257. Memorandum From John H. Holdridge of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Report That VC Planning for Ceasefire and Ready to Separate Military from Political Questions

Director Helms has sent you a sensitive intelligence report from a former VC source who alleges that, according to VC briefings which took place between August 14 and 28, the Communists are prepared [Page 946] to settle the war on the basis of military issues alone. This is the first report of its kind and runs counter to the trend of all other reporting.2

Much of the source’s report has a ring of plausibility to it, although we must await confirming evidence before assigning it any credibility.

One note of caution is sounded by the Agency, which is that the source elicits information rather than debriefs his VC contacts because his meetings are of insufficient duration to press for full particulars. So it could be that our source just got the first part—the military half—of the briefing.

Source will be seeing his VC contact again in a few days and the Agency will report anything further of value.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 26, Chronological File, 8–12 September 1972. Secret; Sensitive. Sent for information. Haig initialed for Kissinger.
  2. The August 29 report is in the Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry, DCI Files, Job 80–R01284A, Box 6, 1 August–30 September 1972. The transmittal memorandum, dated September 5 and signed by Helms, noted: “The attached report, which implies that the Communists are now willing to separate the military from the political questions in a peace settlement, is at variance with reporting from other sources. The source has fairly good access to medium level Viet Cong cadres, however, and we believe he is reporting accurately what he has been told.”