396.1 GE/6–954: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State

top secret

Dulte 161. Repeated information Saigon 155, Paris 406. Eyes only Ambassadors. Re Tedul 171.1 My personal message to you (Dulte 1572) is a fair general commentary on General Valluy’s estimate of Southeast Asia situation, and I think it might be of some use to our Chiefs of Staff if you made it available to them together with the following specific comments on the numbered paragraphs of Valluy’s estimate:

I would modify his statement that if Tonkin is lost military line will not be reestablished anywhere to read “probably, will not be reestablished.” The unqualified “not”, and “anywhere” prejudges history and takes in too much territory.
I agree with two as a correct evaluation of the present situation, but to the concluding phrase “there would be no forces to man this line” I would add “unless other nations furnished them”.
Heath would agree that at present, there are “no southern Vietnamese who could oppose northern Vietnamese”. I am unable to estimate.
4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
I agree thoroughly with this evaluation, except that we could, if we would, create ability of Thailand, Loas and Cambodia to assist.
Heath would agree with nine but would qualify statement that no Vietnamese would fight against other Vietnamese by saying that they would not fight effectively or long unless backed up by strong foreign forces. I am unable to estimate.

  1. Dated June 7, p. 1056.
  2. Dated June 7, p. 1054.