200. Telegram From the Embassy in Cambodia to the Department of State 1

5859. Eyes Only Assistant Secretary Habib from Ambassador. Subject: Current Military Situation and E&E Planning.

From sensitive sources we understand that the enemy has decided to make an all-out push for Phnom Penh. We understand that the enemy is going to bring in forces from Kompong Cham, Siem Reap and Kompong Chhnang in order to take advantage of any break in the FANK defense line near Pochentong Airport. According to these sources the objective of the enemy is to interdict Pochentong Airport to all traffic.
At the same time the news from the Mekong River town of Neak Luong would presage a collapse of the FANK defense there in the next few days. As of the time of writing this telegram (1900 hours April 1), the situation there is confused, but it is apparent that Neak Luong cannot hold out much longer. This would free 5,000 to 6,000 enemy troops from that site who could then reinforce the 11th and 12th KC Brigades which are already pressing FANK on the southern flank of Phnom Penh.
Under the circumstances I wonder whether it would not be prudent to reduce over the next few days the number of potential evacuees for whom we will have responsibility in the event of Eagle Pull. I am specifically thinking of third-country nationals working in the ammunition control field, AID employees and some voluntary agency workers. I would like to assure you that we will abide by the Dept’s decision, but I believe we should take advantage of following assets to thin out our ranks while we still can.
I would appreciate an early reply.
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for East Asia and the Pacific, Box 4, Cambodia, State Department Telegrams, To SECSTATE, Nodis (6). Secret; Immediate; Nodis.