9. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam1

670. Joint State-Defense message. Re: Paramilitary Personnel: Interdepartmental committee charged with study feasibility increased use third-country personnel in paramilitary operations needs country team views ASAP in outline on:

Efficacy present use and desirability increasing numbers and roles any of third-country nationals already being used in South Vietnam [2 lines not declassified]. Comment on major contributions and problems encountered.
Uses personnel of other third-countries not now participating, which you consider desirable and feasible.
Auspices and organizational devices under which additional personnel could be used with USG, GVN and country of origin approval (e.g. Under unilateral third-country auspices, or US; possible non-attributable control; civilian contract, or overt military).

In formulating views, exclude third-country personnel engaged in essentially economic-social work; include those directly employed in other aspects counter-insurgency operations or supporting them, whether military or civilians.2

The source text does not have the usual stamped signature.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.551/1-1063. Top Secret. Drafted by Howard Meyers in G/PM and Fred Greene in INR. Cleared by James M. Montgomery in SEA and by Charles Maechling Jr., Director for Internal Defense in G/PM. Also cleared with DOD/ISA, JCS, and CIA.
  2. In telegram 694 from Saigon, January 22, the Embassy responded that, in view of the sensitivity of the information involved, a coordinated mission reply was being sent through other channels. The reply would indicate that the mission favored increased third country military or paramilitary assistance to Vietnam. The mission expressed the hope that such assistance could be provided overtly under the participant’s own flag, and noted that it would be necessary to fit such assistance into existing military programs and operations. (Ibid., 751K.551/1-2263)