VIENTIANE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Created: 1/1/1962

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

VIENTIANE

1. What ia your aaeeesment of the incraaaa in tho lighting capabilltiaa of the FAL forces that will.have baan brought about during the ceaae Or* and their proapactlva fighting capabilltiaa aa of and of this rainy season, tn thia connection would particularly like yourn:

motivation andto fight.

of improvementproficiency.

c. Quality of FAL troop commanders.

d. . support would be required to provide more effective fighting forceogietica, communication, engineer, air aupport, etc.)

hat ia your asaeaamant of thela the fighting capabilities of the PL during this period?

ia your aeaeaamentrelative atreagtha offoreaa at the end of theease*?

connection withexplicito youextent of current Vietof PL?

Answer

1. Unlikely to be sobatantially greater than aa described la2uly. Ia absence of improved leadership, FAX* will be lacapable of more than delaying action against enemy at that time.

of leadershiplacking In FAL.

bat eteady progresshelp. Overall Improvement

lack leadershipcompetence. There is nosolution to thia.

FAL using foreigna. end provide USMTT'aelements to Battaliona major FALwill hair here andWat methods.

2. Improving tactical positional effecting logistical build-up; morale appears high; has capability of Initiating offensive on all major frontsime and location of hie own choosing,

a. FAL capability will ceatinue Inferior to pro-Communist forces la Leas.

b. VM cadres provided la required numbers: some artillery% VM; semis Baa believed to beVM as spearhead major

FOR REIFASF DATE:D

REVIEWLK- OCUMENT tt

Vientiane (Cont'd)

What Account could FAL give against PL. assuming bo lacruM In current level of VU support. If Phoumi wnre to concentrate his forces in the South trying to hold roughly along tho praaont coma* tirond to mop up PL pockets in S. Looa including Tchepoae area?

c. Concantratlon of FAL in Sooth would an ha nrs capability to delay PL, KL iorcahot no schema of mennuTor can oil aot laadarship weakness of tal.

If you Judgeorcaa Inadequate tor foregoing miho*upplamant to those forces from 3VN and Thai would bo required to do the job?

S. If outside troops era wall trained, wall equipped, and properlyivision with sapper ting combat arena and ado quota logistic support from each of the two coon trioing of efficient flgAUr-eeanbere,roop carrier wing would ho adequate, provided FALhip were Improved,e> support should includecapability. Thn so forces would permit fairly rapid clearing of organinod Communist forces in South, Including VlonrUno area and consolidation operations to suppress PL guerrillas. This response Includes BO reinforcement of Pro-Communiat forcaa la Lena by Stao-Soviet eadro, volunteer a, or combat units, oa assumption which la believed to be unree-listic.

What ara tho current capabilities of Moos and what will ho their capabUltlee by ond of rainy ssnson? Are mora apodal forces man needed for Mao training?

4. Improvement ef Mao irregular forcoa continuing at aatlafaotory pace. Organise tloo deficieneies in hastily armed Moo groups are Wing oorrocted and new areaa opoood for rosnreiiaaont.

These forces wlUeryguerrilla capability If employed In coordlnatlosi with effective regular fore in renewed Vs stUitUs.

To roolioo sauudmum Mao capability, idol lionpecial forescommand aod suff detachmentman fUid training dotachsnenta ara required. This requirement may increase if rscruilmsnt potentialPARU capablUty for stiff suinghould be fully utilised.

If.

Vientiane (Cont'd)

toma

JAllllMHre

ioimi

IC)

Other than. combat foreaa, what level and nature ofupport would be required:

generate sufficientto undertake theabove ?

maxim lee thefor success?

sir aupport (see 3eacedromontbove).

Air support tat

Malntale air superiority

Interdict supply route a

Destroy enemy bases la Laos

Cloee air Support Phouml would undertake ope ration In Southepoae If fllrcumetancee dictated but would continue to hope. support. Ha probably also feels reasonably sure of aupport from SVN and possibly Thai.

certainly.

you aee any special probleme auch aa In command reUtloaships or In planning and Implementation of operationa which might be anticipated given the diveree peraonalitlea Involved?

What arrangements to you think moet likely to be conducive toeffective effort?

What would be the nature and extent. role In providing guidance or direction to this effort?

7. Ia MAAG in Laos adequate In slae and quallficatlona of peraonnel to meet requlrementa Implicit In auch an operation?

Phouml would wish overall commendombined ataff though hie plans so far do not deal with this. Thai and Vletnamai would probably not like thia arrangement la view of their investment in theand their past obeervatioo of FAL efficiency.

A combined staff nominally headed by Phoonoi but. officer as Deputy.

Ituestion whether this would be acceptable to all concerned la the absenct. ground forcss.

7. Headquartera peraonnel sufficient If projected TD la mat. Field represents tic anothereed ataff advisory teen with adequate aupport, and epecial forces personnel will be requiredbove).

WW6

4-

(Copt'dl

8. Additional comminti.

o bold Luang Fxobang would require perhaps another division.

Believe alee ahauld con eider atepe to hold Seyebeury.

BANGKOK

Whato you believe Sarlt would be willing and able immediately to undertake la NE Thailand directed toward deterrence of the development of any guerrilla threat In that area which might be expected to arlae from Laoil nation?

Ia this connection, do you now have any specific recommendations onand nature. aseistance larogram? For example, do you believe Sarlt would be receptive to MAP equipping Thai engineer con-etruction battalion for construction of secondary and acceaa roads?

1. . assures necessary aupport and If Laos situation requires action. Sarlt would probably reorganise sot-up In Thailand foe betteruerrilla aUKW In North and NE Thai which are equally vulnerable to Communist Infiltration. Fir at priority le centralised control for Intelligence and open special security areas.

Measures recommended: Positionand ground foreaa nearrganise Mekong B_ patrol;attalions for specialised warfaresIntelligence effort la NE; train border police.

U.S. toquadron of helosquadron of transports such as Caribou, and field radios. . Army Eng. Construction Battalion because Thai do not have such unit. Roadust adequate: to improve and maintain existing roads Is large and tlme-coneumln Job. . meat also develop airfields for airlift capability, build fieldnd facilities for redeployment of Thais to Northern areas, deploy. Special Foreaa Be. to NE, assist In move of Vietnamese minority to Internment camps provide relief for Lao refugees. Increase political communication capability.

. I.

Bangkok (Cont'd)

Would Sarit be willing taooperative military *cHon with Phouml and Diom do el good to bold roughly along preeont eoaao fire llnoa. mopping up pockota ol PL roalatanca inaos including Tcbepoae? Ifwhat types of support and guarantees would Sarit aapect. ?

I. Sarit would Join. air forcaa also engaged lailitary action In Laos. o Include logistic support of. ground. air support and recooneissence to Laos,. aid as air defense of Thailand,. advisor la ETC combat units tn Laos, and share financial burden. . to make commitment protect Thai unilaterally and outside 8SLA,TO If attacked.

fight la Laos would bo on largo seals, aot mop-up unless partition possible.

IsAG Ln Thailand adequate in si so and quality of personnel to meat the requirements of the action described above?

3. JUShiAGdditional position) now for above pro gram. Quality of per-aonnel under review. JUSMAG not or go ui aad for operational task and seed field headquarter a.

What la your estimate of thoof Thai troops If they ahould bo-come engaged io Joint operation with PAL and SVN aa projectedbove ?

4. Thai capabilities good. Would make good anti-guerrilla showing in Thailand and,. soldiers alongside, would fight well la Laos.

Do you sea any special problems, such ae In command relationships or ln planning and implementation of operations which might be anticipated given diverse peraooaiitlaa involved? What arrangements do you think moat likely to bo conducive to cooperative and effective effort? What would be the nature and extant. role in providing guidance or direction to thla effort?

3. Tho. aeaumee leaderahlp, the less probleme in command anddifferences. Do not believe Thai would accept command by Lao or Vietnamese, aad sice versa. Suggsst Joint InteUlgeaco and pJaaafg aetS/Thei/Laoe/SVN.

Emphasises urgency due to coming di season. Stresses eeed hold Lao PanhandJ and all of Mekong Valley. If not hold,. commitment would be large salvage situation.

SAIGON

our mmibow' ol tho likely scale and character of the Viet Gong effort over coming months ?

rs (C)

2. When are the Vietnamese likely tolan for the systematic elimination of the Viet Cong; and what ideal doss Task Fores Saigon have about whatystematic plan should look like ?

1. VC likely none cuti ate on Increased number email-scale military attacks and political action la all parts of SVN. Stepped-ep action la central VM. and Bear Lao border, and probably In fclsoei area expected. larger scale activity not likely without ocrvtees lacrecee laaid which sot expected. DRV evert aggreaaloa Inhibited by possible XCC action. or SEA TO Intervention. Wc will cmpheclce organisation of national revolution "

VC logistic base cot sufficient to support large-eeale military operationa, but can gain objsctives by successful guerrilla action to frustrate QVN armedo point of bringing aboul coup.

2. Cannot predict when; continue to prees for action. CD? action completed la areas of major command organisation, sad concept of operation. Need statement of objectives, statement of responslbl-litles, machinery for coordination aad execution, detailed annexes supporting concept of operation, annex showing geographic priorities for action and goals for pacification phase a. Plana must be flexible and recogniaefnr military action In ctrong VC

(Cont'd)

3. What arc tho possibilities of further action by Diem'a foreaa egalaaty airdrops? U> by coastal raids? What would be Diam's attitude to aa eeuarged program supported. T

4. la the counter-guerrilla training adequate which ia being conducted? Do we have the. Special Foreaa peraonnel for the

Job?

not Impetuous man. uild Intelligence base andfounds Hon far restrictedsabotage. Ha seeks to avoidany swosnaturc violentwould be repressed for lackeffort from free world. that larger scale attacks uponextend DRV's liberty ofSVN when he has enoughDRV's covert attacks.

ccepted tactic, but fears loss of few qualified pilots available to SVN. Within limits outlined above, he would probably accept an enlarged program, especially If modern aircraft and additional craws provided.

(X) Diem accepts coastal Infiltration of agents. Any program of raids would be evaluated against above con slds rat loos and problems of DRV naval defensec5e tow clacs patrol gunboats).

of traininglies la ARVN makingforces for training. depend enwhich will free morefor talc

Sufficient U. S. Special Forees are available for the Job.

(Cont'd)

5. What would bo the effect upon Vlot Nam troop requirements If Diem were encouraged to push out into Lwoa ia order to control Infiltration Would Diem be willing to Joinooperative action with Laos and Thailand to clean up the Paa-handle of Laos?

r$

la your aaaaaament in Self

of the likelihood that Sarlt would cooperate In auch an effort?

6. Additional comment!.

S. Diem concerned with S. Laoa and wou Ilka to aee clean-up action there. Hie decision to join would have to consider broadening of SVN war and limited avail* able forces to meet current military mean Believe ha wo eld seriously consider some additional forces beyond small number of SVN Special forces and regulars sow engaged la Laos and along Lao border. Such additional forces would be small except might risk commitment larger forces to prevent intensified future VC infiltration through Laos as calculated risk. In latter case, probable only be considered la time frame required ready additional forces already authorised. Should be recognised thatposes possible escalation (from small to slsesble SVN force). In this east keep In mind that the0 increment is assded for Internal counter* Insurgency at present intensity.

Diem might not Insist on actual. forces at outsat of cooperative action but would seek commit ment to send. forces If need developed.

irlt might balk aton Southern Laos as against all of Mekong Valley (or Thaif both operations undertaken, Sarlt would

Join.

6. OVN not capable controlling rugged border Infiltration points. Foresfor this purpose prohibitive. It Is possible, however, control slaeable Communist troop units or supply routs a

(T-

Salpon (Cont'd)

by Location OVN on major ivenun of approach and cm eonamnndlng larrain.

Troop co in mil meats for this purposeuni tactori aaAAGnethoda halt in -

fllt ration which ere long rangm In

andexpocted reduce not atop

in/iltratteaa.

OVN will nova to depend on U.driaory capability to plan for large scale or combined operationa.

Command abould ramaln national, coordinalad. headquarter a. Poa Bible major obstacle might arise la getting agreement. direction. troopo committed.

MOSCOW

What would ba USSR and ChlCom reaction. action in Laos?

1. V ofalid. If Urga Mala hostilltiea resumed. USSR would aesk keep Chi Com out of Laoa by providing logistic aupport them-

rivea, and rely on DRV to provide comb* aupport to PL. However, if operationsthroat to PL, Soviets and Chi Com hava analogous latoraata in eeakingBloc loaa oi praatiga.

Rsfaitaet telegram states USSR would raact. abort ot total war, if oo.ua of situation eould ba placed.

Original document.

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