united states intelligence board memorandum
RECENT INDICATIONS OF COMMUNIST INTENTIOI IN SOUTH VIETNAM
SubmiMpd by th* DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE
n byUNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD
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Tha following inhtlUganta ofpaniiofioojha preparation of mil tttimotti
Tha Comal latolllaancaand tha aitalllaanca orfanteoKoni of ft*arih otm, and NSA.
DtroOor o* hiMlligoiKa and HWoOTch, DoearfoMAt alor, Datatrn ImalkooiKa Agor^ Dlroefoc of tha National Wtiirty AflOMy "
TWn^trii.lan RkftratantotW* ta ma USha Am iionr to tha Director, Fadafal Ivraov a* Ifnooilfoflon, th. Kftjottovf ilda
of thalr lutltdktlan. % . .
subjb3t: rechft ihdicattobs of ccmgwist dftsbttohs ib sooth vtetkah
during the pest three weeks ccmunlst powers haveumber of statements threatening increased participation in the vietnam conflict. onarch the viet cong political arm, the rational liberation front of south vietnameclared that, "if tbe iis imperialists continue to send their troops and the troops of their satellites into south vietnam and to expand tbe war to the borth and to laos, the blfsv will call upon ths world peoples to send troops and youths to come and side with tha south vietnamese people." it went oa to threaten to call on the southwho have been lo the borth "for the past tea years to return to take up weapons to exterminate the enemy and save their country."
the chinese ccomninlbtb responded onarch pledging to send "all necessary material aid" and declaring readiness "to send our own men whenever the south vietnamese people want tbea." onarch peiping for the first time directly linked the south vietnam situation to china'a security, stating that following the os "aggressions" against borth vietnam "its next step will be aggression againstnd that china's
security -in only be assured by driving the US out of South Vietnam. Tflrough various spokesmen Peiping has several tines repeated its pledgeB of help to tbe Viet Cong.
3- Onarch Horth Korea also responded by officially offering to send volunteers If requested. It has attempted to heighten the effect by publicising the numbers of citizens It claims are volunteering for Vietnamese service.
b. Hanoi hasittle core restrained than Peiping, although it has given full publicity to the HUSV statements. Although not specifically threatening to send Borth Vietnamese troops, Hanoi has supported the Proofs threat to call on "regrouped" Southerners to return to right vitfa the Viet Cong. Hanoi has organized an extensive propaganda campaign to publicize the readiness of the Southernero to return and to mobilize the northern population "to be reedy to fight anywhere needed." Hanoi has also widely publicized offers from Chinese and other foreigners to fight in Vietnam.
5. Moscow has beeo comparatively reticent.. Although It promptly published brief reports of the HLFSV appeal for material aid and Its reference to foreign troops. It made no comment on the appealpril, when roeygin seld that it hadpositive response"
in the Soviet Union. Sincearch Moscow commentators have frequently noted the readiness of Soviet citizens to volunteer to go to Vietnam, but they have not linked this to the HUSV appeal. Moscow has instead stressed the importance of its material aid to the DRV.
Of the whole range of Coraaunlat statements, none Bakes an Immediate commitment to direct intervention. Material aid, including weapons. Is promised, but personnel are promised only If the Viet Cong needs aod asks for them. Vs believe such statements are designed to bolster the morale of the Viet Cong and the DHV in the face of stepped-up US pressures and, more especially, to deter the US from extending its bombing and increasing Its forces in the area, nevertheless, their viUlafoiese to go as far as to threaten intervention suggests that the Communists are prepared to take some further steps to fulfill tbelr warnings with token numbers of "volunteers" from other Communist countries.
Ia order to deter the US and to stimulate International and domestic pressureshange in US policy, the Communists, particularly tbe Chinese, are seeking to raise the spectreorea-type war. Actually, at this stage, the Chinese Communists have less reason to intervene In Vietnam than they had in Koreaears ago and more reason to fear the US reaction if they should do so. The Coamntnists almost certainly believe that the best way to advance their cause Is to prevent farther US escalation of the war and to press their advantage In the South.
Is apparently exactly what the Ccvmaunists are doing: threats in the hope of limitingarticipation in thaare preparingcres Bed military activity in South Vietnam. the obligation to send personnel will probably be used to justify
the introduction of foreign military technicians, and any PATH unitsto the South could be called "regrouped Southerners returning fro* the Borth." Considerable numbers of foreign specialists may be introduced into forth Vietnam In ccning months, but very few are likely to Join the Viet Cong In tbe South. The Asian Ccmmrariists (especially those in Peiping) are both sensitive and arrogant; they could be provoked into irrational actions. On balance, however, in the absence of other indicators, we believe that the recent Communist threats do notorean-type intervention now.
more immediate military threat lies In South Vietnam,believe. In the northern part. There bas been clear evidence inof an accelerated buildup of Coawuniat forces in this region. have been brought in from other regions and there is considerableregular PATH units nave been introduced into Western Eontuaof regular PATH units would indicate lessened concern
he part of the DHV to conceal its involvement In South Vietnam. This buildup in capabilities almost certainly indicates an intention to undertake offensive actions of greater scope and significance than
hitherto attempted in this area. The security situation in this area has so deteriorated that an accelerated sustained effort by the VC, or an attack on aoae key point, could have grave consequences for the QVH. 3ueh an attack couldnst any oneumber ofontum, Ban He Thuot, Qui JThon, Pleiku, Hue, or Da Hang.
10. Communist forces are currently building up in two areasnear Hontum and near Da Hang. The approaching southwest monsoon will handicap OS/OVH air activity in areas west of the coastalontum. The coastal strip east of the range, however, will become relatively clear and dry during the same period. Consequently, Communist forces concentrated for an attack on Da Hang or Hue would be more vulnerable to air strikes.
U. The bulldap in northern South Vietnam has been In progress for at least six months, and It may be that preparationsajor attack will continue for some time to come. For this reason and because of the wide range of possible targets, we cannot predict either where or when such an attack Is most likely to occur.Original document.