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and officers through at an accelerated rate on sort of a mass basis, in order that they be trained and ready to function the moment they arrive in Vietnam. I think the efficacy of this program which began a little earlier this year is yet to be proven entirely. However, it would be in this area that our non-special-force personnel would receive the bulk of their training per your specific questions, the subjects which you question specifically.
Senator THURMOND. When was that course started that you refer to?
Colonel WILSON. I could check this. This is not classified. I believe it started—the first course, I believe, began the first part of March. I would like, however, to doublecheck that, and if I am in error, I can convey this information to you. It is a 4 weeks' course.
Senator THURMOND. You may make any correction and submit it to the committee.
Colonel WILSON. Yes, sir.
DISCUSSION ON TROOP MORALE IN VIETNAM
Senator THURMOND. Colonel Wilson, it is somewhat difficult for us to assess American troop morale in southeast Asia from this distance. We have heard much in the past 7 or 8 years, however, about the feeling of frustration experienced by commanders in Korea which allegedly stemmed largely from our policies which permitted the Communists a sanctuary beyond the Yalu River.
Now, quite obviously, we have a parallel, or perhaps an even worse situation in South Vietnam, for the 17th parallel on the Ben Hai River is the line of sanctuary for the Communists, so that anti-Communist forces cannot strike back at any Communist bases; while in Korea they could at least go beyond the 38th parallel into North Korea with counterblows. It is obvious that our commanders and advisory teams in Vietnam are forced to once again limit their activities in the larger sense to containment.
Colonel Wilson, we are all aware that you have nothing whatever to do with the determination of policies which dictates this course, and I would not even ask you to comment on the wisdom or lack of wisdom which underlies them.
I would like to have your opinion, however, as to how we can instill in our forces a determination to bé victorious over the Communists when their activities are essentially limited to the narrow confines of the defensive policy of containment.
Colonel Wilson. This makes an already difficult problem, of course, much more difficult. I do not mean to engage in a platitude. Properly trained, properly indoctrinated—I still have a lot of confidence in our own forces to be able to handle this kind of situation.
Bear in mind, of course, that our forces in this instance are influencing, advising, guiding, assisting, and not handling the actual fighting. So not only are they the ones with the morale problem, but the indigenous troops as well, whose fight it really is.
DEFENSIVE AND OFFENSIVE GUERRILLA ACTIONS
Senator THURMOND. Colonel Wilson, my recollection is that General Heintges, who was formerly the head of the military advisory unit
in Laos, assured the committee last week that guerrilla actions, by their very nature, could not be successfully employed on a purely defensive basis. It is interesting, indeed alarming, that even while he was testifying the Communist guerrillas were overrunning Laos.
Do you agree that our own guerrilla-trained forces and those of our southeast Asian allies are precluded from success so long as they can only be employed in a strictly defensive action?
Colonel WILSON. As far as Laos is concerned, the areas overrun were areas which were held by elements, I believe, sir, of the Royal Lao Army-not guerrilla forces. In other words, the postulate which you advance I support totally—that a guerrilla cannot continue to fight defensively and be successful. However, in the case of Laos and the events of the recent days, where troops have retreated, these troops in most instances have not been guerrilla forces; they have been forces of the Royal Lao Army who have come down from the northeast, and either crossed the Mekong River or retreated farther into Laos.
So in this case I would submit that this is not a completely apt example of the dictum that you have stated, and which I support.
Do I make myself clear, sir?
You can visualize the situation in which we might find ourselves, however, that could make it very difficult for us.
Colonel Wilson. Yes, sir. The guerrilla cannot afford to be pinpointed and stay in one place. He has to choose his own fight, and normally he will choose his fight only when he can win. This means he has to maintain initiative-he cannot defend. He can harass-but over an extended period, he cannot defend.
DISCUSSION ON NATURE OF COLD WAR VICTORY
Senator THURMOND. Colonel Wilson, I want to read you a statement that has been made, and then ask you a question about it.
The victory we seek will see no ticker tape parades down Broadway, no climactic battles, nor great American celebrations of victory. It is a victory which will take many years and decades of hard work and dedication by many people to bring about. This will not be a victory of the United States over the Soviet Union. It will not be a victory of capitalism over socialism. It will be a victory of men and nations which aim to stand up straight over the forces which wish to entrap and to exploit the revolutionary aspirations for a modern nation. What this victory involves in the end is the assertion by nations of their right to independence and by men and women of their right to freedom as they understand it. And we deeply believe this victory will come on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
Now, the question I want to ask you is this:
How can we win this conflict if we follow that type of statement or the attitude expressed in the type of statement I just read to you, which contains platitudes and niceties?
Colonel Wilson. Well, portions of it I certainly agree with, sir, that it is going to be a long, tough, uphill struggle to come out on top. And platitude or no, this is one thing we probably should recognize at the outset.
My only criticism of that statement is that somewhere along the line, if you are proceeding from this through the actual act of winning, you have got to be a little
more precise and come up with some specifics in terms of plans and action in order to get there. But as a sort of an introductory statement to the problem of what we are after, as I understood while you were reading it, I do not quarrel with the statement, sir.
Senator THURMOND. I might hand it down to you and let you read it again. I am not sure that you caught it. You can turn over to the front and see who made that statement.
Who made that statement, and where, Colonel ?
Colonel Wilson. W. W. Rostow, at the U.S. Army Special Warfare School, June 28, 1961, sir. I must say, sir, as far as my own opinion is concerned, it is a high-sounding statement, and for it to have real practical meaning it might have to be brought down to a more practical level of precise thought. But as a general statement, I can find no major area with which I am in direct disagreement, sir.
Senator THURMOND. Well, the statement is made here that This will not be a victory of the United States over the Soviet Union. It will not be a victory of capitalism over socialism.
Well, if we are going to win, it will be a victory of the United States over the Soviet Union, will it not? And if we are going to win, it will be a victory of capitalism over socialism, will it not?
Colonel WILSON. Yes. I was not focusing on the specific Senator THURMOND. I do not want to embarrass you Colonel WILSON. I realize that, sir. Senator THURMOND. But the point I am trying to emphasize is that if we are going to have victory in the cold war, it should not be a stalemate, but it should be a victory, should it not?
Colonel WILSON. Yes, sir. As I read, and as I scanned it—this in essence was my interpretation. It will not be so much a victory of the United States over the U.S.S.R., or so much a victory of capitalism over socialism, as a victory of principles—in other words, first and foremost a victory of principles. This is not to say that in finite terms it would not represent the United States and America coming out on top. But that emphasis was not being placed on this as much as on the winning out of principles, the principles which we stand on.
So this was simply the way I was interpreting—not so much a victory of one country over another country, as a victory of principles. That was purely the manner in which I was interpreting it, sir.
Senator THURMOND. And knowing the goal of the Communists as you do, and you are an expert on this area, of course, and knowing their goal as world domination, and enslavement
Colonel WILSON. Yes, sir.
Senator THURMOND (continuing). They would have to completely change their goal entirely if this last sentence is true, which reads“and we deeply believe this victory will come on both sides of the Iron Curtain”—would they not? You cannot have victory on both sides.
Colonel Wilson. You almost have to interpret this statement like a poem, and you come out--as I stated earlier, there is a certain imprecision here. You sort of have to draw your own meaning. I could see how someone might interpret it different from another person reading it right beside him. That particular statement to me means if principles will win out, that the first prisoners of communism, the Russian people themselves, wind up throwing off their shackles. And if that is what he means, then fine, I can go along with it. If that is not what he means, then I, too, could not quite buy his statement, either.
Senator THURMOND. If you have victory on both sides of the Iron Curtain, then the goal of the Communists will no longer exist, will it, because their goal is to dominate the world.
Colonel WILSON. That is true.
Senator THURMOND. And you cannot have a stalemate with the Communists and have victory, can you!
Colonel Wilson. No, sir.
Senator THURMOND. We did not win in Korea-it was a stalemate. And it is still a stalemate, is it not? If we had won in Korea, the probability is we would not be having the trouble that we are having in Laos and Vietnam now, don't you think?
Colonel WILSON. Very definitely it would have an influence. It is hard to crystal-ball it. But it would have a most decided influence.
Senator THURMOND. I think that completes my questioning.
Senator THURMOND. Colonel Wilson, I want to thank you for your testimony today. You have brought us a lot of valuable information. You have made a fine contribution to these hearings.
Colonel Wilson. My pleasure, sir.
(Whereupon, at 6:45 p.m., the subcommittee stood in recess to reconvene at the call of the Chair.)
MILITARY COLD WAR EDUCATION AND SPEECH
THURSDAY, MAY 24, 1962
Washington, D.C. The special subcommittee met, pursuant to recess and subsequent postponement, at 10:55 a.m., in room 224, Old Senate Office Building.
Present: Senators Stennis (chairman), Thurmond, and Smith.
Also present: Special subcommittee staff: James T. Kendall, chief counsel.
Senator THURMOND (presiding). The subcommittee will come to order.
Our witnesses today, I believe, are General Williams, and Lieutenant Colonel Joyce, from the New York National Guard. We are glad to have you gentlemen here.
I think you gentlemen had better stand and be sworn, before we start.
The evidence you give in this hearing shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
General WILLIAMS. I do.
TESTIMONY OF MAJ. GEN. COLLIN P. WILLIAMS, COMMANDING
GENERAL, 27TH ARMORED DIVISION, NEW YORK ARMY NATIONAL GUARD, AND PRESIDENT OF THE MILITIA ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK; AND LT. COL. RAYMAND FRANCIS JOYCE, JR., NEW YORK ARMY NATIONAL GUARD
Senator THURMOND. Senator Smith, I don't know how long you can be here. Would you like to ask some questions first?
Senator SMITH. Thank you very much, but I am going over to the Armed Services Committee at 10:30. I do not have any questions.
Senator THURMOND. Mr. Kendall ?
I would suggest that General Williams' biographical sketch be placed in the record. Also, the sketch of Lieutenant Colonel Joyce.