160. Memorandum From John H. Holdridge and Richard T. Kennedy of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

SUBJECT

  • Performance of Thai Irregulars

Previously the performance of the Thai irregulars in Laos has been spotty.2 But recent reports from [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]Ambassador Godley [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] in Vientiane indicate marked improvement. A recent [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] report recounts a series of incidents in the Sam Thong–Long Tieng area during 18–30 March in which the Thai fought with courage and determination, often in hand-to-hand combat [Page 348]with NVA infantry. They have withstood almost constant artillery and mortar bombardment and have destroyed four enemy tanks, one with grenades and small arms after it penetrated their perimeter.

The recent, excellent Thai performance probably results from their year of combat experience and a growing confidence that they can stand up to the best NVA units. If it continues, this improvement could prove most significant for events in both Laos and Thailand, for many of these men will return to the Royal Thai Army.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 564, Country Files, Far East, Thailand, Vol. VIII. Secret; Sensitive. Sent for information.
  2. For a previous discussion of the performance of the Thai irregulars in Laos, see Document 147.