support for Vietnam. Apparently, tha Soviets alsorevived tho ideaew meet Ing. The purpose ofeeting

ss described by various sources would be first of all to coordinate common lines on Vietnam.

5. The Soviet* probably haw had two things lo nlnJ: first,offer of substantial bloc-vide eld (possibly even aaInto mat tonalad secondly, the creationsituation" vbicb would leadolitical solutloo. Aa described by the Polish party neve* paper in early Oeceaber, tho position was:

It auat bo our eonaon aim and striving to lead toituation lo which the American tactics of escalation would break doom, andhopeless attentats toUlltary solutloo vould jive way in favora search for political

Thus the cnlnase axe quite right la character!slag the Soviets as trying to buy Influence and decisive control with their military andid (already0 ail Hon In tba last six atooths, eccordlac to oo* Soviet source).

A. onfluence of recent eventsthe coarplctlon ot Sovlet-uSV econoalc/ollltary eld negotiations, tbe Chrletaws lull, sod, above all tha pause In US bocsbiags of the DRVraakksth* SheLepio visit partlcuLerly crucial not only for the DKV's position between Moscow and Peiping, but for tho future of the Vletnamssa war. Shelcplo probably Intended to outline the extent of Soviet and Knstera European physical support avellablo If Cnlnesc obstruction could be surmounted. And he probably sieant to try to persuade the Horth Vletnaaussn to nssocicto themselvesoviet-sponsored mooting oo solidarity.

7. Bur. the peuse tn the bonblase probably has changed the nature of Sholepln's Instructions. Be Is now likely to put nore eEsphssls on

the opportunity to explore th* political route, on the tactical advantage of responding to any aboclean initiative ond leaving open the doorettleacntroalse of Soviet support if this approach should break down, tils argument night run something like this

if no reap on ce la nado to the Aewrlceoe. you areong difficult and eoatly varadly divided alliance; China la determined to split the Coeiaunlst oov<ment even at the expense of the DRV'a war effort; further escalation of tba war i* inevitable; your present course can only resultrowing American coaaaltaMSt and tha postponement of your objectives ia tbe South. On the other hand, political tactics offer not only tha poaalbliity of au Aatericao withdrawal but no opportunity to consolidate present gains. Moreover, unlike Khruafachev, the present Soviet leader* are coaaaltted to long tore) ccoocailc and military aidignificant level, but tula can only be effective if thereong breathing apace in the war. The Americans haveonceeaion In stopping the bombings, the beat tactic Is to probe chair position thoroughly before facing the dangersreatly expanded war.

g. lu short, the ancient haa arrived uhich tha Soviets have been striving for since last February, and it will be up to Shelepln to make the nose of tt.

0

OJBJBCT: virtnan Ser^tlation*; Tbe CMewa* Position

of ell the Conramist pertle* at Intereat, Chinahe Boatend uaraiUlanally exceed to oegotlatlon*et,pea. Thl* nmorejkhia explores the reeaccn behind thl* position and the implication* for tbe prcepect* of an eventoal It concludes that the Chlneee hare aajor long-rang* reason* for opposing negotiations and considerable leverage to Inpoee thl* position oo the DRV,

Three foetovo China'sf the Vietnaneoe var.

its policy toward tic US, and ita conflict vltbRoperate

to form Peking'*egotiated aettlenent.

etnnpqqc Var. China viovo thia var froa tbe perajeetlT* of it* own revolution, Having hinaelf fought forears egsunat en enemy vhlch enjoyed eoornous advantagea at the out net, Maooerajnist victory in South Vietnam aa certain ond ia in no great hurry to achieve it. His ovn

/ -

experience does not exclude negotiations, but purely as another

form or struggle andtemporary one at that, to be abeyance? vheo circumstancesesumption of fighting.

3. Policy Tovard the US. China means to eject the US rroa Southeast Asia eltogether. There lo plenty of tine, but the defeat Bust be total. Tbeev increased US corailt-nents as merely Damnifying; this eventual defeat; they are seriousei ring to see advantages In bigger US deplayaeots. So long as China itself le not drawn into the >ar, Peking vlll prefer to see tbe struggle continue rather than eodoree any settlement which providesontinuing UO preeenee orasis for US rv-intervention.

Conflict vith the PS3H. This Is the >xy to China's

position on negotiations. Peking Is perhaps as concerned toUSSR fromit is to oust the US. Its greatest

fear, therefore.oviet-US deal, it sees no virtue In an outcome by which Koscov replaces Woehlngton aa China'* rival lo Vietnam, particularly alnee. La Pehing'o view, its tv enesles would thereafter act in collusion to bloc* Chics.

5- China is svtrr that almost any fore of negotiated settlement Mttld perforce involve the USST. and giveontinuing role la Vietnam. Moscow la the Cceanunlst channel

through vhlch the* EOT can explore negotiation* with the US. Theo-chalraaa of the Genera Conference, and even Ifnew lataroatlocol body vere created to bring about ora Vletoseatseit la difficult to langla* that Hoaeoe could be excluded. In the Chinese new, the USSR-Is interested In neaptlatlano, not In order to eliminate the rl*k* of var, but to pain foreraanerrt foothold In Vietnam.

Durability of the Chlncae Position.

are lone-range propoaltlons vhlch, barringreversal of Chinese foreign policy, are not liftelyIn tbe next several years. Peking is prepared to wait

a long tinecasnanlet victory la VUtaaau In tbe sH-aatin*

it vlll vorx to prevent any nettleaent vhlch loaves the US in South VletonsB or provlces for sosk form of iruboequent*unarvlalou In short, any *ettlenetrt short of unccoditlocal US capitulation.

Chinese Leverag in north Vietnam

Peking mss* this position stick? Can iteven if iianoi conns to desire then?

- -

us several means of leverage- It eJjsost certainly has political assets among the Borth "ItlCossaunlsts, aa* probably la taa Viet Cong, vho vlll argue Chinese positions. It caairect squeeze onindustrial supplies, either by Uniting its ova shipments or restrict lag those fromB. These are rather baatant means of pressure, but China aaa proved vllllag to exercise them by holding up Soviet military aid on several occasions.

otent leverage from tbe deterrent

vhlca itpon the DRY'a behalf, oa the US. This rector has been obscured because Peking baa regularly reinforced Hanoi's hard line. Put surely the Borth Vletiiameae have tohe possibility thai China's deterreat cannot be taken for grantee in all circumstances.

hsnoi cove toverd negot lot loos againstadvice, it vould not be difficult for Peking to Issuepublic earning about, say. the dangers of "revislonlsa"

or overestimating the enemy. This vould force ranol to contemplate tha danger of more direct statements dissociating China fro* the OWs courseause. To tbe Borth Vietnamese, this would surely threaten not aarely to undermine tbelr bargaining powerie the UO, but gravely to undercut the restraints on U3 power. They vould be bluntly renindrd, la effect, that it lay la Peking's power to expose then tc the encny. (They siready realise that

China la able and willing to block Soviet militaryt tha sane time, however, they vould aoe new element ofhia, believing that Peking'a centre to prevent the eatacllabmrot of aa antl-Cceaaanlat regime on Ita Southern border vould severely limit Ita hand.

11- Before resorting to public stetenenta to pressure Hanoi, Peking vould first threaten this hind of action In private coraminlcatlona to Hanoi. Ita aim vould be to exert pressures vhlch vould strengthen tba policies and positions of the allitasa) nemhers of the Tietaancoe leadership. China vould hope that th* npoopect of its active opposition vould cause that leadership to adopt positions so cleeauvJing as to be unacceptable to

It. We do not icov boo far Pesing vculd go in this direction, but the ciiancea are-goo: that initial moves of this sort are underway at present. It aeons certain that Koo is highlyover Sbelepln's vlalt to Hanoiime when the US has suspended it* attacks on the BfhT. inimum, lie is making urgent lstcfulrea in Hanoi, and be is probably at the saw tine making clear Chines* displeauaure at the prospect of any understanding vith

/

5

FOB THK DIRECTOR

SUBJECT; Vletnaas Itegotletloas: Likely South Vlc-tnaou-Be Sanctions

PH3HLEM AHD AoStWmOH

To consider South Vietnamese attitudes and reactlona to possible negotiations vith the Cooeualats. Weltuatloa In which the Conmmistsigali"icont nllitary capability and in which negotiations would not avrrely be an acknowledgmentVB/US "victory."

SMOKY

South Vletoaraeee leaders would fear Coanunlst gains at tun negotiating table, and even the negotiating process itself would appear to thenexioua threat to their continued powerndependence of action. ey factor would be the oainteaance of Saigon's confidence In the OS, especially Its determination over the long run tooraaunlet takeover. But alwotit

any step the? US took toward talks would weaken such confidence. Thus the task of bringing South Vietnam along in negotiations would be difficult and uould almost certainly require heavy and sustained US pressure* and inducements.

I. ATTITUDES TWAKD auulOTIATICetS

appearanceefinite prospect ofahift toe sain focus of attention from military toand thereby wouldew and divisivethe situation la South Vietnam. So matter what position

the Saigon governraont adopted la the matter, there vould be opposition and some lncreace In Instability. Each of the country's various interest groups would follow its own line, and where positions coincided. It vould be sure by accident than by design. Even within the various groups tberc vould be divisions as con-teodlag elements Jockeyed for advantage. In the end, the military would bo the group that really counted; a* long aa It remained unified, tha attitudes of other grouse vould be of secondary Importance la dotemining the GVS'a position.

of the South Vietnamese peasants, who formof tho population, are war weary. They would welcome

a move to negotiations, hoping that It vouldespite from terror. The peasantry,ver, would hove little Influence on decision* at tho national level.

3- aooog too neobcrs of organlr/td polltlcol groups, some are opposed to Coorwalan primrily on political or ideological grounds, other*ooamlat takeover vould aaan personal loss of position and Incase, and perhaps laprtaoraoent or death. Botn types areum it ted to aa antl-Coamunist position. Both types vould probably believe, in the oasumed situation, that negotiations or any novc toward negotiation* vould weaken resistance to Conatualan and open new avenues for CCmmumlet penetration and subversion of the Saigon government, ny of then also have great respect for the tactic* of Coassuniitt negotiators, and vould almost certainly suspect that US eagerness to dloengage might lead to excessive concessions.

b. The solitary Isadora who oov control the -South Vietnaaese government vould be in the forefront of those opposinghey believe that tbe tide of battle is turning id their favor, and any indication ofa Hanoi'n part to negotiate vould reinforce this belief. Almost nil of them feel that the allitary advantage gained from the Increasing UJ ccccaltoeat should be pressedotal defeat of the Viet Cov; they would view any U3 novo toward negotiations priorlear-cut VC defeatoolian compromise or even as a sellout.*' They would also be concernedove toward talks might divide

tho military leadership, gravely <amags AKV3 morale, one vacourage disruptive civilian,hereby Jee-pardlring the Military's bold on power. In general, the nilitary leaders fear Conatmist gains at the negotiating table and vould prefer to see the end of najor hostilities com aboutetering out of the VC effort rather than through formal negotiations.

5- We see little chance of any significant change lawithin the military even if the present leadenby another military or mlUtajy-uominatedgiven the impruvud military situation,believe torilikelihood of a neutralist" regime coming to poververy small. Indeed, neutralist -lentliocnt isbeeone sigoificant unless the var should drag am sad oaUJ commitment begin to appear of dubious valuu or

6. Aaoog'othor Influential groups, the Catholicsparticularly northern refugeeswould be most actively opposed to any negotiated settlement with th- Cosaonlst*. The najority of northerners now In Uouth Vietnam arc there because they fled Ccsirsunlst control. Many would feel personally endangered by th* prospect of any conprcssise with the Cota, and their action* in opposition aignt be those of deaperation. Catholic

- k

elements exercise eubitantlel Influence within the military and could be expected toard utand by the military.

7- In contrast to the clear-cut Catholic stance, the attitude of Buddhists toward the prospect of negotiations would probably be somewhat contradictory and would reflect opportunistic uaneuverlnc by the contending Buddhist leaders* Thlch Taa Cnau, loader of the EUddhlsto in the southern prowl aces strongly opposes negotiations and woulct perhaps adopt asino as the Catholics toward them. Thlch Trl Curing, militant Buddhist Leader In Hue, has eald that negotiations under present clrcvssotsnceo wouldolitical trap which would only benefit the Cress ml ate. Trl Cuang, bowewor, has stressed tbe need for peace, and If ha thought the tide vat inexorably set for negotiations and tout he- could uputago ula Buddhist rlvali, he Bright modify his proseat attitude. In short, the various buddhlst leaders would take the course that appeared to offer tban the best chance to lnprove their political position. I" It suited this purponone of these leaders would hesitate to accuse the government or thef betraying the South Victoaneae people.

0. The attitude of the students would probablyague but vocal desire for peace, coupled with an acute oense of

y

nationalist. Host of tho student leedorn are vociferously agelant the goveruacirt aad, given their penchant for desxaaatrationa, would find new opportunities for expressing themselves on the question of nsgotiations. They would be subject to exploitation by Cooatunlst and other groups, particularly by oUddhiat elenenta which uypuedd the axmreaasnt.

9- The only significant legal political parties in South Viet nanthe- tfatlonalist Party of Greateraind the Vi< tiauaeae Hatiooallat Party (VKVCf))are badly splintered, but vould probably oppose any comprceilivc vita the CoBauniats. The opportunistic leaders of the Cao inl and Son Uao, tho territorially-baaed religious sects, are generally opposed to the COaasunlsts, but would probably pose no special problem should the government enter loto ncgo-tUtlons.

II. RaACTIQSS TO KHCOTIATIOaS

10. Despite its deep apprehensions, the balgon govermsetrl would probably hesitate to reject outright the principle of negotiations and thereby alienate world opinion and, more laportantly, aggravate GVS-U5 relations. Instead, it would be more likely to adopt tactics designed to cloud the Issue and to delay tha actual holding of talks vita tbe Conssunists.

11. In resisting US pressures to negotiate, tho South Vietnamese leader* would be aware of tucir ultimate dependence upon They appreciate that without continuing substantial U3 support, tiauth Vietnam would fell to the Cctasualste. At thetine, however, they feel that they have considerable leverage on the US. The totality of thaomadtawnt In South Vletnaa andu In general appears to then to mke it very unlikely that thoould actually cut off Its support to force compliance. The douth Vietnamese leader* also probably calculate that the US dreads the possibility of further governments! Instability in douth Vletnaa and would bo noat reluctant to encourage political elements seeking to oust the present reglce.

IP. As long au doutii Vietnam continued to nake riubstaatlul sulltory progresa agalnat the VC, there would be little disposition among tbe Military loaders to negotiate and thereby scotch th*lr hopesotal victory. On the other band, should the VC gain the military edge, the OVH vould almost certainly refuse to negotiate sine* they wouldrr tnentselvesistinct disadvantage. But If the military situation ittabllired with South Vietnamefinite, though not decisive, advantage, there night be *obq wllllagaess to enter Into talRs with the Coasminlsts. It .this situation, the OVH sight consider talks as an opportunity to force the Conarunlsts to acknowledge Defeat' while at the saae time gaining Increased cocsalron the Ul.

13* Ultimately, however, kxrtk Vietnamese cooperationhe USotiatloon would depend heavily ou the nature ox the US position as the proepectgotistions was explored, and tba degree to which tha U> consulted the GVfl lu advance. If the USough line toward tho CcceBuniste, it would not be difficult to persuade the Sooth Vietnamese to go along. Moreover, if tha South Vietnamese leaders were convinced that theas committed to the long tens protection of Search Vietnam and willing to give pre-commltmeats of continued aid and the like, toe task of bringing then along vould be easier. Ia short, their cooperation would depend upon tha extent to whichelieved that the US position threatened their security and upon the combination of pressures and Inducements which the US Might employ.

la. If tho dearth Vletnancae leaden* felt forced into negotiations under condition: whore they believed the US position tended toward coosprorda. and cooceiolooj, they would resist vigorously. We believe they wouldmndlog and unyielding position on alooat every issue. They would oppose anything that appeared to offer any concession to the Commuoxits, and would present demanda of their own which voulOk in effect, call for VC capitulation. Under these conditions, the GVH would, la our opinion, probably be pleased If the talks floundered and night deliberately set out to wreck them.

ZZI. THE SPECIFIC IJSUEG

Issues preceding actual nogotiotiooe are likely to be tbe questionslre aad of tbe proper role of the Curaeualst national Li be rati on Front (SLF) In the negotiations/ Jalgon vould probably oppose an InrKdlate and formal cease-fire, although It vould probablyacit scaling down of hostilities. It vould not only fear Coanamlst gains by salami" tacticsorml cease-fire, but vouldubstantial drop ia ANVH morale. iVilgon would anticipate substantial Corsninlst sabotage and terrorise: and would probably be concerned that the US would honor the cease-fire as long aa the VC Halted Itself to so*aale activity. Saigon would not vnnt to see either its ova nan's or tbtxc of tbe US tied in countering such VC action. As to the role of the my, the CVS vould be strongly opposed toIt aa an iadependent delegation, and.would agree to auch an arrangesMnt, If aty under very heavyressure. It might, hov--vcr, be more willing to accept soa? faco-savlog formula in which the KLF participated la negotiation! but not, lo theory at least,ull member.

Once negotiations actually began, the GVH would in general oppose any 'concessions to what It vould be Inclined

toefeated Cocaounist cause. Pour specific Issues vould probably cau'ii' the most friction: (a) thelnry presence j (b) CSV old and support of the insurrection aad the PAVa presence inVietnam; (c) the policingease-fire and eettlonsjnti sad (d) the ITU roleost-settleaarnt government.*

17- Saigon vould react very negatively if pressed tourried or fairly complete withdrawal of U3 forces, although it night ogrwo in principle to an eventual US withdrawal with no set time limit. Th* demand that the JHV eeas-its aid and support of the VC .aa withdraw all PAW units from .South Vietnam. Moreover, la any nrrongriaent foreaso-firo or settlement, daigon voul" not bo satisfied vlth vague diplomatic expealiaats but would seek airtight control of Cosaaunliit Infiltration into oouta Vietnam. To tale cod, it voulJ strongly oppose any policing force in which leftist neutralists participatedletursnunist member, as on tfie ICC.

e.ition of reunification would doubtless arise duringut little progress uould be likely onhe OVH might agree in principlenified Vietnam, but vould bitterly oppose any actual steps to-arc1 this end.

-

18. On tbe role of the UFttleu*nt governs-at, ^outb Vletnam'a lendorr* vould probably refuse to dlacuaa Ccnsninlst participation in elections oroalition, vlavion; both possibilitiesetrayal of South Vietnam's basictould thia lasueerioua negotiatingilitary regime might back out of the talks, refuse to accept any agreement, and vow to continue to struggle against the Cotaaunlats on its ova If necessary.

FOR THK is OF aATIJUAL SOTIMATSo:

mama kctt

Chairman

Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA