The Pentagon Papers
Document 31, US, Army Position on NSC Action No. 1074-a, no date, p 471-72
ARMY POSITION ON NSC ACTION NO. 1074-A
1. There are important military disadvantages to intervention in Indochina under the assumptions set forth in NSC Action No. 1074-a.
2. A military victory in Indochina cannot be assured by U.S. intervention with air and naval forces alone.
3. The use of atomic weapons in Indochina would not reduce the number of ground forces required to achieve a military victory in Indochina.
4. It is estimated that seven U.S. divisions or their equivalent, with appropriate naval and air support, would be required to win a victory in Indochina if the French withdraw and the Chinese Communists do not intervene. However, U.S. military intervention must take into consideration the capability of the Chinese Communists to intervene.
5. It is estimated that the equivalent of 12 U.s. divisions would be required to win a victory in Indochina, if the French withdraw and the Chinese Communists intervene.
6. The equivalent of 7 U.S. divisions would be required to win a victory in Indochina if the French remain and the Chinese Communists intervene.
7. Requirements for air and naval support for ground force operations are:
a. Five hundred fighter-bomber sorties per day exclusive of interdiction and counter-air operations.
b. An airlift capability of a one division drop.
c. A division amphibious lift.
8. One U.S. airborne regimental combat team can be placed in Indochina in 5
days, one additional division in 24 days, and the remaining divisions in the
following 120 days. This could be accomplished partially by reducing U.S. ground
strength in the Far East with the remaining units coming from the general reserve
in the United States. Consequently, the U.S. ability to meet its NATO commitment
would be seriously affected for a considerable period. The time required to
place a total of 12 divisions in Indochina would depend upon the industrial
and personnel mobilization measures taken by the government.
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