Nation Building in Vietnam
Nation Building in Vietnam HIST 2340W
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Popular in History
This 13 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amaris Mae on Tuesday April 14, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 2340W at George Washington University taught by Brazinsky in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 78 views. For similar materials see History of US Diplomacy in History at George Washington University.
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Date Created: 04/14/15
Nation Building in Vietnam and the Vietnam War 1919 Vietnam was a colony of France France s partial dominance has started to arouse resentment against colonial rule Woodrow Wilson had made his call for natural self determination World War II Vietnam was overrun by Japan France was gone Vietnam fought against colonial power ofJapan Same enemy as the US So they hoped the US and other allied powers helped 1945 calls for an independent Vietnam September 2nCI 1945 Ho Chi Minh declares the independent public French Objects Create a French Union in Southeast Asia that would include Cambodia Lao and Vietnam Limited autonomy for French colonies but no real independence e All there countries would remain comicay and optically dependent on the metropolis FDR was ambivalent on this Became increasingly cognoscenti of the fact that if tensions between the US and the USSR would continue to grow FDR would need French aid So he vaccinates Truman is even less ambivalent on the issue Truman wants to allow France to regain control of IndoChina Truman see HoChi Minh39s ambitions as a danger to the US Boa Dai New ruler founder French control Truman supports this arrangement Like a viceroy French control the cities And the Vietnam gain control over the country side US give aid to downplay the Vietminh Fall of Dine Bien Hu Trump for the Vietminh Led to negotiators between the Vietminh and the French What enabled the Vietminh to be so successful Much as the PRC came to the aid of North Korea they were also aiding the Vietnam nationalist Strengthened the Vietminh strategically Geneve Conference Participated in by Britain France the USSR PRC and several of the countries of SEA Vietnam was decided to be divided 2 military zones Vietminh would control the north France would control the south However elections would be held for the entire country in 1956 Also decided that Cambodia and Laos would be permanently neutralized Neither south nor North Vietnam could arrange alliance before 1956 elections Eisenhower became president Worried about what was going on Vietnam Ngo Din Diem Needed to nd a leader with nationalist credentials and was anticommunist Was also catholic CIA helps to climate oppositions Money for administrative and police training Emergence o the Viet MinhViet Cong JFK and Vietnam Decided there needed to be a new direction Wanted to suppress the insurgency and reduce the appeal of the Viet Cong Turns to the idea of Modernization 0 Would foster nationalism Make people more loyal to the government Create bonds between the government and the people Looks to create change RostovTaylor Mission Not everyone agreed with it Chester Boles Increase US aid More skilled US advisors in the administration and military Strategic Hamlets To make communism less appealing A program that involves moving villagers into strategic hamletstown lets So they wouldn39t be subject other in uence of the Viet Cong To protect and isolate the villagers from Viet Cong propaganda Encourages selfhelp projects quotTeach the villagers to build bridgesquot Problems People didn39t like being uprooted Dram government was corrupt too Vietcong was able to corrupt full hamlets as opposed to widely dispersed people Kennedy reaction Failure of the strategic hamlets Failure of the counterinsurgency efforts But decided there wasn39t anything wrong with what the US was trying to do Decided it was Dram39s government that was the problem Especially after the ring upon Buddhists Dram39s Assignation Does the US stay in Vietnam Yesno Tonkin Incident August 1964 US Patrol Boat Maddox LBJ is asking for a carte blanche for military force LBJ Tonkin Gulf Resolution China Factor Rise of tnesions with Chian China proactively attempts to spread Maoism AMericanizaiton Send more troops in Little congressional over sight Not sure if we supported the war Tet offensive had damaging pysholgicla effect Hundreds of thousands of American troops LBJ took a very different approach to Vietnam from Kenedy Antiwar moemvent 0 People dind39t like the US trying ot shape the rest of the world in its image Questioning americna exepctinalism 0 General Edward G Lansdale to Vietnam 1961 General Developments in South VietNam over the past year indicate a trend that is adverse to the stability and effectiveness of President Diem39s government Beginning in December 1959 and continuing to the present there has been a mounting increase throughout South VietNam of Viet Cong terrorist activities and guerrilla warfare This activity has included armed propaganda and lea et distribution taxing of the population for food money and medicines kidnapping and murder of village and hamlet of cials road and canal ambushes and armed attacks against agrovilles land development centers Civil Guard and Self Defense Corps posts as well as small army units Through the use of these tactics current Viet Cong military and political objectives are the overthrow of the Diem Government Their immediate objectives are to eliminate any semblance of GVN control in rural areas particularly the Mekong Delta and establish socalled quotliberated zonesquot b Political Politically discontent with the Diem Government has been prevalent for some time among intellectuals and elite circles and has been rising among the peasantry and to some extent labor and urban business groups Criticism of these elements focuses on Ngo family rule especially the roles of the President39s brother Ngo Dinh Nhu and Madame Nhu and the in uence of the clandestine Can Lao political apparatus of the regime An even more important element in the political situation is the criticism of the President39s leadership within government circles including the of cial bureaucracy and the military In the past such discontent and criticism had been centered on Diem39s brothers Ngo Dinh Nhu and Ngo Dinh Can as directors of the allegedly corrupt Can Lao Party Further aggravating many of the government39s problems is the active and partly successful campaign of the Viet Cong to discredit President Diem and weaken the government39s authority through political subversion as well as through military action Among other factors making this possible is the void between the GVN and its people which stems from the failure of the GVN to communicate understandably with the population and in reverse the lack of an effective mechanism whereby the people can in their terms communicate with the GVN Taking advantage of this lack of effective communication and the GVN39s inability to protect the people the Viet Cong has had considerable success in sowing disaffection and disrupting effective administration of the government among the population This is especially true in the Capital lst and 5th Military Regions Viet Cong successes in these regions are due to the large number among the population who whether out of terror or sympathy give support to the Viet Cong Aided by this situation the Viet Cong is striving to establish a political apparatus parallel to the GVN Below province level in the 5th Military Region no effective GVN control exists in many areas The Viet Cong are increasing the void by taxation terroristic acts and attacks on Self Defense posts assassination of village and provincial officials and simultaneously a systematic development of the Viet Cong political apparatus to ll the void In view of the above conditions the principal task facing the GVN is restoration of individual security c Military Military force in the form of increased communist insurgency is clearly the major immediate threat to the stability of VietNam today South VietNam is unique in that it is the only country in the world which is forced to defend itself against a communist internal subversion action while at the same time being subject to the militarily supportable threat of a conventional external attack from communist North VietNam The RVNAF force basis is inadequate to meet both these threats2 2See two last sentences of penultimate paragraph of covering despatch for Ambassador Durbrow39s views on this subject Footnote in the source text Regarding these views see footnote 1 above The problem is twofold although at present the counterinsurgency phase is the more dangerous and immediate In this counterinsurgency ght RVNAF is on the defensive Approximately 75 of ARVN is committed to paci cation missions about half of these being committed to static guard and security roles The military chain of command has usually been violated at the expense of unity of effort and command No adequate operations control or overall planning system presently exists although signi cant progress has been made in the development of military plans The President has exercised arbitrary control of operations bypassing command channels of the jGS and often Corps and Division staff Resources have been fragmented to provincial control The above practices appear to have been designed to divide responsibility in order to guard against the possibility of a military coup through placing too much power in the hands of a single subordinate The guerrilla problem has become much more serious than the Civil Guard can manage thereby requiring a disproportionately large RVNAF commitment which has further resulted in a serious weakening of the RVNAF capability for defense against internal or overt attack in force Rotation within RVNAF and Civil Guard cannot be accomplished regularly Many units have been on operations for a year or more without relief because RVNAF strength is insuf cient to permit an adequate rotation policy and to conduct adequate border and coastal surveillance Many troops are battle weary in a state of low morale and in need of recuperation and training Notwithstanding the above de ciencies GVN plans have recently been developed for the RVNAF Command Control and Logistic structure which upon implementation possibly in the near future should correct major de ciencies if adequate military strength is provided The complete divorce of command control from logistics support in the eld has resulted in a lethargic and cumbersome requisitioning and supply system Requisitions from tactical units even below division level must be submitted through channels to agencies of the Defense Department in Saigon with consequent red tape before issues can be authorized and deliveries effected Reorganization plans being developed will establish quotLogistic Commandsquot in place of present military regions and under operational control of their respective Corps commanders thus enabling tactical units to followthrough on deliveries against their requisitions The poor and in some regions nonexistent communications systems and road net are primary logistics obstacle obstacles in VietNam Although the President has continued to make strenuous efforts to improve the road net military movements must continue to rely on light more mobile systems and airlift for the foreseeable future Implementation of the concept of light mobile logistic support with pack supply suitable to mountain trails is urgent if RVNAF is to take offensive against insurgency Some elements of desirable counterinsurgency actions have been recommended piecemeal to GVN and RVNAF authorities These elements have been incorporated herein in order to form a comprehensive and coordinated plan for counterinsurgency actions President Diem and RVNAF military authorities appear to be receptive to signi cant improvement of the national military establishment and some of the actions contemplated by this plan have actually been taken and others are under consideration by the RVNAF authorities The GVN39s plans for implementing counterinsurgency measures are progressing at an increasing tempo concurrently with the preparation of this counterinsurgency plan It should therefore be read with the thought that some elements may already have been implemented or may be in the process of implementation The current military intelligence capability of the RVNAF is inadequate to support the critical intelligence requirements of all echelons of the armed forces Although the GVN has recently agreed that improvement is needed the intelligence agencies of GVN are not now adequately integrated with the various military and quasimilitary intelligence systems The processing of military intelligence is too slow for timely tactical reaction The major reason for this slow intelligence responsiveness is the total lack of an adequate civilian communications system in the provinces While the military command communications system is frequently the best in an area it is often inadequate overcrowded and not comprehensive enough for antiinsurgency intelligence gathering and disseminating needs d Economic The economic health of the country though not robust has been improving rapidly In the future if current economic trends continue and the economy is not further disrupted by adverse security developments the economy will be able insofar as physical wealth is concerned to provide for the consumption needs of a growing population and at the same time to nance a steadily increasing proportion of local military costs and could under favorable conditions meet essentially all these costs Along with lack of con dence in the future a principal deterrent to economic progress is the avowed and effective VC campaign for the systematic sabotage of the public works program including progressive destruction of lines of communication structures agrovilles and the like when left unprotected by Civil Guard or ARVN units For the rst several years after institution of direct US aid to VietNam the aid level was determined primarily on a budgetary gap basis but early in 1959 this was shifted to a balance of payments basis Since exports plus aid received exceeded imports sizeable foreign exchange reserves were accumulated The increase in reserves together with the GVN39s reluctance to tax the wealth accumulating in private hands has led to a large money supply and an increasing budgetary de cit which could cause in ation Distribution of income is very uneven with rural population receiving little of the bene ts of an expanding economy a fact which is believed to bear on their lack of positive support for the GVN The earlier US Country Teamapproved military budget of 60669 million piastres for 1961 does not include various GVN proposals relating to the military and security forces The budgetary aspects of these proposals will be fully discussed in Appendix IV to Annex C which will be submitted separately The several proposals in this counterinsurgency plan see table on following page will further increase the costs of the GVN39s military and related budgets for security forces by perhaps as much as 4788 million piastres In subsequent years if the 20000 force level increase is fully realized annual costs of the Counterinsurgency Plan proposals will be about 8769 million piastres In addition a number of other suggestions have been accepted by the GVN such as subsidization of rice prices to peasants which will further increase nancial pressures Still other suggestions have been made such as establishment of a system of payment for corvee labor and institution of a system of subsidies for agroville inhabitants which if accepted by the GVN would add even more too budgetary costs The economic chapter being developed for separate submission will a provide further details on cost b estimate the effect of these costs on the total budgetary de cit of the country c suggest means of nancing this de cit and d suggest certain economic activities to help counter Communist insurgency e Summary In view of known communist objectives in SVN the known general situation and the dangerous political and military situation if the GVN does not take immediate and extraordinary action to regain popular support and to correct the organizational and procedural weaknesses which contribute to the growth of the Viet Cong power the Viet Cong can cause the overthrow of the present GVN government in the months to come b Enemy Forces See Current Intelligence Estimates c Friend y Forces 1 US See current Operations Plans US administration and logistic support to GVN will be coordinated by the Ambassador with the coordination of military logistics support to RVNAF the responsibility of Chief MAAG 2 GVN has an active military force of 150000 spaces and an unorganized pool of about 120000 prior service reservists The major elements of the active force are three Corps headquarters seven reduced strength Infantry Divisions one Airborne Brigade a Ranger Organization of approximately 9000 token Air Force and Navy support to include three Marine Battalions and subminimal logistic support units A Civil Guard Organization was placed under the operational control of the Department of Defense by Presidential decree early in December 1960 and will commence training on January 3 1961 on a twentyfour week training cycle Action is being taken to furnish MAP support to 32000 of the Civil Guard Force of approximately 60000 There are no approved plans for adding regular units to the 150000man force now in existence However President Diem has consistently stated his urgent need for a minimum 20000 man increase in the RVNAF to improve security and permit rotation of ARVN units for training 0 Assumptions 1 That the greatest immediate threat to the continued existence of the Republic of VietNam is posed by the steady expansion of guerrilla warfare by the Vietnamese Communists with the Mekong Delta as a political and military base 2 That North VietNam has the capability of supporting guerrilla operations in SVN by in ltrating regular forces and cadres to strengthen ocay recruited elements Guerrilla forces have increased from 3500 to an ARVN estimate of 9800 during 1960 3 That at the present time the Diem Government offers the best hope for defeating the Viet Cong threat 4 That the Government of VietNam has the basic potential to cope with the Viet Cong guerrilla threat if necessary corrective measures are taken and adequate forces are provided 5 That the gravity of this threat will continue until a maximum offensive and coordinated retaliatory effort is made by civil and military authorities 6 That the most vital consideration of US policy in VietNam is to create governmental stability by the eradication of insurgency in the Republic of VietNam and to that end the activities of all US agencies will be coordinated 7 That the Viet Cong in coordination with the communist parties of Laos and Cambodia will continue to build up a maximum effort against the Republic of Viet Nam The April 3961 elections constitute particularly critical period 8 That the DRV has a current continuing military capability for external aggression against SVN 2 Mission Defeat Communist insurgency efforts in SVN 3 Execution a Objectives 1 GVN must take immediate and extraordinary action to a Suppress and defeat disruptive Communist activities in South VietNam and concurrently maintain a capability to meet overt aggression b Establish and maintain political and economic control and stability c Interdict aid owing to insurgents across Vietnamese borders to include both police and military action in coordination with the adjacent nations of Laos and Cambodia 2 Country Team a Induce the GVN to adopt and vigorously prosecute Country Team Plans designed to defeat Communist insurgency b Tasks 1 Political a Political tasks have been outlined in Embassy Telegram 624 September 16 1960 and Embassy Telegram 1151 December 4 1960 Action already taken to carry out those tasks was described in Embassy Telegram 802 October 15 1960 Embassy Dispatch 157 October 15 1960 Embassy Telegram 1216 December 24 1960 and Embassy Dispatch 264 December 27 1960 Further action in execution of these tasks is proposed in Embassy Telegram 1151 8 In addition to tasks relating to the GVN administration itself further steps are required in the eld of development of independent and quasiindependent political institutions and organizations such as labor unions youth movements and political parties Possible steps in this eld are under study by the Country Team 8for texts of telegrams 624 802 1151 and 1216 see Foreign Relations 1958 1960 vol I pp 575 595 707 and 739 For texts of dispatches 157 and 264 see ibid pp 598 and 745 2 Security a Establish an Emergency Operations Control System to include Appendix I Annex B 1 A national emergency council GVN established an Internal Security Council 7 October 1960 2 A director of operations Permanent Secretary for National Defense so designated 7 October 1960 with responsive regional provincial district and village internal security councils b Implement fully planning aspects of the national planning programming and budgeting system Appendix II Annex B c Develop and employ to optimum RVNAF capabilities to support emergency and related internal security operations on a fully coordinated schedule Appendix III Annex B d Take extraordinary action starting at highest levels of government and extending to the lowest political subdivision the village to establish and maintain internal security e Assign high priority to the development of inteIIigence counterinteigence staff and operational procedure to provide not only timely and accurate knowledge of Viet Cong activities and organization within VietNam but also provide information to enable the GVN to correct sociological and economic problems which the communists are exploiting Appendix IV Annex B f Develop an adequate bordercoastal patroI system Appendix V Annex B g Develop an adequate communication capability within GVN agencies to support emergency and related internal security operations Appendix VI Annex B h Employ full use of psychological and civil affairs programs in support of internal security actions Appendix VII Annex B I Establish concurrently means for assuring continued security Appendix III Annex B j Retain the Civil Guard under the temporary control of the Department of Defense for the duration of the emergency Appendix VII Annex B k To develop the force basis for the RVNAF to cope with the insurgency now threatening the GVN and to build capacity for resistance to external aggression Annex A 3 Economic to be forwarded in suppIementaI submission to this basic plan 4 9 9A handwritten note on the source text at this point reads quotEasy on this he does opposequot e 1 Need to take the sense of Vietnamese nationalism and channel it in a useful way In a quotpositivequot light US believed that psychological barriers to a Vietnamese state existed And that they needed to be eliminated Then you would have a progressive state And South Vietnam would be more respected in the world Strengthen legitimacy and credibility Saw Vietnam being threatened by two forces the Viet Cong and internal disunity 9 among the peoples of other countries especially in Asia and Africa as a means of enhancing the GVN39s national security and stability Domino Thoery 0 Robert Richards Copley Press Mr President would you mind commenting on the strategic importance of Indochina to the free world I think there has been across the country some lack of understanding on just what it means to us The President You have of course both the speci c and the general when you talk about such things First of all you have the speci c value of a locality in its production of materials that the world needs Then you have the possibility that many human beings pass under a dictatorship that is inimical to the free world Finally you have broader considerations that might follow what you would call the quotfalling dominoquot principle You have a row of dominoes set up you knock over the rst one and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly So you could have a beginning of a disintegration that would have the most profound in uences Now with respect to the rst one two of the items from this particular area that the world uses are tin and tungsten They are very important There are others of course the rubber plantations and so on Then with respect to more people passing under this domination Asia after all has already lost some 450 million of its peoples to the Communist dictatorship and we simply can39t afford greater losses But when we come to the possible sequence of events the loss of Indochina of Burma of Thailand of the Peninsula and Indonesia following now you begin to talk about areas that not only multiply the disadvantages that you would suffer through loss of materials sources of materials but now you are talking about millions and millions and millions of people Communism threatens the international system 1 South East Asia has very important raw materials vital to the US a Horri c rami cations if you lost this 2 People the spread and survival of democratic institutions in the world as a whole If communism spreads in Southeast Asia it means that nonliteral democratic policies will come to power in much of the region Row of Dominoes What goes on in Indochina is about much more than what happens in Vietnam If communism triumphs in Vietnam it will expand Finally the geographical position achieved thereby does many things It turns the socalled island defensive chain ofJapan Formosa of the Philippines and to the southward it moves in to threaten Australia and New Zealand It takes away in its economic aspects that region that Japan must have as a trading area orJapan in turn will have only one place in the world to go that is toward the Communist areas in order to live So the possible consequences of the loss are just incalculable to the free world Ho chi Minh in Hanoi Toose are undeniable truths Nevertheless for more than eighty years the French imperialists biasing the standard of Liberty Equality and Fraternity have violated our Fatherland and oppressed our fellowcitizens Politically they have deprives our people of every democratic liberty They have enforced human laws they have set up three different political regimes in the North the center and the south fViet Nam in order to wreck out country39s oneness and prevent our people from being united Ho Chi Minh is attempting to prove that they are not radical His desire for autonomy is not abnormal It is based on the same principles of the airman and French revolution Ho Chi Minh is actually hoping for aid by the US Gulf of Tonkin LBJ 1 America keeps her word Her as elsewhere we must and shall honor our commitments 2 The Issue is the future of Southeast Asia as a shola A threat to any nation in that region is a threat to all and a threat to us 3 Our purpose is peace We have no military political or territorial ambition 4 This is not a jungle war but a struggle for freedom on every front of human activity recommend a resolution expression the support of the Congress for all necessary action to protect our Armed Forces and to assist nations covered by the Seaton Treaty That the same time I assure the Congress that we shall continue to readily to explore any avenues of political solution that will effective guarantee the removal of Communist subversion and the preserving of the independence of nations of the area The resolution could well be based n similar resolution enacted by congress in the past It could simply say the resolve and support of the Congress for action not deal appropriately with attacks against our Armed Forces and to defend freedom and preserve peace in Southeast Asia accordance with the obligation of the US under the SEATO Treaty I urge the Congress to enact such a resolution promptly Gave LBJ a blank check for war Two incidents of the Gulf of Tonkin August 2 Vietnamese did ght But August 4th US fought back there were no Vietnamese attack President can be ippant about his power
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