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April 27, 2019
Document Release Date: 
April 30, 2019
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March 6, 1968
PDF icon THE PRESIDENTS DAILY BRIE[15617781].pdf120.73 KB
Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05947662 The President's Daily Brief Top Secret 6 March 1968 2.-QP�SECITEF Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05947662 3.5(c) TOP SECRET - DAILY BRIEF 6 MARCH 1968 Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05947662 1. South Vietnam 2. Panama Close to 20,000 North Vietnamese are estimated to have infiltrated South Vietnam in January--the highest monthly total of the war. The 304th and 320th divisions which moved into the Khe Sanh area probably account for more than half of the January figure. The US Embassy has taken a prelim- inary look at damage done by the Tet of- fensive to the South Vietnamese economy and concluded it has been severe. Aside from the serious disruption to movement of goods and products, industrial facili- ties have suffered extensive damage, and most business activity has been suspended. As for the offensive itself, there have been no major clashes reported so far today. Communist units continue to move toward cities in the north, and there are indications that a major attack may be mounted on Da Nang later this month. Robles is refusing to compromise; Arias is equally determined to get con- cessions or proceed with impeachment; the National Guard remains uncommitted; and the situation is ugly. The National Assembly is scheduled to meet today to hear the report of the commission that was to investigate the charges against Robles. It is not clear, however, whether the assembly will meet, and there are reports that the government is planning some action--such as suspen- sion of the constitution--in an effort to keep it from convening. Meanwhile, Arias-controlled radio stations are broadcasting inflammatory reports on the situation. 3.5(c) 3.5(c) 1.0P-SEeltET Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05947662 3.5(c) T 0-P-SECRE T - 3. Laos Approved for Release:,2019/04/17 C05947662 3.5(c) 4. Czechoslovakia 3.3(h)(2) 3.3(h)(2) 3.3(h)(2) 3.3(h)(2) 3.3(h)(2) 5. Warsaw Pact 3.3(h)(2) 3.3(h)(2) 3.3(h)(2) LO_B-S-EeRE T - The week-long lull in fighting con- tinues, although the Communists still threaten government positions. the Czech political scene and on relations between the various East Eu- ropean states. the Soviets originally ap- proved Dubcek's nomination as party first secretary, but began having second thoughts when they saw how far he intends to ao down the liberalization path. the Soviets do not under- stand how popular this course is. they could run into serious trouble if they overplay their hand in trying to restrict Dubcek's reforms. Dubcek is plan- ning some major personnel changes. One of these came Monday when an old Novotny war- horse was eased out of his job as the party's top ideologist. We note Novotny was not on the Czech team Dubcek led to the Warsaw Pact meeting in Sofia. Top leaders of the pact countries sit down today in Sofia; Russian-Rumanian fire- works are expected. the Ru- manians intend to propose some major changes in the pact's command structure which would dilute Moscow's authority. The Rumanians may even threaten to withdraw from the pact. We doubt the Ruman- ians will go through with such action, but they will probably use the threat for tac- tical bargaining. The Rumanians and Russians also will be crossing swords on the nonproliferation treaty and on relations with West Germany. 4-GP-6EeftEr Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05947662 3.5(c) T g_a_S-E-eRET - 6. Japan 7. Bolivia-Chile 8. South Yemen 9. Liberia T - Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05947662 I I L.. S-0 I I Loose security in the Japanese De- fense Agency has given Sato's political enemies another handful of mud to sling at the prime minister. They are taking full advantage. Classified documents have found their way into the hands of opposition members of the Diet, who are using the material as "evidence" that Sato has sinister plans to revive prewar milita- rism. What Sato would like to do is get public support for an increased de- fense effort, but all the muck-raking is hurting his chances. The last of Che Guevara's guerrillas are headed back to Cuba by way of Easter Island, Tahiti, and Paris. The five survivors had crossed from Bolivia into Chile, where they were arrested on 22 February. With the prompt intervention of Salvadore Allende, Chile's left-wing senate president, the five were freed and then whisked off to Easter Is- land to begin their homeward journey. Bo- livia is protesting release of the guer- rillas, but is not likely to get much sat- isfaction. A South Yemeni delegation has re- turned from Moscow with an offer of So- viet military hardware. This group from Aden had asked for Soviet money, but the Russians turned that down and countered with the suggestion the South Yemenis take tanks and MIGs instead. President Tubman is probably going to ask for more US aid when he visits Washington on 27 and 28 March. Despite $270 million in US aid since 1946 and massive foreign investment of about $550 million, Tubman is up to his neck in debt. The basic problems are fiscal mis- management and graft. -T-GLP-SeeRET Approved for Release: 2019/04/17 C05947662 3.5(c) 3.5(c)