National Security Action Memorandum No. 111
November 22, 1961.
TO: The Secretary of State
SUBJECT :First Phase of Viet-Nam Program
The President has authorized the Secretary of State to instruct our Ambassador to
Viet-Nam to inform President Diem as follows:
- The U.S. Government is prepared to join the Viet-Nam Government in a sharply increased
joint effort to avoid a further deterioration in the situation in South Viet-Nam.
- This joint effort requires undertakings by both Governments as outlined below:
- On its part the U.S. would immediately undertake
the following actions in support of the GVN:
- Provide increased air lift to the GVN forces, including helicopters, light aviation,
and transport aircraft, manned to the extent necessary by United States uniformed
personnel and under United States operational control.
- Provide such additional equipment and United States uniformed personnel as may be
necessary for air reconnaissance, photography, instruction in and execution of air-ground
support techniques, and for special intelligence.
- Provide the GVN with small craft, including such United States uniformed advisers
and operating personnel as may be necessary for operations in effecting surveillance
and control over coastal waters and inland waterways.
- Provide expedited training and equipping of the civil guard and the self-defense
corps with the objective of relieving the regular Army of static missions and freeing
it for mobile offensive operations.
- Provide such personnel and equipment as may be necessary to improve the military-political
intelligence system beginning at the provincial level and extending upward through
the Government and the armed forces to the Central Intelligence Organization.
- Provide such new terms of reference, reorganization and additional personnel for
United States military forces as are required for increased United States military
assistance in the operational collaboration with the GVN and operational direction
of U.S. forces and to carry out the other increased responsibilities which accrue
to the U.S. military authorities under these recommendations.
- Provide such increased economic aid as may be required to permit the GVN to pursue
a vigorous flood relief and rehabilitation program, to supply material in support
of the security efforts, and to give priority to projects in support of this expanded
counter-insurgency program. (This could include increases in military pay, a full
supply of a wide range of materials such as food, medical supplies, transportation
equipment, communications equipment, and any other items where material help could
assist the GVN in winning the war against the Viet Cong.)
- Encourage and support (including financial support) a request by the GVN to the
FAO or any other appropriate international organization for multilateral assistance
in the relief and rehabilitation of the flood area.
- Provide individual administrators and advisers for the Governmental machinery of
South Viet-Nam in types and numbers to be agreed upon by the two Governments.
- Provide personnel for a joint survey with the GVN of conditions in each of the provinces
to assess the social, political, intelligence, and military factors bearing on the
prosecution of the counter-insurgency program in order to reach a common estimate
of these factors and a common determination of how to deal with them.
- On its part, the GVN would initiate the following
- Prompt and appropriate legislative and administrative action to put the nation on
a wartime footing to mobilize its entire resources. (This would include a decentralization
and broadening of the Government so as to realize the full potential of all non-Communist
elements in the country willing to contribute to the common struggle.)
- The vitalization of appropriate Governmental wartime agencies with adequate authority
to perform their functions effectively.
- Overhaul of the military establishment and command structure so as to create an
effective military organization for the prosecution of the war and assure a mobile
offensive capability for the Army.
States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1961-1963,
Volume I Vietnam, 1961