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165. Memorandum From the Assistant Deputy Director for Coordination in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (McAfee) to the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Green)1

SUBJECT

  • Minutes of the Meeting of the 303 Committee, 23 December 1969

The minutes of the meeting of the 303 Committee, dated 30 December 1969, contained the following items:

2. South Vietnam—The Provincial Reconnaissance UNIT (PRU) Program

a.
Mr. Nelson amplified on the CIA paper dated 11 December 19692 and answered a number of questions.
b.
The members were unanimous that the program is effective and should be continued through FY 1971 in order to consummate its orderly Vietnamization.
c.
The principal problem involved General Creighton Abrams' desire for a phased withdrawal of the 101 military advisors from the program as soon as possible and in no event later than October 1970. Mr. Packard, who was out of the city and unable to be present, had previously expressed his support for the program as well as his wish to see all military advisors withdrawn as soon as possible, but had indicated that the precise timing of withdrawal might be negotiable.
d.
It was the unanimous view of those present that it would be a serious mistake to withdraw all military advisors prior to final turnover of the program to the South Vietnamese in June 1971. In order to maintain adequate supervision and complete the orderly Vietnamization of the program, the following phased withdrawal of personnel was agreed upon, subject to Mr. Packard's later concurrence.
e.
The number of military advisors will be phased down from the present 101 to 60 by the end of March 1970. This strength of 60 will be maintained until the end of October 1970 and then reduced to 30 advisors who will remain through the end of the program in June 1971. In the meantime, CIA will increase its advisors by 10 in order to partially offset the loss of military advisors.

3. South Vietnam—Progress Report on Covert Media Activities

Following Mr. Nelson's briefing and a discussion of the covert media activities described in the CIA paper dated 11 December 1969,3 the Committee approved the continuation of these activities including the proposed funding level for FY 1970.

  1. Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, Country Files, Vietnam, 1969–1970. Secret; Eyes Only.
  2. Document 157.
  3. This progress report to the 303 Committee described covert media activity in Vietnam to encourage popular support of U.S. and GVN policy objectives in South Vietnam. The program concentrated on placement of news stories and editorials in South Vietnamese publications, subsidizing one South Vietnamese publication, and efforts to improve journalism, press standards, and South Vietnam's chaotic newspaper distribution system. The cost was $46,400 for FY 1970. (Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, 303/40 Committee Records, Subject Files, Vietnam, 1965–1969)