« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
However, this is purely personal conjecture, personal opinion. I could not document it to save me. It is just my own feeling as an individual officer.
DISCUSSION ON SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING SCHEDULE
Senator STENNIS. Senator, before you go to the next question, may I intervene here?
I am going to have to leave. You can continue as long as you wish, of course.
I would like to make an inquiry-General O'Hara will be here tomorrow at 10 o'clock, of course, and he is the only witness. Assuming we get through with General O'Hara tomorrow, Senator, do you have other witnesses now, other than the State Department group coming back?
Senator THURMOND. I do not think so, Senator. If someone should—I mean if I should think of someone I think is urgent, I will get in touch with you.
Senator STENNIS. We are just trying to plan a little for the future hearings. There may be one or two more witnesses to show up. Senator Jackson has a witness he wants to talk to us about bringing in. Then we go to the State Department. I understand they have sent in their explanations to you.
Would you indicate about how much time you think it might need to take with those ?
Senator THURMOND. The answers I believe with the explanations
Mr. KENDALL. Your office has been furnished a copy.
Senator STENNIS. If you are not in a position now to make an estimate about when you would be ready to go into that, maybe you could do that tomorrow.
Senator THURMOND. All right, sir.
Senator STENNIS. Then we can work up something. I think we are now at a point where we ought to try to conclude as soon as we reasonably can. It will detract from our effectiveness, I think, to prolong this very
much more. I am about at the end of my rope, myself. If there are going to be many more witnesses—I am about at the end of my rope. If there are going to be many more witnesses in addition to the State Department—I know we have to go back to them-I am just going to have to ask someone else to serve as chairman.
Senator THURMOND. Mr. Chairman, I think we can finish tomorrow—and of course we can probably finish by lunch tomorrow. I think that would conclude—as I say, unless something unexpected comes up, unforeseen--that concludes it, except the State Department, and Dr. Atkinson.
Senator STENNIS. Yes. Well, who is Dr. Atkinson?
Senator THURMOND. He is a professor at Georgetown University. His prepared statement was forwarded to the committee.
Senator STENNIS. Well, what is the nature of his testimony? Will that lead us into a new angle of the thing? That is what I am interested in.
Senator THURMOND. His statement is before the committee.
Senator STENNIS. I know. But I do not know what is in it. If that leads us into a new angle, it has to be weighed and determined whether we will
into a new angle. Mr. KENDALL. The statement is largely a historical study of problems in this particular area.
Senator STENNIS. Well, anyway, except for the State Department witnesses, and Dr. Atkinson, as far as you know now that would conclude it.
Senator THURMOND. Yes, sir.
Senator STENNIS. Well, Senator Jackson has mentioned a possible witness. And of course there could be something to come up that would cause anyone to have one or two other witnesses in mind. But there is no new phase of this thing to go into that I know about. Do you know of any?
Senator THURMOND. I do not foresee any, Mr. Chairman.
Senator STENNIS. All right. How long would it take you, do you think, to look over these State Department answers and be ready to examine whoever is going to testify on that?
Senator THURMOND. Mr. Chairman-
Senator THURMOND. I was going to make the suggestion, if it is convenient to the chairman-today is Wednesday—I would suggest if it is convenient to the chairman
Senator STENNIS. Well, we cannot go into it this week.
Senator THURMOND. I was thinking it is going to take some little time to study the State Department's work. If it is convenient to you, I would suggest a week from Monday.
Senator STENNIS. A week from this coming Monday?
Senator STENNIS. Well, all right, if you think you need that much time. But, suppose you look at it a little, and see if we could get into some of it next week.
Senator THURMOND. We will try to be ready.
Senator STENNIS. Well, he is the one that you had. And you have to give him some notice. So if we could get to some of it the latter part of next week
Senator THURMOND. I think we could—we might say next Wednesday, if you think you will be ready by then, and if he will be ready by then.
Senator STENNIS. Suppose you contact him and see if he can be here Wednesday. See if you can be ready by Wednesday.
Senator THURMOND. We will be ready by Wednesday.
Senator STENNIS. I do not want to rush you, but I thought that we may have to take him 1 day at a time. He may be able to be here Wednesday, and then may not be able to come back until the next Wednesday.
Senator THURMOND. That's true, because his testimony will take some little time. That is true.
Senator STENNIS. You mean a couple of days or something like that?
Senator THURMOND. Yes.
Senator STENNIS. All right. If you will excuse me now,
I am compelled to go. Just proceed with the colonel, Senator. We will be here in the morning at 10 o'clock.
COMPARISON OF TRAINING AND WEAPONS OF ARMY PERSONNEL IN LAOS AND
Senator THURMOND (presiding). Colonel Wilson, in recent months since we have decided to reemphasize Army training to combat guerrilla warfare, our primary practical experience has been gained in the southeast Asia theater of war-for the most part, in Vietnam and Laos. In your present assignment, you must surely have been quite concerned with our operations in both countries.
Have our operations there, in your opinion, proved that the knowhow of the individual soldier, imparted in training, is an even more important factor in the determination of our victory or defeat than the degree of sophistication of the weapons with which he is equipped ?
Colonel WILSON. Yes, sir.
TRAINING OF MAAG PERSONNEL IN SOUTH VIETNAM
Senator THURMOND. Colonel Wilson, much publicity has been given to our plan of operation for combating the guerrillas in Vietnam. Last week, NBC featured an hour-long program to explain our operations there. I had previously been led to believe that our military “order of battle” in Vietnam was classified_until it was laid out in great detail both in the newspapers and on television.
Apparently, it is our plan, utilizing the South Vietnamese troops, of course, to remove the local populace from a predetermined area while we attempt to clean out the guerrilla fighters in that area. Then, after an indoctrinal effort, as well as training in self-defense directed at the displaced populace, we plan to move the original populace back into the area.
Now, Colonel Wilson, it seems rather elemental that for this type of operation to succeed, it is necessary for us to identify those persons among the local populace groups who are themselves either guerrillas or guerrilla sympathizers, or Communist political agitational cadres; for if we do not, we will move the guerrillas along with the agitators back into the area when we return the local populace group.
What type of training has been given, or is being given to MAAG troops in South Vietnam—and through them to the South Vietnamese forces—that will enable them to ferret out the Communists, Communist sympathizers and political agitational cadres of the Communists from among these local villagers in South Vietnam?
Colonel WILSON. I think as far as such resettlement activities are concerned, as are currently being carried out in Vietnam, relatively few, to the best of my personal knowledge-relatively few of our MAG personnel have had any extensive training in this type of operation. It is somewhat novel as an approach. It represents a rather serious measure which is being undertaken, because it is fraught with certain dangers. The morale and the attitude of the people, of course, are a very significant consideration. This step in indicative of the seriousness with which we are considering the situation in Vietnam, and we are applying this lesson which has been successfully used in other instances, such as in Malaya, where this was necessary in order to isolate the hard-core guerrilla from his source of support.
The specific question which you raise poses a problem ; consequently, in view of the earlier comments that I made, where these people probably do not have any specific training of any depth, and they are simply going to have to apply commonsense in locating the agitator, the troublemaker, in this group of people which they are transporting physically from one point to another, and isolate him once he has been located.
This is a problem--the question that you have stated. It will not be an easy one to resolve. There is a great judgment factor involved, and a good deal of alertness to keep it from becoming a self-defeating item.
Senator THURMOND. Colonel Wilson, few men in our military establishment can equal your experience in guerrilla warfare training and activities. So far, I have been unable to find anyone who knew of specific training of our forces which would equip them for effective political and social intercourse with local populations on which the success of their missions depend. The Communists, quite obviously, are conscious of the importance of this area of training.
Mao wrote, in his manual on guerrilla warfare, and I quote:
Replace the door when you leave the house; roll up the bedding in which you have slept; be courteous; be honest in your transactions; return what you borrow; replace what you break; do not bathe in the presence of women; do not without authority search the pocketbooks of those you arrest.
Those specific rules for troop conduct are not sufficient, of course, for Americans, particularly with reference to operations in southeast Asia because our troops as westerners are totally unfamiliar with oriental thinking and conduct.
Where, if at all, are our troops taught such things as the position of preeminence enjoyed by elderly men in the society of Vietnam!
Colonel Wilson. I would like to offer to pass to you an unclassified document, sir, which addresses itself to this particular problem. I will describe it very briefly.
It is a document which was issued by Lt. Col. John T. Little, now at Fort Bragg, N.C., special forces officer, who was in Laos with a number of special forces teams until late last fall. In September he issued a set of instructions which I feel are far more comprehensive than those of Mao Tse-tung, with which I am quite familiar, and I simply would like to offer this to you as a concrete case in point, for the fact that there are people who are taking this whole area of endeavor extremely seriously, and we are beginning to get some documentary indication of success in this area. This was publicized in the Washington Post back some weeks ago.
Senator THURMOND. Was that published in September 1961 ?
Colonel Wilson. I would be very happy to. We have a number of copies. It is unclassified. Because of its obvious value, we have given it wide dissemination. I will be glad to get one over to you promptly.
Senator THURMOND. At what point in training are they taught that in Vietnam, family is the primary and almost only stable institution in that society?
Would the same document embrace that?
Colonel WILSON. No. This particular document does not embrace that. I think this particular point is taught very early in the training. You see, we have at Fort Bragg now a military assistance training advisers course, a 4 weeks thing, which goes deeply into the culture, traditions, and so on in Vietnam. If memory serves me correctly, this is one of the so-called teaching points covered in one of our lessons. There is material available in this area also, if you should like to see it, sir.
Senator THURMOND. And you think that is covered?
Senator THURMOND. Are they impressed with the fact that the use of the French language by the westerners is exploited by the Communists to remind the Vietnamese of their years under French rule?
Colonel WILSON. This is covered in instruction—I have heard this specifically in instruction given at Fort Bragg, for example. And the individual who goes to Vietnam learns this quite early, if he did not know it when he got to the country. It is one of the fairly obvious facts that can be spotted by the intuitive individual very quickly.
Senator THURMOND. Is any effort made to impress our troops with the fact that the attitude of the Vietnamese toward sex is totally without parallel in Western civilization; and that the Hollywood approach to sex is absolutely unacceptable in Vietnam?
Colonel WILSON. You have lost me on that one, sir, because I honestly do not know whether I have seen any documents in which this was covered. I imagine that some reference to his is made in current instruction in the military assistance training advisory course. However, I could not vouch for this.
Senator THURMOND. Colonel Wilson, if our troops being sent to southeast Asia are taught the basic facts, they are certainly not impressed with the importance of their observance to our cold war efforts. Actual on-the-scene films from southeast Asia shown on NBC last week showed conduct by American soldiers which would go far to substantiate Communist anti-American propaganda.
Does the Army realize the importance of training, education, and discipline in these matters, and if so, is it doing anything about it, to try to correct the situation?
Colonel WILSON. Sir, I think the Army is quite cognizant of the significance of this type of behavior. I would like to think that the instance to which you refer is in the nature of an exception, rather than a common example.
Senator THURMOND. Now, the special forces may receive that information. I am wondering about the other troops who go there.
Colonel Wilson. I believe somewhere between half and 70 percent of the field grade personnel and higher who go to military assistance advisory groups, and including in this case Vietnam, go through the Military Assistance Institute. I am not too familiar with that institute, although I know that they give some extensive area coverage to the student concerning this area which to which he is to be assigned.
Senator THURMOND. That is a school for the officers, I believe, not enlisted men.
Colonel WILSON. That is correct. The new courses at Fort Bragg, the military assistance training advisers course, on the other hand, is a non-special-force course. It is taking both noncommissioned officers