150. Memorandum of a Meeting1


  • General Minh
  • Ambassador Lodge
  • General Taylor
General Minh feels we have been losing ground since January. The reason is that the government has lost the confidence of the people. General Khanh has brought back into the Army bad officers who had been dismissed by the Junta. What is needed is a popular leader.
General Taylor pointed out that it was difficult to be popular in time of civil war, that there were times when Lincoln’s popularity was very low in the United States during our civil war. He insisted, however, that something had to be done to attract the people to the side of the government.
Speaking of neutralists, Minh said that Diem used to see communists everywhere; now Khanh sees neutralists everywhere. The fact is that many friends are neutralists and anti-American. However, their political influence is not important.
The Buddhists do have a political importance. They have been infiltrated to some extent by communists. Tri Quang may become dangerous.
General Minh sees no present likelihood of a coup but he is quite sure that victory is not in sight.
  1. Source: National Defense University, Taylor Papers. Top Secret; Sensitive. The source text is Enclosure C to an undated memorandum from McNamara to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of DIA.