THE SITUATION IN VIETNAM

Created: 3/19/1965

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

approveq for release

situation in vietnam

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

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office of Curront Intelligence5

INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDUM

The Situation in Vietnam as0 EST

The US Air Strikes on Phu Van and Vinh Son

S Navy and Air Force planes struck the Phu Van ammunition depot and the Phu Van and Vinh Son supplyilos north of thezone5 local VietnamST) onarch.

According to preliminary reports, all buildings in the Vinh Son depot were hit. No aircraft losses have been reported.

The Phu Van ammunition depot contains storage space for an estimated five percent of stored ammunition in North Vietnam.

The attack aircraft were tracked by both Chinese Communist and North Vietnamese air defense radars. About five hours before the attack some Southern Fleet units of the North Vietnamese navy were alorted. They were told that "according to news, the enemy would possibly execute bombing operations."

At least throe Communist fighters were scrambled from Phuc Yen airfield noar Hanoi, apparently in reaction to the strikes. Their closest point of approach to the US aircraft was aboutautical miles.

Recent photography of the Quang Khe naval base in Northby the South Vietnamese Air Force on 2thatuildings were destroyed andthers were probably damaged.

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There have been no significant Sovietstatements in the pastours, but Soviet

M have their grav^^conceriioveT^tTTe^coiiYse of US policy in Vietnam and its implications for Soviet-US relations. The flavor of these talks also reflected Moscow's appreciation of the limited leverage it has in the present crisis.

senior Sovietformer New York Govern'

as many as half its aircraft in futureon North Vietnam. The official asserted that the next strike US losses would increasea following raid losses might be as high as one-third;

andhird raid they might reach one-half.

official expressed deep concern thatmight extend into Communist China. Heunder these circumstances the USSR would haveout its treaty obligations or lose all claimof the Communist bloc. He urged thatsummon Ambassador Dobrynin for talks. official even hinted that the Brezhnev teamremain in control of the Kremlin if it couldabout attalemate in Vietnam.

another approach, the Soviet army attache

in London told his US colleague that the longer and more deeply the US became involved in the Vietnam situation, the more difficult would be the possibility of reaching an honorable agreement. He called the situation "most serious" and said that the Soviet government wasthat the conflict would spread.

clearest North Vietnamese statement that negotiations are Impossible at presentin the party daily newpaper on IS March. denounced the Tito-Johnson exchange ofa negotiated settlementpeace farce." that "there can be no question of negotiatingUS imperialists once they have openly declaredof their aggressive war in South Viotnam andof the war to North Vietnam, and areso."

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Hanoi statement added: "To solvo thoproblem thenggresslvo war and withdraw all US troops from Without these conditions, no question can The statement bitterly denounced Tito as a

US "stool pigeon."

Peiping's latest comment on deployment of South Korean troops to Vietnamomewhat less threatening line than the Initial Chinese reaction in Janunry. An article in People'h Pally onarch charges that tho novo is evidence "that the US has "gone farther down the path oforean-typo war" but avoids any implication that Peiping is considering countermeasures.

The article asserts that the US is unable

to command support of most of its allies and that only "flunkeys" such as the South Korean leaders can be counted on to provide "cannon fodder" in exchange for "payment in dollars."

Communist Military Developments

unusual North Vietnamese, ChineseSoviet military moves have been noted in the past

16. It now appears that only one Sovietanchedulod to fly to North Vietnam.

It ho id is

to return to Irkutsk onarch. Whether this flight ls rolated to the possible delivery of Soviet oqulpment to North Vietnam cannot be determined.

Yrs that two Soviet an-iz aircrart might ny tonow believed to have reflected confusion on the part

of the North Viotnamese civil air personnel as to the

type of aircraft Involved.

18. Hanoi radio announced onarch that special committees have been set up to ensure adequate water and rail transportation under conditions of air and sea attacks on North Vietnam. The broadcast claimed that small boats have already been armed to assure continued coastal transportat ion.

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of this station, aboutiles southeast of Sam Neua, and the area it covers indicate that it could provide back-up for some stations in North Vietnam. This station could also provide the DRV air defense systemecondary means of reporting hostile flight activity over southern North Vietnam should tho Vinh center became inoperative.

Vietnam Political Developments

Premier Quat has told the US Embassy that the three detained leaders of apeace movement are to be taken today to the demilitarized zone with reporters present and ordered toridge into North Vietnam. An officialorps, where the prisoners are now held, stated that the government has authorized revocation of its expulsion order if the three appear, under interrogation, to be sincere nationalists.

orps official, who has heard reports that North Vietnam intends to exploit tho three for ajor propaganda campaign, believes South Vietnam should allow them to repent at the bridge and launch its own publicity campaign on their unwillingness to go north.

The US Ambassador: has approved an ARVNfor crop destruction in northern Blnh Dinh Province, the largest such operation to date. An0 villagers live in the target area. the Viet Cong may not allow tho population to evacuate, the embassy recognizes that their resettlement could add to the already serious refugee problem in the province. Despite this, however, US officials believe

the crop destruction program, scheduled to begin onarch, is justified by the serious military situation in the province.

Viet Cong Military Activity

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There have been no significant Viet Cong attacks

reported in the pastours. Press reports

HTTiniM the Viet Coufc- are massing acK^Da^Nangrmo^quang Tri, but MACV has no confirmation

in Saigonrenade thrownruck carrying American military personnel wounded four US servicemen and four Vietnamese civilian bystanders.

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