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Situation in South Vietnam
Date of Creation:
August 25, 1965
Date of Declassification:
September 9, 1993
Type of Document:
Weekly report
Level of Classification:
Status of Copy:
Pagination, Illustration:
29 p., 1 map
Student opposition to the present military regime has become more vocal. Although still in a nascent stage, this opposition could develop into a serious problem for the Ky government. An ominous aspect is the apparent tie-in of militant Buddhist elements, under Tri Quang's leadership, with the student agitation. Tri Quang, who has remained in Saigon away from the center of student discontent in his normal habitat of Hue, and is not involving himself directly in this situation, continues privately to criticize the central government as being inefficient and unpopular. A student "struggle committee" formed this week in Hue has issued a demand for early elections and a return to civilian government. Student agitators have seized on the government's recent mobilization decree, since modified, to charge that the military is seeking to gain control over intellectuals. Military Directorate Chairman General Thieu, rather than Premier Ky, is emerging as the principal target of both the students and Tri Quang. The student protests have some overtones of anti-American sentiment, and the issue is susceptible to exploitation by Viet Cong and pro-neutralist elements. Premier Ky, who returned this week from a round of apparently satisfying talks in Taiwan and Thailand dealing with general anti-Communist cooperation, has since been meeting with the other military leaders to discuss the student problem. Ky has exhibited great satisfaction over the US Marine victory against the Viet Cong near Chu Lai, but this operation has served to point up underlying sensitivity on the sovereignty issue on the part of other Vietnamese generals. August thus far has been a bad month for the Viet Cong; their recorded losses included 3,306 casualties, 936 military returnees, and 825 weapons. The three-week casualty totals already exceed previous comparable monthly totals of the war. Viet Cong capabilities for interdiction, sabotage, terrorism, propaganda, harassment, small attacks, and infiltration have not been impaired.
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