THE SITUATION IN VIETNAM

Created: 2/21/1965

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

APPROVED TOR RELEASE DATR; COT

THE SITUATION IN VIETNAM

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INTELLIGENCE AGENCYof Current Intelligence5

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INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDUM

The Situation in South Vietnam asd Hours

Political Developments in South Vietnam

There continue to be signs that General Khanh is on the way out, although General Thl statedilitary press conference yesterday that Khanh "at present" remains commander-in-chief. Statements broadcast by both the military commanders and the newly created National Legislative Council contained references to the need for "energetic and efficient leaders" and to "individual and factional ambitions" which may be intended as attacks on Khanh.

No mention of Khanh was made on Saigon Radio's final round of domestic news events yestorda US officials have nowopy of tbe Armed Forces Council's resolution of "no confidence" in Khanh which accuses him ofolicy of "injustice and rottenness" and of creating serious divisions within the army.

Khanh, who reportedly spent the day In Nhn Trang and Pleiku "inspectingelephoned General Westmoreland last night from Dalat, stating that he bad turned the problem of settling the coup and its aftermath over to the Armed Forces Council. He appeared to lack knowledge of what was actually transpiring in Saigon.

Viet Cong Military Activity

press reports state thatCong placed mortar fire on two governmentheadquarters near Saigon late last night.

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The headquarters ofh Division at Due Hoa,iles east of Saigon, was hit; government casualties were reported as four troops killedounded. One regiment of this division waswith the coup forces, and elements of two other regiments joined the rescue forces on the government side. No casualties were reportedesult of the firing on another regimentalat Ben Cat, aboutiles north of Saigon. Only one other small-scale attack was reported, in Quang Ngai Province in the north, but Viet Cong harassing and sabotage activitycontinueselatively high level.

Is no official confirmation soa press reportiet Congin recent fighting near Da Nang, carriedmap of Da Nang airbaseist ofthe base.

Viet Cong Weapons Cache

A preliminary US appraisal of the weapons cache discovered near the site of the Communist vessel sunk off Phu Yen Province indicates that most of the weapons and ammunition are of Chinese Communist or Czech manufacture, exceptmall number of Soviet carbines. All rifles and machine guns had been used and were apparently reconditioned. US officials have told the press that the items were spread over anards, and wereto weigh ons.

A quick count of the equipment showed the following items: ounds of assorted small-armstickounds of Chinese TNT in preparedounds ofmmhinese heatounds ofmm recoilless rifleounds ofmm recoilless rifle ammunition; one Chinese recoilless rifle, two Chinese heavyauserlus Soviethinese submachineguns;hinese light machineguns. Anifles not seen by US observers were reportedly found nearby by Vietnamese forces.

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ounds of assorted medical supplies were recovered. Those came from North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Communist China, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria Japan, East Germany, and tbe USSR.

Various documents, letters, photographs, and medical packages taken frcei the hull of the sunken ship clearly link the ship with North Vietnam. Among thesw documents wore three detailed nautical charts, two of them of the Haiphong and Hong Gay areas of North Vietnam, and the third of the Vinh Blnh Province area in South Vietnam at the mouth of the Mekong.

Communist Political Developments

. The lull in Communist propaganda bearing on the Southeast Asian situation continues.

editorial in the Hanoi dailyn the attempted coup Inonflict between rival "USndwas aimed atthorn in the flesh ofbecause he serves. forcethe Taylor group." The editorial uses the coupto underscore Its view of "the utterlyof.ho, it claims,

are attempting to expand the war to stabilize the political situation in Saigon.

A Hanoi editorial onebruary spoke out at length for the first time on retaliation, noting that this is "an extremely grave matter." However, in contrast to Peiping's statements that the US air strikos across the Demilitarized Zone have given the DRV the right to strike back in self-defense, Hanoi merely reiterated that the "rash acts" of the US imperialists "can only hasten their doom." Hanoi's continuing references to counter-blows from the Vietnamese people in "both zones" strongly suggests that the North Vietnamese are not ready to discard publicly the concept of the demarcation line.

Soviet President Mikoyan repeated stock concern over the situationeplyecent message from the Cambodian Chief of State, Norodom Sihanouk. The Soviet leader expressed "deep concern" over the US air strikes on the DRV in his message,

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was reported by TASS onebruary, Asserting that the strikes are inccmpatable with

law and theagreements, he stated that only respect for the UN Charter and the Geneva agreements can ensure Southeast Asian security.

Communist Military Developments

. No Chinese Communist or Vietnamesedeployments have been detected in

Jhere nre tentative indications thatVietnamese may be planning to augmentof their armed forces.;

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the army from

percent

in accordanceovernment order"concerning military conscription.

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"If such scale it

an order were carried out; could result in an increase ofn the armed forces. The strength of the DRV regular army (PAVN) is estimated atndre believed to be serving in' provincial security forces.

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The Chinese Communists have taken further jteps to improve their air defend* in south China.

Ul-he occupation ofjet fighters last fall,

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20.

21. The Soviet freighter Aseniabin arrived at

sMbWll^SY-* NWam Dinh, Worth Vietnam ong-rrr-nar-w.

It unloaded

tons of unknown cargo on that date, and the unloading was continuing.

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SECRET"

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