Summary of JCSM-426-64, "North Vietnam Operations," 19 May 1964


Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 3, p. 511-512


Summary of JCSM-426-64, 19 May 1964

"North Vietnam Operations"

JCS appraised "achievements and limitations" of first 3 months of 34A operations: Overall objective cited as "to help convince NVN leadership that it is in its own self interest to desist from its aggressive policies." "Ancillary objectives": (1) to gain more info (2) intensify current psycholpgocal war and resistance operations to weaken Hanoi's control of the population of NVN and commit regime to costly counter-measures.

Past three months indicate "slow beginning." "There are, however, indications that attempts at infiltration and continuing psychological activities, together with widespread press and radio speculation over the extension of the war, have had an effect /?/ on the DRV. Its reaction tends to substantiate the premise that Hanoi is expending substantial resources in defensive war."

JCS conclude: (1) GVN's general lack of program direction caused by 30 January coup; (2) program begun before special material and personnel required were assembled; (3) overflights of Laos essential to it for operational reasons; (4) bad weather and insufficient intelligence have hampered operations; (5) "potential of the program remains high."

JCS advocate continuing for Phase II period (Jan thru Sep) "at rate commensurate with growing operational capacities of MACV and GVN forces. (Electronic intelligence; sabotage teams; C-123 airlift; NASTY PT craft; all cited as new and invaluable resources available to program.) VNAF air strikes recommended.


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