SNIE 68-2-60 PROBABLE COMMUNIST INTENTIONS IN LAOS (PAGES 3052-3058)

Created: 12/28/1960

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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SPECIAL NATIONAL INTELLIGEf%CE ESTIMATE

PROBABLE COMMUNIST INTENTIONS N LAOS '

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FOR (JEirjcr

ooato

CEITiAL INTELLIGENCE

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SUBJECT'. SHIjO: COMffOST IKTEWICfE UI LAOB

THE ESnMATE

1. Since tht recapture of VI eat lane by Onehounl,activity regarding Laos has hsen vigorous aod deslgDed toroad range of possible future oovaa. Tbe Sovleta haTa airlifted artillery and eraunltlon aad prohsblv torth Tletsaeeee technicians as wll to eupport Kong la and tba Pa that Iao. fathat Lao unite hovs been Instructed to etep up tn litery activitythe country. Soviet, OiXosee, and Jtorth Vletaoceee efforte areufcetootlal logistic buildup lo hay ecDtere of North Vlstnao dsox tba laos border and also em buildup Id Sod taruu. rfseo-vblle, tbe three Cloe capitals hovs charged tbe IE and Thai lend with Intervention aad hovs collsdeoctlvotlon of tht Inte;mtlceaal Control ConrleelociecccvcolDe; of* Oeoeve CcDferscws. Bencd bae epeclfioally declared that foreign LrttsrvsoUoo glvtt than tbe right also to Intervene.

Tba Kong Le forceo, eooctrong, now occupyIn tbe Yang Vleng area astride the nolo route north free Vientiane leading to Luang rrohang oral Xieog lOhcsinng. There ar olaoathet too troops in thlaorje of which are directly Id support of Koag le. Since Phouul's recapture of Vientiane, Soviet planes have beeo dropping substantial occunta (estimated atf equlpcrot and supplies to these troops. although Phoaol 'a force* ore coving forward, be bod not yet followed up Mi Vientiane victory by actually launching on ottetjpt to dislodge the Kong la forcee frcei their new positions. Thua for, the Kong Le forces do not appear to beounter-attoek. Rather, they ntnto be regrouplcg and reorganlilcg whileog Pboucd'a cove, probably hoping that' they can defeatorcee endsychological and cdlltarylo vhlch they could, with tbe help of Pathet Loo forces ond "stay be hinds" lo Vientiane, recapture tht capital. If this plan falls, tbe Kong le force* areooltIon to withdraw to control and north laoe, or toin stall bonds la the surrounding aountaln*.

Thus) for in the current crisis tbe Pathet loo bos beenita aeKts ond leaving the fighting largely to Kong la and hie followers. The eocnint of aliltory equlpaent la Pathet Lao hoods baa increased considerablyesult of dlearning Laotian amy

units In Sao Neua, ofe'e distribution of arm ln ths Vientiane ores, sod Soviet ocJ North Vletnouese direct support. The confusloo ond din organization of the Laotian Amy follovlcg tbe Kong Le coup provided tbe Patbetespite ln which to consolidate Its positions in tbeecruit, and trclc one! deploy its forces ln tbe south as well as in tbe north. Us believe that In tbe futuro tbe Potbet Lao forces vlll be better and nors fully equipped sad better trained sod lea, ss tbe result of eug-tssnttd Sloe aid. Tbe Corxsintsts probably estirevte that with covert assistance tbe Potbet Lao vould be obJe to oolntolD Itself as an effective guerrilla force and to prevent tbe astabllshnerjt of non-CVxaJUCist control throughout Loos.

*. Hwuwfcite, the Ccrawcleta are eoosolidoting their control of Son Sena ra-cwince. Bloc aircraft have been building up supplies in Sod Neuo. We believe-that the rood free Son Neua Intoietnon is being iirproved ond It nay elreoCy be open for vehicular truffle. To counter tbe Doungoveroneot lnSriamist^orilccted govorruent Clalalag to be the Icgnl endgovernijent of Laos ooy be set up at Sao Meus. Tho Cceaunlsts vouLl try to give thisational front flavor and cry to get SouvDnos rbouua, vbao they eontlnus to recognJt* as tba lagal

Prim Wnieter, t* cone to Sea Keuoheed lt. Th*io. trlos would probablyondernrstnt,It is probable- that military elAstntt vcuK ba irfiltroted froo Morth Vletnaa to protect the See feuc orea If wcesoary.

5- Too prion ry interval* of tba OrSBBaVsUt powers lo the Icotian situation ere to prevent tbe coo.oltf.otlonS-bocked racloe in looa, to rotate the Corxxmiet foothold In Lros and to ex-paw! the area of Cccrunlst control- They alsoan excellent opTxsrtuolty to ecborroaa tba IB on the internotiocol aoeoe andravote differences betveen tbe IB and Ita allies, ecpeclelly tbe UK ond Pronoa. In addition, In view of Chlneie canplolnts at tbe recent Itoecow Coherence that Soviet policy lagresnlve, rtoecov will wiah not-to opoeor log&wl le suppconinf.attled pro-Ccrsaunlrt farces. InBloc probably eees the situation a* one In which tb* risks do not appear to be very blab old tbe ravordi night ba cooaldeiobl*. Accordingly, vt believe it olooat certain that Woecow, Pelplng, ond BddoI will be aetivao irt Id the loot Inn el tun tl on.

e believe tbe Conrjurlets will Increase their diplonatlc preaeureBbe IB. Whotetver theirevever, tba Corxcunlats do not wont the lootinr. oituotlon osew rfance to be

SUM Used through International action. thus believeaaunlst dlplonatic activity would be an adjunct to, ratherubstitute for, other action.

7. Both the logistics buildups lc Kcrth Vletoeo and Lace be public rronouncenerrti froo Moccov, Pelplng, and Hanoi conas preparation frc Coosunlst nllltary interventionubstantial scale, cost probably with Borth VlatnaraMf tbe Ccraamlsts were to feel that their efforts In Laos vara -foiling, It la possible that such an intervention would occur. This would ba particularly tbe case If eltable foreign aon-Ccrssunlstforces were introduced and tbe' Cocsaunlet position lo Laos were seriously la approaching any decision to noba amilitary intervention tbe CcnmunlBts would of course ba olndful of tbe risk that the West would aeet action with counteraction. They night, bovever, feel that tbe danger of expanding hostilities could hs held to an acceptable level by asasttjagj ths scale of their Interventionas for exanple Vy using only RVe-th mtnooeee forcesand by undertaking concurrent international political action.

The Direct re- of lute Higenee and Research, Departneot of State, behat tbe last port of tbe sentence abouldr if the Ccaacunlst poeitlon ln Lace, or the Bloc's ra^stlge were seriously threatened." Tba CaDsaanlsts, by their aetiona ond stateoeots hoveeavy lavssteent ot* their prestige In loos. Itoreover, partlyonesouencs of the recent cooferenca of Cco-nunist parties In teaeecw, the fioc is under coos Ida rob la pressure to deciceaetrata the validity of Its coetertion that the "Ispsrtallltl" con no longer suppress revolutionary neve Dents and that ths Bloc eon

ond will suppesrt such DOveosnta.

8. W* believe lt cere likely that tht Bloc laoders wouldthat thtlr longer tetra prospect* art good for gainingIn loot through erOlnpee of th* non-Ccrxwnlstwithout the risk* of overt nllltary Intervention. They pi* Ihe litre that Phourd'e recapture of Vientiane oorkeev phase In a. protracted struggle for Loot. bellevs that the Dice course la supporting tht Kong Le andforce* vlll bt dote mined largely by the developing rxLlltarysituation. Bloc aidla tb* fore of airlift,and svppliss, tecbnlolnne, and probably selectedwill be governed to *od* txteet by tb* aatur* andUS old to tb* Laotian Gov* recent and will olnoet car toigh level far tb* Irradiate future. Bloc leaders .

thereby to preserve and strengthen Ccexxinirt nllltary and para-olUtory assets inp Lao*tot* of civil war, to keep tb*eeply Involved lo tb* difficult task of containing cohesiverea* lo being, and to exploit opnortunl-tit* to odvunce tht Corrxiaist caiww a* they arise.

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