302. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Thailand 1

224. Joint State/Defense message. Embtel 63.2

Your are authorized to inform Thanom that we have examined Thai military needs carefully and desire to do utmost in FY 66 program to meet them at most rapid rate possible; and that we are willing to provide for FY 66 MAP some increase over FY 65 (which FYI was $38.3 million end FYI) provided we have Thai commitments with respect to measures we believe Thai must take to achieve more effective counterinsurgency effort and increased combat effectiveness of their forces.3 A specific set of goals and performance schedules would have to be worked out as an essential element of reaching final agreement on specifics of FY 66 MAP program. In explaining what we have in mind you should draw on following.
With respect to the counterinsurgency effort, our concern is that a major emphasis must be placed today on speeding up the program of coping with potential insurgency in the northeast and northern areas of Thailand, including the increased AID police programs [1 line of source text not declassified]. From the military side of counterinsurgency, this means such things as increased deployment of forces from headquarters to outlying areas, more effective training exercises and instruction for the military forces for counterinsurgency, increased civic action and the development of systematic analysis of efforts to meet any future insurgency.
With respect to conventional forces, you have mentioned in Embtel 63 the fundamental commitments that will be needed (e.g., relating to manning levels, field training, agreed training standards, in-commission and utilization rates, joint evaluation procedures, etc.) The [Page 649] question of increased Thai budgets to cover these improvements will have to be faced.
As you know, serious maintenance and other deficiencies noted in last two years have given us grave concern about effectiveness of our assistance and general organization of Thai effort in relation to threat which we believe to be basically subversion but including possible Communist overt moves against Mekong for which Project 22 planning has been designed. Thai maintenance and in-commission difficulties have also occasioned major criticisms in U.S. Congress which are already causing some problems and could become more serious unless it is clear Thai are moving to correct them.
We are sending separate cable with our thoughts on specific commitments.4 We would like your suggestions and recommendations with respect to specific commitments, schedules, techniques for measuring progress, methods of ensuring performance, and best way to work the thing out with the Thai.5
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, DEF 19 US–THAI. Secret; Immediate; Limdis. Drafted by Solbert, cleared with McNaughton and Trueheart, and approved by Berger.
  2. See footnote 4, Document 301, and attachment to it.
  3. In telegram 250 from Bangkok, August 10, Martin reported his conversation with Thanom, Sawaeng, and Pote Sarasin. Martin informed the Thai officials that they could expect at least last yearʼs figure of 750 billion baht in military aid and maybe a little more depending on how quickly they could improve their combat effectiveness and general performance of the Thai military forces. Martin reported that Thanom was relieved and promised to cooperate with the new JUSMAG and COMUSMACTHAI, General Stilwell. Martin ended his report with the admonition that it would be a “mistake to develop a complicated series of mathematical formulae” for military aid. He suggested that Washington should rely on his and Stilwellʼs judgment to determine how far forward the Thais could be carried. (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 19 US–THAI)
  4. Telegram 259 to Bangkok, August 12. (Ibid.)
  5. Telegram 282 from Bangkok, August 15. (Ibid.)