99. Central Intelligence Agency Information Report1

TDCSDB-3/654,285

SUBJECT

  • Indications of Government of Vietnam Plan To Request Reduction of American Personnel in Vietnam

By mid-April 1963 a considerable amount of tension had developed between the Government of Vietnam and the U.S. Government over operations in South Vietnam. Both Diem and Ngo Dinh Nhu were concerned over recent “infringements” of Vietnamese sovereignty. MAAG was cited as a violator in this connection, but the U.S. Special Forces were singled out as the main irritant. Diem is allowing additional time for further blunders and, after building up a strong case, he plans to confront Ambassador Nolting and USMACV Chief General Harkins with irrefutable evidence of U.S. responsibility, demanding a reduction in the number of U.S. personnel in South Vietnam on the basis that the force is too large and unmanageable.

2.
Some Vietnamese involved in close working relationships with Americans were being questioned in detail by Presidency Staff members as to U.S. activities. Some of the individuals questioned had indicated to the Presidency that the U.S. military, and particularly the [Page 247]U.S. Special Forces, although generally well motivated, did not seem to understand the necessity for coordinating their activities with appropriate Vietnamese authorities.
3.
Field Dissem. State (Ambassador Nolting), USMACV (General. Harkins), MAAG (General Timmes), CINCPACPACFLTARPACPACAF.
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country Series, 4/63-5/63. Secret; No Foreign Dissem; No Dissem Abroad; Background Use Only. Also published in Declassified Documents, 1977, 93B.