PROBABLE REACTIONS TO VARIOUS COURSES OF ACTION WITH RESPECT TO NORTH VIETNAM

Created: 1/2/1964

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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INTELLIGENCE AGENCY OFFICE CF ffiVTIOKAI, ESTIMATES

2 Jaxui&ry

REVISED MeWRANTXIM FOR THE EIRECTOH

SUBJECT: Probable Reactions to Various Courses of Action vitb Respect to North Vietnaa

REFERENCE: yA^-flBHIVjffBfelM Cp-?Un No.fc/TI3EH, lSIc.

ofecember

1. In response to General KrulaX'a repeat, ue assess beiov the probable Ccnxninlst and International reactions topecific operations given us froa ococg those of the referenced Cp-?lan. With oce exception, the given operations are snail unit (South Vietnamese) airborne orsabotage efforts against specific targets (brldgce, railways, ducpa,n various areas of North Vletnac The one exceptionhree cocpaoy (plus) -eldmll Island Just north ofh parallel OZ. All of theperations are part of general KrulaJt'a Phaseo be sounted within aoout four tooths'tice from the Op-Plan's activation. Wo note that except for the Island raid

Thia xccoranduffl haa been prepared vlth the assistanceI and DD/P.

zotei aboveew other ofof these operations

2. In sua, we believe that:

reaction to ooat of the**be alight.

reactions would be sharper inaichongie Eu Tigrehe railroadii near the borders of China (Hoe. would be felt prinnrily in South Vietnaa and Iaoucot be so extrese as to change the character ofthose countries.

operations under review would oat be likelyto appreciably increased Chinese Coaainlst icvolvescct in Neither would these operationsith the possibleof the He <hj Tigre raid lead the Soviet* to believeUS hadignificant change ln its policies.

perations under review, token byeven if all were successful, would not "convince the MTVthat their continued direction and support of insurgent activities

in the RTO (South Vietnam) and lacs should cease"this, according to the reference Op-?lac, being their stated goal.

e. It is possible, hovever, that the North Vietnamese Government night see these operations (especially if that against the He du Tigre were Included) asignificantin the vigor of US policy, potentially dangerous to them. If so, they would probably wish to halt the new developments at an early date, and vculd therefore try to arouse international pressureonference to settle the pxoblen of Vietnamit expandedore general conflict In the far East.

In general, such operations as theerewould probably be viewed with disfavor by coat of our najor allies. Taipei and Bangkok, of course, would probably support the US strongly. British officials in South Vie team vculd probably see these operations' merit and consider then worth trying, but London's reactionparticularly to any international political complaints engenderedwould beby the UK's position ao co-chairman of the Geneva Conference and hence (with the USSR) principal guarantor of the terms ofeneva Accords, which such operations

mimr-rtf

would violate. FZsbm vculd alsoat certainly be opposed to any US/RVN attempt to carry tbe wax to the North, and would probably cause the US the exist difficulty. Canada would probably find it difficult to support tbe US in aay North Vietnamese cocplaints forually submitted to the ICC. If such operations helpedoccunist call for an international, conference, this call would probably find such support elsewhere in the Free World.

g. The principal determinant of DRV prosecution of tho war will not be damage suffered froa such bcall-scale operations, but tbe course of the war la tbe South and the degree of risk Hanoi believes will be Involved In its prosecution.

3. We assess the various operations below, under their designated Op-Plnn categories of I, TJ, or HI. We note, however, that these categories of increased expected dacage to the DRV do not necessarily correspond to what we believe to be increased reactions. We believe, in general, that:

a. Those seall unit airborne and eaxltlce operations not far north ofh parallel (all, that ia, exceptU, andclov, and whethor category I, H, or III) would probably provoke the least response.

EBCIIiia

Eaiphong channel operationndraid agoirat the Ho du Tigre) would provoke

sabotage efforts against theea En/-Lao Kayailroads wouldlittle if any overt response at first, but ifwould probably provoke the Chinese to soreincreased offers of support to the DRV, and attemptsthe Chinese presence in North Vietnam and northernmost Laos.

SPECIFIC RESKCJSES BY CATEGORIES

ARASSDIC OPERATIONS

k. General description. This category includes email, unspectacular demolition operations and small-scale intelligence collection actions, including tactical reconnaissance probes by small allltary units, temporary interdiction of lines ofand general low level harassment. These operations say be launched and effected by land, sea, and/or air.

r.der consideration.*

Interdiction ofboutilesborder byntn team to exflltrata through Laos.

Interdiction ofouthveat of Vinhairdropped teac

Interdiction of Routenan airdropped

team.

Amphibious raid by It-man team on Lyacroea the Rao Da River near Badon.

Amphibious raidmsn team onat south of Dong Hoi River.

Tor mora details, see Annex. The operation numbers are those used inofVTIGER.

essence, operations of thia category have beensince Additional such operations willreactions similar to those prompted by past operations:complaints and spy trials, but little more. Weview expressed in the Op-Plan'shat Hanoi might

beginornal protoot to the ICC. With the Op-Finn, ue think it unlikely that non-Coeauniat nation* or the UX would beerate concerned with operations in this category, and Conramlnt China's reaction vould probably remain confined to denunciations of tbe US and its "puppets."

7. Wc believe, however, that operations launched from Laos against targets veil north ofh parallel and/or operations involving the exfiltrctlon of teams through Laotianperationre cot of the same order as the others in this category. Some such activity is already going on, of course, and if the level and success of present activity ore not markedly increased, Hanoi's reaction is not likely to change In any major respect. On the other hand, should Laos-booed or Laos-exflltratlng teams begin achieving some substantial success, the Communists would probably attempt strong local reaction and would try to seizeor, at least, to destroyhe bases from which such operations vere being mounted, using whatever force was necessary. Should this force require additional introduction of 3orth Vietnamese units into Laos, such units would probably be introduced. The chanceseneral Communist offensive In Laos vould Increase, but this is probably not tba course the North

Vietnamese would initlaUjr follow. Charges of new US intervention would almost certainly be made, especially if the US made extensive use of helicopters or STOL aircraft for infiltration or reeupply. Such charges would probably create additional difficulties for Scuvanna Fhouna and night prompt certain of our European alUea, especially the French, to assert that US actions were jeopardising the LAOS settlements.

CATEGORY. IIATTRITIOHAL OPERATIONS

8. General description. Theae Include small-scale resistance operations, airborne and seaborne raids by small fcrces on important military and civil installations, and demolition of important facilities.

Specific operations under consideration.

man team strike cn Vinh Son

3-ccopany amphibious raid on lieh parallel aboutiles off the JIVN coast).

lU-man team amphibious raid cm securitycoastal defense battery north of Dong Hoi.

IC-nan tcca enphiblcuj raid toorth of Dong Hoi.

nan long-term team forattacks on Lang Son-^anoi railway.

irdroppedan team to operate against Yen Bay-Lao Kay railway northvest of Yen Bay.

10. In accord vlthf the Op-Plan, we believe successful Category II operations will evoke DUV propaganda and complaints to the ICC; but we do not agree with its judgment that the DOT would be likely to respond by requesting any appreciable increase in Chinese material assistance. Hanoi probably would increase the Intensity of Communist activity In Laos, though probably not to the point of launching an all-out offensive. We would not anticipate any major new pressures in the south, since we believe Hanoi and tbe Viet Cong are already doing all they are capable of doing there without changing the nature of the war. However, the Communists might undertake some specific retaliatory measures: ore intensive attacks upon South Vietnam's rail system, increased terrorism aimed particularly at Americana, etc.

11. V* do not believe, however, that all of the operations in this category would produce similar degrees of Coccunist reaction. For example, operations against the Lang Son-Hanoi and the Yen Bay-Lao Xay railways if repeated and successfulare such core likely toharp Communist reaction than operations against objectives in the southern portion of North Vietnam. With respect to the lie duhree-company amphibious assault on aisland overiles off the coastunlike the sabotageailroad bridgecould not be plausibly represented as the work of indigenous dissidents. Whatever be tha uniforms worn by the attacking troops, the Tie du Tigre raid would be construed by Hanoi, and the world,eliberate incursion into North Vietnameseby RVN regular forcesan incursion cade with US consent. Seme traffic and memoranda relating to the Op-Plan suggest tbat the He du Tigre is part of the De-Militarized Zone (tWZ). If this were the case, international political reactionaid against It would be very sharp Indeed. Even if attacking GVN forces could provethat the island had been fortified and vas being used aa an infiltration training and staging basen contravention of tbe Geneva Accordsto the world, the GVN's guilt Inilitary attack against part of the supposedly sacrosanct DKZ

would probably be interpreted aa greater than Hanoi'b guilt in making improper use of this plot of ground. However, we aren:ed Mg^^miHBlM that Che lie du clearly North Vietnamese territory aad is act located within

No specific mention of the lie du Tigre is made ineneva Accords or any of the protocols, appendices end annexes to those Accords. The precise boundaries of the CMS are spelled outuling issued ony the Joint Central Commission for Viet-Kam In accordance with Articles*,,ndf the Geneva Agreement,f the Agreement's Annex,upplementary Ruling ofugust. (The text of the applicable ruling is given in the Department of State's International Boundary StudyViet-Kam 'Demarcation0) The Northern Boundary of the CKZ commences with "An Fast-West line running from the mcuth of the /Sen Hai/8 km north ofo the village of Hence the point on them north of Cua-Tung may be taken as the north-eestemmost point of the EMZ. The lie du Tigre isiles eastiles north (or,irect line, aboutiles northeast) of this point. The Geneva Agreement and its related amplifying documents make no mention of any seaward extensicn of the EKi. Ecwever, even If the "territorial waters" of theere presumed tc be coveredhree mileorwelve mileextension of Its land boundaries, the lie du Tigre would still not fall within its purview.

We understand that the GVN asserts that the island is within the DKZ. In the light of circumstances set forth above, thia ascertion would seem to have no basis.

the me,*

CATEGORYTHITTVE OHiRATIOKS

12* General description. These aro semlccvert resistance/ sabotage actions designed to damage and/or destroy facilities or Installations critical to the economy, industrial development, and internal security of the LRV. These actions include raids by eccpsny or battalion size military or paramilitary forces, airborne or seaborne, sabotage by small teams of important targets, and the active organization, recruitment and employment of resistance move-cents within North Vietnam. Such actions are to be as covert as possible, but the duration of such operations and size of the forces required for their execution cay result ln their becoming basically overt attacks on the Hanoi regime.

13> Specific oremtlons under consideration:

an seaborne team strike (by UET) on dredges and buoy tender in Haiphong harbor channel.

D- man seaborne team strike on Ben Tuy POL dump (near Vlnh) designed to destroy it by use of incendiary rockets.

14. The probably reaction to Category HI operations must be assessedase-by-case basic. Tbe attack on the channel of

Haiphong) vculd probablyociferous response. For soxe time the Viet Cong have teen building their strength in the Rung Sat area along the Saigon River (Saigon's outlet to the sea). etaliatory gesture, Hanoi might order the VC to harasa shipping coming into Saigon. However, this is something the VC are likely to do anyway, if they acquire the ability. Hence aattack upon Eaiphong would not In Itself generate any new threat to Seigcn, though la retaliation the VC would probably Intensify their efforts In this area.

15. uccessful ground attack against the Vlnh POL storage) would probablyarrage of Hanoi, and Peiping, propaganda. Hanoi might try toetaliatory Viet Cong attack in the southn attack against the storage facilities at Nha Be near Saigon). Ths RVN operation might produce seme neutralist grumbling and nervousness, but so long as the attacks were launched by RVN forces on the ground at the time of the attack (regardless of how they arrived in the targete doubt if there would be any Free World reaction likely to cause the US serious difficulty.

FC3 TH2 ECARI) OF NATIONAL ESTIMATES:

KENT Chairman

ANHSX

3

EORTHPERATIONS PRSSaiTLY UKEE3 ACTIVE COKSITERA'ilON

(;tu.mbera keyed totoo

CATEGORY I

(Airops 1)

ofy Abn Spnan team (Appoo OPLAH Zh-6k) and/or Airnan teas.

an teaa for hit-and-run attack onridge (VG) southeast of Cua Rao. Team to exfiitrate into Laos.

Descri-otion of targets: , wood

,

30. (Airopsofy Abn Spnan

team (Appoo OFLASU) and/or Air Ops8-nan tenm-

Alrdrop longan team to operate against bridges and traffic onetveennd iCO .

of targets:

masonry, arch Bridge,', msjonry, arch, masonry, arch

Ferry Point, State of' maeo-nry, arch, undetermined.

, masonry, arch

aaonry, arch

Ford

of Rtey Abn Spmnn

tceu (Appoo OPXAH Zk-6k)

U3. (KarcpfiOps $h, Amphibiousan team,

bridges

Sabotage Ly Hca bridge Vsan team

Description of target. pan, deckof uteel and concreteSE/riW ecrccs the Sao La. 5 feet,

entral span approximatelyeet wide.

Defense. uard tower is located at theSE end of the Ly Hca bridge and it should be notedwatov Patrol Boat base Is locatedon tn the Song Giang approximatelyM frca the Rao La.

mphibiousman team on

Security Post

Sneak attack on security post at mouth of Dong Hoi Riverman team.

- A2

nan

CATEGORY II

3*.

Marcps (Marops 5)

5^. (Airops 2)

SEAL Teaa strike oo Vlnhman teaao OPLAR

Amphibious mid lie du Tigrearineen Co, UDT/SEAL, accompanied by mining of Quang Kfceo toPLAH

"Marmphibiousn strikean boat crew on Security Post.

Raid on security post) and four coastal defense gunsnan team

mphibiousman team, bridges

Sabotageridge

Description of target: , deck type

bridge

bnman teaa on RR.

can long-tern team for hit-and-run attack on Long Son- Enr.oi railway (betweenndll). Teen to remain in area for locg-tera operation.

Description of targets:

Culvert (previous)

Culvert (previous)

- A3 -

ISP l

(Airops 3)

OpsAbno teaa on RR

aa teaa to operate against Yenao Kay railway northwest of Yen Bay. Exact area depends on drop area used.

Description of targets:

Approximately ICO targets ranging froarack railroad siding

II

(KaropeTeas strike on dredges on buoy tender ln

Haiphong Channel (Appoond/or Maran teas.

Sneak attack to destroy channel buoys andaids. Hinlcg Haiphong harbor approaches. Sink dredge or ships. DT swlnnersao boat crew.

DeacriptiOD of target: on, bucket type, barge loading dredges (approximatelyeet) and numerous buoys and navigational lights.

Defenses: In addition to military and security activity In the area it has been reported that the harbor and channel are regularly patrolled by naval patrol craft.

(rtiropsTean strike on Ben Thuynan force

oo QPLAUnd/or Varaa teats.

- Ah -

Incendiary rocket attack on Vino Ben Tfauy POL dump. an team.

Description of target: Veiled POL ctorege areaargerall revetted verticaleaituriedmall horizontal tanks andtorage/support buildings. Pctroleua pier observed on Song Co River south of POL storage area.

Defense: There is likely toight patrol along the length of the river untilhe port of Ben Thuy, which is above the target.

Original document.

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