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

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 944


FOREIGN RELATIONS, 1952-1954, VOLUME XIII
ment requested by the French. We are awaiting data regarding the
possibility of making civilian flight crews available for the C-119s as
was done last May. It may also be possible to secure civilian mainte-
nance personnel.
  We may be faced with a policy decision on whether to supply US
Air Force maintenance personnel to maintain French Air Force com-
bat and transport planes if these requirements cannot be met from
other sources. Last spring, we sent a detachment of 25 men from Clark
Field to Nha Trang primarily to maintain US owned C-47s which
were on loan to the French Air Force. We have had small detach-
ments of air force officers and men at Haiphong giving the French
practical training in maintenance and in the use olf heavy drop equip-
ment. However, the use of USAF maintenance crews to perform
routine maintenance functions for the French Air Force might rep-
resent a new de.,parture and might therefore require a policy decision.
S/S-NSC files, lot 63 D 351, NSC 5405 Series
Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern
            Affairs (Robertson) to the Secretary of State'
 TOP SECRET                         [WASHINGTON,] January 6,1954.
 Subject: Special Annex on Indochina appended to NSC 177, "US
     Objectives and Courses of Action with Respect to Southeast Asia"
     to be considered by NSCon January 8,1954.2
 Sumimary
   This special annex, which is being given a very limited distribution,
 refers to courses of action open.to the US in contingencies not covered
 by NSC 177, i.e., (a) a determination that in the -absence of an offer
 of US military participation the French might seek to conclude the
 struggle in Indochina on unacceptable terms and (b) a French-refusal
 to continue any participation in the war in Indochina despite offers
 of US participation. The, alternatives open to the US are that the
 US should refuse to commit US forces in either of these contingencies,
 accepting the probable consequences, or that the US should commit
 US forces to supplement orreplace the-French.
   Drafted by Assistant Secretary Robertson and Bonsai of PSA.
   2 TheSpecial Annex, drafted by the Planning Board of the National Security
 Council, was recalled pursuant to decisions taken at the 179th Meeting of
the
 N SC, Jan. 8. It was subsequently reissued on Mar. 29; for text, see p.
1183. For
 the pertinent portion of the memorandum of discussion at the NSC Meeting
of
 Jan. 8, see p. 947.
   NSC 177, "United States Objectives and Courses of Action With Respect
to
 Southegst Asia," Dec. 30. 1.53, was adopted as imended by the NSC on
Jan. 14,
 1954, and subsequently approved by the President. The amended report was
 issued as NSC 5405, Jan. 16, 1954. For extracts from NSC 5405, see p. 971.
A copy
 of NSC 177 is in S/S-NSC flies, lot 63 D) 351, NSC 177 Series.
944


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