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Learn more about the project: Lam, Vinh-The, and Darryl Friesen. "A Web-based Database of CIA Declassified Documents on the Vietnam War." Online 28, no. 4 (2004): 31-35.

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Title:
Situation in South Vietnam
Date of Creation:
July 10, 1963
Date of Declassification:
August 25, 1995
Type of Document:
Special National Intelligence Estimate
Level of Classification:
SECRET
Status of Copy:
ORIGINAL
Pagination, Illustration:
10 p.
Abstract:
This SNIE No. 53-2-63 presents the following conclusions: A) The Buddhist crisis in South Vietnam has highlighted and intensified a widespread and longstanding dissatisfaction with the Diem regime and its style of government. If--as is likely--Diem fails to carry out truly and promptly the commitments he has made to the Buddhists, disorders will probably flare again and the chances of a coup or assassination attempts against him will become better than even. B) The Diem regime's underlying uneasiness about the extent of the US involvement in South Vietnam has been sharpened by the Buddhist affair and the firm line taken by the US. This attitude will almost certainly persist and further pressure to reduce the US presence in the country is likely. C) Thus far, the Buddhist issue has not been effectively exploited by the Communists, nor does it appear to have had any appreciable effect on the counterinsurgency effort. We do not think Diem is likely to be overthrown by a Communist coup. Nor do we think the Communists would necessarily profit if he were overthrown by some combination of his non-Communist opponents. A non-Communist successor regime might be initially less effective against the Viet Cong but, given continued support from the US, could provide reasonably effective leadership for the government and the war effort.
Declassified Documents Reference System Location:
1996-1861