353. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State1

1123. For Secretary from Lodge.

Your 908.2
My wire describing my talk with General Don Saturday morning3 responds in part to your wire and shows Generals think they are working at highest pitch. I overlook no opportunity to prod them, although I honestly do not believe they need prodding.
I think DOD conclusions your paragraph 3 are sound.
Regarding your paragraph 6a I have made detailed suggestion to Harriman.
Will of course cooperate to utmost on all points paragraph 7.
Basis subsequent talk with Kim, GVN does not appear to have precise ideas re “braintrust”. However, we will push idea and further meeting with Kim is planned for early next week.
My wire describing my talk with Don and my wire on conditions in Long An Province4 make clear that the new government has inherited a mess and we can expect more unpleasant surprises. We realize this and are capitalizing on it to utmost. The Generals are able men and will do big things once they get started, which they think will be in January. But December will be rough.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 S VIET. Top Secret; Immediate; Eyes Only. Repeated to CINCPAC exclusive for Felt. Passed to the White House, the CIA, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
  2. Document 351.
  3. See footnote 3, Document 352.
  4. Document 352.