187. Memorandum From the Secretary of Defense’s Deputy Assistant for Special Operations (Lansdale) to the President’s Military Representative (Taylor)1


  • Unconventional Warfare

This is in answer to the third question you posed to me on the above subject.2

3. Are preparations adequate for waging unconventional warfare?

[Page 423]

One of the vital elements in waging war against guerrillas is to have the military and the population so close to each other that the guerrillas cannot enjoy popular support. Reports of the situation in Viet-Nam indicate that the VC continue to enjoy much popular support, even though this is often obtained through terrorist activities. It is a difficult task to ensure the continuing “brotherhood” of the Vietnamese soldiers with Vietnamese civilians, but this important command responsibility cannot be over-emphasized. The U.S. Army was recently assigned executive responsibility for Civic Action in Defense, and has officers in Viet-Nam who have just completed an intensive study of Vietnamese civic action. It might be worth while to make Viet-Nam a major test center for this Army activity, and I intend to so recommend to the Secretary of Defense.

The Vietnamese Army is in need of loudspeakers for tactical psychological warfare. Present equipment is old and inadequate, and includes some makeshift equipment I sent in from the Philippines in 1953. None are available under MAP, since apparently the U.S. has not developed a loudspeaker for tactical operations. The Combat Development and Test Center is working on the problem, with a prototype of a lightweight, high-powered (272 miles range) set. The set is “High Power Voice Amplifier, Type DE-1492-A”, made by Electro Mechanics Inc.

Major Bentz, Psywar advisor at MAAG, recommends that the 3 months test by CDTC be shortened and that if successful, a sufficient number be obtained to equip each Psywar Battalion and each Regimental G-5 section. If a Psywar Battalion is organized in the Civil Guard, it should be so equipped also. 45 loudspeakers for the Psywar Battalions, 24 for the Regiments, and 36 for the Civil Guard.

A powerful airborne loudspeaker also is needed. USAF does not have this capability at present. However, the 4400th CCTS (Jungle km) offers a good means for its introduction into the USAF inventory. I will work on this.

Two 17x22 presses are included in the TOE of the Vietnamese Psywar Directorate. It is estimated that it will require 280 days for delivery to Saigon. Major Bentz suggested that these presses might be procured from U.S. Army organizational equipment, to expedite delivery, and the equipment replaced in the U.S. units. I will follow through.

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files:FRC 63 A 1803, Vietnam-Taylor Group. Top Secret.
  2. See Document 173.