Skip to main content

tv   1966 Fulbright Vietnam Hearings General Maxwell Taylor  CSPAN  February 27, 2016 8:10am-9:45am EST

8:10 am
the generation who fought world and they saw this as a continuation n fact, the administration kept talking all these h and things that were world war ii analogies trying to make vietnam sort of a mini second world essentially. that was an appealing argument to a large part of the united states who had fought in second world war and who believed this was the mission of the united states. divided parents and children very much so. robert's own children them.ed as our ivileged to witness general maxwell taylor. ne of the ablest military leaders in many years. his record of distinguished back e to the nation goes nearly 45 years. e was an outstanding combat
8:11 am
leader in world war two and in went on through progressively more responsible become chief of staff of the army and chairman staff. joint chiefs of few men have played such a significant role in the to our ents leading current involvement in vietnam. for the last five years, general has been associated intimately with the making of policy decisions. as personal military epresentative of president kennedy in 1961 and '62, as chairman. chief of staffs from '62 o '64 and as our ambassador to outh vietnam in 1964 and 1965, and he is now special consultant to the president and accompanied the recent conference in
8:12 am
honolulu. general taylor, we're pleased to have you with and we're very you and welcome whatever statement you choose. >> mr. chairman and gentlemen, i want to thank you, mr. chairman, and the members of the committee for your willingness to hear my iews on the situation in south vietnam. i'm afraid they'll not be new to oftenf you since you have heard me express them in the days when i was an official with the government. thoroughly with the motivating purpose of these hearings mainly to analyze the why we're involved in south vietnam and the importance involvement and the effectiveness with which we're dealing with the result and problem. assist rsonal views can in clarifying these points i hall be most pap happy to prevent them. for the purpose of providing a asis for the subsequent discussion with your permission, mr. chairman, i would like to make a continuous statement
8:13 am
undertake to answer three basic questions. first, what are we doing in vietnam? secondly, how are we doing it? improvelly, can with he upon what we're doing? a simple statement of what we in south vietnam is to say that we are engaged in a purpose and interest with the militant weighing of the communist movement hanoi, the viet pee king. in the front ranks stand the government and the people he south vietnam supported primarily by the united states but assisted in varying degree some 30 other nations. the purpose of the hanoi camp is perfectly clear and has been since 1954. absorb the 15 million he vietnam under a
8:14 am
communist state. in the course of accomplishing this purpose the communist expect to undermine the position of the united states in demonstrate the ethicacy of the so-called war of cheap, safe and isavowable technique of future extension of militant communist. our purpose is equally clear and defined. t is baltimore's speech of april 7, 1965, president johnson did so in the following terms. is the ctive independence of south vietnam and its freedom from attack. want nothing for ourselves. only that the people of south vietnam be allowed to guide country in their own way. his has been our basic objective since 1954. it has been pursued by three and ssive administrations remains our basic objective
8:15 am
today. communists we have secondary objectives derived from the basic ones. the war to show that of liberation far from being disavowable, is costly, dangerous and doomed to failure. we must destroy the myth of its invincibility in order to the independence of many are nations which vulnerable targets. e cannot leave while force and violence threaten them. the question has been raised as to whether this clash of really important to us. and easy exincomplete answer it must be t important to us since it is the dered so important by other sides. their leadership has made it regard south ey vietnam as the testing ground and after liberation the anticipated discuss there it
8:16 am
around the ly used world. in the interview of last ecember, we believe that national liberation wars are just wars. as long as ntinue there is national oppression by crew khef had the following to say, now a word war. national liberation by the d struggle vietnamese people serve the example of such wars. these are revolution nearry wars. not only are admissible inevitable. fully support just wars and march in the front rank struggles. waging in chief of the vietnamese, it's the model
8:17 am
of our time. if the special warfare that the imperialists are testing in sroutsdz eet tphapl is overcome then it can be anywhere in the world. of chinater of defense in a long statement of policy in described in detail how they expect to liberation tor of expand communist in latin and asia.frica these testimonial show apart imposing oal of ommunist on 15 million south vietnamese, the success of war of liberation is in itself an mportant objective of the communist leadership. on our side we can understand ae grave consequences of such success for us. eisenhower in 1959 suppressed the military
8:18 am
importance in the following terms. said, strategically south vietnam's capture by the bring their uld power several hundred miles into free regions. the remaining free countries would be menaced by a great movement. the loss of south vietnam would set in motion a crumbling it ess which could as progresses have grave consequences for the forces of freedom. view has often been referred to as the domino theory. believe in do not such a theory. t means belief in a law of nature which requires the collapse of each neighboring inevitable sequence following a communist victory vietnam. however i'm deeply impressed ith the probable effects worldwide not necessarily areas in south vietnam. if the war of liberation scores victory there. president kennedy commented on
8:19 am
moving ger with eloquence. he said, the great battle ground of the defense and expansion freedom today is the southern half of the globe. latin america, africa and of middle east, the lands the people who harbor the greatest hope. the enemies of freedom think destroy the hopes of the newer nations and aim to do it before the end of the decade. is a struggle of will and determination as much as one of violence. it is a battle for the conquest much minds and souls as as for the conquest of lives and territory. struggle, we cannot fail to take sides, ends the the president. i think a simple answer to the question, what are we doing in is to say that for more than a decade we have been in whichdes in a cause stake.e a vital
8:20 am
sides in the struggle have developed the current strategies confrontation. during 1964 and 1965 the hanoi attempted to exploit the political turbulence which in 1963.the president greatly encouraged by the isorder which marked the scene in saigon, the kphaoeucommunist made a massive effort to press on to victory. infiltration of personnel of the north first as army individual replacements and as tactical units. they made a major drive for .ignificant military victories
8:21 am
the rrently they increased sabotage directed at the land system in south vietnam for the hampering the commodities and economic stresses in the south. terrorism was stepped up and directed with added frequency. hope to be able political d hold important localities such as district and provincial capitals demoralize the vietnamese people of government and backing which must inevitably fail. growing threat, the government and american advised to have a counter strategy. it evolved out of the experience of the preceding months and its full form ed in 1965 with the critical
8:22 am
decisions to introduce ground and initiate the bombing campaign against military in the north. both of these courses of action consideration since at least november 1961 presented by report to president kennedy following a visit to saigon to assess the there.on we did not take either action at that time. but my report contained the comment with regard to the possible necessity of using source of gainst the the support in north vietnam. we feel that the program recommended represents measures which should be taken now i would not suggest it final word. decision is to continue war on 1959 with
8:23 am
guerrilla bans e must then decide whether to accept as legitimate the guidance of a guerrilla war boundaries. can we admit the establishment of the common law that the party attacked and his friend are denied the right to strike the after of the aggression the fact of that aggression is established. end of the quotation. by february 1965, it became could no longer tolerate this clandestine support in north vietnam which external base for the insurgency. it consists of four components. he first includes the many activities directed the ncreasingly effectiveness against the north vietnamese unit in south et tphapl.
8:24 am
made the efforts to increase vietnam.s of south midful this is a vietnamese war we should only do those things that the vietnamese or in do for themselves time to overt defeat. july 1964 to july 1965, the armed forces and police of south increased by some 140,000 trained men. very credible effort for a military leadership and have experience are in short supply. overall strength in south vietnam is approaching 700,000, the largest military among all of our allies worldwide. encouraging though the results ave been in increasing the
8:25 am
vietnamese strength, during the years cited we believed that the viet cong increased their strength by 60,000. in other words, we were only a g at a rate little better than 2-1 in our favor. since history has shown that the government skeflsly opposing the insurgency in the past have required a much greater 10-1 derance of strength, or 12-1, for example it was vietnamese could not raise resources fast enough paces with the viet cong in time. it was that sobering decision the decision to introduce ground forces with mobility and massive fire power to compensate. with such forces available it the ratios of required strength cited above would lose their validity.
8:26 am
'm thoroughly aware of the concern of the committee over he growing requirement of american troops in south vietnam. is this an endless requirement ended war? i do not believe anyone can give a completely satisfactory replay but i can suggest a consideration of certain have a factors which bearing on the matter. on our side we're not setting as an objective for our ground forces the occupation of all south vietnam or the hunting down of the last armed guerrilla. we are in vietnam to safeguard people who are the real target of the enemy. meaning as little except as in so far as it supports people. hus the extent of control and protection of populations is the true measure of progress rather control of territory.
8:27 am
by the former indicator, we're not doing too badly. mansfield n man's /* -- government controls stkao% of the population. july left saigon last 25% and gures were 53%, 22%. the point i wish to make is that when one expresses our military in terms of securing a igh proportion of the population, the troop requirement loses some of its impression of open endedness. concept, the prime target of our united states line becomes the main enemy unit which constitute the greatest threat to population. the entire guerrilla force another limiting factor is the difficulty of the viet cong supporting increased numbers of combat. combination of air attacks
8:28 am
and increasing ground attacks places some kind of ceiling on can maintain in south vietnam. wish i knew exactly where the ceiling is, but our basic data n viet cong logistics are too uncertain to permit precision. the point is, there are factors troop end to keep our requirement finite and limit the to support f hanoi numbers of additional forces in the south. the second component of of our strategy relates to the use of vietnam. in north it is well to remind ourselves us toasons which impelled this decision. there are three which we recognized perfectly at the time decision and which remain valid today. the first was to give the people vietnam the assurance ar the first time of imposing direct penalty on the source of
8:29 am
the aggression. they have suffered viet cong without any advice from the country. the morale as a people and that armed forces in vietnam eceived a lift from the decision to use the air forces of both our countries against homelandtargets in the of the enemy. a lift which is certainly contributed to sustaining their to continue the fight. the second reason for the decision to use air power in so far as it could be effective, to limit and render more difficult the infiltration of men and from north vietnam to south vietnam. t was clear from the start and clear today that air power would not be able to stop infiltration. shour, however, it could impose a ceiling on the be sustained ould in combat in south vietnam. i do not believe that anyone who
8:30 am
reflected on the destruction of bridges, ports and rail yards and the ar facilities effect of the limitation of daylight movement on the road throughout a large part of north vietnam can avoid the conclusion that the air campaign has had an effect in slowing down infiltration and raising its price. testimonial to its effectiveness was the feverish vietnam duringth the bombing cause to prepare amage and remove transport in daylight. the third reason was to provide the ering reminder to leaders in hanoi that rogressively they must may a mounting price for the continuation of their support of forpite of the statement, i one know from experience that no derives any enjoyment from receiving incoming shells
8:31 am
nd bombs day after day and i have no doubt the message is getting through to the leadership in hanoi. n a sense the objective of our air campaign is to change the will of the enemy leadership. hope that in due course the failureion of viet cong to get victory on the ground and he effective air attacks will present the leadership a so disadvantageious hey'll decide it's in their nterest to join with us of improving the lot of all vietnam. of our d component current strategy includes all those non military activities so important but which reef too little public attention. are not that our leaders unaware of the importance of better government and better living conditions and promise of better future for the people of the country.
8:32 am
unfortunately lack of security government instability were limitingg time factors the effectiveness of the many programs for development and reconstruction. but now with the growing military effectiveness of the and the the ground slowly developing maturity of saigon l leadership in provinces i hope there re benefits of the comparatively normalized place. as you know the recent of its ce devoted most time to a consideration of these non military activities. are to leave a viable essential we make progress even under the conditions of war in stabilizing the society and the economy. the fourth component of our that which rethraeuts to our political and
8:33 am
initiate efforts to he settlement of a peaceful settlement. as is also the discouraging lack from the other side. i am obliged to feel that the anoi leadership is not yet convinced it must mend its ways. perhaps they still hope for some victory in the south. convincedthey are not that in some way the united states cannot be detached rom the support of south vietnam. they hope against hope through international or domestic be sure our government can forced off course. forgotten that and viet e that the that the cong maybe as fortunate this washington and doubt the will of public to continue the conflict indefinitely. to win even though north vietnam like the south has
8:34 am
constantly at war for over 20 years. until it becomes perfectly clear on them that we are going to stay on course regardless of i'm afraid we won't see them at a conference table. unconvinced of the inevitability of the failure of the present course we can stall, delay and p uver just as they did in korea for over two years. consists of a complex but coherent package of measures esigned to improve the effectiveness of our forces on to ground in south vietnam exploit our air superiority by targets in litary north vietnam and stabilize the economic social and stems and seek an honorable negotiated settlement of the conflict. is limited as to objectives and as to geographical scope and
8:35 am
as to weapons and forces employed and as to targets attacked. all parts of it are interrelated we must be successful on all fronts. i believe is pressure at all points directed at the will, the ability and the means of the communist aggressors. fair question to ask, whether this is the best trategy to attain our basic objective. i am the first to concede that better in allt do four categories of our efforts. progress towards peaceful negotiations is a which can ffair progress only from some cooperation from hanoi. that know thus far cooperation has been withheld. having conceded the need and the improvement or within the components of our add in strategy, i must
8:36 am
honesty i know of no new trategic proposal which would serve as a better alternative to the ones i have described. do not provided we sacrifice our basic objectives. two old of course the alternatives which we have always rejected and i hope will continue to reject. to withdraw and give up our warc objective or widen the by massive air attacks on the orth vietnamese and even on chinese targets. these two courses of action so to contravene i should not take the time to discuss the only new proposal of which i'm aware is holding strategy hich at least in its extreme form calls for cessation of united states reinforcement and limitation of military for those necessary for the security of our forces and the maintenance of our
8:37 am
military presence. on several occasions, i'd express my several in opposition. thustton up our troops and to sacrifice their unique attributes of mobility and fire constitute the aban -- on our troops. behavior on such vietnamese alive could be disastrous. andould encourage the timid wavering to turn to the viet ong for protection and the liberation front for political acommendati acommendation. serious result would be the impossibility of obtaining onorable terms at any peace table. the communist are tough enough
8:38 am
one has the when upper hand. they would never give acceptable if the military situation ad weakness on our part and readiness to withdraw. the only alternative would the warren sit out defensive.on a i can hardly see this congress supporting that. obliged to conclude that the so-called holding trategy is really not an alternative way of reaching our objective of an independent attack.etnam we could never reach it on such a course. ather than being a true alternative, it amounts to the modification and erosion of our objective and hence appears to me to be unacceptable. feel that our present strategy is the best that can be suggested and that adhere to t that we it. always striving to improve our
8:39 am
confines e within the of its general content. not without risk but little of value is accomplished without risk. risks s to me that the entailed are warranted by the mportance of our state in southeast asia. congress recognizes this importance in the wording of the in august of on 1964 i quote, the united states its nationaltal to interest and the world peace the maintenance of international and security in southeast asia. subscribe though those words and believe we should live by them and by the words of said, ent johnson when he in regard to our commitment in vietnam, we will not be did he feated and we will grow tired and we will not withdraw openly or under the cloak of a meaningless agreement. you, mr. chairman.
8:40 am
thank you mr. general taylor. eneral taylor, before i resume the principal question, there's just one statement you made that puzzled me greatly. on page 12 you say they have not one more in s is paris and believe the viet cong fortunate in washington. what did they win more in perris. >> the weakening will to and the the conflict fact that the home front and the reached the nt had conclusion that the struggle in vietnam was hopeless and hence they must end it rapidly. that france at the 57 eva court, they would get out regardless of the
8:41 am
agreement.the where while military did he lost in which the french 25 or 30,000 troops represented military set back and not a waterloo. >> you don't consider it a battle? >> it tilted the scale of decisions. had strong ch military forces which were not all.ved at >> i'm glad to have that information. the ays been under impression that it was it was a rather decisive battle. and that the vietnam men felt war. won the >> i'm sure they did -- how long after it was the meeting in geneva convened. >> i'd have to check. i think it was the next day or calm of days later.
8:42 am
>> they were almost conquer ept not conquer rent. > not being a military man as you know, i would not wish to argue about this point at least the strategy. i'm not capable of the strategy of pursuing the war. the validint of view, of our involve. there is more important. no question, if we wish to bring power to bear we can completely annihilate this small country. as you pointed out the 15 million people and they're very not? eople, are they there is no industrialization of any consequence. planes, ot make missiles, tanks, anything of that character and i'm sure we completely crush them to dust and rubble if we wish to do so and i wouldn't doubt and i in the greatest confidence their capacity to do this job. a t does worry me as
8:43 am
representative of ordinary civilians in arkansas is whether justified in pursuing this. therefore, my mind has been attracted by that part of this controversy as to whether or not ought to pursue this. unpopular is a very way to look at it. but you quote on page three the national liberation war. armed struggle by the vietnamese war of the e algerian people serve as the latest example of such wars. are evolutionary wars. such wars are not only inevitable.ut can they flare up in the future? they can. i was reminded is how the war of scribe 1776. as that a war of national liberation or wasn't it? int kind of war did we fight
8:44 am
1776. >> may i go back and pick up 2 3 of your comments previously. first i hope my statement is made clear, it is not our to crush or destroy north vietnam. wille trying to change the of the leadership in hanoi. like to quote a sentence from the greek historian who wrote before he says i think very wisely in its application today it is not purpose of war to annihilate those who provoke it. their cause them to mend ways. i would make this point very strongly, senator. trying to make them mend their ways. >> what about the people of vietnam? we are causing much more damage north than they are in vietnam. e'll come back to the question of whether these are two different countries. > i'd like to comment on your
8:45 am
algerian comment. i suggest perhaps the feeling in vietnam nd the south today are comparable and they're not. resistance to a colonial rule at the present time. resistance of colonial rule unless one wants to view the communist aggression as a form of colonial aggression. put it ldn't wish to this way, unless you want to say e are the colonial having to step in the shoeses of the french. should people put it that way i don't. isn't this origin an effort by v them to throw the domination of the french. successful.d it was they tried to impose their colonial rule. wasn't it a group who succeeded in throwing out the influenced if not dominated by communist
8:46 am
leadership? entirely. but not many of our friends in south vietnam today fought against the and they're violently anti-french. >> you of your turn to say what you please. said it yesterday and you said it again today. continue, general. making the imply point that any analogy between algerian situation is not accurate in my judgment. 1776, again, i would find great difficulty in any similarity between the actions of the colonists -- you how you would be characterize it? revolution ral against a colonial power. > it was similar as as the one
8:47 am
against the french. >> it is but not the situation today sir. >> i understand that, general. i was just trying to pursue the origin of the struggle. it's changed considerably. and it egan that way succeeded. climatic point but for the collapse of the french was the home front. >> i don't know what evidence that.ave for it's the general impression that it was a blow to the french and it was hopeless and negotiated almost immediately there after. geneva and agreed to a cease fire. is that not correct? > it was a very great defeat for the french but at that time there was no weakness on the front and they won. in other words, a battle is important largely as it relates situation. in that sense it wasn't very
8:48 am
critical. >> well, i don't think that -- genuine revolt against colonial domination and often fight with a great deal of tenacity and the french i read it correctly decided it was a hopeless struggle. may be many elements entering into it but surely it the ne of them and vietnamese mounted a long and costly war. ourselves contributed nearly 2 billion helping the french maintain their domination of the we not, between '50 and '54. >> a considerable sum. kherz.t have the fig >> it's been stated it was a considerable sum. revolteder odd when we against the british, the french helped us throw off the british we? didn't >> the role changed in his
8:49 am
history. a most do change in peculiar manner. i don't recall where we ever colonial power a to retain its domination of its colón 90, do you? no, but again i for the record i would remind us all we're not talking about the situations at that time. the talking about communist colonialism which is assert >> i agree. strategy sh to argue on how we defeat the enemy. our enemy.ecome they necessarily weren't at that time back in 1946. this is what worries a great people. it's been whether or not we're we've ed in the position taken here. these two countries which you now call two countries and south vietnam prior to
8:50 am
objection by the french by 1884 was one country wasn't it? in the loose sense of word. > it was a country for 2000 years. >> not as a nation. >> during the dark ages and the a ile period no country was nation as they are today, but it as as much a country as nearly any of those countries -- separate ere three states you recall. there was a war they had between north and south vietnam i suppose like our war between north and south here, ourselves one country even though we had a war, didn't we? and most powerful side prevailed. > we behaved somewhat difficulty after the situation
8:51 am
in the southeast asia. reminded of the events that took place in the when tens of thousands of the north vietnamese were murdered. to be the pattern of the communist leadership there. of killing way people. now. of them being killed in your statement in the u.s. and world report which i had the opportunity to read and published. one of the other things about this involvement in our state there and i quote, first we have the moral stake of our commitment of the people of vietnam. i say the people and not the government. has changed but our obligation is to the people of south vietnam. of your quote. what bothers me, how does a ation go about making an obligation to a people of the
8:52 am
country as distipping wished government. >> for political and military one diplomatic purposes one deals with the government. i'm not saying we go around the government and deal with the this is my personal view, our obligation are these people. i find gentleman try to make a legalistic question it and the question of the legality of it. i feel our obligation is to the government.ot the >> how do you go about determining what the people of want? ietnam how do you you know today what they want? >> well, i would like to cite a i'm convinced that the people of south vietnam the eeply convicted to anti-communist cause. 1954 when a ack to choice was given to every
8:53 am
citizen whether to go north and north and be a communist or stay south or move south and be communist half of the country. you will recall that over 1 people or roughly a million people came south bringing nothing but what they to d carry in their hands avoid being in the communist camp. n the other hand, only about 80,000 moved north to choose the of hoechy min. point. a starting since that time and the course of the war there have been large movements of population. we estimate that there have been ver 700,000 refugees either leeing from the possibility of viet cong domination or avoiding the hazards of war. always nificant they come to the government side. of now no movement population to get behind the
8:54 am
viet cong front. last may, lection 1965, in south vietnam which was very considering and almost never reported or referred to here in this country. held in every province of south vietnam. was not ical purpose particularly important but to counselors either municipal or provincial ounselors but the result is considering. of all those estimated eligible clearly outside of viet cong eld by the some 70% registered to vote -- 67% registered and of those registered 73% voted. we do in our own country. the significant fact was the anxious to re sabotage this election and every an act voted was doing of defiance and in many cases
8:55 am
aking serious changes because his name was being put on the reprisal list of the viet cong it.bserve things like this make me convinced that the vast minority vietnamese people are deeply committed to the anti-communist cause. do you reconcile your of s with the statement general eisenhower that 80% of vote for hoechy min. >> i would disagree if it was conditions such as today. there was a fear of the elections as set up by the unless they were supervised and soon became impossible. would be >> my time is up. understood.h to be i think they kphaouz it. have that kind of choice. the alternatives are bad out
8:56 am
there. i don't think any of them would. certainly none of us would and i of them would. >> general taylor, i followed your statement with a great deal interest. seems to me that it should serve o clear up some great rstandings of people have. ask you a who are the viet cong? terms of ng are in military categories they're the the lled main line units, hardcore, the tough professional fighters and then they have both local units who are more paramilitary in military than strictly nd then they have a large number some 40,000. concernedracially are the majority are south veet
8:57 am
tphapl. large majority are south 53 in vietnamese. trained in the north and sent south so that of r leadership regardless ethnic origin came out of north vietnam. the end of '64, in addition to the viet cong we have the cocalled of north he army vietnam who were brought in first as individuals and then in formed units even in division size. you have them as a very and tant reinforcement they're all from north vietnam. hear a good bit from time o time about this being simply a civil war within a country and are intervening in internal affairs of that country.
8:58 am
what would you say about that? say that is simply not the case. a foreign eed aggression from hanoi and the arm cong being the military of north vietnam being utilized clandestinely through to impose a communist rule on south vietnam. leadership and direction come from north vietnam. > they're directed by another power and under the communist ideology. >> that's right. >> does that fit in with the that president truman made of our foreign of our t the time helping out in greece and turkey? >> i think you should ask the secretary of state to answer that. in my judgment yes. although i'm far from an expert.
8:59 am
kim: >> you remember the statements he made? i do in general terms. needing el this is under the direction of a foreign government in the country of vietnam which we were tond by our own undertakings help. >> that is my opinion sir. of the re not a party we?eva conference, were >> we did not sign it. skoutsdz >> did we make an agreement with government etnamese that we would help them if they needed help. shortly there after there was which ange of letters in president eisenhower would assist. >> was it under that promise we into south vietnam
9:00 am
originally? >> i think that was the basic action which initiated our aid. not researched all the documents, but that as i recall is the principal document which in the sense of the starting point for the programs which we carried forward. when did we first put assistance? after this once agreement in 54. a while the french remained in a training capacity in south withdrew this y form of participation and we ook over the entire training task of the armed forces. an economic aid going on at the time. >> there that was an advisory group. >> yes. >> that increased to advisors -- it grew rather substantially
9:01 am
of my sult of the visit mission in '61, president increase the d to number offed a advisors and not o change the quality of our support but increase the of it and shortly after as the number went as high 17,000. >> and then some time later we sizeable units. 1965 then t until because of the inability to created an adequate forces to for the added infill straeugs from the north that we decided to put in our own forces combat role. >> they were increasing their manpower but not enough it match the infiltration from the north. >> that is correct. has been e increase very good. the limiting factor is not so leadership.r but it's almost impossible to create
9:02 am
core and non cers commissioned officer core quickly. leadership has been the restraining factor. so, they have almost 600,000 men now in the army and forces and the police. >> general taylor, i noticed in our statement that you do not subscribe to the so-called domino theory. you do admit, do you not, that communist success in south would have a tremendous effect on other nations around there? do.i certainly i don't like the domino phrase an use it suggests neighbor goes down next. and it may not be the neighbor. >> in your opinion can we win in vietnam. >> senator i always ask -- when i answer this question first i
9:03 am
ant to say what i mean by winning. i think the word win tends to york town, the signing on of the e on the deck battleship missouri. that does not mean. obtain our basic objective the one which i prepared in our state. to offer freedom and self vietnam.ation to south i think we can do that. >> ours is not a conquest. >> not in any sense. for the purpose of enabling this country to whom we are bound by agreement to maintain its own government and freedom. >> or to choose its own government. my opinion, sir, yes. mentioned some of theed a
9:04 am
---ed a va kasy. see it with as you that kind of action? >> definitely not. i think that inevitably if it's to come from a conference table from that geture means we could never that kind of agreement which would obtain the basic objective discussing. >> you recognize military winning alone is not sufficient. successful on the ground against the viet cong to leadership to the they cannot possibly win. in that sense the military is important. it's also very important in creating that security behind nation can do these building acts which are very important. strategy is a package and we have to do well in the military ield, the political field, the economic field and the psychological field. >> are we beginning to move, you this field of passive
9:05 am
indication? >> non military? yes. >> we have always been able too ove in the areas where the security was good enough. ut it's often to say it's hard to plant the corn outside the stock aid when the indians are around. but i think our increased effectiveness and the growing capability of the south to namese government administer and do all these actions civic actions necessary the military program, that the increased capability in both of those fields is encouraging as we look to the future. >> you were ambassador there for quite a time. little over a year. you have followed of course the government of south vietnam. yes, sir. >> do you believe there has been
9:06 am
stability of the the government? almost anything would be an saw whennt over what i i was ambassador. prime d with five ministers in the course of my 13 months. since this present government is month, clearly it has done better in terms of any we have missed one reason, one fact thisn namely the is the first government which is backed by the armed forces. as long as they're behind this present sense,he it's not going to be overturned minority as some were in the previous years. so i do feel that there's some indicated nt in the indicatorses. >> government of south vietnam the action in fighting the
9:07 am
is not supported -- popular support win south vietnam. >> in the sense of the word i agree. because of the war conditions, the present leadership, the individuals, are not generally known throughout the country. historically has always been an unpopular place. tax collector e lives. so i don't think the commitment is really to this government or to the leaders, although prime minister key now now showing a considerable political sense. he gets out among his people and interests at but the real commitment of the viet cong gainst the and against communism. they know that kind of life is aggression.s but they're deeply anti-communist although with no deep personal present to the government.
9:08 am
the government. general taylor, you had of course quite unique experience particular situation we find ourselves in in south vietnam. get clear in my mind what 1 or 2 things. moment rs to me at the i'm suggesting this to see what is. comment types of been two procedure in south vietnam in we have become involved leaving out the fact that we did contribute a great amount of money to the french in an attempt to bolster them and activities they had prior. and incidentally i want to ask
9:09 am
your opinion that a great deal of the failure of the in south vietnam came as result of internal confusion back in france and the idea that heir forces were not being south vietnam and nly used volunteers and that ventually they just sort of write -- >> i'm quite sure that was a factor. following -- following the ithdrawal of the french, we nder took to give aid to south vietnam. during that period of aid, it limited, was it not, to
9:10 am
echnical aid and then some military advisory aid? yes, sir. we had both an economic problem and a military program. out that the economic program has always been the military aid if we don't include the operational of our forces in the next year. >> we hear so much no days of that this is active militant -- military action in continuing m is a action since about 1954. until and including 1960, at the end of the hadnhower administration we terri personnel.
9:11 am
>> it was very small. were entirely devoted to giving technical programs to ining the south et in a me troops. that's when the french were still there. >> did we have any commitment or agreement with the south that mese up to that time e would put in active field military forces to conduct a war along with them? no sir. we didn't want such a commitment. was the commitment made actively participate military operations of the war as american personnel? well, in so far as the use of the combat ground forces are took place only in the spring of 1965.
9:12 am
n the air, we had been dissipating more actively over 2 or 3 years. yes. pf toint offix this in time. this is only out of the carrying out of commitment that we made troops are in follow-aup of the commitment and i have not agreed theory. >> with regard to the situation ourselves in now, i've asked this question before put it to you.
9:13 am
it seems we have courses of action. one would be to withdraw. the other would be to follow the security strong point and defense limited area and just sit there and hold that and hope that they mortar lob in mote khels on us. to increase or active destruction of military are a gets which go vietnamese and the the viet cong's ability to follow the law. say there are three general courses. > i mentioned a fourth and unlimited use of air against all targets. would include the fourth as
9:14 am
a potential part of the third. it's so different, senator. you ought to make it a separate category. >> well, maybe. philosophy as you et into a hassle of this kind you want to win. do you think if we just withdrew -- speculating now -- withdrew our forces and our force there and said let's come to the conference table, do you think the north vietnamese would the conference table? >> hard to say. they would have won anyway. could havethink they won anything more at a conference tabl. i wouldn't be sure. be sunk of course. struggle history of of people, you any great number of
9:15 am
instances where a nation at holding its own in the truggle or perhaps winning is willing to come to a conference table and willing to make a lot concession against their interest. >> all conferences are ettlements and record the assumed balance of power at the moment. obviously no one should go to a conference table from a weak osition unless he is ready to come out with a weak solution. to.unless he thinks he has >> yes, no other choice. >> does it appear to you that and the north vietnamese are in that state of mind at the present time? > i don't think they've been convinced yet they're bound to lose. > now we've had about a 30 day lull in bonding of military targets. days, sir. >> 37 i guess.
9:16 am
i don't know what i said. 37 days i believe it was. do you think much was accomplished there except to north vietnamese and viet cong to rehabilitate the field and get new supplies and repair they can return to the fray with greater vigor. a great deal was accomplished. i was asked my opinion and i was well worth the whether it was worth 37 days or it's matter of judgment. a substantial pause and clearly ample to have all the consultations made. i'm sure it was a good thing. it's quite right. some military price paid in terms of the other side repair damage to build up stock. i think all those things can be
9:17 am
indeed our shows the conduct leadership that we are our tably committed to course of action and we'll stay on it until they mend their ways. earlier in ou said response to a question that's under fullbright. that after all this is nothing new. they've been at it for 20 years. come acclimated to 20 years of fighting over there, is it mean so much to continue or another 10 or 20 years. used to it now? >> if were you watching the fight would prize you bet on the man who was 20thting his first round or round? >> i'm not so sure but if we are ere doing well and got used to it. >> one never gets used to war.
9:18 am
he first shell coming in is rather interesting but the thousandth shell is awfully dull unattractive. >> i think this was probably true. had this existence to which they apparently have and they themselves seem to get along. worse ess they are hurt now, they are being hurt >> one important point. technicallyave been at war for 21 years in the sense japanese, n fighting french or feeding the war in south vietnam. never been m has touch and this is something new. the bombing attacks forces the to pay a price. this is indeed new.
9:19 am
this morning's paper, he says, vice president maritime union nd the united states has been vietnam 40% of cargo and 46% of bx supplies winds up in guerrillas.f the >> i wouldn't know whether that's accurate or not senate. doubt he has access to clear information. >> that is a fantastic me.centage seems to i think it would be well for us to inquire as to whether or not extravagant statement or whether it has a substantial truth. of the statement is and i'm quoting
9:20 am
said, 40% article, he qualify rgo -- doesn't t to any particular type of cargo -- and 36% of all bx vietnamese oaded in ports wind up in the hands of the guerrillas. any data never seen hich would suggest precise knowledge of that sort. we understand that the our participation south nable the vietnamese, not for their own nterest but for the general political stability of the area have free elections
9:21 am
nd that we'll use enough force north and i he hink right there is where the confusion arise of a great number of people. because it is a nebulous or considered by many people as a objective. it is not too well defined. ertainly the freedom and self determination of south vietnam is something. elections for free something.urity is
9:22 am
intonk that's where we run a lot of confusion and misinterpretation. can be 't see how there any doubt about our basic objective. it does seem so clear and simple allow these people to choose their own government and their own way of life. i quite concede that the discussions of ways and means can actics and strategy become and has become highly complexed. of results in part because the nature of the war. 've had occasion to say, there isn't one situation there but 44 situations and a true statement a maybe vince b.sleading to province round.time is i on this
9:23 am
to was the prior french people growing restless? deal of was a great opposition developing, sir. as you recall the government was rapidly and it became a political issue. my recollection and i it, er if you share negotiated those
9:24 am
out what he g iing considered to be a mandate what him.rench people gave is that a fair observation on my part. recall whether he had a clear majority are not. he took office with the intent the ing this and made negotiation most difficult by he was date by which going to withdraw his forces. of sold out any chance settlement.easonable hen people of a country make clear as i think they did with rance that they wanted the china war stopped, do you interpret that as a weakness on home front? if france had a clear
9:25 am
indication of the will of the french people should i homethat a weakness of the front? >> yes. >> weakness, it certainly is a the part of t on any people to change the policy government. before n't be too long the american people repudiate. > that is good news to hanoi, senator. i don't intend to get down in the gutter with you and debate, that kind of general. my judgmentaying in the president of the united states are losing the people of this country by the this connection with
9:26 am
this war in southeast asia. that this le decide war should be stopped in southeast asia will you take the position that's a weakness on the home front. i would say our people were badly misguided and did not consequence of such a disis aster. we agree on one thing that they can be badly disguided and the government and the misguiding ave been them on this war. >> it's a violation. you're a guest of the committee remain >> general, i take you to the declaration of the geneva conference of july 21, 1954, -- i want to point ut that general eisenhower on august 17th is reported and i think accurately in the press i read what is says, the
9:27 am
communists must be stopped in hetnam mr. eisenhower denied ever given a unilateral ommitment to the government of south vietnam. they saw no need for a commitment in 1954, he said, and aid and not military program. and later says, when asked about letter today mr. eisenhower said today -- and i'll probably into the to get eisenhower letter but he want to he ion the first round -- said, we said we were helping the country and we were not about military programs but foreign aid. our original program was not a program but a foreign aid program. of n 1954 we had no vision what was going to take place. about not realize we were to face a clandestine aggression out of hanoi. commitment made to cover that.
9:28 am
secondly, i would say that in initiated was m ot just aid but had the rather limited factor in it which hepbmentioned.ooper conference takes note of the clauses in the agreement and essation of hostilities in vietnam prohibiting the vietnam of of foreign troops and military personnel as well as all kinds arms a. do you think our military aid of the section of the declaration. > there was never a cessation of hospitality. to 6,000 men nd 5 and large cashes of ammunition to they proceeded reinfiltrate our men from north
9:29 am
vietnam. whole say that the effective.was never they thought so. >> they didn't know what would take place. not dry before the north vietnam was violating it. fran fran /* heard france and others take the position that the violation of justified. up.r treaty is being torn >> it was not our treaty or the vietnamese people. the south vietnamese denounced
9:30 am
and reaty in advance ndicated with considerable tenacity that the other side would never adhere to the rovisions which were actually signed. >> what i'll ask later the questions about what this and how it came nto being and where it came from. the effect that no military base under the control of a foreign in the y be established regrouping zones of the two parties. latter having the obligation shall not constitute any part of military alliance and the presumption of hostilities or an agree es of tkpwresive policy. o you think the basis and the ilitary forces we put in there
9:31 am
are consummate with the source s. the declaration paragraph six, the conference recognizes the agreement relating to vietnam is to settle questions with the view ending hostility. military demarkation line is provisional and should not in any way be interpreted as constituting a political or territorial boundary. it expresses its conviction at he execution of the provision as set in the present declaration and creates the basis for the agreement of the near future of in political settlement
9:32 am
vietnam. it was clearly impossible after the action of hanoi and stablishing a police state and of north veet tphapl that partition of a long period of inevitable and still today. far ragraph seven says so s vietnam is concerned the settlement of political problems n the principals of unity and integrity shall permit the people to enjoy the fundamental guaranteed by governmental institutions and secretneral elections by ballot in order to ensure the significant progress has been and all the necessary conditions obtained for free
9:33 am
will,sion of the national general elections should be held in july 1956 under the of an international commission composed of of the member states of the international commission. true that they oppose though elections and say they should be held under the united contrary to what the treaty called for and joined in elections as se president eisenhower admits in his book. yoummediately after 1954 as well know it became entirely clear that there would be no uch thing as international elections.n of
9:34 am
a police state had been formed at the end of 1955 it was impossible to contemplate lections under those conditions. we did not need to do anything to prevent the elections. furthermore, another half of this agreement never signed it and always said from the outset part of d not have any it. >> a did he rallel was it was ion of zones contemplated it should not be nothing but two zones and set up government in south keys m and now we got saying he's for reunifications his terms later. >> senator, that's your position hat free elections internationally supervise could
9:35 am
held in 1966. in >> i don't think there would have been any doubt of it. we should have tried it and then if it turned out in chaos we case.have had a the fact is history will record that my country and yours it'sped those elections and a black mark on our history. tens of ct is that thousands of north vietnamese were murdered and they could do situation control the at the time. >> later in time there is no question that the conduct of the communists have been despicable and shocking, but at a later we'll discuss some of the atrocities of the south vietnamese. force communist on the 15 million who want to be free after the experience in vietnam? >> because this thing has been
9:36 am
so badly bundled i get a protect ant in there and not have the united states set itself up in asia. or on't have the manpower resources to police asia and e'll have to police them if we asia.w them in southeast >> what nations would the consider on the protectant. primary peace keeping. working behind the scenes trying to stop a debate. the et that debate before world. that's where it ought to be. >> as you know, senator the refuse to have anything to do with the united nations. >> we don't have to. of the uniteembers nations. nited nations doesn't only
9:37 am
members. > do you think france would have won the war in north vietnam if it had been the weakening will in paris. >> i doubt it. colonialism was doomed in south vietnam. they could have lasted longer. >> they felt if they gave in in vietnam then as one put it o me, north african colonies will also be demanding enough ence and sure they did. but isn't france a stronger nation today and wielding influence in world affairs than she did when she tenuously to a colonial empire? > i think that is probably
9:38 am
true. japan a stronger nation today since she got out trying to control much of the asian mainland? this again was an aspect of a colonial to retain power. >> i think in both those cases biting off ample of more than you can choose and can choose so much. >> did i not think we could have more than we can khouz. >> when did you go there? >> a year ago july of '64. were not there in '62.
9:39 am
you were chief of staff. was chairman of joint chiefs. time president request for 6,000 troops to be sent. your advice? on >> i don't recall of 6,000 troops. i went as a departmental mission october of '61 and throughout additional advisors went in. i don't recall 6,000. the increase to a level of about 17,000 american personnel esulted from the recommendations that i made. that it considered at 6,000 troops would be followed a request for more and more troops. >> is no. defined in our report
9:40 am jobs that needed to advisory and logistic type tests and we did not know what the requirement would be. >> you don't recall whether at hat time it was considered recruiting and equipping more rather etnamese troops than sending our own in. >> throughout the period every ffort was made to increase the strength. >> then the need for more troops time.ot foreseen at that >> we hoped very sincerely we of the et the thread viet cong without using our the orce outside of 53 tphapl. >> do you think you can see tpartszer ahead now than you did then, sir? you think you can look farther now than you did? >> we can see the bounds of the problem. bviously we don't have many
9:41 am
fields. in many to know i ought better. general gavin told me he thought the problem was how to make a truce consistent with the military effort. do you think of it in terms of kind of settlement may be are ble in the viet cong defeated? is, general ion gavin he thought the problem was how to make it consistent with military effort.
9:42 am
you comprised the problem touch on it ofou page 14 of the statement, the negotiate is after we have defeated them. wouldn't say defeat. 'm afraid we are thinking of sort.hing of this reallyr words we have to put them in a mood to negotiate -- before we mpt do anegotiate with them. >> that is true. his applied with all military confrontations in history. > that is consistent with the president's position that he'll negotiate with anyone, anywhere any time and goer in where negotiations.e your po --
9:43 am
detect that. y views are my personal views i'm giving you today. >> the 1966 vietnam hearings. month on american history t.v. you can watch each weekend on nights at 10:00 p.m. eastern and sundays at 4:00 p.m. eastern. american history t.v. only on c-span3. up next at the recent visit to south carolina. we're watching american history tv all weekend every weekend on c-span3.
9:44 am
this is our exhibit called the togotten war korea from 1950 1953 and highlighting through art lent to us from the department of the navy and art i are mostly present during the korean war and to conflicts light the that were going on there and really show that even though orea sort of is this forgotten war it deserves to be remembered who fought there and lost their lives deserve some those tion similar to from the world wars as well as the vietnam conflict. introduction to the exhibit itself. we give a little bit of theground information about beginnings of what's going on in it was under occupation in world war ii and the soviet union and the united states and the


1 Favorite

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on