170. Intelligence Memorandum1

No. 3183/65



The problem of Cambodiaʼs relationship with the Viet Cong centers on two broad but related aspects. One is Sihanoukʼs foreign policy and how it has been influenced by the growth of the Communist movement in South Vietnam. The other is the use by the Viet Cong of Cambodian territory as a source of supply, sanctuary, and political comfort.

A thorough review of intelligence from all sources confirms that the Viet Cong have procured supplies in and through Cambodia but shows that the volume of such supplies has been small in comparison with Viet Cong requirements and in comparison with what they have received through Laos, by direct sea infiltration, and from within South Vietnam. It is clear that with the complicity of local Cambodian officials the Viet [Page 374] Cong have found safe haven in many areas along the Cambodian border. The Communists have also established small but useful clandestine facilities on Cambodian territory. From all indications these facilities have played only a small part in the over-all Communist effort in South Vietnam.

A substantial body of evidence indicates, however, that the Cambodian Government is not a witting or willing accomplice in Viet Cong operations in Cambodia. Intelligence reports confirm that Sihanouk is increasingly concerned over charges that Cambodia is being used by the Viet Cong. These reports reveal that although Phnom Penh has tried to take measures to curb such use, its ability to police the 600-mile border with South Vietnam is extremely limited.

[Here follows the body of the memorandum.]

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Cambodia, Vol. IV, Memos, 10/65–9/67. Secret; No Foreign Dissem. Prepared by the Directorate of Intelligence.