COMMENT ON CERTAIN QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE SITUATION IN LAOS

Created: 6/27/1964

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE 1GEHCI

CfTICZ OF KAttONdL ESTHAXES

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MSiORANDIM FOR THE DIRECTOR

SUBJECT: Consent on Certain Questions Relating to the Situation

in Laos.

1. The State Department has requested answers to three questions, as set forth below, relating to the situation in Laos. The following represents the opinion of analysts from this Office, from OCT, em DD/P.

A* What is the likelihoodaihet Lao attack on Huong Soul under present circumstances?

It is impossible to estimate, on this question with

any confidence, but we bellevo that, the chances of such an

attack at some time in the fairly near future are slightly

better than even0 Ve know of no evidence ofL/VM

military build-up as would indicate an intention to make an

early attack, bat notffluchuild-up would be necessary*

Our estimate Is based on more general grounds, namely (a) that

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aa attack on Huong Soul wouldeasible retaliation for8 bombings, especially if these should continue, and (b) that Uw PL/VH may wish tourther the military capabilities of the Koug Le neutralist forces, and to streigthen tho Communist position for any future negotiations that may take place*

B. What is the likelihoodl/VM attack on Huong Soul If the contemplated RIG operation north of Vang Vieag is undertaken?

In this circumstance we believe that the Pl/VX forces

probably would attack. They have frequently demonstrated both

their disposition to react with force against any neutralist

military initiativea, and their ability to do ao with success.

G* L/VM attack does take place, what is the likelihood that the ELG forces would be destroyed under the above hypotheses?

L/VM attack were launched against forces presently in Huong Sooi, it ia probable chat the latter would be defeatedew days and forced to withdraw.

l/VH attack occurred after the proposed RLQ operation took place (and assuming that the operation succeeded), there

is probably about an even chance that RLQ forces could hold their position at Huong Soul, at least for some time.

(c) UT RLQ foreea were defeated la either of these cases, it is likely that tha units would not be destroyed but would straggle away to the south and in time be reformed.

Sherman Kent Assistant Director, National Estimates

2. The abore viewa are given with no fira Indication yet at hand of the effect8 strikes on the capabilities and Morale either of the Pl/VM forces or of those of the RIG.

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