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Document Creation Date: 
December 16, 2016
Document Release Date: 
April 18, 2005
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May 15, 1953
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PDF icon CIA-RDP79S01011A001000070003-9.pdf362.71 KB
Approved F*Release ?gt ErIA-RDP79SO11~001000070003-9 Security Information DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF, 0-2, INTELLIGENCE TAB "Al, *ARMY Declass/Release Instructions On File* MAY 15 1953 G-2 CONTRIBUTION TO NIE 96: "THAILAND'S ABILITY TO WITHSTAND COMMUNIST PRESSURES AND ATTACKS" I. Oral contribution on military factors given 12 May 1953 II. THAILAND'S CAPABILITIES TO WITHSTAND COMMUNIST PRESSURES OR ATTACKS A. No contribution. B. Communist Attacks bilities would Thailand have to counter an invasion in the Immediate future by Indochinese Communist Units? The Thai Army (approximately 119,000) has the equivalent of 5 regimental combat teams deployed throughout northern and eastern Thailand. In the event of an open Viet Minh aggression in divisional strength, the Thai Army could counter initially with one of the 5 regimental combat teams presently deployed in the border region. Reinforcements could be accomplished with 3 regimental combat teams and supporting armor and cavalry units from, the Bankok area and would provide sufficient strength to force the Viet Minh to withdraw or to disperse into guerilla groups. It is not believed, however, that Viet Minh operations in Laos pose the threat of an overt invasion of Thailand in the immediate future. It is considered unlikely that the Viet Minh, even if successful in an attempt to gain control over major portions of Laos, would attempt direct military action against Thailand. A Viet Minh invasion of Thailand would weaken and divide the strength required for the accomplishment of local objectives, consolidation of gains, and for containment and elimination of French forces in the area. It should be recognized that the primary objective of the Viet Minh is undoubtedly the complete elimination of the French forces in Indochina and the establishment of a Communist state. It Is, therefore, Improbable that they would consider a diversion of their forces from the accomplishment of this objective for an. invasion of Thailand. However unlikely such a course might be, the Viet Minh could release a force of up to division strength (10,000). for action against Thailand without unduly weakening their position in Indochina. TT S f p Approved For Release 2005/O4UpP79S0eW ACt10 Security Information Approved F elease (E Er IA-RDP79SO104J4001000070003-9 Security Information 2. An invasion by Indochinese (Viet Minh) gaits at Ps time following the 1953 rainy season and after Indochinese Communist unite had consolidated recent wins made within Indochina? The coneideratiozwhich are believed to govern the Viet Minh decision for attack against Thailand in the immediate future will probably continue to be the controlling factors after the rainy season. gven assuming a consolidation of Viet Minh gaine,(an accomplishment that is not indicated by the present situation) it is unlikely that the Viet Minh would be able to divert a force of greater than division strength for operations against Thailand. Under these circumstances it is likely that initial Viet Minh successes would be somewhat greater and the capability for continuing operations over o longer period of time would be increased, but it is doubtful that the outcome could be materially altered from that discussed in par 1 proceeding, 3. An invasion by ma4or Chinese Communist units, eu orted or not sup ported by Indochinese and Burmese Communist unite, at any time? The Thai Armed Forces would be incapable of withstanding an attack by a numerically superior Chinese Communist force. While the extent of their resistance would be determined largely by political considerations, militarily the Thai forces could only delay for a short time a Chinese Communist advance to the southern peninsula. 4. What capabilities would Thailand have to control the border and pre-vent infiltration or guerrilla activity by Indochinese.or Chi Communist directed forces? The Thai-Indochina border extends for over 1,300 miles, some 600 of 'which are adjacent to the area of recent Viet Minh operations in northern Laos; roughly from Pakeane to the Burma border. It is manifestly impossible for the Thai to control effectively this border and prevent the infiltration of small guerrilla forces or Communist agents, couriers, etc. Approved For Release 2005/OSIM RUP79SO1011A001000070003-9 Security Information Approved F elease SEffE!1CIARDP79SOlOdOOl000070003-9 Security Information The Thai Government has, however, taken a number of precautionary measures to strengthen its border security in the present circumstances. Although the Thai Police are responsible for border security, 2d Army headquarters and Police headquarters at brat are coordinating security measures in the border region. Some 2,000 border Police are being imoved to the Laos border (with the heaviest concentration between Chieng hen and Paksane), regular patrols are being instituted, and air patrols reportedly are to be established. In view of these additional security measures, it is believed likely that the Thai Government forces, although not able .to prevent the infiltration of Communist guerrilla units, would be capable of undertaking military operations to harass the guerrilla bands and prevent the establishment of firm base areas in Thailand. These Thai forces, however, would be unable to prevent the development of terroristic guerrilla activity. Approved For Release 2005/O C,RF IP79S01011A001000070003-9 Security Information Approved F elease SECffEfIRD79SO1041,*A001000070003-9 Security Information .5. What capabilities would Thailand have to counter Camnunist- inspired armed insurrection within Thailand at amy time in the foreseeable future ? ?chile the Thai Govermsent measures to strengthen border security are believed adequate to cope with Communist activities on the scale which can be expected to develop in the immediate future, less attention has been given to measures designed to cope with possible Communist efforts to cause disaffection among the local population. The presence of Communist forces along Thailand's northeastern border will increase considrably the Communist's capabilities for subversion and the development of a dissident movement either among the estimated 50,000 Vietnamese or among the local mixed population. The northeastern provinces have long been economically depressed relative to the rout of Thailand. This condition has fostered a degree of dissatisfaction among the local population which could be4zploited by the Caanmunists. The Government, however, appears to be aware of this problem and is considering the soretg and removal to southern Thailand of some 400-600 leaders and subversives among the Vietnamese population. Despite this action to-increase internal security and the measures to strengthen border security, the Thai Army and police forces would not at present be capable of preventing a Communist-directed and .supported insurrection within Thailand. The Army and Police forces, however, would probably be able to limit such an insurrection to guerrilla activity. C. Contingencies affecting Thai capabilities. In what manner would the above Thai oa abilities to withstand external and internal Communist pressures or attacks be affected brz 1. Events in Indochina? a. A major gain in Communist strength, and the consolidation of Communist strength on Thailand's northern and eastern borders? Such a gain would enhance Communist capabilities visivis the Thai Army and Police capabilities. It is impossible however, to estimate Approved For Release 2005/04SECR-EDP79S01011A001000070003-9 Security Information Approved F%ReleaseSfPW S(ECREfIRD79SO104.1rA001000070003-9 Security Information all of the consequences of a major gain in Communist strength, but it is believed that the factors which militate against a Viet Vinh decision to begin an open invasion of Thailand (discussed in par H. 1 proceeding) would not be materially changed. A course of open aggression against Thailand would be probable only in the event that the Soviet and Chinese Cbmauuniat leaders had determined to risk general war, in which case any invasion of Thailand would probably be undertaken by the Chinese Communist forces* b. A major decline in C6mmunist stre th, and a removal of CoV..muni st strength from Thailand's borders? A major decline in Communist strength and the removal of Communist strength from Thailand's borders would increase Thai Capabilities relative to the Viet Minh forces, but would have no material effect upon Thai capabilities with respect to the Chinese Communists. Such a decline prooably would not significantly reduce the Communist capability to create Communist- inspired disorders in the northeastern provinces, but might lessen the prospects of their utilizing this capability. c. A continuation of the indecisive warfare in Indochina with little or no consolidation of Communist strength on Thailand's borders? A Continuation of the indecisive warfare in Indochina with little or no consolidation of Communist strength on Thailand's borders would have no significant effect upon Communist capabilities to exploit existing dissatisfaction, to create Communist-inspired strikes, and to organize armed terrorist groups. 2. Western assistance to Thailand? as A major increase in 1estern air, including guarantees of Thailand's s~curity? A substantial increase in Thai military capabilities, over the short run, can be expected from a step-up in the development of the present U.S. aid program, by a shortening of the present period of reorganization and by the adoption of a more effective tactical organization. 5c~ Approved For Release 2005/04lS3ECAvrR~T F179S01011A001000070003-9 Security Information Approved F elease fEiIA-RDP79S0104,$A001000070003-9 Thai military capabil?~8Mt fr f JVgffeased materially in the long run, through two means& (1) increased Western military assistance= and t2) a concerted effort by the Thai people to correct the general dbficiencfe s which exist in their military establishmient. Improvement in the present system of transportation and oommunications and in logistical support capacity of the Thai economy will also greatly enhance, in the long term, Thai Arapr capabilities. A security guarantee by the West would have ocnaiderablp effect upon .any decision by the Government to exercise fully its present military capabilities against the Communists. It would have only a minor effect upon Thai military capabilities per seo be A major decrease in Western aid and committments? A major decrease in Western aid and committment.s would not materially reduce present military capabilities but would slow the present expected rate of improvement. Cu A continuation of the present level of Western aid and committments? A continuation of the present level of Western aid and committments will result in the continued, but slow, improvement in the Thai forces and a corresponding modest, but effective, increase in capabilities. 3. Events in aorea? a. An. Armistice? An armistice would temporarily increase Thai capabilities it the Thai battalion presently in Koresia returned promptly. This unit would provide additional combat veterns for assignment throughout the Army. b. A ma or intensification or eion of the Korean War? A major intensification of the Korean war would have no aignificata effect upon Thai capabilities. o. A continuation of indecisive warfare in Korea? A continuation of-indecisive warfare in Korea would have no material effect on Thai military capabilities. Soma slight improvement can be' expected however, by continued rotation and training of troops under combat conditions. 4. Possible events elsewhere in Southeast Asia? Other foreseeable events elsewhere in Souheast Asia would have no significant effect upon Thai military capabilities, Approved For Release 2005/04,1ECRFJ79S01011A001000070003-9 Security Information