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

16919. During a talk with President Thieu morning January 25 I told him about the latest information we had had from General Westmoreland on developments in the Khe Sanh area and asked him how he felt about this offensive. Thieu said he thought that the result might give us some real estimate of the will of the North Vietnamese, as they were clearly embarked on an all-out effort along the DMZ. He was also inclined to think that General Giap was actually leading the attack. Thieu said that we would also soon see if this was an NVN effort to support proposals for talks, on the theory that the U.S. was under pressure to talk. Thieu said that he was going to visit the area tomorrow and noted that Generals Westmoreland and Vien were up there today. He observed in conclusion that at least two divisions were needed for a dynamic defense, or possibly a dynamic offensive, if it developed that way.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to CINCPAC for POLAD.