Another Chance in the Countryside

Thomas L. Ahern

in Vietnam Declassified

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125619
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135342 | DOI:
Another Chance in the Countryside

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The concerted effort to win voluntary cooperation that characterized the Viet Cong program during the nine years of Ngo Dinh Diem's rule had largely given way, by late 1965, to a military draft and “strict, even abusive, discipline.” Many peasants, seeing the Government of Vietnam (GVN) as militarily stronger than the Viet Cong, wondered why Army of the Republic of [South] Vietnam commanders did not do more to reestablish a GVN presence in the villages rather than merely attack them for harboring Viet Cong guerrillas. Interviewers from the Rand Corporation saw the GVN's failure to do more for refugees as abdicating an opportunity to exploit Viet Cong antagonism toward peasants who returned to their villages after fleeing into GVN territory. Furthermore, both uncommitted peasants and devoted Viet Cong activists were beginning to see the outcome as more likely to be determined by the struggle between Hanoi and the United States than by local Viet Cong resistance to the Saigon government.

Keywords: Viet Cong; Ngo Dinh Diem; peasants; Vietnam; Hanoi; United States; Saigon

Chapter.  9107 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Military History

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