751G.00/8–854: Telegram

The Chief of the United States Military Assistance Advisory Group in Indochina (O’Daniel) to the Department of the Army1

top secret

MG 3024 A. Info SecDef, SecState, JCS, CINCPAC, AmEmbassy Saigon. Have prepared study here our point of view US part future Vietnam including estimate situation and concept operation in substance following:

Mission: Establish political psychological, military, economic courses action for adoption by US to insure Free Vietnam survival as nation. Develop Vietnam as effective barrier continued Communist expansion as nation.

[Page 1926]

Concept operation depends fulfilling following primary conditions:

Financial material and personnel support by US as required; successful execution this program and open cooperation French Government; Vietnamese acceptance US assistance; and active support US program within Free Vietnam means.

With indispensable support defined above, concept embraces US advisors and operation agencies assist Free Vietnam all echelons and in all functional activities. Generally every key Free Vietnam official and government agency will along side one or more US specialists for steering in discharge responsibilities, all with French concurrence.

NSC establish national policies, et cetera, US Embassy Saigon implementing agency through country team. US Embassy Saigon, GHQ under command for Ambassador for direction activities required under this plan. Following tasks be accomplished:

Political, psychological. US to use its own interpretation of the French Vietnam cease-fire agreement to provide all possible freedom relations with Vietnam. US must undertake major political psychological action re France, SE Asia and Vietnam. By agreements US assume dominant role cooperation with France and Vietnam to develop strong viable Vietnam. By US political psychological actions re SE Asia produce strong positive support from nations having primary interest SE Asia. Develop strong democratic state oriented toward West. By persuading Government Vietnam to announce complete independence, and for French to announce date of withdrawal French forces and date Vietnam becomes entirely free. Detailed implementation above included in plan.
Military establish sound realistic modern system national military service. Specialists from US selective service employed this effort. Evaluate and establish sound personnel policies. Establish national intelligence agency and other intelligence programs all fields. Study and reorganize Defense Ministry and Armed Forces. Establish for each military service streamlined and highly effective training organization to include staff training and field training agencies, develop division training camps, RTC, et cetera. Logistics development. Signal development. Budget and fiscal development. Develop independent Vietnam army of divisional-sized units.
Naval and air establish sound economic program to provide for realistic development resources including rebuilding railroads, developing highway system, agrarian reforms, housing construction, schools, development sanitation and hygiene.

We believe such plan last resort solution on salvaging remaining Vietnam and offer it for consideration in formulation US policy for SE Asia. Ambassador concurs. Ambassador generally concurs with objectives above outline and with my analysis situation. He approves entire report as a timely, useful initial plan, although he has reservation [Page 1927] as to some of methods proposed, as he doubts necessity of US to become quite so far involved in operation of this government except on military training side. Comment: I feel this is war in every sense. Wartime methods, therefore, are in order all fields until emergency passed.

  1. This Army message was transmitted through State Department channels.