Lon Non, in Paris, Urges Wider American Bombing – The New York Times

American sources in Cambodia here said, however, that there is no evidence that Vietnamese Communist troops are serving in combat roles against the Phnom Penh Government. The sources estimate that there are 40,000 Vietnamese Communist troops in Cambodia but say that they are either advisers to Cambodian insurgents or are operating in the border areas of Cambodia against Saigon Government forces.

In the spring of 1970, when Prince Norodom Sihanouk was deposed as Chief of State and the United States intervened, the Communist‐led insurgent force was estimated at 2,000 men.

Subversion Also Target

Now, according to General Lon Non, Cambodia is conducting a struggle against subversion as well as a war. “The Communists have grown very strong, very perspicacious, in subversion,” he asserted. “For example, we sell gasoline at 25 riels a liter about 80 cents a gallon], but they pay 150 riels a liter, so of course the people fill up bottles and take it to them.”

He said that while there were no American advisers in Cambodia involved in the “struggle against economic, political and social subversion,” Cambodians had been sent to South Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand to be trained in this field.

In response to a question about reports of widespread corruption in Phnom Penh and criticism of the Government from many sides, General Lon Non said the criticism was natural.

“We are a young republic, young democracy,” he asserted. “We cannot do everything well, but we are learning. Our defense against subversion has been tested. We are holding despite the Communists’ efforts.”

“The big blame” for corruption “is the war,” he said, adding: “It is difficult to look for perfection in such circumstances. In peacetime, without the war, there would be less stupidities. But with shortages, troubles, well—.”

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