199. Memorandum From the Deputy for Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development (Komer) to the Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Westmoreland)1
I’ve been pressing a new concept for attack on infrastructure in hopes of selling it before our visitors arrive. It is based on a long background of my own study and analysis back in Washington. CORDS, J–2, and OSA have reviewed it and buy the concept, though many personnel and other details will have to be worked out.
The concept is frankly experimental, but it costs us little to experiment. We have no place to go but up. It is essentially a management structure extending right down to district level. Added personnel needs will be minimal at the outset, and probably available in theater.
The new organization gives OSA a key managerial role, but with full J–2 participation at all levels. I think this sound, because anti-
infrastructure intelligence and operations are primarily a police-type matter, and OSA has extensive expertise. Also, I envisage PRU and NPFF as chief exploitation arms. Thus, on the principle of choosing the best “project manager,” I chose OSA. But at each level the operation will come under the relevant commander.
There is some concern lest we be setting up two intelligence chains, one for tactical intelligence and another for anti-infrastructure. However, I strongly favor this from a management viewpoint, because the necessary and vital concentration of military intelligence assets (ARVN and US) on tactical needs has partly been at the expense of anti-infrastructure. Moreover, the duplication is so minimal as to be inconsequential.
I intend to personally monitor and if necessary manage this experiment. But I don’t want to start till I’m sure I’m on all fours with you.