8. Memorandum for the Record by the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Hilsman)1

The following are notes on the situation here.

Is there a plan? The answer is no. There are five or six plans many of which are competing. There is, consequently, great confusion.
How about implementation? Are the military and political action coordinated? The answer-Imperfectly at best. There are huge gaps in what people are doing. For example, the police program has not even begun to get off the ground, and this raises the possibility that the strategic villages will be built around Communists and will rot from within which could bring the whole thing down in shambles.
Is the U.S. effort coordinated? Is it guided by a clear conception which permits effective meshing of our various efforts? Answer—Individual agencies are doing a superb job (e.g., Rufus Phillips, Richardson of CIA and the Special Forces). But it cannot really be said that there is wide understanding of [or?] a clear conception though some individuals do have a clear conception.
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, Hilsman Papers, Country Series-Vietnam.