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

1146. Pls pass SecDef McNamara from Lodge. Your DIASO 34783-63.2

Appropriate members of US Mission are preparing plans and recommendations to cover all points your telegram.
Regarding your paragraph 5, believe that a political problem strictly speaking has not yet emerged in the provinces because the new government has not yet made up its mind on what its carrot versus stick equation is to be. Moreover the evaluation of the political situation in each province can only be done by a politically-minded person who is on the spot and speaks the language and knows the individual people. Neither the USOM rep nor the MAAG officer nor our own Embassy language officers are in a position to do this.
Referring to the second paragraph of your paragraph 5, the new government has not yet produced political, economic and military “programs”. The most that one can say so far is that they are discussing ideas and notions. I hope they will have some programs by the time you get here, but I doubt it.
I assume you will want to go to work immediately on arrival and am planning to hold the meetings in the MAC/V conference room which is the best room we have in Saigon for this purpose. I estimate that two days should be allowed for the presentation you want.
Would like one hour of your time for myself alone.
Will have office space for you.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 7 US/McNAMARA. Secret. Received at 5:15 a.m. and passed to the Department of Defense for McNamara at 6 a.m. and to the White House at 6:03 a.m.
  2. Document 362.