109. Letter From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Bundy) to the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Johnson)1

Dear Alexis: The Department of Defense has completed a review of the required force structure and strengths for the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces (RVNAF), Civil Guard (CG) and Self Defense Corps (SDC) through 1964. Our analysis included consideration of the following factors:

The build-up of Viet Cong forces in South Vietnam.
The expansion of Communist control in Laos.
The progress of the GVN in planning for and conducting security operations.
The capability of the GVN to train, maintain and effectively utilize their forces.
The need for the GVN to husband its manpower resources carefully.
The force structure best reconciling the requirements of coordinated and phased counter-insurgency operations with available leadership; and
The requirement for long range planning for South Vietnam.

From our analysis we conclude that MAP support should be authorized for the FY 62 and FY 63 GVN force levels shown below; and that the FY 64 GVN force levels shown below should be approved for MAP planning purposes:

Currently Authorized FY 62 FY 63 FY 64
RVNAF 205,000 206,600 215,000 225,000
CG 68,000 72,000 81,000 90,000
SDC 49,200 65,000 80,000 80,000
Totals 322,200 343,600 376,000 395,000

The estimated additional MAP costs of the above increases, from presently approved force levels to the levels proposed for end FY 63, are prorated as $11.6 million for FY 1962 and $21.7 million for FY 1963.

It is anticipated that some MAP support may also be required later for selected paramilitary local defense groups. Modest support may be required to prepare selected paramilitary forces for use in support of the plans developed for the campaign in South Vietnam. Our estimates of the extent and duration of required MAP support for forces of [Page 234]this nature are not yet firm. It will depend on the role that these groups accept in support of refined counter-insurgency plans. We now envision that as clearing actions are initiated in the areas where these groups operate, they might be integrated into the CG or SDC for support of holding operations.

The Department of Defense recommends prompt approval of support of the above force levels, to insure most timely availability of trained and effective operational forces considered essential for attainment of U. S. objectives in South Vietnam. As you know, Ambassador Nolting and the Country Team concur in support of these force levels.

Sincerely yours,

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.5/3-1562. Top Secret.