SPECIAL NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE
short-run outlook for the laotian coalition government
Common Ml Intmtton*
NOTE:Is an advance copy o! lbs mochuQoiw oj thiipproved by tho United SUM* IntalbQcnco Board. The com-pi*ln Mil win ba cticuloUdl ihi* iwuanc*.
APPROVED FDR RElEASf DATE:0
Submitted by the director of central intelligence
The following mtel/igence organlnUont participated inCentral Indigent, Agency
of the Departments of State. Defense. ,he Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and NSA.
Concurred In by the united states intelligence board on2 Concurnng were the Director ol Intelligence and Research, Department at State. The INrec tor. Detente Inlrtlfence Agency: 'he Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence. IX'partmenl of the Army: the Assistant Chief of Navalhe Navy: the ic*of Stall. Intetlvena. VSAF: the Director for Intelligence. Joint Staff, and Hie Director ol the National Security Agency. The Atomic Energy Commission Rtpie-senlatiir lo thend the Assistant Director. Federal Bureau of Incesttgatkm. abstained, the subfect being outside of their jurisdiction.
ClASSIfKATION OF TITU IS OFFICIM USE ONIT WHEN USED SEPAftATElY
SUBJECT: : SHORT-RUN OUTLCOK FOR THE LAOTIAN COALITION
Tr. estmate the :fOP Souvanna Fhoww coalition rovomrcntns aver The iwrt air awnths or oo.
/.. The Souvanna Phouna coalition government has made virtually nc prepress in establishing effective control throughout Laos, let alonets policies. Armd forcoa of the three faction* ronaln in MOtrol oi and adninister the area* tboy held prior to the formation ofr57ernwnt. (Para. 1)
B. The coalition regLae will almost certainly not be abletab-lur. my significant political authority throughout ths country during, the-
period of this estimate. Moreover, the "principle of unanimity" requiring concurrence of the three factions on all goYemaent decisions will prevent or postpone resolution of most key issues. Nevertheless, Soutanna, as the instruaent of both East and Westecrease in tensions in Laos, is not without leverage and assets. (Paras.
coalition government will be forced to seek foreign aidfor economic development, but for the relief of immediate, scutsproblems. it will accept this aid fro* all countries,will probably look especially to theor budgetary andsupport,
Coasuniats will seek to expand their influence and powerwith the ultimate ain of achieving effective control over all To this end, they will nominally support the Souvanna-lsdproceeding toward their goal mainly through political and
will probably continue to cooperate with Souvanna,in the conduct of government. Be will play an importantthe coalition,eto power over those actions of theare distasteful to hin.
7. The Comnrailata will almost certainly sook to retain as many North Vietnamese forces and military advisers in Laos as thej can do with safety. Souvanna will almost certainly be unable to prevent Communist use of southern Laosorridor for assisting the Viet Cong effort in South Vietnam.
n the absence of an acceptable compromise candidateuccessor, Souvanna's disappearance would probably result in an increase in the strength and inflaence of the Pataei ZWKeo Lao Bak 1st (Pl/NLHX)-
II. The Souvanna coalition will probably still be in existence six acnths from now. The longer the coalition is able to stay in existence, the greater its chances for continuance as the now status quo. Nevertheless, Communist influence will contliiue to grow, especially in those areas where the PL has military control, unloss vigorous efforts are made to unify and strengthen the non-Coaaunlst elements in Laos.Original document.