Page:Pentagon-Papers-Part IV. A. 3.djvu/15

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Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 2011


TOP SECRET – Sensitive

16 Dec 54 Collins recommends Diem be replaced Diem's failure to include Dr. Quat in the cabinet as Defense Minister confirmed Collins' doubts about Diem's capacity to stabilize the government, or rally support for his regime. He recommended Bao Dai's return be considered, but if this were unacceptable, recommended the US withdraw from Vietnam.
19 Dec 54 Trilateral Meetings, Paris (U.K., U.S., France) Mendes-France insisted the time had come to consider an alternative to Diem. Recommended Collins and Ely study the problem and come up with suggestions for a change by mid-January. France felt Bao Dai should be involved in an alternative plan. Dulles: Diem is the only suitable leader but we will consider alternatives and will allow Collins and Ely to consider the matter. But Dulles made it clear that Congress would probably not appropriate funds to a Vietnam without Diem. U.S. study of alternatives was cursory, however; Dulles was sure Diem could succeed, with proper direction; he was more sure that no other possible leader existed.
20 Jan 55 Collins' report to NSC December's despair over Diem had dissipated; Diem had acted well on a few matters. Collins recommended continued support for Diem because without it South Vietnam will surely fall to communism and the rest of other Southeast Asia will soon follow. The NSC approved Collins' report.
12 Feb 55 Training Relations and Instruction Mission (TRIM) opens General O'Daniel, under Ely's general supervision, took charge of programs to train and reorganize the VNA along American lines. Despite friction between French and Americans in Saigon and despite Paris-Washington disputes, officers
TOP SECRET – Sensitive
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