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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 09, 1973


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    Summary from a meeting of the COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee held on March 9 and 10, 1973, to discuss the situation in South Vietnam and lay out goals and strategies for the revolution following the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
    "Meeting of the COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee to Discuss Policy Guidelines and Struggle Goals of the South Vietnamese Revolution following the Implementation of the Paris Agreement," March 09, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Lich Su Bien Nien Xu Uy Nam Bo va Trung Uong Cuc Mien Nam (1954-1975) [Historical Chronicle of the Cochin China Party Committee and the Central Office for South Vietnam, 1954-1975], 2nd ed. (Hanoi: Nha xuat ban Chinh tri quoc gia, 2008), 1193-1195. Translated by Merle Pribbenow.
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In a meeting held on 9 and 10 March 1973, the Current Affairs Committee agreed on the following assessment: The situation in South Vietnam is still unstable and is worsening. The fighting between us and the enemy is currently not as ferocious as it was before, but we still do not have peace, even though the Agreement has been signed. The enemy is conducting serious and systematic violations of the agreement. As for our side, we are struggling for our demand that the enemy must implement the agreement, with the first step being our demand that the enemy cease firing and that we gradually push the enemy back until the situation can be stabilized. We must actively build and strengthen the liberated zone and our revolutionary base areas so that they become truly strong; we must step up our struggle movements in the urban areas and in the rural countryside that is temporarily under enemy control; and we must quickly build up our revolutionary strength, especially with regard to our military forces.

The meeting stressed the following points: The concrete, specific missions of the South Vietnamese revolution in the immediate future are, in addition to armed and political violence, that we must exploit the legal impact of the Agreement and closely coordinate the political struggle with the military struggle and the legal struggle. Based on the actual situation in each individual area and location, we must select and apply the political or military struggle formulas and methods that are best suited to the individual situation. We must counter the tendency to use only military forces, and especially the tendency to send military forces into areas where the enemy is currently repressing the people [i.e., into enemy-controlled areas], but we also must not conduct a strictly political struggle; we must have the appropriate number of armed forces and secret guerrillas to eliminate [kill] enemy thugs and to raise the struggle movement to a higher and more powerful level. In the liberated zone we must mass our forces, consolidate and strengthen them in the areas of defense, the economy, culture [education], social matters, etc. in order to create a powerful posture and solid strength that will be strong enough to, working in coordination with our movement in the cities and in areas where our forces are weak, cause the total collapse of the enemy’s infrastructure, all the way down to his last lair.

The meeting agreed that there were three possibilities for how the situation might develop following the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

-If we employed the appropriate struggle formulas and methods, the enemy would not be able to encroach on our territory and our mass political and military proselyting movements would expand and become more solid. The enemy would maintain approximately the same situation as exists at present, and the situation would gradually stabilize. In this way we would have been able to deal an initial defeat to the enemy’s plan to sabotage the Agreement, and then we could move forward from there.

-If we fell into a confused, defensive status and do not have a grasp of our struggle formulas and struggle methods in the new situation, the enemy would continue to encroach into and seize our territory and this would create a difficult and tense situation.

-War would soon break out again because the enemy feared a protracted stalemate, because the enemy refused to implement the Paris Agreement on Vietnam, or because the enemy hoped to be able to win a military victory through war.

[Translator’s Note: This document can also be found in the first edition of Lich Su Bien Nien Xu Uy Nam Bo va Trung Uong Cuc Mien Nam (1954-1975) [Historical Chronicle of the Cochin China Party Committee and the Central Office for South Vietnam, 1954-1975] (Hanoi: Nha xuat ban Chinh tri quoc gia, 2002), 954-955.]