Establishing the Government of Vietnam's (GVN) good intentions would not by itself win active peasant allegiance if the authority of the communist apparatus were not challenged. A program of precisely targeted attacks on Viet Cong safe havens and lines of communication had been under discussion for many weeks before the decision to launch such an effort in Kien Hoa. The evidence for the GVN's shrinking hold on the countryside was painfully obvious as those in the station traveled by helicopter between Saigon and the provinces. Every trip would reveal Strategic Hamlets that had eerily vanished from one day to the next, all the building materials having been removed and nothing remaining but bare earth to show where they had stood. By the time this first team returned to Kien Hoa, Lieutenant Colonel Tran Ngoc Chau had set up a control element in Kien Hoa and begun target selection.
Keywords: Vietnam; peasant allegiance; Viet Cong; Kien Hoa; Saigon; Strategic Hamlets; Tran Ngoc Chau
Chapter. 7748 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Military History
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