98. Paper Prepared for the Special Group (Counterinsurgency)1
- Special Group Agenda Item 3d2
3d. Planning for immediate civilian and military civic action and subsequent detailed civic action programs which will be required to support the province pacification strategy.
Enclosure number one is a review of the status of civic action programs in Vietnam. The salient facts to be considered are the following:
- Neither US nor GVN planning for civic action in Vietnam can proceed on a sound basis until the overall strategy for the campaign in Vietnam is developed and agreed. The civic action effort must be planned to support the time-phased geographic plan for clearing and holding the country-side. The general concept of a campaign plan is emerging, but the plan has not.
- The Vietnamese are currently conducting several unsystematic civic action activities, varying by area and means and not guided by a strategic plan. Their primary source of advice and guidance in the civic action field does not appear to be our Country Team.
- Country Team recognition of the need for civic action is recent. Civic action has not been persistently pressed on the GVN. What has been accomplished appears to be mainly on GVN initiative.
- A clear concept on the U.S. side of the manner in which to unite the divided responsibilities of U.S. agencies in a successful field program in Vietnam has not been demonstrated. A joint State-AID-Defense message of 12 Feb 623 provides very broad guidance calling for MAP funding of requirements to provide indigenous military forces for which MAP is responsible, with increased capability to take on civic action and calling for AID funding of project costs additional to those funded by local governments and of requirements to enhance the civic action capability of the paramilitary forces for which AID is responsible. This broad guidance, generally confirming previous understanding, does not solve the problem of how to develop and administer one integrated program, agreed to by the GVN, in Vietnam.
II. Required Actions by the Country Team
Each of the required actions listed below presumes that our Country Team will have completely determined what the GVN is doing in the civic action field and will, through early consideration of GVN views and local circumstances and united persuasion that the U.S. has a sound program to offer in this field, achieve agreement with the GVN as to requirements, methods, and programs to be implemented.
- Attention to the necessity for a time-phased, geographically based strategy and campaign plan for all of Vietnam that envisions clearing and consolidating areas contiguous to the starting area.
- Development of one integrated comprehensive civic action program phased to support the strategy of the campaign plan. This must be a program of specifics; the generally accepted broad principles thus far announced in various programs do not provide an adequate basis for action in the current stage.
- Division of tasks between the U.S. agencies only on the basis of their capability and willingness to perform the function in the current circumstances in Vietnam.
- Assignment of resources to U.S. agencies on the basis of the division of tasks rather than such a basis as MAP support or precedent.
- Source: Department of State,INR Files: Lot 75 D 378, SV 23613, Civic Action. Secret. No drafting information appears on the source text. The date is penciled in at the top. In the margin is written: “This was tabled and revised.” At the March 1 meeting of the Special Group, General Taylor under agenda item 3 asked about the status of economic programs. The minutes of that meeting reported that: “Mr. Coffin was asked to prepare a special report on this for next weekʼs meeting, which would outline specific programs and show the emphasis being placed on support of counterinsurgency.” (Ibid., Special Group Counterinsurgency Files: Lot 68 D 451, 1/1/62-7/31/62) Presumably the paper printed here is that report. No specific reference was made to this paper in the minutes of the March 8 meeting, although they indicate that General Taylor “made the general observation that it was very difficult to get hold of civic action programs which were contemplated for South Vietnam.” U. Alexis Johnson promised to have the Vietnam Task Force examine civic action programs and report its findings. (Ibid.)↩
- There was no agenda item 3d in either the March 1 or 8 meeting, although there was an “agenda item 3” on Vietnam for the March I meeting and “agenda items 3a, 3b, and 3c” on Vietnam for the March 8 meeting. “Agenda item 3b” at the latter was entitled “Civic Action. South Vietnam.”↩
- See footnote 6, Document 64.↩
Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. I, Document 42.↩
- Not further identified.↩
- The JCS query has not been found.↩
- Transmitted in CA-1198. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country Series)↩
- See Document 66.↩
- See Document 46.↩
- Document 51.↩
- The draft instructions were enclosed with a letter of February 10 to Trueheart. (Washington National Records Center, RG 84, Saigon Embassy Files: FRC 68 A 1814,350. GNV-Task Force (Thompson Mission))↩