53. Message From the Ambassador in Vietnam (Lodge) to the President1

In reply to your 1256,2 I believe persistent and patient execution of current civil and military plans will bring victory-provided external pressures would be about as they were when I got here last summer. These pressures come from Communist China, North Viet-Nam, [Page 93]Laos, Cambodia and France, and I believe they have been increasing, although I cannot prove it. Effective steps to lessen, and perhaps eliminate, these pressures would be most helpful.
Believe that within Viet-Nam, U.S. is giving enough economic and military assistance with one exception: an increase of funds to pay for the increase in the pay of the Army and of paramilitary forces.3
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S. Secret; Exdis. Transmitted as telegram 1583 from Saigon to the Department of State, where it was received at 7:21 a.m. and passed to the White House at 8:30 a.m. Telegram 1583 is the source text.
  2. In telegram 1256, February 18, from the President to Ambassador Lodge, Johnson reminded Lodge that it had been 2 weeks since he delivered the President’s personal message to Khanh (see footnote 2, Document 25). The President asked for a report for his own guidance on any further steps the United States should take to be of assistance and, in particular, any additional military or economic assistance Lodge might need to carry out existing or recommended policies. (Ibid., POL 23–9 VIET S)
  3. In telegram CAP 64047 from the White House, February 20, Johnson responded that the request for increase in pay would be addressed immediately. (Ibid., POL 27 VIET S)
  4. Telegram 1583 bears this typed signature.