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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1952-1954. Indochina (in two parts)

Prelude to the Geneva Conference, January-April 1954: continued deterioration of the French military position; the siege of Dien Bien Phu; the question of United States intervention; the search for united action,   pp. 937-1409 ff. PDF (190.3 MB)

Page 945

  It is believed that you will wish to read this annex or at least pages
1 through 9 inclusive.
   It is assumed the NSC will not reach a final decision at its January 8
meeting on the alternatives set forth in this special annex. In the
course of any discussion, the following points might be made:
   (a) Every effort should be made to insure the success of the Laniel-
Navarre plan    including emergency end-item     assistance granted
rapidly and generously and including if necessary additional financial
assistance. All concerned must'have a top level directive to give highest
priorities to General Navarre's requests. We cannot afford to lose time
or quibble over items which the French believe they require andwhich
we are in a position to supply. If more funds are needed, they should
be forthcoming...
   (b) Any commitment of US. forces in Indochina may lead to the
eventual necessity for making progressively larger commitments.
   (c) Such commitment would require drastic revisions upward in
US budgetary, mobilization and manpower plans and appropriations,
since existing plans and appropriations probablypIreclude the engage-
ment of US forces in operations, of the Indochina type.
   (d) Public opinion in the US is not now ready for a decision to
send US troops to, Indochina and in all probability"will not support
such a decision unless convinced that such action is necessary to save
Southeast Asia from Communist do minationn.
   (e) Withdrawal of th(e French forces plus refusa-l to'commit US
forces would weaken the free-world position throughout Asia and
probably influence the neutralist nations toward the Communist bloc.
751G.5 MSP/1-754: Telegram
     The Charge in France (Joyce) to the Department of State
SECRET     NIACT                     PARIS, January 7, 1954-8 p. m.
  2535. Repeated information Saigon 264. Deptel 2391 (Saigon 1175)
January 5.' Embassy estimates French courses of action over next three
to six months: 2
  1. General. Retention Laniel government at least until after four-
power conference significant in sense we may count on government's
resistance any attempt modify present IC policy for immediate future
when further Viet Minh military successes may possibly occur. Mili-
tarily, the government is committed to implementation of Navarre
Plan which has been defined as designed improve Franco-Associated
States military position IC to a point where a settlement of IC con-
  1Telegram 2391 to Paris, Jan. 5, requesting estimates of French courses
action under various circumstances, is not printed. (751G.5 MSP/1-554)
  2A more detailed analysis was transmitted in despatch 1788 from Paris,
Jan. 14.
(751G.5 MSP/1-1454)

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