CIA and the Vietnam Policymakers: Three Episodes, 1962-1968
Reviews the Intelligence Community's analytic performance during the chaotic Vietnam era, with particular focus on the efforts of CIA analysts. Offers a candid view of the CIA's intelligence assessments concerning Vietnam during three episodes between 1962 and 1968 and the reactions of senior U.S. policymakers to those assessments. Shows that CIA analysts had a firm grasp of the situation in Vietnam and expressed doubts that heightened U.S. military pressure alone could win the war. Contrary to the opinions voiced by Robert McNamara and others, this volume illustrates the expertise CIA officers brought to the Vietnam question. Photos.
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Agency Ambassador analysts April assessments attacks Board of National bombing the North cable CIA files CIA officers CIA's CIA/DCI CIA/DDI files CIA/IG Report cited Clark Clifford Colby Communist coup DCI Helms DCI McCone DCI/ER December Diem Diem's Director draft enemy enemy's episodes February Folder 9 forces FRUS GAC Files SAVA-NIO George Allen George Carver Hanoi Harkins Indochina Intelligence Community January John McCone Joint Chiefs judgments Komer Krulak Laos later MACV MACV's March Maxwell Taylor McGeorge Bundy meeting memo Memorandum ments military National Estimates November O/B figures O/D/NFAC O/NE Pentagon Papers Pentagon Papers Gravel policymakers political President Johnson President Kennedy President's Record Richard Helms Robert McNamara Saigon Saigon Station SAVA Secretary McNamara Secretary of Defense senior September Sherman Kent SNIE South Vietnam Southeast Asia Tet Offensive troops United Viet Cong Vietnamese views Walt Rostow Washington Westmoreland White House
Page 26 - We are now launched on a course from which there is no respectable turning back: the overthrow of the Diem government .... there is no turning back because there is no possibility, in my view, that the war can be won under a Diem administration.
Page 159 - It is recognized that the threat of Communist aggression against Indochina is only one phase of anticipated Communist plans to seize all of Southeast Asia. . . . The neighboring countries of Thailand and Burma could be expected to fall under Communist domination if Indochina were controlled by a Communist-dominated government. The balance of Southeast Asia would then be in grave hazard.
Page 71 - We have been building our strength to fight this kind of war ever since 1961, and I myself am ready to substantially increase the number of Americans in Vietnam if it is necessary to provide this kind of fighting force against the Viet Cong.
Page 158 - The restrictive US press policy in Vietnam . . . unquestionably contributed to the lack of information about conditions in Vietnam which created an international crisis. Instead of hiding the facts from the American public, the State Department should have done everything possible to expose the true situation to full view.
Page 160 - In the conflict in Indochina, the Communist and nonCommunist worlds clearly confront one another on the field of battle. The loss of the struggle in Indochina, in addition to its impact in Southeast Asia and in South Asia, would therefore have the most serious repercussions on US and free world interests in Europe and elsewhere.
Page 104 - I am absolutely certain that whereas in 1965 the enemy was winning, today he is certainly losing. ... It is significant that the enemy has not won a major battle in more than a year.
Page 40 - [will mean] an ever-increasing commitment of US personnel without materially improving the chances of victory. ... In effect, we will find ourselves mired down in combat in the jungle in a military effort that we cannot win, and from which we will have extreme difficulty in extracting ourselves.
Page 80 - White-faced soldier armed, equipped and trained as he is not suitable guerrilla fighter for Asia forests and jungles. French tried to adapt their forces to this mission and failed. I doubt that US forces could do much better. . . . Finally, there would be ever present question of how foreign soldier
Page 56 - Even the Philippines would become shaky, and the threat to India on the West, Australia and New Zealand to the South, and Taiwan, Korea, and Japan to the North and East would be greatly increased.