186. Intelligence Memorandum Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1

No. 1683/66



The most significant air strikes of June and early July were conducted against the major bulk POL storage facilities. Analysis of data available through 9 July indicates that the air strikes resulted in the loss of about one-half of the preraid targeted capacity which existed on 28 June.
A high level of road interdiction attained nearly four times as many road cuts and cratered segments as the previous month with a record number of trucks, ferries, and rolling stock destroyed or damaged. Through rail service probably is not possible on at least three and perhaps four of the five major railroad lines in North Vietnam, although rail shuttle service continues on all lines. Miscellaneous military targets, including SAM sites and naval craft, were also struck.
The cumulative effects of the bombing since March 1965 have placed some strains on North Vietnam, particularly in the economic areas, but on the whole the North Vietnamese have been able to meet their military needs and to support the insurgency in South Vietnam, although their capability for overt military aggression has been limited.
The recent US air strikes against targets in the Hanoi-Haiphong area do not appear to have weakened the North Vietnamese leadershipʼs resolve to continue to prosecute the war. At the same time, the Hanoi leadership appears to be taking note of the effects the bombing raids are having on popular morale and is initiating steps to prevent or curb, if possible, any decline in the fighting spirit of the people. Presently, however, there continues to be no hard evidence of real alarm in Hanoi or that morale in North Vietnam has slipped to the extent that it would force the regime to change its policy of continuing the war.
The attacks on the petroleum facilities will make the operation of the economy more difficult and costly. Even before these attacks, the [Page 518] bombings were causing increasing disruption of economic activity. Food shortages and rising food prices apparently are becoming more prevalent throughout North Vietnam. The economy, nevertheless, is still able to provide the essential needs of the population. Measurable cumulative direct and indirect losses caused by the air strikes now amount to about $100 million.3 In addition, there are other losses and costs to the economy and the military establishment which have developed as a consequence of the air strikes but to which values cannot be assigned.

[Here follows the body of the memorandum.]

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, vol. LVI. Secret; No Foreign Dissem. Issued by the Directorate of Intelligence.
  2. This memorandum is the Central Intelligence Agencyʼs issuance of a joint Central Intelligence Agency-Defense Intelligence Agency Study prepared monthly. [Footnote in the source text.]
  3. US dollars are used throughout this memorandum. [Footnote in the source text.]