THE SITUATION IN VIETNAM - INFORMATION AS OF 0600

Created: 3/22/1965

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

Information as05

PREPARED FOR THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL FURTHER DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS NOT AUTHORIZED

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office of Current Intelligencearch5

intelligence memorandum

The Situation in Vietnam as0 EST

The US Air Strike ofarch

AboutS aircraft struck the Vinh Son radar site in North Vietnam at0 local VietnamST) onarch. All planes returned safely, excepthich crashed into the sea. The cause of tho crash is The pilot was recovered safely. Initial pilot reports indicate that the results of the raid were "excellent."

Initial field reconnaissance reportsthat thearch South Vietnamese striko against the Vu Con barracks in North Vietnamfive buildings in tho target area. The target contained someuildings ln all.

Bloc Political Developments

The Communist bloc capitals have roundly scored thearch South Vietnamese attack, but do not advance any new or different themes in their propaganda treatment of tho situation.

On the political front, the Chinesehaveow move apparently aimed at bringing pressure against tho US to halt Its air strikes against North Vietnam and at encouraging French hopes for negotiations on Indochina.

5. The US embassy in Paris has been informed

iou Jin-lai hi

lengthy discussion wnn French ambassador Paye onarch during which tho Chinese Premier declared

onference on Vietnam is impossible at this time because of US air strikes against the DRV. He urged that Franco and the Geneva co-chairmenwith the US to halt the attacks. Chou than suggested an "examination" of Prince Sihanouk's plan callingew Geneva conference on Cambodia with subsequent talks on Laos and finally on Vietnam.

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irmness" displayed by Chou tbe Chinese are afraid of USw^rJ_PjB"fffffflHHBFjfflP^HBV

ayo ovldcntly believes that US bonbing of Nor'thvietnam is having an effoct on Communist China and he apparently interprets Chou's remarks as an indication that tho strikes may bo pushing Peiping toward the conference table.

indicate prepared

Gaulle may believe that Chou'seal possibility that the Chinese arc now

positon on

Pelplng's note to the Cumbodianonarch may have been intended to backstop Chou's demarche to the French ambassador. Itthe proposal made at the Indochlnese People'i Conference in Phnom Penh for an Internationalto guarantee the neutrality of Cambodia and halt "US aggression" there.

10. The note carefully avoided, however, any suggestion of supportonference to discuss

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either Laos or Vietnam. It denounced US "military Intervention" in these countries and condemned bombing attacks on the DRV, but declared that peace could be achieved in the area only when the "Indo-chinese people" unite to drive out the "American aggressors."

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is undoubtedly anxious to haltstrikes in North Vietnam. The Chineseto generate international pressure onthis end by implying

that negotiations might oene attacks on the DRV. There is no indication, however, that the Chinese are prepared as yet to pay anyprice to achieve tbls goal.

En-lai's ambiguous reference toconference plan suggests at most thatmay be anglingeries ofwhich might tlo the hands of the USCommunist forces in South Vietnam free totheir campaign against the Saigon government.

Chlncse discussions

early this montn suggei was considering an initiative along these lines. During private talks, tho Chinese reportedlythat Communist China might take part ln an international confrence if it wero convened without preconditions. They noted specifically thatwould not Insist on prior withdrawal of CS forces from South Vietnam as the prico of such talks, but would be unwilling to condition aon cessation of DRV support for the Viet Cong.

Bloc Military Developments

No significant military deploymentswith the Vietnam situation have been noted in North Vietnam, Communist China or the Soviet Union during the past twenty-four hours.

The Soviethich arrived in Hanoi onarch, is apparently still there. oviethich arrived on the same day apparently carried Soviet and East European bloc personnel to attend the Tenth Ministerial Conference of the

Railway Cooperative Association of the Socialist countries. Tho arrivalhinese Communistn North Vietnam onarch was probably alsoto the conference, since press sourceshinese delegation is present.

Viet Cong Military Activity

No major Viet Cong actions have beentoday as the Communists continue to emphasize small-scale but widespread guerrilla activity in the countryside.

Police investigation of terrorists arrested Saturday for possession ofounds of explosives hidden in their motor scooter has led to the discovery of anotherounds of plastic explosivesouse in Saigon. Meanwhile, two grenade incidents were reported in Saigon and Da Nang respectively, but no damage or serious injuries were sustained in either case.

Two motorized junks aboutiles off Blnh Dinh Province onarch firedietnamese observer aircraft which had sighted them.flghtor aircraft subsequently strafed the junks, disabling one while the other escaped. The disabled junk is being towed to shore. No other detailB are available at this time.

According to unconfirmed press reports, two battalions of South Vietnamese troops werebyelicopters today againstiet Cong aboutiles from Da Nang. The area reportodly had previously been softened up by. and South Vietnamese aircraft. Ifthis action would mark the largestoperation thus far in the South Vietnamorps.

South Vietnam Political Developments

of significance has beenthe lastours.

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