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Full text of "Vietnam : policy and prospects, 1970 : hearings before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Ninety-first Congress, Second Session, on Civil Operations and Rural Development Support Program :February 17, 18, 19 and 20 and March 3, 4, 17 and 19, 1970"

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FEBRUARY 17, 18, It), AND 20, AND MARCH 3, 14, 17, AND I'J, 1U70 

Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Rehition^ 









FEBRUARY 17, 18, 19, AND 20, AND MARCH 3, 4, 17, AND 19, 1970 

Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations 

44-706 WASHINGTON : 1970 


J. W. FULB RIGHT, Arkansas, Chairman 

MIKE MANSFIELD, Montana KARL E. MUNDT, South Dakota 

A.LBERT GORE, Tennessee CLIFFORD P. CASE, New Jersey 



THOMAS J. DODD, Connecticut JACOB K. JAVITS, New York 

GALE VV. McGEE, Wyoming 

Carl Marcy, Chief of Staff 
Arthur M. Kuhl, Chief Clerk 

Note.— Sections of this hearing have been deleted at the request of the Department of State and the 
Department of Defense. Deleted material is indicated by the notation "[Deleted]." 




1 1 1 <i k 



Statements by: 

Arthur, Maj. Jamos F., U.S. Army district senior adviser, Binh Page 
Chanh District, Gia Diuh Province 159, 190 

Clement, Brig. Gen., Wallace L., Director of the MACV Training- 
Directorate 446, 510 

Colby, Hon. William E., Deputy to General Abrams, Commander of 
U.S. Military Assistance Conunand, \'ietnam, for Civil Operations 
and Rural Development Support; accom]janied by William K. 
Hitchcock, Director, Refugee Directorate; John Vann, Deputy for 
CORDS, IV Corps; Hawthorne Mills, Province senior advi.ser, 
Tuven Due; Clayton E. McManawaj'^, Director, Plans, Policy and 
Programs SJ 87, 188, 269 

Geek, Capt. Richard T., U.S. Army, adviser, Mobile Advisory Team, 

Kien Giang Province 284 

Hitchcock, Wilham K., Director. Refugee Directorate, CORDS 214 

Knaur, Peter R., Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense, International 

Security Affairs _. 510 

McCarthy, Hon. Eug{>ne J., U.S. Senator from Minnesota 163 

McCloskey, Hon. Paul N., Jr., Representative in Congress from the 

11th Congressional District of the State of California 636 

McDonald, Donald G., Director, U.S. Agency for International De- 
velopment, Metnam; accompanied by Willard D. Sharpe, Deputy 
Director, Office of Economic Policy, N'ietnam Bvu'eau, AID, Wash- 
ington; A. E. Farwell, Associate Director for Local Development 
U.S. Aid, \'ietnam; A. H. Ellis, Associate Director for Programs, 
U.S. AID, \'ietnam; and Richard H. Herr, assistant program 
Officer, U.S. AID, Vietnam 570 

Mills, Hawthorne, Province senior adviser Tuyen Due Province 135 

Murphy, Cajit. Armand, adviser to Regional and Popidar Forces m 

Long An Province ^ 258 

Nickel, Edvvard J., Director Joint U.S. Public Affairs Office, Saigon, 
and Otis E. Hayes, Office of USIA Assistant Director for East Asia 
and Pacific 654 

Vann, John Paul, Deputy for CORDS, IV Corps (Delta region) 89 

Wallace Sgt. Richard D., U.S. Marine Corps, Squad Leader, com- 
bined action platoon, Quang Nam Province 286 

Wheeler, Col Jesse L., Jr., U.S. Army, senior adviser, 1st Infantry 

Division, Army of the Republic of A'ietnam 462, 510 

Insertions for the record: 

Percentage of Vietnamese Pacification Budget Derived from U.S. 

Assistance, Department of State 17 

Retired Military and Civilian Advisers, Department of State 20' 

"U.S. Aides in Vietnam Scorn Phoenix Project," article bv Robert G. 

Kaiser, Jr., the Washington Post, February 1 7, 1 970 L 25 

Selective assassinations, 1967 and 1968, Department of State 30 

South Vietnamese capabilities without U.S. support. Department of 

State 34 

South Vietnamese civilian war casualties, Department of State 40 

South Vietnamese civilian war casualties admitted to hospitals during 

the period of January 1967 to December 1969, Department of State.- 54 

Letter to Senator J. W. Fulbright from Maj. Gen. William A. Becker, 
Chief of Legislative Liaison, Department of the Army, dated Jan- 
uary 9, 1970, enclosing fact sheet on Phoenix program in Vietnam 56 

Instructions to U.S. personnel concerning Phoenix activities, Depart- 
ment of State 61 

"The Hidden War: FAite Phoenix Forces Hunt Vietcong Chiefs in an 
Isolated Village," article bv Peter R. Kann, the Wall Street Journal, 
March 2.5, 1969 " 67 



Insertions for the record — Continued 

"The Invisible Foe: New Intelligence Push Attempts to Wipe Out 

Vietcong Underground," article by Peter R. Kann, the Wall Street Page 
Journal, September 5, 1968 72 

NCO promotions in South Vietnamese Regular and Regional Forces', 

1 969, Department of State 77 

'"Pacification Head in Viet Sees Hope," article bv Samuel Jameson, 

the Chicago Tribune, November 10, 1969 100 

Telegram to Senator J. W. Fulbright from Congressman Tran Ngoc 

Chau 104 

Letter to Congressman Tran Ngoc Chau from Senator J. W. Fulbright, 
dated February 17, 1970, enclosing statement bv Senator Fulbright 
entitled "The Story of Tran Ngoc Chau" _' 10.3 

"Accused Saigon Deputy Blames U.S.," article by Robert G. Kaiser, 

the Washington Post, February 18, 1970 1 106 

Solatium payments. Department of State 126 

■"The Controversial Operation Phoenix: How It Roots Out Vietcong 
Suspects," article by James P. Sterba, the New York Times, 
February 18, 1970 127 

"'Gloomy, if Familiar, Picture — Infighting Could r3estrov South 
Vietnamese Democracy," article by Arthur J. Dommen,'the Los 
Angeles Times, January 4, 1970 129 

"Letter from Saigon, January 20," article from the New Yorker, 

January 31, 1970 143 

Excerpt from Vietnamese training pamphlet describing rural Vietnam. 164 

^'Thieu Contradicts Nixon's Statement on Viet Elections," article 

from the Washington Evening Star, September 27, 1969 173 

Vietcong infrastructure (VCI), Department of State 204 

Refugee benefits, table, Department of State 224 

- War victim benefits, table, Department of State 225 

Numbers of refugees by categories — 1969, table, Department of State. 22.5 

Refugee population, 1969, graph, Department of State 226 

Number of refugees returned to village or paid resettlement allowances, 

1969, table and graph. Department of State 227 

Support for refugee and social welfare program, 1968-70, table. 

Department of State 228 

CORDS, ^Ministry of Social Welfare, A'oluntary Agencies — personnel 
assigned to refugee program as of January 1970, table. Department 
of State 228 

Refugee sites in I Corps, Department of State 234 

"The CIA's Hired Killers," article by Georgie Anne Geyer, True 

magazine, February, 1970 347 

An open letter of Dejjuty Tran Ngoc Chau 3,57 

Self-confession bv Tran Ngoc Hien in relation to Tran Ngoc Chau_- 360 

"Mews of Tran Ngoc Chau on GVN/NLF Talks," submitted bv 

Daniel EUsberg "_ 36.5 

"Colonel Chan's Remarks," submitted by Daniel EUsberg 371 

"Revelations in Saigon on the Occasion of a Trial," article bv Jean- 
Claude Pomonti, Le Monde, July 7, 1969 .' 381 

"Thieu Stakes Prestige on Vote to Condemn 3 House Members," 
article by Arthur J. Dommen, the Los Angeles Times, December 28, 
1969 383 

"\ let Fugitive Criticizes CIA, Cites Offer on Political Partv," article 

by Keyes Beech, the Washington Evening Star, Februarv 2, 1970. . 386 

"Thieu Authorized To Try 2 Deputies for Links to Reds,'"' article bv 

Robert G. Kaiser, the Washington Post, Februarv .5, 1970 "_ 386 

"Thieu Opponent in Saigon Feels Betraved bv U.S.," article bv 

Terrence Smith, the New York Time.s, Februarv 7, 1970 ". 387 

"Saigon Court Bids Two Deputies Appear," article from the New 

York Times, February 11, 1970 388 

"Report on Findings of" U.S. Study Team Trip to Vietnam, Mav 2.5- 
June 10, 1969, "U.S. Study Team on Religious and Political Free- 
dom in A'ietnam 389 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Vietnam hearings, answers to 
questions for the hearing record on the CORDS program: 

Questions for Ambassador Colby 415 

Questions for Mr. Vann . 424 

Questions for Mr. Mills 426 

Questions for Major Arthur 429 

Insertions for the record — Continued 

Memorandum to Senate Foreign Relations Committee from Foreign 
Affairs Division, Library of Congress, Legislative Reference Service, 
June 6, 1967, concerning selected statements by members of the Page 
executive branch on victory in Vietnam and removal of U.S. troops, 430 

Statements by executive officials in 1967 and 1968 on progress in 

Vietnam (excerpts), prepared by the Library of Congress 434 

"A Selection from Metnam, Familiar Quotations," article by Philip 

Geyelin, the Washington Post, July 23, 1969 441 

"Let Them Fight It Out — Growing GI Disillusion Casts Doubt on 
Morale Claims," article by Donald Kirk, the Washington Evening 
Star, November 9, 1969-_' 475 

"South Vietnam: Everybody USA," article by Arnold Abrams, the 

Far Eastern Economic Review, February 12, 1970 477 

"Many GI's Disillusioned on War," article bv B. Drummond Ayres, 

Jr., the New York Times, August 4, 1969 478 

"Manv GI's Dislike Viet Allies," article by Robert G. Kaiser, the 

Washington Post, October 18, 1969 480 

General officers for South Metnam, Department of Defense 487 

"Empty American Chair — Do United States and Saigon Cooperate 
Enough?," article bv George W. Ashworth, the Christian Science 
Monitor, December 24, 1969 489 

"Being No. 1 Division Can Be An Experience," article bv George 

W. Ashworth, the Christian Science Monitor, December 30, 1969_. 490 

"Some Glaring Weaknesses in Saigon Military," article by George W. 

Ashworth, the Christian Science Monitor, January 5, 1970 492 

"Thieu's Move Next — South Vietnamese President Faces Quandry in 
Choosing Between Militarj' Politics and Upper-Echelon Profi- 
ciency," article bv George W. Ashworth, the Christian Science 
Monitor, January's, 1970 495 

"How To Cushion GI Withdrawal," article by George W. Ashworth, 

I the Christian Science Monitor, January 14, 1970 497 

"Vietnamization and Withdrawal — 'What is Needed Are Precise 
Timetables'," article by George W. Ashworth, the Christian 
Science Monitor, January 24, 1970 498 

"Major Tests Ahead for Saigon Forces," article by George W. 

worth, the Christian Science Monitor, Januarv 12, 1970 501 

"Intelligence Gropes for Clues— What Are Reds Up To? U.S. Aides 

Ask," article from the Washington Evening Star, February 25, 1970_ 503 

Breakout of South Vietnamese military being trained in United States, 

Department of Defense 506- 

Cost to United States for fiscal vear 1970 off-shore training of 

ARVN-AF, Department of Defense 507 

Classification of cost of training Republic of Vietnam jet pilot, Depart- 
ment of Defense 511 

Training cost of U.S. jet jiilot, Department of Defense 51^ 

"Rate in U.S. Quadrupled — Vietnamization Training Up," article by 

Richard Homan, the Washington Post, February 23, 1970 515' 

Estimated Department of Defense outlays in support of Southeast 

Asia operations, 1965-1970, table, Deijartment of 519 

Estimates for fiscal year 1971 of U.S. Southeast Asia costs. Depart- 
ment of Defense 520 

Reason for security classification of U.S. Troop dispositions, Depart- 
ment of Defense 523 

Costs to train a boat maintenance man. Department of Defense 524 

"\'ietnamization. Department of Defense 530 

Desertion rate of RVNAF, Department of Defense 532 

Percentage of sorties flown by South Vietnamese aircraft. Department 

of Defense 532; 

Bombs dropped and artillery fired by Republic of Vietnam Air Force, 

Department of Defense 533 

Total U.S. and GVN artillery fire and air sorties, first quarter 1970, 

Department of Defense 533 

Medical evacuation provided by RVNAF, Department of 534 

Training of South Vietnamese in field of electronics equipment. De- 
partment of Defense 535 

Ground operations conducted by RVNAF, table, Department of 

Defense 536- 



Insertions for the record — Contiuuod ^^^"^ 

Command and operational control, Department of Defense 537 

Monthly pay ranges for All\'N Regidar Forces personnel, table, 

Department of Defense 539 

Effect on U.S. supporting assistance of AR\'N pay increase, Depart- 
ment of Defense 539 

Division advisory team — A typical division advisory team organ- 
ization, table. Department of Defense 542 

Militar}^ construction in South ^'ietnam, Department of Defense 551 

Supply flow from North A'ietnam to South Metnam, Department of 

Defense 553 

U.S. and AR\'N troop strengths in I Corps, table, Department of 

Defense -^^64 

Attitude of the CI toward the war, Department of Defense 566 

Reenlistment options, draftees. Department of Defense 566 

Incidents between white and black soldiers, Department of Defense .567 

Loss of lives from racial incidents. Department of Defense 567 

Black market rate for U.S. dollars, Agency for International Develop- 
ment 572 

AID educational assistance to South Vietnam, Agency for Inter- 
national Develojjment -"^84 

USAID/CORDS breakdown, personnel and fimding, Agency for 

International Develojjment 587 

AID fiscal year 1970 direct hire personal costs for USAID/Vietnam and 

CORDS, Agency for International Development 588 

Percentage of AID personnel abroad in Vietnam, Agency for Inter- 
national Development 589 

1969 Payment of income taxes in South Vietnam, Agency for Inter- 
national Development 59 

AID Program in Vietnam: Percentage of total, Agency for Inter- 
national Development 594 

Publication of brochure, "Vietnam, The View Beyond the Battle," 

Agency for International Development 594 

Government of Vietnam budget, table 596 

Payment of AID nurses in South Vietnam, Agency for International 

Development 604 

"Economy Fragile — U.S. Exit May Add Saigon Woes," article by 
George W. Ashworth, the Christian Science Monitor, September 

26, 1969 *Jl<» 

GVN-tinanced import licensing by source country, calendar years 

1965 through 1969, table, Agency for International Development.- 612 
"U.S. Diplomat Testifies in Capital that Currency Black Marketeers 
Are Undermining War Effort," article from the New York Times, 

November 19, 1969 615 

"Black Marketing in War Is Traced," article bv Peter Grose, the 

New York Times, November 21, 1969 616 

"World Council of Churches Report — U.S. Aid to Saigon Widens 
Gap Between Rich and Poor?," article by Daniel Southerland, 

the Christian Science Monitor, January 29, 1970 __- 619 

AID Replies to Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff questions 

of April 1, 1970 624 

"Marine Veteran Tours Vietnam — (JOP Congressman Says War 'Im- 
moral'," article b^' Lou Cannon, February 1970 652 

Pav and allowances of militarv in JUSPAO, USIA 660 

Newspapers suspended bv GVN From 1968 through March 23, 1970, 

USIA - 665 

Propaganda efforts against North Vietnamese, USIA 672 

Number of South Vietnamese who have seen, "The Silent Majority," 

USIA - 675 

USIA's regional service center in Manila, USIA 678 

Printing and distribution of "Who Are The Vict Cong," USIA 680 

Printing and distribution of "Vietnam: The View Bevond the Battle," 

USIA 681 

Exjilanation of lack of attribution of publications, USIA 681 

GVN publications in English, USIA 683 

USIA third country journalist program, fiscal year 1969, USIA 689 

Third country journalist program, USIA 690 

Polling by Oliver Quayle, USIA 691 

USIA replies to Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff questions.. 694 


Appendix I: 

Statement for the record on the administrative aspects of pacification Page 
and development, by Ambassador VV. E. Colby 701 

Statement for the record on the development aspects of pacification 

and development, by Ambassador W. E. Colby 70S 

Statement for the record on the security aspects of pacification and 

development, bj'^ Ambassador W. E. Colby 716 

Statement for the record on the Phung Hoang program (Phoenix), 

by Ambassador W. E. Colby 723 

Appendix II: 

Statement of former U.S. Senator Joseph S. Clark 727 

Letter to the Committee on Foreign Relations from Dr. Jerome 

Davis, dated October 16, 1969 730 

Statement of Axel B. Gravem 730 

Letter to Senator J. W. Fiilbright from Mr. Albert Lannon, Washing- 
ton representive, International Longshoremen's & Warehousemen's 
Union, dated Octoljer 10, 1969, enclosing a resolution on: "End the 
Vietnam War" and an editorial by Sidney Roger, editor, the 
Dispatcher, September 9, 1969 731 

Letter to Senator J. W. Fulbright from Joseph H. Crown, secretary, 
Lawyers Committee on American Policy Toward Vietnam, dated 
February 3, 1970, enclosing "Five-Point Program To End the War 
in Metnam" 733 

Statement by Mr. Klaus Loewald, assistant professor, Depai'tment of 

Political Studies, Adelphi University 738 

Statement by D. Gareth Porter, Ph. D. candidate. Southeast Asia 

program, Cornell L'niversity 738 

]\Iemorandum on the justification of our ^'ietnam policy, bv Charles 

A. Weil ■---■ 746 

Difference in figures on refugees moving south. Department of State.. 748 
Examination of witnesses 749 


Civil Operations and Rural Development Support Program 


United States Senate, 
Committee on Foreign Relations, 

Washington, D.C. 
The committee met, pursuant to notice at 10 a.m. in room 4221, 
New Senate Office Building, Senator J. W. Fulbright (chairman) 

Present: Senators Fulbright, Symington, Pel], JSIcGee, Aiken, 
Case, Cooper, and Javits. 

The Chairman. The committee will come to order. 

opening statement 

Two weeks ago the committee heard testimony on a number of 
legislative proposals concerning the war in Vietnam and related 
questions of American foreign policy. Today we initiate a new phase of 
these hearings in which primary attention will be given to American 
operations in Vietnam connected with pacification, the militaiy advisory 
effort, the aid program, and the activities of USIA. Later we expect 
to hear testimony on the political and economic effects of the war 
within the United States. 

All three phases of these hearings are oriented to a single set of 
objectives. Their immediate purpose is to provide information which 
will assist the committee in acting on the legislative proposals that 
have been placed before it. The more general purpose of these hearings 
is to help inform American public opinion and to assist the President 
in his efforts to bring the war to an early, satisfactory conclusion. 

For the next 4 days — 3 in open session and the last in executive 
session — the committee will hear testimony on the ci\'il operations 
and rural development support program in Vietnam. This program — 
usually referred to by its initials as "CORDS" — encompasses most of 
the nonmilitary activities of the United States in Vietnam. Although 
it is under overall military command, CORDS is executed at all levels 
by civilian as well as military personnel. The programs under its 
general jurisdiction deal with pacification, refugees, enemy defectors, 
the South Vietnamese Regional and Popular Forces and the Phoenix 
program for the "neutralization" of key Vietcong personnel. 

In addition to Ambassador William Colby, the director of CORDS, 
the committee will hear testimony by representative CORDS per- 
sonnel who work at the Corps, province and district levels, helping 


tlio South Vietnamese to j^erform more effectively in the political 
sphere. Because of the pertinence of these field activities to the Ad- 
ministration's overall policy of Vietnamization, the committee has 
dei^arted from normal practice by inviting the testimony of operative 
personnel as well as that of the official in overall cluirge of the program 
under study. We greatly appreciate the coojieration of these able and 
dedicated officials who have taken time from their difficult jobs in 
the field in Vietnam to assist the committee in meeting its responsi- 
bility to advise and assist the President in his efforts to end this war. 
By participathig in these hearings, and by giving the committee 
the benefit of their detailed knowledge and candid judgments of 
American political activities in Vietnam, the witnesses will perform 
a valuable service to the Senate and to the American people. At the 
same time, the committee is aware of the special sense of responsi- 
bility whicli operative officials quite naturally feel toward their own 
])rograms and agencies. 


In order to protect the witnesses from the understiindable ambiv- 
alence they may feel with respect to their responsibilities to tlie 
agencies they work for, on the one hand, and to this committee and 
the Senate on the other, we are asking them to be sworn in before 
giving their testimoiw. 1 his practice has been found useful in other 
committee inquiries including the examination of security agreements 
and commitments abroad currently beiiig conducted by the subcom- 
mittee of which Senator Symington is chairman. 

The witnesses at the table this morning I believe are Ambassador 
William E. Colby; Mr. William K. Hitchcock, the Director of Refugee 
Directorate; Mr. John Vann, Deputy for CORDS, IV Corps; Air. 
Hawthorne Mills, Province Senior Advisor, Tuyen Due; Mr. Clayton 
McManaway, Director, Plans, Policy and Programs; and also appear- 
ing this week the military people will be Major James F. Arthur, the 
District Senior Advisor of Binh Chanh District, Gia Dinh Province; 
Captain Armand Murphy, the Advisor of the Long An Province; 
Captain Richard T. Geek, Mobile Advisory Team Advisor for Kien 
Giang Province; and Sergeant Richard D. Wallace, Combined Action 
Platoon Team Leader, Quang Nam Province. 

We, therefore, ask you, Ambassador Colby, and all of your col- 
leagues whom I mentioned will appear to testify, to rise if you will. 

Do you solemnly swear that the testimony which you are about 
to give will be, to the best of your knowledge, the truth, the ^^hole 
truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you, God? 

Mr. Colby. 1 do. 

Mr. Hitchcock. I do. 

Mr. Vann. I do. 

Mr. Mills. I do. 

Mr. McManaway. I do. 

Major Arthur. I do. 

Captain Murphy. I do. 

Cai)tain Geck. I do. 

Sergeant Wallace. I do. 

The Chairman. Recognizing that, despite differing functions and 
responsibilities, we are all committed to the same objective — ^^■hich is 


to l)rino- tlie ^vil^ to an early aiul satisfactorj" conclusion — we now 
invite the witnesses to proceed. 

We will start with Ambassador Colby. 

Do you have a prejjared statement, Mr. Ambassador? 

Mr. Colby. I do, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Will you proceed. 


Mr. Colby. Mr. Chairman the leaders of North Vietnam call the 
conflict in Vietnam a Peoi)le's W^ar. They saw it as a new technicpie 
of war, one which would enable them to win des])ite greater military 
power on the side of the government and its allies. They believed 
they could seize control of the j)opulation and pull it from mider the 
government structure, causing its collai)se. For a time it looked as 
though they might be correct. Their ])()wer steadily built u]) during 
the organizational phase of their effort duiing the late 1950's through 
the guerrilla period of the early 196n's to the stage in late 1964 when 
they sent North Vietnamese imits to prepare a final assault on the 
centers of government authority. The scenario was interrupted, how- 
ever, when American couibat forces entered in mid-1965 to keep final 
victory from their gras]). 


Since 1965, the Vietnamese and American Governments have been 
increasing their understanding of and foi'giug the tools necessary to 
fight on the several levels of a peo|)le's war. The organizational tools 
were develoj)ed, the personnel were indoctrinated and the strategy 
outlined by which such a war must be conducted. Tliis was a gradual 
process to which many Vietnamese, Ameiicans and other nationals 
contributed. The ])rocess is by no means complete. 

Even more imi)ortant, much of the execution of the program on 
the ground still lies ahead and setbacks will occur. However, the funda- 
mentals have been identified and the program is well launched. As a 
residt, the war called a Peoi)le's War b}" the Comnnuiists is being 
increasingly waged by the Vietnamese ])eople, defending themselves 
against Communist attack, terror and subversion and at the same building a better future of their own choosing. 


Wliat I will describe is only a part of our effort to bring the war in 
Vietnam to an end. President Nixon has deafly set the policy which 
the program I will describe supports. The President has stated three 
ways by A\hich our ])articipation in the war can be reduced: nego- 

tiations, a reduction of violence hj Hanoi, and a strengthening of the 
Vietnamese Government and the people, which we call Vietnamiza- 
tion. The program which I will describe falls under the last. Its ob- 
jective is an increase in South Vietnam's capacity to defend itself, 
thereby permitting a reduction of American participation in the war. 
The lessons we have learned in Vietnam can increase Vietnam's 
ability to defend itself. 


The program is called pacification and development by the Govern- 
ment of Vietnam. It operates behind the shield furnished by another 
aspect of our efforts in Vietnam, the military operations of the Viet- 
namese and allied armies. However bold, however well conceived, 
however logical this program, it has been amply proven that it cannot 
be effective unless hostile regiments and divisions are kept away. 

At the same time, however, we have found that their absence does 
not thereby produce pea e nor offer political fulfillment to the people. 
While armies can repel armies, and can assist in the consolidation of 
security, the very power, organization and procedures which are 
essential in large-scale combat make it difficult for them to fight on all 
the levels of the people's war. Thus, additional tactics and techniques 
had to be developed to fight on these other levels. Pacification and 
development is this necessary counterpart to the military efforts of 
our forces in this new kind of war. 


Security is a part of pacification, too, at these other levels. One level 
is territorial security, the ability of the farmer to sleej) in his home at 
night without fear of guerrillas foraging, conscripting or taxing. This 
security is provided bjMocal forces and militia, permanently protecting 
the community while the regular troops oi^erate against larger regular 
enemy units. 

To provide this protection, the Vietnamese regional forces operate 
within the provinces, normally in company strength. The popular 
forces operate within the village area, normally in ])latoon strength. 
Both of these forces are made up of full-time soldiers, uniformed, 
armed with modern weapons, and trained to conduct patrols and 
ambushes in the outskirts of the villages. Both have been substantially 
increased since 1968, so they now total approximately 475,000 men. 
Their eft'ectiveness has also been improved under a program which 
was instituted between our MiUtary Assistance Command and the 
Vietnamese Joint General Staff in October 1967. 

As a result, these forces now have M-16 rifles, special advisory teams 
of Americans to train and assist them, and effective systems of com- 
munications and fire support. They made a major contribution to the 
key 1969 strategy of expansion of the government's protection to 
hamlets and villages which had been deserted or abandoned to enemy 
control for several years, establishing islands of local security around 
wliich the ]:)opulation could cluster. 

Territorial security, however, is not left only to fulltime soldiers. 
In mid-1968, the Vietnamese Government launched a program to 
enlist all citizens in the Nation's defense. The General Mobilization 


Law was passed by the National Assembly, requiring that all men 
from 16 to 50 help defend their country. Under this law, any man not 
in the expanded armed forces is required to be a member of the People's 
Self Defense Force, an unpaid militia, to defend his home community. 
To these are added volunteers from the elderly, young people from 
12 to 15, and women. 

The government has distributed arms and trained these people. 
Initially, there were some faint hearts among Vietnamese officialdom 
over this distribution of weapons, as they looked back on the former 
war lords, the political factions, the possibility of arming the Viet 
Cong and the chance the people might choose to act against the govern- 
ment itself. 

The President and the Prime Minister, ho\\'ever, took the position 
that it was only by showing this kind of trust in the people that a 
people's war could be properly fought. Today, some 400,000 ^^ eapons 
have been made available to the People's Self Defense Force, over a 
million Vietnamese have been trained to use them or otherwise assist, 
and some 3 million are claimed to have been enrolled. It is no 
fearsome military force, to be sure, and the number enrolled is a very 
soft statistic, but the Connnunists have identified it clearh^ as a major 
threat, a start toward a true ])eoi)le's army and a locally based political 
force for the future. As a result, they have attacked it and tried to 
destroy it, but it has stood its ground in many, not all, fights, and 
fully validated the government's confidence. 


There is another level of security at which this new kind of war nuist 
be fought. In Vietnam, there is a secret Communist network within 
the society which tries to impose its authority on the people through 
terrorism and threat. This network, or as it is called in Vietnam, the 
VC infrastructure, provides the jiolitical direction and control of tlie 
enemy's war within the villages and hamlets. 

It lays down the caches for the troops coming from the border 
sanctuaries; it provides the guides and intelligence for the North 
Vietnamese strangers; it conscripts, taxes, and terrorizes. Protection 
against the North Vietnamese battalion or even the Vietcong guerrilla 
group does not give real freedom if the elected village chief is assas- 
sinated, the grenade explodes in the market place, or the traitor shoots 
the self-defender in the back. 

During 1969, for example, over 6,000 people were killed in such 
terrorist incidents, over 1,200 in selective assassinations, and 15,000 
wounded. Among the dead were some 90 village chiefs and officials, 
240 hamlet chiefs and officials, 229 refugees, and 4,350 of the general 

One of the major lessons about the people's war has been the key 
role the infrastructure plays in it. This Communist apparatus has 
been operating in Vietnam for many years and is well practiced in 
covert techniques. To fight the war on this level, the government 
developed a special program called Phung Hoang or Phoenix. The 
government has i)ublicized the need for this effort to protect the 
people against terrorism and has called upon all the citizens to assist 
by providing information and they are doing so. 


Since this is a sophistic atetl aiul ex})erieiiced enemy, experts are 
also needed to combat it. Thus, the Phoenix program started in mid- 
1968 to bring together the })oUce, and mihtary, and the other gov- 
ernment organizations to contribute knowledge and act against this 
enemy infrastructure. It secures information about the enemy orga- 
nization, identifies the individuals who make it up, and conducts 
operations against them. 

These operations might consist of two policemen walking down the 
street to arrest an individual revealed as a member of the enemy 
apparatus or they might involve a three-battalion attack on a jungle 
hideout of a district or province committee. 

As a result of this program, members of this a])paratus are cajjtured, 
turn themselves in as rallicrs or arc killed in fire fights. More needs 
to be done for this program to be fully eft'ective, but the government 
has a high priority on it. Our own government i)rovides advisory 
assistance and sui)port to this internal security ])rogram through the 
police, the administration, the information services and the intelligence 
services. This is similar to our su})i)ort of the military effort against 
the North Vietnamese battalions and Viet Cong guerrilla groups 
through the Vietnamese military forces. 


But another of the major lessons learned over the years about 
the i)eoi)le's war is that security is not enough alone. Security in a 
])eople's war cannot be provided to the people, they must particii)ate 
in the effort. For Vietnamese to do so, after the years of troubles they 
have seen, they must be convinced that one side offers and will de- 
liver a better life for themselves and their families, that it has a chance 
of succeeding in the contest and that they will have a voice in the 
common effort. 

To convince them, and thus to engage the ])eople in the endeavor, 
the government must develo]) a ])rogram to satisfy these three re- 
quirements. Pacification and development is this policy, giving full 
weight to the people's security, their betterment and their A'oice in 
decisionmaking. The combination of all three enlists the i)eople on 
their government's side, the critical step in a people's war. 


Thus as an integral element of its i)acification and develoi)inent 
plan in 1969, the Government of Vietnam took a new a})proach to 
the village community in Vietnam. Rather than considering it the 
lowest of a series of bureaucratic levels through which authority 
descends from the Palace to the i)eoi)le, it became the first assemblage 
of the population to conduct its own affairs. 

Over the past year, elections have been held in 961 ^'illages and 
5,344 hamlets, elections which were held in the light of the day and 
with general popular ])artici])ation. As a result, 95 percent of the 
2,151 villages and 94 percent of the 10,522 hamlets today have elected 
local governments. These (dections ha\e been a clear contrast to the 
alleged elections held in Vietcong base areas or by individual armed 
VC poll takers sneaking into isolated farmhouses at night to require 

u siugie vote of ai)proval of the People's Revolutionary Parly 

These officials need training to become effective. Thus, 1,862 village 
chiefs and 8,532 hamlet chiefs from every part of the nation, i)lus a 
variety of other government workers at the village and hamlet level, 
to a total of over 30,000, have attended a s])ecial 5-week course at a 
national training center. There they were told by President Thieu 
that they had full autliority over affairs in their communities and 
that they were to consider themselves as the leaders of their })eople. 
Further to niiike this clear, the black ])ajama clad Rural Develop- 
ment Cadre, a natioual corps of 42,000 hamlet level political orga- 
nizers, were divided into smaller teams aiul made subject to the 
elected village cliief's directions. 

In addition, in a reversal of previous practices, wherein the bureauc- 
racy decitled what was good for the villagers, development funds 
were ])assed directly to the village level for decision by the locally 
elected village council as to what kinds of development projects 
the local peojjle desired. They chose a vast variety from schools to 
pig raising to irrigation to hand tractors; but even more im[)ortantly 
they reacted with enthusiasm to this indication that they, not far- 
away officials, were determining their future. This same process of 
stimulating local responsibility and participation is being applied 
to urban neighborhoods in the form of improved walkways through 
the slums, rebuilt homes, and firefighting teams. 


The development of the Vietnamese community also includes 
inviting members of the enemy camp to rejoin the national cause, 
where they are decently received and resettled. Some 47,000 people 
during the past year took this road to a new life with the GVN, 
almost one-third of the total of 140,000 since 1963. Many of these 
former enemies are now serving the Government forces as guides, as 
members of the local tlefense forces, and as members of teams inviting 
more of their ex-colleagues to join them. 


In addition, the i)rogram to provide assistance to refugees and other 
war victims has been an element of the pacification effort. It, too, is 
aimed at the people, to assist them to reestablish their disrupted lives 
and to return to the villages where security now permits them to re- 
enter. Some 488,000 people during the past year have received financial 
and commodity assistance as they returned to their villages. Another 
586,000 have been ])aid benefits at their new locations. Mr. William K. 
Hitchcock, of our Refugee Directorate, is here to testify in detail on 
this imi)ortant part of the effort to bind the nation together. 


To strengthen the national community, an information program 
is an element of pacification and development to inform the people 
of their rights and privileges and the Government's role in this program. 
Mr. Edward J. Nickel, our senior USIA officer in Vietnam and Director 

of our joint military-civilian U.S. Public Affairs Office, will give you the 
details of this program. 


The development of a better economy for the farmers in the country- 
side has also been an element of this total effort, opening lines of 
communication to markets, providing a new and more productive 
strain of rice and resuming the distribution of land to tenants which 
had been stalled during the war years. A variety of other develop- 
mental improvements such as new schools, new health stations, et 
cetera, also support the overall program. Mr. Donald G. MacDonald, 
Director of our USAID Mission in Vietnam, will testify separateh^ 
on the details of those activities, but I would like to point out that 
they are being integrated fully into the one national pacification and 
development program. 


If this is the program then how does it work? What is the American 
role? How much does it cost? How many people are involved in it? 

The first reply is that it is fundamentally a Vietnamese program. 
The territorial security forces are Vietnamese. The police are Viet- 
namese. The local hamlet and village officials are Vietnamese. Those 
who receive and resettle former members of the enemj' camp are 
Vietnamese. Those who register and pay benefits to the refugees are 
Vietnamese. Those who sow the new rice, those who exi)lain the 
government policies are all Vietnamese. In a people's war in Vietnam 
the people engaged in it will be Vietnamese. 

Thus the Vietnamese play the major role in the program. The 
government has been organized to prosecute this program as a highest 
priority effort. The President, the Prime Minister and the government 
have established a Central Pacification and Development Council at 
the national level, with its own staff to draw together the diverse 
strands of this program into one effort. 

It developed a national pacification and development plan for 
1969 and has just completed one for 1970. This structure at the 
national level has counter])arts at the regional and the province 
levels, where there are similar councils of all the difl'erent officials 
engaged in this multifaceted program. Each })rovince had a provincial 
plan for 1969 and now has one for 1970, in which it draws together 
the threads of the different programs to make one overall effort in 
the province. 

Using this planning process, and some of the statistical reporting 
systems developed to support the program, goals are set, reports are 
reqiured, and inspections cionducted. The province chiefs and their 
deputies have had a week-long seminar at a national center at which 
each of the Ministers in turn described his Ministiy's contribution 
to the national plan and answered probing questions from the province 
chiefs. Detailed connnents were sent b}^ the national staff to each 
province on the province plan, calling for correction or modification 
of any aspects which did not follow the overall guidelines. As a result, 
the province chiefs and the corps commanders are fully aware of 
their program for pacification and development in their area in specific 


terms, which hamlets are being reentered, how the struggle to identify 
the Vietcong infrastructure is going in the various parts of the province, 
when the next elections are scheduled in the hamlets and villages, 
and where the irrigation ditch is being dug and how well it is pro- 

The President and Prime Minister ha\'e removed 25 province chiefs 
and 162 district chiefs in 1968 and 23 province chiefs and 110 district 
chiefs in 1969 and 1970 to date — excluding shifts — many for failing 
to measure up. 

Even down to the village level, the plan has been pushed. In De- 
cember, village chiefs in most provinces joined in meetings at the 
province capitals at which a jNIinister and a staff from the various 
other Ministries of the National Government explained the total 
program to them. The President and many of the Ministers frequently 
visit the Corps and the provinces and have many times gone to indi- 
vidual villages for detailed question and answer discussions with the 
village chief and village council of the situation in their village and 
the impact of the pacification and develoi^ment plan there. 


But I do not pretend that this is a totally Vietnamese effort. It 
obviously benefits from the shield produced by American forces as 
well as the Vietnamese Army di\dsions. The M-16 rifles carried by 
the Territorial Forces were made in America. Many of the funds used 
for the support of the refugees or for the village development pro- 
grams come from counterpart generated by American imports. Ameri- 
can advisers at all levels from national to district and even in some 
cases to the village or platoon discuss the program with their counter- 
parts, come up with recommendations and ideas, go to the meetings 
where the program is discussed in Vietnamese with simultaneous 
English translation and help evaluate how well it is really going in 
the field. 


The American contribution to this program is provided by an orga- 
nization which in Vietnam is known as CORDS an integral part of the 
U.S. Military Assistance Command MACV. The word CORDS is an 
acronym which in itself symbolizes the learning process we have been 
through in Vietnam. In the early 1960's, each American agency in 
Vietnam had its separate structure and responsibilities, all of course 
under the overall control of the Ambassador. 

With the military buildup hi 1965 and 1966 the U.S. civil agencies 
also expanded their activities and i)articularly moved into the prov- 
inces each with its own chain of command. As a result, many of the 
American programs, however good in themselves, were uncoordinated 
and Vietnamese officials in the provinces might be dealing with as many 
as four or five separate Americans, each giving him different advice. 

In early 1966 the Deputy U.S. Ambassador was named coordinator 
of field programs with a small staff. This authority, however, proved 
inadequate and in December 1966 an Office of Civil Operations was 
established which had full command authority over the civilian 
agencies in the field. Province chiefs then had only two advisors, one 

44-706—70 2 


military and one civilian. In May 1967 the final stei) was taken of 
hringing the entire U.S. field effort under one chain of command and 
one manager. 

Since security is so much a part of pacification, it was decided to 
place overall responsibility for pacification on the Commauxler of 
U.S. Military Assistance Command, General Westmoreland, and to 
establish my predecessor, Ambassador Robert W. Komer, as his 
Deputy for CORDS — Civil Operations and Rural Development Su[)- 
port. CORDS in the field took responsibility for the local military 
aspects of pacification, the Territorial Security Forces, and the civilian 
aspect of jjacification, for example, the programs of the USAID Mis- 
sion and the Information Agency or Joint U.S. Public Affairs office — 
JUSPAO. At the Saigon level, these two civilian agencies maintain 
their independence for certain national programs, but their field 
operations are now under the single chain of command of the Com- 
mander U.S. Military Assistance as a ])art of CORDS. 

Thus today CORDIS has teams at the national, regional, provincial 
and district levels. It is a part of the military command structure, in 
Saigon fully under General Abrams, and in each of the corps zones 
it is under the senior U.S. military commander. 


It consists of 6,31)1 military personnel, 2,395 officers and 3,966 
enlisted, and 948 civilians — authorized. Added to these are 188 third 
countr}^ personnel and 7,600 local Vietnamese nationals. There is 
complete military and civiUan integration at all levels of CORDS. 
The staff's in Saigon are i)artly military and i)artly civiliaix. 

At the corps level, there also are civilians and military ^^'orking 
together on the staffs. In 25 provinces a military officer, a colonel or 
lieutenant colonel, is the province senior adviser, and in 19 provinces 
and four inxlejicndent cities, a civilian, a Foreign Service officer or a 
Foreign Service Reserve officer, is the province senior adviser. The 
civilian province senior advisers have military deputies. The military 
proxincc senior advisers have civilian deputies. In 190 districts, the 
district senior adviser is a major, but in 33 he is a ci\ilian, and at 
the district level there are 96 civilians serving in all. The normal dis- 
trict level team has about eight members; the teams at province level 
vary from 30 to 70; the staffs at region numb(>r about 150 and the 
stafi" in Saigon. n.umbors about 600, all levels including civilian as well 
as military personnel. 

In, addition to these advisory teams, there are two special groups 
of personnel who ]-)artici])ate in the i)acificalion mission. Some of these 
ai'e in mobile advisory teams, or MAT's. These are Army teams of 
two officers and three NCO's whoso job is to live, work with, and 
assist in the improvement of Regional Force companies and Popular 
Force ])latoons. Another tyi)e of team involved in similar work is the 
U.S. Marine Cori)s Combined Action Platoon or CAP. 

This consists of a squad of U.S. Marines led by their squad leader, 
assigned to work with a Vietnamese Popular Force platoon, livuig in 
the same area, ])atr()lling and gcMuu'ally helping them with theirjob 
and to improve their performanc(\ There are 353 MAT teams which 
include 1,985 U.S. Army personnel. There are 114 CAP teams which 
include approximately 2,000 Marines and Navy Corpsmeu. 


Both of those teams are used in. certain areas for a period, with a 
special emphasis on. up,2;radino- tlie local reo'ioiial or i)opiilar force 
units with which they are working. WIkmi. th(\y reach a satisfactory 
[)()sition, the team is moved to another area to repeat the process 
with another unit. The planuing, of course, is that they will gradually 
complete this job of upgraduig and that the program will then be 
[)hased out, leaving the Vietiuunese local force unit to con.tinue 
without direct American in\'olvement. 


These are the American, personnel who work directly in the i)acif:.- 
cation program and with CORDS. In addition, of course, many 
American units conduct pacification activities in. their assigned areas. 
You have recently heard of the activities of the 173d Airborne Brigade 
in Binh Dinh Province. This is matched by a numbcu* of other American 
units which collaborate directly with regional and popular force units 
to increase the effectiveness of these units and im|)rove the territorial 
security of the area. 

The pacification program also profits from the many projects 
carried out by U.S. units in the form of civic action. Many doctors 
from the Army, Na^'y, and Air Force ser\'e on special teams in i)rov- 
ince hospitals, and the Navy Seabees carry out many programs which 
both support pacification and train Vietnamese in skills for the future. 


The funding of the CORDS operation comes from four sources, 
DOD's and AID's api)roi)riations, AID's counterpart funds generated 
by imjiorts, and the GVN's own budget from taxes, customs and deficit 
financing. The greater portion of the expenditures by both the United 
States and the GVN is used for the t(>rritorial forces and the police, 
with AID supporting developnumt and refugee ju-ograms. 

Both the United States and GVN have substantially increased their 
investments in pacification over the jjast several years, which is 
certainlv a major reason for its improvement. The 1970 contributions 
are: DOD, $729 million; AID, $48 million; Counterpart, $114 million 
(equivalent); and GVN, $627 million (equivalent). 

As can be seen, in funding as in personnel, CORDS is an integration 
of the programs of several agencies. It was designed to meet a new 
situation on the ground and it cuts across many of our familiar civil- 
military or departmental distinctions. It has been called a Rube 
Goldberg creation and I suppose hi many respects it is. The key point, 
however^ is that it is working and that it works with the Vietnamese. 


Because it is the relationship with the Vietnamese which will decide 
w hether the program will work or fail, it cannot be American. Ameri- 
cans can assist the Vietnamese temporarily and can help them take 
over the full program. Our resources are important. Our imagination 
and our energy are also important. But we must address these to 
helj)ing Vietnamese to do the job themselves. 


This process will be described in detail by the officers who are 
accompanying me: Mr. John Vann of Colorado, the senior CORDS 
officer for IV Corps in the Delta; Mr. Hawthorne Mills of California, 
a foreign service officer, the province senior advisor in Tnj^en Due 
Province; Maj. James Arthur of North Carolina, the district senior 
advisor in Binh Chanh District in Gia Dinh Province ; Capt. Armand J. 
Murphy of Florida, RF/PF Advisor, Long An Province; Capt. Rich- 
ard T. Geek of New Jersey, who is the leader of a Mobile Advisory 
Team presently located at My Lam Village, Kien Thanh District, Kien 
Giang Province; and U.S. Marine Sgt. E5 Richard E. Wallace of 
California, the leader of Marine Combined Action Platoon 2-1-5 whose 
present assignment is at Phu Son Hamlet in Hoa Luong Village in 
Hieu Due District of Quang Nam Province. 

At each of these levels the Americans work closely with their 
Vietnamese counterparts. They discuss jjroblems; they visit the field 
together; they ajiproach the job as a joint effort. At the same time, 
each has his own resjionsibilities to his own government. The Viet- 
namese chain of command has complete authority over the sub- 
ordinate levels. No commands can be given through American channels 
to Vietnamese. The relationship must be one of mutual exchange, 
trust, and respect. 

At the same time, the Americans have responsibilities to their own 
Government to report difficulties, to criticize where weaknesses exist 
and cannot be overcome locally, and to submit reports on their view 
of the situation in the area. These reports are in many cases made 
available to the Vietnamese counterpart, so he can see how he looks 
to his companion, and in some cases are made available to their 


The combination of the Vietnamese Pacification and Development 
Program and American assistance to it have produced the change in 
Vietnam since 1968. This change did not occur in 1 year; rather it 
culminated the changes which had been occurring over several years. 

In 1967 a constitution was promulgated and a national assembly 
and a president were elected. This was a beginning of political stability 
in Vietnam after years of turbulence. In 1968, it can now be said in 
retrospect, the enemy made a major military effort to crack the 
shield which was gradually being built by the Vietnamese and Amer- 
icans learning how to fight the people's war. 

In his attacks at Tet in May and in August, he threw his battalions, 
regiments and divisions into a major effort to shatter the Vietnamese 
army, seize the centers of government i)ower and si)ark a general 
uprising. Despite the real psychological impact of his attacks, the 
fact is that he did not achieve any of these three goals. 

On the government side a new resolution and drive showed itself 
in such develojiments as the General Mobilization Law, the increase 
of th(^ regular and territorial forces and the beginning of the People's 
Self Defense Program. By autumn it had become clear that the enemy's 
massive military assault had not succeeded and new strategies began 
to be applied. 

In November 1968 President Thieu launched the accelerated 
pacification program the first integrated civil-military program to 
move into the country, establish security, attack the Vietcong ap- 


paratus and begin the process of national mobilization under a com- 
prehensive and integrated pacification plan. 

Its critical feature was the movement of territorial forces into the 
areas from which they had been driven during the Tet attacks. This 
actually occurred without substantial enemj^ opposition. This 3- 
month campaign was followed by the 1969 pacification and develop- 
ment plan. The key development of 1969 was further expansion in 
the new areas throughout the countryside. The government set very 
venturesome goals in early 1969, goals which gave many of its advisors 
doubts that it could meet them. In fact, it met most of them although 
not all. As a result of these developments, the nature of the war 
has changed. The enemy began a People's War of insurgency and 
ended by conducting primarily a North Vietnamese Army invasion. 
The government and its allies first tried to meet the attack with 
conventional forces and tactics but are now utilizing all the techniques 
and programs of a People's War. 

As a result of this long process, in early 1970 the change in the 
countryside is there to be seen. Except in one or two areas, the large 
enemy battalions, regiments and divisions are in the border sanc- 
tuaries. The roads are open to many markets and, from the air, tin 
roofs sparkle throughout the countryside where families are once 
again tilling their long-abandoned farms. 

We have statistical measures of all of these changes, imperfect but 
the best we could develop. But the real difference can only be experi- 
enced by driving on the roads, by visiting the markets, and by talking 
to a 12-year-old school girl who informs you that she is again attend- 
ing school in her village after a 3-year period in which none existed. 
A friend once complauied that the pacification program does not pro- 
duce dramatic results. From day to day it does not, but the difi'erence 
in Vietnam from Tet of 1968 is certainly dramatic to the Vietnamese 


There is more work to be done. At night there are still guerrillas 
in Vietnam, and the roads open in the day are deserted and dark, 
occasionally criss-crossed by contending local forces. The grenades 
still go off in the theaters or tea shops as the terrorist demonstrates 
his continued presence. Some officials have by no means caught the 
spirit of the village conmumity and endeavor to assert their JMan- 
darinal privileges of dictation from above. There are still refugees and 
others Axhose lives have been blighted by the war who must be helped 
to a decent place in society. ]\[ost of all, North Vietnamese divisions 
are over the border or in jinigle redoubts, and jirejiare for other sallies 
against South Vietnam. 

At the beginning of 1970, however, there is a vast difference in the 
situation. The government is organized to conduct a people's war 
and is showing the leadership and drive to create a better and a 
safer society for its citizens. Its 1970 Pacification and Development 
Plan is in many respects more venturesome and ambitious than the 
1969 plan. Its key also lies in consolidation of the admittedly thin 
layer of security established in many areas. It also sets high goals in 
l)olitical, economic and social development, not all of which may be 


In response to its leadership and its policies, however, its citizens 
are beginning to ])articipate in self-defense, self-government and self- 
development. And the arni}^ has repelled North Vietnamese assaults 
at Bu Prang and Ben Het. It is by no means inevitable that this 
process must continue, as several developments could arrest or even 
reverse it. 

The enemy is still in the field, and while we may have determined 
some of the tactics and techniques of this people's war, the lessons 
must be reflected in new kinds of action in every hamlet and village 
in the land. This process has begun, but the future will include some 
dark days and even some local disasters. I believe, however, that a 
satisfactory outcome can be achieved so the Vietnamese people will 
have a free choice as to their future. 

The outcome will depend more and more upon Vietnamese leader- 
ship, upon Vietnamese commitment and even upon Vietnamese re- 
sources. We Americans have i)layed a substantial role in learning 
about this new kind of war, but one of the lessons is that it must be 
waged by the people and not merely the Government of Vietnam. 

The American contribution in personnel and in resources will 
gradually reduce, to be replaced by full mobilization of people willing 
to sacrifice to remain free and to carry out the programs to make 
these sacrifices meaningful. 

The Vietnamese people iuul Government are shouldering more of 
the load today than they tlid last year, and their i)lans and programs 
envisage a greater effort tomorrow. This is true in the military field; 
it is also true in the field of i)acification and develoi)ment. 

The lessons learned and a))plied about this new form of war are 
making the Vietnamese effort i^ay greater dividends in terms of local 
security, political support, and hopes for j^eace. I am neither optimistic 
nor pessimistic about the future of this program and of Vietnam, nor 
do I offer any [)at solutions to difficult situations. I prefer to rely 
upon the determination of the Vietnamese i)eoi)le and Government 
and of the Americans who are now assisting them to take over this job. 

I am privileged to present to you today several representative 
Americans with this determination, and I invite you to hear from 
them what we have learned about the i)eo])le's war and how it must 
be fought. 

Thank you very much. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, Mr. Ambassador. 

MB.. Colby's attitude towaed future of south Vietnam 

Your last paragraph puzzled me a bit. You said you were neither 
oi)timistic nor pessimistic. Up to that point I thought you were very 

Mr. Colby. No, sir. I know there are going to be a lot of bad 
moments ahead from time to time, but I am determined. 

The Chairman. What do you have in mind? What bad moments? 

Mr. Colby. There will be local defeats, Mr. Chairman. There will 
be local incidents which w ill occur in which things won't go right. 

The Chairman. They would not be very significant in view of 
the overall resurgence of democracy in the country. We have all our 
local defeats. That is no reason to be ])essimistic. 

Mr. Colby. No, sir. T am not pessimistic. 


The Chair:\ian. You say you are not either one. I thought you 
were optmiistic up to that moment. It is not important. It sort of 
struck me. 


There are one or two things you said tluit I would Uke to put in 
perspective. You are so famihar with the subject. Yours is an extremelj' 
well-prepared and very thoughtful statement. What would you say 
is the overall objective of our effort in Vietnam? Could you state it a 
little differently than you did in your statement? 

Mr. Colby. Of our national effort or of this program, Mr. Chair- 

The Chairman. Is there any difference? Aren't they consistent? 

Mr. Colby. Very much so. This program's objective is to build 
up the strength of the people there, to ])articipate in their defense 
and development. 

The Chairman. What is the justification? Wliy should we be so 
especially concerned about the welfare of these i)articular peoj^le in 
South Vietnam as oi)posed to the i)eople in aii}^ African or South 
American country? What is the special reason that we are devoting this 
extraordinary effort, using some of our ablest men, such as yourself 
and your colleagues? 

Mr. Colby. Well, this is an overall national decision that has 
been made over several years, Mr. Chairman, to send us out there to 
do what we can for this 

The Chairman. Don't you yourself have any feeling of i)urpose 
there other than that you are ordered to do it? What is 3'our own 
feeling? I know of no one better to enlighten us. There is some un- 

We had a remarkable witness before the Subcommittee on Veterans 
Affairs the other day. I read the testiint)ny and it said that one of 
the things bothering a number of our young men who do the actual 
fighting and, particularly, those who suffer the loss of their arms and 
legs, is "what is this about?". What is it for and what is the objective? 
It was on this I thought you might enlighten us a bit. We are far 
away from the scene and do not have the advantages you have. What 
do you feel is the real objective that justifies the effort not only that 
you ])ut in but that the Army and the young men put in? 


Mr. Colby. W^ell, I believe, Mr. Chairman, that it is related to 
the security of our own country, the future security of our own country. 

The Chairman. I wondered about that. This is what I wish you 
would make clear to us and to the public. 

Mr. Colby. This is not a missionary effort, Mr. Chairman, but 
rather a program which must be conducted in this particular manner 
because it is faced with a particular challenge that can only be met 
by a program which involves the people. 

The Chairman. You said the security of this countrj' is involved. 
Did you not? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir. 


The Chairman. Could you elaborate a little more. This is a rather 
elusive concept. Make it a little more clear to us how the security 
of this country is involved. I assume you mean physical security? 

Mr. Colby. The overall political and physical security of the 

The Chairman. How is it involved in this particular area known 
as South Vietnam? 

Mr. Colby. I think over the years, Mr. Chairman, our Presidents 
have reviewed the situation and felt that the outcome in Vietnam 
was related to the security of our country. 

The Chairman. I do not wish to downgrade our Presidents, but 
I did not ask you what our Presidents thought. We all know about 
that. What do you think? You are the Ambassador there. Don't 
you have your own views? Presidents come and go. It is not surely 
because President Johnson said our security is involved. Is that the 
best reason you h'ove? 

Mr. Colby. No, sir. 

We all come from our upbringing, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Quite right. 

Mr. Colby. And I recall a period during my early years when 
Manchuria was very, very far away. 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Mr. Colby. At another period a little later in my youth the 
Sudetanland was very, very far away. Both of these later turned out 
to be very closely related to the security of our country. I am not cit- 
ing this as a precise example. 

The Chairman. I do not recall. Did we do in Manchuria or in 
Sudetanland what you are doing in South Vietnam? 

Mr. Colby. No, we did not, sir. 

The Chairman. \Vliat is the relevance of mentioning those two 

Mr. Colby. Well, tliose things were far away in the early, and even 
in the late 1930's, and by not joining with our alhes and facing up to 
some threats at that time, I think we paid a terrible price. 

The Chairman. Then you are suggesting that we would have been 
better off if we had done in Manchuria what we are now doing in 
South Vietnam. Is that what you are suggesting? 

Mr. Colby. A great number of my classmates would still be alive, 
I believe, sir. 

The Chairman. If we had done that? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. And also in the Sudetanland? 

Mr. Colby. I think it is generally accepted that some action, if it 
had been taken at that time, might have avoided a very large con- 
flagration later. 

The Chairman. Do you think this country is capable of carrying 
on in Manchuria and Sudetanland and elsewhere the kind of program 
we are financing and carrying out in South Vietnam? 

Mr. Colby. Given the things we have learned over the years, Mr. 
Chairman I think we can carry on a much more modest program and 
an effective program than if we wait for the situation to become so 
bad that it can only be met by very serious investments. 


The Chairman. I would not want to pursue that too long. I thought 
perhaps you could clarify, if only for my own purposes, some purpose 
which would justify the extent of tliis involvement and the extent of 
the expenditures, not only of money but the efforts of such people 
as yourself and your colleagues, who are obviously extremely capable 
people, whose efforts might be directed even at conditions here at home. 

At the end of your statement you remarked what a great change 
there was between the past and today in Vietnam. I only wish you 
could say that about the United States. 

I wish we had made the remarkable progress in the last 2 or 3 
years that you have made with CORDS in South Vietnam. 


In reference to the financing of CORDS, you mentioned some of 
the basic figures, for instance, the U.S. contribution of $891 million, 
including counterpart funds. 

I wonder if you would be very precise in explaining the counterpart 
funds. Are they what some of my colleagues call funn}' money or 
do they represent dollars? 

Mr. Colby. They represent, in origin, dollars. Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. There is no difference in cost to the taxpayer. 

Mr. Colby. No. 

The Chairman. This is a term that leads some people to believe 
this does not cost us anything. 

Mr. Colby. Oh, no. 

The Chairman. That is not so. 

Mr. Colby. This costs the taxpayers money. The program sends 
property over to Vietnam through commercial channels to importers 
who pay for it in piasters which are put in a special fund and handled 
in a special way. But the origin of it is certainly mone}^ from the 
United States. 


The Chairman. Could you tell us what percentage of the South 
Vietnamese budget for pacification is derived directly or indirectly 
from U.S. assistance? 

Mr. Colby. I cannot give you that answer directly Mr. Chairman. 
I can find the answer to that and give it to j'ou, perhaps tomorrow. 

(The information referred to follows.) 

Twentj^-three percent of the Vietnamese budget for pacification is derived 
directly or indirectlj' from U.S. assistance. 


The Chairman. Relevant to that, perhaps you could tell us what 
percentage of the budget of the Government of South Vietnam is 
derived directly or indirectly from U.S. assistance. 

Mr. Colby. It is a very complicated subject, Mr. Chairman. 

I believe that the current percentages are something in the neighbor- 
hood of 15 percent of the Government's military budget is provided 


directly by the United States. The remainder is provided by the 
Government of Vietnam. 

The Chairman. Does the Government of Sonth Vietnam tax any of 
the activities of the Government of the United States in Vietnam? Is 
there a tax on the imports or any of our activities? 

Mr. Colby. There is a tax on the imi:)orts that is paid by the im- 
porter, the Vietnamese importer. It is not paid by the United States. 

The Chairman. But the tax on that import is paid into the Govern- 
ment of Vietnam. All I am trying to get is some perspective for the 
benefit of the committee and the country as to whether this is rela- 
tively an American effort or are we a minor partner in this effort. 
Are the Vietnamese doing most of it and we are helping them out 
a little bit? 

Mr. Colby. No, sir. 

The Chairman. Are you suggesting that only 15 percent of the 
overall effort is ours? 

Mr. Colby. No, sir; by no means. 

The Chairman. Would you give us some idea of what we do? 

Mr. Colby. We provide a very substantial amount of the equip- 
ment, rifles and so forth, and a very substantial amount of money. 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Mr. Colby. But in any particular })rogram, Mr. Chairman, the 
Vietnamese do by far the greatest amount in terms of the people 
involved in the program. 

commodity import program 

The Chairman. How does this commodity import program, which 
you referred to in your statement, fit into the budget picture of 
South Vietnam? 

Mr. Colby. This is held in a special fund, Mr. Chairman. The 
l)iasters collected from the importers who pay for the imports are 
held in a sjiecial fund which is only spent by joint agreement by the 
United States and the Government of Vietnam. 

Senator Cooper. Mr. Chairman, would you yield at that point? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Senator Cooper. May I ask if this kind of transaction is similar 
to those which occur in other countries? Is this correct: The United 
States exports to South Vietnam commodities of various types. 
South Vietnam pays the United States in its currency; is that correct? 

Mr. C^OLBY. Yes; I believe that is correct. 

Senator Cooper. The currency is then i)laced in a trust fund and 
it is used according to agreement between South Vietnam and the 
United States. So actually the local currency is the product of our 
dollars, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. That is right. 

1 was trying to get some idea of the proportionate costs to the two 
counti-ies of the overall effort and of ])acification. 



Would you say the |)acification i)r()gram itself is su])ported [)rimarily 
by the Americans? 


Mr. Colby. Over the past 3 or 4 years, Mr. Chairman, the division 
between the American and the Vietnamese Governments' contribution 
to i)acification programs has been about 50-50. The sum has, however, 
more than doubled over the past 3 years. As a result of this, both the 
American contribution and the Vietnamese Government contribution 
have increased. 

The Chairman. Can you say from your statement how much will 
be spent per capita on the pacification program, including all the 
military programs? 

Mr. Colby. Per capita Vietnamese or per capita American? 

The Chairman. Per capita Vietnamese. 

Mr. Colby. I cannot answer that directly, sir. I can tell you the 
costs of various of the programs. 

A popular force soldier, for instance, costs about $2,000 for his first 
year of service. A national policeman costs the United States about 
$120 and costs the Vietnamese Government about $1,000 a year. 

A regional force soldier costs about $4,500 for his first year and 
about $2,000 a year thereafter. 

The Chairman. The staff says it is about $90 per capita on the basis 
of the amounts in your statement. 


Could you give a little further detail about the advisers and how 
they are distributed. In what government ministries and offices are 
there U. S. advisers? Are they in all of them or most of them? 

Mr. Colby. In most of them there are some advisers at various 
levels. Some of them specialize in limited programs; others have a 
limited relationship. 

The Chairman. Ai"e there any advisers in the office of Prime 

Mr. Colby. A cou])le of my junior officers have a small liaison office 
down there. They do not advise the Prime Minister in that sense, but 
they have an office there which we can exchange papers through. 

The Chairman. How many U.S. advisers work in the ministry 
primarily responsible for the pacification |)rogram? 

Mr. Colby. Well, our total Saigon staff, Mr. Chairman, is 600. 

Of that, I would say not more than 100 or so would be involved in 
the diflerent ministries, 100 to 200. 

The Chairman. Is there a ministry of the Saigon Government 
primarily resjjonsible for the pacification })rogram? 

Mr. Colby. There is not one ministry, Mr. Chairman. There is a 
council which includes all of the ministries, the President is the 
chairman of it, and the Prime Minister is the secretary general. 

It does have a snndl staff of about 20-odd i)eople. We have an 
officer, Mr. McManaway, here who meets frec^uently with the head 
of that staff, and we have other officers who work with the other 
officers in that staff. 

The Chairman. Are there any ministries where you do not have 
any U.S. advisers? 

Mr. Colby. Well, certainly Mr. Chairman, there are several of 
them in which we do not have any advisers who come under my 
direction. I would say that there are probably a couple of ministries 


without U.S. advisers. For instance, I do not believe that the Ministry 
of Foreign Affairs has one. 

The Chairman. It has no American advisers. 

Mr. Colby. I do not believe so. I would not be sure of that, but I 
just do not believe so. 


The Chairman. Could you make a guess as to how long you think 
U.S. advisers Avill be needed in the pacification program? 

Mr. Colby. Mr Chairman, we are planning to reduce various 
advisers at various places and levels gradually, as we think the 
situation permits it. 1 do not have a sjiecific timetable that I would 
offer at this time. 

COST of pacification program OVER NEXT 5 YEARS 

The Chairman. Would you care to guess how much it will cost 
over the next 5 years? 

Mr. Colby. I think our costs will go down in the next year or so 
because a substantial percentage of our costs in the past couple of 
years have been in hardware for the increased size of the territorial 
forces, M-16's, M-79 grenade launchers, mortars, and so forth. These 
were pretty much one-time expenditures and so, consequently, I 
would believe that the overall costs will go down for the next few 


The Chairman. In your statement, you said there were 6,361 
military personnel, and 948 civilians. You said there are a total of 215 
military men as senior province and district advisers and 52 civilians. 

Do you know how many of the 948 civilians are retired military men? 

Mr. Colby. I do not know the exact figure, sir, but about 25 
percent of the j^rovince and district senior advisers who are civilians 
are retired military. 

The Chairman. Would it be out of line to say that of the 948 
civilians you mentioned, about 25 percent are military men? 

Mr. Colby. I think that would be a little high, Air. Chairman. I 
think that would be a little high. 

The Chairman. What would you say? 

Mr. Colby. If I may correct this figure later, I can give you a veiy 
precise answer, but I would guess in the neighborhood of 100, 150, 
something like that. 

(The following information was later submitted.) 

The precise answer is a total of 180 retired military against 1,190 civilian 
spaces authorized. 

The Chairman. Would it be fair to describe this program as a 
quasi-military government? 

Mr. Colby. No, sir; I don't think so because it has no authority. 
It is an advisory effort. The decisions are made by the Vietnamese 
Government. The President of the Republic makes the critical 
policy decisions about this })rogram. 



The Chairman. I was struck by your mentioning two or three differ- 
ent times that this is a new kind of war. We have always heard there is 
nothing new under the sun. I wondered in what respect, for example, 
does tliis war differ from our Revolutionary War or our Civil War? 
What is new about this war that has never occurred in other wars? 

Mr. Colby. Some of the various elements are familiar to us from 
our background. But the way the doctrine developed by Mao, Lenin, 
and Ho Chi Minh, and some of the others had been put together is a 
new technique, a strategy of combining various factors together to 
make a new attack on the problem. 

I think that they looked at the power facing them in several of the 
nations of the world. They felt they could not go through the power, 
could not go around it, could not go over it, but they thought they 
could go under it, grab hold of the people and pull them out from 

They tried this in China during the early days there. They tried it 
during the first Indochina war against the French and worked it out 
to a fairly good system. Now this, I think, was a new technique. This 
is not a novel situation 

The Chairman. I should have warned you in the beginning that I 
am not as fully aware and knowledgeable about the background of all 
this as you probably assumed I am. 

When you say they apj)lie(l it against the French, who applied what 
against the French? Would you make it i)lain. 

Mr. Colby. Ho Chi Min, Giap, and some others. 

The Chairman. What did they apply against the French that was 
new? What is new about this as opposed to other wars that have 
occurred? We have had many different kinds of wars. 

Mr. Colby. One new factor, for instance, is a new military tactic 
w liich w^e have to face in Vietnam. We are familiar in our country with 
what we call a logistical tail of an army, the logistics support. 

The Chairman. I am not familiar with it. Frankly, I do not know 
what you are talking about. 

Mr. Colby. That a soldier goes out and faces the enemy and is 
pretty much alone as he goes. Behind him, come various things to help 
him do his job. There are supporting arms, the ordnance, the quarter- 
master, the food, and all the rest. 


The Chairman. I was not thinking so much about military tactics 
in the field. The French really, for practical purposes, were driven out 
of Vietnam and Indochina by the Japanese. Were they or weren't they? 

Mr. Colby. They came back hi after World War II. 

The Chairman. Then the war began between the Vietnamese and 
the French. 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

The Chairman. What was new about that and different from other 

Mr. Colby. The organization of the population, the conduct of a 
mass political effort among the population to support the effort, the 


combination of organizers, terrorists, the guerrilla and the main force 

The Chairman. You mean there had never been guerrillas before? 
Was tliis the first war in which the guerrillas operated? 

Mr. Colby. No, sir. I have been a guerrilla, but there are other 
levels of this war. 

The Chairman. Didn't Tito have guerrillas against the Germans 
in Yugoslavia? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir. 

But his was an experiment which led toward this final technique 
which they have developed. 

The Chairman. Didn't the Maquis have a war against the Germans 
in France? It was a very effective war. What is new about that? 

Mr. Colby. Well, I participated in that particular effort, Mr. 

The Chairman. In France? 

Mr. Colby. I did, sir, and it was not as effective as this one because 
we did not not have the same techniques. 

The Chairman. It succeeded in the end; didn't it? I thought the 
Germans were defeated. 

Mr. Colby. They were defeated with the help of the resistance, but 
not through the technique that has been develojied in the Far East, 
Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Perhaps I am too limited in my background to 
follow this, but I do not see anything particularly new or different 
between this war and other wars of a colony seeking its independence 
of its colonial master. There are new guns. It is true George Washington 
did not have M-16s, but his army had squirrel rifles and they made the 
same use of them. I do not see the difference. The difference between 
the military hardware and a few other things does not seem to me a 
significant difference. 

Mr. Colby. No. The military hardware is not the difference, Mr. 

The Chairman. What is the difference? 

Mr. Colby. The real difference is the involvement of the people in 
the war. 

During the first Indochina war, the Viet Minh aimed at organizing 
the people to participate fully in the war as a part of the war effort. 

The Chairman. Against the French. 

Mr. Colby. Against the French. 

The Chairman. Why was that very tlifferent? Didn't George 
Washington and Benjamin Franklin and the rest try to do the same 
thing here with great difficulty. They had many people who did not 
think much of it, but they finally succeeded; didn't they? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

The Chairman. We had Tories who did not agree. 

Mr. Colby. But there was a different style of organization. 

The Chairman. What is the difference? 

Mr. Colby. The organization of these people, the indoctrination 
of the people, mobilization in the Communist sense of the word of 
the people, which means regimented participation in an organized 
manner in the effort and then supplementing this with guerrilla 
eff'orts, and supi)lenienting this again with main force efforts. 



The Chairman. Could it be the only difference between this and 
Yugoslavia and France, the guerrillas who helped George Washington 
against those dreadful Hessians and others, is that this is one time 
we are not on the side of the guerrillas? We are on the other side with 
the guerrillas against us. Is that the new kind of war that you had in 


Mr. Colby. I think the lesson we have learned out there, Mr. 
Chairman, is that we cannot fight it by Hessians; that we have to 
involve the people of the nation in the effort. 

The Chairman. We have tried to fight it with Hessians; haven't we? 

Mr. Colby. I don't think with Hessians, Mr. Chairman, but we 

have tried 

The Chairman. What does Hessians mean to you? 

Mr. Colby. Foreign elements, mercenary elements. 

The Chairman. That is right. You don't think we have had any 

Mr. Colby. We have had a few, a very few, but I would not charac- 
terize the American Army as mercenaries, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. No, no, not the American Army. It is a conscripted 
army. It is far from being mercenary. It is the opposite. 

Mr. Colby. I would not characterize the American Army as 

The Chairman. I never have. No one else has. However, there 
are more than Americans there. There are some that are called alUes. 
They are not Americans. 

I do not see the great difference in this war that you seem to see 
other than that this is the only time I know of in our history that 
we have tried to help a colonial power in trying to maintain control 
of a colony. Do you know of any other instances? 

Mr. Colby. We have participated in that kind of an effort in other 

The Chairman. What is another example? 

Mr. Colby. The Philippine insurrection in which the United States 
helped put down that insurrection. 

The Chairman. W^e helped Spain keep control of the Philippines? 

Mr. Colby. No, we helj^ed suppress an insurrection. 

The Chairman. Against us? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

The Chairman. It is otkl that you would give this as an example. 

My impression was that we had told the Philippines we were there 
to deliver them from the colonial power then known as Spain. Is that 
not right? 

Mr^ Colby. I beheve the explanation was a little more imi)erialist 
at that time of the turn of the century, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairiman. What was the origin of the war? Was it not to 
deliver both Cuba and the Philippines from Spanish domination? 

Mr. Colby. Some people said that and some people said other things 
like "manifest destiny", Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Didn't that come a little later? Manifest destiny 
developed after we changed our objective, didn't it? I do not want to 
pursue this too long, but I think it is really very odd that you would 


use the Philippines experiment as a precedent for our actions in help- 
ing the French maintain their power over the Vietnamese. 

Mr. Colby. No. I think you have turned the question slightly, 
Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. I wish you would clarify it. 

Mr. Colby. I think you asked me whether there w^as any occasion 
in which the United States had helped to put down a rebellion and 
the answer was yes, there had been. 

The Chairmax. I do not believe I put that question. I said it was 
the only case I kneW' of in which the United States tried to help a 
colonial power maintain control of a colony. I think it is perfectly 
logical, having been a colony ourselves, that we have always helped 
the colony achieve its independence of the colonial power until 
Vietnam. In the case of the Philippines it seems to me we began to 
deliver the Philippines from Spain, but after w^e became acquainted 
with the Philippines, Mr. McKinley said the Lord had directed him 
to Christianize and civilize the PhiHppines. So we took them by brute 
force. Is that correct? 

Mr. Colby. I think that association 

The Chairman. That is right and we killed a great many of them 
in the process. 

length of time united states intends to remain in VIETNAM 

Do 3^ou think there is any possibility that we might decide to 
stay in Vietnam for quite a while? 

Mr. Colby. I think our policy is fairly clear. We are trying to 
end our participation there and remove ourselves from Vietnam. 

The Chairman. That is the announced policy. The announced 
policy in the Philippines was to free them from the domination of 

I only ask you that as sort of an historical byline. It has occurred 
to some people that things change in the course of donig good to people. 
We fall in love with them; don't we? 

Mr. Colby. I believe, INIr. Chairman, that the Vietnamese would 
not fall in love with us if they thought we were going to stay. 

One of the factors of this particular effort today is that the Vietnam- 
ese are convinced that we are intending to move out. that we do not 
intend to stay there and retain authority there, and that they are 
fighting a truly nationalist effort and not a colonial effort. 

The Vietnamese leadership, the Vietnamese people who participate 
in the self-defense program, the Vietnamese who vote in their local 
communities for their own leadership, are looking to a day in which 
Vietnam is theirs. 

phoenix program 

The Chairman. Are you familiar with a man named Robert G. 
Kaiser, Jr.? 

Mr. Colby. I have met him from time to time, yes, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Diil you see this article ap])earing in this morning's 
Washington Post? 

Mr. Colby. I did, Mr. Chairman. i 

The Chairman. Do you consider it reasonably accurate? 


Mr. Colby. I would have a few problems with minor aspects of it, 
but I think, in general, it states the fact that we have a difficult prob- 
lem of making the Phoenix program work, and that we are working at 
it. It has been no great success, but we are working at it. 

It is not the kind of a program that it has sometimes been thought 
to be, by misunderstanding of some of the terms used. 

The Chairman. I will ask to put it in the record for reference and 
I will yield to my colleagues for questions at this time. 

(The information referred to follows.) 

[From the Washington Post, Feb. 17, 1970] 
U.S. Aides in Vietnam Scorn Phoenix Project 
(By Robert G. Kaiser, Jr.) 

Saigon, February 16. — The program to neutralize the Vietcong infrastructure 
in South Vietnam is called Phoenix, and it is a bird of several feathers. 

Some war critics in the United States have attacked Phoenix as an instrument 
of mass political murder. Such sinister descriptions are not heard in Vietnam, 
where Phoenix has the reputation of a poorly plotted farce, sometimes with 
tragic overtones. 

The contradiction between Phoenix's lurid reputation as a sort of \ letnamese 
Murder, Inc., and the scorn with which it is widely regarded here typifies one of 
the most popular grievances of American officials in Vietnam: "They don't 
understand at home what's going on out here." 

The gulf between homefront and battlefront is likely to appear Tuesday m 
the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing room, when American pacifica- 
tion officials are expected to be questioned closely about the Phoenix program. 

Because Phoenix is an offspring of the CIA and because its operations have 
always been obscured by the cloak of official secrecy, the Foreign Relations 
Committee may discuss the program in a closed session. But Phoenix's secrets 
are not well kept in Vietnam. . . 

The South Vietnamese-run program does involve killing. American statistics on 
Phoenix results (which are radically more conservative than the Vietnamese fig- 
ures) show 19,534 members of the so-called Vietcong infrastructure (VCI) "neutral- 
ized" during 1969—6,187 of them killed. 

The rest were captured (8,51.5) or rallied to the government cause (4,832). 

But several officials involved in the program, including some who are sharply 
critical of Phoenix, note a fact that is not tabulated in official statistics: A small 
fraction, probably one tenth to one fifth, of the VCI neutralized are captured or 
killed on purpose. The overwhelming majority are rounded up in military opera- 
tions, killed in battles, ambushes or other military action, and described after- 
ward as infrastructure. Only a handful are targeted, diUgently pursued and 
captured or killed. 

phoenix not working 

"The most important point about Phoenix," said one official who had access 
to all the program's statistics and records, "is that it isn't working." 

That view is repeated by official and confid(>ntial U.S. establishments here, and 
official and confidential studies, including recent reports by the CIA and the 
deputy under secretary of the Army, James V. Siena. Phoenix has failed to neu- 
tralize a significant number of important Vietcong officials. 

"We are not bothering them now, that's for damn sure," one of the senior 
Americans in Vietnam said not long ago. 

A common description of Phoenix one hears from oflScials in Vietnam is of a 
program without substance. A share of the killing and capturing that goes on in 
the war is attributed statistically to Phoenix, but — many officials say — most of 
Phoenix's share could easily be attributed to something or somebody else. 

Phoenix's unsavory reputation apparently stems from its clandestine nature, 
its connections with some deliberate assassinations, and accusations made by 
several public figures and army veterans about its activities. 


Phoenix was the idea of the CIA, and until last July it was run by the agency. 
Phoenix operations conducted by Provincial Reconnaissance Units have in- 

44-706—70 3 


volved assassinations. These units, another CIA organization composed of Viet- 
namese troops and U.S. advisers, were organized primarily as a counter-terror 
group to operate behind enemy Unes. Assassination of Vietcong officials was one 
of their assignments. 

But the units are now under local Vietnamese control, and have lost much of 
their ferocious reputation. "They've lost 50 per cent of their effectiveness," 
according to one U.S. official. 

"There's some killing, but this is a war. There are no organized bump-off 
squads," one official with no brief for Phoenix insisted recently. Efforts to find 
contrary evidence were unsuccessful. Many of the accusations against Phoenix 
cannot be verified here. Some seem to be based on misunderstandings of Phoenix 
terminology and statistics. 

Officials "in Vietnam are critical of Phoenix on many other counts. In recent 
interviews with several officials involved in the program, a reporter heard these 

Phoenix is potentially dangerous, for it could be used agamst political 
opponents of the regime, whether they were Vietcong or not. However, there 
is no evidence that this has happened yet. 

Phoenix contributes substantially to corruption. Some local officials demand 
payoffs with threats of arrests under the Phoenix program, or release genuine 
Vietcong for cash. 

Phoenix is helping the Vietcong more than hurting it. By throwing people 
in prison who are often only low-level operatives — sometimes people forced 
to cooperate with the Vietcong when they lived in VC territory— the govern- 
ment is alienating a large slice of the population. "We should not jail people," 
said Ho Ngoc Nhuan, chairman of the rural development committee of the 
Vietnamese House. "That makes them enemies of the government." 


All the officials interviewed were persuaded that a concerted campaign against 
the Vietcong organization is necessary if South Vietnam is to have any chance of 
independent survival in the long run, but all also agreed that the Phoenix program 
had failed to hurt the VC organization so far. 

Phoenix was adopted bv the Vietnamese government, at American urging Cor 
perhaps insistence), in December 1967. It is supposed to unify the fragmented 
intelligence agencies in Vietnam, and share the best information among all opera- 
ting units. Provincial security committees, part of the Phoenix structure, also have 
the power to trv and sentence suspects to prison for up to two years. 

There are 441 Americans attached to Phoenix, all as advisers. Americans play 
no direct role in Phoenix operations. 

Phoenix offices in the 44 provinces and most of the 242 districts of South 
Vietnam (all with U.S. advisers) are supposed to maintain dossiers on Vietcong 
officials in their area and a "blacklist" of wanted men and women. 

Ideally, Special Branch Police (an inteUigence unit of the National Pohce, 
advised and financed by the CIA) , local troops and Provincial Reconnaissance 
Units are supposed to conduct operations to arrest these wanted persons. Arrested 
individuals are interrogated. When there is some evidence of a Vietcong connection, 
they are brought to trial before the provincial security team. High-level suspects 
aresupposed to be bound over to a military field court. 


As SO often in Vietnam, reality bears small resemblance to this ideal model. 
Interviews with officials and observations in the countryside reveal deviations 
from the ideal. 

The main problem is that Vietnamese don't seem interested in really prosecuting 

the program. 

"They just aren't interested," said one official. "They don t want to be caught 
trying to get the VCI if they think maybe next year the VCI will be in control." 

Some local officials have made private accommodations with the Vietcong,'U.S. 
and Vietnamese officials say. They are unwilling to upset these arrangements 
by chasing VCI. 

" Onlv in the last few months has the central government put strong emphasis 
on Phoenix. Some officials think this new pressure may improve performance. 

Largely because of Vietnamese disinterest, the local Phoenix offices simply 
do not work. Many keep no records. Others mount no operations. Phoenix is 
often run by poor-quality personnel, chosen for their jobs by local officials who 


don't want to waste their good people on the pi'ogram. Most district offices are 
run by junior army officers who have little sense of the sophisticated political 
problems of hunting down Vietcong officials. 


Perhaps to prod recalcitrant local officials, the central government assigns 
Phoenix quotas to the provinces. Thus a province chief has to report neutralization 
of a certain number of VCI every month to staj" in good. "They will meet everj^ 
quota that's established for them," one American adviser noted. 

But meeting the quotas often means disregarding any standards. Officials often 
count every man arrested, even if he is released immediately for lack of evidence. 
American advisers refuse to confirm manj^ of these alleged neutralizations, ac- 
counting for much of the difference of almost 100 per cent between U.S. and South 
Vietnamese Phoenix statistics. 

Quota-conscious district and province chiefs also pad their Phoenix figures with 
anv number of citizens captured or killed in military operations, whether genuine 
VCI or not. 

"^'ietnamization" of Phoenix has, in a sense, already'' been completed — the onl}'^ 
Americans involved are advisers. But some officials think most of the advisers 
should now be withdrawn. 

"We've done all we can," one official said. "If they want to get the VCI, they 
can do it. We can't do anything more." 

The Chairman. Senator Symington. 

Senator Symington. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Colby, it is good to see you, sir. 

Mr. Colby. It is nice to see you again, Senator. 

MR. Colby's experience in Vietnam 

Senator Symington. In my opinion, you are one of the outstanding 
public servants that I have known, and I have always gotten a lot of 
information from you when we have discussed matters. 

When did you first go to Vietnam? 

Mr. Colby. In February 1959, Senator. 

Senator Symington. In what capacity? 

Mr. Colby. I was the deputy to the Special Assistant to the Am- 
bassador, American Embassy. 

Senator Symington. You were a CIA representative at that time? 

Mr, Colby. Yes, sir. 

Senator Symington. And when did you leave? 

Mr. Colby. I left there in the summer of 1962, Senator, and came 
back to the United States where I became the Chief of the Far East 
Division of the CIA. 

Senator Symington. Did you go back? 

Mr. Colby. I visited Vietnam once or twice a year in those years 
when I was in that job. 

Senator Symington. When did you leave the CIA to take this job? 

Mr. Colby. I left the CIA at the end of January 1968, and went 
out to Vietnam, first to take a job as assistant chief of staff of CORDS 
and later to succeed to the position of deputj' to the commander for 

Senator Symington. Mr. Robert Komer had this job once, didn't 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir; he left in early November 1968. 

Senator Symington. And he was sent out by the President? 

Mr. Colby. By the President; yes, sir. 

Senator Symington. Who sent you out? 


Mr. Colby. Well, my assignment came up in the course of a 
discussion between Mr. Helms and the President, I believe. 

Senator Symington. President Johnson? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir. 

Senator Symington. And, as a result of that, you went out in 
the early part of 1968? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir. 

Senator Symington. And you have been on this job ever since? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir. 

lessons learned in VIETNAM 

Senator Symington. In your statement, you say — 

The lessons we have learned in Vietnam can increase Vietnam's ability to 
defend itself. 

Would you enlarge on your thinking on that? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir. 

I think the lesson we have learned is that we must involve the 
people in a war and that they will not support or assist an effort unless 
it is something that they believe in, that they have a part of. This 
lesson — that it must trust its people — is one which, I believe, the 
Vietnamese Government has learned also. The best example of that, 
I think, was the distribution of weapons to the Self Defense forces 
which are composed of ordinary citizens in local communities. 

It is also represented by the Vietnamese Government's decision to 
make the Phung Hoang or Phoenix program a public i)rogram, to 
expose it so that the whole public could know about it, and particiijate 
in it to protect themselves against terrorists. The foundation of the 
effort has to be a mass, popular effort. 

Senator Symington. With great respect, when I was out there in 
early 1967 and late 1967 there was the same amount of optimism 
about the program, but it did not work out that way, and I imagine 
that is one of the reasons they sent you. 

Mr. Colby. I would not say that. Senator, by any means. But I 
think the point that my statement makes is that we have not found 
any solution at the end of the trail. We have been gradually learning 
more and more about this. 

regional and popular forces 

Senator Symington. In your statement you say: 
Both of these forces are made up of full-time soldiers — 
Et cetera, et cetera, and then you say — 
both have been substantially increased since 1968. 

Mr. Colby. Since early 1968, that is. 

Senator Symington. So they now total approximately 475,000 men". 
What (lid they total before then? 

Mr. Colby. They were about 30,000, a little over. They have been 
increased about 150,000 in the past couple of years. 

Senator Symington. Then you say the Communists have identified 
it clearly as a major threat, a start toward a true people's army. 

Mr. Colby. This is a people's self-defense force. In their resolution 
No. 9 of the central office. South Vietnam, for instance, the Commu- 


nists singled this out as a very dangerous program that could be a 
threat to them in the future. 

Senator Symington. Inasmuch as the Ky government, now the 
Thieu-Ky government, was fighting for its life all during these years, 
why do you think it took them so long to understand that this should 
be done in order to handle the problem? 

Mr. Colby. Well, I think it began to be learned in 1967, Senator. 
Some of the programs began to be put together in 1968. Prior to 1967, 
of course, things were pretty confused out there, with the changes in 
governments and that sort of thing. 


Senator Symington. During my visit out there in 1966, there were 
three people who were highly talked about by our people. One was a 
general, one was a village chief south of Danang, and the other was 
a Major Mai. Did you know him? 

Mr. Colby. I did; yes. 

Senator Symington. I went back there a year later and the general 
and Major Mai had been removed for political purposes, and the 
village chief had been killed. Has that type and character of opposition 

Mr. Colby. I think we have not had similar problems of that 
nature in recent times. I am not saying that political difference might 
not arise in tlie future between some of them. It could happen. 

Senator Symington. As I remember. Major Mai was in charge, in 
eft'ect, of Vung Tau. 

Mr. Colby. He was; yes. 

Senator Symington. And he was removed by General Ky and 
ended up as an interpreter with us for the Korean Army. 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

Senator Symington. Is he still there? 

Mr. Colby. He is still there. 

Senator Symington. If a man has that obvious ability, why don't 
they use him, instead of keeping liim, in effect, in exile? 

Mr. Colby. I don't know the basis for it, but I think they thought 
that he was developing a political apparatus of his own with the 
cadre there. His successor. Lieutenant Colonel Be, has been there since. 
He has been a very forceful speaker against corruption and against many 
other things in the national government. He has been the leader of 
a very strong policy for those people. 

He is trusted by the Government despite the kinds of remarks he 
makes, which do not sound like just praise for the Government, by 
any means. He has been fully supported in the position by the Presi- 
dent and by the Prime Minister. He was given full authority to run the 
training program of village chiefs. 

Senator Symington. Did he replace Mai? 

Mr. Colby. He replaced Mai. 

Senator Symington. And is Colonel Be still there? 

Mr. Colby. He is still there. 

Senator Symington. Thank you. 



You say in your statement that during 1969, for example, over 6,000 
were killed in terrorist incidents, and over 1,200 in selective assassina- 
tion. What were the figures in 1968 and 1967 of selective assassina- 

Mr. Colby. I cannot answer the questions right offhand. I think I 
might be able to find it for you. 

Senator Symington. Will you please supply it for the record. 

(The information referred to follows.) 

Selective assassinations for 1967 are only available from 1 Oct. to 31 Dee. The 
total for this three-month period is 624. For 1968 there were 1,743; however, no 
figures were available during February. 

Air. Colby. The 1968 figures are incomplete because we do not 
include the period of Tet, the February figure. There is 1 month for 
which the figure was just not obtainable. 

Senator Symington. Are those the times when they went into a 
village, and picked people and killed them? Is that what selective 
assassination means? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, a directed assassination against a specific official 
rather than a grenade going off in a marketplace. 

ability to defeat guerrilla warfare 

Senator Symington. In the fall of 1966, General Dayan went out 
to Vietnam for some weeks, and then wrote several articles, one of 
which I read in the paper here. In it he said if the North Vietnamese 
and Vietcong turned to guerrilla warfare it would not be possible for 
us to defeat them — this from one of the most experienced and able 
guerrilla fighters in the world today, based on the record. 

Why do you think he felt that way about it? 

Mr. Colby. I think he was referring at that time to the fact that jj 
most of our eftorts were in the conventional warfare field, and he was 
making the usual criticism that a guerrilla force is very difficult for 
regular forces to stop. 

I tliink that is one of the real changes in the situation. The govern- 
ment is developing its own guerrilla force with mass popular participa- i 
tion in the effort by the self-defense and other groups in the country I 
and strong advocacy of local government, letting people elect their 
own leadership. 

tran ngoc chau . 

Senator Symington. Didn't Tran Ngoc Chau replace Mai? J 

Mr. Colby. Tran Ngoc Chau replaced Mai. He did for a time, jes. 
He had the overall charge of the cadre program. 

Senator Symington. You mentioned that Be did. 

Mr. Colby. Be is now the chief. He came in very shortly thereafter. 

Senator Symington. Where is Chau now? 

Mr. Colby. He is somewhere in Saigon, I believe. I do not know. 
He, as you know, was elected to the National Assembly; he was 
removed from his other position. He was not only the leader of the 
Vung Tau Center, Senator, he was head of the RD Cadre Directorate 
in the Ministry of RD. 



Senator Symington. The American taxpayer has put over $100 
billion into South Vietnam, and in the beginning we laid down rules 
which apparently have made it impossible to achieve a military victory, 
if that ever was possible. In addition, according to an article I read 
in the press not too long ago, we have had around 700,000 Americans — 
that would, of course, count the top figure we had in Vietnam, plus 
the Seventh Fleet, plus Thailand. 

Then if you added to that number the people we have in Japan 
directly connected with the war, the people in the Philippines at such 
bases as Subic Bay and Clark, the people we have in Okinawa and 
Guam directlv connected with the war in Southeast Asia, the total 
is well over 700,000, closer to 800,000. 

Wliat this article asks is, if the United States cannot do it with 
800,000 of its best youth, backed by our industrial capacity, how can 
we expect the South Vietnamese to do it when American military 
personnel are withdrawn? 

That disturbs me a great deal. Could you comment? 

Mr. Colby. Well, part of the lessons we have learned, Senator, is 
that it is very difficult indeed to do it mth Americans, that it can 
only really be done with Vietnamese, and not only with Vietnamese 
officials but with the Vietnamese people. 

It is only by engaging the active participation of the population 
itself that they can retain their own freedom, that they can continue 
an effort of this nature. Therefore, some of the critical aspects of the 
war lie in the formation of the political base for the Government, a 
base formed on local governments locally elected. 



Senator Symington. How soon do you think it wiU be before the 
South Vietnamese can handle the Vietcong by themselves and the 
North Vietnamese also, if the North Vietnamese continue hostilities? 

Mr. Colby. Those are two slightly different questions, Senator. 

Senator Symington. Well, you develop the answer any way you 

Mr. Colby. How soon they can handle the Vietcong by themselves? 
I think that if you removed the North Vietnamese entirely from the 
picture they would be very close to that today. But if you continue 
the infusion of North Vietnamese units, then it is a gradual process, 
and I do not know. I cannot give you a precise figure. 

I am confident that the 17 million Vietnamese in South Vietnam 
can be strengthened and developed into a national cohesion to pro- 
tect themselves against the North Vietnamese. 

Senator Symington. Mr. Colby, I have great respect for your opin- 
ion, and I would like to ask you to help us out in tliis situation. There 
are a lot of issues involved, and one is the economic issue. As you know, 
we have real problems now wdth respect to our economy. 

If the U.S. troops and support left, after giving all that is needed, 
in your opinion do you believe that the Thieu-Ky government, pro- 
vided the North Vietnamese retreated, could control the country as 


against the Vietcong and tlie National Liberation Front without any 
Americans there? 

Mr. Colby. I beheve so. 

Senator Symington. You do believe that? 

Mr. Colby. Without the North Vietnamese, I believe so. 

Senator Symington. And if the North Vietnamese stayed interested 
after all of this training that you are doing and all the material that 
we have given them, how long do you think it will be before we can get 

Mr. Colby. Well, I think this has to be a gradual process. Senator, 
and I frankly cannot give you a date on it. Our first priority is to get 
our combat forces out of there and we certainly are in the process of 
doing that. 

Senator Symington. I realize that. I have not set any timetable 
about it, and I am not one of those who says we must get them all out 
this year. I am asking because you are out there and I respect your 

Would you say in 5 years we could get out entirely? 

Mr. Colby. I really don't have a number that I could give you, 
Senator. It depends on a lot of things that can develop during those 
5 years. But I think that the basic thrust of the policy — that they 
will be able to take care of their own affairs — is valid. Just when 
that is going to happen, I really cannot say. 

Senator Symington. How about 10 years? 

Do you think we can get out in 10 years? 

Mr. Colby I think certainly 

Senator Symington. It is not an unfair question. 

Mr. Colby. No, it is a fair ciuestion. 

Senator Symington. When I was in the executive branch, they 
promised us the troops in Germany would stay a maximum of 18 
months, and they have been there for a quarter of a century. 

Moreover our troops have been in Korea 20 years next June, so 
I am not being facetious, but very sincere. 

Mr. Colby. I know. 

Senator Symington. If you don't think they can get out in 5 years 
entirely, do you think they can get out in 10 years? 

Mr. Colby. I think they could if nothing else arose during those 
10 years that caused a revision of that estimate, if no new situation 

Senator Symington. Like what? 

Mr. Colby. Like a change in the overall situation in the Far East. 
I could not think of anything in particular, but new factors come to 
bear on things that seem to be set in one direction and change does 

Senator Symington. You were not sure about 5, but you are pretty 
sure about 10. How about 7? 

Mr. Colby. I don't think I can really fix a time for you, Senator. 

I think that the thrust is a staged reduction of our forces, taking 
our combat forces out of the front lines first, taking our support forces 
out second, and leaving economic support and advisory support as 
the last item going out. 



Senator Symington. Mr. Colby, weren't there more Vietnamese 
killed, wounded, and abducted by the North Vietnamese in 1969 
than in 1968? 

Mr. Colby. There were, if you leave out February, Senator, yes. 
The total is higher in 1969 than 1968, if you leave out February. But 
February, of course, was the time of the Tet attack, and a lot of people 
w^ere killed and wounded and abducted during that period. 

Senator Symington. But that was 1968. 

Mr. Colby. That was 1968; that is what I mean. If you leave 
February out of 1968, and we just don't have figures for 1968 for that 

Senator Symington. When you say leave out, do you mean the fact 
that there was the Tet offensive is the reason that the 1968 figures 
exceed the 1969? 

Mr. Colby. No, sir. The 1968 figures we have do not include those 
killed, wounded, and abducted during February and, therefore, they 
are very short of what really happened during 1968. 

Senator Symington. Why aren't those included? 

Mr. Colby. We just don't know what they are, Senator. Things 
were a little confused and we don't have figures. 

Senator Symington. Then your supposition 

Mr. Colby. My supposition is there were more killed in 1968 than 
in 1969. 


Senator Symington. What is the size of the Vietcong infrastructure 

Mr. Colby. Our current estimate is about 75,000, but that is a 
very fuzzy figure. Senator. We are doing some fairly good homework 
trying to harden that up. I am not at all confident of that figure. 

Senator Symington. What was it 2 years ago? 

Mr. Colby. Two years ago, I don't think we even had a good 
estimate. One year ago it was about 80,000. 

But that is not a good estimate either. 


Senator Symington. There are more c[uestions I would like to ask, 
but I want to yield to my colleagues. But I would put the question 
to you again. 

We have, counting everybody, prettj^ close to 800,000 people 
working every day to win whatever our objective is in Vietnam. 
That counts Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Guam, and other 
places that I am sure you know. 

These Americans are backed over here by tens upon tens of thou- 
sands of people who are producing items for the Vietnamization 
program — the idea being that we are going to give them so maii}^ 
billions of dollars of equipment in the belief that at a certain point 
they will be able to handle this problem by themselves. 

Would you supply for the record a statement as to why you believe 
that without these 800,000 Americans they can be successful, which 


means we can be successful, when we haven't been able to be so after 
many years and great expenditure of lives and treasure. 

Mr. Colby. All right, sir. 

Senator Symington. Thank you. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

(The information referred to follows.) 

During the period 1965 to 1968, Communist military strength in Viet-Nam 
was at a high level; its regular troops rested upon active guerrilla forces and a 
politically organized base. The Communist regular forces were set back bj^ U.S. 
regular forces. The Vietnamese Government, with U.S. support, then strength- 
ened its Regional and Popular Forces, the People's Self Defense, Phoenix and 
police operations, and developed a more actively engaged population. By 1970, 
the nature of the war thus changed; what was formerly a Communist war con- 
ducted on three levels became a government-led people's war facing an increas- 
ingly^ North Vietnamese military- force. The territorial forces, the police, and the 
People's Self Defense make the enemy mihtary forces much less effective since 
they pre-empt the caches, the recruits, and the information. In this circumstance, 
the enemy regular military force becomes less difficult to handle than the earlier 
combined guerrilla and regular enemy forces and infrastructure. A weaker enemy 
thus faces a GVN stronger in the political as well as the military field. This process 
has already begun in the Delta where smaller total military forces are handling 
a situation which formerlj^ required the assistance of regular U.S. forces. 

The Chairman. Senator Case. 

Senator Case. Would you ask Senator Cooper? 

The Chairman. Senator Cooper. 

Senator Cooper. Thank you. Senator Case. 

Ambassador Colby, I would like to congratulate you on a very 
comprehensive statement, which is a record of your able service and 
the ser"vices of those associated with you, both on the military and 
civilian side. 


The chairman asked you a question which, I think, was directed 
toward your view of what the objective of your program was. 

Would you say it is an auxiliary or is it a part of the total Viet- 
namization program which has been announced as the policy of the 

Mr. Colby. Well, I think the program we are putting through 
here is very much a part of the total Vietnamization effort; yes, 


Senator Cooper. Secretary Rogers said in several speeches and 
statements that the policy of the United States, of this Administra- 
tion, was irreversible which, I believe means that our forces will be 
continuously withdrawn. Do you believe that? 

Mr. Colby. I think that is our intention. Senator. As I said to 
Senator Symington, new things might certainly come up in the future, 
but, as we see things today, it is certainly our intention to reduce 
our participation in Vietnam. 



Senator Cooper. There has been a pacification of some sort since 
1959. When would you say that the present program, the one that 
vou have outhned, came into effect? 

Mr. Colby. It has been a gradual thing. Some of it was developed 
in 1967, some in 1968, and some in 1969, Senator. Each point was added 
to it as it went along. 

Senator Cooper. You described your organization. Was that orga- 
nization established after the new administration came in or was it 
established under the preceding administration? 

Mr. Colby. It was established in May of 1967, Senator, 

effect of U.S. troop withdrawals on cords program 

Senator Cooper. Assuming troop withdrawals continue, would you 
say that the success of your program would be diminished in any way 
by the withdrawal of the troops? Can it be sustained in the way that 
you have described it if the troops are withdrawn? 

Mr. Colby. Assuming that the troop ^nthdrawals go according to 
the ideas outlined by our President and by the Secretary in relation- 
ship to the three criteria, I think this program should continue, 

I think that a precipitate withdrawal of a large number might set it 
back, but with a steady reduction of American forces in response to 
the situation, this program will continue in about its current state. 


Senator Cooper. We expect to hear members of your group who 
deal with the Vietnamese people directly. I assume you do and the 
group here that will be testifying. What is the attitude of the people 
of South Vietnam toward the overall policy of this Administration and 
particularly the withdrawal of troo])s? 

Mr. Colby. PubUc opinion polling in Vietnam is not a very advanced 
art, Senator. But, nonetheless, when this first came out I think there 
was a little concern that Americans might be withdrawing i)ro('ipi- 
tously. But there was great reassurance when our President indicated 
that we would apply the Vietnamizalion policy in a sober and steady 
manner. There is also a certain sense of pride and self-reliance that is 
developing in many of the Vietnamese military units, and among the 
people there, a feeling that "We can do this ourselves." I believe that 
this has been a positive result of our reduction. 


Senator Cooper. The Washhigton Post, I believe, in Sunday's 
issue, had a statement by a Mr. Gerald C. Hickey who, among other 
observations about Vietnam made this statement. I will cpiote from 
the article. 

In the struggle between the Saigon Government and the Vietcong, Hickey saj^s, 
most of the population had not identified with either side. "They have learned 
through experience that noninvolvement is their best means for survival." 

Is that a correct statement? 


Mr. Colby. I think" that was a correct statement, Senator. I beUeve 
that is one of the things that is changing. I think it is one of the most 
critical things that is changing. 

Over the years there is very httle doubt that the great mass of 
Vietnamese peojole just did not engage on either side. 

It is, I must confess, a source of some bafflement to me why the 
Communists did not apply their Marxism-Leninism a little bit better 
in trying to engage the people on their side. The only explanation that 
has come to my mind is that maybe the leadership of the Communist 
movement there were Mandarins, too. 

On the other hand, on the Government's side over the years there 
was a similar disdain for full participation by the population. The 
French Colonial rulers ran the people; authority was centered in the 
palace. This continued during the authoritarian governments and 
the military governments. It is really only in the past 2 or 3 years that 
a new theme has come to bear, that the people do have a participa- 
tion in the war. The war cannot be won unless the people do partici])ate. 
This has been brought about by local elections, by the self-defense 
program, by bringing the local leaders in and assuring them that they 
have authority over what is happening in their localities, by sharing 
power with the people. This is a new situation, because the people are 
responding to this in a considerable degree. 

Therefore, I think, Mr. Hickey's comment that the Vietnamese 
peasant will not engage is, perhaps, a little out of date in that respect. 
I think the peasant is beginning to participate in the national effort. 

Now, it isn't all there yet. Senator. There is more to do, but I think 
a beginning has been made. 


Senator Cooper. You spoke about recent elections in a number of 

Do you have any estimates or any figures or totals of the participa- 
tion of the South Vietnamese in these village elections? 

Mr. Colby. I don't have numbers for you. Senator. 

Senator Cooper. Percentages. Do you have any idea about what 
the proportions would be? 

Mr. Colby. Our newsmen and others went out to see these elec- 
tions as they took place. They saw them as a general participation 
by the citizens. There is a fairly high percentage of the people who 
actually do go to the polls and participate in the votes in those local 

Senator Cooper. How were the elections carried out? Were there 
any prohibitions against certain groups or individuals voting, or any 
one faction? Were these local elections dominated by the national 
administration? What kind of freedcmi was there in the election of 
the local officials? 

Mr. Colby. Well, there is no question but that an announced 
Communist was not allowed to be a candidate nor to participate in 
the voting. The elections were not held in what were called insecure 
areas. That is why only something less than half of the villages and 
hamlets had their local elections in 1967, the year when they should 
have taken place. 


The expansion of security during 1969 permitted the holding of 
these elections in additional areas. ^ _ 

This is an automatic elimination of the Communists from partici- 
pating in it or running it. 

However, families with members who are with the Viet Cong do 
participate in the elections. As I say, the general reaction of our press 
who looked at these elections, including some good, critical press 
members, was that they were reasonable elections in that kind of 

a structure. 

Senator Cooper. Are they dominated, ordered, or directed by the 
national administration? 

Mr. Colby. The national administration directed the elections, 
but the candidates were local candidates, local people from that 
neighborhood. Candidates were generally local farmers, local leaders, 
varied people. 


Senator Cooper. Now, I would like to turn to the question of 
local security. I'm not going into the larger military questions. To 
what extent have the local security forces been enlarged during the 
last 2 years? 

Mr. Colby. In early 1968, the local security forces, the regional 
and Popular Forces were in the neighborhood of 300,000 men. Today 
they are about 475,000 men. So that is about 150,000 or 175,000 men 
that have been added. 

Senator Cooper. Have you had many defectors from the local 
security forces? 

Mr. "^CoLBY. I am sure there are some defections to the enemy's 
side, but it is not a major problem. There is a problem of desertion in 
some of the forces. A man is categorized as a deserter when he has been 
15 days AWOL. In our army we do not call him a deserter at that 
time; he has to be away for 30 days. But desertion is a problem in the 
forces; primarily in the regular forces, to some extent in the regional 
forces, and to a very little degree in the popular forces. As they become 
closer to their localities, the problem becomes less. 

Senator Cooper. What about the defectors 

Mr. Colby. In very few cases do these deserters go over to the other 
side. Senator. These people go home. Sometimes they join another 
unit, this sort of thing. We are going to stop that shortly because we 
now have a fingerprint situation so that we can follow a fellow when 
he quits one unit and tries to join another. 


Senator Cooper. What about defectors from the Vietcong. Do you. 
have figures on that? 

Mr. Colby. Defectors from the Vietcong? 

Senator Cooper. Yes. 

Mr. Colby. Yes, Senator, we have a very active program. I expect 
to testify on that fully later in the week. This program of inviting 
people to come back to the government's side has been in progress 
since 1963, and about 140,000 people since that time have come back. 


Forty-seven thousand of them came back during 1969. This does 
not mean that all of these fellows were the world's greatest fighters on 
the enemy side. A lot of them were local people who were quite content 
to join the government's side when the government's side came into 
some of the villages and hamlets that they had been excluded from. 


Senator Cooper. Perhaps you have answered this question, but is 
there a record of the assassinations of local South Vietnamese officials 
or people for 1969 and 1968? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. For 1969 there were a little over 6,000 people who 
were killed, of those about 1,200 were selective assassinations. There 
were about 15,000 wounded, and about 6,000 abducted, as I recall. 

Senator Cooper. Are you including in those figures people killed 
in the war — in actual fighting — or are you giving those figures as 
persons killed by the Vietcong in their progi'am of terrorism? 

Mr. Colby. These are the results of a terrorism. Senator. These are 
not people killed or wounded in the course of military action by the 
enemy or by our side. They do not include those at all. 

Senator Case. You asked for 1968, I think. 

Senator Cooper. Well, those figures were for 1968 or 1969? 

Mr. Colby. Those were 1969, Senator. I have it here for 1968, 
Senator. The number killed was 6,338. But that is only 11 months 
of 1968, because the month of February we do not have any figures on. 

There were about 15,918 wounded and about 10,000 abducted 
during 1968. 

Senator Cooper. What were the figures for 1969? 

Mr. Colby. Killed, 6,086; wounded, 15,052; and abducted, 6,095. 
That is the entire 12 months; that is the whole year. 

Senator Cooper. I will pass on quickly. 

Senator Case. Would the Senator yield for just one question on 
that point? Do you have a figure for 1968 comparable to the 1,200 
killed in 1969 in selective assassinations? 

Mr. Colby. I do not have that. Senator. 

Senator Case. Do you have any figure at all? 

Mr. Colby. I would have to get one. 

Senator Case. Would you get one? 

Mr, Colby. I will try to get one and present it for the record. 

(The information referred to appears on p. 30.) 

Senator Cooper. You would say these casualties are the result 
of a planned program of terrorism by the Viet Cong? 

Mr. Colby. They come from all sorts of things, Senator. They 
come from a mortaring of a refugee camp; they come from an explo- 
sion in the marketplace. I stood in a schoolhouse about 3 weeks ago 
not far from Danang. A couple of Marines had come over to this 
schoolhouse and were handing out some candy to the kids, when 
a couple of people threw a couple of grenades into the schoolhouse. 
Five of the children were killed. Luckily one of the grenades, which 
fell in a schoolroom where there were 20 children, didn't go off. 
That is the kind of thing that these figures come from. 



Senator Cooper. What about the refugees? How many refugees 
have been brought back from refugee camps to villages, say, in 1969? 

Mr. Colby. During this past year. Senator, about 488,000 people 
went back to their home villages with some government support. 
There are others who went back who were not registered or soruehow 
we didn't get a record of. We estimate them as something in the 
neighborhood of 100,000. 

Senator Cooper. What is the population in the refugee camps, 
say, as of 1969 as compared to the beginning of 1969? Do you have 
some figures? 

Mr, Colby. The population of the camps at the end of 1969 was 
about 150,000. At the beginning of 1969 there were 699,645. That is 
in the camps. 

effect of cords program on agriculture 

Senator Cooper. Was there any bettemient of the agricultural 
programs in Vietnam under the program that you have been heading 

Mr. Colby. Mr. MacDonald, our Director of USAID, will testify 
fully, Senator, but there are several things. 

The new rice that was developed in the Philippines was brought 
over to Vietnam in 1967. They set a goal of planting 44,000 hectares 
of this particular rice in Vietnam during 1968. Of course, when the 
Tet attacks came they thought, 'T guess we won't be able to do it." 
They actually did it. 

They then set a goal of 200,000 hectares for the year 1969. We have 
estimated that about 240,000 hectares were planted in the year of 

Tliis rice is really quite fantastic; it increases your average yield 
per hectare from about two tons to about 6 to 8 tons, so that the farmer 
gets a considerably greater return from it. 

The total amount of rice production for the whole country for 1968 
was 4,300,000 odd tons. For 1969 they forecast a million-ton rise. 
They did not reach that goal. They reached only 5,094,000, which is 
very close and very good. 

In rice production, the main crop of the nation, they are looking 
forward to actually being self-sufficient by the end of this year or next 

During the war years rice has been imported in Vietnam. 

social and economic progress in VIETNAM 

Senator Cooper. I will not take more time from my colleagues, but 
would you place in the record a statement showing what has been done 
in all of these fields: agriculture, building, construction of roads, 
building of schoolhouses, enrollment of schoolchildren, the number of 
villages which have held political elections, and facts like that? 

Mr. Colby. We will, indeed, Senator, both in my own testimony 
and some of the papers that I hope, with the chairman's permission, 
to incorporate in the record. And also Mr. MacDonald, when he comes 
will testify fully on those programs for which he is responsible. 


Senator Cooper. From your experience in Vietnam over many 
years, do you say now, do you believe that in the last 2 or 3 years there 
has been a marked betterment of the people, opportunity in agricul- 
ture, in the social field, than there was before? Is that your belief? 

Mr. Colby. I think I can testify that the normal farmer lives a lot 
better than he did. 

Now, there are very serious economic problems in Vietnam which 
stem from the degree of American presence there, the large amount of 
money that we brought in, the large efforts that we are undertaking 
there. This is creating an inflationary problem and danger of some 

Steps are being taken to control this. I think the normal citizen is 
better off than he used to be in the years 1965-66 by a considerable 

Senator Cooper. You were going to give figures which, in your view 
would provide a favorable description of the progress of the program. 


Would you also supply to the committee, if the information is 
available: One, the number of refugees generated because of the war. 

Mr. Colby. During the past year about 11 4,000, Senator, have been 

Senator Cooper. Two, civilians killed and wounded. I do not mean 
from acts of terrorism, but because of the war. 

Mr. Colby. Yes, civilian war casualties; yes, sir. 

(The information referred to follows :) 

Statistics are not available which would permit an estimate to be made of 
civilian casualties in Viet-Nam caused by US/ARVN/FWMAF/VC/NVA in the 
course of military operations. 

Senator Cooper. The number of orphans, homes destroyed, and the 
cropland taken out of cultivation. 

I think you would have to agree that the impact of the war in its 
total sense has been adverse to the civilian population. 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir; certainly. 

Senator Cooper. Would you say the attitude of the civilians is 
that they would just like to see the war ended? 

Mr. Colby. A substantial portion of the population in Vietnam 
would like peace without any further definition. There is no question 
about that. 

There is a substantial portion of the population which would like 
peace with security, and there is a very small portion of the population 
which would like Communist control and Communist peace. 


Senator Cooper. Could you answer this question? Assuming that 
the United States does withdraw its combat troops within 1 year, 2 
years, 3 years, do you believe that the impetus which your program 
and other programs have given to the development or reconstruction 
of South Vietnam would be sustained — could be sustained — by the 
people of Vietnam? 

Mr. Colby. I think that you are in the course of seeing a nation 
develop another basis for its existence than it had before. 


The decentralization, of authority to the local authorities and the 
gradual building of a national political base in the local communities 
will be matched this year by an effort to develop provincial communi- 
ties. They are having some elections later this year for the provincial 
councils, and the provincial councils will be given some authority so 
that these become attractive jobs. The government is trying to make 
this a meaningful level of government structure. I think that building 
the country from the bottom up can develop a totally new popular 
approach toward their responsibilities, toward their participation in 
the life of their nation in the future. 


Senator Cooper. Do you know whether any planning is being done 
about U.S. assistance on postwar relief or resettlement problems? 

Mr. Colby. There has been some thinking done about that; yes, 
Senator. There have been some general studies made, projecting on 
into the future. Of course, there are longer term development plans 
for Asia that contemplate this kind of thing. I don't think they are in 
very formal or fixed form. 

Senator Cooper. Are you qualified to speak of those plans or does 
that come 

Mr. Colby. I really think that is more Mr. MacDonald's subject to 
discuss. I have a fairly short focus for my program. Senator. 


Senator Cooper. I have one other question now. I have a number, 
but I think I will submit them to be answered for the record so that 
my colleagues may question the witnesses. 

There has been a great deal of comment in the newspapers about 
the arrest and confinement of political leaders. Perhaps this might be a 
subject for another day in these hearhigs, but is there any kind of 
judicial process — and I am not talking about our judicial process — 
but a judicial process for the Vietcong adherents who are captured 
or arrested; or are they summarily confined? 

Mr, Colby. There are several different procedures here, Senator. If 
the Vietcong is captured with a gun in hand, as a member of a military 
unit, he is considered as a prisoner of war, and is held as a prisoner 
of war. 

There are a number of South Vietnamese who have been captured, 
and there are a number of North Vietnamese who have been captured 
who are held as prisoners of war. 

If a Vietcong is captured he can be tried under normal judicial 
procedures. There is a military court for crimes against the state. 
They hold hearings, they investigate witnesses, and so forth. 
It is not our legal system; it is a different style of legal system, as 
you know. It stems from the civil code more than from ours. 

There is a third possible legal action — administrative detention. 
The Government can detain them under emergency powers which are 
somewhat similar to those of other countries during an insurrection. 
There are a substantial number of people detained under this program. 

The Government is in the course of improving some of these 
procedures which have not been totally satisfactory in the past. 

44-706—70 4 


Senator Cooper. I am sure you will say more about that later. 
Mr. Colby. There is more to do on that, too, Senator. 
Senator Cooper. I think that is all, Mr. Chairman. Thank you. 


The Chairman. Would you allow me to inquire concerning that 
last question whether the Americans turn over their prisoners to 
the Vietnamese for disposition or do the Americans themselves tiy 
these prisoners? 

Mr. Colby. The American forces turn over the prisoner of war for 
detention by the Vietnamese. We have advisers who watch to see what 
has happened, to make sure 

The Chairman. What does the Phoenix program do with their 
prisoners? Do they turn them over to the Vietnamese? 

Mr. Colby. Americans do not capture people under that program, 
Mr. Chairman, 

The Chairman. Oh. 

The Senator from Wyoming. 

commendation of THE WITNESS 

Senator McGee. I want to commend the Ambassador for his 
forthright testimony this morning. 

Did I hear you say, in response to Senator Symington's question, 
that you have been in Vietnam since 1959? 

Mr. Colby. I have been associated with the country since 1959. 

Senator McGee. But in various capacities? 

Mr. Colby. I was horo for about 6 years during that period. 

Senator McGee. It seems to me that the very nature of your 
assignments has endowed you with a little bit of the sense of continuity 
about where we have come from in this very tortuous participation in 
Vietnam. From the testimony that you have submitted, you seem to 
have acquired a real sense of perspective about it too. You have a 
tendency to relate to what happened yesterday, not just what is 
happening today. I think this has enriched your testimony on other 
occasions when I have had the opportunity to examine you. 


I wanted to pursue a line of questioning here in regard to the 
uniqueness of the situation in Vietnam, the elements of difference 
there that would seem to legitimatize that phrase. It is, indeed, a 
unique setting. 

Was there a Vietnam before the French? 

Mr. Colby. There has been a Vietnam for well over 2,000 years, 

Senator McGee. Vietnam has also been separated mto different 
pieces during separate portions of those two millenniums. They have 
had their civil wars; they have had then- foreign occupations. Would 
a nationalistic concept of a Vietnam be definable from the history, 
such as you might associate with France, Britain or, in a very young 
sense, our own country? 


Mr. Colby. I would say less nationalist than ethnic. There is a 
very strong ethnic sense among the Vietnamese. They are very proud 
of their Vietnamese identity. They have a very strong sense of it. 

They also have a nation in that sense, but nation as a political 
state is a later experience. ' 

Senator McGee. You differentiate between the ethnic sense and, let 
us say, the political sense? 

Mr. Colby. Yes; yes. 

Senator McGee. Does this factor in itself complicate in any way 
the problems of witnessing an emerging independence? 

Mr. Colby. Well, I think it makes it essential that the entire effort 
be a Vietnamese effort. The Communists, of course, for years have 
attacked the government as a puppet government, and the govern- 
ment, in contrast, for a number of years, has insisted upon its own 
status as a Vietnamese National Government, a national movement. 

There are a number of Vietnamese in high places, as ministers of 
government actually, who were participants in the Viet Minh revolt 
against the French. This Viet Minh revolt went through some of the 
sad experience of the Spanish Republican effort where the Commu- 
nists gradually took it over and ate it up; and this is what happened 
to a gTeat extent in North Vietnam. 

Senator McGee. Would it be fair to say if there was any uni- 
fying, if this is the right word, political consciousness at all, it might 
have been anti-French at the time of the colonial break? 

Mr. Colby. Very much so. This was a very popular i)rogram at 
that time. 

Senator McGee. Once the French were out, was that binding 
factor strong enough to hold these various groui)s together? 

Mr. Colby. Well, even before the French left, Senator, the Com- 
munists managed to turn in the names of a few of the prominent 
non-Communist nationalist leaders to be arrested and killed by the 
colonial government. There are a number of jjersons well-known in 
Vietnamese history to whom this has happened. 

Second, the Communists immediately upon the departure of the 
French began to call the new Government a puppet of the Americans, 
as distinct from the French. The phrase during the Diem |)eriod was 
the My Diem government, the American Diem government. They 
always used that phrase, and they always today try to portray the 
Government as nothing but a puppet of the United States. 

So, it becomes very important to the entire effort for the Govern- 
ment to stand on its own and to make its own decisions, and for us, 
correspondingly, to take an advisory position, but not a command 
position. That is a tricky job sometimes. 


Senator McGee. At the time two Vietnams became a diplomatic 
or political fact of life as a result of the Geneva Conferences of 1954, 
did that division in any way reflect the difl'erences that were emerging 
after the French left, or was an arbitrary division imposed? 

Mr. Colby. This was a division of the country. It happens to be 
very close to a previous division of the country between two royal 
houses which were fighting for control during a period of Vietnamese 
history. But the difference was very much a political difference which 


arose in the 1954 period. It Avas best exemplified, of course, by the 
movement of some 900,000 people from North Vietman down to South 
Vietnam. Most of those were Catholics. Many of them were simple 
farm people, who now live in village communities in South Vietnam. 
But a substantial number of them were also people who had been 
educated under the French regime in French-led schools. 

Part of the ])roblem of finding a national soul, if you will, was the 
impact of the French on the society for 100 years. They took the elite 
and trained them away from their own philosophical bases. This has 
created a problem that they are still suffering with, they are still 
wrestling with. 

I think they are in the course of discovering again this national 
consciousness through this program of reaching out to their own 
village bases to establish a true South Vietnamese base for their 
political future. 

Senator McGee. Didn't the Geneva agreements permit that to be 
a two-way street? Wasn't the option open for those in the south to go 
north if they so chose? 

Mr. Colby. It was, and about 70,000 — the figure is a little open — ■ 
about 70,000 to 80,000 people went north. It is our information that 
most of those who went north were male members of the Viet Minh 
military units. 

We do know a number of them went up north, remained in military 
units, were trained for reinsertion back into South Vietnam, and actu- 
ally did that during the late 1950's, starting in about 1957. They 
began to infiltrate back to establish the guerrilla bases, networks, and 
so forth. 

Senator McGee. Would the direction of the flow both ways and the 
dimensions of the flow reflect in any kind of direct ratio the acuteness 
of the differences with the French? 

Mr. Colby. That was why I compared it with the Spanish situation. 
The movement south included almost all the non-Communist members 
of the Viet Minh who looked ahead to a future under Communist 
control of North Vietnam as being hopeless. That is why there are a 
number of ex-Viet Minh who are now in positions of importance in 
South Vietnam. 

They are still nationalists; they still wish to support their own 
country, but they realized they could not do it under a Communist 

Senator McGee. This would suggest at least some measure of the 
quest for political definition of two Vietnams, as we know it at the 
present time. Would that not be correct, generally speaking? 

Mr. Colby. There is a regionalism to Vietnam, but it actually di- 
vides into three, rather than two parts. Those who live in the southern 
portion of Vietnam, in central Vietnam and in North Vietnam have 
very strong regional differences — different accents, different customs, 
and so forth. 


Senator McGee. How sharp were the rivalries in this formative, 
post-colonial period among the traditional military types who, as I 
understand it, had had their own areas? 


Mr. Colby. The immediate post-1954 situation was a period of war- 
lords, entirely separate states almost, in different portions of South 

Senator McGee. This was not unique to South Vietnam, necessarily? 

Mr. Colby. No, it happened to other countries, too. The then 
government, the Diem government, in its first two years actually did 
quite a fantastic job of pulhng the country together and making one 
national state out of it. 

There was only one major failing that it had at that time. That was a 
refusal to build a real political base in the people. They were accus- 
tomed to using power and buying power rather than sharing power. 
This proved later to be one of then- great Achilles' heels. 

Senator McGee. Their own experience and their own history tradi- 
tionally had been along that Hne anyway, had it not? The French 
didn't help it. 

Mr. Colby. Yes. The country had been run on Mandarinal prin- 
ciples for many years, of course, under the various emperors and under 
the French. It was not a great change. 

Senator McGee. At the very least, then, it would seem to me from 
what you have said, any new independent undertaking would be a 
very delicate, fragile and tender operation. 

Mr. Colby. Except that it is not totally an imposed change. There 
are other changes going on that are similar to what is happening 
elsewhere in the world. 

The transistor radio, the TV, the Honda, the public press, the 
magazines, the education of the chikh'en, are all creating a changed 
society. The political structure must change to reflect this very real 
change that is occurring. 

comparison of guerrilla wars 

Senator McGee. In connection with an earher line of questioning, 
drawing parallels between South Vietnam and the guerrilla activities 
in Yugoslavia and in France at another time, would the fact that, 
particularly in the case of France, there was a long-running tradition 
of governmental institutions, experience, and participation alter the 
parallel in any significant way? 

Mr. Colby. The resistance effort was a national effort against a 
foreign enemy. The Petain government had been pretty well dis- 
credited by the time the resistance really became active. There w^as 
very little appreciation of that. 

In Yugoslavia you had a fairly energetic and \dgorous leadership of 
a national movement against a foreign invader, the Germans, with no 
pretention of imposing anything other than complete serfdom in the 

I think the problem in Vietnam is dift'erent. Wliile the Communists 
may claim to be the heirs of the national revolution, there are people 
with equally good credentials on the government's side who can assert 
the cause of nationalism and of a change to a modern society as well. 
This makes it by no means as clear cut as it was in the European 

Senator McGee. Isn't that a critically important point in our 

Mr. Colby. It is a big difference. 


Senator McGee (contmiiing) to be realistic about the Vietnam 

Mr. Colby. It is a big difference between Vietnam and the other 
ones. This is a group of people who reallj- do want to have an 
independent Vietnam. 

One of the things that they have been encouraged by is our own 
assurance that Vietnam will be independent, not an American colony. 

They do not want to see the troops move away too fast, of course, 
but, on the other hand, they do look forward to the troops leaving. 
This is a big difference from previous situations. 

The Communists, of course, are endeavoring to picture it as the 
same situation, claiming that the Americans are just Frenchmen in 
new clothes. It is up to us, I believe, to reallj^ show there is a difference. 

Senator McGee. Would it be fair to say that the Vietnamese in 
their own expressions have at least exhibited their belief that it makes 
a difference? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. In general, I think the reaction in the countryside, 
among the population, to some of the programs of this government in 
the past year or two, and even to some extent before that, is real pride 
in having a little blue patch of the self-defense force on one's sleeve. 
This is quite a feeling of exhilaration when that old M-1 carbine is 
handed to the fellow to keep in his house. Just to take it home and 
keep it there with the ammunition, gives him a lot of power. It shows 
he is trusted by his government; it is really his government that is 
doing it. 


Senator McGee. The burden of my next inquiry derives from the 
guerrilla technique itself, its impact on any new governing endeavor 
in an independency. 

Does the lack of experience, deep traditions or national identity 
make the South Vietnamese more vulnerable to the guerrilla technique 
than otherwise might be the casej 

Mr. Colby. In two respects, I think, Senator. First there are the' 
10,500-odd hamlets in the country. 

Now, any one of those hamlets can be attacked any night. There- 
fore, you have to have a unit in each one of those hamlets every night 
ready to fend off an attack. If you have an effective government, one 
whicli is very efficient, you can perhaps do that from a central place. 
If you have a weak government that is just struggling to assert itself 
and get itself going, it is hard for it to react, to emplo}^ the additional 
fire support, to send some hel]), and to get the communications and 
so forth to work that well. So tliat the guerrilla has a very substantial 
advantage. Out of those 10,000 targets he can say, "Well, I will attack 
these three tonight and another three tomorrow night and another 
three the following night." It is his option, and the only defense is to 
build up the defense of all of those hamlets, to develop a local self- 
defense force and information services that tell you what is going on. 

I think the second sense in which it is difficult is that when a 
country has not developed a strong national identity, someone who 
comes around singing a song of a sHghtly different national identity 
can attract the people to his cause. He can recruit the guerrilla or the 
terrorists more easily. 


It is certainly true that a lot of the guerrillas and a lot of the mem- 
bers of the enemy forces have shown great dedication and great 
commitment. There is no question about it. Some of these are doing 
it in order to prevent the American colonialists from taking over the 

As long as your situation is a little ambiguous and it is not clear 
that you are 100 percent nationalist, it is easier to recruit people to 
participate in that kind of a program. 


Senator McGee. What is the immediate goal of the guerriUa? Is it 
to destroy or bring down a regime to move in and set up a new regime. 

Mr. Colby. No, the role of the guerrilla is to erode the presence of 
the government in the countryside. 

Senator McGee. It is to seize the total initiative to the guerrilla. 
Where and what time to attack are his to choose? 

Mr. Colby. He can make his attack where he wishes to. 

manpower requirements of guerrillas and SAIGON government 

Senator McGee. Does this have any relevance to the amount of 
manpower required in both circumstances? 

Mr. Colby. The degree to which the government can recruit the 
people into self-defense programs and the degree of success of the 
program of inviting the guerrilla to return to the national cause by 
giving him good treatment have great relevance. This becomes a 
manpower problem for the enemy, it becomes a question of "Well, I 
don't really have the forces to attack more than one hamlet a night 
and I don't have enough to gather together a company strength, only 
a couple of platoons." This has happened, especially in the Delta, 
about which Mr. Vann will tell you tomorrow. They have had a very 
serious problem of maintaining their forces and, as a result, they are 
beginning to send some North Vietnamese down to participate in 
that guerrilla role. This is a very difficult role for an outsider to fill. 

Senator McGee. What about the manpower requirements of the 
Saigon government to cope with the guerrilla tactic? W^ould they be in 
any measurable proportion that you could describe for us? I remember 
in the days of the Malaysian difficulties there used to be talk of about 
11 or 12 to 1. Is there any relevant comparison that you could make 
about our experience in Vietnam? 

Mr. Colby. I don't think I have any sharp rules of thumb m that 
sense. I think you have to have enough regular forces to meet the 
enemy regular forces. You have to have enough local defense forces to 
meet the enemy guerrilla forces, and j^ou have to have enough popular 
support and popular participation to eliminate the enemy's subversive 
terrorist and guerrilla effort. You have to have different levels of 
participation on the government side just as the enemy has the dif- 
ferent styles of operations that he runs, the terrorist or the guerrilla or 
the main force unit. The government has to have a mix of the thi^ee to 

Now, they currently have, as I say, about almost 500,000 ten-itorial 
forces whose major function is to stop the guerrilla. They have 400,000 
armed people's self-defense supported by another milhon or so (The 


figures are very fuzzy on the total membership of the self-defense 
forces, but a large number of people are certainly involved). They 
support this effort for security in the hamlets and they participate 
in the identification of the enemy apparatus in the hamlets. You also 
need a regular army to face the North Vietnamese units that come 
down. What is being tried today is to develop this proper mix of 
forces to meet the kind of threat it presents. 

I don't have any neat formula on that, Senator, I am sorry. 

Senator McGee. Would it be fair enough as a generalization to say 
it is greatly disproportionate? 

Mr. Colby. In total numbers. 

Senator McGee. It takes a great many more men to run the estab- 
lishment that is trying to stay there and build, than it does to knock it 
apart by hit-and-run attack. 

Mr. Colby. Right. 

Well, in the defense of those 10,000 hamlets, each one requires a 
platoon or so, a platoon or a company. 

Senator McGee. Those platoons are not available to be moved 
north or south? 

Mr. Colby. They are tied up doing that. They can't be used to 
fight a ])latoon or company. 

The Government has in its program this coming year the strengthen- 
ing of special self-defense units, which could be called tougher, harder 
units. This will include additional training to teach them to use their 
arms and so forth. These special units will replace a few of the Popular 
Forces ; these in turn will replace some Regional Forces ; these in turn 
can replace regular forces. For instance, in a large number of provinces, 
the President wants to get into a situation where there are no more 
regular forces, but the whole security problem is handled by these 
territorial forces, so that his regular forces can go over to the border 
and replace the Americans who are going to leave. 


Senator McGee. Would it be fair to say that this comes now as 
one of the lessons that we learned along the way? Our concept pre- 
dominantly was contending for the deployment of regular forces in 
the old military context. 

Mr. Colby. Very much so, Senator. In 1960-61, the problem was 
to increase the Vietnamese army from, I believe, 150,000 to 200,000. 
The local forces at that time were a total of around 100,000 only. Now 
when you are thinking in terms of the self-defense plus the local 
forces you are talking of almost a million armed men supporting a 
regular establishment of about a half million. So you have got a very 
much different proportion. 

Senator McGee. All of that endeavor might have worked if the 
other side had played fair. 

Mr. Colby. You have got to assume he isn't going to play fair. 
That is what I was trying to get at when talking with the chairman, 
that the enemy did develop a new technique of war here, to use 

Senator McGee. That is what is unique about this situation? 


Mr. Colby. To use different levels in order to go around 

Senator McGee. We are imprisoned a bit by our experience in 
Korea. We had a penchant to practice our next test of crisis bj^ the 
last one and that was embarrassing. 

Mr. Colby. I am afraid that is a burden that peaceful people have 
to take, Senator. When the democratic powers entered World War I 
they entered with cavalry and plumed helmets and sabres. They had 
to learn about dirty gray uniforms and machine guns and things like 
that during the war. 

In World War II we had to learn during the war about blitzkrieg 
and close air support and even strategic bombing. The Germans had 
developed all these before the war started, and they did very well for 
a while. 

To return to Vietnam again, the enemy did develop a new technicpie, 
which he was quite successful with for quite a few years. I think the 
burden of my story is that I think we have learned some of these 
lessons, not all of them. We haven't applied them all yet either. We are 
in the course of applying them, but I think we will be able to apply 
them and meet this new challenge that the enemy has developed for 


Senator McGee. That becomes really the guts of pacification? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir. 

Senator McGee. That is what we are talking about in a pacification 

Mr. Colby. Yes, su*. 

Senator McGee. It is an attempt to fill this gap, which is the change 
and the unique attribute of the war in Vietnam in contrast to the 
conventional experiences of the past? 

Mr. Colby. That is right. It all must be founded on an actively 
participating people. That is the real key to it. These people must be 
supported and assisted by a variety of forces and a variety of programs. 
These must all be integrated into one overall national effort or na- 
tional planning. The key to it is the active involvement and participa- 
tion of the people. 


Senator McGee. In terms of resources and the availability of re- 
sources, is it possible to keep a guerrilla tactical group in the field at 
far lower cost than to try to preserve order from the establishment's 
point of view? 

Mr. Colby. Well, I couldn't give you an absolutely clear answer 
on that. Senator. It is obviously cheaper to maintain that single 
guerrilla unit, which can attack any one of 10 or 15 hamlets than it 
is to provide the security in all those 10 or 15 hamlets. But by a real 
national effort you can provide the security for most of those hamlets 
on an unpaid basis by providing the weapons to the people who live 
in them, training them to take care of their own defense in great part, 
and then reinforcing them by a mobile reaction force which can come 
to their help if they get into more trouble than they can handle. In 
that way you can work out a way in which you don't have to put 
your entire national effort into defense expenditures but can do a 
few things other than just defending yourself. 


This, I think, is more a matter of sustaining a security situation 
than achieving it. 

Achieving security will requhe considerable investment initially. 
But once achieved it can be sustained by these other ways. 


Senator McGee. It turns out in hindsight that we arrived at a 
very wise decision. 

I remember one of the trips I made over there in about 1966. We 
had some of our Marine units out in Da Nang with General Walt who 
were doing a really impressive job with pacification. They were 
undertaking it on their own initiative, and it was extremely effective. 

The judgment about which we raised questions at the time was 
whether this could last? Did we have the kind of manpower that ought 
to be doing that sort of thing or whether the Vietnamese should be 
doing it, allowing us in that transitional process to assume the more 
conventional burdens of security. 

Would that be a fair turning point year or did it come a little later 
than that? 

Mr. Colby. I think 1966-1967 is about when we really began to 
work on the business of developing local security in the Vietnamese 
side. The American effort became one of training and assisting them 
to do this job, not merely doing the big force war alone. 


Senator McGee. Did your task become any easier or any more 
difficult after Tet? 

Mr. Colby. Of 1968? 

Senator McGee. February, 1968. 

Mr. Colby. Well, of course, I arrived after Tet so I don't have that 
in mind. 

Senator McGee. You succeeded Robert Komer? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

I think obviously there were several very difficult months there in 
which there was a tendency on the part of many of the forces to 
huddle in around the towns, and be very defensive. 

But I think as you look back on it, the Tet attacks did generate a 
considerable national eft'ort, a national will, a national resolution to 
have done with that sort of nonsense, and to i)articipate in the 

I think it also galvanized the Government to develop some newer 
programs. It was not a government which was all that old, so I am not 
saying that they had been sitting doing nothing. They had only been 
inaugurated in the fall of 1967. But thoy did launch a number of new 
programs, general mobilization, self-defense, the Phung Hoang or 
Phoenix program and some others. As you look back on Tet you see 
that, despite the real disaster, in a psychological sense it did have a 
certain impact on the national effort, the national will. 

effect of terrorism ON pacified rural AREAS 

Senator McGee. The task of holding a remote rural area together, 
a pacified area as you might call it in some circumstances, multiplies 


as the incidence of assassination increases. As that incidence goes 
down it decreases. Wonld that be a fair 

Air. Colby. It is a tricky figure, Senator, because if the enemy has 
full control of the area then you don't have much terrorism. In essence 
they would be running the place so there would be no need to sneak 
in and throw a bomb and so forth. 

On the other hand, generally, as you get better security, the ter- 
rorism and so forth will reduce, but, like most of our statistics out 
there, it is not an absolute. 


Senator McGee. I mentioned this before, and it seems rather 
relevant here. At one time I crossed a river up north at Da Nang on 
a raft because the local bridge was lying in the water. It had been 
blown up earlier that week. The young fellow who was pushing us 
across made the point that there was the real illustration of the 
problem in South Vietnam. He said it took somebody a half hour or 
an hour to train a man to blow up a bridge, but it took us two, tliree 
or four years to educate a man to build a bridge. Doesn't this frame 
rather sharpl}^ the contrast between the guerrillas' opportunities and 
the government's responsibilities? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

It obviously takes a considerable greater investment of time and 
energy to produce a decent society than it does to tear it down. 

Senator McGee. That is why it seems to me we are often very 
guilt}" of being unwisely impatient about the course of events in 
Vietnam. I personally think that the headway is measurable. It is 
painfully slow and we wish it A\ould go as fast as we might be able 
to do it here with our own kind or as fast as it went in France once 
it was under way 

I think the circumstancos and the history and almost the contradic- 
tions of events give us no other choice than to expc'ct a much slower 
evolution of this new process that seems to be genuinely underway in 
very large sections at least of South Vietnam. I am one of those Avho 
applauds those of you who have to sit through all of our bombast from 
time to time and our impatieiu;c and wondering why you didn't do it 
last Tuesday instead of a year from Tuesday. 

Mr. Colby. Sometimes, Senator, we wonder why we didn't think of 
it last Tuesday, too. 

Senator McGee. It is a thankless responsibility that you have. I 
think it is one that has some lasting, sustaining qualities to it that will 
be there long after a lot of the other jazzy things that Mr. Cronkite 
or anyone else runs on the 6:00 o'clock news. It doesn't get very much 
play, but I think this is the real muscle and sustaining fiber of any new 
social, economic or political grouping. That is why it is so urgent and 
so important. 

Mr. Chairman, that is all the time I want to take for questions. 

I do think it ought to give us all pause as members of the Senate in 
trying to pin timetables on either you, Mr. Colby, or the President or 
the Saigon Government or anj^-one else. Surely we have learned 20 
times over that in that part of the world the convenience of a 
Republican and Democratic calendar doesn't carry any weight. 


Mr. Colby. I think my timetable, Senator, is to do it as fast as it 
can be done. 

Senator McGee. I think onr concern rightfully is one of making 
sure there is no reckless or needless lagging, just because people might 
become tired or a little frustrated. It has to be pressed with all 
responsible haste. 

Mr. Colby. Right. 

Senator McGee. I would not think beyond the tempo of respon- 


I want to commend you and those who work with you for what I 
think is a real selfless undertaking in this enterprise. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Thank you. Senator. 

I hope that nothing has been said by me which would in any way 
criticize the job that the director of this program is doing. He is, if I 
understood him correctly, following orders. He didn't make the policy, 
nor did he originate the idea of going into Vietnam. He formerly, as he 
testified to the Senator from Missouri, w^as an agent with the CIA. 
Is that correct? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. I assume he is now under the orders of the present 
Administration, as he was of the previous one. 

Mr. Colby. I am a member of the Department of State now, Mr. 
Chairman. And my immediate superior is General Abrams. 

The Chairman. I certainly commend the Ambassador because I 
think he has an extremely difficult job. I would commend him and 
all his associates. 

OBJECT OF pacification PROGRAM 

It is such a difficult job that I am prompted again by the Senator 
from Wyoming's remarks to ask a question which is perhaps very 
unnecessary to others but still bothers me. I think you said, and it 
has been said before, that this is an interesting experiment in nation- 
building. You are building a new kind of nation in South Vietnam and 
that is the object of the pacification program. Is that an unfair or 
accurate statement? 

Air. Colby. It is a contribution to the building of a nation now, 
Mr. Chairman. It doesn't do it all by itself. 

The Chairman. Yes, granted that. I didn't mean to imply you 
were doing it all by yourself or that your organization was. But it 
bears the major part of the financial cost, technical direction and 
knowledge. You are building a new nation, different from that which 
was historically there, with different ideas about how it should be 
run, if I understand it correctly. You are not recreating a feudal 
system that was characteristic, as you mentioned, in the ancient days 
of either Annam or Cochin China. 

As I understood what you said before, the present South Vietnam 
includes most of old Vietnam other than Tonkin. Is that correct? 

Mr. Colby. Mostly, yes. 

The Chairman. The tAvo southern provinces? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 



The Chairman. The question keeps coming back to me. Granted 
that you are doing an effective job and accepting your testimony, it 
would appear to be quite effective, the question still returns as it does 
when I see the magnificent things we have done in space. It comes 
back to the question that recurs on the floor of the Senate: Fine, it 
was successful, but is it as necessary and essential to the security and 
safety of the country as pacifying the internal dissension in this 
country that results in riots, civil disturbances, in some cases the 
virtual breakdown of our judicial system, as recently exhibited in some 
of our big cities or the necessity for building schools to educate our 
populace, the necessity for clean air to breathe and clear water? This 
comes back to the same continually recumng question. 

Granted it is an interesting experiment to go abroad, to take the 
remnants of a feudal colonial community and to build a nice, shining 
democratic community. It is an interesting thing to do, as I am sure 
it was to Mr. Teller when he solved the problem of hydrogen explosion. 
That is fascinating to a physicist. 

I have to raise the question again, not for you, because you are 
not the policy maker, but really for the Senate and the Committee 
and the country. Is this of the highest priority that we must defer 
doing all of the things that we continually admit should be done and 
need to be done in the United States now in order to cure what I call 
the very serious social and political afflictions of our own communities. 
It all comes back to that question. 

I am not at all sure it is a proper question to ask you because you are 
doing the job you are asked to do. If I drifted into that question a 
moment ago, 1 will say I probably was improper in doing it simply 
because of my constant pre-occupation with this problem for four or 
five years. I think [)crhaps it is wrong to ask you to make a j udgment 
on that question because you are not a policy maker. You are doing 
the best job you can do. Everyone says, given your assignment, you 
are doing as good a job as one could possibly expect. I have heard no 
criticism of the way you discharge your responsibilities. So I don't 
want to pursue it. 

I was trying to make my own position clear. There is no need 
of my pressing you to make a decision upon a highest policy, which 
is the matter of what kind of a country does this country want to 
be. Do we think it is most important to use our major efforts to create 
or help create a new society in an Asian country. I often think when 
I see people like you with obvious talents, energy and intelligence, 
how much wo could benefit by ha^dng some of your talents applied 
to the problems here at home, in my State or in Chicago, Watts or 
Harlem. There are lots of places A\'here we have a use for j^our talents. 

That is the question and I don't think I mil ask you to answer it. 
I was really only trying to state my own position correctly. 

civilian casualties of U.S. BOMBING, ARTILLERY AND GUN SHIPS 

Certain questions of fact that need to be explored occur to me. You 
have given the numbers of victims of Vietcong terrorism. Could you 
give the number of civilians who have been killed by American 
bombing, artillery and gun ships? Do you have such figures? 


Mr. Colby. I don't think I have them right here. I do hare them 
available and can get them. 

The Chairman. Were those figures kept by anyone during the past 
several years? 

Mr. Colby. They were imperfectly kept, I believe. It is a very 
difficult figure to get. 

The Chairman. I thmk I recall having asked questions before and 
being told th.' Pentagon did not keep such figures. 

Mr. Colby. They do not have a precise figure. We do have a figure 
of the civilian casualties admitted to province hospitals. That is the 
only kind of a figure we have. 

The Chairman. Can you supply whatever figures you have available? 

Mr. Colby. I certainly will. I don't have them available here, but 
we will supply them. 

(The information referred to follows.) 

The number of civilian war casualties admitted to province and military hospi- 
tals during the period of Jan. 1967 to Dec. 1969 totals 200,950. 

The Chairman. Have we killed substantial numbers of civilians with 
bombing, artillery or gun sliips? 

Mr. Colby. It is not kept in that fashion, Senator. What it sho\ys is 
the number of admissions of people with war wounds into province 
hospitals. There is no showing as to just where those wounds came 
from. It isn't ascribed to either a Vietcong or a Government bomb. 

The Chairman. Are there figures on those who die who don't appear 
in the hospital? 

Mr. Colby. They probably do not appear. 

The Chairman. They just disappear into the 

Mr. Colby. They are buried. 

The Chairman. And they disappear. So there really are no figures 
about that? 


You were speaking of the national cause. Do you tliink that a 
searching for a national identity exists as a major motive or is there 
just a wish for peace in South Vietnam? 

Mr. Colby. I think there is a very strong desire for nationhood in 
the South, Mr. Chairman — there is a wish for peace as well — particu- 
larly with your leadership elements, and by that I mean the leadership 
in the villages as well as the others. Each village, you see, has a little 
temple in it. This is not necessarily a religious temple, it is the temple 
of the village and there is a very strong community sense in that way. 

The ChAjIrman. I realize that the life centered around the village 
is traditional. Has this grown to a point where they have a feeling of 
nationhood of all of the villages that now constitute the old Annam 
and old Cochin China? 

Mr. Colby. During the past six months. Senator, most of the village 
chiefs and most of the hamlet chiefs have attended this course at 
Vung Tau. At Vung Tau they went through this five-week course 
during which they studied the program of the government and the 
effort of the government to form a new country and so forth. During 
each one of these courses the president came down and spent the 
afternoon or the evening with them and talked with them. 


If yon go up to that village chief or that hamlet chief in the far north 
or the far south of the country and ask him about his experience at 
Vung Tau, he recalls it. He may still be wearing the black pajamas he 
was issued there. 

He may recall the fact that the president spoke to them and what 
he said to them. So that in that sense I think there is a development 
of a sense of national identity among these village chiefs and hamlet 
chiefs, who were elected by the people in their villages and hamlets. 
They are part of something bigger than themselves. 

The Chairman. This is new. 

Mr. Colby. This is in the last 6 months. This program has gone on, 
and I think it has had a substantial effect in these hamlets. 

The Chairman. Not onl}^ is it new in your activity, it is new in the 
experience of Vietnam because they didn't have much of a feeling, 
as I think you have already testified, of a political nationhood. 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

The Chairman. There was some degree of ethnic pride with regard 
to what I guess you would call their culture. I think that was true 
to a great extent in China too in some of its periods. 

Mr. Colby-. Oh, yes, very much so. 

The Chairman. They were proud of being Chinese, but didn't 
think much of the central government. 

Mr. Colby. That is right. 

There are a lot of Chinese living elsewhere in Southeast Asia who 
have a feeling of being Chinese. 

The Chairman. I was thinking of the idea that they really have a 
hankering for a nation in the sense that the nationalists have had in 
Europe and in other areas during the last 100 years. Nationalism 
really is a rather modern growth. 

Mr. Colby. The Viet Minh movement was a strong movement. 
It was a desire for an independent Vietnamese nation. 

The Chairman. But you had already testified, I thought quite 
correctly, that this was motivated by their hatred of the French 

Mr. Colby. Yes, and a desire to have their own nation, their own 
Vietnamese nation. 

The Chairman. I thought most importantly to get rid of the 
French, and secondarily — I don't know about that. That is an aca- 
demic question that we can't do anything about now. 

SIZE of vietcong infrastructure 

You said in the beginning, I believe, the estimated infrastructure 
of the Vietcong was 70,000. We have a letter from the Army, which 
I will put in the record. All I am trying to do is clarify this as best 
I can. It says: 

With regard to paragraph 6 of fact sheet, a better perspective of the operation 
can be gained when consideration is given to the current militarj^ intelligence 
estimate that Vietcong Infrastructure strength apiDroximates 80,000. 

Have there been any changes in that? The letter is from William 
Becker, Major General, Chief of Legislative Liaison of the Depart- 
ment of the Army. 


(The information referred to follows.) 

Department of the Army, 
Office of the Secretary of the Army, 

Washington, D.C., January 9, 1970. 
Hon. J. W. FuLBRiGHT, 
Chairman, Committee on Foreign TteJaiionSf 
U.S. Senate. 

Dear Mr. Chairman: The Secretary of the Army has asked me to respond to 
j^our letter concerning the Phoenix Program. 

Attached you will find an unclassified fact sheet, originally prepared at the 
request of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which discusses in some detail 
the essential elements of this Government of Vietnam Program and U.S. assistance 
to the program. 

With regard to paragraph 6 of the fact sheet, a better perspective of the opera- 
tion can be gained when consideration is given to the current military intelligence 
estimate that Viet Cong Infrastructure strength approximates 80,000. 
I trust this information will be helpful. 

William A. Becker, 

Major General, GS, 
Chief of Legislative Liaison. 
Fact Sheet 

Subject: Phung Hoang/Phoenix Program In Vietnam. 

Purpose: To provide information on the above subject for the Senate Armed Services 

1. Phung Hoang is a Government of Vietnam (GVN) Plan with the objective 
of centralizing and coordinating the. efforts of all military and civilian agencies 
engaged in the neutrahzation of the Viet Cong Infrastructure (VCI). Open an- 
nouncement of the heretofore classified program was made by President Thieu on 
1 October 1969. This announcement pointed out to the people that Phung Hoang 
is a policy aimed at protection of the people against terrorism. For example, during 
1968 Viet Cong terrorism wounded some 12,000 and killed 5,400 South Viet- 
namese; so far during 1969 there have been some 14,000 wounded and .5,-500 
killed. The VCI is defined as that political organization by which the Viet Cong 
control or seek to control the people of South Vietnam. A more detailed explana- 
tion is at inclosure 1. The basic essence of the program is a fully coordinated 
intelligence effort of all existing GVN and United States agencies targeted spe- 
cifically on the VCI with the express purpose of neutralizing its effectiveness and 
control over the people. The word Phung Hoang is derived from the Vietnamese 
word meaning coordination. 

2. To coordinate and manage United States assistance and support to the 
GVN Phung Hoang Program, the Commander, United States Military Assistance 
Command, Vietnam (COMUSMACV) has developed an advisory structure 
known as the Phoenix Program. This advisory and assistance program is under 
the staff supervision of the Deputy to COMUSMACV for Civil Operations and 
Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS), Ambassador Colby. There are 
some 450 United States military advisory personnel involved in the Phoenix 
Program. Of this number, 262 serve at district and city levels, which are the key 
operational elements, with the remainder of the personnel serving at the national, 
regional, and provincial levels. 

3. The coordinated intelligence effort against the VCI had its beginning in 
July 1967, when COMUSMACV established a joint civilian/military advisory 
activity entitled "Intelligence Coordination and Exploitation (ICEX)" with the 
specific mission of assisting and supporting the GVN in a coordinated attack on 
the VCI. Initially this program received Httle official GVN attention and support. 
However, in December 1987, recognizing the need for a coordinated intelligence 
effort against the VCI, the GVN initiated the Phung Hoang Program with the 
mission of neutralizing the VCI. Accordingly, COMUSMACV changed the name 
of its advisory activity from ICEX to its current name, Phoenix. With the 
issuance of a "Presidential decree in July 1968, which established formal GVN 
functions and organizations to implement the Phung Hoang Program, the GVN 
officially committed itself to the program. 

4. To control the overall program and ensure the eoordination and cooperation 
among all elements capable of contributing, the GVN has established a structure 
of committees from national to province levels. The Chairman of the Central 

Committee is the Minister of Interior; the Vice-Chairman is the Director General 
of the National Police. 

5. It is at the district level that the concerted intelligence effort against the 
VCI becomes most concentrated. At this level, the GVN have organized District 
InteUigence and Operating Coordination Centers (DIOCCs). The DIOCC is 
the facility where representatives of existing units and agencies are brought 
together for a coordinated effort of intelligence collection, processing, dissemi- 
nation, and timely, positive exploitation operations specifically targeted against 
the \'CI. The Vietnamese District Chief is the DIOCC Chief; however, he nor- 
mally delegates responsibility for daily operations of the DIOCC to his deputy 
or Chief of Police. The District Senior Advisor (usually a United States Army 
Major) is the District Phoenix Coordinator. Also assigned to the advisory team 
is an intelligence trained officer who serves as the full time Phoenix advisor to 
the DIOCC. This officer advises and assists the District Chief on DIOCC opera- 
tions primarily in the area of organizational and management techniques and 
procedures of intelligence collection and files (i.e.. Name Index Files, Dossiers, 
Area Files), first-level analysis and dissemination of intelligence. 

6. Ways in which the G\'N attempts to neutralize and exploit intelligence on 
the VCI within the concept of the Phung Hoang Program are, in order of priority, 
defection, capture and exploitation, and discreditation or compromise. It must 
be recognized that some VCI are killed unavoidably during the normal course 
of combative reaction operations; however, the overall percentage is quite low. 
For example during 1968 when some 15,000 VCI were neutralized, 72 percent 
were captured, 13 percent defected and only 1.5 percent were killed. Defection 
and capture are the preferred methods of neutralization as the individuals often 
provide highly useful information which leads to additional neutralizations and 
to locating of arms and supply caches. 

7. The Phung Hoang Program has evolved from many regional programs, some 
initiated as early as 1962. In July 1968 these programs were pulled together into 
a single, integrated national program which was indorsed by the GVN leadership 
and given a high priority in the overall pacification effort. Basic organizational 
and operational techniques are constantly being refined to improve the overall 
effectiveness of the program. 

Mr. Colby. That is a recent letter? 

The Chairman. It is fairl}^ recent. The date is January 9. 

Mr. Colby. There has been no recent change. We have been holding 
it at about 75,000, as I said, Mr. Chairman, but we have very little 
confidence in that overall figure. 

The Chairman. They seem to think it is 80,000. Is it in that 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

I think that that figure was around earlier and that we have updated 
that a bit. I can't testify as to why he sent that particular letter. 


The Chairman. I have another sheet here. Did your j^rogram or the 
CIA supervisee the organization of Operation Phoenix? 

Mr. Colby. In the earliest origins of it, CIA was associated with it. 
In its earliest stages it preceded my organization. 

The Chairman. That was before you 

Mr. Colby. Before the CORDS. ' 

The Chairman. This pamphlet is from the Department of State 
Media Services of last 5^ear and it says as follows: 

Nobody knows yet exactly how many VCI arc running this shadow government 
behind the bamboo curtain but in December 1967 when Operation Phoenix was 
launched it was estimated by inteUigence sources that about 80,000 were in VCI 
jobs. In its first year despite the Communist offensive in February and May 1968 
Phoenix resulted in nearly 16,000 of these cadres being rooted out of their under- 
ground position. 




That uses the word "cadres" which has a certain mihtary impli- 
cation. I thought this })rogram v/as directed i)rimarily at civihans. 

Mr. Colby. I think they mean pohtical cadres, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Pohtical, not mihtary? 

Mr. Colby. No. 

The infrastructure are the pohtical cadre; the Vietnamese word is 
can bo" which is a cadre man, political leader. 

The Chairman. I am glad to clear that up because the use of that 
word in other reports I have seen left the impression it was military 
whereas as a matter of fact it is civilian. 

Mr. Colby. This is the political control structure under the Com- 
munist movement. 

The Chairman. Is there a quota each year under the Phoenix 

Mr. Colby. There is a quota system for the national goal. There is 
a certain amount of this that is subdivided into various other areas. 

The Chairman. Could you tell us what the quota was for last year? 

Mr. Colby. The quota for last year was 1,800 a month. This can be 
filed by individuals who are captured, individuals who ralXy or indi- 
viduals who are killed in the course of operations. 


The Chairman. Are the Chieu Hoi people those you call ralliers? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

The Chairman. Exactly what does rally mean, simply surrender? 

Mr. Colby. Returnee is another word, Mr. Chairman. It is a sur- 
render. It is coming to the government side saying 'T was on the enemy 
side. I want to join your side." I expect to testify a little more fully 
on that program a little later, Mr. Chairman, but 

The Chairman. Whatever you wish. Do you feel you shouldn't 

Mr. Colby. I would be glad to comment. 

The Chairman. Most of the material I am using is in published 

Mr. Colby. There is nothing confidential about the Chieu Hoi 
program, but I do have a more extensive presentation on it later for 
you. I might just add that this program to invite people to come over 
from the other side has been going on since 1963. 

The Chairman. That is the Chieu Hoi? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

origin of the phoenix program 

The Chairman. As distinguished from the Phoenix? 

Mr. Colby. The Phoenix program had a few precursors which 
were launched by CIA to try to get the different intelligence services 
there to work together to identify the political apparatus or infra- 
structure and begin to see who they were. This was formalized in 
December of 1967, in a decree by the Prime Minister. It was then 
made more official in June of 1968 by a decree by the President. 

This set up the structure of coordination and collation of infor- 
mation about the Vietcong infrastructure. 



The Chairman. One curious question arises from these figures. 
As you mentioned there have been quotas. One article in the Army- 
paper, I think, says the quota in 1968 was 15,000. A story in The 
Washington Evening Star, cited 19,534 in 1969, making a total of 
34,534. Yet the estimated number in the Vietcong infrastructure 
at present is approximately the same as it was in the beginning. 

This leaves a very interesting question. Do they regenerate the 
Viet Cong infrastructure as fast as you eliminate it? 

Mr. Colby. Well, again I prefaced my remarks, Mr. Chairman, 
by saying that it has been very difficult to get any kind of statistics 
that are worth anything on the size of the Vietcong infrastructure. 
We started with some estimates saying, a typical village would have 
a certain number in its structure and then multiplying that by the 
number of villages. We then refined it slightly by saying that hamlets 
of different levels of security would probably have bigger or smaller 
numbers. During the past year we have gone out and asked for 
identified VCI. We have made the thrust of it one of local collection 
of specific information on individuals who are members of the VCI 
in different areas. 

This whole process has improved oiu- figures somewhat, but we are 
still concerned that some of these numbers have in them people who 
are really followers rather than leaders, and that the total number, 
which would include the followers, is a bit higher than it should be. 

Now, this is being clarified. The Government has issued several 
decrees tlefining very carefully what kind of people are VCI and at 
what levels antl what sentences they can receive depending on their 
level of im])ortance. 

There has been a general improvement of tlio performance, but, 
as Mr. Kaiser said in that article you noted we still have quite a way 
to go, Mr. Chairman. We are working at it. 

The Chairman. Are the statistics in this area any more difficult 
than in the other areas of the war? 

Mr. Colby. They are a little worse in this area, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. A little worse? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

Some of the other statistics I think are very good. For instance, 
I mentioned the statistics in the people's self-defense. I find the 
membership figures a little soft. On the other hand, I am veiy con- 
fident of the accuracy of the 400,000 weapons which have been 
distrubuted because we have gone around and looked and counted. 
So some statistics are good and some statistics aren't so good. We try 
to use them with that in mind. 

incentives to fill phoenix program quotas 

The Chairman. In the quota S3'stem of the Phoenix program, are 
any cash incentives offered to the Vietnamese who operate that pro- 
gram for filling their quota? 

Mr. Colby. ISTot to the Vietnamese who operate it. There are certain 
rewards offered in public statements that certain individuals are 
wanted. There have been posters and leaflets put out that a certain 
man is wanted because he is a member of the infrastructure and par- 


ticipated in a certain terrorist act and that if he is produced or infor- 
mation is produced which will lead to his arrest than a certain reward 
will be paid. 

The Chairman. It is like putting a price on Jesse James. 

Mr. Colby. Yes, except I would say that the Vietnamese Govern- 
ment has made a considerable effort to indoctrinate all the way down 
the line that a live captive is better than a dead one, because the live 
one carries information in his head, which can do you a great deal of 
good for future efforts. It has, I think, become generally accepted that 
what we want is either ralliers or captives, and we are really not so 
anxious to get the others. 


The Chairman. Do they have effective ways of eliciting information 
from the captives? 

Mr. Colby. Well, I used to be in the intelligence business, Mr. 
Chairman, and, if you want bad intelligence, use bad interrogation 
methods. If you want good intelligence, use good intelligence inter- 
rogation methods, because you will get bad intehigence if you use 
the wrong methods. And that again is a message that we put out. 
We endeavor to train people in i)roper and useful and sensible methods 
of interrogation because they are just more productive than others. 


The Chairman. I don't remember whether the Uvo men in Hola- 
bird — Is Holabird the place where they train people to be advisers 
and supervisors or whatever they call it? 

Mr. Colby. Holabird is a miUtary intelligence school. Air. 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Mr. Colby. They do train some of the officers who come over and 
join our Phoenix program as advisers there. All I can say about the 
allegations of these two gentlemen that you referred to as to what 
they were trained for is that they were not in Vietnam and we have 
some rather direct instructions to our people as to their behavior in 

Some of our younger officers were somewhat concerned about their 
role in the Phoenix after the Green Beret case came up and so we 
sent them an explanation of what their role was. We clarified very 
clearly to them that they are under the same rules of war that they 
would be if they were a member of a regular unit. If they see anything 
that does not meet these standards, they are not only not to associate 
with it, they are to positively protest against it and are to report 

to us. 

The Chairman. That is what you tell them in Vietnam? 

Mr. Colby. That is what we tell them in Vietnam, yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Does that mean that you question what they allege 
they were taught at Holabird? 

Mr. Colby. I am not ciualified to discuss that. 

The Chairman. I just want to make it clear. You are not saying 
that what they said they were taught in Holabird is not true? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, I just don't know that, sir. 


The Chairman. That is all I wanted for the record, to be clear as to 
how far your testimony goes because, as you know, there has been a 
great deal in the press about this matter. 

Mr. Colby. Yes, certainly. 

The Chairman. I think it is a very proper thing to at least get 
what you know about it. 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 


The Chairman. I think you made a very proper statement with 
regard to what you tell them. Since this has come up in this fashion, 
would it be appropriate for you to provide for the record the explana- 
tion that you have given in detail to the Phoenix advisers? 

Mr. Colby. I would be delighted to do so. 

The Chairman. I think it would be a healthy and proper thing to do. 

Mr. Colby. We have it right here, I think. 

The Chairman. All right. 

Mr. Colby. No, we will bring it in. 

The Chairman. All right. 

You can provide examples of a critical report of U.S. advisers. 
I think this would be a very useful thing to do for the record. 

(The information referred to folloMs.) 

Instkuctions to U.S. Peesonnel Concerning Phoenix Activities 

The PHOENIX program is one of advice, support and assistance to the GVN 
Phung Hoang program, aimed at reducing the influence and effectiveness of the 
Viet Cong Infrastructure in South Viet-Nam. The Viet Cong Infrastructure is an 
inherent part of the war effort being waged against the GVN by the Viet Cong 
and their North Vietnamese Alhes. The unlawful status of members of the Viet 
Cong Infrastructure (as defined in the Green Book and in GVN official decrees) is 
well established in GVN law and is in full accord with the laws of land warfare 
followed by the United States Army. 

Operations against the Viet Cong Infrastructure include the collection of in- 
telligence identifying these members, inducing them to abandon their allegiance 
to the Viet Cong and rally to the government, capturing or arresting them in order 
to bring them before Province Security Committees for lawful sentencing, and, as 
a final resort, the use of military or police force against tliem if no other way of 
preventing them from carrying on their unlawful activities is possible. Our training 
emphasizes the desirability of obtaining these target individuals alive and of 
using intelligent and lawful methods of interrogation to obtain the truth of what 
they know about other aspects of the Viet Cong Infrastructure. U.S. personnel 
are under the same legal and moral constraints with respect to operations of a 
Phoenix character as they are with respect to regular military operations against 
enemj^ units in the field. Thus, they are specifically not authorized to engage in 
assassinations or other violations of the rules of land warfare, but they are entitled 
to use such reasonable military force, as is necessary to obtain the goals of rallying, 
capturing, or eliminating the Viet Cong Infrastructure in the Republic of Viet-Nam. 

If U.S. personnel come in contact with activities conducted by Vietnamese 
which do not meet the standards of the rules of land warfare, they are certainly 
not to participate further in the activity. They are also expected to make their 
objections to this kind of behavior known to the Vietnamese conducting them 
and they are expected to report the circumstances to next higher U.S. authority 
for decision as to action to be taken with the GVN. 

There are individuals who find normal police or even military operations re- 
pugnant to them personally, despite the overall legality and morality of these 
activities. Arrangements exist whereby individuals having this feeling about 
military affairs can, according to law, receive specialized assignments or even 
exemptions from military service. There is no similar legislation with respect to 
police type activities of the U.S. military, but if an individual finds the police 


type activities of the PHOENIX program repugnant to him, on his appUcation, 
he can be reassigned from the prograni without prejudice. 

The Chairman. As a matter of fact, I promised the distmguished 
Senator from New Jersey 

Senator Case. No hurry, Mr. Chairman. You follow along those 
lines because I have finished with my obligation on the floor. 

The Chairman. I am willing to yield. 

I don't wish to exaggerate the significance of this matter. In itself 
it is not ])erhai)s nearly as dramatic as the Mylai incidents or the 
Daniel Lang story in the New Yorker or others, but being related to 
it, it is very healthy and very wise for you or your colleagues to clarify 
this as far as you possibly can. 


How many of these VCI, identified and apprehended, are actually 
convicted and how many are released of those who are tried? 

Mr. Colby. Our information on that is not all that accurate yet. 
There is a considerable improvement in the past two or three months 
in the information on that, but I can't give you a statistic, Mr. 

The Chairman. Have you no estimate? 

Mr. Colby. But we do know that the province security committees 
have actually been tightening up on the handling of these people over 
the past six months. 


The Chairman. What do you think is the psychological effect upon 
villagers who are arrested and questioned and then released and then 
arrested and questioned again about their allegiance? Does this have 
any effect upon them? 

Mr. Colby. I think so. One of the provisions of the pacification 
plan of the government for 1970 is that the village chief will be 
informed when any man is arrested within his village, so that he can 
come up and make representations to the appropriate authorities 
about that individual if it is a man known in the community for his 
probity or something else. This just opens it up, to try again to make 
more of this program public so that people can understand it and 
participate in it and have greater confidence in it. 


The Chairman. You say the quota was 1,800 men a month? 

Mr. Colby. 1,800 i)eople. 

The Chairman. What percentage of that quota was captured and 
how many were killed? 

Mr. Colby. Over the year 1969, the number captured was 8,515, 
rallied 4,832 and killed 6,187, to a total of 19,534. About 30 percent 
were killed. 

That killed figure also includes a number of peoj^le who were dis- 
covered to be VCI after they were killed. For instance, various people 
may be killed in an ambush outside the village at night when some 
armed men come along and a firefight takes place, or in an attack on 


an enemy 2:ueiTilla \niit. By looking at the papers that the}^ carried 
and their identification it can be discovered that those killed were 
actually members of the VCI. Thus, even though that particular 
operation was not aimed to get them, it may develop later they were 
members of the VC infrastructure and they consequently do count 
against that quota. 


The Chairman. Has this i)rogram any precedent that you know 
of in our history? Have we done this before? 

Mr. CoLB^ . The identification and arrest of subversives? 

The Chairman. No, a program for the assassination of civilian 

Mr. Colby. I question whether that is an appropriate title for it, 
Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. You rephrase it. I was trying to shorten it. 

Mr. Colby. I don't think that is the appropriate title. I think it is 
an internal security program. 

The Chairman. Neutralization is the word. I couldn't think of it 
for a moment — neutralization of civilian leaders. 

Mr. Colby. No, sir; my title for it and actually the Vietnamese 
government's title for this*^ program this year is a program to protect 
the ])oople against terrorism. Now, I think you could call it an internal 
security program, one aimed at identifying the members of the enemy 
infrastructure, to get them either to rally or to capture them. In cases 
of firefights they do get killed. 

The Chairm.\n. What do you call a firefight? I didn't get the sig- 
nificance of that. 

Mr. Colby. A firefight is when two units run into each other out 
in the country and shoot. 

The Chairman. They are military people, aren't they? 

Mr. Colby. Or jjolice. 

The Chairman. I wasn't thinking of them. 

Mr. Colby. Or self-defense, Senator. That is what happens in Viet- 
nam. In each of these hamlets in Vietnam at night there is a curfew, 
and there is a small defense unit outside the hamlet. They lay am- 
bushes to stop enemy guerrilla imits from coming into the hamlet. 
When the,y see some armed men coming along they shoot at them. 

The Chairman. I am familiar with that. I thought that would be 
classified as part of the military operation. I didn't know that was 
considered part of the Phoenix operation. 

Mr. Colby. I say that certain of those peoi)le who are killed in that 
kind of an incident are later revealed as members of the enemy 


The Chairman. Is it your information that those who are captured 
under the Phoenix program are not executed but put in prison? Are 
they ever executed? 

Mr. Colby. Well, let me say they are not legally executed, no. 
What is done to them is that they are detained under this emergency 


detention procedure. Now, I would not want to say here that none 
has ever actually been executed, but certainly the program, the 
government's policy and its directives are that these people when 
captured are placed in detention centers and held for the appropriate 
period, and the government has taken steps to insure that. But you 
have not had convictions of membership in the enemy apparatus 
followed by an execution. That has not happened in the past several 

The Chairman. In most of the newspaper stories the implication, 
if not the direct assertion, is that those who are neutralized or taken 
into custody are usually disposed of physically. Whether you want 
to use the word executed, assassinated or electrocuted, the implication 
is that they are killed. 

Mr. Colby. I agree with you, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. That is what you read. 

Mr. Colby. That is a very unfortunate term. It came from the 
difficulty of developing a term which would generalize the number 
captured, rallied and killed. Various terms were tried to explain what 
the combination of those three meant. I myself have alwaj^s gone back 
to using the terms captured, rallied or killed as the only possible way 
to do it. 

The Chairman. Let me finish one thought. This is a Vietnamese 
program. We only advise them and teach them how. Is that correct? 

Mr. Colby. We advise them and support them to some extent. 

The Chairman. We support them. We have an adviser with every 
how many men, 20 men? 

Mr. Colby. Oh, no. 

We have an adviser, a young officer, who sits in each district office 
of this organization. 

The Chairman. In other words, our statistics are fairly accurate 
on how many are in a quota, but we do not follow up, I take it, about 
what is done with them. Is that why there are no statistics on what 
happens to them? 

Mr. Colby. No, we are beginning to follow up on that, Mr. Chair- 
man. We did not follow up in the past to a great degree, but the 
government wishes to follow it up more closely, and they have begun 
to share certain of their information with us. However, I don't have 
enough of an experience factor here to give you any statistics with 
any degree of reliability. 

Senator Case. Mr. Chairman, pardon me; I don't want to interru])t. 

Mr. Colby. I just wanted to add one ])oint, if I may. The VCI 
we are talking about, Mr. Chairman, are members of this enemy 
apparatus. It is not at all unusual that these people operate in a 
guerrilla base and participate in guerrilla operations and carry weapons 
and so forth, and frequently, in the course of those fights that take 
place as a result, these peojile arc killed. 

Now, there is one problem area that Mr. Kaiser mentions in his 
article which is a real problem that we are worried about. It is that 
there is too little of the careful casework which identifies an indi^adual 
and then goes out to capture him. Rather too often the quotas may be 
met by individuals who are actually caught in an ambush by chance. 
So that really it wasn't the result of good intelligence and good police 
work but rather just by chance. 

Excuse me. 



Senator Case. Mr. Chairman, the reason that I asked that I might 
mtervene momentarily is again because we are after facts; we are not 
taking positions at all. 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

Senator Case. This is not properly then defined in fact as a counter- 
terror operation? 

Mr. Colby. No, it is not. Senator. 

Senator Case. You swear to that by everything holy. You have 
already taken your oath? 

Mr. Colby. I have taken my oath. There was a period. Senator, 
some years ago when an organization was called a counter terror 

Senator Case. I am not arguing we shouldn't have one. I am iust 
trying to find out what this is. 

Mr. Colby. That was some time ago. There was an organization 
formed there which was given the words counter terror. There were 
a certain amount of fairy stories about what it actually did but it 
has long ago been discarded as a concept, as any kind of an organization. 

Senator Case. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Colby. The organization itself later became what are called 
the provincial reconnaissance units. These are small units of Viet- 
namese who work on the infrastructure program. They work under 
the government, under the province chiefs' control. They are supported 
by the United States. We support this like we support a lot of other 
things. They do operate under the same kinds of rules as to who 
they are going out to capture and what their rules are as the normal 
police services. 

Senator Case. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 



The Chairman. Mr. Ambassador, this is what puzzles us so much 
I have before me an article by Mr. Peter Kami. Are you familiar 
with him? He is a reporter. 

Mr. Colby. I met him. 

The Chairman. This is from a staff reporter of the Wall Street 
Journal, which is generally considered a reasonably conservative 
newspaper. I mean it isn't given to flights of fancy. 

Mr. Colby. He is a very good reporter, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. It is not given to flights of fancy particularly 
m social or political affairs. This is less than a year ago. It was last 
spring and he makes some very positive statements. If it were the 
only case it wouldn't disturb me very much. But every time we see 
the discrepancy between the more reputable newspaper reporters 
and the government's position it always reminds us of the early days 
of the war when the government was denouncing people like Halber- 
stam for being either ignorant or prejudiced. But events proved 
that he told the truth and the government lied about it. This bothers 
us. I certainly am not suggesting you are misrepresenting. 

Mr. Colby. I remember that article, Mr. Chairman. 


The Chairman. There were a number of articles. 

Mr. Colby. This one 

The Chairman. Is it wrong, in your opinion? 

Mr. Colby. No, I have full confidence Mr. Kann told the right 
story. That is why I stated that, while the policy of the government 
is definite, I would not want to testify that nobody was killed wrongly 
or executed in this kind of a program. I think it has probably happened, 
unfortunately. But I also point out that Mr. Kaiser in the article in 
this morning's paper stated that after a considerable effort to identify 
cases of abuse of this nature he had been unable to find one. Maybe 
it is a difference in time. We have put considerable emphasis on trying 
to tighten this up and make sure that it does follow a disciplined 
approach. But the fact is that in Vietnam various unfortunate things 
have happened in the past. The question is what is our policy, and 
what are we doing to make sure that our policy is followed. And I 
can assure you our policy is very clear on this and we are going to 
enforce it. 


The Chairman. Yes. It is the latter question that bothers me. I 
am not and have never been bothered that the policy is to go out 
and assassinate civilians or that the policy is to do what happened, 
or is alleged to have happened, or was apparently proved to have 
happened in Mylai by Mr. Lang. His article was based upon the 
official courts-martial. I can't imagine there is any doubt whatever 
that that incident took place. That is the thing that bothers us. This 
is no reflection upon the intentions or purposes of the government 
officials or their policy. There is a great question that arises under the 
circumstances in Vietnam \\dth the greatest exertion and the best of 
will to carry out those policies in a reasonably humane manner, that 
I think is a serious question. This article which, I think, must be in 
the record along with the other one bears directly on it. The reason 
it is so important is that I don't believe the American people wish 
to be a party to such inhumanity no matter what the objective, even 
to build a new society in Vietnam. I don't believe they would agree 
that the objective, the end, justifies the means used. I don't, and I 
don't believe they do. 

Mr. Colby. I agree with you, ]Mr. Chairman, and I think the 
officers with me agree with me. 

The Chairman. I don't mean for a minute to suggest that you or 
anyone else, certainly not you, has declared a policy of the kind of 
things that have been reported. Yet they keep being reported, and I 
think this can well have gone beyond our capacity to control. This 
is a very chaotic situation in Vietnam, I think, and I don't think 
the responsibility lies with anyone like yourself or even the soldiers — 
and I don't mind saying it here, and I have said before that I personally 
have the greatest sympathy for Lieutenant Calley who has been 
charged. I think he was put under conditions and circumstances 
that were intolerable and it w^asn't his fault that he got there. He 
got there because he was ordered by his government. If I am going 
to blame anybody, it is the people who do make the i)olicy at the 
highest levels, not you or for that matter Lt. Calley either. There are 
certain personal things that perhaps could be used and if that was the 
only incident I knew about and I thought he was in some way person- 


ally unique in this, it would be a different story. But it has become such 
a common occurrence, at least as reported, that there is something 
beyond just the individual. That bothers me about it. 

I am not really trying to criticize you or say you are not doing a 
good job or you didn't give them the right instructions. It just doesn't 
turn out that way. 

Mr. Colby. Well, I think so, Mr. Chairman. We could say that not 
only is the policy not to go in this direction but there is considerable 
effort being made to insure that the policy is followed. There are 
aberrations which do occur once in a while. There is no question about 
that. But it is our experience from running the program that these 
are few and far between. They are not a common occurrence. We are 
taking steps to reduce and eliminate those that do occur. 

(The articles referred to follow.) 

IFrom the Wall Street Journal, Mar. 25, 1969] 

The Hidden War: Elite Phoenix Forces Hunt Vietcong Chiefs in an 
Isolated Village — Raid Prompted by Informers Finds Most of Foe 
Gone and Natives Tight-Lipped — Demolishing a VC Monument 

(By Peter R. Kann) 

Don Nhon, South Vietnam. — Was it a trap? There was reason for suspicion. 

But the risk had to be taken. An unsolicited bit of information offered an 
opportunity to strike at a local unit of the Metcong "infrastructure" (VCI), the 
clandestine political and administrative apparatus through which the enemy lays 
claim to control much of the Vietnamese coimtryside. 

The affair began like this: 

Two ragged Vietnamese, one short and squat, the other tall and thin, recently 
walked into Don Nhon, a village about 50 miles southwest of Saigon that is the 
capital of Don Nhon District. The pair told American officials that they wanted 
to talk about the VCI in their home village of \'inh Hoa, a nearby community of 
about 2,000 persons nestled deep in Vietcong territorj- along a Mekong River 
tributary. A Vietcong-sponsored "Liberation Committee" had been elected to 
govern Vinh Hoa five months previously, the informers said. 

The U.S. advisers were dubious about taking military action on the basis of 
this intelligence. An ambush might be in the offing. Vinh Hoa was dangerous 
territory, several miles from the nearest government-controlled village. And the 
informers said they were refugees, rather than Vietcong defectors, who normally 
could be expected to be more eager to talk. But the two stuck to their story of overt 
Vietcong control in their village, and their information checked out with that in 
allied files. 


Vinh Hoa clearly was a target for "Operation Phoenix," the high-priority 
aUied effort to root out the VCI across South Vietnam. The year-old Phoenix 
campaign obviously is related to the Paris negotiations. When peace comes, 
South Vietnam's claims to control the coimtrj'side will be strongest where the 
VCI cadre are fewest. 

The Vietcong claim that about 1,800 governing bodies have been freely elected 
in "hberated areas" of South Vietnam. The U.S. dismisses most of the committees 
as fictions existing only on paper and claims VCI cadre are being wiped out at a 
rate of better than 2,300 a month. Total VCI strength is estimated at about 70,000. 

Although conceived largely by CIA men and other American planners, Oper- 
ation Phoenix is executed primaril^^ by Vietnamese troops. Its methods range 
from after-dark assassination strikes by small killer squads to battalion-sized 
cordon and search efforts. A small strike clearly wasn't indicated for Vinh Hoa. 
The village might be heavily defended. U.S. officials finally settled on a plan for 
a daylight assault with helicopter transportation. The U.S. 9th Division would 
provide support. 



Phoenix operations are reputed to be highly sophisticated and productive 
affairs. The Vinh Hoa effort proved to be neither. It involved intricate — and 
apparently flawed — planning, largely fruitless interrogation of fearful, tight-lipped 
villagers, calculated brutality applied to suspected Vietcong, the execution of one 
suspect, looting of homes by Vietnamese troops, systematic destruction of village 
installations and a largel.y unproductive hunt for Vietcong officials who apparently 
had fled by sampan long before the allies arrived. 

The operation highlighted agonizing questions about Phoenix and the allied 
methods for waging war in Vietnam. Because the Vietcong torture and assassinate, 
should the allies? Is there value to an operation that "sweeps" a Vietcong area 
and then departs, leaving no permanent allied presence? Who should be considered 
Vietcong? Does the VC include a farmer who happens to own ancestral rice land 
in a Vietcong-controUed village and paj^s taxes to the enemy? 

The counter-infrastructure experts are the Provincial Reconnaissance Units, 
called "PRUs." Along with the Vietnamese, they include Cambodian and Chinese 
Nung mercenaries. All are recruited, trained and paid by the CIA. In two days of 
planning the Vinh Hoa force grew to include about 49 PRUs, about 30 Vietnamese 
special combat pohce and a handful of interrogators from the Police Special 
Branch, Census-Grievance men and psychological warfare cadre. The Americans 
taking part in the operation were two civilian PRU advisers, two civilian advisers 
to the special police, two young Army officers working in Don Nhon District 
and several radio operators. Two companies of the 9th Division, about 110 men, 
were to form a cordon around the village to prevent Vietcong escapes. 


Final plans were coordinated at the Tactical Operations Center of Kien Hoa 
province (which includes Don Nhon) the night before the strike, with more than 
a dozen Americans and Vietnamese attending or within earshot. The size of the 
meeting troubled CIA men. They worried, justifiably as it turned out, that 
confusion and intelligence leaks would follow. 

At 7 a.m. the next morning, the operation force is waiting for its helicopter 
transport at the airfield at Ben Tre, the Kien Hoa provincial capital. And waiting. 
It turns out that the 9th Division is having difficulty arranging its "air assets." 
An outpost under siege in a neighboring province has to be aided. 

The civilian U.S. advisers begin to get restless and irritable; "The U.S. Army 
is more trouble than it's worth ... all their maps and charts and crap . . . 
goddamned army must have schools that teach delay and confusion . . . never 
seen a 9th Division operation go off on time. . . ." 

One adviser spots a plane to the west circling roughly over the area of the 
target village. Fluttering from it are thousands of propaganda leaflets. He explodes: 
"Great. Just great. The army is really good at this crap. Pick up a paper and read 
all about it. Read about the operation that's coming in to get you." 

The PRUs and Vietnamese special combat police are wearing a wild variety of 
jungle fatigues, flak jackets, bush hats, berets, combat boots, tennis shoes and 
sandals. Some are barefoot. Initially they are sitting in orderly rows along the 
runway. Soon they begin dispersing about the airfield. 

The PRU invent a game. As a big C130 cargo plane comes in to land, they sit 
on the runway, then duck their heads as the plane's wings whip past just above 
them. "They're the toughest men in this war," says one adviser. "They join this 
outfit because they want action." 

The American points to a small Vietnamese half-dozing on the grass. "That 
man used to be a VC. He got disillusioned with them, so they killed his family. 
He lit out for the bush. Spent two years out there alone, conducting a private 
vendetta against Charlie. God knows how many VC he killed. Finally he came 
in and joined up with PRUs. He wants to kill more VCs." 


Shortly after 9 a.m., two hours late, 10 helicopters arrive. The Phoenix force 
piles aboard and is flown for 1.5 minutes across flat rice land and coconut groves to 
the landing zone, a rice paddj^ less than a mile from the center of Vinh Hoa. The 
helicopters hover close to the ground, and the troops leap out, wading cautiously 
through thigh-deep mud and water toward a treeline from which they expect 
enemv fire. 


There is no firing. At the treeline the troops are joined by the Don Nhon District 
U.S. advisers and the two Vietnamese informants who prompted the operation. 
They have been separately heUcoptered to the scene. The informers, garbed in 
baggy U.S. Army fatigues, are to remain mystery men, for their own protection. 
Their heads are covered with brown cloth bags with eye and mouth holes. The two 
present a part comic, part frightening spectacle. 

The local advisers have bad news. They say the 9th Division cordon along the 
southern fringe of the village didn't get into place until about 9 a.m., two hours 
late, leaving the Vietcong an escape route. (The 9th Division later denies any 
delaJ^) Now the informers claim not to recognize the approach being taken to the 
village. One American sharply questions them. Another is cursing the Vietnamese 
"psywar" operatives tramping along with the troops: "All we need are these 
goddamned guys with their leaflets. And they're wearing black pajamas. Beautiful. 
Now the army (the 9th Divi.sion troops) will zap 'em as VC." 


Several of the Vietnamese special police have found an empty farmhouse, 
recently deserted judging by damp betel-nut stains on the floor. They are passing 
the tinie knocking holes in a water barrel. In another farmhouse, the occupant, an 
old lady, stares at a wall while two carefree PRUs boil eggs on her wood stove. 

A lone PRU wanders along the treeline shaking his head and muttering, "VC di 
di, VC di di . . . (VC gone, VC gone)." The troops presently advance toward a 
cluster of houses nearer the village center. Spaced along the mud trails at intervals 
of about 10 j^ards are thick mud bunkers, each large enough for several men. The 
houses also have bunkers, inside or out Vinh Hoa, being within an allied "free 
strike zone," is subject to air and artillei-y pounding. 

No booby traps materialize. The troops arrive at a substantial farmhouse with 
flower beds in the front yard, a manicured hedge and pillars flanking the front 
entrance. It is one of many prosperous homes in Vinh Hoa — surprising, since 
Vietcong villages usually are poorer than government-controlled towns. Isolation 
from major markets, high Vietcong taxes and allied bombing are among the 

Behind the house some leaf wrappings are found. "The VC must have been 
here," an American says. "That's what they wrap field rations in." (Leaves are 
used by most rural Vietnamese, VC or not, to wrap food.) The occupant of the 
house an old man who stares at the interlopers through wire-rim spectacles, is 
shaking, through age, or fear, or both. 

The aged Vietnamese is questioned briefly. "Bring him along," an American 
sa.ys sharply. "Let's move." Another adviser saj's. "That old man could be the 
top dog VC in this village. You never know." The old man totters along with the 
troops. He is released in mid-afternoon when one of the two informers claims him 
as an uncle. 


At about 1 1 a.m., an American adviser and two special police turn up with three 
captives. "Found them hiding in a house," the American says. The informers in- 
spect the captives and whisper, through an interpreter, that one is a Vietcong 
village guerrilla, the second a Vietcong "security section chief" and the third a 
non-Vietcong, perhaps a deserter from the South Vietnamese army. 

The two identili( d as Vietcong arc bound, and one of them, a narrow-shouldered 
bent young man with protruding te((th, is leaned against a tree trunk. Several 
police interrogators and PRUs gather around him and fire questions. They want 
to know where Vietcong weapons and ammunition are hidden. 

The suspect doesn't know or won't say. Soon the questions are interspersed 
with yanks at his hair and sharp kicks to his head, face and groin. The prisoner 
sags against the tree, face bloodied. 

"Americans don't want to be here for any more of this," saj's one U.S. adviser, 
moving away. "It's a nasty goddamned business." He adds, "You know, it's 
a whole cycle of this stuff. Last week in another village near Don Nhon the VC 
marched five government sj'mpathizers into the marketplace and beat their 
head in with hammers. So we return it on this guy. It goes on and on." 

By now the informers have gotten their bearings. They lead most of the troops 
along a trail to a hospital building behind a hedge of blue flowers. It is a straw- 
thatch structure containing eight wide plank beds separated by white plastic 
curtains. In one corner is a mud bunker, in another a crude case of glassware 
and medicine bottles, some with French and American labels. There are no patients 
or traces of them. 


The Americans decide it is a Vietcong hospital for wounded enemy troops. 
"Burn it," an American adviser directs. Ignited with cigaret lighters, the hut 
biu'ns readily. 

In single file, the troops wind along a trail toward the center of Vinh Hoa. Since 
there hasn't been any firing, the possibihty of an ambush is discounted. Some of the 
PRUs and special police are carrying food and household articles taken from the 
outlying farmhouses. The "psy warriors" are strewing the trail with propaganda 
leaflets carried in plastic bags. Some of the PRUs have ringed their helmets with 
garlands of flowers. The procession takes on a festive air. 

Ten minutes later the column reaches the center of the village, a small cluster of 
houses and shops facing a square that previously contained a covered marketplace. 
The marketplace has been bombed out. In the center of the square is a concrete 
obelisk about 10 feet high — a Vietcong memorial, say the Americans, dedicated 
to the enemy dead. It is one target of the Phoenix strike. 

The PRUs and Vietnamese special police begin searching — and sacking — the 
homes. They are bored, and restless, because there has been no "action." The 
psywarriors' plastic bags, emptied of propaganda, are commandeered for loot 
ranging from clothing to chickens. "Trick or treat," says an American, not really 
amused. In one house, some of the Vietnamese troops are having a small celebration. 
They have unearthed a bottle of rice wine. 

A few village residents, women, children and old men, are assembled along one 
side of the square. They squat on their haunches in the dust. Several male captives 
are bound a few yards away. Against a wall, the narrow-shouldered prisoner is 
rocking back and forth, a trickle of blood running down his head. 

Amid whirling dust, a 9th Division helicopter lands in the square. A lean U.S. 
lieutenant colonel in polished boots and trim uniform steps out with aides in tow. 
Displaying a map marked with red grease pencil, he reports the kill totals of the 
support troops: "Charlie Company got three KIAs (Killed in Action), Delta 
Company two, we got one from my chopper. . . ." All the fatalities, he says, 
were armed Vietcong, carrying packs. They were shot trying to flee through the 
cordon. "They had low-level documents on them," the colonel reports. Presently 
the chopper leaves. 

In the middle of the square, two Americans are strapping demolition charges 
around the Vietcong monument. A one-minute warning is sounded. Everyone 
takes cover. As the charge explodes, the monument disintegrates into chunks 
of brick and concrete. It is exactly noon. 


The explosion seems to galvanize the foraging troops into action. "Don't they 
have anything to do but loot those houses?" an American PRU adviser shouts to 
a Vietnamese lieutenant. "Get the men out combing the rest of this village." 
Two search parties move out. A third group, mostly Americans, crosses a narrow 
footbridge spanning a canal to investigate a church. 

Crossing the bridge, the Americans spot fresh footprints on both sides of the 
river connected with the canal. For the moment, they pose a mystery. 

The church, a Roman Catholic structure, is bolted shut at front and rear. 
Just as two Americans warily advance to smash a lock, the front door opens and 
an elderly man in white pajamas appears, smiling as though to welcome parish- 
ioners to services. The inside of the little church is newly painted and neatly 
ficrubbed. A row of angled bullet holes along the metal-sheet roof attests to a 
visit from a helicopter gunship. 

In the rear are a large drum and a brass gong. An American points to them and 
questions the elderlv church attendant. 

"What are thev for?" 

"To call the faithful to worship." 

"Did you see any people leaving the village this morning?" 

"No. ■. . ." 

"We have information on how much this church pays to the VC in taxes. How 
much do vou sav it pays?" 

"Maybe the people pay 100 or 200 piasters (80 cents to $1.60)." 

"The church, how much does it pay?" 

"The church does not pa.y taxes. The church never pays taxes." 

"The hell it doesn't pay," the American .says. "This may be a Catholic church, 
Jbut it's Charlie's Catholic church." 



The Americans follow a path past the church to a cluster of solidly built homes. 
Most are emptv. In one, two candles burn before a postcard picture of Christ. In 
another, a picture of Pope Paul sits on a small altar beside a mud bunker. One 
house is occupied by a woman with six children. She is interrogated. 

"Did you .see people crossing the river this morning?" 

"No, I was in my bunker." 

"Where is vour husband?" 

"He went to the market at Cai Mang." 


"He always goes when the soldiers come here. . . ." 

"Do vou know who are the VC in this village?" 

"No." We don't know VC. We are Catholic. Cathohcs don't know VC." 

"We know that a Liberation Committee was elected here. When?" 

"I just heard about it recently." 

"Who is the Vietcong village chief here?" 

"I don't know. . . ." 

"How much tax do you pay to the VC?" 

"More than 1,000 piasters." (About $8.) . 

"How often do Vietcong song and dance (propaganda) teams come and visit? 

"Not often." 

"What do they say?" 

"Thev sav the Americans will go home soon." 

"How often does your husband stand guard for the VC?" 

"Everv five or six days." 

"How" often do the women here have to make punji stakes (poisoned stakes) 
for the VC?" 

"Once or twice a vear." 

"That's pretty typical," says the American, heading back across the foot- 
bridge to the village square. 


An American adviser has figured out the footprints on both sides of the river. 
There are no sampans around the village. Adult males, except for old men, seem 
almost nonexistent. The village population is estimated at 2,000, but no more 
than 200 persons have been seen on this day. 

The American finds a youngster hiding in a farmhouse. He poses a few per- 
functory questions, then "suddenly demands: "At what time this morning did 
all the "people leave here by boat?" Perhaps startled by the suddenness of the 
query, the boy replies, "At four o'clock." 

The conclusion: Most of the village's Vietcong guerrillas, VCI cadre and Libera- 
tion Committee members have eluded the Phoenix troops. "They just had to have 
that big meeting last night," fumes an American adviser, nscalling the last planning 
session for the operation. "F.veryone had to get in on this goddamned operation. 
The VC must have known all about it by midnight last night. 8o they blew the 
place. Just sailed down the river on their .sampans." 

But there may be something to salvage from the operation. In the square, the 
the group of squatting villagers has grown to 50 or 60. Census-Grievance operatives 
examine their identification cards. Few have them; in Vietcong controlled areas, 
the enemy forbids the people to carry government ID cards and often punishes 
those who do. 

The two informers, still with bags on their heads, stand behind a nearby wall, 
peering at the villagers. Occasionally they point to a resident and whisper to a 
PRU. Those put under suspicion are pulled to their feet, bound and taken aside 
to the prisoner group. The others remain on their haunches staring silently into 
the dust. 


One villager "fingered" by the informers is a bowlegged woman clutching a 
baby. She is identified as a liiember of the village "women-farmer association," a 
Vietcong citizen-involvement organization not normally considered important 
enough to classify as Vietcong cadre. ("No point picking them up," a U.S. official 
savs "later in Saigon. "They're more trouble than they're worth to process and 

But the woman is moved to the prisoner group, clutching the baby. Her two 
other children, a boy about six and a girl about 10 years old, begin to cry loudly. 


A PRU raises a rifle butt over their heads menacingly, and the wails subside into 
muffled sobs. 

From behind a nearby house two shots are heard. The narrow-shouldered 
prisoner has been executed. His body is dumped into a bunker. 

One of the psywar operatives lectures the villagers on the perils of supporting 
the Vietcong and outlines the benefits of backing the Saigon government. Propa- 
ganda sheets bearing a smiling portrait of President Nguyen Van Thieu are 
handed out. 

At one side of the square an American adviser muses about the operation and 
what it has to do with the war: "There are 30 people sitting around a table in 
Paris, and they just aren't going to hack it. How can they solve this thing? The 
people in this village have been VC for 10 years, maybe 20. How are you going 
to change that? We come here on an operation, and what does it prove? We've 
got some crook sitting in Don Nhon picking up a salary every month because 
he claims to be the government village chief here. He hasn't dared to visit this 
village for seven years. The district chief was too chicken to come on this operation. 
So we come in, pick up a few Charlies and leave. The VC will be back in control 
here tonight. ..." 


At 3 p.m., with five prisoners in tow, the troops start hiking back to the landing 
zone in the rice paddy for transportation home. Near the paddy they meet two 
U.S. soldiers from the 9th Division cordon, leading two prisoners. Each of the 
captives wears a neatly printed "Detainee Card." 

The taller and more talkative of the two informers is brought forward to exam- 
ine the new prisoners. One is identified as a deputy Vietcong village chief, the 
other as a non-Vietcong. Both are i^laced with the other prisoners. 

A deputy Vietcong village chief would be the most important captive of the 
day by far, the others being low-level cadre at best. "Hey, we got us a big one," 
says an elated American adviser, who then cautions nearby PRUs: "You keep 
this one alive, you hear. We want him alive." 

Half an hour later the troops have been helicoptered back to their compound 
in Ben Tre, and the prisoners are on their way to the Police Special Branch 
interrogation center. Results of the operation: Eight kills, one after torture. Seven 
prisoners taken for interrogation. One war memorial dynamited. One hospital 
burned. No friendly casualties. 

[From the Wall Street Journal, Sept. 5, 1968] 

The Invisible Foe: New Intelligence Push Attempts To Wipe Out Vietcong 
Underground — Elite Forces Work To Break the Enemy "Infrastructure" 
BY Eliminating Leaders — Night Raids Set Up by CIA 

(By Peter R. Kann) 

Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal 

Saigon. — An American official boasts that he duped' a rural Vietcong group into 
assassinating one of its own key agents by elaborately sowing rumors in VC circles 
that the man was a double agent working for the allies. 

In a province near the Cambodian border, allied intelligence discloses the plan- 
ned time and location of a VC district finance committee meeting. Sweeping into 
the gathering, a special combat police unit captures six VC tax officials. 

In a Mekong Delta province, U.S. officials learn that funeral rites are planned for 
a senior VC official. An allied "counter-terror" team raids the funeral and kills 
many of the VC agents present. 

Can the visible and legal government of South Vietnam root out the "invisible" 
government, the clandestine, 80,000-member Vietcong "infrastructure"? A new 
effort is under way to do so. There is general agreement here that the outcome of 
the struggle will be crucial to the future of the nation. 

WORKING quietly 

Officially described bj^ U.S. authorities as the "political and administrative 
organization through which the Vietcong control or seek control over the South 
Vietnamese people," the infrastructure, or VCI, is an efficient, largely covert 
organization with decades of experience in moving among the people. Taking 


advantage of family relationships and the weak grip of the established government 
in remote areas, it conducts espionage, wields terror, infiltrates allied organizations, 
collects taxes, disseminates propaganda and recruits natives for its cause. 

For years aUied agencies and programs have sought to root out the VCI, with 
meager success. Now the U.S. and the Vietnamese government are mounting 
another high-prioritv program to coordinate their agencies and accomplish that 
task. Called Phung Hoang (All-Seeing Bird) in Vietnamese, the program is known 
to Americans as Phoenix. 

After an abortive beginning. Phoenix is beginning to register some successes, 
despite disinterest among some Vietnamese officials, political infighting and skepti- 
cism among U.S. aides. "It's a good program," says one informed source, "but we 
should have started it six years ago." One observer compares the program to 
"trying to root the Republican partj^ out of Kansas." 

The effort is imperative, however. If the Paris peace talks produce a cease-fire, it 
is unlikely that VCI activities could be turned off with the same ease as conven- 
tional military action. The VCI might continue as a covert political apparatus, 
even if the Vietcong won a role in a new government. 


U.S. inteUigence oflScials define Phoenix as "a systematic effort at intelligence 
coordination and exploitation." Before Phoenix, they found that in one district 
11 networks of allied intelligence agents were operating independently. Some 
observers suggested that the district contained more paid informers and agents 
for the allied side than there were VC regulars to spy on. 

The Vietnamese government's three major inteUigence agencies — PoHce 
Special Branch, Military Security Service and Army Intelligence — all were at 
work in the district, and not productively. Competing agencies regularly arrested 
one another's agents, accidentally or because of political rivalries. 

Phoenix works to pool the resources and information of the various agencies, 
with joint intelligence committees at the province level and also down at the 
district level. American advisers, including Central Intelligence Agency men, 
participate in the effort to sift information from agents, informers, prisoners 
and other sources. "Exploitation" is accomplished by military or paramilitary 
units that make secret, small-unit missions into contested or Vietcong-controlled 
areas, usually at night. 

These units prefer to capture an identified VCI agent, since he may yield 
further information, but if that is impractical, the target is assassinated, some- 
times brutally as an object lesson to others. "It's a systematic, sophisticated 
application of force," says one American adviser in the field. In big cities and 
other government-controlled areas, however, the program may involve a simple 
arrest rather than a kidnapping or assassination. 

What happened to previous "counter-infrastructure" programs? Combined 
with various "pacification" efforts, they were pushed into the background as the 
overt military conflict escalated and the "other war" effort languished. Moreover, 
pacification is a catchall program; the complex task of tracking down VCI cadre 
didn't mesh well with agricultural aid and school-building. 

A U.S. field official (who belatedly discovered that his cook was a VC agent) 
points out a perennial problem. "Face it," he says, "we really can't tell who is 
VCI and who isn't. The GVN (Government of A'ietnam) has to do this job." Some 
U.S. officials beheve that Vietnamese leaders still don't realize the importance of 
coming to grips with the VCI — or that they despair of destroying it. 


The Phoenix program seems to have stirred much less enthusiasm among the 
Vietnamese than the Americans. It apparently has had top priority with U.S. 
aides since last fall, but only two months ago did the Vietnamese government 
give it similar priority. "For months we were sending plans, advisers, filing cabinets, 
safes — -you name it^out to the provinces and districts," recalls one U.S. field 
source. "It was an American program, not a GVN effort." 

Even with top-level Vietnamese backing, the program still faces political, 
tactical and technical problems. But some successes are being reported. In one 
province near Saigon, pooling of inteUigence in the past two months has produced 
the capture or assassination of six members of the VC province committee, three 
VC district chiefs, nine other VC district officials and 31 viUage or hamlet cadre. 
Trained cadre, particularly senior ones at the province level, are difficult for the 
VC to replace. 



In a province north of Saigon, Phoenix is credited with 145 VCI captives and 
casualties in June. Earlier this year, when the program hadn't gained momentum, 
the usual toll was about 20 a month. 

In one province near the Demilitarized Zone, Phoenix is reported to have been 
so successful that the enemy has had to replace local VCI cadre with North Viet- 
namese; the agents from tlie North necessarily would have less rapport with the 
natives than their native-born predecessors. In another northern province of 
South A'ietnam, the VC are said to have formed a special committee to tr.y to 
rebuild their shattered apparatus. 

Nationally, some 6,000 VCI cadre have been captured or killed since the Tet 
holiday in February, according to allied sources. Still, says one informed source, 
"We're kidding ourselves if we think we've hurt them much yet." 

Indeed, in many provinces Phoenix remains largely a paper project. In one 
central highlands province, there are two provincial intelligence committees, 
neither one of them functioning. The program is paralyzed by competition be- 
tween the province chief, and the province police chief. 

At the district level in the same province, the situation is no better. "We have 
three DIOCs (District Intelligence and Operations Centers) in the province," 
says one source. "One shows signs of promise. One is headed by an incompetent. 
The third is headed by a suspected VC." 

jNIutual distrust among inteUigence agencies remains a problem. "Partly it's 
endemic among inteUigence agencies in any country," says one American source. 
"Intelligence agencies are by nature exclusive. They don't want to reveal their sources. 
We have the problem, too." In Vietnam, the problem is compounded by personal, 
political rivalries and the conspiratorial nature of Vietnamese. 


Also, the Vietcong have been skillful at permeating many of the government's 
intelligence agencies. Thus, while American agencies seek to have the government 
share its secrets, it is questionable if the Americans share their own best informa- 

Another difficulty: Vietnamese intelligence agencies traditionally have been 
instruments of internal military and political intrigue, particularly in the days 
when the late President Diem's brother-in-law, Ngo Dinh Nhu, headed the 
police apparatus. But Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, chief of the national poUce until 
he was wounded a few months ago, also was a master intriguer. Political involve- 
ments don't make for efficient intelligence work. 

Because of incompetence or indifference among many regular Vietnamese mili- 
tary units in carrying out "exploitation" missions, U.S. advisers recently have been 
relying on "PRUs" (Provincial Reconnaissance Units) of 18 men each to make 
strikes on VCI targets. 

The PRUs are more American than Vietnamese. Chosen, trained, paid and 
operated by the CIA, they are highly trained mercenaries, often selected from 
Metnam's minority groups, such as Chinese Nungs and Cambodians, or from Viet- 
cong agents who have defected. Their operations often are led by elite U.S. Navy 
"Seal" commandos assigned to the CIA. 

The PRUs have been an effective strike force, but the most logical exploitation 
force would be native units such as Popular Force troops — platoon-sized groups 
recruited and employed at the village level. These troops know their localities and 
often know the identities of ^'CI agents. But the PF troops long have been the 
most poorly trained, equipped and led Vietnamese units. And many district offi- 
cials, envisaging harsh VC reprisals to exploitation strikes, would just as soon have 
the strikes made by outside forces like the PRUs. 

Indeed, some veteran U.S. officals fault the American effort for naively failing 
to take local complexities into account. Many U.S. advisers are youthful Army 
lieutenants or captains, and others also lack experience. One arriving colonel, 
having received a long briefing on the "counter-infrastructure program," is said 
to have asked, "Where is this structure, anyway?" 

Some officials in the field complain of demands from Saigon for numerical results 
("How many VCI did you kill this month?"). They argue that the pressure for 
"results" leads to strikes against low-level VCI rather than the key, ehisive officials 
in the enemy apparatus. However, a senior official in Saigon says, "We are inter- 
ested in quality, not quantity. We want the hard-core cadre." 

A few veteran officials complain that the counter-infrastructure effort isn't being 
pursued with enough subtlety. Rather than capturing or killing VCI cadre, they 
say, Phoenix should focus oii the use of secret agents to infiltrate VCI cells and 
turn them against one another. Some success has been reported in such enterprises. 


Another source suggests that to root out the VCI the aUies will have to develop 
their own clandestine "counter-infrastructure" — a permanent presence rivaling 
and eventuall}' overcoming that of the VC in contested and VC-controlled areas. 


The Chairman. I won't pursue it. I am going to have to yield now. 
But there was an extremely interesting case the other day of a young 
man, very obviously a very fine soldier and a highly regarded psy- 
chiatrist, discussing this in a completely different context, which was: 
What can be done for the soldiers who go through these experiences, 
who are exposed to these indescribable conditions of provocation? 
What can be done to help them? The discussion occurred before a 
veterans committee and in a different context, but it was very impres- 
sive. It raises extremely serious questions about our being able to cope 
with the conditions, our being able to buihl a good society using these 
means because I don't beUeve you can build a good society and an 
exemplary one using means such as have been described in article 
after article. 

Mr. Colby. I hasten to say, ^Ir. Chairman, that I am referring to 
the Phoenix program. I am not extending my comments to all the 
other programs that exist out there. 

The Chairman. I see. 

It is just part of it? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

The Chairman. Senator Case, I have other questions but I have to 
yiehl to you. I feel ashamed to delay you so long because you paid a 
compHment to the committee and the witness to come back especially 
to ask some questions. 

Senator Case. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You are most generous 
and I feel that I should let you go on indefinitely because of your 
infinite superiority in interrogation in this matter. 

The Chairman. No, I was not invited to do that. 

education in south VIETNAM 

Senator Case. There are two or three things I would like to ask 
you about. I too apologize for keeping you so late. 

On the overall question of our objective, of how we are getting 
along, what is the situation in education, which I take it is part of 
your interest? 

Mr. Colby. It is only a small degree. That really is Mr. MacDonald's 
primary responsibility, Senator. 

Senator Case. All right. 

Then I will not press you too hard here. 

Mr. Colby. I can give you a few general answers. 

Senator Case. I would like to have perhaps your general overview 
of what a young Vietnamese, a peasant or a city boy, or girl, can 
expect? Will he get a grade school education as a matter of course? 
Is he likely to get in fact, as opposed to what the official program may 
be, a high school education? What are his chances of getting into a 
imiversity, if he comes from humble parents? How much is class 
rigidity still existmg? Can he get into the Army as an officer, as an 
officer candidate? 


Mr. Colby. I can give you a few general answers to that, Senator. 

In the first place, the Vietnamese have a high respect for education 
and a high desire to benefit from it. This comes in part perhaps from 
their Confucian tradition. As a result there are a vast number of 
elementary schools in this country. Some of them were built under 
our programs and some built by local people. There is a considerable 
effort made to produce teachers for those elementary schools. In 
addition there are many cases in which local military or the R.D cadre, 
the political organizers, actually teach in the schools. 

As a result, 1 believe the current statistic, and Mr. MacDonald can 
confirm this, I believe, is that something like 90 percent of the young 
people go to elementary schools, the first few years of school. Then it 
gets a little harder. 

Senator Case. When you say first few years, you mean up to the 
fourth grade? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

Senator Case. Eighty percent of all people. 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir, of the children. 

Senator Case. Eighty percent in the country or in the city? 

Mr. Colby. Well, a lot of them are in the city actually, where 
things are crowded and they don't have adequate schools. Saigon for 
instance, has a lower ratio than some of the other areas. On 
the secondary level it gets a little harder. 

Now, the current program is to put a secondary school in each 
district. Ten, 15 years ago there was probably a secondary school 
only in the province capital. This has been increasmgly developed in 
many areas. Many of the local areas used their local funds in this 
development program this past year to develop secondary schools. So 
that you have a fairly significant percentage, I don't know the specifics 
of it. 

Senator Case. Secondary schools would be anything over the third 

Mr. Colby. Yes. Over the fifth grade. 

Senator Case. Up to where? 

Mr. Colby. The first 5 years is primary, but you don't get the 80 
percent through all 5 of the years. 

Senator Case. All 5 of the first years? 

Mr. Colby. Just 80 percent of the first 2 or 3. 

Senator Case. Some drop out? 

Mr. Colby. It is a little country school, a one room school, just 
teaching a little reading, \^^:•iting, arithmetic. 

Senator Case. Do the first 5 years give them reading, writing 

Mr. Colby. Yes, there is a very high degree of literacy in the 

There are an additional number of secondary schools being built 
and staffed in many of the districts. As a matter of fact, a very sub- 
stantial number of the secondary schools in existence are private 
schools. Some of these are religous oriented, some of them are ethnic 
oriented. The Chinese, for instance, will frequently have secondary 
schools. There are five universities in the country. Two new ones 
have been established in the past few years: Can Tho and the Buddhist 
University in Saigon. 



There are about 25,000 to 30,000 students in the University of Saigon. 
Here it is true, I think. Senator, that the class origin is still with us. 
It is only on very rare occasions that a country boy unless he is a 
member of the notables of the community, ^^dll go on to the University. 
Senator Case. Who decides that? _ 

Mr. Colby. He won't be able to maintain the educational effort. 
This is a problem. The new Minister of Education is particularly 
concerned about making some reforms in the structure so that it 


Senator Case. This has been a long while now. We have been at 
this for 12, 15 years and there hasn't been any change yet. 

Mr. Colby. Well, there has been some change made but not enough. 
It is still a problem, let's face it. 

Senator Case. Why hasn't it been changed? 

Mr. Colby. Your schools fill up with qualified students who come 
from other areas, and hi competition the fellow from the country 
school doesn't get in. 

Senator Case. But it isn't just because he is not qualified. 

Mr. Colby. Or trained. 1 think I had better not go any further. 

Senator Case. I really want facts. 


Mr. Colby. I know it. I really should not go any further in this, 
Senator, because I am really not your best mtness. One thing I would 
like to add though, is that the military — you spoke about the officers 
in the army 

Senator Case. Yes. 

Mr. Colby. The major requirement for an officer is that he have 
what is called a second' "bac," that he be a graduate from a junior 

Senator Case. That is 

Mr. Colby. That is what it amounts to in our country. 

Senator Case. And that limits it? 

Mr. Colby. It effectively limits it, except that there are provisions 
for the promotion of people from the ranks. There is a pro^dsion for 
the possible promotion of a qualified NCO to oflSccr status even if he 
does not pass the literacy test, the educational test. 

Senator Case. Have we any statistics as to how often those provi- 
sions have been exercised? 

Mr. Colby. I think there were something like 300 last year, as I re- 
member it. 

(The following information was later supplied.) 

There were 293 NCOs promoted to officers last year in the Regular Forces. 
However, if Regional Forces are added in, the figure is increased by 156 to a 
total of 449. 

Senator Case. 300 who in effect became officers, NCO's who 
otherwise would not? 

Mr. Colby. That is right. 

Senator Case. Is that a change over the pre^nous situation? 

Mr. Colby. It is some change, not a great change. 


Senator Case. Actually, their need for officers in the military 
establishments totaling some million is what? 

Mr. Colby. It is a very great need. They have been sending a great 
number through the officer candidate school but with the educational 

Senator Case. With the educational qualifications, so that by and 
large it is still very stronglj' a very rigid class structure. 

Mr. Colby. Yes; it is still a great problem. It is opening up a bit 
but not wide. 

Senator Case. How- about NCO's? 

Mr. Colby. NCO's, no. They are pretty open as to who becomes 
an NCO. That is a quality situation. 

Senator Case. What about job opportunities? 

Mr. Colby. Pardon me. 


Senator Case. Perhaps before we get into the question of job 
opportunities you might give me a little i)icture of what Vietnam 
consists of. There are how many people, 18 million? 

Mr. Colby. 17 million people, Senator. Almost 40 percent live in 
cities now. That is a 100 percent change. There were about 20 percent 
10 years ago. 

Senator Case. Let's take the 60 percent first. 

]\Ir. Colby. Sixty percent are ])rimarily rice growing. There are 
a total of six million people living in the Delta, for instance. 

Senator Case. That is men, women and children? 

Mr. Colby. Men, women and children. Your average age is quite 
low, I can't give you the number. 

Senator Case. You mean the death rate, you mean death occurs 

Mr. Colby. Yes, there are diseases and various things. 

Senator Case. What is the average. I have seen some very old 
people but they are undoubtedly the exception. 

Mr. Colby. Not very many. You are respected for you age m your 


Senator Case. Sixty percent of the people are rural? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

Senator Case. And this means really rural, doesn't it? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

Senator Case. They are farmers? 

Mt. Colby. Farmers and fishermen. 

Senator Case. Workers in the field, farmers, fishermen. Timber? 

Mr. Colby. Some, not very much nowadays, because the forests 
are pretty dangerous. There used to be rubber plantations to some 


Senator Case. Most of these people in agriculture work for 

Mr. Colby. Yes, the ownership of land over the years has gone 
through some changes. Under the French times there were some big 
plantations. These were eliminated at the end of the French time and 
the land was divided up. During the war years it was further divided 


up. A lot of the rural land today is still deserted. Some of it is being 
reentered as people go back out into the countryside. 

Some of the peojile in the countryside are turning to new kinds of 
crops. Vegetable crops, proteins, ])igs, chickens, that sort of thing are 
coming up very substantially in the past few years. 

Senator Case. But for the most part, the Vietnamese farmer or 

Mr. Colby. Is a rice farmer. 

Senator Case. Is an entrepreneur, he works for himself? 

Mr. Colby. Or he is a tenant of someone who owns the land who 
may live in the village. 

Senator Case. Even as a tenant, though, he works for himself 
still and j)ays, either divides his produce or pays a money rent of 
some sort? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

Senator Case. How does he get his stuff to market? 

Mr. Colby. There are rice merchants and rice mills in many 
villages. Most villages in the Delta have a rice mill or two. Frequently 
this rice mill is owned by a gentleman of Chinese extraction and he 
operates as the local bank and credit source. He buys the crop and 
mills it and arranges to have it shipped to a center where it is gathered 
and then it all goes up to Saigon. This goes up to Saigon either by 
road, by trucks or by 

Senator Case. Does he take the loss then when taxes are levied 
by the Vietcong? Does he take the loss or the farmer? 

Mr. Colby. Well, the farmer takes the loss and the merchant takes 
a loss, both, and the consumer. Of course the price goes up. 

Senator Case. Because the prices are higher? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

progress toward self-sufficiency in agriculture 

Senator Case. Is Vietnam sufficiently self-sufficient in basic 
agricultural requirements? 

Mr. Colby. It should be. It isn't now, Senator. It used to be a 
net exporter. 

Senator Case. What is it now? 

Mr. Colby. It used to be a substantial net exporter. This year 
they expect to be 150,000 or 200,000 tons short. 

Senator Case. Of what? 

Mr. Colby. Of self-sufficiency. 

Senator Case. Of what requirements? 

Mr. Colby. Of a little over 5 million tons. 

Senator Case. You mean about 25 percent short? 

Mr. Colby. They expect to reach self-sufficiency by the end of 
this calendar year in rice. 

Senator Case. In rice. Is there aii}^ other basic or staple that is 
a measure of self-sufficiency? 

Mr. Colby. Not i)articularly. Rubber used to be one of their 
major exports. 

Senator Case. That is an export? I am talking about things they 
consume themselves. 

Mr. Colby. W^ell, there is considerable fishing. There are local 
proteins like ducks and chickens and pigs. 


Senator Case. They don't have to import; at least your expecta- 
tion at the end of this year that they will not be importing a sub- 
stantial amount of food. 

Mr. Colby. They will be importing some food, but they will be 
self-sufficient in rice. 

Senator Case. Wliat foods will they have to import? 

Mr. Colby. Well, milk. Condensed milk is a great import. We 
actually export a considerable amount of milk over there. 

Senator Case. Is this different from the old days? Did they always 
import milk? 

Mr. Colby. They always imported milk, but they used to do it 
from France. 

Senator Case. This is not a change, I am sorry. 

Mr. Colby. They used to do it from France. Now, they import 
from the United States. 

Senator Case. So that the country is getting to be self-sufficient so 
far as its agriculture is concerned? 

offshore fishing 

Mr. Colby. Yes, there is a great drive on for it. The new potential 
is in fishing. There is apparently a considerable potential in fishing 
offshore, sea fishing. It is warm water and the fish 

Senator Case. Is this something new? 

Mr. Colby. It has been there for years but the normal fishing has 
been very limited in the first place because the boats have been very 
small — it is just sort of offshore fishing — and, secondly, during the war 
years they have been restricted from going out. The Government has 
been opening up the fishing restrictions to allow people to fish in 
areas where this hadn't been allowed. But the next stage is to develop 
enough refrigeration and similar preservation capabilities so that the 
fishing boats can go out further, stay longer, get a bigger catch and 
come back in. They are beginning to do this. 

military service of south VIETNAMESE FARMERS 

Senator Case. Now, a lot of the people who are in your 60 percent 
in agriculture are in the military or paramilitary forces, aren't they? 

Mr. Colby. Their families certainly are, it has to be. As a matter 
of fact, driving around the Delta the other day I really did notice 
there are not very many men in the fields. The women are doing most 
of the reaping of rice this fall. 

Senator Case. And the men are just 

Air. Colby. The men are out in the service some place. 

Senator Case. Standing around or sitting around? 

Mr. Colby. Well, they are off some place. 

Senator Case. Is this different from old days? 

Mr. Colby. In the military. 

Senator Case. Did the men used to work? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

When you had a smaller army they lived on the farms. Then- 
families still live there. 

Senator Case. Yes. But did the men do the work or the women? 

Mr. Colby. Well, both, the men did work also. 


Senator Case. Not only the women? 

Mr. Colby. In other words, it isn't a change of custom. The men 
are off in the services. 

Senator Case. Yes. 

Mr. Colby. And consequently the women are doing the reaping, 
not entirely but some. 

Senator Case. Do the men like this? 

Mr. Colby. No, the men would like to go home. 

Senator Case. How much do they get paid in the popular forces? 

Mr. Colby. In the popular forces they get about $40 a month. 


Senator Case. That is ten times more than they ever made on the 
farm, isn't it? 

Mr. Colby. Oh, no, some of these farms do pretty well, Senator. 

Senator Case. Give me some figures. 

Mr. Colby. A Vietnamese farm, is quite productive down in the 
Delta. This is not true of the northern part of South Vietnam. It 
is very crowded and it is a little tough there. 

Senator Case. You don't mean crowded. 

Mr. Colby. Yes, crowded, in the four or five provinces along the 
sea — Quang Tri, Thua Thien, Quang Nam and so forth — you can get 
fairly high population densities. 

Senator Case. Living in very poor soil relatively? 

Mr. Colby. Not very good soil, that is right. 

Senator Case. But still in agriculture? 

Mr. Colby. Still in agriculture, yes, and now going back to agricul- 

There are a lot of those areas where there was heavy fighting and 
now the people are going back to resume life in their old fields. 

Senator Case. You will give me a figure of how much the farmer did 

Mr. Colby. Pay and allowance for a year for a popular forces soldier 
is $480; it is $40 a month more or less. 

Senator Case. What would he make as a farmer? 

Mr. Colby. It depends, of course, but a bare-footed farmer down in 
Mr. Vann's area can sometimes pull out of his back pocket a big roll 
and buy a new tractor or a new rototiller, a new gadget for the farm. 

Senator Case. Which would cost several thousand dollars? 

Mr. Colby. Well, at least several hundred dollars. Let's say several 
hundreds of dollars. 

The Delta is quite a rich area and, as they get irrigation under con- 
trol, get their fertilizer moving, they are beginning to get two crops in 
some areas. This doubles the income. 


Senator Case. Now, 60 percent of the people still farm. This is 
changing, I take it. 

Mr. Colby. This has been a change. It used to be 80 percent. 

Senator Case. This necessarily might not have changed if we had not 
been there. But is it changing to a smaller percentage of the people? 


Mr. Colby. Yes, that has been the change. It used to be 80 per- 
cent. Now it is 60 percent and it probably wih go down. It won't go 
down as fast in the future, but it will go down. Recently you have had 
these 480,000 people move back to their villages, back into areas that 
were empty. 

Senator Case. But mechanization and things like that have 

Mr. Colby. Yes, the natural urban trend. 

Senator Case. The same things that have happened everywhere 
are reducing the number of percentage of people on the farms? 

Mr. Colby. Right. 

The Chairman. Defoliation reduced the number too; didn't it? 

Senator Case. Perhaps he can answer. 

Mr. Colby. No, not effectively, Mr. Chairman. The defoliation is 
fairly carefully utilized and I don't think the defoliation has reduced 
the population in the farms ])articularly. It is given some problems 
here and there put in terms of net impact on population I would say 

Senator Case. Now, so they come to the cities, and 

Mr. Colby. This is a problem. Senator. 

Senator Case. It is a problem, of course. It would be a problem 
whether we were there or not or whether there was a war there or not. 

Mr. Colby. But even a greater problem because we are there. 

Senator Case. But an even greater problem because there is a war. 

Mr. Colby. Right. 

Senator Case. I suppose many of the things tliat have happened 
over there have made irreversible changes in Vietnam, customs and 
aspirations, family life? 

Mr. Colby. Sure. 

Senator Case. And society and everything. 

Mr. Colby. Well, some of them we haven't caused; they have just 
happened. I mean the Honda, for instance. The farmer used to live in 
his x'illage and never went anywhere else. Now his son — not the farmer 
but his son — goes up to the province capital on the Honda. Maybe he 
goes to high school up there, that sort of thing. There are a lot of 
changes ha])peuing in that sense. 

Ho has a television set in a little village out in the Delta. 

occupation of city populations in south VIETNAM 

Senator Case. They come to the city and then how many people in 
the cities, of the 40 percent, how are they occupied? 

Mr. Colby. Mostly commerce of some sort: buying and selling, 
exchanging things. There is very little basic industry or heavy industry. 
It is services and that sort of thing. 

Senator Case. What percentage are in private employment and what 
percentage are not, roughly? 

Mr. Colby. I don't think I can give you an answer to that offhand. 
Senator. Wait a minute, I do have it. Three and a half milUon out of 
14 million are laborers in trade, manufacturing or service industries. 

Senator Case. Three and a half million out of 14 million are in labor 
or services? 

Mr. Colby. I am not sure of this figure because it says miUtary 
service 248,000; I know that is wrong. 


Senator Case. That isn't meant to include those in the miUtary, I 
suppose. Is it, or is it just people in the service industries for the 

Mr. Colby. I would rather not use this. 

Senator Case. What I am trying to get at really is just a very 
general picture of what 


Mr. Colby. Well, a certain number of your people work for the 
government. You have your million in the armed forces, call it. 

Senator Case. How many others are on the civil list? 

Mr. Colby. There are a couple of hundred thousand. If you add up 
the bureaucrats, the teachers and that sort of thing you have a couple 
of hundred thousand. 

Senator Case. That is in the whole country? 

Mr. Colby. Whole country. 

Senator Case. And local level? 

Mr. Colby. Local elected officials would be in addition to that but 
I am talking about the jieople who work in the bureaucracy. 

Senator Case. But civil service. 

Mr. Colby. Something of that nature. 

Senator Case. A couple of hundred thousand. 

Mr. Colby. I think so, yes, sir. It is a figure that we have been 

using. . . 

Senator Case. And most of the rest who are not m agriculture are 
in one or another form of service job, is that a fair statement? 

Mr. Colby. Service jobs, yes. We are dealing with a total popu- 
lation of 18 million. You have within that those under 18 that would 
not be included. Almost half of the population are under 18 —maybe 
not quite that. 

Senator Case. Yes, and tiu> figure 200,000 in the government, 1 
su Impose, represents families in which there may be five times that 
number of people who are dependents. 

Mr. Colby. Yes, they have large families. 

Senator Case. So that maybe a million of the 40 percent are 
involved or supported by the government in civil jobs. 

Mr. Colby. Right. 


Senator Case. Now, the service industries, I suppose, take in both 
those of white collar and those of blue collar? You have banks and 
insurance; you have a government lottery, I suppose? 

Mr. Colby. You have a lot of markets. There is a government 
lottery. You have markets; you have market places; you have small 
commerce. There is a great entrepreneurial sense among the Viet- 

Senator Case. They are not really making anything. 

Mr. Colby. They are not making very much. 

Senator Case. They are not making anything; they are not pro- 
ducing anvthing. 

Mr. Colby. They are not making very much. It is just service. 


Senator Case. They are just passing the money around among 
the city people. It is a fair statement. 

Mr. Colby. There are light industries, light businesses. 

Senator Case. Yes, but not large. 

Mr. Colby. There are some, but they are not producing for export. 

Senator Case. And not making much that raises the standard 
of living to any substantial degree? 

Mr. Colby. Not a great deal, no. 

Senator Case. Now, we are getting to the point 

The Chairman. If the Senator yields, unfortunately I didn't 
realize how long we would go on. I wouldn't mind his going ahead if 
he would excuse me. We are going to have these gentlemen back all 
this week. This isn't the only meeting. 

Senator Case. I agree completely and I think I ought to stop. 
It is just when you have people who are altogether 

The Chairman. They will be here tomorrow. You can go ahead. 
I didn't anticipate we would run so late. I have to leave. 

Senator Case. I think I should like not to, I certainly don't want 
to keep you hungry any longer. 

The Chairman. You can go ahead. 

Senator Case. Would it be fair enough in 5 minutes I will knock 

it off? 

The Chairman. I was just going to make a short announcement 
before I leave. I have to leave at 2 o'clock. 

Senator Case. I just want to lead into this question, Mr. Chairman, 
and then maybe I can pick it up at whatever time is appropriate. 

The Chairman. As you know, they will be here tomorrow and the 
next day and we go into the matter of aid and those programs there 
are different; they will be coming up, too. 


Senator Case. What I am trying to get at is a kind of a picture 
of the society that is developing there and the extent to which any- 
thing useful is being done by the Vietnamese Government in educa- 
tion and in training for jobs, in improving the standard of living over 
there and the rest of it which can give any kind of affirmative appeal 
to this or any other government that thej^ might have to the people 
as a whole. That is all I wanted. 

Mr. Colby. There is a considerable increase in skills coming out of 
this war, Senator, in terms of what the people learn in the military 
services, what they learn from our contractors, what they learn from 
various services that they have been involved in. 

For instance the returnees are offered a chance to learn a trade. 
This kind of thing does exist. There is considerable increase of this 
kind of skill that is developing. 

Senator Case. Mr. Chairman, I think it is only proper that my 
part of this should be put over until tomorrow. 

The Chairman. You may pursue anything you would like. 

Mr. Colby. I would be glad to answer your questions. 

Senator Case. I understand. 

Mr. Colby. I would like to note this is really mostly in Mr. Mac- 
Donald's field of expertise rather than in my own; in our USAID 
director's field rather than in mine. 


The Chairman. Thank you very much, Mr. Colby; you have been 
very patient. 


The committee will meet again at 10 o'clock tomorrow to hear 
testimony from CORDS representatives of the CORDS province 
and district level. It is anticipated that Mr. John Vann who is the 
deputy for CORDS, who has been there for a very long time, with 
whom the staff is well acquainted and who is spoken of very highly, 
Mr. Hawthorne Mills, and Major James Arthur will be the principal 
witnesses. Of course, questions may arise involving others, but that 
is the plan for tomorrow. 

Thank you very much, gentlemen. 

I am sorry to have imposed on you for so long. 

(Whereupon at 2 p.m., the hearing was adjoiu-ned to reconvene, 
Wednesday, February 18, 1970, at 10 a.m.) 


Civil Operations and Rural Development Support Program 


United States Senate, 
Committee on Foreign Relations, 

Washington^ D.C. 

The committee met, pm*siiaiit to recess, at 10 a.m., in room 4221, 
New Senate Office Building, the Honorable J. W. Fulbright (chair- 
man) presiding. 

Present: Senators Fulbright, Gore, Aiken, Case, Cooper, and Javits. 

opening statement 

The Chairman. The committee will come to order. 

The Committee on Foreign Relations is continuing today its 
hearings on the CORDS ])rogram. Oiu' first witness scheduled today 
was Mr. John Paul Vann, Deputy for CORDS to the Commanding 
General of the Delta Military Assistance Command, but Wv. Colby, 
who was our main witness yesterday, would like to say a few prelim- 
inary words, so we actually will start with him. Then, following Mr. 
Vann, we will hear testimony by Mr. Hawthorne Mills, a Foreign 
Service officer now serving as a province senior adviser in Vietnam, 
and by Maj. James F. Arthur of the U.S. Army now serving as a 
district senior adviser. 

Mr. Colby, I believe you wish to make some preliminary remarks. 

PORT (CORDS)— Resumed 

Mr. Colby. Mr. Chairman, I just wanted to point out to the 
committee, if I may, sir, the locations of the three gentlemen who will 
be speaking today. Mr. John Vann will speak for the whole delta 
area of the country, IV Corps. Mr. Hawthorne Mills will be speaking 
for the Province of Tuyen Due, a mountain province in the center of 
South Vietnam; and Maj. James Arthur will be speaking for Binh 
Chanh District in Gia Dinh Province. 

Mr. Chairman, I thought I would show you an organizational chart 
showing how the Vietnamese Government and American advisory 
group work together at the various levels since this will be the focus 
of today's discussions. 

I have a statement for the record on the organizational aspects of 
the CORDvS program, which has been provided to your staff, 



Mr. Chairman. I also have another statement for the record on the 
development aspect of pacification and development which has been 
provided to your staff. 

(The statements appear at pp. 701 and 708.) 


The Central Pacification and Development Council of the Viet- 
namese Government is the central national staff and program. The 
chairman of it is the President. Its membership includes all of the 
ministers and the chiefs of a number of the services — the Chairman of 
the Joint General Staff, the Director General of Police, and so forth. 
The Central Council has a staft' of its own. 

On the American side you have the Military Assistance Command 
of which CORDS is a part. The red lines here show^ the contact made 
at different levels with the Vietnamese Government. 

The various other ministries also have contact with our American 

If you go down the Vietnamese chain of command, you go through 
the Joint General Staff to the corps level for the military. For the 
pacification ])rogram there is a regional pacification and develo])ment 
council, which constitutes the regional representatives of all the 
different ministries which are members of the national council. 

At the corps level we have a single command structure. The com- 
mander is the senior American military officer on the American side. 
He has a deputy for pacification called a deputy for CORDS, who is in 
all cases a civilian. Mr. Vann is the representative from the corps level 
here today. 

Below the field force commander, who is at the same time the senior 
adviser to that corps area, there are three subdivisions of responsi- 
bilities: The direct command of American units, the advisory rela- 
tionship with the Vietnamese regular armed forces and the CORDS 
])acification advisory structure, which exists in the various provinces. 

At the province level down below the corps there is a senior adviser. 
As I indicated yesterday, about half of these are civilians and about 
half of them are military. 

Mr. Mills is our representative of this level today. 

On the Vietnamese side the province chief wears two hats: the 
chief of his province in a civil sense and also the commander of that 
section in the military sense. 

At the next level down, the district, we have a district senior adviser 
who works with the district chief and subsector commander on the 
Vietnamese side. Maj. James Arthur is the representative on that 

I think, Mr. Chairman, you would be most interested in listening 
to Mr. Vann describe the activities of the program at the corps level. 

The Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Colby. It would appear to be a 
very thorough organization. I can't see any level you have left out. 

Mr. Colby. Well, it does go a little bit below the district. We will 
get into that another day, sir, when we discuss our mobile advisory 
teams. They work dow^n to the village in some cases. 

The Chairman. You prompt me to comment that I had the idea 
this was a very j^rimitive country made up of villages and Buddhist 
monks who went about doing good. It seems to have become very 


complicated. You wouldn't say that we are Americanizing it, would 

Mr. Colby. No, sir; most of this structure existed under the French. 
They have some ability to create bureaucratic structures also. 

The Chairman. I see. We are not the only one. 

Mr. Vann, we are very pleased to have you. I believe you have been 
in Vietnam a very long time and I have been told by members of the 
staff that you probably are the best known American official in the 

For the record, would you mind verifying that and saying a little 
bit about yourself and your experience before you testify? 



Mr. Vann. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 


With the exception of 1964, I have been in Vietnam since 1962 
working as an adviser in the field. 

I was over there as a military senior adviser at the corps level 
and then as a militar}^ senior adviser for more than a year to the 
ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) Seventh Division. In 
that capacity I had the responsibility for about half of the same area 
I now have pacification for in the adA'isorj^ sense. 

I returned there in 1965 as a civilian. I have been there since that 
time as a member of the Agency for International Development, 
working in the field of civilian advisory effort until 1967 and then in 
the combined military-civilian effort from that date until now. 

The Chairman. Where did you come from, Mr. Vann? Where 
were you born? 

Mr. Vann. Sic, my home is Vu-ginia, but after I retired from the 
Army in 1963, I settled in Colorado. 

The Chairman. Did you attend the Academy? 

Mr. Vann. No, sir; I was an enlisted man in the Army. I went 
through flight training in the Army Aii- Corps and became commis- 
sioned, and stayed in the Army from then until I retu'ed. 

The Chairman. Do you have a prepared statement? 

Mr. Vann. Yes, I do have one, sir. 

The Chairman. Will you proceed with that, please. 

Mr. Vann. Would you like for me to read, Mr. Chairman? 

The Chairman. Yes, please. 

Mr. Vann. I am John Paul Vann, the Deputy for CORDS to the 
Commanding General, Delta Military Assistance Command, a sub- 
ordinate organization of the Military Assistance Command/Vietnam 
(MACV), and one with responsibility for the U.S. ad\dsory eft'ort in 
the IV Corp Tactical Zone (CTZ). 


The IV Corp Tactical Zone, also known as the delta, encompasses 
an area of 14,240 square miles extending south and west of Saigon, a 



distance of approximately 180 miles to the Camau Peninsula, and 
being approximately 185 miles at its widest point on the east-west 
axis. The 16 provinces are politically subdivided into 96 districts and 
these districts in turn into 725 villages and 4,205 hamlets. The major 
industry is farming and the delta produces about 80 percent of all rice 
grown in South Vietnam. Additionally, it is the major producer of 
fresh water fish, exporting over 30,000 tons to Saigon annually, and 
pork, the principal meat consumed in Vietnam. To a large extent, the 
3 million people living in the Saigon/Cholon area are dependent on the 
delta for then- food. 

Although the road network in the delta is not extensive, it is one 
that has secure roads to all 16 of the provincial capitals and to the 
majority of the district capitals. I might add that since July 1969, 
for the first time since 1961, all provincial capitals can be reached by 
road with unescorted single vehicle traffic during daylight hours. 
The principal routes of communication in the delta, however, are 
the canals and waterways. There are over 2,400 miles of major water- 
ways in the delta with the majority being secure during daylight 

In addition, there are approximately 23,000 miles of minor water- 


An interesting fact about the delta is that although the GVN has a 
lower percentage of control of the population than in the other three 
corps, most of the civilian population in the delta lives in peace. I 
recently had an opportunity to demonstrate this to Senator Javits 
when he accompanied Ambassador Colby and me on a visit to refugee 
returnee areas, which only 6 months ago had been under Vietcong 
control and devoid of population. For the past 4 months there had not 
been a single Vietcong initiated incident in the several hamlets we 
visited. When looking at the delta in its entirety, Ave have an average 
of 25 enemy initiated attacks during each 24-hour period against the 
more than 4,000 hamlets, 3,000 outposts, and 5,000 Government 
installations. This means that the average target for VC activity within 
the delta will be hit only once in a year and a half and I might add that 
the majority of these attacks are just harassing in nature. Actually, of 
course, there are many places which have never been attacked and 
there are a few which may be attacked four or five times a week. An 
example of the latter is the Tri Ton District area of Chau Doc Prov- 
ince. This is an area known as the Seven Mountains area. 


With the move into this area last spring of two of the five North 
Vietnamese regiments which have been deployed south to the delta, 
the security has deteriorated in over 30 of the hamlets around the 
mountains now occupied by these North Vietnamese units. Overall, 
however, there has been a rather tremendous improvement in security 
in the delta during 1969. Well over a million additional people have 
been brought under Government protection during this period with 
progress being made in all provinces. Of interest, I believe, is the fact 
that pacification progress continued in Dinli Tuong, Kien Hoa and 


Go Cong Provinces, even after the departure of the U.S. 9th Division 
in August 1969, although the rate of progress was slower than when 
the U.S. division was present. Of really great significance regarding 
our operations in the delta is the fact that all the ground fighting 
there is now being done by Vietnamese forces and they have generally 
proved able to meet and defeat the enemy. It is to be noted, of course, 
that even after the departure of the U.S. ground forces, the Viet- 
namese forces in the delta have continued to have U.S. air, naval and 
advisory support. With that background on the delta, let me describe 
to you the CORDS mission in the CTZ level. 


It is very similar to that at the MACV level from the standpoint 
of the functional responsibilities. At the CTZ level we have personnel 
providing advisory assistance to the Government of Vietnam in the 
fields of territorial security forces (RF/PF), People's Self Defense 
Forces, National Police and National PoUce Field Forces, the Open 
Arms or Chieu Hoi program, the Phung Hoang (PHOENIX) program, 
public health, i)ublic works, refugees, economic and social development 
(to include agriculture and education), public administration (to 
include advising on the training of ^dllage and hamlet officials), and 
Revolutionary Development (RD) Cadre. 

I directly supervise the 16 province senior advisers and prepare 
their efficiency reports. Within the IV CTZ, nine of my 16 province 
advisory teams are headed up by U.S. Army colonels or lieutenant 
colonels with civilian Foreign Service Officers assigned as their depu- 
ties. In the remaining seven provinces, the pro\dnce senior advisor is a 
senior Foreign Service Officer with, a colonel or lieutenant colonel 
serving as his deputy. 

At the CTZ level, ni}^ counterjjart is the Vietnamese corps com- 
mander when functioning in his role as chairman of the Corps Pacifica- 
tion and Development Council. As a practical matter, the majority 
of my advisory responsibilities are involved with advising the deputy 
for territorial security, a Vietnamese brigadier general who represents 
the commanding general, IV CTZ, on all matters involving provincial 
military forces and who also functions as the de facto chairman of the 
Corps Pacification and Development Council. This officer. Brig. 
Gen. Nguyen Huu Planh, and I and our respective staffs meet formally 
each Monday morning for a 3-hour review of the previous week's 
activities and a projection of the forthcoming week. In attendance 
at these meetings are approxmiately 20 Vietnamese military and 
civilian officials and 10 U.S. military and civilian officials. The 
officials on the Vietnamese side are the regional representatives of 
the central ministries in Saigon and the principal staff officers in the 
IV CTZ military headquarters. The Americans represented are the 
senior advisers to these officials. The meeting is used as a problem- 
solving session wherein all of the briefings and most of the discussions 
are by and among the Vietnamese officials — with simultaneous 
translation for the U.S. personnel. Prior to the meeting U.S. advisers 
have pro\'ided their recommendations as to discussion topics and 
each adviser, operating under my direction, has recommended to his 
Vietnamese counterpart the problem areas that should be brought 


up and solutions that should be proposed. I might add here that the 
Vietnamese naturally do not adopt all of these. 

In addition to this formal 3-hour session, I meet with General Hanh 
approximately 10 or 12 times a week and also correspond with him 
frequently, often reducing to writing the subjects that we have dis- 
cussed orally. We frequently travel together to areas where there 
are problems to be solved and we usually see each other at one or 
two social functions a week. These social functions usually involve a 
dinner in honor of a departing adviser or a visitor to the corps, either 
Vietnamese or American. Although General Hanh is fluent in the 
English language, most of my correspondence to him is prepared in 
both English and Vietnamese so as to insure the maximum compre- 


I have noticed that most visitors in Vietnam are surprised to learn 
that CORDS has military as well as civilian advisory responsibilities. 
Actually, CORDS has a considerable military advisory responsibility. 
For example, in the Delta ^Military Assistance Command, IV CTZ, the 
regular MACV military advisory organization numbers less than 
1,000 and has advisorv responsibility for 78,000 ARVN soldiers. The 
IV CTZ MACCORDS organization— with 234 civilian and 2,123 
military advisers — has advisory responsibility for 184,000 members of 
the regional and popular forces, 19,000 national and combat police, 
and 16,000 armed RD cadre. In addition to advising these full-time 
military and paramihtar}^ personnel, CORDS has advisory responsi- 
bility for a people's self defense force armed with 104,000 rifles. Ihus, 
you can see that the total rifle strength advised by CORDS in IV 
CTZ is well over 300,000 compared to the regular force strength of 
78, 000. The significance of this, of course, is the overwhelming import- 
ance of providing security to the population. Without security, it is 
doubtful that the remaining pacification objectives can be achieved. 


As I indicated earlier, we have been making progress in security, 
and also in our other objective areas. In 1969, over 1,260,000 of the 
6 million population were added to the secure category — leaving less 
than 800,000 in a contested or VC-controlled status. The GVN held 
elections in 275 villages and in 1,700 hamlets, thus resulting in about 
90 percent of all population centers having elected governments. 
Approximately 30,000 people came over to the government side under 
the Chieu Hoi program, nearly three times as many as the previous 
record year. We reduced the number of people in refugee status from 
over 220,000 to less than 35,000. Significantly, not only for the Delta 
but for all Vietnam, the production of rice went up nearly 25 percent, 
from 3.2 million metric tons to 4 million metric tons. Finally, the 
Government of Vietnam increased the armed strength of the people's 
self defense force from 23,000 to nearly 105,000. 


I would like to describe the pacification process now followed by the j 
GVN in the delta. Determination is made approximately 6 months 


in advance as to the location and extent that pacification efforts will 
be made. This is normally done on the basis of population density, 
lines of communications, economic attractiveness, availability of 
friendly resources, and size and strength of the enemy forces. Initially^ 
the regular forces of ARVN operate in the area, breaking up the mam 
forces of the enemv and scattering them. Next, still under a regular 
force shield, an KF company will come in and build a platoon-size 
outpost; in a really tough, long-held area, it might be a company- 
sized outpost. Eventually the regular force departs, usually a company 
at a time. Meanwhile, operating under an appointed hamlet or village 
government, attempts are made to recruit and send for 13 weeks of 
training a 35-man PF platoon. 

I would like to depart from my statement for a moment to say this 
is an attempt to recruit locally people who already live in the hamlet, 
who become members of this Popular Force platoon. 

Concurrently, National Police Field Forces are brought in and 
efforts are made to neutralize the infrastructure — the so-called hidden 
government of the enemy. I'd like to emphasize here that w^e stress 
neutralization of the enemy mfrastructure through capture or induce- 
ment to rally under the Chieu Hoi program. A five VCI (Viet Cong 
Infrastructure) is of infinitely greater value than a dead one, since 
his capture or defection imperils the entire enemy organization in 
the area. 

When adequate security exists, an election is held. This may or 
may not be before the recruited PF have retm-ned. Some elections 
are quite good, some quite bad. Even a bad one — that is, not enough 
candidates to really make it a contest — is worthwhile, since it is a 
learning process and usually assures that the next one \^'ill be more 
valid — and that the elected official will be more responsive to the 

All during this time — depending both on the resources available 
and the real securit}^— efforts are being made to encourage economic 
progress through group endeavors with some GVN assistance. Part 
of the organization effort is also diverted toward security, with 
significant numbers of the population becoming members of the 
People's Self Defense Forces. This program, as you know, is not 
entirely voluntary, but a real attempt is made to make it popular 
through demonstration of the fact that improved security is nearly 
always followed by economic improvement. 

Eventually, as these various objectives are achieved at the village 
or hamlet level, and as adjacent areas are brought under government 
control, law and order becomes a function of uniformed police with 
assistance from the PSDF. Some areas, such as those having a con- 
tiguous boundary with Cambodia, cannot improve their security to 
this extent since enemy forces lurk nearby in the safe haven afforded 
and always pose a threat. For example, there are approximately three 
North Vietnamese regiments just across the border from our IV zone 

This process I have just decribed occurred in over a thousand ham- 
lets in the delta in 1969. Most hamlets targeted achieved their mini- 
mum objectives; some surpassed them; others are still trying. 

Gentlemen, I will attempt to answer any questions you may have 
that deal with my area of responsibility. 

The Chairman. Thank, you Mr. Vann. 


Senator Aiken, do you have any questions? 

Senator Aiken. No, Mr. Chairman, not of this witness, but I 
know Ambassador Colby is here. I was involved in meetings here on 
the Hill and doAvntown yesterday and I could not spend much time 
with this committee. I wonder if I might ask him two or three questions 
which I would have asked him yesterday had I been attending strictly 
to the business of this committee. Is that all right with you? 

The Chairman. Certainly it is all right with me. 



Senator Aiken. We waited quite a long time to arm the villagers in 
South Vietnam. Do you think that President Thieu is stronger for 
our having taken this step or does it constitute possibly a threat to 
him because of his political opposition there? 

Air. Colby. I think he is considerably stronger for having taken it, 
Senator. There was some question, not so much m his mind as in the 
minds of some of the subordinate officials, that it might be a dangerous 
thing to arm the people in this fashion, but the President and Prime 
Alinister have particularly supported this idea verj^ strongh^ and have 
even forced it on some of the middle level officials, insisting that 
they go ahead and do it. 

Senator Aiken. They don't think that it weakens their position 
at all? 

Mr. Colby. I think the result has been that it strengthens it. 


Senator Aiken. Going over 3'our remarks yesterday, I noticed you 
spoke of the new attitudes in the countiyside, which the witness this 
morning has also covered. What about the political atmosphere in 
Saigon? Do the politicians there reflect a similar will to take responsi- 
bility for theu' own future that you indicated that the countryside 
people would take? 

Mr. Colby. This has not yet happened. Senator. The fact of the 
matter is the political picture in Vietnam has to be looked at in two 
different levels. One level is the elite, more or less French educated, 
traditional liigher class. These people for the hundred years of French 
occupation were educated away from their own national basis. They 
were taught French ideas, French philosophies, French thoughts, and 
so forth, and in the course of it they also picked up some of the concepts 
of French democratic government structure and political activity. 

The governments, however, over that time were authoritarian. 
Therefore, the only form of political life for many, many years was 
conspiratorial. There was a premium on small groups gathering to- 
gether and dividing up into very small elements the political pie that 
was available. 

The countryside had been pretty well left out of that process. The 
countryside was the other class level of Vietnam which had continued 
on its rural ways and was pretty well left alone. It was not a substan- 
tial political factor until the more recent years when it became obvious 
that the people were a major element of the whole war effort that is 
being waged there. 


I believe the effect of President Thieu's policies, of the policies that 
the government is conducting today, is to reach around that upper 
class at the Saigon political level to try to establish a pohtical base 
out in the countryside and to build up from that political base a new 
foundation for the state and for the constitutional government. This is 
consistent with what the constitution says and it is also a very definite 
program that the President has started. He started with the village 
level tliis past year. During this coming year they have planned to 
have some provincial council elections, to step from the village level 
to the province level in this building of the structure from the base. 

The Saigon pohtical scene is not all that different from what it has 
been over the years though. Senator. 

Senator Aiken. In applying the progressive program to the whole 
country, he is facing more or less the same situation that we are here 
"with the legislation now before the Senate where some people think 
the law applying to integration of schools ought to cover all the 
country instead of part of the country. You don't mind that; do you? 

The Chairman. No. 


Senator Aiken. Has the South Vietnamese legislative body taken 
any action yet on land reform, which has been promised and postponed 
from time to time? I believe the last promise was that action would 
be taken this month, about the first of February. 

Mr. Colby. The legislature has passed a version of land reform 
through one of the Houses. It is still in the Senate today. I don't 
believe they have actually passed it. The Government has urged a 
certain land reform which would be a very advanced one. 

There are some questions as to the degree to which the legislature 
will accept the Government's law. 

Senator Aiken. Do you mean whether the Senate will accept it? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. Well, there were some modifications made by 
the lower House as well, Senator. 

Senator Aiken. I see. 

Mr. Colby. This is a matter for the calendar. I would not want 
to venture a prediction as to exactly when they will pass it, but I 
believe that there is an intention to do it in the reasonably near 
future, this spring. 

policy control in WASHINGTON 

Senator Aiken. You explained why it was necessary to centralize 
control of the pacification program under the military in Saigon and 
you did a very good job. Do you think that here in Washington policy 
control should also be centralized and if so, where? If you don't want 
to answer that question you don't have to. 

Mr. Colby. I think that is a little out of my line, Senator. I have 
a problem of puttmg together out there the different sources of 
finance, the different som'ces of personnel and so forth, but it is a 
normal kind of a bureaucratic problem, and I can adjust to the way 
Washington decides to do its business. 



Senator Aiken. We have armed the villagers and they are now in 
a position to have some say over their own future. Will the time come 
when we should begin to phase out our civilian personnel as well as 
our military personnel in South Vietnam? 

Mr. Colby. That time will come. It has already begun, Senator. 

Senator Aiken. It has begun. 

Mr. Colby. We have cut our civilian staff somewhat during this 
past year. We have in mind to reduce gradually the civilian partici- 
pation as well as the military participation in the advisory effort. 
But frankly, the advisory effort I consider less of a priority for reduc- 
tion than I do the combat forces. Any way in which we can assist the 
early relief of combat forces by a little more advisory effort I think 
is well worth it. 

Senator Aiken. As I say, I went over the statement of yesterday, 
I thought the statement was good as was the manner in wdiich you 
answered questions from the dais. I have no more questions at this 
time, Mr. Chairman. 

I was glad to get the questioning in because I have two other 
committee meetings going on now, but I am going to stay awhile. 

COST of pacification effort 

The Chairman. Mr. Colby, while we are on that, I believe we 
requested yesterday that you be prepared to put into the record the 
cost of the program for which you are responsible in Vietnam. 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir. I have some general figures. I am prepared to 
fiU these out for the record if you wish. But, as I said in my opening 
statement, the appropriation from the Department of Defense 
consitututes $729 milUon for 1970. 

The Chairman. 1970. 

Mr. Colby. The appropriation to the Agency for International 
Development, which includes both the direct dollar contributions and 
the financing of counterpart, amounts to a total of $162 million for 
1970. Thus there is a total U.S. contribution to this program of $891 

On the Government of Vietnam side of tliis progTam, the progi^ams 
associated with the pacification effort cost the Piaster equivalent of 
$627 milHon. 

Most of that total on both the Vietnamese and on the American 
side are military expenditures, sir. These constitute the arms for the 
popular and regional forces and also the salaries of the American 
advisers on the military side. They also constitute on the Vietnamese 
side the salaries for the Vietnamese Regional and Popular forces. 

The Chairman. Does the Department of Defense figure of $729 
million include all then- civic action programs in Vietnam? 

Mr. Colby. No, I do not tliink so. 

The Chairman. It does not. 

Mr. Colby. No, sir. 

The Chairman. There are some others under the Marines and other 


Mr. Colby. It is not that so much, su*. It is programs conducted 
by a unit in some area. It might be supported by some local funds or 
it might be supported from central level funds. 

The Chairman. I remember Secretary McNamara told the com- 
mittee once that on their off hours most of the soldiers built Sunday 

Mr. Colby. Well, they do lots of things. 

The Chairman. That is what he said. That would cost a lot of 
money, of course. That would cost some money that is not included 
in this. 

Mr. Colby. A considerable amount of it is included, Senator. I 
wouldn't say it was all Sunday schools, but they do a certain amount 
of civic action work around the bases, the akbase areas and so forth. 

The Chairman. I have not only an interest in knowing about this 
program, but by coincidence I have four constituents here in the room 
this morning who are architects and engineers. Having you and Mr. 
Vann describe the program there, gives them a much more persuasive 
reason as to why they can't get any money for building in Arkansas 
than I can give them. I was very pleased to have you prepared to give 
it this morning so I won't have to burden them now with my own 
story as to why there is so little money for construction of houses or 
for Government operations or for anythmg else, for that matter, 
because here in 1 year there is $891 million, almost $900 million. It is a 
very dramatic figiu^e if you could translate it into what thej^ do in these 
smaller communities of this country. 

purpose of cords 

Coming back to you, Mr. Vann, I can see you have a very great 
interest in this work. You have been there since 1962. 

Mr. Vann. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. I take it you like this work. 

Mr. Vann. I consider the work very important, sir. 

The Chairman. It is very interesting to you; isn't it? 

Mr. Vann. I also find it very interesting; yes, sir. 

The Chairman. I think I detected that from your manner and the 
way you spoke. I would assume that you have requested a continued 
tour of duty in Vietnam. Is that correct? 

j\lr. Vann. I am scheduled to stay there until February of next year, 

The Chairman. By that I mean you do it willingly and voluntarily. 

Mr. Vann. All civilians in Vietnam are there voluntarily, sir. 

The Chairman. Do you feel that you are creating a bastion of 
strength for our country in Southeast Asia? 

Mr. Vann. A bastion of what, sir? 

The Chairman. Strength. 

Mr. Vann. I don't look upon it in that manner, sir. 

The Chairman. How do you look upon it? 

Mr. Vann. I look upon it as one of helping, as an agent of my 
Government, to fulfill an obligation that my Government considers 

The Chairman. Would you clarify that a bit. Of what obligation 
are you speaking? 


Mr. Vann. I believe, sir, that based upon previous decisions made 
by several administrations the United States has deemed that it 
has an interest in that area of the world, an interest in preventing 
that area of the world from being involuntarily absorbed by other 
political ideologies. 

The Chairman. What other political ideologies? 

Mr. Vann. Specifically communism. 

The Chairman. Do you feel that most of the people in the delta 
are very strongly motivated by ideological considerations? 

Mr. Vann. I do not, sir. But I feel that the leaders of the enemy 
are very strongly motivated by Communist ideology. 

The Chairman. What is the attitude of the people who are under 
your charge? 

Mr. Vann. Sir, the only people who are under my charge are the 
American advisers and I think most of them share my views as to our 
commitment there. 


The Chairman. There was a recent article in the Chicago Tribune 
that said that you were once quite pessimistic — I believe it uses the 
words "a confirmed pessiinist" — but that you are now an optimist. 
Is that correct? Were you ever a pessimist about this area? 

Mr. Vann. I prefer to think, sir, that I have been realistic about 
Vietnam, that I was not pessimistic from 1962 until 1968 and that I 
have not been optimistic from 1968 until now. Up until 1968 I was 
highly dissatisfied with the manner in which the war was being con- 
ducted in Vietnam, and I did not anticipate that it was going to be 

Since 1968 I have become increasingly convinced that, with the 
changes that have been made not only by our side but by the enemy 
side, our objectives in Vietnam and, coincidcntally, the objectives of 
the majority of the Vietnamese people, will be achieved. 


The Chairman. You come back again to the objectives. I don't 
like to belabor this matter, but you bring it up. What are these 
objectives that are going to he achieved? 

Mr. Vann. The objectives, as I understand them, sir, exist first of 
all because of our past involvement in not only our SEATO organi- 
zation there in Southeast Asia, but all over the world. In many parts 
of the world we have to some extent been committed to assist people 
who are now free to remain free from Communist aggression or 
aggression of any other sort that is externally imposed on their country. 

I realize that these commitments may have been made at a time 
when the environment of the world was much different than it is 

I am quite aware that as time goes on the justification that once 
may have existed may have to some extent evaporated. 

I consider that we did go to Vietnam for two purposes: First, to 
help the people there in response to their plea not to be overrun by 
communism. And, secondly — and this is my own interpretation, 


nothing I have been told — to prevent further Communist expansion 
into Southeast Asia. 


The Chairman. And the way to prevent that is the program that 
you are now following, and it is successful. 

Mr. Vann. I think, sir, that the program we have been following 
for the last 18 months has been the most successful that we have had 
in Vietnam. I think it has been successful through a combination of a 
change on our part and, quite possibly more significantly, a change 
in the nature of the war and in the nature of the enemy. 

This was a war, sn, which at one time, in my judgment, was an 
insurgency, a civil war. That has largely gone by the board. It is 
largely now a war of invasion. It was originally a very difficult war 
for us to become involved in or to assist because at one time, certainly 
in 1965, a goodly percentage, possibly even a majority, of the rural 
population was supporting the National Liberation Front. 

Today, not only in my "judgment but in the judgment of peoplel 
have often reUed upon — missionaries and long-term residents in 
Vietnam, Vietnamese, ex-Vie tminh, people not now in the Govern- 
ment—the National Liberation Front enjoys the support of less than 
10 percent of the population of South Vietnam. 

This doesn't mean that 30 to 40 percent switched sides. It merely 
means that 30 to 40 percent that did support the other side no longer 
support them. It means that they are much more susceptible to the 
Government's approach than they had been in the past. 

However, I don't think we deceive ourselves into thinking that 
there is going to be any enthusiastic follomng of the Government, 
just as there never was really an enthusiastic follomng of the NLF. 
People want a better government. That is why the majority of them 
joined the other side. It is not that they believed in communism. 
They wanted better government. 

Since 1965, through a series of steps, they have been gradually 
getting better government from the Government of Vietnam and 
less of a basis for thinking they would get it from the NLF. From Tet 
of 1968 on — because Tet was very definitely a turning point in this 
war — it became very obvious to the majority of the population that 
they had no opportunity at all to get the type of things that they 
wanted — which, as I understand them, are peace and prosperity — 
from the Communists. They did in large numbers, from Tet of 1968, 
reject the enemy. They rejected him because of something that had 
been changing since 1965, when he decided to escalate the war. They 
rejected him because he had changed from being a South Vietnamese 
ofttimes a relative, to being a North Vietnamese invader. That 
happened in I, II and III Corps, like a red flag coming down the 
peninsula. I could watch the change because I was there. 

It started happening in 1969 in IV Corps. It has made our job 
infinitely easier. It is just so much easier now to fight a North 
Vietnamese enemy who doesn't have support of the population, who 
is totally relying upon a line of supply and communications, who is 
an alien in the area, who does not have intelligence penetrations and 
who fights in a conventional manner. This is infinitely easier than it 


is to fight a population supporting a soldier who is a farmer by day and 
an enemy by night. 

That part of the war is largely behind us. We are now involved 
primarily in a conventional war on the other side and conversely we 
have essentially stolen the enemy's thunder by engaging in a people's 
war on our side. This is what has made such a difference in Vietnam. 
That is why for the last 18 months I have been called an optimist in 


I came back here in July of 1968 and said I recognized that a lot of 
bad things happened as a result of Tet. I know the tremendous 
psychological defeat, the traumatic shock it was to the American 
people. But a lot of good has come out of it. It has made the war much 
more black and white. It has caused the Government of Vietnam to 
consider much more seriously that its very survival is at stake. It has 
caused them to have mobilization. It has gotten them to take the 
programs and the actions and the steps that we have been advocating 
for years. Suddenly I began to see the prospect of a reallj^ tremendous 
break tlu'ough. 

I might say, sir that officials in our Government were almost 
incredulous that between December of 1967, when I was back here 
and was considered quite pessimistic, and July of 1968, after the Tet 
attack, I had suddenly changed and said there was an oj:)portunity to 
achieve our objectives. But it was quite sincerely the first time that I 
saw that opportunity during the more than 7 years I have been in- 
volved in it. 


The Chairman. I think that is very encouraging. 

Do you think it woidd be useful to insert in the record an article 
about you in the Chicago Tribune of November 10, by Samuel 
Jameson, simply enlargmg upon your ^^dews as to why you are more 
optimistic? Are you familiar with that article? 

Mr. Vann. Mr. Chairman, I believe I have read it, bnt I don't 
remember the details; I am certainly agreeable if the chairnuin says 
it is all right, sir. 

The Chairman. It really, I think, confirms and enlarges upon what 
you said; so we will insert it. The basis for my questions was that you 
had changed your views, which you confirmed in a very eloquent 

(The article referred to follows:) 

[From the Chicago Tribune, Nov. 10, 1969] 

Pacification Head in Viet Sees Hope 

Samuel Jameson, chief of the Tokyo bureau of The Tribune, has traveled to 
South Viet Nam to assess the situation there at a time when momentous steps 
affecting that country's future are being discussed and taken. Here he reports 
on the pacification program in the Mekong delta. 

(By Samuel Jameson) 

Can Tho, Viet Nam, Nov. 9 — John Paul Vann, who heads the 3,400-man 
pacification advisory team in the Mekong delta, once was a confirmed pessimist 
concerning the progress of the war in Met Nam. 


In 1963, Vann, then a lieutenant colonel serving as chief adviser to Vietnamese 
troops in the delta, resigned from the army to criticize the late President Ngo Dinh 
Diem's conduct of the war. 

In 1965, Vann, who returned to Viet Nam as an American aid adviser in Hau 
Nghia province west of Saigon, told this reporter that the Metnamese government's 
efforts to extend its control and promote economic progress in the countryside were 
a total failure. He estimated at the time that less than 5 per cent of Hau Nghia 
province had been pacified. 

"There is such a credibility gap that many of us are gun shy about saymg 
anything optimistic," he said in an interview here. "Nonetheless, there has been 
quite a change." 

Vann's title is deputy director of the fourth corps Civil Operations and Revolu- 
tionary Development Support [C. O. R. D. S.] team, which is headed by an army 
major general. Vann bears primary responsibility for directing 94 American 
pacification advisory teams, while the general devotes most of his time to advising 
Vietnamese armj^ troops. No American combat troops are stationed in the delta. 

"In 1965 it was a safe bet that as many people supported the Communists 
as supported the government," Vann said. 

"If an election had been held at that time, the Viet Cong probably could have 
won more than 35 per cent of the votes and become the dominant group in South 
Viet Nam." 

Tells of Change 

In an election today, the Communists would not get more than 15 per cent of 
the vote, he asserted. 

Vann qualified his optimism by saying that the change represented only a 
marginal upturn for the government after j-ears of sliding downhill. The big 
difference came from a drastic decline in the popularity of the Communists, he 

"Despite the obvious international propaganda victory the Communists won 
with their 1968 Tet offensive, they suffered a defeat in South Viet Nam," he said. 

Not only did they violate a religious holiday, thus alienating a majority of the 
population, but they also lost about half of their combat leadership, he said. 

"All of the critics who yell 'doomsday' talk about the government abandoning 
the countryside to defend itself in the cities. That is true," Vann said. "But the 
enemy also abandoned the countryside to attack the cities." 

Vann said he wanted to see the government move its forces back into the coun- 
tryside as early as the summer of 1968. Even tho Saigon failed to act until Novem- 
ber, 1968, it found communist forces far below expectations. As a result, govern- 
ment control of the countryside was shot up in unprecedented way," he said. 

The pacification expert admitted the claim that the government controlled 90.5 
per cent of the population was misleading. 

"It is absolutely wrong to look at the statistics in that way," he said, Favorable 
biases built into the American conducted hamlet evaluation survey make it im- 
possible to look at the statistical findings as absolutes, he said. 

"In the delta, you can say accurately that the government now controls 2 mil- 
lion more people, or 38 per cent more of the population, than it did in February, 

Nationwide, control has gone up 20 per cent in the last year, he added. 

Vann said he relied on the accuracy of the trends shown in the evaluation system 
because "for the first time the Vietnamese can't write their own report card." 

"In all of the other programs since 1961, it was possible for the Vietnamese 
province chief to certify that he had completed his objectives by just going thru 
the motions. Nothing really substantial had to be done," he said. 

Vann said the upswing in the delta — where 5 miUion people, or 35 per cent of 
South Viet Nam's population, live — has produced these results: 

1. For the first time in this decade road travel to every provincial capital is 
possible without a military escort. 

2. A still classified action, which will be announced eventually, has set a mile- 
stone in terms of nation-wide defense. 

3. The Vietnamese 21st division is now engaging the Commamists in the U 
Minh forest in the southernmost portion of the delta, which has been a communist 
stronghold for 25 year*^. 

4. The numbers of pf^ople from whose ranks the Viet Cong can recruit guerrillas 
and seek support has diminished by about thrf^e-fourths, from 2}^ million to 
700,000. "Sinco May the Communists have been importing North Vietnamese into 
the delta, whereas they u«ed to be able to export guerrillas from the delta to other 
areas of South Viet Nam," Vann said. 


5. A villogc development program, unknown in previous j^ears, has trained 
17,000 village officials in the delta i=ince the beginning of 1969 — more than all 
village level training ever conducted thruout South Viet Nam in all previous 

As an example of the increased security, Vann pointed to a trip made on Nov. 
2 — by Am.bassador William Colbj^, director of the nation-wide C.O.R.D.S. pro- 
gram. The ambassador drove from Saigon, then joined Vann in a road canal river 
trip to My Tho, and returned to Saigon by automobile. The trip lasted five hours, 
Vann said. 

Vann's opinions on the efficiency of the Vietnamese bureaucracy have changed 
less drastically than his outlook on the progress of the war in general. 

"All of the things thej;- do are still going wrong, but they are going wrong by 
American standards," he said. 

Vann said the government of President Nguyen Van Thieu has proved itself 
more capable than any of its predecessors since at least 19.59. It has survived. 


The Chairman. Then the objective of preventmg the NLF or the 
Communists from prevaihng is being achieved and you attribute it 
largely I assume, to the pacification program and the change in our 
strategy. Did you mean the stopping of the bombing in the north or 
what did you mean by the change we went through that was 

Mr. Vann. Two things, sir; if I might refer to the first part of your 
question. One of the reasons that we have had the opportunity to 
achieve progress is because the bulk of the NLF, although headed by 
Communists and serving Communist purposes, by very great good 
fortune are not Communists. They are followers. In other words, the 
NLF Communist leadership enlisted in the countryside for their 
Soldiers a large number of people who were simply unhappy with the 
government and used this as a way to express it. So right there was 
the base which we could always tap. About 95 percent of the people 
in South Vietnam we have recognized since 1962 were potentially 
our friends and allies if they could get what they were fighting for, 
which was better government. 


If I may, I will address myself to the second portion of your question 
as to change in our strategy. The change essentially has come about 
by the recognition that to provide security for a population you have 
to do it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 31 days a month. 

In all pacification programs in which I participated from 1962 up 
until Tet of 1968, we would start off every year with about 4,500 
hamlets under government control. Each year we would program, 
depending on how optimistic we were, a thousand to 2,000 additional 
hamlets to be brought under governm.ent control. Each year we 
would go out and would achieve 59 to 75 percent of that objective, 
but amazingly at the end of each year we would still have only 4,500 
hamlets. The reason for that was quite ob-\aous. The reason for it can 
be compared to the air in the balloon. If you expand a balloon in one 
direction you do it only at the cost of contracting it in another. The 
reason that we were not being successful on ])acification is that we 
were going out and occupying a hamlet for 2 or 3 months, going 
through the routine of pacifying it, but then moving on to another 
hamlet and leaving the first one empty. 


In 1968 that fact was brought home very startlingly by Tet. From 
that time on as we began om* pacification, we did so with the recog- 
nition that you had to leave permanent security in the hamlet. 

For example, in the Delta in 1969 we pacified 1,000 additional 
hamlets in a 12-months period. Coincidentally, we recruited and 
trained 1,000 additional RF and PF platoons and put them in those 
hamlets. They are still there. That also, sir, is why, unlike any other 
pacification program, this one cannot be rolled back by sudden 
political reversal. This is one in which the enemy, if and when he begins 
to react to it — I don't really think he can, but if and when he does — 
can't come in and overrun two or three hamlets and then have the 
whole province or whole series of provinces collapse. He is going to 
have to eat those hamlets up platoon by platoon and this is going to 
be awfully costly to him. 

This is the great difference now. We occupy those hamlets; the 
government has control there. We are there 24 hours a day. We are 
staying there and we intend to stay there. 

On all other pacification programs, sir, we went in there for 3 
months and then we left it, of ttimes with nothing more than a string 
of barbed wire around it. 

Senator Case. I wonder, Mr. Chairman, if you would allow me to 
ask the Colonel to say whom he meant by, "we." 

Mr. Vann. Sir, I apologize. 

Senator Case. This is not 

Mr. Vann. I have been an adviser to the Government of Vietnam 
so long that when I say, we, I am talking about the Government of 
Vietnam with American advice. 

Senator Case. Thank you. 

The Chairman. I don't wish to take too long. There is one line of 
questioning I would like to get into and then I will yield to you. 

Senator Case. Please go on. 


The Chairman. In your capacity as adviser how long do you think 
we will have to stay before they can be allowed to take complete 
control of the situation? Do you have any estimate of it? 

Mr. Vann. Sir, I am sure that all of us have our private estimates. 

As you are well aware, our Government's official policy is to stay 
in accordance with the situation in Vietnam and the United States. 

I would answer your question in this way, sir. There is definitely 
some tim^ limit on our involvement. If you make the assumption that 
progress continues as it has been, I can see in the next several y^ars 
tliis Government of Vietnam largely gaining enough strength to go it 
alone. However, when we are talking, say, over the next 5-year time 
period — and I just use that for lack of anything more definite — the 
quicker you go out the less the chance that they are going to be 
successful. The longer you stay the greater the chance they will be 
successful and that they will remain non-Communist. 

I would say that if we went out on a very accelerated basis, there is 
still better than a 50-60 chance that the Government would make it. 
If we go out on a gradual basis under the criteria that the President 
of the United States has laid down, I would consider it a very high 


probability, a three sigma probability, that the objectives in Vietnam 
will be achieved. 


The Chairman. Mr. Vann, did you read an article in this morning's 
Washington Post by Mr. Robert Kaiser about Mr. Tran Ngoc Chau? 

Mr. Vann. I did, sir. 

The Chairman. He quotes Mr. Chau as saying you were among the 
first Americans whom Mr. Chau told about contacts with his brother, 
who was a North Vietnamese intelligence agent. He also quotes Chau 
as saying you went to see either Ambassador Lodge or Ambassador 
Locke about Chau's contacts with his brother and then told Chau 
to continue those contacts and that throughout 1968 Chau continued 
to keep Americans and especially you informed of his talks with his 

I don't know whether you have seen the statement on the story of 
Mr. Chau, which I made on February 5. 

Mr. Vann. I have seen it, Mr. Chairman. 



The Chairman. Have you? 

Since then I have received a letter from Mr. Chau, which I have 
before me, saying that he had heard press reports which said that I 
had called him a CIA agent in my statement. 

I am writing Mr. Chau to point out that I said in my statement that 
he had been nominated by the CIA to be head of a cadre retraining 
program in 1966 and has worked closely with the CIA in that capacity. 
I also said in that statement that I knew that he had reported his con- 
tacts with his brother to a number of U.S. officials in Vietnam, includ- 
ing CIA officers with whom he had daily contact. I will put Mr. Chau's 
letter and my reply in the record just for clarification, together with 
Mr. Kaiser's article. 

(The letters and article referred to follow:) 


To: H. E. U.S. Senator Fulbright, Washington, D.C. 

From: Congressman Tran Ngoc Chau, Member of Special Court, Vietnam. 

Text: Please accept my thankful regards for your most valuable statement 
on my case as of a political persecution in Vietnam. I would rectify only one 
point in your statement as released by UPI here. Which makes very harmful 
to my nationalist reiDutation. For a CIA agent has been considered in Vietnam 
as the most detested enemy much more than a Communist or any type of criminals. 
It is true that I had cooperated with CIA for many years in developing founda- 
tion of present Pacification and Rcv^olutionary Development in capacity' of 
Province Chief and Director RD cadres. But I have never been a CIA agent.. 
I strongly ask your consideration for a U.S. Senate Investigation on American 
officials and CIA operations in Vietnam which have been dcvstroj'ing both Viet- 
namese Nationalist Ideology and Patriots and American image. 

Present political persecution on me is consequence of combined action taken by 
US officials and CIA and Vietnames(! officials. In an attempt to sabotage Viet- 
nam(;s(! and Communist direct talks for Peace Settlement. I did have contacts 
with my communist brother with agreement of U.S. Ambassador through Mr.. 
John Paul Vann. Compkito dossier on my case on the wa.v to your office. Many 
notable Vietnamese has expressed their conmKuit on my case. Witnesses and 
persons to testify my accusation are Ambassadors Bunker, Locke, Colby, Misters 


John Vann, Baumgartuer, O'Donnell, Robert Moellen, Jacobson, State Depart- 
ment. Georgesen, Thomas Donahue, Stuart Methven, O'Reillj', CIA; General 
Wj^and, Lt. Col. Scoles, Major Sauvage of Defense Department. Drs. EUsberg, 
Hickey, Rank, and others I would name later if you agree. My highest consider- 

Tran Ngoc Chaxt. 

February 17, 1970. 
Congressman Tran Ngoc Chau, 
The National Assembly, 
Saigon, Vietnam. 

Dear Mr. Chau: Thank you for your letter which I received through the good 
offices of a third party. 

I am sorry that UPI has reported that I called you a CIA agent. I am enclosing 
a copy of the statement I made on February 5 at a hearing of the Committee which 
I later that day inserted in the Congressional Record. I think that you will see from 
reading the statement that I never alleged that you had been a CIA agent. I simply 
stated that you had worked closely with the CIA in connection with the cadre 
training program and that you had reported your contacts with your brother to 
a number of U.S. officials in Vietnam, including CIA officers, with whom you had 
daily contact. 

I found your letter most interesting and appreciated your taking the trouble to 

I assure you that I will continue to follow your case with sympathetic interest. 
Sincerely yours, 

J. W. FuLBRiGHT, Chairman. 


Statement by J. W. Fulbright 

THE story of tran NGOC CHAU 

In this morning's Washington Post, Joseph Kraft tells us the story of Tran 
Ngoc Chau. It is a story that does not reflect credit on the United States or on 
the South Vietnamese regime of President NgU3'en \an Thieu. I have known 
about the story for several months, and I know that the facts that Mr. Kraft 
recites are accurate. There are, of course, many other facts that have not been 
reported in the press. 

To set the story in context, as Mr. Kraft writes Chau is an old friend of Presi- 
dent Thieu and once shared quarters with him when both were junior officers. 
From 1960 to 1966 he was Province Chief in Kien Hoa and Mayor of Danang. 
In both positions, he had an outstanding record. In 1966 he was nominated by 
CIA to be head of the cadre training program at the A'ungtau Training Center 
where he obvioush^ worked closely with the CIA as that agency had the respon- 
sibility for the Center. In the 1967 National Assembly elections, he was elected 
a deputy from Kien Hoa with the second highest plurality in the country. He 
then became head of the opposition bloc and was elected Secretary- General of 
the Assembly. 

In 1965, Chau contacted by his brother, Tran Ngoc Hien, a North Vietnamese 
intelligence agent. By Chau's own admission, he did not report these contacts to 
the South Vietnamese government. Kraft says that whether he reported these 
contacts to the CIA is in dispute. Chau says that he did, as Keyes Beech reported 
in the Washington Evening Star on February 2. I know for a fact, from private 
sources, that he did report his contacts with his brother to a number of U.S. 
officials in Vietnam, including CIA officers with whom he had dail.y contact. 
I should add that I also know for a fact that he had, and still has, many close 
friends in the American official community. 

At any rate, to return to the story told by Mr. Kraft, Chau began last year to 
advocate a cease-fire and direct negotiations between the South Vietnamese 
government and the NLF. He also began to attack Nguyen Cno Thang, a rich 
Saigon pharmacist and member of President Thieu inner clique, who is described 
by Kraft as President Thieu's "political bag man." 

Chau's brother was arrested in April and interrogated in Jul3^ No charges 
were lodged against Chau at the time of his brother's arrest and interrogation. 
I am told, in fact, that relations between Chau and Thieu were not broken until 
some weeks or months thereafter. It appears that Thieu's open attacks on Chau 
began only after Chau denounced the pharmacist Thang. 

Thus it appears that the real reason for Thieu's attack on Chau was not his 
contact with the communists but rather Chau's growing power as an opposition 

44-706 — 70 8 


figure and as a critic of Thieu's attempts to pressure and corrupt the Assembly 
as evidenced by the activities of Thang. 

Thieu began his campaign against Chau by denouncing him publicly on a 
number of occasions. According to the Saigon press, in a speech on December 10 
at the Vungtau Training Center, Thieu said that if the Assembly wovild not see 
justice done to Chau, and to two other accused deputies, "the people in the armed 
forces will cut off the heads of these deputies" and he added: "Our duty is to 
beat such dogs to death." Thieu organized demonstrations, including a march 
on Parliament, in connection with his efforts to lift Chau's parliamentary im- 
munity. Failing to secure the votes of three-quarters of the members of the Assem- 
bly necessarj^ to lift Chau's immunitj^, Thieu resorted to the legally questionably 
tactic of having a petition lifting Chau's immunitj^ circulated among Assembly 
members. According to a report in this morning's Washington Post by Robert 
Kaiser from Saigon, the 102 necessary signatures on the petition have now been 
obtained, and President Thieu is free to prosecute Chau. 

I know that the U.S. Mission in Saigon did not expect Thieu to obtain the 
necessary number of votes to lift Chau's immunity. But they obviously under- 
estimated Thieu's determination and his ability to obtain the result he desires 
through threats and bribery. I have very persuasive evidence on this point. 
Mr. Kraft tells us that Ambassador Bunker was directed to intervene with Presi- 
dent Thieu on Chau's behalf but that "the Embassy has not bestirred itself." 
Given the attitude of certain high Mission officials toward Chau, and their un- 
willingness to incur President Thieu's displeasure, I am not surprised. Nor am I 
surprised that Chau is disenchanted with Americans because of their refusal to 
intervene, as Keyes Beach reported after his interview with Chau. 

Chau is now in hiding. I hope for his sake that he will be able to escape Thieu's 
persecution. But even if he does, the story of Tran Ngoc Chau will not have a 
happy ending. The South Vietnamese Assembly has been intimidated, while the 
U.S. Government has shrugged its shoulders. And those in Vietnam who favor 
negotiation and compromise, or who dispute President Thieu, will speak at their 
peril from now on. Perhaps the story of Tran Ngoc Chau will prove to be the last 
chapter in the history of representative government in Vietnam. 


[From The Washington Post, Feb. 18, 1970] 

Accused Saigon Deputy Blames U.S. 

(By Robert G. Kaiser) 

Saigon, Feb. 17 — Tran Ngoc Chau, the outspoken House deputy, today blamed 
American pressure for President Thieu's decision to prosecute him for "activities 
helpful to the Communists." 

Chau claimed the United States feared that Thieu would use him to initiate di- 
rect talks with the Communists and bypass the Americans. Now, he charged, Thieu 
is prosecuting him in order to impress the Americans that this was never Thieu's 

Chau has long been a favorite of U.S. officials in Vietnam, and has many 
American friends. In an interview in his Saigon "hideout" today, however, Chau 
spoke bitterly of the U.S. government, which he said was trying to "clean their 
hands" of him. 

Chau, whose American friends have been unable to protect him from the wrath 
of Thieu, said that he has "lost all faith" in U.S. policy. He warned other Viet- 
namese who have cooperated with the Americans to prepare for betrayal like the 
one he claims to have suffered. 

The Chau case is the main attraction in Saigon's center ring these days. It com- 
bines — in one unruly package — three of the issues that concern this capital most: 
the American role in Vietnam, Thieu's feuds with his opponents and the status of 
Vietnamese democracy. This case may have important and lasting effects on the 
last two issues. 

And the Chau case is resplendant with the little touches of Vietnam that 
boggle the Western mind. For example, the political gossips have been saying 
that Chau is sleeping in a different house every night, stealthily dodging Thieu's 
police. In fact, as this reporter discovered when he visited Chau this morning, 
he is living quite opcnlj' in a house that is elaborately staked out by some quite 
unsubtle plainclothesmen. 

Very briefly, this is the storj^ of Tran Ngoc Chau: 


Now 46, lie fought for the Vietminh until 1949, when he left the revolutionary 
movement to join the forces of the Emperor Bao Dai. He became an officer, rose 
quickly through the ranks and was soon immersed in a distinguished career. 

He went to infantry school at Ft. Benning, Ga., in 1955-56, where he learned 
English, and also American ways. Thereafter Chau seemed always to get along 
well with Americans in Vietnam. His success as chief of Kienhoa Province in the 
early 1960s brought him to the attention of high American officials, who saw to it 
that he was promoted to important administrative jobs. 

In 1967 he ran for the National Assembly from Kienhoa, and won an impressive 
victorj^ He was elected an officer of the House of Representatives, and began to 
establish a name for himself. 


From 1965 onward, Chau was also leading a secret life — a life he shared only with 
a few Americans. In 1965 his brother and former Vietminh comrade, Tran Ngoc 
Hien, came secretly to Chau and announced he was a high-ranking North Viet- 
namese agent. 

From then until early 1969, Chau and Hien met quite regularly. According 
to the testimony of both, each tried to convert the other. At the same time, they 
discussed possible approaches to a settlement of the war. According to Chau, 
he was trying to arrange talks among the warring Vietnamese factions, excluding 
the Americans, that might lead to a political settlement. He admits he pursued 
this idea without informing the Vietnamese government. 

Hien was arrested last April. He confessed his intelligence activities in the 
South, and gave a detailed account of his talks with Chau. (The Washington 
Post published excerpts from Hien's confession on Jan. 5.) 

Chau, meanwhile, began to speak critically of the Thieu government's policies. 
He called publicly for direct negotiations with the Viet-cong before Thieu had 
accepted that idea. He also proposed a form of coalition government that would 
have given the Communists a share of power in the provinces and the National 
Assembly, but not in the executive branch. 

Last July, Thieu told a group of legislators that Chau had had illegal contacts 
with the enemy. That began a complicated series of events — dominated by an 
emotional anti-Chau campaign conducted by Thieu himself — that has now ended 
with Chau formally accused of "activities helpful to the Communists." 

He was protected by the Vietnamese equivalent of congressional immunity, but 
the government overcame this obstacle by promoting a petition in the House to 
withdraw the immunity in this case. The petition was allegedly signed by 102 
members — exactly the three-fourths required by law — and a trial is expected soon. 


Today the accused man contended that the charges against him were ridiculous. 
Chau admitted that he talked to his brother, showed him some courtesies and 
failed to betray him to the government. But he denied giving him any signifi- 
cant help, and insisted that his contacts with Hien were intended only to try to 
convert his brother, and to bring an end to the war. 

Chau admits that he did not inform any Vietnamese officials that he was talking 
secretely with his brother, a Communist spy. He defended this today on the 
ground that when his talks with Hien began, the South Vietnamese government 
was chaotic, run by generals whose "war sentiment was very strong." In recent 
times, Chau said, he thought he had the right to conduct independent talks as a 
member of the National Assembh^ 

But, he added, he did think he should tell some Americans about his brother. 
Chau gave these details of his dealings with U.S. officials: 

"Among those I informed after this first contact with Hien [in late 1965] were 
John Vann [an adviser in Vietnam since the earh^ 1960s, now in charge of paci- 
fication in the Mekong Delta], Stuart Methven [descrilaed by Chau as a CIA 
employe], Thomas Donohue [another CIA man, Chau said], and . . . the CIA 
station chief at the time." 


According to all the rules of diplomatic or military practice, contacts of this sort 
would have to be reported by such men to higher authoritj^ If men as prominent 
as John Vann and a CIA station chief were involved, it seems certain all top U.S. 


officials in Vietnam must have been informed. Chau said as much in today''s inter- 

"Methven and Donohue told me they would inform the appropriate Vietnamese 
officials; Vann went to see the U.S. ambassador — I don't know which, [Eugene] 
Locke or [Henry Cabot] Lodge — and the ambassador said it was okay for me to 
continue my contacts" with Hien, Locke was then deputy U.S. ambassador. 

Chau said two U.S. officials — Col. Mike Dunn, now a White House military 
aide who worked for Lodge, and a Mr. Adam, described by Chau as a CIA man — 
came to see him to find out what he was hearing from his brother. 

During mid-1967, Chau related, his conversations with Hien and other factors 
persuaded him that the Vietcong would try to create uprisings in populated areas. 
In August 1967, he said, he gave a three-hour briefing on his theory to Ambassadors 
Ellsworth Bunker and Locke and several military officials, including Lt. Gen. 
Frederick Weyand. 

Five months later the Communists launched the Tet offensive. 

Throughout 1968, Chau said, he continued to keep Americans — -especially Vann — 
informed of his talks with Hien. The Americans "seemed pleased just to get 
more of the Communist assessment," Chau said today. 


After Hien was arrested last April, Chau said, he went to see Vann at his 
headquarters in Cantho, the largest city in the Delta. According to Chau, "At the 
time. Ambassador [William] Colby [currently head of the U.S. pacification 
program] was in Sadec Province. Vann called him and got approval on the phone 
to see [Minister of the Interior Tran Thien] Khiem. The next day Vann saw 
Khiem." Vann's intervention on Chau's behalf, he added, "seemed to delay the 
whole affair for some time." 

According to Chau, this was the last overt cooperation he got from his American 
friends. Ambassador Bunker refused to meet him, Chau claimed. Then, he added, 
the ambassador ordered all American officials to cease dealing with Chau. 

"Bunker and the CIA believed Thieu would use me and my brother to make a 
secret arrangement for direct talks between the Vietnamese, without letting the 
Americans know about it," Chau claimed. 

He noted that he and Thieu had been friends since the time both were young 
lieutenants. But now, Chau said, Thieu responds primarily to Bunker. Chau 
said he believes he is being prosecuted to demonstrate to Bunker that Thieu has no 
plans for a secret deal. 


Chau charged that there is a new American policy in Vietnam, intended to 
impose a minority government on the country that will be utterly dependent on 
U.S. aid, and therefore vmable to negotiate its own end to the war. 

The U.S. mission here is familiar with most of Chau's claims that he was betrayed 
by the American government and abandoned in time of need. But the embassy 
has made no comment on Chau's accusations, the first of which were published ten 
days ago. This unusual silence suggests orders from Washington not to talk. 

Well before Chau's accusations began, however, many embassy officials pri- 
vately expressed displeasure with Thieu's attempt to prosecute Chau and two 
other members of the House. The degree of displeasure these Americans have 
expressed has been unprecedented in the friendly American relationship with 

It was learned today that Bunker has told Thieu that the U.S. expects a variety 
of vmfavorable consequences if Chau is sentenced to prision. Some of Bunker's 
staff believe much damage has already been done by Thieu's public campaign 
against the House. 

If the Chau case opened a door on interesting aspects of the U.S. role in Vietnam, 
it has also provided an intriguing glimpse of Vietnamese democracy under pressure. 

The legal issues in the case are complicated, though the basic facts of the 
alleged crime are simple and apparently agreed by all parties: It is against the 
law to give any help to Communists, and by Chau's own admission he gave his 
brother some assistance — though he claims it was insignificant. For this reason, 
hawks among Saigon's politicians are prepared to condemn Chau. 


But there is some question as to whether this technical violation of the law is 
the real issue. An authoritative source in the presidential palace, for instance, 


said today that although Chan's transgressions were not seinous, the case against 
him would be pressed because "it symbolizes the anti-Communist spirit of the 

Phan Thong, a House member who chaired a committee that investigated the 
charges against Chau and found them justified, said in an interview today that 
he too saw more than legal issues behind the prosecution. Thong said the chief 
of the Special (intelligence) Police told his investigating committee that Chau 
was "too ambitious in politics." Thong suggested that Chau would have been 
left alone if he had not made his proposal for a coalition government. 

Another complication involves the petition that the government says stripped 
Chau of his immiuiity. Manj- lawyers and legislators have challenged the theory 
that the House can substitute a petition for actual floor action. It is widely 
assumed that the government could not win a three-fourths vote on the floor, if 
only because attendance at the House is so poor. 

Some pohticians think Thieu's petition ploy will do permanent damage to the 
procedures of the Assembly. 

Deputy Thong said he thought the petition might not have been completely 
fair. But then, he added, Chau had ignored one article of the constitution by 
helping a Communist, so how could he expect protection from other articles of 
the constitution that stii)ulate proper parliauicntary procedures? 

It is hard to find a Vietnamese who really expects the government to follow 
strictly any prearranged set of laws and regulations. That is a Western notion. 


So the talk among politicians about the Chau case tends to center more on poli- 
tics and personalities than legalities. Some, including Chau himself, think Thieu is 
trying to intimidate all his opposition by his crackdown on Chau and the other 
two House deputies. 

Those who subscribe to this theory deplore the president's high-handedness and 
warn of more repression of the opposition, but the theory is hardly universal. 
Many of the most outspoken opponents of Thieu don't accept it. 

Another school theorizes that Thieu is damaging himself more than Chau or any 
other opponent by making such a big issue out of a small incident. 

"It is like with Sen. Tran Van Don," said an articulate member of the House, 
referring to another Thieu critic who has lately incurred presidential ire. "Thieu is 
building up Chau and other opponents by attacking them fiercely." 

Chau himself is the issue with some politicians. His critics call him vain, a self- 
promoter with an exaggerated sense of his own importance. Others say he just isn't 
worth all the fuss. 

Chau's connection with the CIA has become an issue — several papers have 
attacked him as an American lackery. "Many Vietnamese think if Chau is so 
dose to the CIA, he deserves some punishment," a thoughtful editor said tonight. 

The Chairman. You are not the only pubhc official Mr. Chau has 
pubhcly identified as a contact. The Washington Post article has many 
other names and so does Mr. Chan's letter to me, but since you happen 
to be testifying here today, I did want to ask 3"ou a few questions 
relating to this^ rather complicated and apparently now a significant 
case according to the papers. 


Did Mr. Chau develop many of the concepts of the current pacifi- 
cation program? 

I^lr. Vann. Sir, let me go back for a moment just in the interest of 
the letter that you are sending to Mr. Tran Ngoc Chau. I would in- 
terpret that your statement saying that the CIA nominated him is 
where he got the impression that you were callmg him an employee of 
the CIA. Actually, sir, the CIA has not been in a position in Vietnam 
to nominate a GVN official from one job to another. 

The job that Lt. Col. Tran Ngoc Chau was nominated to take 
was Director of the KD Cadre Directorate. That was a nomination by 
the Government of Vietnam and approved by the Minister of RD. 


That would be the one area m which he might have interpreted your 
having suggested he was in the CIA employ. 

Mr. Chairman. Then it was an error to say that the CIA had any- 
thing to do with that Vung Tau center. 

Mr. Vann. It would be an error, sir, to say that they nominated 
Colonel Chau for the position as the Director of the RD cadre program. 

The Chairman. Did the CIA have anything to do with that center? 

Mr. Vann. The CIA, sir, was in an advisory capacity to the Vung 
Tau training center. 

Mr. Colby. And it also supported it, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Vann. It also supported it financially. 

The Chairman. But, of course, it had no authority to pass upon 
any of the personnel. 

Mr. Vann. That is correct, sir. 

Mr. Colby. The job that Colonel Chau was nominated to was not 
just of that center, Mr. Chairman. It was also that of overall re- 
sponsibility for the cadre effort of that particular ministry throughout 
the nation. 

The Chairman. Is it the usual practice of the CIA when they pay 
the expenses and organize the advisers not to have anything to do 
with the personnel problems of their activity? Is this a common 

Mr. Vann. Sir, I am not qualified to answer that because I have 
never worked for that agency. 

The Chairman. I had heard that the CIA has on occasion taken a 
hand in some of these matters. I don't know about that. I was relying 
upon my staff's advice as to that statement and they believed that 
to be correct at the time. "Nominated" is perhaps an unfortunate 
word. Would "approved" or "confirmed" be abetter or more accurate 
word or would you say they had nothing whatsoever to do with them? 

Mr. Colby. I think they worked with him. 

The Chairman. Wliat's that? 

Mr. Colby. I think they worked Avith him on that job. This was a 
job in the Vietnamese Government. The Vietnamese Government ac- 
cepted and named this officer as the director of this directorate. 
They worked mth him. 

The Chairman. Was the CIA given an opportunity to disapprove 
an appointment of this kind? 

Mr. Vann. I don't believe so, sir. I would certainly say from the 
standpoint of the way things happened in Vietnam that of times the 
Government of Vietnam discusses appointments with the advisory 
officials for any program in which we are heavily involved financially. 
I frequently had a Vietnamese official discuss with me whether or not 
a district chief should be continued in office because he knows I have 
an adviser there who observes him on a daily basis and they would 
like to have our opinion on it. 

Mr. Colby. I think if the CIA had real objection to him in that 
job, that could have been made very clear and would have had the 
effect of having him not take that job. 

is tran ngoc chau regarded as nationalist or communist? 

Mr. Chairman. Mr. Vann, is Mr. Chau regarded by his colleagues 
in the National Assembly and by knowledgeable American officials as 


a Nationalist or as a Communist? How would you characterize him? 

Mr. Vann. Sir, first of all, he has so many acquaintances with whom 
I have not had personal contact that I wouldn't be qualified to answer 

I would say, sir, that it is quite probable, in satisfying what I detect 
to be your desire for information on Tran Ngoc Chau, that we will 
get into some areas which could possibly prejudice one way or the 
other the outcome of a court case that is currently being planned in 
Saigon by the Government of Vietnam involving Mr. Tran Ngoc Chau. 

On the basis, sir, I would be happy to provide all the information 
that I have on this subject to the committee, but I would much prefer 
to do it in an executive session so as not to jeopardize either pro or con 
the judicial action that is underway in Saigon. 

Mr. Chairman. I would certainly respect that. Although this story 
goes very far in discussing the matter, you simply don't wish yourself 
to confirm or not to confu-m. Is that correct? 

Mr. Vann. That is correct, sh". As I interpreted it, that story 
represents Mr. Kaiser's interview with Mr. Tran Ngoc Chau, and 

The Chairman. Mr. Chau seems to be in no way reluctant to 
talk to the press about this matter. Of course, I would gather that 
he believes he is about to be, in the parlance of the old days, railroaded 
[laughterl because his immunity has been lifted, not by a vote in the 
assembly, but by a petition with 102 names. It is a very odd situation, 
but if you do not wish to discuss it in open session, I will not pursue 
the matter. 

The Senator from New Jersey. 

Senator Case. It is nice to see you again. 

Mr. Vann. Thank you, sir. 

Senator Case. It is also very pleasant to see the change in the 
attitude you now have from that which I saw in 1967 in May and 

Mr. Vann. The situation has changed, sir. 

Senator Case. Well, it is very clear that you feel this strongly. 

reasons for change in attitude of average south VIETNAMESE 

You mentioned, I think, as one of the chief reasons for the change, 
the change in the attitude of the average South Vietnamese toward 
the Government, and you said that his willingness to join the Libera- 
tion Front or follow its leadership was based upon his dissatisfaction 
with his Government. 

Mr. Vann. Yes, sir. 

Senator Case. Could you elaborate a little bit on that and also 
upon the change? Specifically, for example, when you say "govern- 
ment," is he thinking about who is sitting in power in Saigon or is he 
thinking about his province chief or commander or his district or his 
village government or just what? In what respect has this improved? 
Would you develop this a little? 

Mr. Vann. I think, sh', that the peasant about whom we are 
talking, the man who either is or is not in revolt, considers the govern- 
ment to be the village and hamlet officials with whom he must have 
contact in his daily work. It might extend on occasion to the district 
chief. Although he seldom has contact with the district chief, he 
would become aware as to whether there is a good district chief or a 


bad district chief, good and bad in terms of his o^vn future, and his 
own opportunity to pursue what he mshes to in his Hfe. 

As you may be aware, I was convinced in 1962 and 1963 that there 
was no way for the Government of Vietnam, mth Ngo Dinh Diem 
pursing the course he was following, to win the war. I felt it was 
inevitable that the National Liberation Front was going to win. I 
felt strongly enough about that to retire from the Army so as to be 
able to publicly express my disagreement mth the policies we were 
then following by supporting President Diem. 

Over the years a series of different governments came in. I think 
that between November 1 of 1963 and the beginning of constitutional 
government in 1967, we had approximately 14 different heads of 
government in "Vietnam. There w^as a game of real musical chairs. 
And there was so much instability that there was little impact down 
in the countryside, little change in the life of the average peasant 
other than a great deal more unpleasantness than he had ever had 

In 1967, when a Constituent Assembly was held, when an election 
was conducted to elect, not by a majority, but by the most votes in a 
field of 10 candidates, a president and a vice president, when an 
assembly, upper and low^er house, were elected, there began what has 
been since then a stability of government at the upper level. This 
stability was severely shaken by the Tet attack, an attack which was 
obviously well-designed and wliich was very nearh^ successful. 

Some of the assumptions the enemy made proved to be erroneous 
and fortunately he was not successful. But once the elected Govern- 
ment of Vietnam, wliich was then a very new government overcame 
this, they could address their time and attention to the long-standing 
and long-ignored needs of the peasant. Nineteen hundred and sixty- 
eight became first a year of recovering from Tet, getting the enemy 
back from the cities, and then addressing the problem of how do you 
respond to the peasant. 

Nineteen hundred and sixty-nine became a year of execution. We 
conducted a large number of elections, with the number going from 
less than 50 percent to well over 90 percent of the villages and 
hamlets in the country haAdng elected government. 

We conducted training for these village and hamlet officials. Lit- 
erally for the first time in the history of Vietnam we gave a budget to 
the village and a procedure wherein the people participated on how 
that budget was spent. This was something very novel to these people. 

In 1969 there w^as more participation by peasants in the govern- 
ment that most affected them, the \dllage and hamlet government, 
than, to my knowledge, at any time in the last 100 years history in 


We have gotten a tremendous response. We were aided and abetted 
during this period by the enemy changing the nature of his force 
structure from being primarily South Vietnamese to being primarily 
North Vietnamese. We were also aided by the fact that in the military 
attacks at Tet, which were largely by South Vietnamese units, the 
casualties were absolutely enormous. These casualties were not very 
meaningful from the standpoint of the numbers of bodies involved 
because the enemj^ has long shown an ability to remove bodies out of a 


rice paddy with no regard to whether he was killed or not. But there 
was the matter of the leadership that was lost. In my judgment, more 
than half, possibly two-thuds of the leadership, particularly the field 
combat leadership, that the enemy had developed for his South Viet- 
namese forces over a period of two decades was lost in 1968. 

You can't produce leaders m a year or even 5 years. It takes a 
long time to produce this kind of leadership. 

This provided the enemy with a difficulty of continuing conibat 
actions from which he has not yet recovered. I am not only a civihan 
there. I was for 21 years a professional soldier, with a total of 14 years 
in combat in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. "Sly hobby is analyz- 
ing military operations. As an analyst, I have become acutely aware 
that the leadership of the enemy today is a far cry from, far less 
qualified than the leadership that he had prior to Tet of 1968. 

A combination of this drop in leadership, the change of the enemy 
from being a South Vietnamese to being a North Vietnamese, the 
beginnings of village and hamlet government, the participation of the 
population, the stability at the central level, getting enough Americans 
with long-term experience in Vietnam not to go down any more 
dead end alleys 

Senator Case. Excuse me, I didn't hear what you said, to not go 


Mr. Vann. Not to go down one-way streets that end in a deadend. 
In other words, one of our big problems in Vietnam up until people 
like Ambassador Colby, who had had long-term experience, or Clay 
McManaway who has been there 5 years, were assigned and a lot of 
people got into positions of determining advisory poficy in Vietnam 
who knew something about Vietnam, has been people who have had 
just 1 year in Vietnam. When this changed, we were able to prevent 
the pitfalls. Year after year I had known programs were going to fail, 
because I knew we had tried that sort of thing before and I knew the 
deficiencies that existed. 

Finally when enough people with that type of experience got into 
positions of leadershi]), then the advisory assistance too became very 
constructive. Up to that time it sometimes was counterproductive. 

Senator Case. Thank you very much. 

It is impressive, and I think the most impressive thing is the change 
in your vie\v, if I may put it in that fashion and not overstate the 


Our concern here, for the most part, has been with a situation that 
seemed constantly to deteriorate while we didn't have the firsthand 
evidence that you did because of your daily contact with it and vour 
long knowledge of what was really going on. All of us sensed that things 
were gomg constantly from bad to worse and that unless there was a 
change there would be no end to a bad situation except a disastrous 
one, and to many people this more and more indicated that the quicker 
we put an end to the whole thing, the better. 


Your own judgment, I take it now, and you have already said this, 
is that as things are going now they are on the upgrade and a reasonable 
solution is possible and the one that we ought to continue to try to 

A'Ir. Vann. Su", I have become so confident that we are going in the 
right direction now that since July of 1968, I have within my own 
organization been advocating a unilateral reduction of U.S. forces in 
Vietnam consistent exactly with the three criteria which the President 
enunciated in July of 1969 as official U.S. policy. In other words, for 
a year prior to the time it became our official policy I had the utmost 
confidence that that was the right direction to go in Vietnam. 

Senator Case. Mr. Chamnan, I think most of the rest of the ques- 
tions I have would better be asked in executive session and I shall 
defer for the moment. 

The Chairman. Senator Cooper. 

Senator Cooper. Thank you. 


Mr. Vann, I certainly appreciate your very forthright and, I think, 
precise statement. I respect you too for your statement of your views 
of our objectives there. Some may disagree, but as I recall at least 
until about 1966 that was the generally accepted view of what our 
objectives in Vietnam had been since our first intervention there. 

You brought a side of testimony to the committee we don't often 
hear and I think whatever the views of anyone as to whatever the 
Avar may be that it is good to have testimony like that. I must say 
I haven't heard that side since I have been on this committee. 


Who is the commanding general under whom you serve? 

Mr. Vann. Maj. Gen. Hal McCown, sir, who formerly served as 
the II Corps adviser in Vietnam 1962 and 1963. 

Senator Cooper. You have stated that your prior service had 
been with the military. Is that correct? 

Mr. Vann. Yes, sir; I was a military officer and enlisted man for 
21 years. 

Senator Cooper. You were in World War II? 

Mr. Vann. Yes, sir; I flew B-29's in World War II in the Army 
Air Corps and I went back to the infantry as a paratrooper after 
World War II. 

Senator Cooper. As you said, your experience has made you very 
interested in the military policy in South Vietnam. 

Mr. Vann. Yes, sir; I served in that type of warfare. I was com- 
mander of a Ranger unit in Korea in 1950 and 1951. Then of course in 
1962 and 1963 I served as a senior adviser to AE.VN 7th Division with 
advisory responsibility for the area from Saigon to Can Tho. 

Senator Cooper. Where did you serve in World War II? 

Mr. Vann. In the Southwest Pacific in World War II, sir, with the 
485 Bomb Group on Guam. 



Senator Cooper. Listening to your explanation of the organization 
and also to this chart, it would seem to me it is quite similar to the 
military government organization that the United States had along 
with its armies in World War II. Is that correct? 

Mr. Vann. Not exactly, sir. 

The thing that makes this 

Senator Cooper. Similar, I said. 

Mr. Vann (continuing). The thing that makes this so different is the 
tremendous involvement we have in things such as social and economic 
development, whereas the military government organizations were 
largely related to control of the population. 

Senator Cooper. And to gradually transfer responsibility to the 
civilian government. 

Mr. Vann. Yes, sir. 


Senator Javits. Mr. Chairman, would the Senator yield to me for 
30 seconds. I must go to the floor because the morning hour is over. 
I didn't want to ask any questions. I wanted to express my pleasure 
at seeing Colonel Vann here and Ambassador Colby, both of whom 
were so generous and cooperative at that time in Vietnam. As Senator 
Cooper said, many of us may think about the overall nature of 
American policy, but one can only be glad the United States has 
such servants as yourself in such a difficult atmosphere and such a 
difficult problem abroad. 

Thank you. 

Senator Cooper. I certainly join in what you said. Senator Javits. 

factors influencing INCREASED SECURITY 

You have testified about the development of the local forces. In 
your statement you say this: "The significance of this, of course, is 
the overwhelming importance of providing security of the population. 
Without security, it is doubtful that the remaining pacification objec- 
tives can be achieved." 

How would you compare the security which has been improved 
because of the strengthening of the local forces by arms? How would 
you relate that to the fact that the Vietcong and the North \'ietna- 
mese have withdrawn from the area? Which is the greatest influence 
on the providing of security? 

Mr. Vann. The Government's having a physical presence. I would 
like to point out, sir, that the withdrawing only refers to North 
Vietnamese units. Most of the North Vietnamese units are now along 
the Cambodian or Laotian boundaries or in these adjacent countries. 
The Vietcong, the South Vietnamese enemy forces, have not with- 
drawn per se from the general area. However, there is a significant 
difference in the guerriUa operations of today as compared to, say, 
pre-Tet 1968. The great difference is this: Most of the guerrillas, 
prior to Tet of 1968,lived in the hamlet and did their farming during 
the daytime. Most of the guerrillas today must five in a base area 
outside of the hamlet. They have no traffic with the hamlet except 


on those very rare occasions when they run the risk of coming in 
chmdestinely, quite possiblj^ at night, particuhirly if it is in an area 
where the Government forces are not really alert. There is a vast 
difference in the way guerrillas operate today from the way guerrillas 
operated before. 



Senator Cooper. As you said, major North Vietnamese forces are 
along the Cambodian border. Now assume that the program, which 
you have described so well, continues in a successful manner and the 
United States gradually withdraws its forces. What would you say 
then about the possibility of the North Vietnamese coming in from 
the Cambodian border and renewed activity on the part of the 
Vietcong? Would the South Vietnamese apparatus which you have 
described be able to maintain the security which you say is imperative 
for pacification? 

Mr. Vann. First of all, sir, let me disqualify myself from answering 
as Deputy CORDS IV Corp and just go to a role in Vietnam as a 
military analyst. 

I consider that the North Vietnamese represent far less of a threat 
and one which is far more easily handled than the threat we had before 
from the National Liberation Front which was primarily a political 
guerrilla type tlireat. 

The reason I believe this is that in nearly every given set battle that 
I have reviewed in Vietnam wherein a conventional ARVN force met a 
conventional North Vietnamese force or a conventional U.S. force 
met a conventional North Vietnamese force, the winner was always our 
side. The reason was that our side had an* and artillery and the other 
side did not. 

These are the most decisive factors in a conventional battle. 

It is expected that the Vietnamese regular forces will continue to 
have air and artillery support. They now provide all their artillery 
support and they are increasing the amount of air support that they" 
are providing. On this basis, I look forward to the day when all of the 
fighting can be done by South Vietnamese even if there continues to b& 
a North Vietnamese invasion of South Vietnam. 

Senator Cooper. Well, your answer is directed chiefly, I think, to 
military aspects of Vietnamization. You consider the jiacification 
program as a necessary element of the Vietnamization program, 
don't you? 

Mr. Vann. I do, sir. I see a very low probability of the enemy 
being able to substantially roll back the pacification i)rogram that 
has been achieved. The reason is that, although on any given night 
at any given area he masses forces and has a local success, to do it on 
a widespread basis would mean he would have to pay at least a 
hundred men dead for every hamlet that he wants to reestablish 
control. He docs not have anywhere near the men to even make a 
dent in pacification. 

Senator Cooper. I will pose this question: If the Administration's 
plan for withdrawal continues, and I believe it will, and U.S. forces 
are withdrawn from Vietnam in 2 or 3 years, will the Vietnamese be 


able to maintain the security which you say is essential for the 
pacification program in the absence of U.S. military forces? 

Mr. Vann. Sir, that again depends upon factors such as the political 
stability within the country. If things continue as they have gone 
for the last 18 months, the answer quite clearly is "Yes." If for some 
reason there gets to be some internal fighting among our friendly 
Vietnamese, if the political struggle within Vietnam goes in such a 
way as to affect the stability of the government and all of the attention 
of the Vietnamese gets diverted toward a struggle among themselves, 
that coiild put an entirely different light on the situation 2 or 3 years 
hence. Right now all expectations are that the current stability will 


Senator Cooper. Well, in your view is the American presence neces- 
sary for the success of the Vietnamization program? 

]\lr. Vann. The American presence today is necessary. How long 
it will be necessary is obviously the question that the Administration 
debates on a continuing basis. On a continuing basis we are examining 
it ourselves. As one example, I have 95 district advisory teams in the 
Delta. I have determined that pacification has proceeded so well in 
18 of these districts that I have reduced the advisory effort to less 
than 30 percent of what it was. In one i)rovince we have achieved such 
a high level of security that the military ad\'isory efforts have been 
reduced to about 25 percent of what it was just about a year ago. I 
would see no reason for that trend not to continue, assuming that 
progress continues the way it has been going. 

change in attitude of south VIETNAMESE PEOPLE 

Senator Cooper. There have been a number of these pacification 
programs, as you know so weU, and bearing a number of dift'erent 
names — revolutionary program, national building program. But 
I gather from what you say that you beUeve there has been a change 
in the attitude of the people of South Vietnam, that the present 
program marks a distinct success in its objectives, compared to the 
prior programs. 

Mr. Vann. I think the biggest difference, the biggest asset we have 
is the changed attitude of the population of South Vietnam. But 
certainly complementing that is what, is, in my judgment, the first 
well-organized pacification effort that we have had in Vietnam. 

popular support for south VIETNAMESE GOVERNMENT 

Senator Cooper. I will go to the political side for just a moment. 
You said just a moment ago that you thought the success was condi- 
tioned also on stability of the government. I assume you mean to be 
successful a government must have the support, general support, of 
the people. Is that correct? 

Mr. Vann. Yes, Senator, I believe so. 

Senator Cooper. In your wide range of activities in South Vietnam 
do you consider that the present government has the support or the 


acceptance — any way you want to put it — of the people of South 

Mr. Vann. I consider, sir, that the present government is the most 
efficient government that I have seen in Vietnam since 1962, has more 
real de facto support today than any government since 1961 and, thii'd, 
is taking the steps through the village development program and 
through the people's self-defense force organization to achieve a much 
wider popular following and popular base than any other government 
has either achieved or even sought to achieve. 

Senator Cooper. It has been said many times that, both in North 
Vietnam and South Vietnam, Ho Chi Mmh was considered the 
leader because of his long record of opposition to the intervention and 
colonialism of other countries. I don't know whether that is correct 
or not, but assuming it is, is there any leader in North Vietnam or the 
Vietcong who attracts the people of South Vietnam, in yoiu: judgement? 

Mr. Vann. Sir, we certainly have reviewed that, those of us who 
are students of that history. There appears not to be one now. As I 
think all members of this committee are aware, the previous leader, 
Mr. Ho Chi Minh, did represent a father image to a large number of 
South Vietnamese as well as North Vietnamese. To some extent his 
death indirectly facilitated the government of Vietnam winning more 
support among the peasant population than before, because Mr. Ho 
Chi Minh's image there in Vietnam was primarily as a nationalist, as 
opposed to being primarily as a Communist. 

I go back a little bit. Even though I personally felt that the Ngo 
Dinh Diem government was not on a road that could lead to success, 
I personally deplored the passing of Mr. Ngo Dinh Diem himself 
because he represented another father image, a man whose image was 
as a nationalist and as a longtime fighter for freedom in his country. 

Now that both of those gentlemen have passed from the scene it is 
a kind of an open field as to who can achieve that sort of an image in 
the future on both sides. 


Senator Cooper. I will ask two questions in another field. I left 
yesterday just before the hearing ended, but I read in the newspapers 
questions about the organization called Phoenix. With your wide range 
of activity there, you must be familiar with this organization. Ai'en't 


Mr. Vann. Sir, I am responsible for supervising the advisory support 
of the Phung-Hoang operation, in IV Corps tactical zone and those 
16 provinces. 

Senator Cooper. Yesterday in response to my questions to Ambas- 
sador Colby, I placed in the record a statement of the assassination, 
wounding, and the abductions or kidnapings of South Vietnamese 
people by the Vietcong. Is the Phoenix organization a counterterrorist 
organization or is it an organization designed for use in a war for war 
action against enemies. What is it? 

Mr. Vann. I would like to comment on this, sir, because I have been 
quite familiar with the organization of Phoenix and the various types 
of organizations that preceded Phoenix, none of which were anywhere 
near as extensive and none of which had the overall central corps, 


province, and district support that the Phiing Hoang or Phoenix pro- 
gram has. 

First of all, there was at one time in Vietnam an organization, very- 
small, that was called a counterterrorist organization. As Ambassador 
Colby mentioned, any time you have a secret type organization you 
get a lot of fairy tales. 

Now, all of my service in Vietnam, with the exception of 9 months, 
has been spent outside of Saigon essentially as a field adviser. 

First of all, regrettably from my standpoint, the counterterrorist 
organization was never as effective as people thought it was or as the 
fairy tales about it said it was. 

Secondly, it bore and bears no resemblance at all to the organization 
that we began in 1967, which now bears the name of Phung Hoang or 


In 1967, on an experimental basis, first of all we brought all of the 
civilian advisory agencies together. At that time we had in each 
Province two American organizations, a civilian advisory organiza- 
tion and a military one. When we got these organizations together, 
and began comparing all of our notes and — this doesn't mean that some 
people did not do this before, but originally it wasn't done — we became 
somewhat distressed at the redundancy, at the overla])ping responsi- 
bilities, and the very groat gaps of coverage on the part of the various 
intelligence organizations. 

On that basis we started on an experimental basis in III Corps five 
centers called District Intelligence and Operations Coordination 
Centers. We took all agencies responsible for intelligence, put them 
in one location, that is, had their input come to one location, and had 
representatives for those agencies there. At the same location we had 
an array of responsive units that could go out and react to the 
intelligence. , • •^ 

Now, our civilian side of this civilian-military mix was primarily 
concerned with the infrastructure, the enemy's governmental mem- 
bers. We were concerned that most of the inteUigencc before had 
related only to tactical intelligence, that is, the enemy's combat units. 

So when we formed these five DIOCC's, we emi)hasized the im- 
portant role of getting the intelligence on the enemy's governmental 
or secret governmental api)aratus which was actually controlling and 
calling the shots for the enemy's tactical units. 

Wlion we put these people together it worked so well on the experi- 
mental basis that we began expanding it. Starting at the district 
level we began expanding it and doing the same thing at several 
other levels, at corps, province, and central. Formally, then, an 
organization called Phung Hoang came into being by government 
decree in 1968. 


Now, this whole question of quotas is one we have been in on from 
the very start. One of the problems in Vietnam has been motivation 
of various governmental forces to do things. We debated the wisdom 
of having quotas and the value of not having quotas. This was largely 
a Vietnamese determination in which we advisers were responding to 


their knowledge of their own people to the effect that if we don't 
establish a quota we don't get a real push against the infrastructure. 


Senator Cooper. Excuse me a minute. I don't want to interrupt 
you, but I know at a later date this subject will be examined. The 
question I direct to you, because it is fair and should be answered, is 
the following: Is the United States involved in any way in carrying 
out what can be called a ''terrorist" activity? Is this a normal intelli- 
gence operation of the kind which has been carried on in the past in 

Mr. Vann. Well, the answer very shortly, sir, is no, we do not. We 
specifically prohibit it. Ever since I have been aware of it it has been 
prohibited. Ambassador Colby said so yesterday under oath and I 
say so today under oath. 


I did want to set a background so I could get to one point, and that 
is the point wherein people misinterpret that there are people targeted 
for killing. This is not done. The reason that approximately 31 percent 
of the enemy infrastructure which is reported as neutralized is shown 
as people who are killed is not because we have gone out searching 
for them and then killed them on the spot. The bulk of them, the 
ovenvhelming majority of them, are people who in the course of the 
normal conduct of the war become killed and after being killed, they 
are identified as having been a member of the enemy's government 

Senator Gore. What do you call normal? 

Mr. Vann. A normal operation, sir, might be a regional force 
company, a popular force platoon, going in response to an agent 
report that there is a VC platoon in a certain hamlet. When they get 
there, they find a VC armed force , they become involved in a fire- 
fight; the enemy possibly will attempt to escape; they will be chased 
down. They may be killed by an aircraft or they may be killed by 
ground fire. 

The Vietnamese officer in charge goes through the docunients on 
a body. There is an ammunition belt around his waist; there is a rifle 
in his hands and he turns to you with a triumphant smile 
and says, "This man was head of the tax collection unit of the district 

Now, in many cases I personally feel that oiu* Vietnamese friends 
may be in error as to what the man's job was. He may just be a 
guerilla soldier and they may well be saying something else simply 
to meet their quota. 

Now, I wanted to get this on the record because, as they are iden- 
tified as having been killed, there is the supposition on the part of 
many people that we go out and deliberately assassinate them. This 
is not the object of the program. 

It is much preferable to capture a member of the enemy structiu-e. 
When you capture him the entire structure will crumble because you 
can then inteiTogate him and find out what the structiu-e is. The 


moment he is captm"ed every member of his organization becomes 
apprehensive as to his future security. 


Senator Cooper. Is all of South Vietnam considered "a terror 
area," as we designated areas in World War II as "a combat zone?" 

Mr. Vann. No, sir. In most i)laces in the Delta the helicopter gun 
ships that are flown by the Americans are instructed that, if they are 
fired at from a jiopulated area, they are not allowed to return the 
fire. They are to fly away and report it. 

Senator Cooper. My question is— — - 

Mr. Vann. There are other areas that are designated as free jBre 

Senator Cooper. Does the Army designate specific areas as com- 
bat areas as they did in World War II? 

Mr. Vann. No, sir, because the enemy does have a capability to 
go everywhere. 

Senator Cooper. All of Vietnam is a combat area. 

Mr. Vann. All of South Vietnam is a combat area, sir, and at times 
the streets of Saigon have been. 

Senator Cooper. I have not asked these questions to approve 
actions of United States or South Vietnamese forces which would not 
be in accordance with tlie accei)ted rules of warfare. I recall that in 
the United States duriug World War 11 tlie whole Japanese population 
was moved from the west coast and it was a doubtful operation. 

\Ir. Vann. There are some areas desiguated as free fire zones. These 
are areas which we feel are totally inhabited by enemy soldiers and 
void of civilian population. 

pacification program if U.S. withdraws forces 

Senator Cooper. I will ask this question. You are not able to say 
whether the pacification program and the success you attribute to it 
is such a program that it could be sustained if the United States 
shoidd withdraw its forces, say, in 2 years, by the South Vietnamese 

Mr. Vann. Sir, with my area of responsibility being the TV Corps 
and with no U.S. combat forces now in the IV Corps, it would not be 
wise of me to speculate as to how long for the rest of the country. 

Senator Cooper. Thank you. 

Senator Case. Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Do you want to ask questions? 


Senator Case. I just have one question that was suggested by the 
Senator from Kentucky and developed somewhat and that is on the 
question of your statement that success of this program depends, 
among other things, upon continued stability, political stability, in 
South Vietnam. And I again will go further into this on my own time 
on the next round of questioning, but this is terribly important, it 
seems to me. We have been getting from many ])eople the suggestion 
that Thieu's government becomes more and more narrowly' based and 

44-706—70 9 


unrepresentative and the inference or the imphcation of this to many 
people is that it is becoming more fragile and less acceptable. 

I gather from you a feeling that you have somewhat a different view 
about the strength and stability of this regime in the minds of the 
great mass of the people, as opposed to various political factions that 
exist in the capital city. Am I correct in sensing this? 

Mr. Vann. I wholeheartedly subscribe to the answer that Ambas- 
sador Colby gave on that, sir. You look at it on two levels : one is the 
level of the intellectuals and urban oriented French trained group 
that makes up most of these political parties in the Saigon area and 
the other is the peasant in the countryside. 

I am well qualified on the second one. On the second one the base is 
broadening, and broadening rapidly. On the first one I will have to 
defer to someone who has responsibilities for the political acti\'ity in 
the Saigon area. 

Senator Case. Then I take it you regard the important level, from 
the standpoint of the kind of stability you regard as essential to our 
success there, as the support of the countryside. 

Mr. Vann. That, sir, plus continuation of constitutional govern- 
ment in Saigon. I don't think that whether President Thieu is re- 
elected or not bears upon political stability. The fact is that an 
election will take place in 1971, and that someone representing a 
majority of the vote will then be elected because a change in pro- 
cedures, a runoff between the two leading groups will assure that. 
This is what I interpret as being political stability at that level. 

Sentor Case. That isn't quite my question and you know it isn't. 

Mr. Vann. I consider it 

Senator Case. I don't want to press you beyond 

Mr. Vann. I consider the countryside to be far more significant, 
yes, than the Saigon area. 
Senator Case. Thank you. 
The Chairman. The Senator from Tennessee. 

U.S. advisers' recommendations to VIETNAMESE COUNTERPARTS 

Senator Gore. I find interesting the part of your statement where 
you describe a meeting with so-called Vietnamese leaders. You say 
that this kind of a meeting is held once a week and that there are 
usually in attendance approximately 20 Vietnamese and about 10 
U.S. senior advisers to these Vietnamese. 

Then I find these two very interesting sentences which describe an 
unusual type of democracy or an unusual type of self-government or 
an unusual type of guided performance. Let me read the sentences to 

The meeting is iised as a problem-solving session wherein all of the briefings 
and most of the discussions are bj^ and among the Vietnamese officials. . . . Prior 
to the meeting, U.S. advisers have provided their recommendations as to discus- 
sion topics and each adviser, operating under my direction, has recommended to 
his ^^ietnamese counterpart the problem areas that should be brought up and 
solutions that should be proposed. 

Mr. Vann. I think I might clarify for you. Senator, by adding that 
these are by no means always accepted nor do they always govern. 
But the reason we go through that jjrocedure is this — I am a firm 
believer when there is a U.S. community that they sing from the same 


song sheet. I want to be sure that the advisory effort is doing things 
that are consistent with the U.S. poHcy in Vietnam, and that we are 
trying to influence the Vietnamese to do things that we feel are impor- 

Now, please keep this in mind. The recommendations are made by 
the adviser to his counterpart. The counterpart makes a decision to 
accept or reject. I don't think that it is relevant to have an ad\dser 
who does not advise. 

Senator Case. So, the picture here, as I see it, I mean as you de- 
scribed it, is that you have these kinds of meetings once a week and 
prior to the meetings the U.S. advisers have told them what subjects 
to talk about and the solutions they should suggest, and then the U.S. 
advisers stay in the meeting and listen most of the time, I believe you 

Well, this seems a pretty strong hand of the United States. It 
reminds me of an observation that a member of our staff recently 
made after a trip to Vietnam, and that is that the United States is 
far more involved in the life of the Vietnamese now than the French 
ever were. 

Mr. Vann. The only way I could agree with that is to say we are 
far more favorably involved from the standpoint of a better future 
of the Vietnamese. 

The Chairman. From what standpoint? 

Mr. Vann. From the standpoint of the future of the Vietnamese. 
Our involvement is one that is positive as opposed to exploitation. 

Senator Gore. Do you tlnnk tliey have liked it since we have been 

Mr. Vann. I think they would prefer that to what would have 
happened to them if we had not been there. 

Senator Gore. Do you think those who are gone have any regrets? 

Mr. Vann. Sir, I am afraid I could not answer that question. 

Senator Gore. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

breakdown of activities of U.S. PERSONNEL IN THE DELTA 

The Chairman. I have one or two catch-up questions. It has been 
stated that there are 23,000 Americans in the Delta. There are no 
U.S. combat forces in the IV Corps and there are 2,357 people in the 
CORDS organization. What are the others doing in the Delta? 

Mr. Vann. First of all, sir, there are approximately 6,000 who fly 
helicopters and maintain them. There are approximately^ 400 heli- 
copters and, as you know, helicopters require an awful lot of mainte- 
nance, so the helicoi)ter grouj:) there numbers 6,000 men. 

We do ])rovide about 90 percent of the helicopter support to the 
Government of Vietnam in the Delta. 

The Chairman. That is 6,000 out of 20,000. What are the other 

Mr. Vann. We have 5,400 engineers there. 

The Chairman. What are they doing? 

Mr. Vann. They are building roads, sir. They are working on 
National Highway 4. They are doing it because all of the Vietnamese 
engineering and public works capacity is utilized as much as it can 
and still is not enough. 

The Chairman. That is 11,000. What are the other 9,000? 


Mr. Vann. Yes, sir. 

We have approximately 5,000 U.S. Navy personnel. 

The Chairman. What are they doing? 

Mr. Vann. U.S. Navy personnel have a combination of several 
operations screening the coasts. This includes the forces off the coast 
of South Vietnam, the maritime operation, the patrolling of water- 
ways. They also have the mission of advising the Vietnamese. I think 
more than possibly any other program in Vietnam, because it lends it- 
self to it, they are ra|)idly turning over to the Vietnamese. 

They have a very interesting way of doing it. When a Swift boat, 
for example, with a crew of 7 Americans, initially goes there, they 
add one Vietnamese to the crew. They train him to replace one Ameri- 
can. The American leaves and they add a second Vietnamese to the 

The Chairman. Maybe we had better reserve that for secret 

Mr. Vann. All right, sir. 


The Chairman. I have a few other questions. There is an article 
this morning in the New York Times, I believe, by Mr. Sterba, 
relating to the Phoenix program it says and I quote, " 'One thing 
about the Vietnamese — they will meet every quota that's established 
for them,' said one critic of the program. 'That's what makes the 
head count so deceptive. How do j^ou know they ore not assigning 
names and titles to dead bodies?' " 

Would you comment on that statement? 

Mr. Vann. I believe I actually did, sir, possibly while you were 

The Chairman. Did you? 

Mr. Vann. I feel that that does take place at some levels, at some 
times, and I think that the purpose of doing it is to introduce a sludge 
factor to come up to their quota. 


The Chairman. Last in discussing the terrorists, you said there 
was once a small ineffectiv^e counterterrorist program, which had been 
discontinued. Then in discussion with the Senator from Kentucky, a 
good deal was said about the fact that we do not assassinate people. 

You raise a question: In your mind is there any significant differ- 
ence between wiping out a village with B-52 bombs and napalm and 
wiping it out with M-16's and hand grenades? 

Mr. Vann. I would say from my experience, if such things have 
occurred — and I am aware that hamlets have been wiped out in both 
fashions — in the case of B-52's it is always an accident so that I 
would say there would be a difference. 

I know of no time that a B-52 has ever been directed against a 
])opulated target, and I was the senior civilian adviser for 4 years in 
the III Corps area that had over 90 percent of the B-52 strikes. 

The Chairman. I didn't mean to cast any reflections upon B-52's 
as such. May I correct it to say helicopters or any other kind of modern 
sophisticated weapons. Is there any distinction in your mind? I 


don't wish to raise anv questions about the efficiency of the bombers 
or the B-52's. Is there^i difference in your mind between kilhng people 
with a primitive weapon and a sophisticated weapon? .,.,,. 

Mr. Vann. First of all, sir; let me say that I don't beheve m kilhng 
civilians under any circumstances. For that reason, I have instituted 
procedures in the IV Corps wherein if our helicopters are fired at 
from a civiUan occupied area they don't even return fire. This is a 
significant change in the rules of engagement. 

The Chairman. Are you saying that we have not killed any 
civilians or verv few civilians in Vietnam? i -n i 

Mr. Vann. IvTo, sir; what I am saying is that we have killed very 
few deliberately. I am sure that too many — and it would be too many 
if it was one — have been killed accidentally. 

The Chairman. Then you don't subscribe to these reports ot 
incidents or engagements such as Mylai? 

Mr. Vann. Sir, Myhii is outside of the area which I am tamiliar 
witli But I would again say I was the senior civilian official from 1966 
to 1969 in the III Corps area of South Vietnam, which had the largest 
contingents of U.S. Forces. I am personally aware that no such 
incident ^^•as ever reported in that Corps area during the time I was 
there. 1 would be the official most likely to receive such a report. 

I also had a mechanism using Vietnamese reporters who were trained 
to go out and survev the civilian populat'on in the enemy controlled 
and the contested areas to find out what they were saymg about the 
war I have compiled over 600 indepth reports of that nature. I have 
never had a complaint of the sort of thing that is alleged at Song Mai 
and Mylai. 


The Chairman. Do 3^011 have any idea how many civihans in South 
Vietnam have been killed in the last 5 years? 

Mr. Vann. Sii-; there have been a large number of wliat could only 
be estimates made as to how many civilians have been killed. 

The Chairman. Can you say why the army keeps statistics on 
body counts, which \\e have had daily, and why they do not keep 
any statistics upon civilian deaths? _ 

\Ir. Vann. First of all some statistics are kept, but most civilian 
deaths would i)robably occur in an area where there was conflict 
going on and one in which we might or might not occupy the ground 
aftcrtho conflict was over. If we did not occupy it, we would have no 
wa}' of knowing how many were dead. 

solatium payments 

The Chairman. How much do you pay in compensation to the 
survivor of a civilian who is killed by accident? 

Mr. Vann. Sir, when it is determined that someone was responsible, 
the Government of Vietman or United States aircraft, there is a 
solatium payment made. 

Mr. Chairman. How much is it? 

Mr. Vann. Most recently it was 8,000 piasters if it was an adult 
who was killed. 

The Chairman. How much is that in dollars? 

Mr. Vann. That is approximately $70, sir. 


The Chairman. $70. 

Mr. Vann. That is not in payment for the act, but to assist the 
family in burying the dead. There are other claims that they can then 
make against the Government of Vietnam for loss of livelihood and 
et cetera. 

The Chairman. Do you know how many such payments were 

Mr. Vann. I would not have the figures for all of Vietnam. 

The Chairman. Does anybody have it? 

Mr. Vann. I believe they could be compiled with respect to U.S. 

Mr. Colby. I think I can get a figure for you, Mr. Chairman. I 
don't have it right here. 

(The information referred to follows:) 

The solatium payment for those over 15 years of age that are killed is 4,000 
piasters. Those under 15 years old is 2,000 piasters. They do not keep figures on 
the number of payments that have been made. However, the total payments made 
last year amounted to 114,713,440 piasters or $972,000. 


The Chairman. Didn't you account for all those 23,000 people? I 
thought you did. The staff says you did not. Was there any other item? 

Mr. Vann. Yes, there were, sir. The chairman changed the subject. 

The Chairman. I didn't particularly want to have you reveal how 
you changed the staff of each boat. All I wanted to know was the 
number of people. 

Mr. Vann. Right, sir. I gave you 6,000 who were helicopters, the 
5,400 engineers, and approximately 5,000 who are Navy. Now in 
addition to that we have a large number of support forces who provide 
signal communication, ordnance and transportation maintenance 
capability to back up some of the equipment that the Vietnamese have, 
and then the total advisory organization in the Delta, military and 
civilian, numbers approximately 3,800. 

Now in addition to these Americans, sir, there is also an Air Force 
Advisory organization that exists down in the Delta. 


The Chairman. That seems to be even more than the 23,000. I 
didn't quite understand your answer to the question of the Senator 
from Tennessee about the French. It seems to me you are more 
involved than the French ever were. I understood from the paper the 
other day that the French only had about 27,000 civil servants in all 
of Vietnam in the Colonial days administering the entire country, and 
you have 23,000 in your Corps alone. 

Mr. Vann. Sir, the French were there in the role of province chiefs 
and deputy province chiefs and commanders of the military forces, not 
as advisers. 

The Chairman. Wliy should there be so many more advisers than 
there are commanders? 

Mr. Vann. I don't know that there should be or that there are, sir. 

The Chairman. I am sure I read within the last week that in Laos, 
Vietnam and Cambodia, all of Indo-China, the French had approxi- 


mately 27,000 civil servants to administer that quite sizable colony. 
We have now 23,000 in the Delta. 

JMr. Vann. Sir, we are comparing two different things. 

The Chairman. I know we are. It seems to me extraordinary. 

Mr. Vann. You are speaking of civil servants and you are comparing 
them with military personnel. The French also had a rather large 
French contingent and a rather large Algerian contingent and a 
rather large 

The Chairman. I understood you to say all combat troops are 
out and these are not soldiers? 

Mr. Vann. That is combat support, sir. 

The Chairman. Wliat is that? 

Mr. Vann. The 6,000 helicopter people are combat support. The 
engineers are support personnel. They are not combat personnel. 

The Chairman. Do you know how many advisers then who are 
not running either a machine or filing a gun? 

Mr. Vann. Sir, in all of Vietnam we have less than 10,000 advisers. 

The Chairman. All of Vietnam? 

Mr. Vann. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. That is approximately what I assume the French 
had, if these other figures are right. How many enemies in the delta do 
you consider you have? 

Mr. Vann. We have an enemy order of battle, this is armed units 
and guerilla strength, of 35,600. That is backed up by a considerable 
support force, and it is also backed up by estimates that go as high as 
35,000 infrastructure members. 

Senator Gore. Mr. Chairman, I have a question. 


The Chairman. Let me ask the reporter to put in the record here 
the article I referred to by ]Mr. Sterba and the article by Mr. Arthur 
Dommen on the same subject. 

(The information referred to follows:) 

[From the New York Times, Feb. 18, 1970] 

The Controversial Operation Phoenix: How It Roots Out Vietcong 


(By James P. Sterba) 

Saigon, South Vietnam, February 17. — As a controversial operation known as 
Phoenix moves into its third year and to center stage today at Senate Foreign 
Relations Committee hearings in Washington, American officials here privately 
continue to call it one of the most important and least successful programs in 
South Vietnam. 

Designed bj^ the United States Central Intelligence Agency to weed out an 
estimated 75,000 Vietcong political leaders and agents from the civilian population, 
the program is not the sinister, cloak-and-dagger, terror operation that some 
critics, including the Vietcong, have portrayed it to be, these officials insist. 

"That's nonsense," one of them said. "Phoenix is just not a killing organization. 
The kinds of things they [Foreign Relations Committee members] are probably 
looking for are not happening that much — ^which is not to say they are not 
happening at all." 

sentence without trial 

Briefij^, Phoenix works this way: When local officials feel the.y have enough 
evidence against a person suspected of being connected with the Viet-cong, they 


arrest him. If he is not released quickly — suspects often vanish out the back 
doors of police station within two hours of their arrest — he is taken to a 
province interrogation center. 

A dossier on the suspect is then given to the Provincial Security Council, 
whose powers are those of a ruling body, not a judicial one. The council may, 
however, free the suspect or order him jailed for as long as two years without 

Once the suspect has served a term in jail he is considered to have been 

Some officials concede that many abuses have occurred under Phoenix and that 
the program has potential for serious harm if it were used, for example, to harass 
legitimate political opposition. Yet in the over-all portrait of Phoenix painted 
here, the program appears more notorious for inefficiency, corruption and bungling 
than for terror. 

Like many other programs in Vietnam, Phoenix looks best on paper. Officials 
here argue that its controversial reputation has been built more on its secrecy 
than on its actions. 

If someone decided to make a movie about Phoenix, one critic joked, the lead 
would be more a Gomer Pyle than a John Wayne. 


While both American and South Vietnamese officials in Saigon believe the 
program to be vital, some local officials are less than enthusiastic. Saigon officials 
contend that unless the Vietcong's highly skilled political apparatus is destroyed, 
the Communist movement will continue to prosper regardless of how many 
guerrillas and enemy soldiers are killed. In man3- contested areas, however, the 
local people appear hesitant to upset an}' informal accommodations made for 
the sake of survival. 

"The local officials are perfectly capable of carrying out this program if they 
thought they were winning," one American said. 

The Phoenix program, called Phung Hoang by the Vietnamese, was established 
with the money and organizational talents of the C.I. A. in late 1967. It was 
officially sanctioned by President Nguyen \'an Thieu July 1, 1968. 

Under the Ministry' of the Interior, administrative conmiittees and intelligence- 
gathering centers were set up in the 44 province capitals and most of the country's 
242 districts. 

About 4.30 Americans were sprinkled among these groups to serve as advisers and 
paymasters. A large number were C.I. A. agents or military- intelligence officers 
borrowed by the agency. 


Gradually, the C.I.A.'s role was taken over by United States military men so 
that at this moment according to officials, of the 441 Americans involved in 
Phoenix, all six are military men. Last July 1, overall authorit}^ for American 
adsorbed by U.S. military headquarters here. 

The program was set up to operate at the local level, where the problems 

At each "district intelligence coordinating and operations center," as thej' are 
called, teams usually consisting of a South \'ietnamese military intelligence officer, 
an American intelligence adviser — usually a lieutenant — special police agents 
and local pacification officials are supposed to pool intelligence data and compile 
dossiers on suspected Vietcong agents within the surrounding communities. 

When thej^ feel they have enough evidence, they attempt to find and arrest the 

"The trouble is that in many cases, there is a complete lack of dossiers," said 
one civilian official. "You might have a single sentence in a dossier saving that so 
and so heard the suspect talking about such and such." 


Sometimes the arrest may involve a single local policeman. Other times, it ma}^ 
take a combined police-military operation to go into a hamlet and find a suspect. 

In the cours(! of normal military operations, some suspected Metcong agents 
ma.y defect, or be killed or cajjtured. When reports of these operations filter back 
to the Phoenix district headquarters, officials simply call out the numbers and add 
them to their scores. This helps them meet quotas set by higher headquarters. 

"One thing about the Vietnamese— they will meet every (luota that's established 
for them," said one critic of the program. "That's what makes the head count so 


deceptive. How do j^ou know they are not assigning names and titles to dead 

In 1969, according to official figures, 19,534 Vietcong were neutralized. 
That number included 8,515 reportedly captured, 6,187 killed and 4,832 who 

Once a suspect is captured, he automatically becomes a "neutralized" Vietcong 
and part of the official tallies for the year. This is true despite the fact that many 
suspects are released an hour or two later through the back doors of local police 
stations. Starting this year, officials say, suspects will have to be sentenced before 
thev will be counted as "neutralized." 

- If the suspect is not released at the local level, he is taken to a province interro- 
gation center for questioning and then conlined until his dossier comes before the 
Province Security Cotmcil, composed of the province chief, his deputy for intel- 
ligence, the top national policemen in the province, and usually two or three other 
provincial officials. This may take months. 

The provincial council is a ruling body, not a judicial body. The evidence is 
examined, and the suspect is either released or sentenced. Of the suspects who 
make it this far, an estimated 30 percent are released for lack of evidence. 

"I've never heard of anyone having a defense," said an official famihar with the 
procedure. "Generally these guys are pretty good and if the district people 
haven't turned tip enough evidence, the suspect will be released." 


If the council determines that the suspect is a Vietcong agent, he can be "de- 
tained" without trial for up to two j^ears. But he usually isn't. 

The program's American advisers estimated recently that about 20 per cent of 
the suspects in 1969 were sentenced, and that only a fraction of those were im- 
prisoned for the maximum two years. Most sentences were from three to six 

Theoretically, those given the maximum sentence are to be sent to federal 
prisons, such as the one on Conson Island. Some provincial officials are reluctant 
to do this, how(!V('r, b(>ca\iso by imprisoning a man in their own jails they receive 
a prisoner-food allotment from the Saigon (Jovernment. 

After having served a jail sentence, the suspect is given a Government identi- 
fication card and released on parole. He is supposed to chock in from time to 
time with local police officials. 

Having to arrest or capture the same suspect two or three times is frustrating, 
according to some local advisers in th(! program, and may have some effect on 
the statistics in the column relating to slain suspects. 

Probably the most controversial arm of the Phoenix program in each province 
is a group called the Provincial Reconnaissance Unit. It consists of a dozen or more 
South Vietnamese mercenaries, originally recruited and paid handsomely by the 
C.I. A. to serve under the province chief as the major "action arm" of the program. 

The members of these units, usually an assortment of local hoodhtms, soldiers 
of fortune, and draft-dodgers, receive 15,000 piasters a month. An ordinary soldier 
gets 4,000 piasters. 

Some Saigon officials concede that these units have been employed in extortion 
and terror. But the officials insist that the units' foul reptitations have been 

In October, after second thoughts about the program's secrecy, Premier Tran 
Thien Khiem appealed in a speech to the people for aid in identifying Communist 
agents among them. In many areas, "wanted" posters were distributed. 

In one Mekong Delta town, an American official said. Phoenix operatives had 
worked for months trying to find a Vietcong agent. Within an hour after his 
"wanted" poster was displayed, a woman appeared at the police station and 
said the agent lived next door. 

[From the Los Angeles (Calif.) Times, Jan 4, 1970] 

Gloomy, if Familiar, Picture — Infighting Could Destroy South Viet- 
namese Democracy 

(By Arthur J. Dommen) 

Saigon. — Hardly anyone is joking about the long, bruising fight between Pres- 
ident Nguyen Vaii Thieu and the South Vietnamese National Assembly which 
conceivably could destroy the present democratic regime. 


Essentially, it is a power struggle between Thieu and the assembly, with the 
president attempting to force the ouster of three members of the lower hovise who 
are accused of being pro-Communist. 

One of the accused, Rep. Tran Ngoc Chau, even hinted he would commit 
suicide if found guilty. 

Thus far, the struggle has been a draw. Thieu's efforts to have the three House 
of Representatives members ousted began last November. It dragged on imtil 
Wednesday, when the house voted to support Thieu's accusations against the 
three legislators, but refused to expel them. 

The president's chief agent in the assembly declared immediately after the vote 
that Thieu still intends to nail the deputies to the wall. In turn, the accused 
deputies threaten to create considerable chaos if thej' are arrested unconstitu- 

No one knows how the president actually feels. Since his Dec. 10 outburst 
comparing the three allegedly pro-Communist deputies to barking dogs, he has 
said nothing. That may change this week, when he has promised to hold a press 

But the fact remains that he has chosen a bad moment for the fight. 

The Viet Cong have been telling the people in their midnight propaganda lec- 
tures that they are going to announce a broadening of their clandestine Provisional 
Revolutionary Government. It is generally expected that they will make a deliber- 
ately dramatic move in their campaign for a coalition government at about the 
time of Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, which occurs at the beginning of February. 

In this context, the drawn-out fight with the National Assembly, with its over- 
tones of illegal mob action and resort to unconstitutional means to achieve his end, 
has not done anything to improve Thieu's political image. 

The Saigon government's argument is that everything is negotiable except the 
right of self-determination of the South Vietnamese people. The Viet Cong's ar- 
gument is that the Saigon government is stifling that right. 

But the lower house of the National Assembly, thovigh far from being perfectly 
representative, is the closest thing in the country today to being the voice of the 
people. Its members are elected by a highest vote count by individual 

The fact that Thieu — with all the machinery of coercion, enticement and 
outright vote-buying available to his government — could barelj- get a majority 
to support his position against the three dejDuties has demonstrated once again 
that he is a minority president. 

Furthermore, when one might have expected him to wish to demonstrate the 
fact that constitutionally he is the president of all the people, whether they agree 
with him or not, he has instead deliberately embarked on an opposite course. 
He has proceeded to arrest a number of student leaders and opposition politicians 
and to close down some of the more intelligently edited of Saigon's vocal and 
nationalist newspapers. 

Lastly, although Thieu suggested Dec. 10 that the "army and people" might 
have to take matters into their own hands unless the house acted to expel Chau 
and the others, it seems now that not all the army agreed with him. 

Reliable sources say at least 10 army officers, mostly of lower rank but one a 
lieutenant colonel, have been placed under arrest in recent days simultaneously 
with the crackdown on students and politicians. 

For Americans, all this makes for a gloomy picture, but a familiar one, unfortu- 
nately. Plotting against the exerciser of power is an age-old tradition of the 
Vietnamese. It is a phenomenon intimately bound up with their concept of the 
mandate of heaven, which implies public acceptance of abrupt changes of power 
rather than Western-style evolution and transition. 

Doubly unfortunately, the slow but steady progress that the Saigon government 
has made in the last year with American support in undercutting the Viet Cong 
power base in the countryside — uncontestably real and genuine progress — counts 
for little in the event the regime lands itself in a first-rate internal political crisis. 

The issue Thieu has chosen as the cause celebre in the assembly fight is the 
alleged existence of secret dealings with the other side. In doing so, Thieu has 
compelled Chau and others to publicly defend the legitimacy of contacts between 
relatives separated by the war. 

Some of Thieu's closest advisers are ex-Viet Minh, or have relatives currently 
working for either Hanoi or the Viet Cong. This is a fact of fife in Vietnam. Further- 
more, many South Vietnamese officers have relatives on the other side. 

Therefore, involving the army in a political campaign to persecute men who 
have publicly admitted having contacts with the other side holds a certain amount 
of danger. 


So far, there is no firm evidence that this is Thieu's intention, although the 
illegal invasion of the lower house premises on Dec. 20 by Thieu supporters 
searching for the three accused legislators was an ominous sign. 

There is nothing the leaders in Hanoi would like to see more than the American 
forces in South Vietnam becoming embroiled in a highly political confrontation 
leading to a state of total anarch.y. The danger at the moment is that the United 
States appears to be more bound to the maintenance of a constitutional regime 
in Saigon than do the leaders of that regime themselves. 


Senator Gore. You asked the ^\^.tness a moment ago about tlie 
number of death payments. He said he did not have the statistics for 
all of Vietnam. I wonder if you have it for the area for which you have 
been responsible? 

Mr. Vann. No, sir; because mine is an advisory responsibility. U.S. 
units wdthin the area would keep their own and report it through their 
own command channel, su', which does not involve my advisory 
organization. However, I can secure for you both the Government of 
Vietnam solatium payments made wdthin my area of responsibility 
and the U.S. unit solatium payment made within my area of responsi- 
bility. I just don't happen to have it with me. 

civilian casualties in delta 

Senator Gore. Would you also give an estimate of the civilian 
casualties in your area? 

Mr. Vann. I can give you, sir; the only thing that can be docu- 
mented, which is the ci^^llian war casualty admissions into the 16 pro- 
vince hospitals in the Delta. That was approximately 28,000 in 1968, 
and 23,000 in 1969. 

Senator Gore. A person who was killed in the village 

Mr. Vann. He would not be admitted, sir, but this would be the only 
basis we would have for giving any firm figure on civilian casualties. 

Senator Gore. I didn't ask for any firm figure. I asked for your 

Air. Vann. Sir, I am really not qualified to go into that in detail, but 
I will give you my judgment. My judgment is that for every person 
who is admitted to a hospital there is probably a person killed and 
there are j)robably two other people who arc wounded, but for one 
reason or another did not get to a hospital. That is a judgment that I 
have made in the past based upon the information available to me. 

Senator Gore. This would mean more than 100,000 ci\nlian 
casualties in your area? 

Mr. Vann. That would mean approximately that figure, sir. But 
keep this in mind, too: That is casualties from all forms of action. 
That involves the mortaring of our district and province capitals 
that is done b}^ the enemy. It involves the number of buses blown 
up on the highway by the enemy with mines that are not discriminate. 
It involves firing into a village and a hamlet. 

Senator Gore. Mr. Chairman, may I have one other question? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

combat and combat support troops 

Senator Gore. You draw a distinction between combat troops and 
combat support troops which raises an interesting question of termi- 


nology. It is said that a Vietnamization goal is the withdrawal of all 
ground combat troops from South Vietnam, but when I inquired 
into that I found that the so-called support forces would still include 
infantry, still include artillery, still include bazooka units and mortar 
units. I couldn't find any elements of a U.S. Army that wouldn't be 
included in the so-called supi)ort troops. 

I wonder what is the real difference between a helicopter crew that 
is in combat and a helicopter crew that is not in combat? Can j^ou 
explain the difference between combat support and combat helicopter 

Mr. Vann. First of all, sir, specifically in answer to your question 
on the difference between these two type crews: a large amoimt of 
helicopter operations in the delta involve the transporting of troops 
from one area to another. It involves the hauling of Vietnamese and 
U.S. officials from one area to another and the hauling of supplies 
from ouQ area to another. 

A much lesser {)art of the helicopter effort in the delta is devoted 
to the gun ship support that is provided. So there is a distinct dif- 
ference, just in answer to that specific question. 

Senator Gore. Do the men in the helicopter crews engage in 

Mr. Vann. Those who fly gun ships do, but that is called combat 

Senator Gore. So when I read in the paper that we have no 
combat troops in the delta 

Mr. Vann. Ground combat troops. 

Senator Gore. Ground combat troops. 

Mr. Vann. Yes, sir. 

Senator Gore. But we do have helicopter gun ships? 

Mr. Vann. Yes, sir. 

Senator Gore. With American soldiers fighting and shooting and 
killing and dying? 

Mr. Vann. That is correct, sir. 

Mr. Colby. If I might. Senator, the difference, I believe, is largely 
a question of command and control. 

Senator Gore. A difference of what? 

Mr. Colby. Of command and control. When you are talking about 
a ground 

Senator Gore. I think it is also a problem of military terminology 
and words of military art that give one impression to a military man 
and something else to the American people who read them. 

Mr. Colby. Well, there is a distinction between them as used in 
the military art. 

Senator Gore. Quite a distinction. 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

Senator Gore. I don't know exactly how the American people 
draw the distinction between a helicoi)ter guncrew that is engaged 
in combat in battle, killing and being killed, but yet they read there 
are no combat troops in the Delta. 

Mr. Colby. No ground combat troops. 

Senator Gore. Ground combat troops. 



What about tlie engineers? 

Mr. Colby. They are not a combat force in that sense. 

Senator Gore. Do they do any fighting? 

Mr. Colby. They do not do any fighting. They do not seek out 
the enemy to attack them. 

Senator Gore. Are they all engineers? 

Mr. Colby. They are members of engineer units. They are not 
all graduate engineers, sir. 

Senator Gore. Are they soldiers? 

Mr. Colby. They are soldiers and they carry weapons to protect 

Senator Gore. They carry weapons. Are they organized into 
military units? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir, they are. 

Senator Gore. What kind of units? 

Mr. Colby. Comi)anies. 

Mr. Vann. Construction battalions. 

Mr. Colby. Construction battalions. 

Mr. Vann. It is the 34th Engineer Construction group. Its prin- 
cipal mission is to construct roads and also some vertical construction. 
It is primarily involved on roads, however, in the delta. 

Senator Gore. To what extent do they engage in combat? 

Mr. Vann. Practically none. On occasion, very rare occasion, one of 
the engineer crews working on the road will be ambushed or attacketl. 
They v.ill then defend themselves. They do not go out as part of a 
combat operation. And they normally work on roads that are con- 
sidered secure. 


The Chairman. In that connection what is your budget for this 
year, Mr. Vann? 

j\lr. Vann. Sir, we don't have a budget, as so many people furnish 
us support. However, I have com|)iled an estimate of the total cost of 
the programs for which we have advisory responsibilities in the delta. 
That is at best only an estimate in which v,e have to make a lot of 
judgments. I would not submit it to aii}^ auditor at all. 

The Chairman. What is it? 

Mr. Vann. It comes to $.3.39 million, sir. That includes the pay of the 
RF and PF soldiers, which is the largest element of it. 

The Chairman. Does it include the cost of building the roads? 

Mr. Vann. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Is that roadbuilding in the pacification? 

Mr. Vann. It includes, su-, every single bit of U.S. resource that 
we could put a dollar sign on, including the pay of the soldiers, the pay 
of the advisers, the cost of the cement, the cost of the rock, the cost of 
the Public Law 480 commodities, everything that I could compile 
that in any way was a U.S. cost. 



Senator Gore. Wliat casualties have these combat support forces 
in the delta suffered since the ground combat troops have been 

Mr. Vann. Sir, over the last 5 months we average, including ad- 
visers and members of these various support elements, an average of 15 
Americans a month being killed in the delta. 


Senator Gore. What is the civilian population of the delta? 
Mr. Vann. 5 million, 5.9 million. It represents over a third of the 
jDopulation of South Vietnam. 


Senator Gore. When we read the number of enemy troops killed 
by the South Vietnamese Army in a given engagement in the delta, for 
instance, should we assume that many of these were killed by U.S. 
gun ships and air support or combat support troops? Wliat percentage 
of the enemy killed is the result of U.S. combat support troops? 

Mr. Vann. We have inquired into that ourselves, sir; and for the 
last 3 months our estimate is that something less than 30 percent are 
killed as a result of airpower, that is the akcraft strikes and the heli- 
copter gun ships and the Navy support. We have naval gunfu-e support. 

VICE president's visit TO FRONT 

Senator Gore. I was interested to read that our distinguished Vice 
President was a visitor in Saigon. He took the helicopter trip to visit 
with U.S. troops at the front. Were you in Saigon at the time? 

Mr. Vann. No, sir; I was not. 

Mr. Colby. I was, Senator. 

Senator Gore. Do you know how great a distance he traveled? 

Mr. Colby. I would estimate that he went about 50 miles roughly 
west of Saigon to a couple of firebases up near the Cambodian border. 

Senator Gore. So the front is not very far from Saigon? 

Mr. Colby. The front is not very far. The Cambodian border at its 
nearest point is 35 miles from Saigon, Senator, 

Senator Gore. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. The next gentleman we were to have this morning 
is Mr. Mills 

bombing and force reduction 

Senator Cooper. May I ask just one question? You have answered 
in great detail many of these questions. Some of them go to the opera- 
tion of the military side of Vietnam. You have been to war, and un- 
happy as these chcumstances are, they occur in war; don't they? 
Civilians are killed. That is correct; is it not? You know that in 
World War II the allies bombed populations of Germany. 

You say we are now trying not to bomb population centers; so 
there has been a change. 

Let me ask you this: You served there during a period when you 
saw the continued buildup of our forces in Vietnam; did you? 


Mr. Vann. Yes, sir. 

Senator Cooper. Would you say that you know there is a reduction 
in forces now? 

Mr. Vann. Yes, sir. 

Senator Cooper. Do you consider that a change in policy? 

Mr. Vann. I consider it to be a very distinct change in our national 
policy in Vietnam, sh. 

Senator Cooper. That is all I wanted to ask. 

The Chairman. Mr. Mills, do you have a statement to make? 

Mr. Mills. Yes; I have, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Will you proceed? 



Mr. Mills. Mr. Chairman, I am Hawthorne Mills from California. 
I am a Foreign Service officer, class 3, on loan to AID for the past 
2}^ years and now ser"sdng as Province Senior Adviser in Tuyen Due 
Province in the south central highlands, almost exactly in the geo- 
grai)hic center of South Vietnam. My assignment also includes 
advisory responsibility for the autonomous city of Dalat, the former 
French summer capital of Indochina, which is now the provincial 

tuyen duc province, dalat and inhabitants 

In area, the province is about 1,815 square miles, a little smaller 
than the State of Delaware, consisting mainly of rugged, hea\dly 
forested mountains with a few broad river vallej^s and high plateaus. 

Until the early 1950's most of the inhabitants were ^lontagnard 
tribesmen. After the Geneva agreement in 1954, however, Vietnamese 
and ethnic minority refugees from North and Central Vietnam were 
resettled in fairly homogeneous communities in the arable valleys and 
along the highways of the province. Today the total population, not 
counting Dalat Citj, is about 111,000, of whom roughly 34 percent 
are indigenous Montagnards, 12 percent refugee minority peoples 
from the north, and 54 i:)ercent are ethnic Vietnamese. Most of Dalat's 
82,000 people have also mo\ed there from other parts of the country 
in the ])ast 20 years, because until 1950 the French kept the city off 
limits to all Vietnamese except those working for them. 

Today Dalat is an important intelloctual, cultural, and economic 
center which contains a luiivcrsity, the Vietnamese National Military 
Academy, the Command and General Staff College, and numerous 
other academic and technical institutions. In addition to its lu^ban 
center, Dalat's 2 7-squ are-mile area contains dozens of rural hamlets 
and the chief source of livelihood for the city's inhabitants is vegetable 
growing. In the rest of the province, as well, most of the people make 
their living farming, logging, or raising livestock, although there is 
some light industry in some of the larger towns. 

communist activity in dalat and tuyen dug 

Until 1967, Dalat and Tuyen Duc Province had been relatively 
untroubled by the war; some observers considered the area to be the 


rest and recuperation area for both sides. In December 1967, however, 
the Communists sent several battalions of troops into the two southern 
districts, south of Dalat City overran several hamlets and outposts, 
forced thousands of mountain people to take refuge in more secure 
areas, interrupted the flow of traflfic along the highways, and during 
Tet of 1968, actually occupied portions of Dalat for more than 2 
weeks. Since that time, the Vietcong have continued to make night 
raids from their base camps in the mountains into the populated 
areas to get supplies, impress recruits, set up ambushes along the roads, 
and disrupt the programs of the Vietnamese Government by assas- 
sinating officials, blowing up rural health stations, schools and ad- 
ministrative offices, and in general intimidating the people. 


The resources of the Government of Vietnam in the province have 
been stretched to the limit in trying to provide adequate security to 
the people while at the same time bringing them improved public and 
social services and helping them to attain a higher living standard. 
There is only a small number of regular ARVN troops in the province 
and there are no United States or other free world combat forces, 
although w^e do have U.S. engineering, signal, and artillery support 
units. Therefore, the burden of providing security has fallen upon the 
regional and popular forces and, to an increasing extent, upon the 
police and ])eople's self defense units. In the past 2 years the GVN has 
succeeded in bringing conditions of relative security to more than 
100,000 people of this province who for a time lived under heavy Viet- 
cong influence. 

In command of the regional and popular forces, as weU as all other 
Government personnel and activities in the province and city, is a 
Vietnamese Army lieutenant colonel who serves as both province 
chief and mayor. His staff at the province, city and district levels is 
composed of both military and civilian officials. All village and hamlet 
leaders throughout the province, however, are elected civilians. 


Like the province chief's staff, the advisory team I head is composed 
of both military and civilian members, each of whom has an advisory 
relationship with the appropriate official on the Vietnamese side. My 
deputy is a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and throughout the rest of the 
team we have civilians and military personnel working side by side, 
sometimes with an army man in charge, sometimes with a civilian. 

At present, the team is composed of nine U.S. civilians, 85 Ai'my 
officers and senior noncommissioned officers, and seven Filipino and 
Korean and Australian technicians, as well as a number of Vietnamese 
development specialists and clerical personnel. Most of the team 
members are serving outside of Dalat on district advisory teams at 
each of the district capitals or on mobile advisory teams attached to 
and living wdth regional and popular force units in the field. 

At the province level, the team has advisers working with Viet- 
namese counterparts in the following fields: development operations 
which include agriculture, public health, education, refugees and 
social welfare, village self-development, public administration and 


many of the other traditional AID areas; pubhc safety, including 
the national police and the police field forces or gendarmerie; regional 
and popular forces; engineering; supply and administration; psycho- 
logical operations and Chieu Hoi; rural development and Montagnard 
cadre teams which assist villagers in development activities and 
defense; and traditional mihtary staff sections of S-1 (personnel), 
S-2 (intelligence), S-3 (operations), S-4 (logistics), and S-5 (civil 
affairs) . 

The Chairman. That is more complicated than the poverty pro- 
gram; isn't it? How do you keep track of all of it? 

Mr. MiLLH. Very capable staff. 

The Chairman. It must be. Go ahead. 


Mr. Mills. In addition to advising our Vietnamese counterparts, we 
on the province level team provide support services and guidance to 
those serving on our district and mobile ad\dsory teams in the field. 
Our offices are located as close as ])ossible to those of our counterparts ; 
several of our advisers share offices with the Vietnamese they advise. 
My office is, for instance, just across the hall from the province chief's 
so we can discuss our problems and programs whenever necessary, 
usually several times a day. I also accompany the province cliief to 
meetings with other pacification officials, on inspection trips to approve 
completed projects where U.S. commodities have been used, and on 
his frequent field tri])s to give guidance to vilhige and hamlet officials 
and military units throughout tlie province. About once a week we go 
with his technical service chiefs to spend the night in an outlying 
hamlet. On these visits he talks with the people in the marketplace, 
distributes relief commodities, settles problems on the spot, usually 
sleeps on an air mattress in tlie local schoolhouse or administrative 
office, and generally tries to make the national government seem real 
and important to the population. 

The relationshi])s which have been established between the advisers 
on our team and their counter]Mirts are, in almost all cases, friendly, 
frank and productive. Our main eini)hasis is on helping the Vietnamese 
to make their own system work more efficiently, not substituting our 
system for theirs. In the 14 months I have been in Dalat, I have seen 
very real im])rovements in security, in economic and social conditions, 
in the willingness of the people to"^ defend themselves, and in the com- 
petence and effectiveness of Vietnamese Government officials. Now 
I would be glad to answer any questions you have. 

The Chairman. In that last paragraph you said our main emphasis 
is to make their system work. You mean theii' system involved all 
those different bureaus to which you referred? 

Mr. Mills. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. It sounds more like our system to me. 

Mr. Mills. Sir, that is an inheritance from the French as the am- 
bassador mentioned. While we don't have an individual adviser for 
every technical agency or every operational outfit that they have, we 
do have someone who follows those affairs on our staff. In many cases 
it is one individual following eight or 12 different functions. 

The Chairman. Did you state how many people in 

44-706—70 10 


Mr. Mills. Yes, I did; sir. We have roughly 85 military people 
and about nine U.S. civilians. 


The Chairman. You said a Vietnamese Army Lieutenant colonel, 
who serves as both province chief and mayor, is in command of the 
regional and popular forces as well as all other government personnel 
and activities of the province. He is not elected; he is appointed. 

Mr. Mills. He is appointed ; yes, sir. 

The Chairman. That is true of all provinces. 

Mr. Mills. Yes, it is. 

Mr. Colby. The Vietnamese constitution, Mr. Chairman, states 
that the province chiefs will be elected, but during the President's 
first term of office they may be appointed. 

The Chairman. Since he is in command of all of the personnel and 
activities, what is all this talk about elections? What difference does 
it make if there are elections if they don't have any authority? j 

Mr. Mills. But they do have, sir. * 

The elections are at the local level at the hamlet and village level. 
The rural population has elected its own representatives who in turn 
go to the district officials and the province officials with suggestions 
for development of the village and with the problems of the people. 

The Chairman. But the final word is the province chief's; isn't it. 
Perhaps I am reading something into tliis. You say he is in command 
of all Government personnel. Does Government personnel include 
the local officials? 

Mr. Mills. In a sense, but not in the sense I meant it in this state- 
ment, sir. I was speaking of his staff, both military and civilian. I 
was trying to indicate he was both the military commander and the 
province chief on the civil side as well. The local officials, the elected 
officials at the village and hamlet level are responsible to the people 
who elect them and not to the province chief, although, of course, 
they must follow the guidelines and the rules laid down for them. 

The Chairman. You say he is in control of all Government person- 
nel and activities in the province and the city? That is very all- 
inclusive language and what I was trying to determine is how extensive 
is his responsibility. He would seem to have very extensive powers. 

Mr. Mills. He does. 

The Chairman. And you are his adviser? 

Mr. Mills. Yes, sir. 



The Chairman. How does that particular relationship work? Does 
he ask your advice, or do you volunteer it? How does this operate? 
Do you have an office across the hall? Wliat happens? Describe it as 
best you can to the uninitiated. 

Mv. Mills. I think it would be easier if we talk about a specific case. 

The Chairman. All right, do it any way you like. 

Mr. Mills. Right. 

In our development operations section, for instance, his staff will 
be working on the public works program for the coming year. People 


on my staff who follow the engiDeering and the public works section 
will get together with his staff and discuss how much money will 
be available, and what the priorities ought to be in using this money. 
My staff will discuss it with me, and the province chief's staff will 
discuss it with the province chief. Before we have our weekly pacifi- 
cation and development council meetings, the province chief and I 
will talk about it. We will bring our best judgment to bear on what 
the best way would be of using the resources available. This happens 
in all other areas. I am advised by the people on my staff who handle 
the technical aspects. I also am his adviser in the military sense as 
well, but, of course, I rely very heavily on the military officers on 
my staff for that kind of advice. It is a very informal relationship. 
He doesn't come to me and say, "I would like to have your ad^dce 
on this particular subject," but in the course of our inspection trips, 
in our planning for new projects, in a manner of conversational 
discussion of the issues, my ideas on what ought to be done are brought 
out. He may or may not decide that this is the advice he wants to 
take. It would make my job much easier, of course, if he would take 
all the American advice that we think would contribute to the devel- 
opment of his ]irovince. This is in no case true. He is his own man. 

The Chairman. Has he ever declined to take your advice? 

Mr. Mills. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. What is an example of that? 

Mr. Mills. Well, in one case, to continue the example that I 
started of the pacification plan for 1970, we felt that too much of the 
rather limited amount of money which he had available for develop- 
ment purposes was going into roads and that there ought to be a 
higher proportion devoted to secondary schools, which is a large need. 
We have pretty much completed the requirements for primary schools 
in our area, but there still is not an adequate secondary school plan. 

We advised that more schoolrooms be built at the secondary level 
and that more secondary teachers be trained. Partly because he had 
more capability for doing a roadbuilding project, he elected to spend 
a larger proportion on roads and bridges than we thought was a good 


The Chairman. Who supplied the money? 

Mr. Mills. It comes from the national Government. A group 
from the central pacification and development council came down 
later after the province chief's plan was submitted, discussed the 
various elements of the plan, and approved these projects on the 

The Chairman. So it wasn't American money? 

Mr. Mills. It is not American money directly. 

Mr. Colby. There is American counterpart money in it, Mr. 

The Chairman. Lets not get confused over language. There is no 
difference between counterpart. We agreed on that yesterday. 

Mr. Colby. Yes, as far as Mr. Mills is concerned he feels that it is 
part of the Vietnamese Government budget, but at the national level 
we realize that there is American counterpart money involved which 
comes from American taxpayers' dollars. 



The Chairman. How much is the budget for your operation in 
your area? 

Mr. Mills. Do you mean to run the advisory effort or for the 
Vietnamese development scheme? 

The Chairman. I mean the operation which you advise. 

Mr. Mills. This is a Httle difficult. 

The Chairman. What is the budget of the operation to which you 
give advice? I don't know how to describe it, but similar to Mr. Vann 
having the whole delta area. He described that in some detail. He has 
$330 million or $339. What do you have— $200 million or $100 or 

Mr. Mills. No, sir, not by any means. 

The Chairman. What do you have? 

Mr. Vann. Let me qualify that; that is not a budget control; that is 
just my estimate of the total involved. 

The Chairman. I understand you estimated it. I am not going to 
hold you to the dollar. You gave us some idea of the magnitude. 
This is very significant, Mr. Vann. I am not saying it critically of 
you, but it is interesting that very few Americans have the slightest 
idea what this operation costs. It is usually presented in terms of 
statistics, which mean nothing to them. Even that amount is so 
large that it leaves most of them without any j^articular impression. 
If it can be translated into something about which they know, why 
it means more. All I am trying to do is to find out the magnitude of 
the operation in your area. You don't have to be ])recise. I know 
you don't know to the penny. Is it quite large or what is it? 

Mr. Mills. Yes, there is quite a bit of money being spent for 
development activities in my province. 

The Chairman. That is what I meant. How much? 

Mr. Mills. I have to do it bit by bit because we don't have any 
overall allocation. These come from different parts of the Vietnamese 
Government. To take an example of the self-development funds for 
next year, we have been allocated 17 million piasters, when I say we, 
the Vietnamese Government, in carrying on its public works. Its 
education and health programs amount to roughly 17 million piasters 
for the province and another 14 million for developmental programs 
in the city of Dalat, for a total of 31 million, which is roughly $270,000. 

In addition to that, of course, there are very large amounts of 
money spent for the payment of RF and PF soldiers. We have roughly 
5,000 of those in the province. They draw approximately, well, I 
would average it out 5,000 or 6,000 piasters per month per man. This 
runs up to a considerable amount of money. 

Payment to the province chief's staff costs money. We are now 
engaged in a program of improving the electrical facilities of the city 
of Dalat. Some of the normal urban problems have been laid aside 
because of the war, and now we are in a position to go ahead and do 
some of those. Those will cost a good deal of money. 

road building ACTIVITIES 

The Chairman. Did you say building roads? 

Mr. Mills, Yes, sir, most of the roads in the province have been 


built. We have a U.S. engineering unit which has been upgrading 

The Chairman. Did you pa}^ for those or did they come out of the 
Department of Defense? 

Mr. Mills. No, sir, we don't have any control over the U.S. 
engineering unit at all, and we don't include their expenses in our 
l)r()\'incial accounts at all. 

The Chairman. The Department of Defense pays that? 

Mr. Mills. I can't really say. 

The Chairman. Or AID, one or the other. 

Mr. Colby. The Department of Defense would pay those. 

The Chairman. They are the ones who have the money. They are 
tlie ones who ought to pay for it. 


When it comes to a question of whether you spend the money for 
roads or for schools, the province chief makes the decision? 

Mr. Mills. Not entirely, sir. The province chief is more and more 
looking to the villages, for instance. They have, in 1969, for the first 
time, a great deal of decisionmaking responsibility as to how these 
local funds are spent. The village people get together in council and 
decide. They know a certain amount of money based upon their pop- 
ulation will be allocated for a development project. The people them- 
selves can decide whether they want to improve the marketplace in the 
town, whether they want to set up a profitmaking organization such 
as a Lambretta service to take people to the nearest district town, or 
whether they want to build a social or community center for the young 
l)eople. They make the decisions. They have the final decisions on 
projects up to a certain amount of money. Beyond a certain point 
their projects must be approved by the province chief but in general 
he follows the recommendations of the people at the village level who 
themselves have decided. 


The Chairman. Do the village authorities have advisers, too? 

Mr. Mills. No, sir, we have no CORDS advisers to the village 
authorities. The village chiefs now have authority over the PF platoons 
and the PSDF Peoples Self-Defense Units, Security. We do have advi- 
sory teams which operate sometimes at the village levels in advising 
these elements. We have no direct advisers to the village level civil 

The Chairman. Not permanently, but there are mobile ones. 

Mr. Mills. Well, these are strictly advising on military and security 
tactics and the pacification aspects of military affairs. 


The Chairman. Does the province chief dominate the district 

Mr. Mills. Yes, sir; well, actually these are nominated by the 
President, I believe. 

The Chairman. On the recommendation of the province chiefs. 


Mr. Mills. I am not sure whether he even recommends. 

Mr. Colby. No, the Prime Minister appoints district chiefs, Mr. 
Chairman. The President appoints province chiefs. 

The recommendations come from a variety of places, and frequently 
they are new people to that province. 

The Chairman. How long does a province chief serve? 

Mr. Mills. At the pleasure of the President. 

The Chairman. At the pleasure of the President. 

Mr. Mills. Some of them have been there for a number of years. 
Some of them have had fairly short tours. 

The Chairman. Senator Cooper. 


Senator Cooper. I am sorry. I am going to have to go. But I 
would like to ask this general question. Do you share the optimism 
of Colonel Vann about the pacification progress and do you believe 
that the local people will be able to carry on this program successfully 
without American presence? 

Mr. Mills. Of course, I don't have the perspective that Mr. Vann 
has. I have been dealing with Vietnamese affairs only since the 
summer of 1967. But certainly in the time I have been there I have 
seen a number of changes which lead me to believe that we are working 
our way out of a job in Vietnam and that is, of course, what we are 
trying to do. 

On my team, for instance, since I have been there, we have felt it 
was no longer necessary to have an adviser to the Vietnamese supply 
system. The Vietnamese have achieved such good standards of war 
housing and supply control that we could pull out our logistics 

Since I have been there we have pulled out the refugee and social 
welfare adviser because the Vietnamese on their side are doing a 
much better job of supervising the welfare setup that they have. We 
have removed one of our police advisers from the province because 
the police are beginning to do the kind of things we have been ad\asing 
them for some time to do. Based on this experience, I really believe 
that there will come a time when the Vietnamese will be perfectly 
capable of doing this by themselves. 

I believe with Mr. Vann and Mr. Colby and others that as we with- 
draw Americans troops to be rej^laced by Vietnamese, this may create 
a bigger burden on the Vietnamese in the sort of peacetime activities 
that we in the CORDS program are concerned with to some extent. 
So I am not sure that the CORDS ad^dsers or the traditional Agency 
for International Development advisers will be in a position to leave 
quite as soon as the combat units. But eventually we will certainly 
come to that point. 

Senator Cooper. Thank you. I have no further questions. 


The Chairman. I have forgotten now, but you said that there 
were how many, 84 in your team? 
Mr. Mills. Well, roughly 100, sir. 
The Chairman. A hundred? 


Mr. Mills. Not quite. 

The Chairman. You think they will be decreasing because of the 
efficiency of the operation now ; is that correct? 

Mr. Mills. Yes, sir. I think we have cut the team down by about 
20 altogether. 

The Chairman. Was it 20 more than that a year ago? 

Mr. Mills. Yes. sir. 

The Chairman. And a year from now you hope it will go further 

Mr. Mills. I hope so. 


The Chairman. As I understood you, the problem of corruption 
has been controlled; there is no longer any corruption. 

Mr. Mills. I don't believe I said that. 

The Chairman. Didn't you? Maybe it was Mr. Vann. I am sorry; 
I have it mixed up. 

Mr. Vann. No. sir, I did not get involved in that. 

The Chairman. You didn't? 
. Mr. Vann. But I will if you wish. There is still a problem of 


The Chairman. I will come back to it. I wanted to read you a 
comment called ''Letter from Saigon" by a rather well known observer. 
This is Mr. Shaplen. Do you know Mr. Shaplen? 

Mr. Mills. I know some of his books. 

The Chairman. This is from the New Yorker magazine of January 
31, 1970. I didn't read it all, but he says: 

Technology and bureaucracy are surely not enough when Communists are 
still far from defeated — when, as one veteran American economic development 
worlier commented, "Two Vietcong in a hamlet can still undo most of what 
we've accomplished." 

That is a quote. Then he says: 

The Americans, after fighting the war themselves for too long, without equipping 
and training a mobile Vietnamese army are now, as they hastily try to put Amer- 
ican-style social-welfare and economic-improvement programs into effect, again 
doing the job themselves instead of letting the Vietnamese learn the hard way. 

The Chairman. Do you think that is an accurate statement? 
Mr. AIiLLS. No, sir, I don't. Certainly not at Tuyen Due Province 
which is all I can speak for. 

(The article follows:) 

[From the New Yorker, Jan. 31, 1970] 

Letter From Saigon, January 20 

On Februarj^ 6th, another Tet holiday will usher in the Year of the Dog, and 
while there are as many opinions about what will happen in Vietnam in 1970 as 
there are breeds of dog, there is universal agreement that it will be the most critical 
year since this misbegotten war begain a decade ago. If President Nixon, backed 
bj' his silent majority, sticks to his tentative timetable, it will amost surely be the 
last year of major American combat involvement. This does not mean that a year 
from now American troops of all sorts will not be engaged in some fighting, or that 


the American death toll of just over forty thousand could not eventuality ritc to 
fiftj?^ thousand or more. Under the present withdrawal plan, between twenty and 
forty thousand American military advisers and technicians will be left here as late 
as the end of 1972, and the lower figure will still be about three times the number 
that were in the country in 1962. Those Americans who are known here as "the 
new optimists" — people who believe that the process of Vietnamization is really 
l)('ginnino- to work — acclaim the Nixon program as the only sensil)le course. Others 
Avho are more skeptical believe that if Vietnamization is ito have any success five 
years or more u'ill be upcded. And still others are convinced that no amount of 
ibime will enable our allies to master the complex weapons systems that the 
Americans themselves have had only limited success in using conventionally^ in 
this unconventional war. 

Apart from the military arguments, even those Americans here who are most 
strongh^ opposed to the war and want to get out quickly are forced to admit that 
a further acceleration of the American withdrawal, in the absence of sudden con- 
cessions by Hanoi, would endanger the vulnerable social and economic reconstruc- 
tion programs and perhaps provoke the collapse of the present Saigon government. 
However, more and more people are beginning to wonder whether another govern- 
ment might not be able to end the war sooner and still preserve an independent, 
non-Communist South Vietnam, and perhaps a stronger and sounder one as well. 
The constitutional "legality" of the present Administration, which was elected 
for a four-year term that will end in the fall of 1971, is still acknowledged, but 
such legality is not held to be as sacrosanct as it was a few months ago. The 
doubts that are arising about both the intentions and the political efficacy of the 
Thieu regime could therefore prove to be more important than all the complicated 
technical and administrative machinery of Vietnamization, and their consequences 
could unhinge Nixon's whole scheme. 

However justified or imjustihed the skepticism may be concerning Nixon's 
silent majority in the United States, a silent majority unquestionably exists 
among the seventeen million South Vietnamese, and although this majority 
opposes the Communists, only a relatively small portion of it is really behind 
Thieu. This much is admitted by Thieu's most enthusiastic American supporters, 
who have nursed him along through imcertainty and s(4f-doubt to his current 
I'uijhoric overconfidence, which bears a growing resemblance to the overweening, 
self-destructive assurance shown by the late President Ngo Dinh Diem at the 
end of the nineteen- fifties. Nixon and Thieu, who are alike in many ways, will most 
likely do their best not to upset each other's plans, which are carefully calculated 
to iDring about their respective reelections. Whatever Nixon may privately think 
of Thieu — and it is hard to imagine that he could actually believe the Vietnamese 
President to be, as he has called him, "one of the four or five best political leaders 
in the world" — he will almost surely go to any lengths to avoid an upheaval in 
Saigon that might affect his twofold aim of getting out of Vietnam as gracefully 
and quickly as possible and keeping himself in the White House until 1976. Like 
pilot and co-pilot on a takeoff, they have reached a point of no return, and now 
they must fly on together toward their common destination. It will be ironic for 
Nixon if the" flight is hijacked by some of Thieu's more fractious passengers. 

Obviously, this is one of the eventualities the Communists are hoping for; in 
fact, their present strategy and tactics are geared to it. Last year and the year 
before, Hanoi's plan was to keep American casualties at a high enough level to 
stir up strong sentiment against the war in the United States, as a way of achieving 
its ultimate aim of American withdrawal and a favorable political solution through 
the forced establishment of a coalition government. Their 1970 plan is apparently 
designed to achieve the same aim by subtler means; namely, by attacking the 
Vietnamization program on all levels through increased terrorism, and by further 
denigrating and dividing the by no means popular Thieu Administration. 
Naturally, the Communists' official line is that Vietnamization cannot work, but 
at the same time they appear to worry that it might; at least, this would account 
for what seems to be a strong difference of opinion in Hanoi about how the war 
in the South should now be fought. Som- observers, citing manpower and pro- 
duction problems that the North Vietnamese themselves have admitted to, 
believe that a power struggle is beginning. After the death of Ho Chi Minh last 
September 3rd, the triumvirate of Premier Pham Van Dong; Le Duan, the First 
Secretary of the Laodong (Workers') Party; and Truong Chinh, the chairman of 
the National Assembly Standing Committee, seemed to be taking over smoothly 
and .swiftly. Now, however, there are some signs that Dong, who might be said 
to occupy the driver's seat, is being subjected to more and more back-seat driving 
from Chinh and Duan, who differ with him and each other about priorities at 


home, especially in the vital areas of agricultural production and Party reorgani- 
zation and disciphne. While Duan, as the chief Party leader, is working closely 
with Dong to keep the government running properly and to maintain a balance 
between Moscow and Peking, he appears to believe that Hanoi can win the war 
in the South, or at least achieve a stalemate, in a relatively short time, and will 
then be in a position to pay more attention to domestic difficulties. China, the 
chief Party ideologist, who has recently been appearing in public almost weekly 
and who follows a more pro-Peking hne, wants to shore up the North's economy 
first, and accepts the inevitabihty of a protracted challenge in the South. In a 
succession of statements and speeches, which have covered everything from the 
effects of floods and droughts on food production to revisionist trends in art and 
the need to revitalize "mass leadership," Chinh has sounded increasingly like a 
scolding leader of the Cultural Revolution in China. Duan, on the other hand, ap- 
pears in public only rarely, and, when he did so lat;; in October, declared prag- 
maticall}-, "The collective system must be firmly maintained. It is inadvisable to 
adopt the opinion of one person and force all others to follow it." 

Even if the differences of opinion and of approach in North Metnam are not 
yet serious enough to ansount to a power struggle, and I don't think they are, 
they do convey some idea of the complicated situation in that country. The 
statements being made by both sides in this long and brutal war are, in fact, 
increasingly shrill and confused. The Vietnamese opponents have come to seem 
like two punch-drunk prizefighters in an old-time bareknuckle brawl that has 
lasted more rounds than either can remember. Both are wobbly and can hardly 
stand but are kept going by their seconds, who between rounds clean them up, 
fix their cuts, and give them smelling salts, then send them out again when the 
bell rings. Sooner or later, one of the weary battlers may simply collapse and drop 
to the canvas. Or the iight may go on and on, with the spectators heli>less. It 
is easy to say that if the seconds would just pack up and go home it would all 
be over, but the seconds can't; neither the American moral predicament nor 
Communist revolutionary dialectics and objectives will permit it. 

The most important Communist statements made recently on the nnlitary and 
political direction of the war are contained in a seven-part article by General Vo 
Nguyen Ciap, North N'ict iiain's i)rfen>c .Minister, that apjx-ared in two Hanoi 
newspapers in mid-December, and in copies of a number of directives that were 
captur(>d in South Vietnam — notably a pair called "COS\"N Resolution Nine" 
and "C08NV Resolution Ten." Through the veracity of captured documents has 
often been questioned, I have seen the ^"ietnames(! originals of the ones I am 
referring to, and am sure that they are authentic. "COSX'N" stands for Central 
Office for South X'ietnam, which is the headquarters that, under Hanoi's direction, 
runs the war in the South, and which is at present situated in Cambodia, just 
across the western border of Tay Ninh Province, northwest of Saigon, and has a 
forward headquarters in Tay Ninh itself. There have been ten resolutions since 
COSNV was established, at the end of 1961, or about a year after the creation of 
the National Liberation Front in the South. These resolutions are, in effect, 
orders and interpretations of orders for Party workers and followers in South 
A^ietnam, and are based on prior Laodong resolutions, handed down from Hanoi. 
For example. Resolution Nine, which was issued last July, was based on a Laodong 
resolution issued by the Politburo in Hanoi in Ai)ril. Resolution Nine was cap- 
tured here when a Communist courier was ambushed and killed by members of 
an American brigade north of Saigon in October. It was the first complete resolu- 
tion ever obtained, and it is considered especially significant because it contains a 
lengthy and detailed analysis of the war. It was presumably written by Pham 
Hung,"the fourth-ranking member of the Hanoi Politburo and the highest-ranking 
Communist in the South, who directs both the military and the political war 
effort, and one sign of its importance is that Party woi'kers are ordered to study it 
for "fifty hours." It charts a compiic;ited, sometimes seemingly contradictory, 
course for "achieving a decisive victory within a relatively short period of time" 
while "firmly grasping the precept of protractedness" in order to "defeat the 
enemy in case they tryto prolong the war." Hopes for rapid American deescalation 
and for the failure of N'ietnamization are repeatedly expressed, as is the hojie that 
the Americans will be "forced to seek an early end to the war through a political 
solution that thej- cannot refuse;" namely, a cease-fire followed by the establish- 
ment of a coalition government. While accepting the fact that "the Saigon area 
is our major battlefield for the whole of South Metnam," Resolution Nine appears 
to acknowledge the difficulty of again laying siege to Saigon and other major 
cities in the manner of the 1968 Tet offensive. One phrase that is constantly 
reiterated is "especially in the Delta," and it is there in particular — the rich 


rioo rogiou south of Saigon — that Communist troops are supposed to grab the 
initiative and ''liberate and control the major part of the rural area, . . . and 
build the liberated areas into perfect revolutionary bases to serve as the firm, 
direct rear of the resistance.'" It is in the Mekong Delta, however, where guerrilla 
activity back in lO.'iO touched off the present war. that the South Metnamese 
government has made the most progress in the last year. Largely on the basis of 
advances in this area, President Thieu has claimed that his government now 
"controls" ninety-five per cent of the total population of South Vietnam — a claim 
that even optimistic Americans privately acknowledge to be exaggerated by at 
lea-^t fifteen per cent. 

There is no doubt that improvements have taken place. Many roads that had 
beeit closed to t rathe for years are open again. Rice and other produce are moving, 
a itumber of former contested areas have now been brought under either partial or 
nearly complete government control, and thousands of the people who had been 
living in Communist villages and hamlets have crossed over into safer zones. It is in 
the Delta, too. that the biggest improvement has been made in the use of Regional 
and Popular Forces — the provincial and local troops — which together now number 
almost half a million men and are being supplied with more and more American 
M-Ui rifles. With American help — and our air and artillery support particularly 
are still vital — the South \'ietnamese have managed to set up outposts in the two 
long-ostablishod A'ietcong base areas in the Delta — the U ^linh Forest and Base 
Area 4711 — close to the Cambodiait border. That the Commtmist^ are now fever- 
ishly coitcerned about the Delta is therefore no surprise. 

Late last year, the North Metnamese '273rd Regiment moved into the area — the 
first time that Hanoi elements had come that far south. With the announced with- 
drawal of the American 9th Division — a tmit that established a tremeitdously 
high, and quite v>ossibly exaggerated, ratio of combat losses to enemy casualties, 
and left as ntaity enemies as friends among the South A'ietnamese — the North "\'iet- 
nameso shifted more forces south. Today, there are elements of four additional 
North Vietnamese rt^giments in the Delta, and also countless North Metnamese 
seitt in as replacements to fill out depleted main-foree ^'ietcong luiits, some of 
which are now eighty per cent North Vietnamese. All in all, there are probably ten 
thousand North Vietnamese soldiers in the area, and, counting political workers, 
main-force Vietcong. local guerrillas, and men. women, and cliildren handling sup- 
plies and acting as communications and liaison personnel, a total of between fifty 
and sixty thousand Communists are active there. Although the rate of infiltration 
from North Vietnam at any given time is extremely difficult to determine until 
moitths later, when certain elements in the Sovith may be identified, the best avail- 
able intelligence indicates that four or five thousand North Vietnamese came South 
during November and somewhat fewer in December. These figures, if they are 
right, are in keeping with the ovemll Hanoi plan to fight the war in the South in 
1970 by using higlily trained, fast-striking small units to attack larger American 
ai\d South \'ietnamese uttits whenever an. opportunity arises and continuing to 
attack such important targets as government administrative centers. 

What the Communists have been doing in the Delta in the past few weeks 
admittedly has American military and intelligence experts baffled. For example, 
Haitoi has put parts of two regiments into the L" Minh Forest, where they can be 
bottled up and subjected to artillery and air attack. Obviously, the Communists 
are getting ready for something, but ito one knows what. The best guess is that, 
in conjunction with forces that they are maintaining in the Central Highlands to 
the north, and also still farther north, adjacent to Laos, they ;u-e doing two things: 
slowly establishing a new system of liiiked base areas reacliing all the way from 
North Vietnam to the tip of the Delta, and getting ready to sweep eastward from 
these bases to attack district capitals, and perhaps some provincial capitals as 
well — one of which, either in the Highlands or in a remote section of the Delta, is 
likely to be proclaimed the capital of the Provisional Revolutionary Government 
that COS\"N and Hanoi established last June. Such a widespread campaign, aimed 
at seizing specific places and simultaneously disnipting the pacification and ^'iet- 
namization prognims, could pave the way for a cease-fire and political talks. What 
Hanoi may have iit mind is the consolidation of a wide belt of territory embracing 
all of western Vietnam and all of eastern Laos, including, in Laos, part of the 
Plane des Jam^s. which the Commtmists lost last fall. Together, these areas would 
constittite a "libemted" system of interlocking zones, which, except for some of the 
Delta regions, are largely, iminhabited. Wliat would follow if this happens might 
lead, according to what is called by American officials the "leopard-spot theory," 
to regional ceasefires accompanied by political accommodation and followed by 
local and regional elections, the end result being the division of botli Metnani and 


Laos into Communist and non-Communist areas. Although such a partition could 
bf'come a permanent or semi-permanent solution in Laos, it ])robably couldn t in 
Vietnam, for political and guerrilla warfare would undoubtedly continue regardless 
of ceasefires. Tht^re is no doubt that in Hanoi's eyes "ultimate victory" still means 
unification of Vietnam, and Hanoi is likely to persist in this aim even if it takes five, 
ten, or twenty years longer. , . -r. ^ ■ ^- i 

A number of references in Resolution Nine to completmg Party organizational 
work by "June, 1970." indicate both that the task is urgent and that if a decisive 
victory" can be attained by that date a cease-lire may end the major fighting, at 
least temporarily, and the political struggle may be stepped up. Portions of 
Resolution Ten and other documents exfjloit the cease-fire theme further. There 
are frequent referenc(!S to "th(! situation developing quickly." According to a 
notebook taken from the body of a high-ranking ofTicer killed southeast of Saigon 
in November, the Communiists in order to expedite American withdrawal and 
"frustrate de-Americanization," can create "an unfavorable situation ^ for ^ the 
Americans and th(! Saigon government when a cease-fire is stipulated" if we 
capitalize on the opportunity bv planting our personnel in government-controlled 
areas to take advantage of any changes" — i)Ossibly a reference to an anti-Thieu 
coup. This notebook adds, "in the immediate future, we will accept a cease-fire. 
Whenever the cease-fire is promulgated by us, our troops will continue to attack 
and overrun government Armv posts. We will not make prisoners of puppet 
soldiers. Rather, we will (iducate them and release- them on the spot. But we have 
to capture as many [enemyl soldiers as possible in preparation for a political 
settlement." Another docunient, believed to be a section of R(!solution Ten, speaks 
of an increase in military proselytizing among both governmimt and allied forces 
and of supporting "a fifth column in place" within allied units to erode morale, 
instead of simply encouraging desc^rters. 

There has been considerable discussion of whether the Communists, if they took 
over South Vietnam, would kill their political enemies, as they did in North 
Vietnam in 1945-46, and again in the mid-fifties, when there was a peasant rebellion 
against enforced collectivization; between fifty thousand and a hundred thousand 
people were kilhrd during each period. Predictions about such matters are hazard- 
ous, but although the Communists have joined the rest of the world in condemning 
the American massacre at My Lai— or, to give it its correct Vietnamese geo- 
graphical dc^signation, Tu Cong— in March, 1968, they have also, according to 
scores of documents I have just read, given orders to "kill tyrants and traitors' 
throughout the country now and also when ui)risings take place just before and just 
after a cease-fire is df^clared. The rate of terrorism, including tin; assassination of 
village and hamlet oflicials, especially those engagcid in pacification and self- 
defense, rose at the end of 1969 quit sharply, having av(!rag(;d slightly less per 
month during the rest of the year than in 1968, when during the Tet offensive in 
Hue the Communists appear, on the evidence of mass graves still being uncovered, 
to have murdered close to five thousand people — government functionaries, anti- 
Communist politicians, pro-government intellectuals, religious leaders, and so on. 
The documents captured during 1969 also included orders to "annihilate" opposi- 
tion elements bv categories, much as was initially done in Hue. Several of the 
documents gave" orders for the "annihilation" of a specific number of people in 
each of various villages in central Vietnam; for one ])rovince, the number ranged 
from five to forty i)er village. Instructions issued in mid- 1969 to Party committees 
of two Delta provinces ordered rosters to be prei)an>d of "wicked village delegates, 
polic(;men, hamlet chiefs and assistant hamlet chiefs, intelligence agents, spies, 
and betrayers who have committed a blood debt against our people." One docu- 
ment advocated careful procedures, saying, "We should not take advantage of the 
situation to terrorize, assassinate, and torture indiscriminately. We should fully 
understand the policy of using violence and implement it correctly and democrat- 
ically." Another document was more blunt. "Each comrade must kill one re- 
actionary," it said. 

A distinction should be made between captured enemy documents, usually sent 
out for official Communist guidance, and public speeches or articles, such as the 
seven-part article by General Giap. The importance of Giap's article lies in the 
imi)rimatur it gives to the earlier COSVN resolutions and documents and in the 
corroboration it offers of the kind of war the Communists are now preparing to 
fight — one emi)hasizing "the art of using a small force to fight a big force." In 
his current article, (iiai), sounding far less positive and confident than he did when 
he wrote his famous guerrilla tcxtl^ook "People's War, People's Army," in the 
fifties, speaks of "the great imbalance of numerical strength and population, and 
also a great imbalance of technical equipment," and of the need for enough time 


"to graduall.y exterminate and weaken the enemy's forces, to restrict their strength 
and aggravate their weaknesses, to gradually strengthen and develop our forces and 
overcome our deficiencies." The theme throughout is to make economical use of the 
forces that the Communists have at their command, which are now estimated to 
include a hundred and thirty thousand North Vietnamese fighting men in the 
South (or in rest camps in Cambodia), in a total combined force — among which are 
Vietcong main-force units, guerrillas, political workers, supplj^ troops, and so 
on — of three hundred and thirty thousand. 

A recent studj^, based partly on interviews with some of the six thousand 
North Vietnamese battlefield prisoners being held in South Vietnam, reaches the 
conclusion that the North Vietnamese are still deeply dedicated to their cause 
of the "liberation" of the South and hold a continuing staunch behef in the 
advantages of Communism in the North. This belief, which, it has been found, 
is held even by sons of some former landowners who were killed in the mid-fifties' 
purge, entails acceptance of the harsh regimen and strict security measures 
imposed on the North by the war, and a conviction that the war in the South 
has been a legitimate drive for "national salvation"- — a natural and logical 
sequel to the struggle against the French that began in 1945. Anti-Americanism 
is the basis of this belief — an extension of the violent anti-colonial feelings that 
led to the victory over the French in 1954. Thus, although the North Vietnamese 
soldiers regard their three-to-six-month trip to the South as a painful experience, 
and although many of them acknowledge, with a kind of Buddhist or Taoist 
fatalism, that they may never return to their homes and families again, they 
tend to accept their role as a totally unavoidable commitment, a responsibility 
from which there is no escape. The attitude of these North Vietnamese soldiers 
is in considerable contrast to the feelings of many South Vietnamese Vietcong 
hoi chanh (returnees), who have averaged twenty-five thousand a year over the 
last four .years, compared to a total of less than two hundred North Vietnamese 
who have defected without being forced to surrencer on the battlefield since 
the war began. There are manj' dedicated Vietcong soldiers, but there are just 
as many who, after joining the Commvuiists either voluntarily or by impressment — 
and in the last two years the latter has been the case more and more often — have 
revealed a negative attitude. A large numl;)er of the hoi chanh who volimteercd 
have said that the}' did so because they were against the government for one 
reason or another — lack of faith in the successive Saigon regimes, anger over 
specific cruel or discriminatory actions by local officials. Those who had fought 
the hardest for the Vietcong did so because they related their actions directly 
to what they felt for the South Vietnamese "homeland," and they showed no 
strong convictions about reunification with the North. 

Until recently — and even now, to a lesser extent — they were also motivated 
bj' the belief that they were fighting on the winning side. Something that is new 
in the past year, according to the study, is a decline in morale, owing to physical 
and economic hardship — the result, in large part, of the devastating B-.52 raids 
(These raids are to be continued, at reduced strength, during the coming period 
of Vietnamization.) The drop in morale has also been due in part to the diminishing 
num})er of zealous and well-trained poHtical workers. Today, there is less ex- 
povuiding of revolutionary ideology, less careful indoctrination, and more direct 
preaching about anti-Americanism and survival, together with vague allusions 
to ]3romotion and status once the war is won. The great losses that the Communists 
suffered during Tet in 1968 and the decline in morale after the death of Ho Chi 
Minh (on the whole, oddly, this has been greater in the South than in the North) 
also have made recruitment in the South more difficult. The Communists are still 
taking people on, at a rate of at least five thousand a month, but most of the new 
recriuts are boys of eleven or twelve, women, and old men, and most of them have 
been impressed into service. Despite all this, and despite growing friction between 
the dedicated Northerners and the Southerners who dream more simply of j^eace, 
interrogations indicate tliat the average Coiinnunist political worker in the South 
still has stronger motivation than his coimterpart on the government side. 

Because what is now South Metnam has, historically, been more often divided 
than united, and because it has been subject to more divisive foreign influences 
than the North, the South ^'ietnamese inevitably lack the solidarity and the 
sustained revolutionary ardor of their Northern liicthrei), and are today 
dered and imcertain about their own capacity to hold together and to restore their 
broken nationalist roots under the harsh imperatives of time and of such essentially 
artificial programs as "Vietnamization" and "pacification." To be "Vietnamized" 
or "pacified" or "reconstructed" — words that Aldous Huxley or George Orwell 
would have n^lishcsd — without being given time or opportunity to rediscover a 


Southern consciousness, which exists but hes deeply submerged, is apt to be 
meaningless. This is the fundamental problem in South \'ietnam toda^^, and 
nothing makes this fact clearer than a trip, such as one I made last month, through 
the provinces of the seething Delta. In certain respects, the journey is comparable 
to a tour of New York City that includes the ugly, violent slums of Harlem and 
Williamsburg, the bland middle-class sections of Queens and the Bronx, and 
the insulated wealthy blocks of upper Fifth and Park Avenues. It may be no 
accident that the two terms one hears used most often by the \mericans in Viet- 
nam these days are "social mobility" and "decentralization." The first has to do 
with the involvement of many more people in the Revolutionary Development 
programs and in the complex bureaucratic social structure of the provinces. There 
are now hundreds of new "experts." 

Seventeen different types, including village chiefs, are being trained at Vung 
Tan, on the coast near Saigon, for rural-development work of one sort or another; 
district and province chiefs are being specially trained elsewhere. Ordinary villagers 
are getting short courses designed to encourage building up usefid relationships 
among themselves and among neighboring commimities. The Americans hope 
that when elections are held for provincial councils, sometime this spring or 
summer (the forty-four province chiefs will continue to be appointed), social 
mobility will increase, especially if, as is anticipated, each candidate is required 
to run from the district in which he lives. As for decentralization, it is a concomi- 
tant of social mobility. It refers to the reestablishment of traditional local auton- 
omy through the election of hamlet and village chiefs and councils. On the average, 
four to six hamlets make up a village, and, according to the latest American 
figures, there are 2,157 villages and 10,731 hamlets in South Vietnam. Ninety-two 
per cent of the villages have chiefs, assistant chiefs, and councils, most of them 
locally elected, and the fact of their having been elected entitles them to govern- 
ment funds of a million i)iastres (about eight thousaiid dollars at the official rate, 
but less than three thousand at the current l)lack-market rate) for development 
projects of their own choosing; villages whose officials are still appointed, because 
they are not secure enough to hold elections, get only four hundred thousand 
piastres. When the provincial councils are set up, they will also have their own 
d(\ (lopuuMit funds, and it is lioped that these councils will encourage social 
mobility further by dealing directly with their village counterparts in promoting 
development projects. 

It might work, but, given the subtle, often intractable ways of the Orient, it is 
too pat, too "Western" a concept. There has always been a tendency among the 
statistics-minded, reform-minded Americans here to play numbers games, and 
by now th(> \'ietnaniese have caught the habit. Thus, when President Theiu 
claims to have ninety-five per cent of the population of the country under control, 
he is taking cognizance of the fact that about forty per cent of the people now live 
in or around cities, in contrast to just fifteen per cent before the war. In the Delta 
resiion, which has more than half the country's total population, the number 
of hamlets under \'ietcong control, the Americans say, has been more than halved 
since a year ago — fourteen per cent of the population compared to thirty-five per 
cent. There is no doubt that many people have moved out of Communist areas 
in the Delta in the last year, whether because of food shortages or higher Com- 
munist taxes or for such reasons as one chief in a Vietcong village gave after cross- 
ing over: "It was just getting too hard to see my wife." Undoubtedly, the govern- 
ment has improved its position a great deal by den.ying resources to the Communist 
area through military pressure. There are five hundred thousand more guns on the 
government side today than there were a year ago — about a hundred and fifty 
thousand of them new M-16 rifles that have been distributed to the Regional 
and Popular Forces, and the rest mostly carliines that have been giv^en out to the 
Popular Self-Defense Forces — volunteer groups that patrol communities at night. 
As for economic improvements in the Delta, today one can see there thousands 
more Hondas, sewing machines, television and radio sets, and the like, than one 
could a year or so ago, and the current rice crop, amounting to more than five 
million tons, in the highest in several years. 

In 1969, what was called the Accelerated Pacification Program was supposed to 
get as many people as possible into as many secure villages as possible before the 
Communists got there. It was an effort to trade space for time, and by and large 
the government did not do badly. The 1970 program is emphasizing consolidation — 
building up the new village governments and stimulating more information 
campaigns and development projects (bridges, schoolhouses, pig-raising centers, 
social halls, and so on). Two of the worst weak spots are the local police forces, 
which have been a problem ever since the time of Diem, and the Phoenix program, 


a provincially coordinated plan for collecting intelligence on important local Com- 
munists and then arresting them. Another, over-all, weakness is a tendency to 
emphasize quantity at the expense of quality, and this is something that pervades 
the whole Vietnamization program, including the recruitment of paramilitary 
elements. But the greatest weakness of all, as I see it, remains the lack of political 
motivation from the bottom up. This is something that only the Vietnamese can 
ultimately provide, but the Americans have all along failed to stimulate such 
eflforts, and the new heavy emphasis on rapid Vietnamization, with its manifold 
technical aspects, scarcely helps to focus attention on useful political develop- 
ments. "Village democracy," beginning with the election of a chief — there often is 
only one candidate, frequently a reluctant one — continuing with a group decision 
whether to build a schoolhouse or a pig farm, and facilitated by an increase in 
administrative efficiency, may stimulate an emerging political consciousness. But 
these are all material measures, and neither such eflforts alone nor an improvement 
in military security — important as that is — nor a combination of the two will save 
Vietnam if more substantial political institutions are not established. Technology 
and bureaucracy are surely not enough when the Communists are still far from 
defeated — when, as one veteran American economic-development worker com- 
mented, "two Vietcong in a hamlet can still undo most of what we've accom- 
plished." The Americans, after fighting the war themselves for too long, without 
equipping and training a mobile Vietnamese armj?-, are now, as the.y hastily try to 
put American-style social-welfare and economic-improvement programs into effect, 
again doing the job themselves instead of letting the Vietnamese learn the hard 

Most Americans consider Kien Hoa, a coastal province southeast of Saigon that 
has traditionally been a Conimunist stronghold and major recruitment center 
for the Vietcong, possibly the worst province in the country. Today, things there 
are not as bad as they once were. Some roads can now be driven over by day, and 
some long-closed markets and schools are open again. But more than two thousand 
Communists, or about twice as many as there were a year ago, are currently 
active in the province, and in the past few months the number of Vietcong incidents 
has increased four or five fold— to about a hundred and fifty a month. Most of 
these are acts of terrorism against and attacks on the Regional and Popular 
Forces, whose members still tend to hole up in outposts, or, if they do patrol, to 
take the same routes over and over — an open invitation to attack. The Vietnamese 
10th Regiment, which replaced the American 9th Division, has failed to establish 
good relations with provincial officials, and the result has been reduced pressure 
on the Vietcong. In one recent five-day peroid, the Vietcong killed three hamlet 
chiefs and seriously wounded a village chief and a schoolteacher. The new govern- 
ment workers more often than not lack direction, whether because the district 
chiefs, who are usually Armj^ captains, don't know how to assign them or because 
the village chiefs, who are now supposed to be in charge of the incoming Revolu- 
tionary Development workers and other specialists, are afraid to exercise their 
new authority or are harassed by their jealous district and provincial superiors. 
The situation is not made easier by the fact that some of the more experienced 
technical cadremen, with academic degrees from Saigon, are paid more than 
most provincial officials and twice as much as the village chiefs. Moreover, the 
province chief in Kien Hoa, Colonel Tran Thien Nhien, has additional political 
problems of his own, connected with profiteering scandals that reach all the way 
up to the House of Representatives in Saigon, and these have further divided 
political loyalties in the province. Five-man Mobile Advisory Teams of Americans, 
who either work with the Regional Force companies or work on village develop- 
ment schemes, put in only thirty- or forty-day stints, in which they can seldom 
accomplish enough to make a lasting impression. The teams are much in demand, 
however, both in Kien Hoa and elsewhere — one more indication of the continuing 
overdependence on the Americans. 

Neighboring "\'inh Binh Province is another Communist backwater, with between 
two or three thousand main-force Vietcong and local guerrillas still active, but 
there the government has established some degree of control over twice as many 
hamlets as it could claim a year ago. Nevertheless, the Vietcong still hold several 
important areas — most notably Cang Long District, which has been an enemy 
base for many j^ears. The American senior adviser told me that the Vietnamese 
Army commander in the Delta was willing to put two regular regiments into Cang 
Long for one month but that it would take six months to clear out the Vietcong. 
"Generally, we've ]>ut too much responsibility on little men in the villages who 
can't handle it, and at the same time we've let those who should be taking over 
make excuses for not doing their job," the adviser said. Police work there is poor. 


too, and there is a lack of coordination within the local Phoenix program. Though 
some roads are now passable even at night, the Communists are still able to move 
between Vinh Binh and the neighboring provinces almost at will after dark, using 
an intricate system of canals and rivers as well as manj^ of the roads. In Ba Xuyen 
Province, south of Vinh Binh, the situation has improved more substantially, with 
the estimated total of armed Vietcong and guerrillas having dropped in the past 
year from nearly four thousand to slightl}^ more than two thousand. The Regional 
and Popular Forces there have done particularly well, the local senior adviser said. 
The province has a population of three hundred and eight}' thousand, and of this 
number fifty-six thousand are still considered to be under Vietcong control; on 
the other hand, all but sixty thousand of two hundred and eighty thousand hec- 
tares of riceland are imder government cultivation. As I moved in south to Thoi 
Binh District, in An Xyuen Province, at the far end of the Delta, which is another 
contender for the designation of the worst area in the country, I was given the 
latest evaluations on its hamlets, which, according to the Hamlet Evaluation 
Systems — an American system of rating hamlets from A down to E on the basis 
of their security and development, with V used to designate a hamlet still com- 
pletely in Vietcong hands — had no A's four B's, four C's five D's, and seven Vs. 
Here, the American advisers agreed, the Communists, if thej' choose to, can hit 
hard in the coming months. 

I had now been in four bad provinces in a row. The next two were a sharp 
contrast. In Kien Giang, on the southwest coast, eighty-eight per cent of the 
population is living in hamlets rated A, B, or C, and territory that was abandoned 
to the Communists is being rapidlj^ reoccupied. The people of Kien Giang are 
not yet altogether pro-government, but they are becoming more openly anti- 
Communist; though they still retain their fear of reprisals, they are now willing 
to give information about Vietcong agents, possibl}^ because they get paid for 
it. In Chau Thanh District of An Giang Province, just to the north, the situation 
is even better. A majorit}^ of the district's population are members of the Hoa 
Hao, one of the two major religious sects in the South, and its leaders in this 
region for years maintained a successful truce with the Commiuiists. 

in the Delta, as elsewhere in South Vietnam, many of the improvements are 
bound to prove transitory if the}' do not keejj pace with the ability of the Com- 
munists to retaliate — and Hanoi still has the ability to do so. One high-ranking 
American civilian official with many j^ears of experience here told me, "The 
Vietnamese are never going to be able to live happilj' ever after. A lot depends 
on their sticking to what they're doing right now. There are three curves — the 
curve of increasing Vietnamization, the curve of our declining direct support, 
and the curve of Communist action. If we can keep the first two curves ahead of 
the last, we'll be all right." Many Americans complain i)rivately about the "thin 
veneer" of ability among Vietnamese officers, though they praise some individuals 
highly. More are now being trained in the United States and elsewhere abroad, 
and the training period in Vietnam is longer, too, but the question of quantity 
versus quality remains a vital one. Another problem is improving officers' chances 
for promotion — an area in which the Vietnamese, having been caught up so long- 
in French traditionalism, have lagged. A forthcoming reorganization of the four 
military corps areas into six or seven more realistically divided regions should help 
increase promotional niobility and jjerhaps galvanize some of the atrophied ad- 
ministrative apparatus. 

There remain all sorts of other military difficulties, having to do with logistics 
and with strategy and tactics. For example, the job of training helicopter pilots 
and mechanics, which takes three years and should have been started long ago, 
was only recentlj' begun. The tasks of running depot and maintenance facilities 
and of keeping proper inventories were carried on almost exclusively by the 
Americans for jears, and when the Vietnamese — along with some Koreans — took 
parts of them over, pervasive laxity led to corruption. One lucrative source of 
corruption among Vietnamese officials today is scrap metal — steel, copper, and 
brass — which is secretly being shipped to Singapore and other places for high 
profits: I was shown a copy of a contract involving the wife of a Vietnamese 
general, who had received official permission to ship more than half a million 
dollars' worth of scrap, including shell casings, to Singapore. Corruption and 
inflation go together, and Vietnam today, despite recently introduced austerity 
taxes — or, rather, partly because of them, since the}' caused immediate price 
increases — is undergoing a new period of inflation so severe that it may ultimately 
force devaluation of the piastre. An Army private with five children makes seven 
thousand piastres a month, but he cannot possiljly get along on less than twice 
that amount. Officers and civil servants are similarly situated, and the obvious 
result is moonlighting, or corruption, or both. 


There is also the tripartite question of mihtary equipment — what the ^"iet- 
namese want, what they can use, and what the United States feels they should 
have. One Vietnamese general told me, "We're really three years behind now, 
because .you've always been afraid of moving faster. Things would have been a 
lot different if you had started sooner, not only with your M-16 rifles but with 
other equipment, including jet fighters. INIaybe we didn't know how to use all 
these things, and maybe we'd have had trouble learning quickly, but the effort 
at least should have been made. Suppose we lost a hundred thousand M-16s to 
the enemy in battle, or through smuggling or corruption. Look at the Russians 
and the way they supply the Egyptians. They don't like to see materiel and planes 
being lost to the Israelis, but that hasn't stopped them from giving more, has it?" 

It rnay be true, as General William C. Westmoreland, the former commander- 
in-chief in Vietnam, is known to believe, that if the North had been more thor- 
oughly bombed, or if we had invaded Laos and Cambodia to hit at the Communist 
sanctuaries, the war could have been "won." Such actions might have turned the 
tide significantly, yet it is doubtful whether the war would have been won per- 
manently that way; in any case, it wouldn't have affected the complaint of the 
Vietnamese about why it took us so long to help them defend themselves ade- 
quately, which is what every President from Eisenhower through Nixon has 
professed our policy to be. The truth is that we were always more interested in 
doing the job for the Vietnamese. Whatever the initial opposition of the mihtary 
to our getting involved in a major war on the Asian mainland, once we were in, 
the American military-industrial complex wanted to run the show, and it did. 

That shortsighted" policy also helps explain our poor political performance 
in Metnam, which may yet undo Vietnamization and all that it seeks to accom- 
plish. For four years aher the Americans helped engineer the overthrow of Presi- 
dent Diem and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu in 1963, we did little or nothing to 
create new political institutions in Vietnam, and when we did interfere in Viet- 
namese politics it was with remarkable maladroitness. Having fostered the new 
constitutional government of the Second Republic, which led to the elections in 
the fall of 1967, we devoted inordinate care and attention to building up President 
Thieu as a national figure capable of leading the South Vietnamese from war to 
peace and of instituting a form of guided democracy that would combine a degree 
of benevolent authoritarianism with a system of decentralized government gradu- 
ally established. The theory was a plausible one, but it hasn't worked. Thieu has 
turned out to be a military mandarin, and though decentralization has begun to 
take place, and could in time become poHtically productive, it was administra- 
tively imposed from the top, and has therefore become a factor in a possibly 
dangerous new polarization of political forces. This polarization is largely the 
result of the other Vietnamese leaders' mistrust of Thieu, owing to his deviovis 
methods, his mixture of pride, caution, and suspicion, his growing isolation, and 
his essential lack of popular appeal, and also owing to the natural tendency of 
Vietnamese pohticians to mistrust each other and to pursue selfish ambitions, and 
to the general confusion and fear over what sort of compromise will ultimately 
be made with the Communists and who will then survive and who will fall. 

It would be virtually impossible to take a public-opinion poll in Vietnam 
today, but if one could be taken I think it would show something like the follow- 
ing results: twenty per cent pro-Communist, twenty per cent pro-Thieu, twenty 
per cent anti-Thieu and anti-Communist and aligned with one of the dozen-odd 
political or religious parties or groups of some significance, and forty per cent 
undecided and confused but deeply desirous of peace and some form of new, 
preferably more locally representative self-expression. No American correspond- 
ent can visit the Communist areas in South Vietnam, so it is impossible to obtain 
a clear picture of what the popular feeling there is. But then it is also impossible 
to ascertain how many of the people hving in government or contested areas 
are privately willing or prepared to go along with the Communists if a coalition 
is created. As for Thieu, he continues to rule the country from Independence 
Palace with an entourage that is small and tight but, even so, divided into several 
factions. Its two most important members are Nguyen Cao Thang, a wealthy 
businessman, who dispenses funds and patronage for Thieu among members of 
the National Assembly and has made some trips abroad in Thieu's behalf, during 
which he is said to have established exploratory contacts with the Communists, 
and Lieutenant General Dang Van Quang, a former commander in the Delta, 
who once made accommodations there with the Vietcong and who now holds a 
tight rein on all security matters. 

Thieu has continued to give formal support to the group known as the National 
Social Democratic Front— now a five-party rather than a six-party group, since 


one of its original component parties, representing the Hoa Hao element, quit. 
He created this group last year, but it has gained little popular prestige or support. 
While its more opportunistic members vie for his attention and patronage, Thieu, 
in turn, uses them for his own protection and as a convenient sounding board, 
and that is about all. However, he has privately drawn closer to two of the parties 
in the Front — the Dai Doan-Ket, or Greater Solidarity Force, composed chiefly 
of Northern Catholic refugees, and the Nhan Xa, or Revolutionary Social 
Humanist Party, which is primarily a central-Vietnamese Catholic organization. 
Thieu, himself a Catholic, has also encouraged the reestablishment of the Can 
Lao, a quasi-secret Catholic party from the Diem period, of which NguiJ-en Cao 
Thang, for one, was a member, but so far it has gained little vitality. More 
important, Thieu is trying to create a national organization of his own based on 
his continuing control of the Army and the whole military bureaucracy, and of 
the national network of civilian workers involved in pacification and other adminis- 
trative duties. It is upon this still loose and amorphous group, unofficially called 
the Cadre-Khaki Party, that he is basing his hopes for reelection in 1971, and 
some people believe that if his hopes are realized he ma^- try to make some sort 
of accommodation with the Communists, despite his present disclaimers about 
ever accepting a coalition government. A number of experienced Vietnamese 
politicians, including some whom Thieu fears or mistrusts deeply but who are 
willing to help him now in order to strengthen the still fragile Second Republic, 
are convinced that if he wins the Presidency in 1971 by a minoritj- vote, as he did 
last time, it will mean that he has failed to create a strong enough organization to 
withstand the Communists and their potential allies among the opposition groups 
in the country. 

These opposition groups are now compartmented, quarrelsome, and ineffectual. 
Thieu has helped keep them this waj' through divide-and-conquer tactics, at which 
he is adept, but this has not slowed the growing polarization of forces — pro-Thieu 
and anti-Thieu. His own increasing Diemist tendencies came to general notice last 
November 3rd, when he permitted the Catholic Nhan Xa members of his Cabinet— 
who control the Information Ministry and its eighty thousand workers, on whom 
he is depending to build up the Cadn^Khaki Party — to commemorate the murders 
of Diem and Nhu. A ceremony at their unmarked graves in Saigon — the first to 
take place since their deaths — was attended by three thousand people, including 
Mme. Thieu and several members of the Administration. That same week, two 
of the former generals who were leaders of the coup against Diem — Duong Van 
Minh and Tran Van Don — gave parties at their homes, and each of these gather- 
ings, in typical Vietnamese fashion, began at a significant hour, Don's shortly 
after noon on October 30th, when, in 1963, the junta that plotted the coup held 
its final secret meeting, and Minh's at 1 :30 p.m. on November 1st, the exact 
time the coup began six years before. The avowed purpose of these two gatherings 
was to "reinstill the spirit of the revolution of 1963," in which Thieu took part, 
somewhat reluctantly, as a division commander outranked by both Minh and 
Don. Resentment against Thieu had already been mounting, because harsh 
austerity taxes had been imposed a week before, and also because Thieu had 
pushed the taxes through by decree instead of obtaining a two-thirds vote in the 
House of Representatives, as the constitution prescribes. For several weeks after 
the tax decree was issued, a flurry of coup rumors circulated in Saigon. President 
Nixon's speech of November 3rd helped ({uiet them, but the opposition to Thieu 
has continued to grow. 

Don, following a trip to the United States, during which he was impressed 
by the anti-war sentiment, made an effort to start a Third Force Movement, 
and, having failed to do this, he last week formally placed himself in opposition 
to Thieu l\v creating a new People's Bloc. Publicly, Don has taken a strong stand 
against Thieu on numerous issues, including that of the American massacre at 
Tu Cong, which he and some of his fellow-senators investigated on their own 
after the government had hastily declared that there had been no massacre. The 
Don group concluded that a massacre had indeed taken place, in which at least 
eighty persons, mostly women and children, were murdered in cold blood — -a 
conclusion that the investigators arrived at after speaking with a number of 
survivors and with two Vietnamese interpreters who had accompanied the Amer- 
ican platoon charged with the massacre. The Don investigation also uncovered 
evidence that other massacres have taken place around the country, mostly in 
the northern section but also in the Delta, and have involved Korean troops as 
well as Americans, and that at least four or five hundred Vietnamese lost their 
lives in these "incidents," which mostly grew out of abuses of the so-called "free- 
fire-zone" regulations, which permit allied attacks on Communist areas by air, 

44-706 — 70 11 


artillery, or direct assault without svifficient prior clearance from the Vietnamese, 
or without the government's knowledge. Though the Tu Cong massacre has 
aroused far less emotion here in Vietnam than in the United States and else- 
where, it has added to both the growing anti-Americanism and to the mounting 
anti-war sentiment. 

Don, who is one of twent}'-nine senators who have to run for reelection next 
September, will undoubtedly take his case to the people and speak out even inore 
strongly against Thieu. Unfortunately, though he is popular, he lacks political 
experience and astuteness, and tries to go off in several directions at once. As for 
former General Minh, who was Chief of State after the fall of Diem, he has 
reverted to silence after issuing a call early in November for a national referendum, 
which he never clearly defined, but which was designed to obtain approval or 
disapproval of the govei-nment's policies. Vice-President Nguyen Cao Ky, who is 
supposed to be still "supervising" the dormant Paris talks but hasn't attended 
them in many months, is in the position of an astronaut between space flights, 
waiting for the next countdown. He is curi'ently testing his political strength by 
taking private surveys to see whether he has a chance to win the Presidencj- in 
1971 as a staunch anti-Communist hawk. Prime Minister Tran Thien Khiem, who 
gets along with Tliieu on the surface but has his own designs on the Presidencj^, 
might, if a showdown occurred, side with Don and Minh, and perhaps with Ky. 

The ''loyal opposition" is represented by two parties of some potential strength. 
One is the Progressive National Movement, headed jointl^y by Nguyen Van Bong, 
of the National Institute of Administration, and Nguyen Ngoc Huy, a member 
of the Paris delegation and a leader of the old Dai Viet nationalist party. The 
other is the new Farmers- Workers Party headed by Tran Quoc Buu, the nation's 
top labor leader, who has had a lifelong tendencj- to hover in the background as 
a political mastermind but may now finally be ready to come out into the open 
and lead a party personally. If he does so, it could be an important development , 
for he controls several hundred worker and peasant groups around the countr}^. 
Various other parties are still trying to pull themselves together, and a number o f 
senators are once more attempting to form blocs — an activity that up to now has 
been futile. 

As for the religious factions, the militant Buddhists, headed by the An Quang 
Pagoda group, of which Thich Tri Quang remains the dominant leader, are speak- 
ing out more loudly for peace, and are also taking soundings to determine if they 
should start a formal political party. Tri Quang himself is more moderate and less 
virulently anti-American than he once was, and has expressed himself in favor of 
a neutral South Vietnam that would be independent and apart from the North 
indefinitely. The Catholics remain strongly anti-Communist, but they are more 
sharply divided than thej^ once were. One faction is willing to accept anything 
Thieu wants, a Northern refugee element is in favor of peace but against Thieu on 
personal grounds, and a basically conservative Southern element is beginning to 
think in terms of accommodation with both sides. The Hoa Hao and Cao Dai sects 
have recently made some efforts to heal internal factionalism, but both remain 

And so it goes — a kind of compulsive mutual-vivisection society, in which ever.v- 
one wants to cut everyone else up to determine the cause of the national disease, 
which may be incurable. Vietnamization may prove unworkable because the weak 
body politic may not be able to withstand the treatment. Nevertheless, in due time 
Vietnamization will get the United States out of this desperate war, though I doubt 
if it will happen as smoothly as President Nixon hopes. In all likelihood, the war 
will go on indefinitely between the Vietnamese themselves. It will end sometime, 
of course, as all wars do, and by then most of the Americans will have gone home, 
leaving behind what we started with — a handful of advisers assisting in an enter- 
prise that very few of them will ever understand. 


The Chairman. This is what troubles many of us. Over the years 
reporters of the character of Mr. Shaplen beginning in 1962 or 1963, 
have almost consistently made statements, we will say, of this char- 
acter, which are rather critical of the operations. They are always 
denied at the time by the Government officials and almost invariably 
the reporters have been proved to be correct. I don't wish to be skep- 
tical of you specifically or any of you specifically. We are made 


skeptical by past events not by any of you gentlemen, by any means. 
It isn't because of any suspicion of your motiA^es or anything else. 
I think you are familiar with incidents I am speaking of. It is simply 
that in the past some of the more notable ones were Secretaries of 
State and Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and ex-Chau'- 
man of Joint Chiefs, who would go out and look the situation over, 
and come back and tell this committee almost the same thing we have 
been told this morning. Each year we are very hopeful that we are 
getting the truth this time. I am very hopeful that we are this time. 
We are very hopeful that you and Mr. Vann and Mr. Colby are more 
accurate observers than your predecessors were, but this prompts 
me to ask these questions to give you an opportunity to further sup- 
port your much more optimistic views. Goodness knows I hope jou. 
are correct about it, all of you for that matter. 

No one wants this horrible bloodletting to continue. It is so com- 
pletely contrary to what I think are the traditional values of this 
society, of which I happen to be a member, that it is reahy very 
repulsive to have to even ask you to contemplate it. 

It has been my lot to think about this war much more than many 
other chairmen, some of us can talk about roads and schools and so 
on, and not about the war, but unfortunately I have to talk about 
the war, so I hope you will forgive me if I exhibit a certain degree of 


Mr. Colby. Mr. Chairman, there is one factor that you might be 
interested in. 

The Chairman. I would like any factor that fortifies, Mr. Colby. 

Mr. Colby. And that is that a very substantial number of our 
oflScers today speak Vietnamese, which was not true 5 and 10 years ago. 

Mr. Mills, for instance, speaks Vietnamese, and several of our other 
officers here speak Vietnamese. This enables them not just to talk to 
the few officials through an interpreter, but it does allow them to go 
out to the villagers and get a feel of what they are saying. Mr. Mills 
may want to talk to you about it. 

The Chairman. I welcome anything that will make more per- 
suasive the conclusions which you have given. 

Tell us a httle more, Mr. Mills. I didn't reaUze you were so ac- 
complished in this particular area. 


Mr. Mills. I would like to comment a Uttle about the quote that 
you gave a moment ago about two VC being able to upset and destroy 
what the Government spends a lot of time and effort doing. I thmk 
in some ways we are being hit from both sides. The Government of 
Vietnam is being charged with not meeting the needs of the people,, 
with not haAdng the kinds of social welfare programs that people 
have been led to expect of their government. And it is, of course, very 
much easier for the VC to come in and blow up an administrative 
house or school house, which has taken a long time and a lot of or- 
ganization and a lot of money to build. So to that extent I think I 
would agree with that article. 



Where I disagreed was the impHcatioii that we were imposing a 
social welfare system that the Vietnamese didn't want or weren't 
capable of doing and that we were doing the work ourselves. When 
I said I did not agi'ee with the article, this is what I meant. 

The Chairman. Considering the extent of our personnel there, of 
course, how effective or how far you go in advising your counterpart 
is a matter of judgment. I mean we have heard many stories in the 
past about the Americans and knowing Americans even in Washing- 
ton, there is a tendency for some American bureaucrats to be a little 
bossy you know. Haven't you ever observed that? [Laughter. 1 

We are taking Americans out to a rather underdeveloped country, 
although it has an ancient culture. In other instances we have seen 
this same thing hajipen, where Americans do impose their will upon 
other countries, other peoples. That is said without any i)articular 
invidious comparisons. I think the British were accused of doing that 
when they were running China, weren't they? Do you remember some 
of the stories about China? 

Mr. Mills. I think that what was true of the French in Vietnam 
and perhaps the British in China is not true of us. We are not com- 
manding. We are not in a position of authority. We are in ad^^sory 
positions, and I think the basis of a good ad\dsory relationship in 
what we are trying to achieve in Tuyen Due is a kind of friendly 
confidence between the adviser and his Vietnamese counterpart, so 
that the Vietnamese realize that we are working toward the same 
independence and that our purpose in offering the advice is not to 
run the country, but to help them to achieve something that is in 
their own interest. 

PURPOSE OF questioning 

The Chairman. I most certainly hope that you are correct and I 
am not on my own authority saying that you are not. I am rather 
trying to give you an opportunity to express from every angle that 
you can from your experience every item that would supi)ort it so 
that we can ha\^e as sound a judgment as ])ossible about what to do 
about this situation, which apparently will be with us for quite a 

The significance of it, it seems to me, is that the country has to 
make a decision. At the present time the President's view about 
Vietnamization have been accepted and that is that. Even the Presi- 
dent, I would think, would want his assumptions tested by the best 
people we have and among them are you gentlemen. That is why we 
are trying to ask you these questions. I would hope you don't think 
I am trying to question your veracity at all. I am only trying to 
approach it from different ways to enable you to support it or not as 
best you can. 

"cautious optimism" of sir ROBERT THOMPSON CONCERNING 


Recently we have had an example that interested me. The Presi- 
dent has recently sought the advice of Sir Robert Thompson. His 


record on Vietnam and this recent report by Sii* Kobert, after he 
was given a special mission to look into the thing in the President's 
words, was cautiously optimistic. But Sir Robert has had a back- 
ground on this and I would read for your information, in case you 
do not know it, to illustrate a bit the point I am making. In the 
book 'To Move a Nation" on page 461 there was this passage of 
quotation from that book written by Mr. Hilsman : 

Thompson, who a 5'ear earher when I had seen him had been rather gloomy, was 
not the most optimistic of them all. What he told us and what he showed us in a 
tour of the Delta — hopping from one little airfield to another and flj'ing low over 
roads and hamlets — offered the most solid basis we had yet seen for believing that 
at least a beginning was being made. I had expected Thompson to be worried over 
too rapid proliferation of strategic hamlets. He was. Manj^ were being established 
in exposed areas, in violation of the "oil blot" principle, and many more were nothing 
but a shell, a strand of barbed wire with nothing inside — no poHce work to elimi- 
nate Viet Cong agents, no defenses worthy of the name, no positive benefits to win 
the allegiance of the people. But he showed us a nucleus of hamlets that were good, 
and he felt that if our luck held this nucleus could be expanded to cover the bulk 
of the population in the delta. There w^ere a lot of "ifs" in this judgment — if the 
Viet Cong reaction to the strategic hamlets did not get any more violent than it 
was, if the military would keep the Viet Cong off balance by "clear and hold" opera- 
tions that would permit the nucleus area to be expanded, and if nothing else 
happened to put the program off stride. But in spite of the "ifs" Thompson's 
judgment was optimistic. 

I suspect it is the nature of all militarj^ leaders and nearly everyone 
else to be optimistic. I suppose they would have to be optimistic or 
they wouldn't he there. So I don't wish to downgrade it at all. I only 
raise the question. 

Mr. Vann. Mr. Chairman, could I make a comment upon the 
reading of Sir Robert Thompson? 

The Chairm.\n. Yes, indeed. 

Mr. Vann. Sir, during 1962 and 1963 I discussed the strategic 
hamlet program on numerous occasions with Sir Robert Thompson 
and, as Sir Robert pointed out then and as I think he would point 
out in discussion now, the plan as devised by him working as an 
adviser to the Government of Vietnam envisaged an implementation 
over a period of 5 to 7 years. The decision as made by Mr. Nguyen, 
the brother of President Diem, was to implement the 5 to 7 year 
program in a period of 1 year. It was clearly foreseeable that it could 
not be successfully implemented in that period of time. I think Sir 
Robert Thompson himself saw that, but he like many of us at that 
time was trying to make the best of a bad situation. 

The Chairman. But you don't think he was overly optimistic at 
that time? Do you think his judgment was accurate? 

Mr. Vann. Su-, his judgment was that it was not going to work 
unless done over the period of time that had been programed. His 
nature and his enthusiasm was such that once a decision had been 
made to try to do it he was going to try to do all he could to get it 

The Chairman. Yes. 

general Navarre's optimism about Vietnam war in 1950 

I think it is reaUy a much happier personality though that is always 
optimistic. People who are pessimistic must be an awful bore to their 
colleagues. I remember the first meeting when a Frenchman came to 


this committee. I was a freshman Senator or maybe I was still in the 
House. I forget what his name was. One of the leading French generals 
came over, Navarre, and he thought in 6 months it would all be over. 
He thought that they had everj^thing under control. There was a 
Navarre plan; wasn't there? Do j^ou know about that, Mr. Colby? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, it was General Navarre. I did not happen to meet 

The Chairman. I think he was the one who came. He was a very 
imposing looking, big Frenchman and he said that if we sent another 
hundred shiploads of something over it would be over in 6 months. I am 
not stretching it very much. He came over and visited with us. That 
was in 1943. 

Mr. Colby. 1948. 

The Chairman. 1948 I guess. 

Mr. Colby. 1950. 

The Chairman. 1950. So it is a long history. It is not just General 
Tajdor, General this and that; it is even the French generals. It is a 
long story. So I hope you wdll forgive me for being a tiny bit skeptical. 

Mr. Mills. My optimism, if it is optimism, is not based on any 
long perspective or this kind of thing. 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Mr. Mills. But it seems to me it is based on seeing changes which 
I think are necessarily more and more taking place on the ground. 

The Chairman. I hope they are. 

amount of money spent on war and humane activities 

I will ask you one last question. I must ask Major Arthur some 

Mr. Vann, you spent $339 million roughly. I am not holding 
you to it precisely. In the context of Vietnam where we have spent 
an estimated $100 billion in the war, this is a relatively small amount. 
But what always impresses those of us who are from the other side 
of the table is that this is a very substantial amount. That is approxi- 
mately the total U.S. military assistance budget for 1969. That is 
three times as much as the Peace Corps for worldwide operations. It 
is 10 times as much as the budget for the international exchange pro- 
gram, which some people believe is significant or could be significant 
for a more civilized world. 

I mean there are people who still do have an interest in humane 
activities, rather than the killing of people, and in the money that is 
spent in those activities, which is tiny. This is approximately 10 times 
as much as this Government mil spend worldwide this year on the 
AID jH'ogram. In academic ckcles and even in religious circles — we will 
call them biophilic circles — that is very much money. Yet in one prov- 
ince here we think nothing of spending $339 million. 

Mr. Mills. That was not the province. 

Mr. Vann. That is one-third of the country's population. 

The Chairman. One region. 

Mr. Vann. Let me also qualify, sir, that the largest bulk of that, 
$198 million, is the pay of the RF and PF. Now, let me also qualify 
that this is my estimate of the cost of converting piasters into dollars, 
of all of the programs for which we have advisory responsibility, all 
of the support costs, and all of the contract costs. The source of all 


these funds gets very jumbled up. For example, quite clearly included 
in the RF and PF funds are funds that are provided by the Govern- 
ment of Vietnam. The reason we can't straighten them out down at 
our level is that commercial import program funds, counterpart funds, 
and taxes at the top level get juggled around to where we down_ at 
the corps level are not aware as to exactly which agency is funding 
which program, and whether it is GVN or U.S. But $339 million is 
our best estimate of thr cost of the programs that we advise. 

The Chairman. I certainly didn't by any means wish to question 
the figiu-e. What I am trying to raise is an entirely different point, 
which is one of perspective, accepting the amount. By the way is that 
amount conversion at the official rate or black market rate? 

Mr. Vann. Official rate, sh". 


The Chairman. What would it be at the black market rate? Do 
you know? 

Mr. Vann. Su- 

The Chairman. There is some difference. 

]\lr. Vann. The last figure we had before I left, and this is not 
applicable to our costs at all, was that the black market rate on 
dollars was running between VN $260 and VN $330. That was the 
conversion rate over a month's period of time of piasters to a dollar. 


The Chairman. In any case, I wasn't trying to make the point 
about whether you are extravagant or not. That was beside the point. 
It was the sense of perspective that arises during wartime and that 
we can look at this with equanimity apparently and contemplate it 
as going on for many years, even though it is so outrageously excessive 
compared to many activities. I shouldn't say many because we are 
not engaged in many, but a few activities designed to improve the 
quality of life here at home or our relations with some of our allies. 

Again that may not be your responsibility. 

Major Arthur," do you have some contribution to make to this 

Major Arthur. I have a prepared statement, Mr. Chah-man. 

The Chairman. Will you proceed, please, sir. 


Alajor Arthur. Mr. Chairman, I am Maj. James F. Arthur from 
North Carolina. I am currently the District Senior Adviser of Binh 
Chanh District, Gia Dinh Province, Republic of South Vietnam. 

major Arthur's mission and district team 

My mission is to advise and assist LTC Nguyen Ba Di, the District 
Chief and concurrently the Binh Chanh Special Zone Commander 
on both mihtary and civil aspects of the counterinsurgency program. 
To accomphsh this mission, I am assisted by my district team, key 


members of which are as follows: A Deputy Senior Adviser, who is 
a Foreign Service officer from the State Department; an Operations 
Section com])osed of a captain, first lieutenant, and three noncom- 
missioned officers; a military police first lieutenant who is the People's 
Self Defense Force Adviser; a military intelligence first lieutenant who 
advises the District Intelligence and Operations Coordinating Center 
and a Community Development Ad\dser. This team is slightly larger 
than the normal district team due to the location of the district in 
relation to Saigon and the active civil development program under way. 
In addition, I have operational control of five mobile ad^dsory teams 
which are assigned to advise Regional Force Companies. 


Binh Chanh is one of the six major districts surrounding Saigon 
and borders the city on the south and southwest. It has an area of 
20,177 hectares (77.9 square miles) and includes 15 villages and 60 
hamlets with a po]3ulation of 59,863. Binh Chanh is a lowland area 
consisting of rich rice fields, swampy areas in the extreme eastern and 
northwestern portion of the district and niunerous streams and canals 
most of which are densely vegetated with nipa palm. Since the district 
is a delta area, most of the population live along the three principal 
hard surface roads and the larger canals. Approximately 75 percent 
of the population makes its living by farming. Rice is the principal 
crop with 14,700 hectares under cultivation. Cattle, ]:)oultry and swine 
are raised also, but only for the needs of the individual farmers. The 
remainder of the population is engaged in either cottage industry and 
small businesses or military ser^ace. 

The major religions of Vietnam are represented in the district with 
54 percent of the population being Buddhist, 24 percent Cao Dai and 
18 percent Catholic. Religious political parties are not particularly 
active in the district, however, the religious leaders do play an impor- 
tant role in an opinion forming function among their parishioners. 

The district has one high school which is located in Binh Chanh 
village and 45 primary and elementary schools operating throughout 
the district. In addition there are 10 maternity dispensaries located 
within the district. 


Binh Chanh sits astride the major routes of infiltration into the city 
of Saigon from the south and was used as a staging area during the 
1968 Tet offensive. The primary targets of the District's Territorial 
Forces are the Vietcong hifrastructure and the local guerrillas which 
ideally would number approximately 30 per village and 12 per hamlet. 
These Vietcong are prime targets because they are the ones who have 
the mission of terrorism, assassination, tax collection, propaganda, 
and ]:)rovi(ling intelligence and guides for the main force units. At the 
present time the Vietcong infrastructure and local guerrillas have 
been reduced to squad and half squad size units per village and 
there is very little organization left at hamlet level. However, there 
are three under strength main force battalions whose areas of opera- 
tion include Binh (vhanh District. These units are normally based 
outside the district boundaries and send in small units to assist the 
local guerrillas in accom})lishing their mission. 



The District Chief has 17 Reoioiial Force Companies and 25 
Popiihir Force Platoons under his "command and in addition, there 
are three Ranger Battahons operatino- in the district. In the past, 
the 199th Light Infantry Brigade was based in the district. However, 
there are no U.S. combat forces ui the district now and the defense 
of Binh Chanh rests solely on the Vietnamese. The primary mission 
of the territorial forces is that of providing security for the population 
\\hile the Ranger Battalions have the mission of eliminating the 
Vietcong main "force units. The 1970 plan calls for the Regional 
Forces to assume the mission of offensive operation and Popular 
Forces, assisted by the People's Self Defense Force, to assume the 
responsibility for protecting the population, thereby enablmg the 
Rangers to be released for duty elsewhere. At the present there_ are 
eidit Regional Force Companies ready to assume offensive operations 
missions "and the changeover shouUrbeghi in March or April. The 
Regional Forces are rapidly improving and a number of the com- 
jjanies are able to handle sophisticated airmobile, cordon and search, 
and raid ojjerations. Since September the territorial forces have 
captured 36 Vietcong and killed 23, including two district level party 
committee members. During the past month, the territorial forces 
made contact with the Vietcong 11 times with only two of those 
contacts being Vietcong initiated. 

Peoi:)le's Self Defense Forces continue to be a jn'obleni area. Accord- 
ing to Vietnamese figures they have organized 20,700, trained 5,800 
and armed 1,782. As" yet the PSDF adviser has been unable to get a 
physical coiuit of the members; however, he has been able to monitor 
some of the training which is marginal at best. The only firm figure is 
the number of weapons issued and the adviser has been able to verify 
that the persons issued these weapons are actually performing security 
duties at night in the hamlets. 


The Chairman. Major, 1 apologize, but they have rung a vote. You 
heard that bell. I have been informed this is one of those controversial 
votes that we have on the floor involving civil rights. I am going to 
have to leave you. I wonder if you would mind taking this up in the 
morning? Since it is so late and there are others who are not here, I 
think it would be more satisfactory if we take this up in the morning. 
I have to go. I can't afi'ord to miss this vote. I hope you understand 

Major Arthur. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Coming from North Carolina, you understand it, 
even if the others don't." We will adjourn until 10 o'clock in the 
morning. I >\ ill ask that the staff confer with you on some questions 
l)erhaps to shorten these procedures. I a]x>logize for the time we seem 
to take and there is a good deal of repetition that we can't seem to 

Tomorrow at the beginning, Senator McCarthy has requested an 
oi)i)ortunity to be heard. Following that we will take up where we left 
off with you, Major, if that is all right. 

Alajor Arthur. Yes, sir. 


The Chairman. I am sorry we liave to adjourn at this time, but we 
are going to be faced with this. We are very hicky that we got through 
this part. 

Thank you. . , ^ 

(Whereupon, at 1:05 p.m., the hearmg was recessed to reconvene, 

Thursday, February 19, 1970, at 10 a.m.) 

Civil Operations and Rural Development Support Program 


United States Senate, 
Committee on Foreign Relations, 

Washington, D.C. 

The committee met, pursuant to recess, at 10 a.m., in room 4221, 
New Senate Office Building, the Honorable J. W. Fulbright 
(chairman) presiding. 

Present: Senators Fulbright, Sparkman, Gore, Church, Symington, 
Case, Cooper, and Williams. 

The Chairman. The committee will come to order. 

opening statement 

The committee is meeting this morning to hear Senator McCarthy, 
who was unable to testify during the recent hearings on the Vietnam 
policy proposals which we started last week. Following his testimony 
we will resume the hearings on the operation of the CORDS program 
in Vietnam. The witnesses this morning will be Maj. James F. Arthur, 
who will testify on the CORDS program at the district level; Mr. 
William K. Hitchcock, who will testify on the refugee program, and 
again Ambassador William E. Colby, who will testify on the Chieu 
Hoi program and be available for general ciuestions on CORDS 

Senator McCarthy, we are very pleased you could find the time to 
meet with us this morning. Having been a former member of this 
committee, you know how useful it is for us to have information from 
a man who has been as thoughtful as you on this subject over many 
years. We are very pleased indeed to have you this morning. 



Senator McCarthy. Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity 
to appear before this committee and speak to you about what I 
consider the possibility of negotiated settlement of the war in Vietnam. 

In defending his Vietnam policies, the President has attempted to 
confine the discussion to two possible courses of action: One, the 
immediate withdrawal of all American troops from Vietnam, in what 
he describes as a precipitate action, and his pohcy of Vietnamization, 
which contemplates a reduction of U.S. presence and a building up of 



the military strength of South Vietnam under t]ie control of the 
present government. 

The immediate and total withdrawal of American forces is not the 
only alternative to the Administration's program. The choice has 
never been as limited as the Administration statements indicate and 
is not so limited today. A third very real possibiUty is a negotiated 
political settlement, followed or accompanied by withdrawal of 
American military power. 


The massive American intervention in Vietnam in 1965 and in the 
years following created difficult military, political, and moral prob- 
lems for us. They will not be easily solved. As chairman of this com- 
mittee, you have heard testimony and know what the war has cost, 
so many million dead, aj^proximately a million and a half refugees, 
increased corru])iion of the cities and of the population of Vietnam, 
desolation of the countryside, so well described in the Vietnamese 
training pamphlet which was quoted in this committee's recent staff 

I woidd ask that the section of this be included in my remarks, 

(The information referred to follows.) 

Rural Vietnam today is desolate, bleak and in many areas deserted. Gardens 
are plowed by either bombs and shells or by men digging not furrows for seed 
but shelters and trenches. Houses appear in irregular patterns, some curiously 
unscathed by the ravages of war, but many are destroyed or knocked askew and 
lean drunkenly, adding to the mournful loneliness which is the hallmark of aban- 
doned areas. Previously lush rice fields are overgrown with weeds, the silence 
unbroken by the peasant's songs from generation to generation, the abandoned 
land devoid of even the herds of cattle and buffalo that formerly roamed. ]\Iany 
villages have become ghost towns, their inhabitants having fled to the cities as 
war refugees or to the mountains or forests to escape ever-impending death. 

To these losses in Vietnam we must add the more than 40,000 
American dead and quarter of a million wounded, many of whom 
survive more heavily impaired than the survivors of previous wars 
because of advanced medical and siu'gical techniques and improved 
field evacuation procediu'es. And remember also that the heaviest 
toll of American dead and wounded is among those of 19 to 21 years 
of age. The cost of the war, so far as we can discover, is something 
between 20 and 30 billion dollars a year. 

We must ask what have we achieved. The only clear answer is 
the continuation of a government in Vietnam of cpiestionable integrity 
and little real stability. 


The President speaks often of the necessity for an "honorable 
settlement" or a "just peace;" he does not define either. One must, 
therefore, ask what, if any, honor has been gained by the death and 
destruction and social chaos that has gone along with om* over- 
whelming military power and our massive physical presence in Viet- 
nam over the past 5 years, and ask ^^■hat will be gained from the 
continuation of the war. 

It is unlikely that the Vietnamese will be able to take over the 
fighting effectively and to control the country. Rather, the course 


tlie Administration is pursuing is likely to require an indefinite con- 
tinuation of American involvement in Vietnam, although at a re- 
duced level. We still have over 50,000 men in Korea 17 years after 
the end of the fighting there. 

Some of the claims made by the Administration must recall to the 
committee the optimistic statements issued by spokesmen for the last 
Administration, particularly by the Secretary of Defense, Mr.JMcNa- 
mara at that time, on his return from his numerous visits to Vietnam. 
The record of the past suggests that Vietnamization will not work. It 
has been tried repeatedly over the past 20 years — first by the French 
and later by us. It was, after all, the inability of the South Vietnamese 
Army to fight effectively even after more than 10 years of training 
and ecjuipment by the United States that prompted the dispatch of 
American combat troops to that country in 1965. 

Even if through a resurgence of morale and reduction of corruption, 
the South Vietnamese Army could be made into an effective military 
force, there would still be the cjuestion of whether Vietnamization is 
itself desirable. 

Asians would be killing Asians with American arms. Defoliation 
and destruction of crops would continue; villages be destroyed; refu- 
gees be "generated;" casualties be continued. 

The United States would still have a great share of moral rcsj)on- 
sibility for the war, for continuing it and sustaining it. We will have 
made of the Vietnamese Army, if the Nixon jjolicy is "successful," 
essentially' a nKTconary army fighting its own peo|)le for an unr('])re- 
sentative governmcnl, and beyond that, if we are to accept the state- 
ments of Dean Rusk and President Nixon, to attempt to protect the 
interests of the free world. 


Mr. Chairman, I believe the American people were prepared to 
make a ])ublic judgment on American policy in 1908, but they were 

They were distracted first by the withdrawal of President Johnson 
from the campaign of 1968. 

Second, thev wer(> distractetl by the meeting of negotiators in Paris 
on May 13, 1968. 

More recently, they have been distracted by limited troop with- 
drawals, which have demonstrated so far only that ther<» were too 
many troops in Vietnam in the first place. These troop withdrawals 
do not at this point indicate any change of policy. 

And fourth, they have been distracted by the talk of Vietnamization. 

Public examination or reexamination of our involvement in Vietnam 
is essential. 

I believe that the Nation is being misled over the issues at stake in 
Vietnam now as it was in 1966 and 1967 when your committee took 
upon itself the n^sponsibility of educating and informing the people 
and called the Johnson administration to a public accounting. 


Mr. Chairman, I believe that a negotiated settlement of the war 
is possible and that the time to seek such a settlement is now. 


The first reason for this opinion is an immediate and practical one, 
which is that I am not convinced that — leaving out the U.S. presence — 
there has been any major shift in the basically unfavorable balance 
of political and military power in Vietnam or that such a shift is likely 
to take place. It is in order, therefore, to ask what will happen if the 
level of our involvement becomes insufficient to avoid defeat. Will we 
escalate our efforts or will we then negotiate from weakness? 

The second point arises from my belief that there have been no 
serious negotiations since the first meeting in Paris in May of 1968 
or since the joint meetings began in Paris in January 1969. 

We are today proposing, principally, free elections. This proposal 
has very little to offer to the other side. In 1956, we supported the 
Diem government in its refusal to hold the elections called for in the 
Geneva Accords. As former Ambassador Harriman has stated, it has 
never been envisaged that the political settlement could be brought 
about by a ''winner take all" election in the Western tradition. The 
Avar has not been fought for free elections. I am not aware of any case 
in recent history where divisions and disagreements strong enough 
to have led to 25 years of civil war were settled immediately by 
elections — ^free or unfree. 

There is no good reason to believe that we can bring about serious 
negotiations in Paris until the United States is willing to make a 
basic change in policy. Serious negotiations cannot proceed unless we 
are willing to support a coalition or a fusion or a new government to 
control the process of transition, at least. The task of the interim 
government would be to arrange a cease-fire and to assure the orderly 
withdrawal of foreign forces. It would prepare the way for the eventual 
selection of a permanent government. We should be prepared to sup- 
port mth other nations such a hope and, I would hope with the con- 
currence of the United Nations, such a negotiated settlement could be 

There are risks and dangers in such a policy. I do not believe they 
are as great as some have declared them to be. 

My conversations with the National Liberation Front and the North 
Vietnamese delegation in Paris lead me to believe that a political settle- 
ment of this kind is possible and lead me also to these conclusions. 


First, that the North Vietnamese are not counting on winning the 
war in Washington, as some advocates of the war in this country say. 
They point out that the war with the French, for example, was not 
won in Paris and that they were involved in this war long before the 
United States became involved. 

Second, they point out that historical evidence does not support a 
presumption that massive executions would follow a negotiated settle- 
ment and they say that such executions would not occur. 

Third, they anticipate that North Vietnam would not take over 
South Vietnam and that for a long period of time — meaning years — 
some division would exist between North and South Vietnam. 

Fourth, they feel very strongly about our having bombed North 
Vietnam — their country — a feeling which is reflected in their attitude 
toward captured fliers. 


Fifth, they do not beheve that Vietnamization will work. 

Sixth, they seek a commitment on troop withdrawal, a commitment 
which would be accompanied by an agreement on a provisional govern- 
ment and along with this there could be immediate negotiations with 
reference to prisoners of war and the manner in which South Vietnam 
might be governed until a permanent and settled government could be 
established there. 

Mr. Chairman, those are the conclusions I have come to, not just 
from the conversations in Paris, but in my years on this committee 
and through the thought and reflection and study I have given to this 
problem over the last 5 years. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 


The Chairman. Thank you. Senator McCarthy. I think it is quite 
obvious that you have thought very deeply about the war. You 
have raised questions in which I find myself very interested and with 
which I am deeply sympathetic. I am very deeply sympathetic to 
your point of view. It comes back to this question of what is to be 
gained by a continuation of the war. 

I have asked this of some of the witnesses who have been telling us 
about the actual conditions as they see them in Vietnam. Usually 
they answer that they are not policymakers and that whether or not 
we should be there is someone else's business. All they are concerned 
with is the best possible administration of their immediate duty. 

You raised what I consider the fundamental question of what 
is to be gained by a continuation of the war. If I understand you 
properly, you can see nothing to be gained of any great value, of 
any great importance or significance to this country, by a continua- 
tion of the war, nothing that could not be obtained as well or better 
by a negotiated peace. Is that correct? 

Senator McCarthy. Yes, that is my position, Mr. Chairman. 

I think we have known all along that we could somehow mn a 
victory in Vietnam if we were prepared to put enough power into it 
and enough men and enough equipment, enough force. 

The question is: What comes with that kind of victory? Do we 
wish to establish a puppet state of some kind in Vietnam and sustain 
it as a kind of miUtary government for 10 or 15 or 20 years? Is this 
what's meant by a just settlement and an honorable peace in South 
Vietnam? Or do we Avish to work out some other kind of political life 
for the people of that country? 

If we take into account the fact that we have roughly a half million 
military and police personnel there, and we don't know just what the 
number is in the South Vietnamese Army, but they are roughly a 
million, that is a million and a half military personnel^ to control a 
population of approximately 15 million people or one military person 
for every 10 nonmilitary people. And add to that the force that we 
have there, artillery "and airplanes, helicopters and firepower, you 
would have to say at some point we could dominate the country. 

But the question is what comes of domination and that has never 
been satisfactorily answered by any spokesman for this Administration 
or the last one. 



The Chairman. What do you feel the Admmistratioii means by an 
"honorable peace"? What are the conditions of an honorable peace? 

Senator McCarthy. Mv. Chairman, I don't know. When President 
Johnson spoke, at least in his conversation from the Cronkite report, 
his first telecast, it became a Uttle bit, at least I thought, clearer to 
me when he said that in his judgment and in the judgment of the 
Secretary of State that the Tet offensive was a great military failure 
for the North Vietnamese and Vietcong. I think we acknowledge 
that it didn't accomplish their objectives and that that was a turning 
point. If this was his judgment, it became a little clearer to me why 
the negotiations in Paris never did go any place, because it seemed 
that we went there not to negotiate but really to accept some kind of 
surrender. So you had two i)arties there, the spokesmen for North 
Vietnam and the enemy, believing that we were going to negotiate 
some kind of settlement and, so far as I can see, our people were there 
to accept surrender. So there was nothing that was negotiable. I say 
this becomes clear in light of ^^•hat President Johnson says his inter- 
pretation of the Tet offensive was in early 1968, that we really have 
not gone there to negotiate. So I don't know what settlement the 
Administration would accept other than the acceptance of the Ky- 
Thieu e-overnment of South Vietnam and whatever ^^'ould follow from 


The Chairman. Senator McCarthy, do you not detect, however, 
that the mood of this country is that the war is for all practical 
purposes over? The shift in emphasis has been dramatic, it seems to 
me, in the iniblic discussions, in the press, and in the television. 
There is a shift from discussion of the war, its significance and after- 
math to interest rates, to revival of interest in segregation, racial 
matters. The war has taken very much of a backseat, so to s])eak. Do 
3^ou see it that way, and that the iHiblic generally is not really inter- 
ested in the war on the assumption that it is about over or is on its 
way to being liquidated? 

Senator McCarthy. I think part of it is an expression of a kind of 
hope that the war is going to end. I think also it is a kind of desperate 
feeling there is not much that can be done about it in this particular 
period of time. 


The Chairman. I would gather from what you say you don't 
think it is about to end. 

Senator McCarthy. I don't, no. 

The Chairman. It is going on at a very high cost. Thursday being 
the reporting day, I heard on the radio coming in this morning that 
there were, I think, 96 dead and about 350 wounded this past week, 
which is a very substantial number. The cost in dollars is still very 
great. The effect of the drain of the war on oiu" resources, not only 
material but mental resources in the sense that it preoccupies the 
minds of some of our most important leaders, seems to me to indicate 
that we are not dealing and coming to grips with the fundamental 

causes of the social and economic disruption here at home. Do you 

agree '^ 

Senator McCarthy. Yes; I agree. 

The Chairman. It worries me very much, but I don't know what 
to do about it. 

Senator jNIcCarthy. I hope your hearings may again stir interest. 
As I said, it was the hearings this committee held back in 1965 and 
1966 that called the attention of the country to what was happening 
by way of escalation of the war and I know of no better way than 
the way you are following now of again trying to stir the country to 
a concern over the war and of trying to lay before the Senate and the 
Congress the facts. Not just the facts of the situation but what we 
seem to be accepting as a kind of way of life for America, continuation 
of the war, a military jjosition in Southeastern Asia, despite the fact 
that spokesmen for this Administration and the last repeatedly said 
we don't intend to maintain any bases there. 

what prevents united states from negotiating? 

The Secretary of State some time ago said that the decision to 
withdraw troops was irreversible. It is difficult for me to understand 
why we can't negotiate a withdrawal of troops if what lias been said 
reflects their real position. If they were going to take the troops out, 
why not negotiate? But we can't negotiate that because that would 
give away our position, they say. But it seems to me if they believe 
what they said and are sincere about the troop withdrawal, they have 
already given away their position, and that the better part of wisdom 
would be to talk about the conditions under which tlie withdrawal 
would take place and see what could be negotiated by way of a re- 
sponse to that withdrawal. 

The Chairman. I want the other members to have an opportunity 
to discuss this with you. I am not sure this is really a question that 
can easily be answered, but is there any one single consideration, as you 
see it, in the minds of the Administration that stands in the way of a 
negotiated peace such as you suggest? Can you isolate it? Can you 
identify a single consideration that people can understand and that 
this committee can understand as to why we do not do whatever it 
takes to get a negotiated peace? The Vice President, if I may say so, 
has accused me of saying tiiat all we want to do is to surrender and 
to turn everytiiing over to the Comnninists. This is, of course, a very 
pejorative statement on the part of the Vice President. It is not the way 
to characterize either what you said or what I said. That is; one of the 
obstacles of course to giving rational consideration to this kind of 

In view of your long thought about it. what it is that stands in the 
way of a negotiated settlement to conclude this war, which seems to 
me to be so eminently in our national interest. 

All kinds of i)rograms of a domestic nature in which the Congress and 
the peoi)lc are interested, all the way from pollution to inflation con- 
trols, are very much influenced by this enormous military exi:)enditure.. 
If that is true and if it is standing in the way, what do you think pre- 
vents us from negotiating? 

Senator McCarthy. I think that the practical decision that has to 
be made is one of a willingness to accept a new government in Southi 

44-706 — 70 12 


Vietnam and there never really has been any indication of a wilHng- 
ness to accept that. 


The action in Vietnam is not very different from what was urged 
upon President Truman at the end of Workl War II when tliere were 
those who said we had to go into China. And that poHcy was turned 
down. A simihir j^ohcy was urged upon President Eisenhower at the 
time the French failed, but he said "no" to it. But the thrust was 
there and the pressure for it, I think, is built into the State Depart- 
ment and built into the Defense Department and built, in a way, into 
the thinking of this country. It is not rational any more to accept 
China as a great threat to the United States or to have an idea of 
putting Chiang Kai-shek in power on the mainland. But we are stUl 
carr^ang on a program which is unrelated to any basic belief or policy 
of Asia; it is a kind of madness. There ought to be some relation be- 
tween a program and what we believe and what our objectives are. 
But in this case we have a program which reaUy has become a policy 
and it ought to be the other way — the policy determining the program. 

The ideological base, if we can call it that, or the historical judg- 
ments that were made and accepted, I thuik, m the State Department 
by John Foster Dulles, in World War II and at the end of it — these 
are no longer accepted, but the momentum of the State Department 
and of the Defense Department is such that we are carrying on a 
program which is unrelated to a policy or which relates to a policy 
which we no longer accept. 

The Chairman. I thank you very much. You know you have a 
way of being very provocative in the way you put things. You 
immediately raise, intentionally or otherwise, a re\dval of the concept 
of Manifest Destiny as Breckenridge and others used to talk about it 
at the turn of the century. I don't want to go into it right now, but I 
refer to what jon say about this continuing thrust. Even though a 
policy is turned down, still it comes back again. 

Senator Sparkman? 

Senator Sparkman. Mr. Chairman, Senator McCarthy has given 
a very full statement and you have certainly quizzed him at such 
point that there is not much left for me. But I will ask one or two 


cease-fire and TROOP WITHDRAWALS 

For instance, in your statement you say the task of the interim 
government would be to arrange a cease-fu"e and to assure the orderly 
withdrawal of foreign forces. Haven't the North Vietnamease repeat- 
edly stated that they would not negotiate for a cease-fire or anything 
else until all of the American trooi)s were gone? 

Senator McCarthy. I don't think that is their position, as I gather. 
They would want an agreement about withdrawal of troops, but they 
are })repared to negotiate, I am quite satisfied, follo\A4ng such an 
agreement but before they are withdrawn. 

Senator Sparkman. Why should not the cease-fire be negotiated 
at the conference table before the setting up of an interim government? 

Senator McCarthy. Well, you get into a question of military 
tactics at that point. Senator Sparkman, and the question is not very 


different from what happened in Korea. There was fighting going on 
even while they were negotiating. I think that rather than talk about 
an incidental thing like stopping the bombing, for example, that you 
have to go beyond that and I think the first step should be a significant 
one rather than one that is incidental. 

I don't mind, I think, if we can get an agreement on a cease-fire 
first, but I think an agreement on a cease-fire is much less important 
than an agreement on troop withdrawals and the establishment of 
a new government. 


Senator Sparkman. I wonder if you could state in a sentence or 
two what steps you advocate the United States should take. 

I believe actually you enumerated them in your statement. 

Senator McCarthy. Yes, pretty much those two points, I think. 

Senator Sparkman. Yes. 

Senator McCarthy. One, as Administration spokesmen — both 
President Johnson and spokesmen in his Administration and spokes- 
men in this Administration — have said, we don't want a permanent 
base in Southeast Asia and Secretary Rogers has said that the de- 
cision to ^^^thdraw troops is irreversible, that we could be prepared 
to negotiate conditions under which we would \nthdraw troops. We 
could be prepared to talk about them. But I don't believe we are. 
We have to talk at the same time, I think, about a new government 
in South Vietnam which would be reasonably representative of the 
factions that were there before Ky and Thieu came in and which I 
think are still there. 


Senator Sparkman. I am not completely clear on this because it 
seems to me there have been several statements made on both sides 
that indicate to me a kind of indecision. It seems to me that the 
suggestion has been made, whether at the conference table or else- 
where, that an agreement could be made on some kind of coalition 
government and that from time to time President Thieu has indicated 
that he would be willing to see such a coalition government. It may 
be that the difference was that he felt that that coalition government 
should come about as a result of free elections. Is that right? 

Senator McCarthy. AVell, I don't know that he has ever — I am 
sure he has never made any serious proposition about a government 
to replace him. I think early in this Administration someone did use 
the word "coalition," but only once and they never have come back 
to it again. There is no indication in Paris that coalition is being very 
seriously talked about or proi)osed at the discussions there. At present, 
elections are the big offer that we are making and that offer is entirely 


Senator Sparkman. In your paper you quote a part of the report 
from the staff of this committee, from which you point out that 
"Rural Vietnam today * * *" — "Gardens are plowed hj either 
bombs * * *" I don't believe you read this. 


Senator McCarthy. I didn't read it into the record. I assumed the 
committee had heard it in other testimony. 

Senator Sparkman. I wanted to ask you a question about it. 
"Gardens are jDlowed by either bombs and shells or by men digging 
not furrows for seed but shelters and trenches. Houses appear in 
irregular i^atterns, some curiously unscathed by the ravages of war, 
but many are destroyed or knocked askew and lean drunkenly, adding 
to the mournful loneliness which is the hallmark of abandoned areas. 
Previously lush rice fields are overgrown with weeds, the silence 
unbroken by the peasant's songs passed from generation to genera- 
tion, the abandoned land devoid of even the herds of cattle and 
buffalo that formerly roamed. Many villages have become ghost towns, 
their inhabitants having fled to the cities as war refugees or to the 
mountains or forests to escape ever-impending death." 

In the testimony by Ambassador Colby, he stated: "Except in one 
or two areas, the large enemy battalions, regiments, and divisions are 
in the border sanctuaries. The roads are oj^en to many markets and, 
from the air, tin roofs sparkle throughout the countryside \vhere fami- 
lies are once again tilling their long-abandoned farms." 

Can you explain the difference between the two statements? 

Senator McCarthy. I think the report of the committee said there 
were some areas tliat were not devastated. This was not a total descrip- 
tion of Vietnam but a description of some part of Vietnam and I took 
it on the authority of the committee staff who made that re|)ort to 
include it in mine, not saying it was my observation at all, but I think 
it is generally agreed there are areas that have been devastated seriously 
and there are others which people say appear to be unmarked. But 
you have to believe that if we have dropped as many bombs with such 
destructive weight on the coinitry as we are reported to have, it has 
to have some effect. 

Senator Sparkman. I am sorry that in neither statement do I find 
any estimate as to how much of the country may be subject to the 
conditions described in each statement. 

That is all, ]\Ir. Chairman. 


The Chairman. I have seen recently figures about the extent, but I 
don't recall them. For example, the defoliation is many thousands of 
acres. I have forgotten just how many, whether it was 10 percent of 
the arable land or not. 

Let me read it. I knew I had seen it somewhere. Since you have 
brought it up, I think the record should be complete. This is from a 
rei)orter-at-large on defoliation. It is written by a reporter for the 
New Yorker, Thomas Whiteside. He says: 

In 1968, 1,267,110 acres were sprayed, and in 1969, perhaps a million acres. 
Since 1962, the defoliation operations have covered almost 5 million acres, an 
area equivalent to about 12 percent of the entire territory of South Metnam, and 
about the size of the State of Massachusetts. 

I thought Massachusetts was larger than that. It seems to loom 

Senator McCarthy. It is a rather small State. 

The Chairman. It seems to loom larger. That is a very substantial 
area and would be, I am sure, much of the land where people live. 

I think that would be interesting to include in the record. 



If the Senator ^nll allow me on another question, the s;;aff has handed 
me an article from the Star of last September, and I quote the pertinent 
language to the question that the Senator just raised. 

The President of South Vietnam took indirect issue with President Nixon today 
over conditions for ending the war and for withdrawing American troops. President 
Thieu said his country will not stop short of victory no matter what happens 
in Washington. He defined victory as "no Communist "domination and no coalition 
with the Comnuinists.'" Nixcn told a news conference yesterday that the United 
States favors internationally supervised elections in South A'ietnam. "We will 
accept the result of those elections and the South Metnamese will as well even if it 
is a Communist government," Nixon said. 

I think the whole article ought to go in. But here President Thieu 
directly contradicts the idea. 

Senator Sparkman. I said it has been an on-and-off proposition. 
He also has been quoted at times, I believe, sayuig he woidd accept it. 
I don't think there is anything on which we can rely. I am not urging 

Senator McCarthy. I think iiis condition is pretty consistent. He 
may have slii)])e(l once, but that is what he said. 

(The information referred to follows:) 

(Fioni the Washington Evening Star, Sept. 27, 1969] 

Thieu Co.\tuadicts Nixon's Statement On Viet Elections 

The president of South Vietnam took indirect issue with President Nixon today 
over conditions for ending the war and for withdrawing American troops. 

President Nguyen Van Thieu said his country "will not stop short of victory, no 
matter what happens in Washington." He defined victory as "no Conmiunist 
domination and no coalition with the Communists." 

Nixon told a news conference yesterday that the United States favors inter- 
nationally supervis(^d elections in" South Vietnam. "We will accept the result of 
those elections and the South Vietnamese will as well, even if it is a Communist 
government," Nixon said. 

Thieu's apijarenr denial of this was quoted by United Press International 
from a news conference he held at Vung Tau, a coastal resort where he spoke to 
village official trainees. 


Thieu said he was "promoting national reconciliation (with the Communists) 
through free elections." But his remarks indicated that he was not prepared to 
accept a pre-election coalition with the Communists or an election result favoring 

The South Vietnamese president also outlined what he expects from the United 
States as it withdraws troops. 

If \\'ashington tells him how many troops it wants to withdraw in 1970, he will 
submit a plan saying what he needs to cover that, Thieu said. 

"It's very reasonable to replace the bulk of your infantry if you provide us 
equipment, enough funds, and material to achieve the strengthening and moderni- 
zation of Vietnamese troops, at the same rate and same speed," he went on. 

"If you help me adequately, all right," he added. 

The discussion involves only U.S. infantrymen. Both Thieu and the Nixon 
administration seem to assume that American soldiers will remain in \'ietnam to 
pro\ide logistical, artillery and air power support for South Vietnamese foot 

In Washington yesterday, high South Vietnamese sources said that Saigon 
planning i< based on the assumjjtion that these U.S. support forces will remain at 
least through the end of 1972, should the war last that long. 

At his news conference todav, Thieu did not sj^ecify figures. His vice president, 
Nguyen Cao Ky, said last week that 150,000 to 200,000 American troops could be 
withdrawn by the end of 1970. 


After the currently planned reduction of 35,000 men V^y Dec. 15, there will be 
484,000 American troops authorized for Vietnam. Ky's figures suggested some 
300,000 miglit still be there at the end of next year, and Thieu's comments 
seemed to support this. 

Thieu said he "has no wish" to replace all American forces in 1970. "What 
we're asking for is a reasonable tiine for us to provide training and leadership," 
he said. 

Nixon's hope 

Nixon has said he hopes to beat the timetable set by former Defense Secretary 
Clark M. Clifford, who has urged that all American ground combat troops be 
pulled out of Vietnam by the end of 1970. 

Defense Secretary [Nlelvin R. Laird has said that an all-volunteer force to serve 
in Vietnam would not be possible until the American troop level had dropped to 
no more than 250,000. He has denied, however, that the administration plans to 
create such a force and to go on fighting indefinitely. 

South Vietnamese sources here echoed Nixon's belief that the only way now to 
end the war is to convince Hanoi that it has nothing to gain bj' waiting for further 
concessions from the allied side. 

The South Vietnamese now have a military force of about 863,000 men. This 
includes army, navy, marine, air force and airborne units as well as regional and 
popular forces. It does not include about 182,500 in the national police and other 
paramilitary units nor more than a million villagers organized in self-defense 

Present plans call for raising the 863,000 figure by 90,000— to 953,000— by the 
end of 1972, the sources said. 


The Chairman. I have one other comment. Whenever you see a 
tm roof there, that is an indication that the house had been destroyed, 
because most of them didn't have tin roofs. These are roofs the 
Americans have come along and replaced. I think that is the signifi- 
cance of the tin roof. We had a big argument, you remember, by the 
Senator from Indiana, whether Indiana or Korea should supply the 
tin roofs and at what price, in our discussion of the aid bill. 


Senator Sparkman. Mr. Chairman, may I add this. Regarding the 
excerpt from 3^our statement, Senator McCarthy, which is from this 
committee's staff report, my attention has been called to the fact 
that it was not their own observation that the staff members were 

Senator McCarthy, That is right. 

Senator Sparkman. It is a quote from a pamphlet that had been 
previously published there. I see nothing that w^ould show to what 
time it relates. 

Senator McCarthy. I say that in my paper. It was out of a 
handbook or guide. 

Senator Sparkman. I am told a pamphlet was published in 1969. 

The Chairman. By whom? 

Senator Sparkman. It was used at the Vietnamese training center. 

Senator McCarthy. That is right. 

The Chairman. At Vuug Tau? 

Senator McCarthy. That is right. 

The Chairman. Whore Revolutionary Development Cadre, village 
and hamlet officials, People's Self Defense Force personnel and others 
are trained. 


Senator McCarthy. It was supposed to be reasonably official from 
our point of view, I understand. 
The Chairman. Senator Case. 
Senator Case. Thank 3^ou, Mr. Chairman. 


I, on this side of the table, welcome you back to the committee. 
We have missed you, but you have been engaged in important work 
elsewhere. I think the contribution that you have made in this regard 
in 1968 was a tremendous one. 

Senator McCarthy. I think the committee has done well without 


Senator Case. The committee has limped along under the disabiUty 
that it suffered at that time, but seriously, the committee and you 
were engaged in the same general process, and the role which you 
assumed at that time, I think, was i)eculiarly adapted to your 


I wonder if I may, leaving aside the innnediate suggestion that 
you make here — and I hope your optimism is right; I have not, 
myself, seen any signs of negotiation as likely to produce anything 
better than we have now — ask you to give me for our general guidance 
your conce])tion of the role of the Lnited States broadly in hiter- 
national affairs now? I was very much struck by the article that 
foreign affairs carried a few months ago by John Patton Davies, the 
• thrust of which was we had gotten away from the only real possible 
principle on which peace can bo based on this world — the balance ot 
power. Is this a conception on which broadly you agree? What is 
the basic thrust of your view as to the way peace can be maintained 
in the world and the role of the Lnited States in it? 

Senator McCarthy. Senator, I am not pessimistic about the over- 
all possibiUtv of some order in the world among the great powers. I 
think there is a kind of balanced power relationship now as between 
the United States and Russia, with the Chinese not really a power but 
simply a force or a presence, and that the war in Vietnam is really not 
part of any great power struggle. If it were, one might say in some 
kind of gi-eat historical judgment you could justify what we were 
doing. But I don't think that is the case. 

Therefore, it is unrelated and you have to judge it really in itself. 
And, in that case, I don't think it is defensible on any grounds, and 
certainly to the extent that it might cause some kind of confrontation 
with the gi-eat powers. It is dangerous even apart from whatever 
judgment vou might pass on it as a separate problem. 

It is my opinion that we can maintain this relationship between 
Russia and the United States if we are reasonably careful. The Uvo 
nations, I see as probably being the most positive force for order in 
what they do and how they develop are the Japanese in the Far East 
and Germany in Europe. They seem to have accepted their responsi- 
bility to be restrained and to avoid military buildups and to avoid 
confrontation. If that relationship, if this status, can be maintained 
in Europe and the Japanese develop as they are developing in Asia, 


then the only uncertainty would become that of China and I don't 
think anyone can make a judgment as to how that nation will go. 
You asked me a rash question and it is a rash judgment, more or less. 

Senator Case. You have generally accepted the idea of a balance 
of power in being? 

Senator McCarthy. I think it does exist. 

Senator Case. And what is your view as to the relevance of Viet- 

Senator McCarthy. It is a different kind of balance, a different 
kind of power and a different kind of politics from the day of the 
Austro-Hungarian Emiiire. It would seem to be the language in which 
some people talk about the language of power today. 

Senator Case. The world is different, of course. There are two 
powers now of great consequence and the others have various sub- 
sidiary roles, and more minor ones. But the general concept is one 
which you accept as perhaps the only, so far as" there can be a ration- 
ale, the_ only basic rationale, for international relations, and our role 
in this is an important one, I take it, and has to be in some degree 
an active one; is that correct? 

Senator McCarthy. Yes, I quite agree. I am not an isolationist. 

Senator Case. I think this is terribly important because your views 
on these matters are followed with avidity by a large number of 

RUSSIAN views 

Have you any revelations to bring us from Moscow; you have been 
there as well as Paris? 

Senator McCarthy. No, I don't think that I really learned any- 
thing particularly there that hasn't been said publicly. They ex- 
pressed deep concern over developments in the Middle East^ but 
they have said more since I left than they said at the time that I 
was there. They had nothing in particular to say about Vietnam, 
the particular problem that we are dealing with here today. 

Senator Case. Mr. Chakman, I think that is all that I would 
like to say now\ Thank you very much. 

The Chairman. Senator Church. 

commendation of the witness 

Senator Church. Senator McCarthy, I want to say that no one 
man in American politics had more to do with changing our war 
pohcy in Southeast Asia than you by your activities in 1968. I think 
you rendered the Nation a great service. 

difference in negotiating positions at PARIS peace talks 

You have just recently returned from Paris where you had discus- 
sions with representatives of the North Vietnam and the National 
Liberation Front. What fundamental difference between the two 
sides would you ascribe as the basic reason for the stalemate at 
the conference table. 

Senator McCarthy. Senator Church, our position there, so far 
as our spokesman, Mr. Habib, presents one, is that we are for elections. 
And this is totally unacceptable to the other side. Their position is. 


it gets a little bit confused, but the two points are, as I understood 
their position: an agreement about withdrawal of troops, which 
should be acceptable, because, as I said earlier in response to a ques- 
tion by another Senator, both the Johnson and the Nixon administra- 
tion (spokesmen for them) said they had in mind to withdraw troops 
and not to establish any permanent bases. So it would seem to me 
that the proposition should be open. And the other point is a new 
government in South Vietnam. In my opinion, both of these should 
be subject and are subject to negotiation. But we don't respond to 
either of these. 

Generally, we reject their 10-point program saying this is all or 
nothing and it is not all or nothing. I am sure that these two proposi- 
tions are subject to very serious negotiations if we are really prepared 
to begin to talk about them. 


Senator Church. Isn't it curious at this late stage that we now 
stress elections as the basis for a settlement, even though there is 
little evidence that either Saigon or Hanoi want elections? The present 
laws and constitution of South Vietnam prevent free elections, as we 
Americans would define them, and there is no indication that Hanoi 
is interested in free elections. Is it not the case that we have put 
forward a proposition that has little appeal to either side? 

Senator McCarthy. I think ])ractically no appeal. 

Senator Church. Then why have we pursued that course? 

Senator McCarthy. Well, I don't — I can give a general judgment 
that we more or less believe in free elections in this country and it 
sounds like a fair proposition. Most people would say that is a good 

It was difficult to hold free elections in some places in this country, 
to say nothing of what might happen in South Vietnam, but it is just 
not a viable proposition for negotiation. After a war has been going on 
for 25 years to say: "Look, we have been fighting for 25 years for free 
elections." Tliey don't respond very actively to that proposal. 


Senator Church. Based upon your conversations with the North 
Vietiuimese and the Vietcong's representatives in Paris, how does, 
in their eyes, the policy of the Nixon administration differ from the 
policy of the closing days of the Jolnison administration? 

Senator McCarthy. They didn't talk about it, particularly in 
terms of that kind of contrast, but it was obvious that they thought 
it was a continuation of the same policy. 

Senator Church. Basically the same polic3^ 

Senator McCarthy. Basically the same policy. Nothing new had 
been offered for negotiation with the change of Administration, and if 
anything they felt, I think, that the failure to replace Ambassador 
Lodge was a further indication that possibilities of these negotiations 
were very slight. 

Senator Church. Do they view their own situation as growing 
stronger, growing weaker, or simply stalemating? 


Senator McCarthy. I couldn't speculate as to what they really 
think in terms of the trends. The only indication I received was that 
they were not on the verge of surrender certainly, and that they were 
not moved to believe that Vietnamization was going to be a significant 

Senator Church. Do they view Vietnamization mth alarm? 

Senator McCarthy. I didn't get that impression; no. 


Senator Church. I visualize the withdrawal of American troops 
creating a situation whereby it becomes necessary for all Vietnamese 
factions to begin to negotiate a Vietnamese settlement. How would 
you envision the United States undertaking to negotiate directly for 
this coalition government in Paris? In regard to your position of a 
coalition government, how can we proceed to negotiate on any basis 
that would of necessity dispose of or replace the present government in 

Senator McCarthy. Well, I think it is a difficult test of statesman- 
ship, but I think we must acknowledge that, unless things have changed 
significantly, we have a great deal of control in South Vietnam at 
the present time and control over the South Vietnamese Govern- 
ment. Certainly, before the Ky-Thieu administration was established, 
we were efi^ective in changing governments reasonably often in South 
Vietnam. In my judgment that is still an open possibility and it 
ought to be tried. We really haven't tried it. You say it is difficult 
and I think it is difficult. If you suggest it could not take place, 
I think that must be taken to be on the side of pessimism. The alter- 
native is simply just pull our troops out and see what happens or 
else the only way to settle any kind of international disagreement 
is by the application of more force. I hope we would not reach the 
point where we would accept those as the only two possibilities in 
Vietnam or any other part of the world. 


Senator Church. I deeply believe we lack the capacity to be the 
principal architect for a new political structure in South Vietnam. 
We have given the present government everything that can be given 
them in the way of military and material support. The only sensible 
course now is to proceed with an orderly withdrawal. This may very 
well result in the formation, ironically, of a much more broadly based 
South Vietnam Government, due to the negotiations among the 
Vietnamese themselves. The end of the road would, thus, be the same 
as the start. 

Senator McCarthy. I would be prepared to accept that as an 
alternative to the war in any case, take a chance on what might 

Senator Church. Thank you. I have no further questions. 

The Chairman. The Senator from Kentucky. 

Senator Cooper. I wish to join with all the members in saying we 
are glad to welcome you. You have been complimented, and correctly, 
for your leadership in the past, but I would say, too, I do not assume 
that denies your leadership in the future. 

Senator McCarthy. Thank you. 



Senator Cooper. I would be hai:)py, too, if we could find some way 
10 quickly end this war and stop the killing and the wounding. You 
know we have sought negotiations and I agree with you that it would 
be much better if the war could be settled by negotiation, and the 
future of the entu-e area could be settled at least for a time by 

You remember that you and many of us advocated the cessation of 
bombing in the belief that it would lead to negotiations. I know you 
will recall it was intimated by Mr. Kosygin and other leaders of the 
Soviet Union that it would bring negotiations. I thinlv j^ou will agree 
with me that there have been no substantive negotiations to settle 
anv of the issues in Paris. Is that your view? 

Senator McCarthy. Yes, of course, that is right. The proposition, 
at the time the bombing halt was under consideration, is the}' said 
they wouldn't even sit down and talk unless we stopped bombing 
North Vietnam. It was a precondition really to their even coming to 
the negotiating table. 

Senator Cooper. Don't j^ou agree, we thought, you thought, every 
one of us thought, if there could be a cessation of bombing, the results 
would be more than sitting down and talking, but substantive 

Senator McCarthy. Yes, I certainly hoped for it. 

Senator Cooper. I have talked with Ambassador Harrunan and 
Ambassador Lodge, as I am sure you have. 

Senator McCarthy. Yes. 

Senator Cooper. And they told that nothing of substance was ever 

Senator McCarthy. No. 

vietnamization and troop withdrawals 

Senator Cooper. I believe this lack of substantive progress in 
negotiations is one of the reasons that led the Administration to try 
this policy of Vietnamization. Some have stated that they do not think 
it is a change in policy, that it is essentially the same policy that was 
followed under the administration of President Johnson. I disagree, 
and I must challenge this viewpoint. All of us remember that for years 
the United States had become more and more involved in Vietnam: 
economically and militarily. You will remember that in 4 or 5 years 
our forces were increased "from 17,000 to about 550,000. Would you 
consider that the withdrawal of troops and the promised withdrawal of 
an additional hundred thousand is a change? 

Senator McCarthy. Well, Senator, I think if the numbers with- 
drawn reach a point where it necessarily sets in motion a policy of 
change in government in South Vietnam, a shifting of degree of re- 
sponsibility for that goverimient to South Vietnam itself, at that 
]joint the quantitative change would result in a policy change. I don't 
think we have reached that point yet and I don't think the withdrawal 
of another hundred thousand troops is necessarily gohig to do it. 
First, because there are more troops there than we need even now; 
and secondly, as you will recall when we were criticizing the escalation, 
the protest against sending in troops arose long before there were 


300,000 American troops in South Vietnam. As a matter of fact, when 
it got to 50,000 and 60,000 and it looked as though it was going to 
a hunch-ed thousand, it was protested. At that time General Gavin 
talked about the enclave theorj^, which he was never really allowed to 
explain, and I think we have come back to something closer to that if 
it is not necessary to control the whole countryside. But I don't see a 
policy change yet reflected in the prospective and the present and 
past withdrawals of troops. The basic policy is still military domina- 
tion and continued support of the military government of South 

Senator Cooper. Many have talked about the government in 
Saigon, and it is correct that anything the United States does in 
Vietnam is in a sense in support of the govermxient. As in this coun- 
try, if good is done under a Democratic or Kepublican administra- 
tion, it supports that administration. 


But I go back to my point of a change in policy. On the military 
side there has been a change in the search and destroy strategy. 

Second, the President is withdrawing troops, and Secretary of 
State Rogers has said this is irreversible. I assume it means a con- 
tinuing removal of troops. I think it is irreversible because once you 
start on a program of withdrawal there would be no way to secure 
the su]>port of the Congress and the American people to increase 
troops in Vietnam. Do you think I am correct? 

Senator McCarthy. Well, you describe what has happened. I just 
say it is a question of how far it goes. I mean there are not as many 
search and destroy missions as there were, and we are not bombing 
in quite the same places, but they are bombing Laos, so that it is 
more at this point, as I see it, a question of some changes in tactics 
rather than a change of policy. 


Senator Cooper. You have said you thought our programs dictated 
policy rather than having the programs applicable to a policy. 

Do you not think the statement of President Nixon at Guam that, 
as I consider its substance, we would not become involved again in 
the land mass of Asia, but leave the burden of protection to those 
countries, a policy? 

Senator McCarthy. There are hardly any countries for us to get 
into except China. 

Senator Cooper. The United States is in Southeast Asia. 

Senator McCarthy. Laos. 

Senator Cooper. We are in Southeast Asia, and I believe that the 
President's policy is a change. It means getting our forces out of 
Southeast Asia. 

Senator McCarthy. Well, President Johnson said that, too. 

Senator Cooper. I know, but President Johnson was hicreasing 
troops all the time, and bombing North Vietnam. It seems so long ago, 
but I remember the bombing of Hanoi, and when we went to the White 
House and heard the President describe it in great detail. Our policy 
is changing. I would agree if we could negotiate with the North Viet- 


namese it would be a better means, but I assume our present course 
is taken because we haven't been able to negotiate. 


Senator McCarthy. I would say all the changes you have de- 
scribed have not encouraged negotiations. It would seem to me it 
would make it easier to negotiate, because we are doing this thing or 
the Administration is, they should not negotiate. It seems to me that 
that doesn't follow. That they could negotiate and continue, in fact; 
the fact that withdrawals were taking place it would seem to me would 
make it easy to negotiate. 

Senator Cooper. I think you said that the North Vietnamese 
always insisted on the withdrawal of our troops before any substan- 

Senator McCarthy. On an agreement. I don't think they were 
insistent upon withdrawals of troops before there was a settlement. 
That would be j^reposterous. 

U.S. alternatives 

Senator Cooper. You have said, and many of us have said, that 
if we can negotiate a cease-fire and orderly withdrawal of troops it 
would be best. I assume that the substance of j^our statement, and it 
is a good statement, is that we should make a choice between the 
present pohcy of Vietnamization or an immediate withdrawal of 
troops. Would you say that is its substance? 

Senator McCarthy. I didn't hear you. 

Senator Cooper. I would assume that the substance of 3^our pro- 
posal is we should make a choice between the present policy of Viet- 
namization or immediate withdrawal of troops. 

Senator McCarthy. No, I say that is not the choice. That is what 
is proposed to us. But I thuik there is a jilace between that for a 
negotiated settlement now; that the alternatives are not simply Viet- 
namization as described by the Administration or the withdrawal of 
troops. We can negotiate. 

coalition government and troop withdrawal 

Senator Cooper. You couple with it, then, the installation of a 
coalition government? 

Senator McCarthy. I think that is the critical point of difference 
between my position and the Administration's. 

Senator Cooper. Senator Church asked this: Do j^ou think the 
United jStates should force or coerce the South Vietnamese to estab- 
lish a coalition government? 

Senator McCarthy. Well, I think Senator Church indicated if we 
continued to withdraw troops it will have the same effect. It will 
create a vacuum in which they will have to work out something. May- 
be that is the only way we can do it, but I think we ought to try to do 
it in any kind of a rational or orderly way to see if we can arrange it. 
If we can't, then to let the policy — let it hapjjen. 

It seems to me I am somewhat more optimistic that reasonable 
order could be agreed upon than simply create conditions out of 
chaos in the hope that some good may come. 


Senator Cooper. Withdrawal of troops, then, m your view is the 
essential element to achieve a coalition government. 

Senator McCarthy. Agreement upon withdrawal of troops, not 
necessarily the withdrawal, is the beginning of negotiation. I think the 
two come together — an effort to set up a new government and an 
agreement on withdrawal of troops. I think they can be worked out 
almost simultaneously. 


Senator Cooper. We have talked about self-determination and free 
elections and all that, but practically, it seems to me, the people of 
South Vietnam have, the majority have not wanted to be under the 
domination of a minority. Do you believe that a coalition government 
would result in a minority in South Vietnam taking over against the 
will, whatever that will is, of the majority? This has happened in 
many coalition governments. 

Senator McCarthy. I know. I don't think you are going to be able 
to determine quite what the majority wants. The cult of the silent 
majority is taking over in this country, so I don't know as I could read 
it in South Vietnam. I haven't been able to read it here. But I think 
you deal with the forces that you can identify in South Vietnam 
without trjdng to claim for them either majority support or lack of 
that support, as we have attempted to do before we supported the 
Thieu-Ky government. 


Senator Cooper. I certainly am glad to hear you. I agree if there is 
any possible way of getting real negotiations, we should try. But I 
must say that I do disagree with you that there has been no change in 

Senator McCarthy. It would be almost better to break oft' nego- 
tiations than to pretend we are negotiating as we have been for nearly 
2 years. 

Senator Cooper. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Is the Senator through? 

Senator Cooper. Yes. 

The Chairman. Senator Williams? 

Senator Williams. Just a brief question first. I want to join my 
colleagues in welcoming you back to the committee. 


I notice that you do not believe that free elections are the answer. 
You are suggesting that we abandon that recommendation. Assmiiing 
that we withdraw our support for free elections today and express a 
willingness to enter into an agreement for withdrawal of the troops 
as you recommend, how would you form this coaUtion govermnent? 
That is who would make the appointments for the respective sides? 
I ask that question because I know here in this country w^e have many 
coalition commissions between the Repubhcan and Democratic 
Parties, but usually the man who makes the appointments makes all 
the appointments that would coincide with his view^s. 


In the forming of a coalition government, if we enforce snch a 
proposal today, how would we form that coaUtion? Who would make 
the designations of the respective positions and where would the 
balance of power lay and how w^ould it be worded? 

Senator McCarthy. I don't know how that could be worked out. 
That is what we should determine in Paris. We are supposed to have 
people there who are supposed to be talking about the four principal 
parties involved in the war and it would be a discussion among them 
out of which an agreement on a new government could come. 

Senator Williams. What would be your views if you were a nego- 
tiator and making the recommendation? What recommendation would 
you make as to the forming a coalition government? Just how would 
we go about it? I asked you for your views because you have given it 
a lot of study. 

Senator McCarthy. I think everyone has thought about it a great 
deal and there is no set formula. You are not going to pull them out 
of a hat, but sit down as they have done before in setting up coalition 
governments and done in other cases where we negotiated. We did 
something like this in Laos where we settled. So it is a cj[uestion of reas- 
onable i^eople sitting down saying, "We will take a chance on this kind 
of government as an alternative to a continuation of the war." And 
you pick your people and name them and it is generally agreed that 
there are people in South Vietnam, some of them in the Ky-Thieu 
government, who ^^■ould be acceptable. But there is no magic formula 
for it. It is like working out the leadership of the Democratic Part3^ 

Senator Williams. As you state, there are some in the present 
government that would be acceptable. Acceptable to whom — the 
present government? Or would you let each one of the various op- 
posing forces select their own representatives? 

Senator McCarthy. It would be negotiated. You know how these 
things are done, John. It is not a formula. You are not going to 
take 2 percent proportionate representation. We are not going to 
take that. We know what the forces are running in South Vietnam. 
At least we should know by now. We have been there roughly 10 
years. And I hope we would be expert enough to know what the various 
gi'oups are and forces and how some kind of reconciliation could be 
worked out. The alternative is just to withdraw troops, either do 
it themselves or continue support of a kind of military dictatorship; 
these are the choices we have. 

Senator Williajnis. This is one solution and I was wondering what 
your views are as to how we should form such a coalition government. 
That is all. 

excerpts from vung tau training center pamphlet: condi- 

The Chairman. Previously there was reference made to the ex- 
cerpt from the document which was cited by you. Senator Sparkman 
read the part which you cited. I have been handed the document. 
It is entitled "Revolutionary Development Cadre Program, Contri- 
bution to the Vietnamese People's Struggle or Solution to the Vietnam 
War." It is apparently used in Vung Tau Training Center which was 
set up by American funds and advisers, but, as I understand it, is 
actually run by Vietnamese now with the advice of Americans. There 


has been called to my attention the following language, following 
the part that you cited, which seems to me to be interesting enough 
to read into the record. It is very short. The very next sentence 
following your excerpt reads: 

* * * Of course there are those villages which are fortunate enough to lie 
within those areas under government control. But, cruel irony, in these areas 
we run into man's inhumanity to man in other forms. We find the exploitation of 
the people by the petty tyrants, the shakedown-artists and the con men. In short, 
the corrupt officials who look upon the people as being so many vegetables, so 
much garbage, with whom they can do as they please, indulge their capricious 
whims no matter how perverted. Is it any wonder that life in these areas is full of 
ompltiints springing from an outraged sense of justice. 

This then is life in N'iotnam as it really is. On the one hand, the cities are troubled 
with moral and material crises. On the other hand, the countryside is destitute, 
deserted, racked with disease and hunger and the people feel that life has cheated 
them. With the cauldron boiling as it is, dissension rampant, the ranks of the 
nationalists divided and scattered, all who care about their countrj^'s future must 
feel heartbroken. * * * 

We must not hide from the facts, or camouflage the wretched conditions in 
our homeland under a screen of hypocrisy. 

It was such a colorful statement, that I asked the staff why they 
didn't put it all in their report. They said they thought it would be 
so extreme it might be offensive to members of the committee and to 
the public; so they stopped just short of ptitting that in. 


I want to ask one last question of you if I may. In the hearings that 
have been going on and in pre^^ous hearings, it seems to me, if there 
is any recurring reason given as the purpose of this war, it is to prevent 
the spread of the Communist social and political system. This goes 
back to the days of Secretaiy Rusk. Is that your impression? Would 
you agree that, although other reasons have been given, this is the 
recurring and most central one? 

Senator McCarthy. Well, Mr. Chairman, as you know, a^ the 
American commitment for troojis and power increased there was a 
kind of escalation of the stated objectives as it went along, simply 
protecting the South Vietnamese from Communist domination, then 
the larger question of the national honor and the credibility of the 
American commitment, and Secretary Rusk finally began to talk 
about the potential danger of a billion Chinese in the year 2000. So 
the rather limited objective which I think was first set has been greatly 
exi)anded as time has passed and as the American presence has in- 
creased in South Vietnam. 

You sec, with reference to the re]iorted description of conditions in 
Vietnam, in the manner in which you did, I don't know as you really 
can look at it from outside and make a very positive judgment. If you 
tried to judge it simj^ly within the terms of the policies that have been 
announrod and the re]iorts that have come out from those making 
the ])olicics at least since 1965, the members of this committee know 
that it won't stand the test of internal criticism. We could hope that 
what's being said now will turn out to be the right judgment and 
things may work out as the Administration s])okesmen say they are 
working out. But the record of the past is such that I think wc have 
to be most skeptical. There is the further consideration that there is 
very little said about what things are going to be like after victory, 


and it seems to me that should always be the first question that one 
should raise and attempt to answer before he becomes involved in 
military action. 

The Chairman. I am not sure that I gathered your answer to this. 
I realize that in the days of Secretary Rusk there did occur this 
escalation. However within the last 2 days one of the witnesses of the 
present Administration, who is working in Vietnam, in response to the 
question of what we really expect to achieve and what is the purpose, 
if I understood it correctly, said it was to prevent the spread of the 
Communist system by force. I have found no other central theme from 
the beginning, although there have been variations, as you pointed out. 
Occasionally, it is said our purpose is to give them the right to free 
elections, but when I ask why we are so interested in free elections in 
Vietnam as opposed to free elections in Panama or Spain or Greece or 
Brazil, 1 find no answer. We don't seem to be the least concernecl about 
the fact that there are no elections in Greece. We give them assistance 
and encouragement; we give it to many others and I have never 
understood. So it seems to come back to this matter of containing 


I wondered if you would agree that that has been the central 
motivating force unless you assume the manifest destiny urge that, 
somewhat" like the lemmings, forces us on regardless of what our 
reason tells us. 

Senator McCarthy. Yes, I think that was the primary motivation 
of those who first advocated our becoming involved in South Vietnam. 

The Chairman. Aren't they still recurring to that if they are 

Senator McCarthy. We have two points, I think: One, President 
Nixon has said if you have free elections and it turned out to elect 
Communists that we would accept that. So the question then that 
must be asked is: Are we there because we object to the process, the 
spreading of communism by force, and not to communism itself? It 
\\ ould seem to me that this is the position that they hold. If it is then 
the question you raised, if it is the process, then we ought to be opposed 
to the establishment of military dictatorships or military democracies 
by force also. If it is the process that is our concern and not the con- 
sequence, that should be our general concern in Greece and in Latin 
American countries too. 

But as you know, Mr. Chairman, contradictions are present in so 
man}- areas that it would be better to just try to work on negotiating 
a settlement in South Vietnam today. 

effect of conduct of war on U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SYSTEM 

The Chairman. Of course, what interests me as the result of this 
question is the last question which grows out of this. Is the war, the 
way we have conducted it, actually promoting the strength of the 
democratic system as we conceive of it, either political or the private 
enterprise system in the economic sense, or is it weakening it? In other 
words, is this pohcy and what we have done actually strengthening 
those concepts in which we say we beheve and undertake to put into 

44-706—70 13 


effect here or does it weaken them? In view of the attitude of so many 
people around the world in many advanced societies who so thoroughly 
disagree with this policy, I have the terrible feeling that we are 
undoing our own house, you see, by this misguided policy. It simply 
is not strengthening those very things we think we are strengthening 
by this enormous extravagance in a monetary way and loss of lives. 
There is a rather haunting feeling that we are our own undoing in this 
kind of policy, that the objective is not at all being accomplished. 

Senator McCarthy. Well, I think we are weaker at home because 
of the war and I think we have less influence in the world because of 
the involvement in Vietnam than we would have if we were not 

The Chairman. Today we have the declining interest rates, the 
decline in business, the layoff of workers in the automobile and con- 
struction business. What is this doing to the economy and to the 
system which we say we support? The continuation of a military 
influence far greater than any other influence always leads to the 
decline of the democratic processes in any country; doesn't it? Hasn't 
that been so? You are a great student of history. 

Senator McCarthy. Generally so. 

The Chairman. Generally so. 

Thank you very much. Do you have anything further to say? 

Senator McCarthy. No, I think not; thank you. 

Senator Cooper. Mr. Chairman, may I say one thing? 

The Chairman. Oh, yes. 


Senator Cooper. It is obvious that conditions which you described 
in Vietnam are the result of the war. We wouldn't have the material, 
human situation there if we hadn't had a war. It seems to me that 
the inquiry we are making is to see how we get out of the war the best 
possible way. Whatever these policies, purposes were in the past, and 
we have used all kinds of words, such as "defense against Commu- 
nism," "self-determination," and other such terms, but whatever 
those reasons were, I do not believe the policy of this Administration 
is based on the policies of the past. I think it is saying it is getting 
out, and that is the basis of their policy. I think the process of with- 
drawal is irreversible. 

Senator McCarthy. All right, we will let that judgment stand. 

Senator Cooper. And we will talk later. 

Senator McCarthy. We will talk later. 

question of urgency and influences on presidential POLICIES 

The Chairman. I would say to the Senator I agree with that. The 
question is one of urgency and also the influence of some who have a 
more powerful Messianic spirit than others. When I read a speech by 
Admiral Sharp or General Ciccolella, it gives me the impression they 
have no idea of getting out at all. Their idea is to Christianize and civil- 
ize. Their speeches read almost like ^McKinlej^'s when he took on 
Aguinaldo in the Philippines. That is what it sounds like. I will leave 
it up to you to read the speeches. I grant it is not the Administration. 
These are important military leaders and these are influences in our 


system. I am very pleased that the President has made no such speech. 
I personally only would like to urge him to carry on, as the Senator 
from Kentucky has so well said on many occasions, to the irreversible 
conclusion of complete withdrawal. But there is always a little bit of 
reservation. I have never heard him say complete withdrawal; nor 
have I heard the Secretary of Defense, say complete withdrawal. It is 
^^dthdrawal of combat ground troops and in yesterday's hearing the 
witnesses went into some detail, explaining that a gunship, a heli- 
copter with powerful weapons, is not combat ground troops. There is a 
question whether there is any intention of withdrawing in this sense at 
all. These are the questions I raise simply in an effort to try to create, 
insofar as I can, a feehng of urgency that it is against the interests of 
the people of the United States to continue this war and simply to 
urge the President to follow what he has announced as his policy and 
not to allow other influences to divert him. 

When we read about the previous Administration, it is quite obvious 
that that President followed what I think was a disastrous policy. 

There were elements, influences, some pushing him one way and 
some another, and he finally, in my view, took the wrong turn because 
of the })ower of persuasion of certain of his ad\nsers. There were 
others, such as yourself and others, who gave him different advice, 
but he didn't follow that. 

All Presidents are human beings. These two both happen to have 
been Members of the Senate. We know how we are pushed and ])ulled 
on all kinds of issues from day to day and 1 think that is the way this is. 


I agree with the Senator from Kentucky. I am not trying to say 
that the President has not said any of the things he has said. There 
still remains the question of imi)lementing the policy of getting the 
job done, of getting the war over and then getting down to trying to 
attack the problems that are threatening to undermine the stability 
of our own country. That is all this is about. 


Senator McCarthy. Mr. Chairman, leaving out all questions of 
pnncij)le, i)urely in self-interest, I think one can argue that we should 
get out. 

The Chairman. 1 am not leav-ing it out — only in the sense that it 
doesn't seem to have much a])peal to many people. The}' respond more 
to the practical effects than principle. The principal argument has 
been made by you and others very persuasively and I haven't seen 
much effect. 

Senator Case. May I say just a word on this question of prin- 
cii)le. I am not sure just what you mean, because if you mean a course 
of action, and I don't think you do, which because of some divine 
revelation requires us to get out of there and leave to thek fate millions 
of people, then I don't think that principle is worth following, and I 
don't think there is any such principle that guides us or should guide 
us. It is a practical problem of getting out with the least damage and 
the best chance for this country and for that part of the world to 
rehabilitate itself, and that is what we are all for. 


Senator McCarthy. Yes. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. 

That hist statement brings up a very interesting subject. I had 
thought this country was based upon certain principles beginning 
with the Dechiration of Independence and the Constitution, but I 
think that goes too far. I personally think we have far departed from 
our basic principles, as eiumciated in certain of those basic documents. 

Senator Case. Mr. Chairman, we are in a different age and this is 
a different country. A little struggling 2 or 3 million people on the 
fringe of a wilderness outside the main world is a different country, 
with different responsibilities, from a country which is the most 
powerful Nation in the world. 

The Chairman. Are you suggesting, then, that the Declaration of 
Independence is obsolete as Mr. Katzeiibach did with the Constitution? 

Senator Case. I don't think I want to 

The Chairman. I don't think you are. I don't Avant to argue with 
my colleague here or get into this at this time. Maybe we ought to do 
that on the floor of the Senate. 

Senator Case. I agree with you. 

The Chairman. I don't think the principles there are obsolete at 
all. The basic principle, I would say, in Southeast Asia is that those 
people have a right to work out their own destiny without the intrusion 
of the United States with arms. That is what I am saying in eft'ect. 
I don't think we have any mission there. 

Senator Case. We are not engaged de novo with a situation and, of 
course, we would agree with this. We are where we are and we have to 
work out of it; that is the i)oint we are talking about. 

Senator McCarthy. That is right. 

The Chairman. I think the Senator has given us some good sugges- 
tions this morning. 

Senator McCarthy. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Major Arthur. Will you come forward, please, sir. 
You didn't get to finish your statement yesterday. Please carry on. 

May we have order please. 

Major Arthur, will you continue please. 


Mr. Colby. Mr. Chairman, would it be possible for me, perhaps, to 
offer a little clarification of one matter that came up during Senator 
McCarthy's testimony. 

The Chairman. Yes, Ambassador Colby is recognized, certainly. 

excerpt from vung tau training center pamphlet: conditions 

in south VIETNAM 

Mr. Colby. The quotation from the Vietnamese document that 
was read during the past session also caught my eye when it was first 
put in the report of your staff" members. When I found this in Saigon 
I looked around for the origin of that statement and I discovered it. 
I believe it was in the same book you were looking at and which you 


I think, if you will look about two or three {Jages, or four or five 
pages ahead of that quotation you will see the date of October 1967 
on that statement. I think that is the point. My reference to the tin 
roofs, and my statement about the extension of the security throughout 
the countryside do indicate that there has been a change in Vietnam 
in the ])ast 2 years. 

I think that this is obvious to most observers who have been 
there. It is obvious to the gentlemen who have come here with me. 
I think Senator Javits can indicate that he has seen it. Senator 
Harrison Williams was out there and I think he may report some- 
thing about this. I suggest that the key difference here between our 
two reports really lies in the dates of the two reports. 

The Chairman. I will have the staff check that and insert this as 
a footnote or an explanation. The date on the outside of the overall 
document is 1969. 

Mr. Colby. Right, sir. 

The Chairman. I did not read the part about which you are 
speaking, but that can be checked and will be corrected to reflect that. 

Mr. Colby. The author of that particuhir document, Mr. Chairman, 
is an old friend of mine. He gave me a copy of that particular document 
earlier. He is the gentleman who is today running the Vung Tau 
Training Center. He is the gentlemen who, on one occasion, criticized 
publicly to our then Vice President Humphrey the corruption in the 
elite structure of Vietnam. 

He is also the gentleman whom President Thieu has publicly 
endorsed and emphasized that he \\'ished to continue this kind ()f 
teaching in that camp to all village and hamlet chiefs to try to inspire 
in them this now spirit to change tlu> situation in Vietnam. I think 
this has been the thrust of the pacification program over the past 
year or so. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. 

appointment of district chiefs 

Since we started this, I have one (question with regard to 3'esterday's 
testimony in order to keej) the record straight. I believe you said that 
the district chiefs are not nominated by province chiefs. The back- 
ground paper jMit out by the Embassy in Saigon and entitled, "Back- 
ground Data on South Vietnam" states on |)age 4 as follows, and I 

"Directly below the province, districts are headed by a Chief 
ai)i)oint('(l by the Minister of Interior upon the nomination of the 
province chief." 

Is that a correct statement? 

Mr. Colby. I think that may be somewhat mistaken, Mr. Chairman. 
I have talked to a class of about 100 i)rospective district chiefs who 
were selected by the national Government and sent to a special course 
in their new duties before they were appointed, and certainl}' before 
they were even known to the province chiefs involved. 

Thi'j then were assigned as district chiefs out around the country. 
I think that may be a slight mistake as to the formal way in which 
these i^eople become tlistrict chiefs. They are finally appointed, in 
any case, by the Prime Minister. 

The Chairman. Not by the Minister of Interior? 


Mr. Colby. By the Prime Minister today. He is the same man 

The Chairman. When you go back, you can have them correct 
their bulletin. 

Mr. Colby. We will do so, sir. 

The Chairman. Major Arthur, will you proceed. 


VIETNAM— Resumed 

Major Arthur. Mr. Chairman, for the benefit of the other Senators, 
I would like to introduce myself and tell what I do and then continue 
approximately where I left off with the statement yesterday. 

The Chairman. All right. 

Major Arthur. I am Maj. James F. Arthur from North Carolina. 
I am currently the district senior adviser from Binh Chanh District, 
Gia Dinli Province, Vietnam. 

Senator Case. Which corps area is that in? 

Major Arthur. That is in III Corps. 

Senator Case. Thank you. 

Major Arthur. I continue approximately where I left off yesterday. 


The district has one high school which is located in Binh Chanh 
Village and 45 primary and elementary schools operating throughout 
the district. In addition, there are 10 maternity dispensaries located 
within the district. 


Binh Chanh sits astride the major routes of infiltration into the 
city of Saigon from the south and was used as a staging area during 
the 1968 Tet offensive. The primary targets of the district's territorial 
forces are the Vietcong infrastructure and the local guerrillas which 
ideally would number approximately 30 per \dllage and 12 per hamlet. 

These Vietcong are prime targets because they are the ones who 
have the mission of terrorism, assassination, tax collection, propaganda 
and providing intelligence and guides for the main force units. 

At the present time, the Vietcong infrastructure and local guerrillas 
have been reduced to squad and half squad size units per village and 
there is very little organization left at hamlet level. However, there 
are three under strength main force battalions whose areas of opera- 
tion include Binh Chanh district. These units are normally based 
outside the district boundaries and send in small luiits to assist the 
local guerrillas in accomplishing their mission. 


The district chief has 17 regional force companies and 25 popular 
force platoons under his command and in addition, there are three 


ranger battalions, ARVN type, operating in the district. In the past, 
the 199th hght infantry brigade was based in the district. However, 
there are no U.S. combat forces in the district now and the defense 
of Binh Chanh rests solely on the Vietnamese. 

The primary mission of the territorial forces is that of providing 
security for the population while the ranger battalions have the mission 
of eliniinating the Vietcong main force units. The 1970 plan calls 
for the regional forces to assume the mission of offensive operations 
and popular forces, assisted by the people's self-defense force to 
assume the responsibility for protecting the population, thereby en- 
abling the rangers to be released for duty elsewhere. 

At the present there are eight regional force companies ready to 
assume offensive operations missions and the changeover should begin 
in March or April. The regional forces are rapidly improving and a 
number of the companies are able to handle sophisticated airmobile, 
cordon and search and raid operations. 

Since September, the territorial forces have captured 36 Vietcong 
and killed 23, including two district level party committee members. 
During the past month, the territorial forces made contact with the 
Vietcong 11 times with only two of those contacts being Vietcong 

People's self-defense forces continue to be a problem area. According 
to Vietnamese figures they have organized 20,700, trained 5,800 and 
armed 1,782. As yet the PSDF advisor has been unable to get a physi- 
cal count of the members; however, he has been able to monitor some 
of the training which is marginal at best. The only firm figure is the 
number of weapons issued and the adviser has been able to verify 
that the persons issued these weapons are actually performing secu- 
rity duties at night in the hamlets. I plan to place increased emphasis 
on this ])rogram during 1970 since a success in this area will increase 
identity with the Government and also free regional force companies 
for offensive operations. 


The program to improve village and hamlet government got off to a 
slow start, but by the close of 1969 all the staff positions at both village 
and hamlet level had been filled and the personnel trained by either the 
National Training Center at Vung Tau or the Gia Dinh Province 
Training Committee. 

Village self development programs were slow starting due to the lack 
of trained xdllage officials to handle them. However, once the program 
started it was well received by the rural populace. Small projects, 193, 
each costing 50,000 piastres ($423) or less, were approved by the village 
councils and 142 were completed. 

Seven of ten projects in the 50,000 piastre to 150,000 piastre price 
range were completed. Four projects, each costing over 150,000 
piastres, were approved by the Province Chief, but none were com- 
pleted because the cost of materials rose before the projects could be 
started. The remaining projects w\\\ be completed during the first 
quarter of 1970, and the pa[)erwork for the 1970 program \vi\\ be 
initiated concurrently. 



The Chieu Hoi and Information programs did not do well during 
1969 and special emphasis will be placed in these areas during 1970. 


IR-8 rice, which is a new miracle rice, was introduced into the 
district in June 1969 and lesults were outstanding. The program 
was well publicized and all indications are that the people have 
accepted the new rice and will plant more of it next season, 


Progress has been made. When Lieutenant Colonel Di assumed 
command of the Binh Chanh Special Zone on May 8, 1968, there 
were 15 Vietcong hamlets and the majority of the rest were in the 
"D" and "E" category as reflected by the hamlet evaluation system 
(survey) . 

Today there are four "D" hamlets, 38 "C" hamlets and 18 "B" 
hamlets in Binh Chanh district. This is not an inflation of a rating 
system, but reflects the untiring efforts of Lieutenant Colonel Di, his 
staff and the advisers assigned to his district. 

The Vietcong main force units have been reduced to one-quarter 
strength and local guen'illas are seriously under strength. The security 
situation has improved remarkably and eveiy effort will be made 
to continue to improve it and give additional emphasis to rural 
development in 1970. 

The Chairman. Thank you, Major Arthur. 


You mentioned the hamlet evaluation system. Hovr much of your 
time do you spend on the hamlet evaluation system? 

Major Arthur. I spend about 60 percent of my time during the 
month in conducting the hamlet evaluation system survej^. This is 
part of my job. I have to get out and visit every hamlet that I possibly 
can, and I manage to make most of them every month, and in doing so 
I look for the factors that are included on the HES worksheet to see 
what progress or what the actual situation in the village or hamlet is, 
at that time. 

The Chairman. How many hamlets are there in your district? 

Major Arthur. There are 60, sir. 

The Chairman. Did you say you visit each one each month? 

Major Arthur. I trv to make it every month, sir. Sometimes I 

The Chairman. It seems like an awful lot of hamlets to visit in 30 
days. That is an average of two a day. 

^lajor Arthur. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. How soon after you became a district adviser did 
you begin filing the HES reports? 

Major Arthur. I filed it the first month after I became the district 
adviser, sir. 

The Chairman. How long do you spend in each hamlet? 


Major Arthur. Sometimes as little as 15 or 20 mimites, sir; some- 
times as much as a couple of hours. 

The ChairmAxV. How much lower would the percentage of A, B, and 
C hamlets be if the hamlets were surveyed ai, night? 

Major Arthur. The HES report includes activities that happen 24 
hours a (lay. In preparing the hamlet evaluation I have a report of all 
the contacts that occurred during the month, where they occurred, 
what the results were, both night and day, both for operational con- 
tacts and ambushes. 

Also included in the report are all the VC i)ropaganda attempts and 
attempts at taxation or completion of propaganda missions and 
taxation. This includes nighttime figures also. 

I think the HES as it stands now, sir, is a valid system which is 
correct in my district. I cannot speak for any of the other districts. 

The Chairman. How do you know what goes on in the C hamlets 
at night? 

Major Arthur. We have popular force platoons, some revolu- 
tioiuiry development cadre, village and hamlet officials that are staying 
there who can give the reports to the tlistrict chief. 

Also they bring up matters for my people who visit the hamlets to 
talk to them. 

The Chairman. Have you ever downgraded any hamlets in your 

Major Arthur. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. How many? 

Major Arthur. I have downgraded three since I have been there, 
sir; and I have made numerous downgrade changes per month. Some 
go up, some go down, depending on the level of VC activity. 

The Chairman. What kind of reports do you have to submit when 
a hamlet is downgi-aded? 

Major Arthur. On the HES report, sir, is a section for comment 
of why it is being downgraded. I downgi'aded Da Phouc 4 for excessive 
taxation. I had" five reported incidents occurring somewhere in the 
neighborhood of that hamlet during the month and this is a specific 

hamlet evaluation system report 

The Chairman. I don't know how to put it in the record, but I 
think this sheet I hold in my hand indicating the type of information 
that you report on each hamlet each month, ought to be put in. 

Major Arthur. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Are you familiar w ith it? 

I will ask the reporter to do the best he can to put it in, but it is 
an enormous thing. There nuist be 50 or 60 questions. This seems 
like an impossible job. 

(The information referred to is in the Committee files.) 


Do you speak Vietnamese? 

Major Arthur. I speak a little Vietnamese, sir. My deputy'speaks 
fluent Vietnamese, and he is responsible for handling questions 4, 5 
and 6 on this report, which deal with the civil development and 


The Chairman. Does he go along with you on these visits? 

Major Arthur. He conducts his visits independently most of the 
time, sir. Sometimes we do go together. 

The Chairman. Is he an American or Vietnamese? 

A4ajor Arthur. He is an American, sir — a Foreign Service officer, 

The Chairman. I was wondering what you could do with this kind 
of a i)rogram with a form to be filled in in 15 minutes in any kind of a 
village, no matter what language you spoke, because you can see it is 
enormously complicated. 

Major Arthur. I have a district team of 14 members that assist me, 
and I task them with various points to assist in preparing the HES. 

The Chairman. When you go into a village for 15 minutes, do you 
take them with you? 

Major Arthur. No, sir, they operate on their own during the day 
going around on the various programs that they work with, and they 
are looking at this also. 

The Chairman. Are all these questions given equal importance and 
then averaged out or how do you accomplish this? 

Major Arthur. There are letter grades assigned to it, sir, and I 
assume they are all of cqiuil importance. 

The Chairman. All are of equal importance? After you fill them all 
do you average it up? 

Major Arthur. I fill it all in and send it to Province. They send it 
to III Corps and it is put into a computer and it comes back with a 

The Chairman. Some of these questions would be very difficult to 
answer. They are matters of opinion about what hapi)ens to whoever 
you talked to, such as "No reason to doubt whole party apparatus 
eliminated or neutralized." 

phoenix program 

The Chairman. Do you have anything to do with the Phoenix 

Major Arthur. Yes, sir, I do. 

The Chairman. What do you do about that? 

Major Arthur. The district chief is concurrently the head of the 
Phoenix program and as his adviser I head the Phoenix program. I 
have a military intelligence first lieutenant who is the adviser. District 
Operations and Coordinating Center (DIOCC). He does the day-to- 
day nuts and bolts work there in the DIOCC. 

The Chairman. Are you familiar with the incident that occurred 
in Baltimore not too long ago involving the two men who had been 
trained at Fort Holabird? Was that brought to your attention? 

Major Arthur. Only what I heard about it in this committee a 
couple of days ago. 

The Chairman. You do not know anthing about it? 

Major Arthur. I don't know anything else about it, sir. 


The Chairman. It was called to my attention that the Chicago 
Tribune article of Mr. Samuel Jameson, to which I referred yesterday, 


quoted yon, Mr. Vann, claiming that the statement that the Govern- 
mient controlled 94 or 95 percent of the po])ulation was misleading. 
Could you explain that or why were the HES statistics misleading? 

Mr. Vann. It is misleading when it is used in that fashion, sir. 

The Chairman. What fashion? 

Mr. Vann. Trying to measure absolute values. We use it as a man- 
agement tool to indicate trends and to reflect changes in control of 
the population. 

We feel that when you are asking questions of the nature of the 
HES questions there is a limit as to how much information you can 
get and as to the accuracy of the answers of each one. For this reason 
I personally, since I am a graduate statistician and helped origiiuilly 
to develop this report in 1967, feel that there are certain built-in biases 
in this rei^ort ancl that they are favorable. 

But I also feel that the biases are constant. I have long deplored 
using this to claim that we controlled an absolute percentage of popu- 
lation, and instead have long used it to reflect that we controlled x 
percentage more of ])opulation now than at some other given period. 


The Chairman. Could you, before you sit down, tell us what you 
think is tlu; real security situation in the country, understanding as 
you do this bias? 

Mr. Vann. I think generally, sir, that, first of all, in terms of rele- 
vancy, it is a much imjn-oved situation over what it has been at any 
time since I have been there in 1962. 

Secondly, the trend line, which was going down in early 1968, 
has since March of 1968 been up. It has not been completely steady — 
sometimes it has been slightly erratic — but the trend has been generally 
up in security. The reason the trend has been up in security is that 
there lias been a large increase in the number of Vietnamese troops; 
and, secondly, these troops have moved out from Province and 
district towns and into hamlets that previously were not occupied. 

HES as a management TOOL 

I am quite satisfied that as a management tool the HES is very 

I would point out that before Ave had the HES, when you wanted 
to know what the status was in a hamlet you had to rely upon the 
judgment of whatever American oi Vietnamese had been around 
in the local area the longest. It was a very subjective judgment at 
that time. 

The Chairman. It is an attempt to make it much more statistical 
and objective than formerly is I guess what you said? 

Mr. Vann. I think, su-, any management system has to work on 
certain basic data. I would point out that that HES report is not 
used just to measure security; it also provided for the first time in 
Vietnam a data bank on which hamlets had schools, which had Avells, 
which had a hamlet chief who Avas sleeping in his hamlet at night, 
and many other factors that before we could only speculate about. 

The Chairman. Yes. 



Major Arthur, did you say how many Americans are in your dis- 
trict, civilian and military? 

Major Arthur. I said 14. 

The Chairman. Fourteen civilians. 

Major Arthur. No, 14 people on my district team. 

The Chairman. Fourteen military; how many civilians? 

Major Arthur. The whole team is a combined organization. We 
have 14 people on the district team. In addition, I have five mobile 
advisory teams operating in the district which are under my opera- 
tional control. They have five men each. 

operation of phoenix program at district level 

The Chairman. Is there anything further you could add with 
regard to the way the Phoenix program operates at the district level 
that has not been covered? 

Major Arthur. I sup])ort Mr. Vann's point that the Phoenix 
program is a coordinated intelligence support. We have a wide variety 
of responses to take toward Vietcong units. Phoenix is not, as has 
been brought out before, an assassination tool. It is not used that way 
in any district that I know of, and certainly not in mine. It has a 
message section, a situation section, and an operations section, like 
any other military organization that I know of. 

what happens to vietcong picked up by south VIETNAMESE? 

The Chairman. Do you know what happens to a Vietcong who 
is picked up and turned over to the Vietnamese? 

Major Arthur. Well, in our district they are picked up by the 
Vietnamese, so they are not turned over to the Vietnamese. They are 
doing all the picking up. Wo accompany some operations. 

The Chairman. All right. 

Do you know what hap])ens to them after they are picked n\)? 

Major Arthur. He is interrogated normally at district from any- 
M'hore u]) to 24 hours, held there, and then sent to the S-2 at province 

The Chairman. Do you have any means of knowing what happens 
to him? 

Major Arthur. Yes, sir. We get a rej)ort back down through in- 
telligence channels of what the readout was on his interrogation, 
whether he was released at that level, whether he was held for further 
interrogation and what information was obtained. 


The Chairman. I am not sure that you can answer this. If you 
cannot I will understand. Do you have any reason to know, one way or 
the other, about the stories which have been reported from time to 
time about the methods used in extracting information from a cap- 
tured Vietcong? Are you familiar with any methods that are used in 
that connection? 

Major Arthur. I have seen some interrogations. I have seen one 
instance in which there was some force used and I mentioned it to my 


counterpart. I have not seen it since and 1 have been around in in- 
terrogations. There has not been any more of this type of activity. 

The Chairman. You have never seen them utilize hehcopters in 
that connection? 

Major Arthur. No, sir. 


The Chairman. Have jou ever heard of any cases of Phoenix being- 
misused for purposes of extortion or intimidation by Vietnamese or 
district officials? 

Major Arthur. I have no knowledge of it and liave never hoard of 

The Chairman. Senator Gore. 


Senator Gore. I wish you would give me a definition of neutralized. 

As I understand from what 1 have heard and read, the purpose of 
the Phoenix program is to neutralize the ])ohtical infrastructure of the 
NLF; is this correct? 

Major Arthur. To answer your first question, the word "neutral- 
ize" means to me to capture, rally or to kill the Vietcong infra- 
structure of the Vietcong units. Phoenix oi)erates both against the 
Vietcong infrastnicture and against conv(Mitional and local guerrilla 

Senator Gore. I wanted to leave out of my question military 
operations. I am referring to the counter terror phase of the Phoenix 
l)rogram, as it has been described to me. 

I understand it has been testified here that it is no longer a counter 
terror program. You say then that the definition of neutralize is to 
capture, rally or kill. 

Major Arthur. That is my impression of the definition of neu- 
tralize, yes, su'. 

Senator Gore. Do you give to the Phoenix director a goal within 
your district for neutralization of the political infrastructure? 

Major Arthur. Well, there is a goal established by province. This 
is entirely a Vietnamese show. U.S. people are involved in an advisory 

I might note for just a moment, sir, that Phoenix and the DIOCC 
is only one of the many programs I have going at all times in the 

Senator Gore. Do you have any more programs going with the 
goal of capturing, rallying or killing civilians? 

Major Arthur. No, sir. 

Senator Gore. This is the total program of neutralization then? 

Major Arthur. I think civilians is a bad word there. These Viet- 
cong infrastructure are civilian members of the Vietcong, the 
political leaders and the brains, if you will, behind the organization. 

They often, more often than not, have been found to carry weapons 
and are armed. There is a goal established, sir, and it comes down from 
the province level by the Vietnamese to the district. It is established 
for neutralization. 


Senator Gore. I think if I were in Vietnam, from what I know about 
it, I would want to carry a weapon of some sort, but I do not know 
that that is a test of whether a man is a member of the mihtary or 
whether he is a member of the pohtical infrastructure. PoHcemen 
carry weapons even in Washington, sometimes even in our high 

Major Arthur. These people are classified as guerrillas, sir. 

Senator Gore. Who classifies them? 

Major Arthur. I would have to defer just a monent, if I may, to 
Ambassador Colby. There is a green book. 

Mr. Colby. I think. Senator, we are talking about one of the com- 
plications of this war, that it goes all the way from a North Vietnamese 
uniformed soldier down to a local member of a political association. 

Now, all of those are part of the enemy structure, and in between 
there are various levels of armaments, various kinds of organizations. 
This whole thing is part of the fight that is going on in Vietnam. 

Senator Gore. True, it is a part of a civil war and we have taken 
sides. We have organized a counter terror program which we call 
Phoenix and the purpose of it is to neutralize either by captur- 
ing, rallying or killing the political infrastructure of the opposition to 
the Thieu regime. 

Mr. Colby. I think. Senator, if I may, I would have to take some 
issue with certain of the ways you express this. 

Senator Gore. I wish you would. 


Ad!r. Colby. I think that one of the things we have learned out in 
Vietnam is that the war has been fought by the enemy on a series of 
levels : on a level of organizational effort, on a level of guerrilla effort, 
on a level of military effort, on a level of South Vietnamese effort, 
and on a level of North Vietnamese effort. 

Now, for a long time we concentrated on assisting the Government 
of Vietnam to fight on the last two of those levels, the regular force 

Over the past 

Senator Gore. Of both the North Vietnamese 

Mr. Colby. North Vietnamese. 

Senator Gore (continuing). And the Vietcong. 

Mr. Colby. And the southern main force units; yes, sir, Senator. 



Senator Gore. And the southern main force units were the larger 
of the two? 

Mr. Colby. It was; it is no longer, sir. In 1965, the balance of 
combat forces was something like a little less than 25 ])ercent North 
Vietnamese, and about 75 i)ercent South Vietnamese. Our intelligence 
analysis of the combat strength that we are facing today, and by this 
I mean the main and local forces — the full-time soldiers on the other 
side — now indicates through interrogations and through what we have 
learned of their organization, that the total enemy combat strength 
today is something like 72 percent North Vietnamese and only about 
26 or 28 percent South Vietnamese. 



Senator Gore. The largest estimate which has been given to this 
committee throughout the war of the number of organized North 
Vietnamese miUtary in South Vietnam has been 85,000. Can you 
give us an estimate of what it is now? 

Mr. Colby. I am not at Hberty to give it in the open, the exact 
figure, but it is higher than that today, sir. 

Senator Gore. When you say higher, are you taking into your 
estimate the North Vietnamese troops that are stationed outside the 
borders of South Vietnam? 

Mr. Colby. I am taking into account the ones who are in the im- 
mediate vicinity of the South Vietnamese border. 

Senator Gore. That was not the question I asked you. I said within 
South Vietnam the highest estimates ever given to this committee 
were 85,000. 

Mr. Colby. Yes, su\ 

Frankly, we do not separate them out in that fashion because these 
troojjs are very mobile in the border area. In the area of the Cambodian 
border or the Lao border, the presence of units 1 or 2 kilometers one 
side or the other does not change tlie military situation that our 
peoi)le are faced with. They have to face that total force. For intelli- 
gence j)urposes, they consider it as one total force. 

Senator Gore. Of course, they have to be 

Mr. Colby. This does not include the units which are quite a ways 
away, however, and are not an immediate military i)roblem. It does 
not include the ones who are far uj) into the panhandle of North 
Vietnam or the logistic elements in the Lao corridor. 

SeiuUor Gore. 1 realize this is a question that will need to be 
examined in executive session, but this is the first evidence I have 
yet heard from anyone that the North Vietnamese forces in South 
Vietnam exceeded the Vietcong units in South Vietnam. 

Mr. Colby. They exceed the combat strength, Senator. It is impor- 
tant, unfortunately, to deal in these terms of art and I would not 
want to mislead you. I am talking about the combat units, the main 
and local forces. This does not include the guerrilla force. The guerrilla 
is another figure, and it is not in that i)r()portion. But the full-time 
soldiers that you are dealing with are included in what I said. 

Senator Gore. These terms of military art frequently remind me 
of Alice in Wonderland. I believe there was a character there who 
was going to declare her own terms and choose words with her own 

The Communists have done that for a long time and we seemed to 
have learned the trick. 

Mr. Colby. No, sir, it is not a trick. Senator. 

Senator Gore. The formula then. 

Mr. Colby. It is a formula we use because this is the way we use 
the information. You must, in order to fight the war, have in cate- 
gories the different t3'pes of forces you are fighting so that you can 
identif}^ clearly how much of your effort to put against the different 
forces. Therefore, you must break them down into these different 




Senatoi Gore. You were saying- before we got into this question 
of the size of forces that the United States had long assisted the wSouth 
Vietnamese Government in resisting and fighting people from North 
Vietnam and also the indigenous opposition called the Vietcong. 

In the Phoenix program, as I understand you to say and you correct 
me if I am misstating your position, we moved to assist the South 
Vietnamese Government in fighting the political infrastructure of the 
indigenous political opposition in South Vietnam, which has been 
identified as the National Liberation Front. 

Do I correctly state j^our position? 

Mr. Colby. You are correct. Senator. We have extended our 
assistance over the past 2 or 3 years, from assistance merely on the 
purely military contest to assistance to the South Vietnamese to 
strengthen their local territorial forces which protect the hamlets 
and villages against the guerrillas. We have also extended our assist- 
ance and our advisory effort to include the police and internal security 
effort against the enemy terrorists, against the enemy's command and 
control structure for the entire effort. It is the political structure that 
is the command element which gives the direction to the terroiists, 
to the gueriillas, and to the main force elements and, therefore, they 
are a verj^^ definite part of the total war eflPort. 


Senator Gore. Would you mind explaining the difference between 
the Vietcong terror efforts against the political infrastructure of the 
Saigon Government, on the one hand, and the counter terror program 
of the South Vietnamese Government against the political infrastruc- 
ture of their opposition, the NLF. 

Mr. Colby. As I testified the other day, Senator, there is no longer 
a counterterror effort. Several j^ears ago there was a short period in 
which that kind of an idea got loose. 

Senator Gore. How short a period? 

Mr. Colby. I would saj a maximum of 6 months, between 6 months 
to a year. 

Senator Gore. What was the goal of the counter terror program? 

Mr. Colby. This was a period at which very little effort was being 
made against the political apparatus, the control structure, the 
terrorist structure of the enemy. It was determined at that time, with 
the Vietnamese Government, to organize some special groups to try 
to begin to work on this side of the total problem. 

Now, they were given a very unfortunate name, and they also did 
some unfortunate things. 

This was stopped, and I might confess that I had something to do 
with stopping it, because I just do not believe that this is going to be 
productive. There has been a change— : — 

Senator Gore. You had no other reason, no conscience against 
organized assassination? 

Mr. Colby. Sir, I have a conscience. Senator. 

Senator Gore. Was that part of your reason is what I am asking? 


Mr. Colby. That was i)art of my reasoning, but it is also unproduc- 
tive in the larger sense. It is not productive to do unconscionable 
things, I do not believe. 

Senator Gore. Of course, I do not know how a^ou would measure an 
estimate of productivity of a program and your reluctance conscien- 
tiously to engage in it. Do you have a measurement? 


Mr. Colby. Senator, the object of this total operation in Vietnam 
was to strengthen the Vietnamese people and government against the 
challenge being made to it. 

Senator Gore. By neutralizing their opposition? 

Mr. Colby. No, sir. First, by strengthening their own cohesion and 
their own engagement and commitment in the effort, to change it from 
an effort conducted by officials and by soldiers to an effort which in- 
cludes such organizations as the People's Self-Defense, in which the 
ordinary citizen is given a weapon to help defend his home; and also by 
including in the effort a ])rogram of identifying clearly who are the key 
members of the enemy a])paratus as distinct from the individual who is 
merely a member of a local farmer's association. 


Senator Gore. This brings us back to the question I asked you some 
moments ago, to which I did not receive an answer. What were the 
goals of the Phoenix program when it was, by your terms, a counter- 
terror i^rogram? 

Mr. Colby. The goals at that time were to begin to capture, rally, 
or kill members of the enemy a]:)paratus. 

Senator Gohe. Those are still the goals p.ow except you liave begun. 
You are well into it now. 

Mr. Colby. The difference today is that this is more integrated 
into the normal government and i)olice and judicial structure of the 
Vietnamese Government. 

At that time there was not a constitutional government. There was 
military rule. Since that time a constitution has been ado])ted, a 
government has been established, and a beginning has been made to 
establishing the kind of law and order that you would expect a govern- 
ment to produce. 

Senator Gore. As I understand your answer, the goals are the same. 
You used identically the same words — capture, rally, or kill. I do not 
quite get either a distinction or a difference in what it was when you 
called it and described it as a counter terror progi'am and the Phoenix 
]:)rogram now with the same goals. 

Would you mind enlightening me? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir. 

I think the difference. Senator, as I indicated, was that at that time 
there were these special grou]:)s which were not included in the normal 
government structure. They were essentially guerrilla forces on the 
government side, organized to help conduct the fight against this 
aspect of the enemy. 

Since that time, this has been more and more integrated into 
the normal government structure, and correspondingly conducted 
under the government's rules of behavior. 

44-706—70 14 


Senator Gore. What particular vii-tiie does interrogation contribute 
to murder? 

Mr. Colby. Senator, this is not murder. We are not talking of 

Senator Gore. Or killing. I will use your terms. 

Mr. Colby. We are talking of a fire fight that develops when a team 
of police, a group of soldiers, or a group of self-defenders goes out to 
attack and to capture, if possible, a leading member of the enemy 
command structure. 

Now, they realize 

Senator Gore. When you say command structure, is this a word 
of art? Is this a village chief in an area in which the NLF has the 
predominant influence? 

Mr. Colby. This is the chairman of the People's Revolutionary 
Party for that village, for example. 

Senator Gore. In other words, this is the community or village 
political leadership. 

Mr. Colby. He has not been elected. There is another village chief 
in that village, Senator. 

Senator Gore. I did not inquire about how he became a leader, 
whether he was elected under the constitution or othenvise. He is the 
local village political leader and the purpose of the Phoenix program 
is to neutralize him either by capture, rally, or kill. 

Mr. Colby. He is an individual contending for power in that village. 
On his side. He is contending for power from the Communist side. 

Senator Gore. Thank you very much, but I have overtrespassed my 

Senator Cooper. I was not leaving because you asked questions. 
I have to go to the floor, but I will be brief. 

IS united states involved in assassination or terror program? 

I have seen the newspaper article and the implication of the articles 
and also our questioning may suggest and wrongfully that the United 
States may be a part of, either by act or by advice, a program of assas- 
sination, the same type of program that the Vietcong directed against 
the South Vietnamese. 

Now, does the United States, through your operations, have any 
program or one which is supported by our country, or a U.S. supported 
program of the South Vietnamese which directs assassination or acts 
of terrorism? 

Mr. Colby. No, Senator, I do not. 

If I might continue a bit with the same point, the Vietnamese 
Government has developed this program first of all to identify the 
members of the enemy political structure, to get their names clearly, 
to go through these seven or eight aliases, and then to try to capture 
them or to try to get them to rally. 

Now, in the course of those actions, just as happened to John 
Dillinger, he may shoot back and he may end up dead. 

The second area in which these figures show people being killed is 
that in the normal hamlet or village of Vietnam there are several 
ambushes around the outside of the village at night to keep marauding 
guerrilla bands away. 


When an armed band approaches that particidar area, the am- 
biishers do not stop to inqidre too deeply as to who is there. They 
know that no one should be moving in that area, and they are aware 
of any friendly troops that are moving in that area. 

At that point, a fire fight begins, and in the morning it is clear that 
several people have been killed. 

By looking at the documents on the bodies, it can be discovered 
frequently that an individual was the head of a district committee 
or the local security officer for the village committee, or whatever. 
In that fashion, he is reported as killed. 

But in direct answer to your question, Senator, the United States 
is not a party to a program to assassinate people in Vietnam. 

Senator Cooper. I wanted the answer and I appreciate it very 


We are all aware that in war situations things occur that do not 
occur in peacetime. Assume that you know or find out that there are 
assassinations by the South Vietnamese. Do you take any position? 
Do you advise against it, or is the United States just neutral about it? 

Mr. Colby. No, sir, we have issued a directive to all members 
of the American community there, the members of the CORDS, the 
military, and the civilian advisers, that if they see a situation which 
does not meet the rules of land warfare, they are not only to refuse 
any participation, they are to make their objections known, and they 
are to report the fact that this happened to higher authority. 

Major Arthur just mentioned the fact that there was an unfortunate 
interrogation that took i)lace in his area, and that he objected to it, 
and it has since ceased. I think those are very clear directives to our 
forces and to our civilian advisers in Vietnam. I have a copy of that 


Senator Cooper. In the United States in time of war, in a combat 
zone, a writ of habeas corpus is not a\aila})le. That is the law in our 
country, and also militaiy trial is aj^plicable in a combat zone in the 
United" States. The Supreme Court decided that in the case of the 
Germans who were captured on the eastern seacoast. 

But when the leaders of the Vietcong are apprehended and taken 
into custody and are held in detention, is there any kind of legal 
process — I do not mean due process as we would expect in our coun- 
try — but is there any kind of a process to determine whether or not 
those detained are in the command or political structure, whether or 
not they have been engaged in acts of terrorism or acts of assassina- 

Mr. Colby. A Vietcong member who is captured. Senator, after 
being interrogated at the district level, as the major mentioned, is 
then sent to the province. 

At the province level it is decided whether there is a case against 
him for criminal prosecution under security legislation. If so, he is 
sent to a military tribunal where be can be con^^cted of this particular 


This tribunal is authorized to give a variety of sentences which are 

There is a separate proceeding which he might be subjected to. This 
is called administrative detention. The Vietnamese word is An Tri. 

If under the circumstances there is evidence to satisfy the executive 
that this man should be held because he is a danger to the State, then 
he may be held in detention for a period up to 2 j^ears. This would then 
be extended thereafter by a review of his case. 

Over the past year the Government has defined very clearly the 
different levels of participation in the Vietcong political effort. They 
have issued a detailed description of this which, I believe, we have 
provided to the committee staff. This identifies three levels of par- 
ticipation, called A, B, and C. 

(The information referred to follows:) 

Viet Cong Infrastructure (VCI) 

1. Definition: The A'iet Cong infrastructure is defined as the political organiza- 
tion through which the ^'iet Cong control or seek to control the South \ietnaniese 
people. It consists of the People's Revolutionary Party (PRP) structure (which 
includes a command/control and administrative apparatus — Central Office for 
South Vietnam (COSVN). — at the national level), and the leadership and admin- 
istration of a parallel front organization, The National Front for the Liberation 
of SVN (NFLSVN), both of which extend from the national through the hamlet 
level. The PRP is the southern arm of the Lao Dong or worker's party the official 
Communist Party of North ^■ietnam. Several high ranking personnel in key 
positions at the COSVN level hold jjositions on the Lao Dong Central Committee 
which interlocks leaders of the PRP and Hanoi. 

2. Not considered to be in the VCI category: (a) Rank and file guerrillas; (6) Rank 
and file members of front organizations; (c) Soldiers and members of organized 
VC/NVA military units; (d) Persons who pay taxes to the VC; (e) Persons who 
perform miscellaneous tasks for the VC; and (/) ]\Iembers of the populace in VC- 
controlled areas. 

The A level receives a 2-year sentence. The B level receives a 
minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 2, because that is all that is 
authorized. The C level, or general follower, cannot receive more than 
a 1-year sentence. 

Now, in actual fact, most of the C level are let go veiy quickly. 
The quotas, for instance, that we were discussing apply only to A 
and B levels. They do not apply to C levels. 


Senator Cooper. In substance, you do say that the United States 
has not initiated, does not participate in, does not advise or condone 
a system of assassination of the Vietcong. 

Mr. Colby. I do say that. Senator. I do submit that unfortunate 
things happen on occasion in Vietnam, and I would not pretend to 
say that no one has been wrongfully killed there; that I would not 
pretend to say. 

But I think I frankly was quite heartened in the past few days by 
the appearance of two articles in the Washington Post and the New 
York Times. These articles were written by very serious reporters 
who were obviously told to go out and look carefully into this Phoenix 
program in preparation for these hearings. 

They have come up with some well-stated criticisms of the prograni. 
We are aware of these weaknesses in the program and the difficulties 


of getting this program done. This is not novel in Vietnam, 

But in the course of their stories they do not mention any of the 
kinds of abuses that have been suggested here. In fact, I beheve the 
Washington Post story by Mr. Kaiser states that he was unable to 
find any evidence of that kind of an incident. 

Now, several years ago I think he would have been able to find 
that kind of evidence. I am very pleased to indicate that apparently 
his researches have not proved that to be occurring now. 

Senator Cooper. Thank you very much. 

Senator Case. Mr. Chairman, I guess you signified that you wanted 
mo to i)roceed. 

The Chairman. Yes, you may proceed. We may have a vote pretty 
soon, I am told. I wonder if we can come back this afternoon. We 
have two more witnesses. Can you come back for a while this 

Senator Case. I can come back. 

The Chairman. Go ahead until the bell rings, but we are expecting 
a vote on the Mondale amendment. 


Senator Case. On this new program, Colonel, why don't you come 
up here and sit here because 1 have a couple of questions that I would 
like to address to you on your statements yesterday. But for the 
moment, I would like to i)ursue this Phoenix thing a little further, 
and you have already introduced it, Mr. Ambassador, and the line of 
([uestioning I wanted to bring out is based largely on Robert Kaiser's 
story in the Post. 

He does say, I do not think quite as flatly as, perhaps, you sug- 
gested, that there was no present evidence of assassination, but that 
he had not been able to find any direct evidence of it, and, in general, 
plays down the Phoenix as an assassination or counter terror operation. 
But he does make criticism of it, as you suggest, too. 

One of them is its potential for use by ambitious politicians against 
thoir political opponents, not the Vietcong at all. And I take it you 
are conscious of this possibility. 

Would you comment on it? 

Mr. Colby. This is a possibility, Senator, and this jjossibiUty has 
beim raised in the Vietnamese Legislature. 

The Vietnamese Legislature called the government to account on a 
series of stories that they had heard in various provinces about this. 
They interrogated the government and indicated that they were 
concerned about it. 

Any program can be abused, of course, if the parties in power wish 
to do so. This is true of the armed forces or the Administration or any 
other. But to date it is our impression that this is not being used 
substantially for internal political purposes, if you except the Com- 
munists from the area called internal. 

Senator Case. So Mr. Kaiser states. He talks about this as a 
l)otential, and certainly it is a potential because it involves roving 
bands of government agents with, in effect, kangaroo court powers 
if they are exercised. 


Air. Colby. Yes, it is. They are not really roving bands, Senator. 
They are members of the police and military apparatus. They are 
under the command of the appropriate level of authority, the province 
chief and the district chief. They are part of the government structure. 

Senator Case. But this possibility does exist. 

The article says, ' 'Phoenix contributes substantially to corruption. 
Some local officials demand payoffs with threats of arrest under the 
Phoenix iirogram, or release genuine Vietcong for cash." 

What about that? 

Mr. Colby. I would say that occasionally that happens, yes. I 
could not give you a percentage of how often this haj^jjens. It is a 
l^roblem not only in the Phoenix program; it is a problem in other 

The shakedown is a problem in a variety of nations around the 
world. All I can say is that I have heard the President and the Prime 
Minister on many occasions give very strong directions that the 
focus of the effort is on the Vietcong, that this is the object of the 
operation, and that it is not to be used for other purposes. 


The Chairman. Will the Senator allow me to ask a question? Can 
you tell us, where is Mr. Dzu, the man who ran second in the last 
election? Is he still in jail? 

Mr. Colby. Mr. Dzu is in Chi Hoa jail in Saigon. 

The Chairman. How do you reconcile that with your statement of 
the very objective view of the Prime Minister? I do not see how you 
do reconcile it. 

Mr. Colby. He was not arrested under the Phoenix program, Mr. 

The Chairman. I know. I realize that. I mean this estimate of 
yours of their high-mindedness in this matter. This has always 
puzzled me. How you can defend an administration that did that to 
Mr. Dzu and apparently are going to give it to Mr. Chau, too. That 
is all. 

It does seem to me quite inconsistent with what you said about it. 

Mr. Colby. I believe I was discussing the Phoenix program, Mr. 

The Chairman. I understand that. But you say they are giving 
instructions to be so careful not to use the program for political 
purposes, wdien Thieu himself has put a man in prison for no other 
crime that we know of than that he ran second to him in the election. 

Senator Case. I think that just, perhaps, suggests this is a privilege 
reserved for the higher officials. [Laughter.] 

The Chairman. I see. 

phoenix program's focus on low-level operators 

Senator Case. A third specific suggestion about this program is 
that it is hel})ing the Vietcong more than hurting them, by thro\\ing 
peoi)le into prison who are just low-level operators even under duress, 
and not really enemies of the regime, and alienating a substantial 
number of people in a ])opulation who ought to be persuaded to come 
on tlie side of the Saigon Government. 


Is this also true? 

Mr. Colby. Well, of course, Senator, as I will bring out in later 
testimony, there is an active program to invite members of the 
enemy to join the government's side, a very energetic program. 

Senator Case. I understand that. 

Mr. Colby. So if they would join the government's side they 
would be welcomed. 

Senator Case. I understand 

Mr. Colby. As for your point, however, this has been a problem. 
The government adopted the A, B, C classifications of the members 
of the apparatus so that the lower levels Avould not count as part of 
this program, and so that they would not be the object of the effort. 

It was an effort to downgrade that kind of targeting and to focus 
on the key members of the enemy api)aratus, and I believe they have 
had some success. 

Senator Case. That is the general objective, but how about the 
quotas? Are the quotas met by anybody? 

Mr. Colby. No, sir; the quotas are only met by A's and B's not 
by C's. 

a's, b's, and c's 

Senator Case. Tell us roughly who is an A, who is a B, and who 
is a C. 

Mr. Colby. There is a detailed breakout in this green book, which 
is in Vietnamese. 

Senator Case. Just tell me. 

Mr. Colby. The A levels are People's Revolutionary Party Mem- 
bers, party members who are obviously fellows who have gone through 
the candidate stage and become convinced members of the enemy 

The B level are leaders of the various front groups, the leading 
elements of the so-called farmers association in an area, the other 
senior peoi)le who are trying to give actual leadershii), although they 
may not be party members yet. The C level are generally the rest of 
the people who participate in the actions. 

effectiveness of phoentx progr.^m 

Senator Case. Now, Mr. Kaiser sort of switches it around and says 
this model bears small resemblance to actuality. He says the thing 
has hardly worked at all, and the main reason is that the Government, 
Saigon jjeople, military antl whatnot, the military officials supposedly 
on the Government side, are not interested in prosecuting it. 

They do not want to disturb things. They would rather take their 
chance with things as they are, not upset people. They do not want 
to go after the Vietcong. 

Mr. Colby. Senator, I used to be quoted to the effect that I did not 
feel that the operation had begun to hurt the enemy at all. I have 
changed my evaluation in the ])ast, I would say, 2 to 3 months. 

I do not think it is being all that effective yet, but I do believe it is 
beginning to bite. 

The normal VCI now goes with a bodyguard. He does not live in 
the village any more. He lives out in the forest, in the safe area. This 
is beginning to put some pressure on this apparatus. 


There are many things to be clone to improve it. Beside the ones 
mentioned here, I know a few of my own. We will try to improve 
these and make it work the way it should. 

It is having some impact now, though I think it is increasingly 
having an overall positive impact as distinct from the possibility of 
counterproductive impact which it may have had some time ago. 


Senator Case. Kaiser concludes his piece by saying '' 'Vietnamiza- 
tion' of Phoenix has, in a sense, already been completed," so far as 
the Americans involved. As you said, they were advisers, and he says 
that some officials think most of them should be ^^-ithdrawn. " 'We 
have done all we can,' one official said. 'If they want to get the VCI 
they can do it. We can't do anything more.' " 

Mr. Colby. As for the wanting to eliminate this, Senator, I believe 
that there are 

Senator Case. Our participation in it. 

Mr. Colby. Yes, but both the national leadership and the local 
leadership have a considerable interest in eliminating this Vietcong 
terrorist effort. 

As I brought out yesterday, over 6,000 people were killed last year 
in the course of these terrorist incidents. Fifteen thousand were 
wounded. This is a very serious business to the local village chief, to the 
local district chief, to the local province chief. They know who is 
organizing this kind of a program. It is this apparatus. So they are 
anxious to do it. 

Now, the Government made a further step on October 1 when they 
changed the program from being a private government effort to a 
public program. They publicized it; they made it the subject of leaflets 
and banners, and so forth, with the theme that this program protects 
the population against terrorisnu 

Since that time they have published leaflets with the pictures of 
people who have been wanted. Some of these people have come in; 
some of them have been captured; some of them have been reported on 
by their neighbors as a result of being identified through this program. 

The People's Self-Defense Force has been assisting in carrying out 
this program of identifying and picking up members of the other side. 

Senator Case. I take it, in general, you operating gentlemen, you. 
Colonel, Major, certainly would not disagree — I would assume you 
would not disagree — with the Ambassador? 

Mr. Colby. If they wish to, sir, they are qiute at liberty. They are 
under oath to tell the truth. 

IS phoenix program best way to do the job? 

Senator Case. Is this the best way to do the job? Is Phoenix all that 
imi)ortant or are the negative sides equal to the positive value in your 

Mr. Mills. Senator, I would say it is a job that has to be done one 
way or the other in the same way that the FBI 

Senator Case. Would you identify yourself? 

Mr. Mills. Yes, sii*. 


I am Hawthorne Mills, Province Senior Adviser in Tuyen Due. I 
testified yesterday in your absence. 

I would say this job has to be done. There are some questions 
about the Phoenix organization, as a manmade mechanism to go 
about rooting out the underground organization, is the best way to 
do it. 

Senator Case. That is what we are talking about. Nobody, at 
least this Senator, is in any way criticizing the idea of a successful effort 
in South Vietnam. 

Mr. Mills. Yes, sir. 

Senator Case. But this Senator is questioning this particular thing 
and its effectiveness and the dangers involved in it, whether it is 

Mr. Mills. Yes, sir. 

I think the Phoenix program was designed to overcome some of the 
weaknesses in the counterintelhgence organization of the Vietnamese 
Government. This may be a further step toward the situation in most 
countries of the world, wherein the police or the national equivalent of 
the FBI handle this type of program. The Vietnamese pohce are play- 
ing the effective i)art in this. 

It may be that some of the weaknesses which have been i)()inted out 
are weaknesses in the operation of this thing, but not in the concept. 

I think there has been a misunderstanding which has come out today 
that somehow or other the Phoenix program is o])erating against 
innocent civilians who are working under the normal political rules. 
This is not the case, as the Ambassador ])ointed out. 

These are organizers of the terrorist activities that the Vietcong are 
conducting. I would say that in Tuyen Due Province the Phoenix 
program is a great advance over what was being done in the past. 

But, perha])s, as security conditions allow, the normal })olice can 
take over this operation, and this will be, ])erhai)s, a better way of 
handling it. 


Senator Case. It says here that if there is some evidence of a Viet- 
cong coimection, the people apjirehended are brought to trial before 
a ])rovincial security team. That is before the Phoenix team. I take it? 

Mr. Colby. No, sir; that is the jn'ovincial security committee. 
That is made up of the province chief, the deputy for admhiistration, 
the chairman of the provincial council, the province judge, the chief 
of police, and a few other officials on the ])rovince level. 

Senator Case. Is that the way normal criminal justice is admin- 

Mr. Colby. No; it is not. That is the second system. That is the 
administrative detention proceeding. 

The other system is a military tribunal that can give a real con- 
viction after a full trial. 

Senator Case. Then people are not, so far as you know, at least 
the rule is that they are not, punished bevond detention without such 
a trial? 

Mr. Colby. No, Two-year detention is the rule. It can be extended. 

Senator Case. So it is indefinite detention, which is possible by 
these terms? 


Mr. Colby. But normally they are released, Senator. 

Senator Case. Is there anything you want to say, either of your 

Mr. McManaway. The detention is not decided by the team, sir; 
it is by the security committee. 

Senator Case. Which has just been described. 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

Senator Case. Major? 


Major Arthur. Yes, sir. In reference to j^our question as to how 
it is working and whether it is the most effective tool to accomplish 
the mission, it is not working all that well in Binh Chanh district. 

During the months of June through December, with a quota of 80, 
they got 46 VCT. However, it is better than what they had before. It 
is an honest effort to collate all the intelligence that comes into the 
district to get it in one central place and get it together so they can 
identify the people who are causing problems. 

Let me give you an example. In An Lac Village, about the first 
week in November, a Vietcong terror team came in and assassinated 
an old man by taking him out and bayoneting him. They left his 
body on the road with a message. He was a distant relative of the 
district chief. 

District forces, regional and popular forces had conducted an armed 
raid from An Lac 1 to An Lac 4. They had a fire fight and killed one 
terrorist. The other one never was seen again. 

Approximately a week later, the Vietcong went into An Lac 4 and 
went to the home of a woman whom they suspected of telling where 
they were hiding. They bayoneted her. Thej^ came back the next 
night and killed her son and nephew. 

We put everything we could together — revolutionary forces, de- 
velopment cadre, the district intelligence squad, the PF platoons 
normally assigned to the village, the PSDF, the whole thing, every- 
thing. This went on for about a month, but didn't get anything really 
at all. 

Then we got some intelligence that they were going to be coming 
back into the village, and we increased the security, particularly in 
the area they thought they would come in. 

A fire fight did ensue that night, and when the bodies were identi- 
fied, one was Le Cong Dong who was the An Lac Village chief for 
security. He was the head guy who had been sponsoring all this as- 
sassination by the Vietcong. 

So it does work. This was not specific targeting. We just knew they 
were going to come back into the village at some time, and we thought 
it was going to be a certain night, and increased the security of that 

Senator Case. This village chief 

Major Arthur. He is still in business. 

Senator Case. He was ostensibly a representative of the Saigon 
government, their village chief, but turned traitor. 

Major Arthur. No, sir. He was on the Vietcong side as the Vietcong 
security chief for the shadow government of An Lac Village. 


Senator Case. Was he discovered in the village or was his identifi- 
cation, his identity, discovered later? 

Major Arthur. We knew who he was. We knew the leader. He 
was identified once he was killed. Documents on the body identified 
him as such. We were not sure whether he woidd be coming back with 
that three-man or four-man guerrilla squad at night. 

Senator Case. Is there anything further, Colonel, that you would 
like to say about this program? 


Mr. Vann. I would just like to add a comment or two. Senator Case. 

I have some 2,500 American ad\dsers in the Delta. By and large, 
their standard of morals and ethics are about the same as that of the 
normal American. Thej^ are normal Americans. 

We, on a continuing^ basis, do have problems in all programs, and 
certainly in the Phung Hoang program, because we have in many 
cases i)eople who are given responsibilities who have either not had 
adequate training or projier training or have not had adequate experi- 
ence in the discharge of the responsibilities on the Vietnamese side. 

In many cases leaders develop who have motivations that are not 
for the effort but are ]:)ersonal, and so you do have aberrations that take 
place on the part of these people. 

You have people who are abusing this program or any other. 
You can have a good program such as simply building a school become 
a tool for corruption when instead of the man building a school he will 
sell the cement or will sell half the cement, and you end up with walls 
which might fall down on the children. 

Visitors to Vietnam, and particularly rei)orters, when they go out 
into the Delta, and we have 725 villages 

delta villages and hamlets 

Senator Case. Excuse me. By villages you mean what we call small 

Mr. Vann. No, sir, these are groups of towns. We go to what we 

Senator Case. You mean a collection of villages? 

Mr. Vann. A village is a collection of hamlets. A hamlet is what we 
would call a small town. A hamlet may be as little as 50 people, or 
it may be as many as 15,000 or 20,000. We have 4,205 of these hamlets. 

Seiiator Case. The average, just to give a httle more of the picture, 
the average po})ulation of that hamlet is about what? 

Mr. Vann. The average population of a Government-controlled 
hamlet in the Delta is 1,000. The average population of a Vietcong- 
controUed hamlet in the Delta is about 850. This just reflects the fact 
that where there is better security and better economic opportunity 
there will b6 a greater cluster of population. 


What I wanted to say was that, as a reporter or a visitor or an 
analyst goes through he "looks for the unusual. When you are looking 


into the Phoenix program the normal coiu'se of operations does not 
make news, and it is not worthy of separate analysis. 

Therefore, there is always a tendenc}^ to report the extremes, and 
so, even thongh in 725 villages we may have village administrations 
that are fimctioning well in the main, when you find one that has a 
corrupt village chief or one who has taken the police and the popular 
forces who have been assigned to him and who is using them to collect 
rentals for absentee landlords or using them to bully the people, that 
becomes kind of a cause celebre. When it does we try to focus attention 
on it and try to correct it. 

But I must say as a citizen that I to some extent resent the implica- 
tion that we Americans would be over there aiding, abetting, assisting, 
or directing a ])rogram which was designed to assassinate civilians, 
particularly civilians that may or may not be members of the opposi- 
tion. We don't. In my instructions, I have often said to the advisers: 

You are the conscience not only of the American effort but, because this is a 
very young country, and because it has been subject to revolution, you are also 
the conscience of the Vietnamese effort. You must at all times be aware of your 
responsibility to see that standards of human decency applJ^ 

This is just standard practice on our part over there. But when 
these exceptions get reported, and particularlj^ when they are used 
by people who are in basic disagreement with the ijolicy in Vietnam 
as a means of criticizing the effort, they are taken out of context. 
They in no way reflect anything that is normal. 

Senator Case. I think your latter point is the kind of evidence that 
we want. I do not believe there are many people who suggest that 
Americans do this for the fun of it. I am sure this is true. There are 
many who have questioned whether it may not inevitably, may not 
inherently, be so susceptible to bad use and to corruption in an area 
like this for a thousand reasons that the question is whether or not it 
is desirable overall. That question, I take it, you have constantly under 
re\dew yourself. 

I assume that this is so. 

Mr. Vann. We do, sir. I might even add that 

The Chairman. I wonder if the Senator will allow me to interrupt. 
There is a vote going on. The bell rang a moment ago. I think we 
ought to make it. 

Can you gentlemen come back at 2:30? Would that be all right, 
or a quarter of 3. 

\h\ Colby. At your convenience, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Well, it is 1 o'clock now. ^Slake it a quarter of 3 
to give you time for lunch. 

Senator Case. I will let the colonel finish. 

(Whereupon, at 12:50 p.m., the committee recessed, to reconvene 
at 2:45 p.m., this same day.) 


The Chairman. Mv. Ambassador, before we let Major Arthur go, 
there is one more question I would like to ask. 
Is Major Arthur there? 


Major Arthur. Yes. . 

The Chairman. It is not a very complicated question; it was lett 



Yon said in your statement that there are no U.S. combat forces 
in the district now and the defense of Binh Chanh rests solely on the 

That seems to be such a positive flat statement, 1 wondered il 
you would elaborate. What support does the United States con- 

For example, in engagements with the enemy, are American 
helicopter gunships called in? Is there American artillery support 
or what kind of air support does the United States provide, if any? 

Major Arthur. Sir, the Vietnamese i)rovide their own artillery sup- 
port. We do have helicopter gunships support on call. Maybe on an 
average of once a week a fire team of two gunships will be in the area 
and operate for 15 to 20 minutes. This is the extent of the U.S. combat 
support we are getting. We do not have any tactical air and no tactical 
air has been called siiue I have been in that district. It is available but 
we have not called it. . 

The Chairman. Then would you say it is accurate to say that it 
rests solelv on the Vietnamese? That is a Uttle bit of an overstatement; 
is it not? Or do you think the gunships are of no significance? Are they 
de minimis? 

Major Arthur. Pardon me, sir? 

The Chairman. Do you think the supi)ort of gunships is of no signifi- 
cance, so that they are unworthy of notice? 

Major Arthur. Well, they do contribute some added firei)ower. 

The Chairman. All I am "arguing about is the statement when you 
say, "solelv on the Vietnamese." If you have gunships, the way we have 
had these gunships described, they are quite useful histruments in the 
slaughtenng of ])eople. Are they not? 

Major Arthur. Well, not in the slaughtering of [)eople, sir. 

The Chairman. KiUing thorn, whatever you like to call it. They 
have very powerful fire power; do they not? 

Major Arthur. Yes, sir; they do. 

The Chairman. What do you call it? Do you prefer to say killing 
or slaughtering? 

Major Arthur. I would prefer to say killing or dehvenng sup- 
pri^ssive fire so the infantry can close in with the enemy. 

The Chairman. That sounds nicer. 

Major Arthur. Or force them out of the water so they will sur- 

The Chairman. It sounds nicer. I thought in discussing the war 
there is no point in trying to make it sound like a ten party. I mean 
their ])urpose is to kill people; is it not? 

Major Arthur. Yes, su*. 

The Chairman. That is the whole purpose of the operation in the 
military sense; is it not? 

Major Arthur. No, su-. 


The Chairman. What is the purpose? 

Major Arthur. The purpose, of course, would be to get them to 
surrender or to capture them, if possible. 

The Chairman. If they don't, kill them; isn't that right? 
Major Arthur. Yes, sir. 


The Chairman. I am a little slow in semantics I guess. I have not 
had the training you have had out there in how to describe these 
activities. But the point I was making is that I did not realize, and I 
do not believe it is accurate to say, that it rests solely on the Viet- 
namese. What are all these troops doing out there if it rests solely on 
the Vietnamese? That is the only point of the question. 

Mr. Colby. Mr. Chairman 

The Chairman. Do you insist that "solely" is an accurate descrip- 

Mr. Colby. Mr. Chairman, I believe the major was probably 
thinking in terms of those forces in the district rather than those that 
are available from outside. I think your point is well taken. 

The Chairman. It does not rest solely on them. 

Mr. Colby. That is right. 

The Chairman. That is the whole point. We are trying to make 
this as accurate as we can. I am not trying 

Major Arthur. Are there any further questions, sir? 

The Chairman. No, that is all. 

Now, we have Mr. William K. Hitchcock, who is the director of the 
refugee program. 

Air. Hitchcock, do you have a statement? 

Mr. Hitchcock. Yes, I do, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Do you msh to proceed at this time, please, sir? 



Mr. Hitchcock. Yes. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

As the committee knows, the United States is providing substantial 
assistance to the Government of Vietnam to help mitigate the distress 
of Vietnamese people dislocated by the war. This effort. Ambassador 
Colby has explained, is part of the pacification program. The problems 
of assisting these ])eople, however, present special challenges, and the 
Government of Vietnam has set up an integrated organization to 
deal with them at the central, regional, and provincial levels of 

I am happy to have this opportunity to give you a report on this 
program and our efforts to help move it forward. My statement con- 
tains information on the background of tlie present situation, develop- 
ments in 1969, problems we continue to confront, and our estimation 
of future prospects. 




Although other large-scale displacements of people have occurred 
before in Vietnam's history, two of them can be directly related to 
events in Vietnam since World War II. The first occurred as a result of 
the Geneva Agreement of 1954 which gave all Vietnamese people 300 
days to choose whether they wanted to live in the North or the South. 
Estimates vary, but to the best of our knowledge, approximatel}^ 
900,000 civilians moved south and about 75,000 went north. Almost 
all of those who went south were absorbed into the community in about 
3 years' time and they constitute an important element of South 
Vietnamese society today. 

The Chairman. Would you mind an interruption at that point? 


There was a piece in the paper the other day about the 900,000 
that moved south. President Nixon in his November 3 speech, which 
was, as you know, widely noted in this country, said, and I quote: 
a* * * ^j^g million and a half Catholic refugees who fled to South 
Vietnam when the Communists took over in the north." 

How do you reconcile those figures? I noticed that in your statement. 

Mr. Hitchcock. I had not noticed that figure, sir, and I do not know 
that I have ever seen the source that has quoted a million and a half; a 
million is closer. 

The Chairman. I have not either. I thought perhaps they had called 
upon you or in someway or other had checked it with you. 

How did these people get to the South? Did the United States take 
them in American ships primarily? 

Air. Hitchcock. The United States was involved; so, also, were the 
French. I am not quite sure. Perhaps, Ambassador Colby may remem- 
ber the story. 

Mr. Colby. Thej' went south in ships, Mr. Chairman; they went 
south in aircraft; they went south by walking — a variety of ways. But 
they were assisted by the United States very distinctly. 

The Chairman. That is what I mean ; I read that. 

Mr. Hitchcock. There was very definitely assistance. 

The Chairman. OK. Will you, however, check on that figure and see 
what the background is for the record? It seems to me there is such a 
discrepancy between 900,000 and a million and a half. Not now; you 
do not have to do it now, but later. 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir, we will. 

(The information referred to appears on p. 748.) 



jNIr. Hitchcock. The second large-scale displacement of people 
developed with the intensification of the war in the mid-1960's. The 
refugees of this jieriod are defined as people who have had to leave 
their homes and their means of livelihood to escape from Communist 
pressures, from artillery or bombardment, or fron,i the crossfire of war. 


Over 3 million people, almost 20 percent of Sonth Vietnam's total 
population, have sought refuge during the past 6 years. Unlike 
World War II European refugees who moved from counlry to country, 
South Vietnam's clisplaced people have remained within its own 
borders. They moved in large or small groups from Vietcong-controlled 
areas or from combat zones to some place nearby ^\'hich offered them 
relative security. Virtually no one has voluntarily left places con- 
trolled by the Republic of Vietnam either for Vietcong-controlled 
areas or for North Vietnam. Most of them have been at least temjjo- 
rarily resettled in new locations or returned home as improved security 
conditions permitted. 

In March 1969, 1,450,000 were still on the government's refugee 
rolls; by the end of December the payment of allowance had reduced 
this number to 270,000. An individual is removed from the active 
refugee caseload when he receives the payments he has been promised; 
a refugee site, on the other hand, continues to receive assistance until 
it is physically and economically up to Vietnamese standards. The 
completion of most individual payments in 1969 permits efforts in 
1970 to be concentrated on establishing normal living conditions and 
a basis for achieving economic self sufficiency at each inadequate site. 

Aside from regular refugees, well over a million other people have 
seen their homes destroyed or have had their lives otherwise disrupted 
by the w^ar. They receive special assistance as war \'ictims. What 
distinguishes this group from refugees is that the war -related distress 
they suffer does not drive them away from their homes or their 
established means of livelihood for more than transient periods of 
time. And, finally, there are numerous war widows, orphans, and 
physically disabled men, women, and children who require more and 
better organized help. 

The Chairman. Before you leave that page, what is the payment 
of allowances to which you referred? 

Mr. Hitchcock. That, sir, comes a few pages later in my statement. 

The Chairman. Does it? OK. 

Mr. Hitchcock. I take it up in detail. 

The Chairman. OK. I did not know. That is all right. Proceed. 

Mr. Hitchcock. These are the groups of people that have been 
the concern of this program since it began. They represent the prin- 
cipal problems of human distress among the civilian population. The 
scope and even the nature of the problems fluctuate with developments 
in the conflict. Whenever military activity is intense, the number of 
peoi)le displaced increases. Conversely, whenever the level of combat 
subsides and the armed forces have restored territorial security, 
refugees return home, or, if they prefer, resettle themselves and their 
families in new locations. In either case, they are helped by then- 
government. Encouraging progress has been made during the past 
year, but the fact remains that fully satisfactory solutions to some of 
these problems will not be possible until the fighting stops. 

background of present situation 

Now let me be more explicit about the background of the present 
situation. As the conflict intensified from 1965 through 1967, there was 
a tremendous increase in the number of people who had to flee their 


homes in search of safety. Much has been said about the heavy con- 
centration of this refugee movement in the northern part of the 
country (or I Corps) where the fighting; was the heaviest. It was 
substantial there, but the pervasive character of the conflict created 
refugees all over the country, and it did so in ways that varied a great 
deal in each of the four regions. For example, in the delta (or IV 
Corps) area, many peo]jle fled theii- homes, but, given the relative 
ease of subsisting there, they were quickly assimilated and they never 
became the obvious ])roblem represented by people in northern 
refugee camps. In fact, many of the refugees in the delta never sought 
government assistance of any kind at the time they became refugees, 
and their number only began to become apparent as security in the 
countryside improved and they started returning home in 1969. 

Saigon also presents a special kind of situation. ]Much of the influx 
of [)eople into the city undoubtedly was motivated by a search for 
greater physical security, but they were al)le to find jobs quickly and 
they have become an almost indistinguishable pai't of their new envi- 
ronment. This is not to say that their adjustment, or the adjustment 
of the large numbers of people who came to Saigon for other reasons, 
has been satisfactory. Both groups pose a continuing problem, but it is 
being tackled as an urban rather than a refugee one. 

Tliroughout the country, but particularly in tlic camps in the north, 
the continuous stream of people who sought refuge between 1965 and 
1967 created widespread confusion and uncertainty about how to deal 
with the situation. The challenge of taking care of so many people in 
the difficult conditions of the war was enormous; and. hi^kiiig .'i ade- 
(juate program or even the resources for one, the Government of Viet- 
nam's response to the problem was understandably slow and hesitant. 

The extended family system, which constitutes the basis of Viet- 
namese life, consists of large tightly knit groupings of se\eral gen- 
erations of relatives. It is the extended familv which traditionally has 
cared for individual members afflicted by misfortune; the concept of 
government responsibility for the welfare of individuals used to be 
virtually unknown. Tlie war, however, severely disrupted this system 
and created burdens which far exceeded the remaining capacity of the 
family structure. This required a fundamental change in the custom- 
ary role of Vietnamese Government and the assumption of new re- 


Against this background the Government's refugee assistance pro- 
gram got underway ; but for some time it was an inadequate response 
to the problem, and the refugees often had to fend for themselves. 

In the United States momiting concern — including the constructive 
interest of the Senate — focused attention on the plight of these un- 
fortunate people, and the tempo of American efforts to assist in- 
creased significantly. I should emphasize that, from the outset, the 
problem was recognized as basically a Vietnamese one requiring ^'iet- 
namese solutions. But we accepted the responsibility of doing e^i^ry- 
thing we could to help. In 1966 the combined efforts of both govern- 
ments were concentrated on developing an organization, recruiting 
and training people, locating financial resources, and identifying the 

44-706—70 15 


kinds of assistance required in varying refugee situations. Logistics 
support also was a prime requirement and building it up was a time- 
consuming process. As these organizing efforts proceeded throughout 
1966 and 1967, Vietnamese Government officials were gradually learn- 
ing how to take care of displaced people. The program that began to 
emerge incorporated a number of political and strategic considera- 
tions, but basically it was, and is, a humanitarian undertaking. 


By the end of 1967 the stage was set for an organized all-out attack 
on the pi'oblem of the large number of persons who remained in i-efu- 
gee status. Then the Communists launched their Tet offensive in Jan- 
uary 1968, followed by offensives in May and August. These enemy 
attacks, mostly on cities, resulted in over 1 million war victims — 
people who were injured or whose homes and property had been dam- 
aged or lost, but who did not have to move away from their means of 
livelihood. Throughout 1968, assisting these people took almost all the 
resources of the Government organization that had been built u}) to 
deal with the refugee problem, but, by the end of the year, virtually 
all of the million-plus war victims were back under roof and on their 
jobs. This was a substantial achievement, given the chaotic circum- 
stances existing at that time. It also contributed greatly to the confi- 
dence of the Vietnamese Government in its ability to meet this kind of 
crisis and to the confidence of the people in their government. 


You have heard Ambassador Colby describe the accelerated pacifica- 
tion campaign which was initiated at the end of 1968. The results of 
that effort, particularly the extension of security over a large part of 
the countryside, plus the increase in GVN self-assurance, were the 
main reasons for the favorable developments in the refugee program 
in 1969, in wliich it was possible to give largely undiverted atteiition to 
the overarching refugee ]:>roblem. Adequate financial resources also 
were available, and ti'ained American and Vietnamese personnel were 
located throughout the country. So were the logistic supplies such as 
roofing, cement, blankets, mosquito netting, and foodstuffs. By this 
time the Ministry of Social Welfare had also issued detailed instruc- 
tions on what to do and how to do it. 


The GVN refugee programs do not involve extensive assistance to 
any single individual or family, simply because the number of needy 
people is so large and the amount of available resources to help them 
is limited. This is generally what happens : soon after refugee families 
reach secure areas those who seek assistance are housed in Government- 
l)rovided temporary camps. Each newly-arrived family gets emer- 
gency food commodities for 7 days, followed by a 30-day temporary 
allowance, which includes more than food, which is normally extended 
until the family can return home or begin to settle elsewhere. The 
amount of assistance given to families being resettled or to those re- 
turning home is the same : 10 sheets of aluminum roofing and 7,500 


piasters for each family and 6 months' rice ration or its piaster equiva- 
lent for each family member. I might say this averaged for a family 
of five about $180. The out-of-camp refugees— those who do not seek 
shelter in Govermiient-provided sites — are usually largely self-re- 
settled, but they are given 1 months' rice ration and are eligible for 
the standard amount of assistance when, and if, they return home. 
You will find details of the amounts of these ditlerent refugee allow- 
ances and of the payments made to war victims in two charts which 
have been attached to my statement. 

(The information referred to appeal's on pp. 224 and 225.) 
The Ministry of Social Welfare also provides refugee resettlement 
camps with wells, latrines, classrooms, simple health facilities and 
services, vocational training, and where land is available, vegetable 
seeds and other agricultural assistance. The most important and the 
most difficult problem is to give the refugees the opportunity to re- 
build their lives — to give them some hope for the future. I will discuss 
this later in my statement. 

Before leaving the subject of allowances I should add that the gen- 
eral adequacy of food supplies in Vietnam and the existence of almost 
full employment in the cities are important factors which lessen the 
amount of government assistance these displaced people require. With- 
out tlieso factors the condition of Vietnamese refugees, which often 
still is unsatisfactory, would be immeasurably worse. 


As I indicated earlier, last year over 1 million of the lio million 
refugees on the rolls in March 19t)0, received the individual resettle- 
ment allowances thej had long been promised. Some 100,000 new refu- 
gees and about 22r),()()() wai' \ictinis also were assisted during the year. 
Moreover, ap[)roximately 4ss,000 lefugees weie gixcn liel]) by the 
Government in returning to their homes as security improved in their 
native hamlets and villages. This number of returnees included all 
categories of people who had })reviously fled fi"om their liomes — those 
in-camp and those out-of-camp, thosi' [)re\ ioiisly resettled, and those 
never previously recorded. We estimate that approximately another 
100,000 refujxees have returned home and have not vet received Go\- 
eminent assistance. Having retunuMl on their own, they are now in 
the process of being registeivd and \alidated. 1 belie\e this movement 
home was the most significant step forward last year, representing as it 
does the reoccupation of many parts of the countryside formerly aban- 
doned to the Connnunists. In this sense it adds a new dimension to the 
pacification program. 


One exami)le of this development in 1969, one of many, can be seen 
in Kien Phong Province in the Delta where 18,936 refugees, many of 
them previously unrecorded, returned to their original homes. Four- 
teen thousand of them returned along the Thap Muoi Canal, a major 
supply route fi'om the Delta to the metropolitan Saigon area, which 
had been closed since 1966. Almost as soon as territorial security forces 
established new outposts along the canal in 1969, the po[)iilation began 


to move back. The area is now 75 percent popnlated by former refugees 
who have rebuilt their liomes and rephmted their fields, and the canal 
is crowded with commerce. As new outposts are consti'ucted, refugees 
do not wait for an announcement that the pacification has been com- 
pleted. Instead they return while it is in process, convinced by the ex- 
[)erience of others that they will be able to resume the lives tliey once 


The demands of resettling themselves have encouraged the inven- 
tiveness, ingenuity, and self-reliance of the refugees throughout the 
country. For example, one group from Binh Dinh Province in II 
Corps resettled on a sandy area in Ninh Thuan Province, also in II 
Corps, where they have been able to develop a prosperous livelihood 
raising onions, garlic, watermelons, and a number of other crops on 
small plots of sand. They have built an irrigation system which not 
only supplies water for themselves and their crops, but for two neigh- 
boring hamlets as well. Then, too, a number of refugee farmers who 
returned to their homes in Thua Thien Province, which is in I Corps, 
pooled half their rice allowance to buy 232 rototiller tractors, which 
enabled them to cultivate their land rapidly and thereby become self- 
supporting much more quickly. Incidentally, in Thua Thien Province 
alone approximately 130,000 refugees have returned to their native vil- 
lages, rebuilt their homes, and reopened their land. 

Most of the refugees in II, III, and IV Corps who were resettled 
away from their native homes are now satisfactorily situated in eco- 
nomic and social circumstances comparable to those of other citizens 
in the Vietnamese village hamlet political system. Arable land is gen- 
erally available for refugees in these regions, and many of them who 
are not farmers have been able to reestablish themselves as fishermen, 
craftsmen, laborers, and other self-supporting members of their 

A statistical view of the number of refugees on the rolls and prog- 
ress in return to village and payment of resettlement allowances is 
given in tables and graphs attached to this statement. 

(The information referred to appears on pp. 224 — 227.) 


Pi'oblems remain, but the one that is particularly difficult is the 
plight of a large number of people, mainly in I Corps, who have not 
l3een able to return home and who are living in crowded, far from 
satisfactory, camps. Most of these camps are in the three southern 
provinces of I Corps — Quang Nam, Quang Tin, and Quang Ngai. 
Rehabilitation of refugees is more difficult there for several reasons. 
Arable land was scarce in these provinces long before the refugees 
began to concentrate in the areas that were relatively secure. Securitj'^ 
is not as good as it is in other ])rovinces with large numbers of refu- 
gees. Big enemy units operate in the area and the frequency of mili- 
tary action creates a great deal of disiuption in the Vietnamese Gov- 
ernment's efforts to im]3rove the living conditions of refugees there. 
In contrast to other areas, most of the refugees in these provinces 
are in camps and most of these camps are economically unviable ones. 


Some camps are located in islands of relatii^e security in areas which 
are otherwise insecure. Access to them often may be possible only 
by lielicopter. They are subject to fairly frequent Vietcong or North 
Vietnamese Army attacks. 

In Quang Nam, for example, on December 23 last year at Thanh 
Quang Hamlet in Duy Xuyen District, a plastic device exploded 
among a group of Catholic refugees watching a Christmas play. Re- 
sulting casualties were five killed and 65 woimded, 20 still in serious 
condition. Most were women and children. On January 4, NVA-VC 
units shelled the refugee camp at Go Chua in Due Due District, in the 
same pro^dnce, with 12 rounds of 82-millimeter mortar fire. Fourteen 
were killed, 55 were wounded, and 15 houses were destroyed. At the 
same time, two were killed, 15 wounded, and five houses destroyed in 
Log Qu}^, a nearby hamlet in the same district. 

Almost all of these I Cor[)s refugees want to go back to their homes, 
but most of them will not be able to do so in the near future. The pay- 
ment of resettlement allowances in 1969, to all but about 150,000 of 
them, has set the stage for a concerted effort in 1970, to improve the 
economic and physical conditions of life at each of the sites. 

Several projects are already underway. For example, the refugees 
are being introduced to techniques for improving yields of crops, par- 
ticularly of vegetables, grown on marginal land. Plandicraft projects 
have l)een organized. Small industries, and I mean small, such as pep- 
permaking, responsive to the needs of the area are being developed. 
In those cases where untilled. secure land exists in reasonable prox- 
imity to a refugee camp, the ]\riuistrv of Social Welfare is working 
with the Minisliy of AgriciiUurc and the Ministry of Finance to make 
it available. Public Law 4S0, title II, food is being distributed to the 
needy people in these campsites, and some food-for-work projects are 
taking shajX'. But these efforts ai'e not yet adequate solutions for the 
stubborn, com])lex problems confronted. More needs to be done. And, 
even if presently-planned projects are successfully executed, the con- 
dition of some of these refugees will remain less than satisfactory 
until they can return to their homes. 


Another problem is the continuing, though substantially reduced, 
influx of new refugees generated by military actions. For a brief pe- 
riod in the mid-1960*s, forcing people to leave outlying areas was seen 
as a way of denying the Vietcong nuin]iower they could exploit. Many, 
of course, sought refuge on their own as a way of escaping such ex- 
ploitation. However, most refugees over time have probably been 
created by the intensified fighting and its accompanying destruction. 
Instructions issued in 1967, and expanded in 1969, require military 
operations to be conducted in such a manner as to minimize property 
destruction and the generation of refugees. These instructions, along 
with the geographical shift of heavy fighting out of populated areas 
toward the western frontier, the extension of territorial securitv, and 
the general decline in the level of military activity, have been major 
factors in reducing the number of new refugees. 

AVhen an operation is planned which is likely tx) result in a sub- 
stantial displacement of people, prior permission must be obtained 


from the Central Pacification and Development Conncil and arrange- 
ments mnst be made in advance by the military for takinp; care of 
them until the Ministry of Social Welfare can bring organized assist- 
ance to them. The basic principle of this policy is that security should 
be brought to the people, not the people to security. One exception has 
been the temporary removal of people from an area in which military 
clearing activities are underway. People so moved are the responsibility 
of the allied armed forces and they are returned home immediately 
after the military operation is concluded, usually within a week or 
two. If their homes have been damaged, the Vietnamese Government 
assists them as war victims, not as refugees. 

In recent months there have been a few cases in which military 
forces have moved people for more than temporary periods without 
obtaining the required approval in advance. This means that the ]Min- 
istry of Social Welfare is not always aware of the problem soon enough 
to avoid delays in providing assistance in an organized way. As these 
cases arise, we have taken steps to remedy them as quickly as possible. 


The refugee program has important political objectives, although 
the techniques used to achieve them are more social and economic than 
])olitical. The Government of Vietnam's hope is to normalize the 
lives of refugees as soon as possible and to do this in ways which 
introduce an element of confidence on which they can rebuild their 
lives. This usually means giving them an economic base they can 
exploit. Almost invariably they prefer farming or fishing. Elections 
are held as soon as possible in the resettled or revived villages. Once 
the village administi-ative machinery is set up, refugees are able to 
take part in local self-government as full Vietnamese citizens. They 
also gain access to such other sources of assistance as the village and 
provincial development funds. The availability of these normal gov- 
ernment resources is important, but additional help for these people 
also is usuallv i-equired. Eefugees being I'esettled in new locations 
are involved in building a hamlet from the very ground up. Those 
returning home face a similar problem because their hamlets usually 
are entirely, or at least partially, destroyed. The goal of all these 
efforts is to make the refugee once again a regular citizen, living in 
conditions not noticeably different from those of other citizens, hope- 
ful for the future but well aware of the fact that it will depend 
largely on his own efforts. 


The impact of these programs is difficult to assess. The recipient's 
appreciation usually is obvious, and there is little doubt that the 
Government benefits from this attitude, even in cases where benefit pay- 
ments may have been delayed for a long time. Understandably, few 
refugees enjoy their lives. Almost all of them want to return home as 
soon as possible, but they usually wait until they are convinced the 
area is reasonably safe. Virtually no one wants to i'eex|:)Ose himself to 
the insecurity or exploitation which caused him to seek refuge in the 
first place. 



Financial assistance for these programs comes largely from the 
United States. The Government of Vietnam budget defrays the cost 
of persomiel, space, supplies, some war damage claims, and other mis- 
cellaneous Vietnamese expenditures. The budgeted costs of the United 
States and the GVN and an estimate of private voluntary agency con- 
tributions are given for the last 3 years in an exhibit attached to this 
statement. This exhibit shows that U.S. support, both in dollars and 
piasters (AID-generated) and in Public Law 480 title II commodi- 
ties, was equivalent to $65.4 million in fiscal year 1968 and $70.2 million 
in fiscal year 1969; $59.3 million is estiniated for fiscal year 1970. 
These costs should drop considerably beginning in calendar year 1971, 
if the favorable trends of 1969 persist and security conditions through- 
out the country continue to improve. 

( The information referred to appears on p. 228.) 

Thirty-two private voluntary agencies, mostly from the United 
States, are actively engaged in refugee and social welfare programs, 
and their reported annual budgets total approximately $25 million 
a year. This is a major contrilmtion and much of it comes from indi- 
vidual Americans. The programs of these organizations are effec- 
tively carried out and they are deeply appreciated by the Vietnamese 
people and their Government. 

Finally, the military forces of the United States, Vietnam, and 
others engage in numerous civic action projects which, though difficult 
to assess in terms of cost, have become a valuable part of the total 
effort. In addition, military units, operational military units, provide 
substantial lielp to new refugees from the moment they first arrive 
in secure areas until they ai-e turned over to the GVX refugee program. 


Apart fi-om the budget it is im])ortant to make a few observations 
alwut the number of people woi-king in Vietnam on these programs. 
The GVN Ministi-y of Social Welfare has by far tlie largest number, 
ha\ing built its staff' up to an authorized strength of 1,900 from about 
125 in January 1966. 

I might digress to say that until March 1966 they had no organized 
governmental agency to co[)e with this kind of problem at all. 

At the pi-esent time, 1,536 of these positions are filled, 637 in Saigon 
and 899 in the field. American and third countiy voluntary agencies 
have 431 specialists from abroad and 741 Vietnamese employees. From 
a high of 116 positions authorized and 109 on board in early 1969 — up 
from 18 in January 1966 — the T'.S. official advisory group at present 
consists of 79 people in the country against an authorized strength of 
97. This reduction in the number of U.S. advisers has been possible 
largely because of the increasing competence of the Ministry of Social 
Welfare staff'. Further reductions will be made by the end of 1970 if 
present trends continue and if the program remains unchanged. I am 
attaching a table which shows the breakdown of both GVN and 
CORDS staffing. 

(The infoi-mation referred to appears on p. 228.) 


American refugee advisers ai'e stationed in all provinces wliere 
there is a substantial problem. If the numbers of displaced persons 
are small and we do not require a full-time adviser in the province, 
we draw on other members of the provincial adAdsory team, or, in 
emergencies, we send specialists from the regional offices or Saigon. 


This year the Vietnamese Government, with our help, will 
concentrate on the following activities: 

1. Assisting people to return home wherever security conditions are 

2. Improving the viability of life in refugee sites whenever it is not 
possible for i-efugees to return home in the foreseeable future. 

3. Concludmg benefit payments to the remaining 270,000 refugees 
on the rolls. 

4. Taking care of any new refugees who may be generated, and 

5. Augmenting presently inadequate programs of help to other 
types of war victims such as widows, orx^hans, the disabled and the 
aged needy people. 


To sum up : Although Vietnam has had a long history of population 
movements, the problem which concerns us now arises out of large- 
scale displacements of people and other hardships they have suffered 
during the past 6 years. 

It took a considerable amount of time to develop and staff an orga- 
nization capable of dealing with a crisis situation of this kind. By 
the end of 1967, the Vietnamese Government was pro^ading emergency 
assistance to the refugees, helping some of them to resettle themselves 
or return home, and preparing for large-scale rehabilitation pro- 
grams. This effort was disrapted during most of 1968 by the Com- 
munist Tet offensive and their offensives in subsequent months. 

From November 1968 to date considerable progress has been made 
in paying refugees the allowances due them, in returning almost 
600,000 to their homes, in resettling many of the remaining refugees, 
and in starting out on a program to assist war widows, orphans, and 
other disabled jjeople. 

The three soutliern provinces of I Corps remain a special problem. 

Our primary tasks in 1970 will be to continue our efforts to help 
those i^eople who still are refugees — or who become refugees — to re- 
turn to their homes or to effectively resettle elsewhere. 

(The attachments referred to follow :) 


Rice allowance or Salt for construction 

Duration money equivalent Montagnards Commodities allowance 

Immediate relief 7 days limit 50C grams per person 20 grams per 3 cans of con- 
assistance, per day. person per densed milk 

day. per family. 

Temporary assistance.- 1 month (can Either VN $15 or 500 

be extended grams+VN $5 per 

If necessary). person per day. 

Resettlement or 6 months Either 15 kilograms or 20 grams per VN$7,500and 

return-to-village VN $300 per person person per 10 sheets of 

assistance per month. day. roofing. 



Rice allowance Commodities 

House construc- 
tion allowance 


To families whose house 

500 grams per 

2 meters cloth per 

VN $3.000 

was damaged 20 to 50 

person per 

person. 1 blanket and 


day for 15 

1 mosquito net per 
family of 2 to 4 
persons; 2 blankets 
and 2 mosquito nets 
for each family with 5 
or more members. 

To families whose house 

500 grams per 

Same as above. 

VN $7,500 and 

was damaged over 50 

person per 

10 sheets of 


day for 30 


For deaths 

VN $4,000 if deceased 

was 15 years old or 

more; VN $2,000 if 

deceased was less than 

15 years. 

For injuries requiring medi- 

. VN $2,000. 

cal treatment for at least 

7 days. 


End 1st 

End 2d 

End 3d 



Temporary refugees: 

I CTZ. 289,985 323,899 242,285 

IICTZ 73,810 44,447 11,500 

IIICTZ 8,285 6,090 2,283 

IVCTZ 64,743 61,278 37,074 

Total 436, 823 435, 714 293, 142 150,605 

Refugees in resettlement process: 

I CTZ 95,966 37,363 13,919 17,183 

IICTZ 85,511 80,514 70,679 36,568 

IIICTZ.. 67,187 40,540 22,841 1,779 

IVCTZ. 26,204 12,938 15,593 10,399 

Total 274,868 171,355 123,032 65,929 

Out of camp refugees; 

I CTZ.. 300,525 151,516 133,084 16,026 

IICTZ 270,824 235,999 110,860 18,265 

IIICTZ 7,402 23,123 22,382 1,335 

IVCTZ 156,188 179,436 107,626 16,092 

Total 734,939 590,074 373,952 51,718 

Total refugee population: 

I CTZ.. 686,476 512,778 389,288 

IICTZ 430,145 360,960 193,039 

IIICTZ 82,874 69,753 47,506 

IVCTZ 247,135 253,652 160,293 

Total. 1,446,630 1,197,143 790.126 268,252 

169, 103 



33, 300 














Out Of Cijip 





Total, 1st 

Total, 2d Total, 3d Total, 4th _ 

quarter quarter quarter Year s total 












Total --- 

17, 283 




32, 694 


36, 284 




38, 313 


40, 031 


99, 844 


159, 131 


184, 080 

28, 009 

95, 284 

149, 435 

215, 492 

488, 220 

13, 123 
12, 757 
12, 620 

42, 103 
12, 899 

76. 285 
28, 254 


143, 098 

25, 227 

43, 029 



99, 032 

82, 539 

39, 565 

92, 325 


306, 535 

586. 388 

The payment of resettlement and return-to-village allowances represents only ^^e GVN's responsibim 

igee farriilies. In addition, the GVN accepts responsibility for assistance to the resettlement or return-to-village com- 

rcfUSBB luiiMii'-j. >>> «««.<■.«■■, *■•- — ••• , — — ■-- 

munity to foster its economic viability and a normal life for all its members. 


(Cumolative in Thousands) 


586, 3Ba 

. Returned 
to Village 

*The payment of resettlement and return-to-viUage allowances represents 
only the GVN' s responsibility to individual refugee families. In addition, , 
the GVN accepts responsibility for assistance to the resettlement or return- 
to-village community to foster its economic viability and a normal life for 
all its members. 


(Dollars sliown in thousands] 

Fiscal year- 





I. Refugee dollar budget-.. 
I. Refugee piaster budget'. 

$18, 724 




III. Food for Freedom, Public Law 480 (Ref. and Soc. Wei.). 

Total U.S. contribution 

48, 978 

48, 519 

14, 399 

65, 358 



Calendar year— 

1968 1969 


GVN National Budget (VN$ and $US equivalent in thousands) 


511,223 429,600 
($4,332) ($3,641) 


Fiscal year— 

1968 1969 


Estimated Voluntary Agency and Free World Assistance contribution.. 


$25,500 $28,995 

$25, 500 

1 Calendar year counterpart piasters generated by AID Commodity Import Program and title I, Public Law 480 sales. 
The use of these funds is subject to joint U.S.-GVN agreement. They are administered by the GVN through its budget 




board CORDS 

On board 

social - 
welfare U 

On board vol 

jntary agencies 




nited States 






















Authorized CORDS 

social — 
welfare U 

Authorized voluntary agencies 
lited States TCN 










1,220 .. 








1,900 .. 

> Not applicable. 

The CiiAiRMAX. Thank you very much, INIr. Hitchcock. 
Mr. Hitchcock. Thank yon. 

The Chairmax. That is a very thorough description, I think, of the 


You mentioned one thing that caught my attention. You said that 
there have been other large migrations of people in Vietnam. 
To what did you have reference prior to tliis war? 


]\Ir. Hitchcock. My understanding of Vietnamese liistory is not 
deep, Mr. Chairman, but even at tlie beginning, before around 200 B.C., 
it began as a nomadic movement of people to escape out of China. 
Throughout history there have been a number of Chinese invasions and 
some internal insurrections and movements of the people. 

Many people characterize the history of the count it as a recurring 
mo\ement of the people of this kind — possibly not of this magnitude. 

The Chairman. Has anything like this occurred since the French 
took the country about a hundred years ago ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. Xot to the best of my knowledge. 

The Chairman. Did the French displace manj^ peoi)le when they 
moved in? I am just curious. 

Mr. Hitchcock. Xot to the best of my knowledge. 

The Chairman. I had not heard about it. 

Mr. Colby. There was one additional movement, ^Ir. Chairman, in 
the period of about 1958 to 1962, when the Diem government was mov- 
ing substantial numbers of refugees up into the highland areas who had 
formerly been in the lowlands. There was a certain excess of popula- 
tion in the lowland areas, but also there were some refugees from 
North Vietnam. They went up into the highland areas and established 
new communities in that part of the countr}'. 

Vietnam has spread over two millenia from its source in the Red 
River Valley around Hanoi. It began moving south about 1450, reach- 
ing the area around Saigon only in 1750. 

In the course of that, they essentially pushed out of the way a whole 
civilization called the Chams, and they also i)rcssed the Khmers, Cam- 
bodia's ancestoi-s, back out of the way. 

You have also had a substantial movement of Chinese down into 
South Vietnam in the period around the turn of this century. 

The Chairman. A\niat percentage are the Cliinese now? Do you 
know ? 

Mr. Colby. It is pure guesswork ; but I mean that it is not only mine, 
but it is basically guesswork. It is in the neighborhood of a million, 
we would estimate. 

The Chairman. Out of the IT million ? 

Mr. Colby. Out of the 17 million. 


Tlie Chairman. You said in your statement that for a brief period 
in the sixties, forcing people to leave outlying areas was seen as a 
w^ay of denying the Vietcong manpower they could exploit. 

You do not haA'e any refugees created by this program ? 

'Sh: Hitchcock. Sir, the subject of refugees created in those years 
is extremely vague. The rei)orting of iigui'es was done hardly at all 
in many cases, and very impei-feetly in the rest. 

This becomes a part of the total figure that I estimated of something 
over 3 million in the last 6 years, but in the last 4 years there have 
been something approaching 2 million — a couple of hundred thou- 
sand less than 2 million — so, possibly in the period of 1965 and late 
1964 there may have been a million. I am not sure of how long this 
particular approach of relocating people persisted, but it was in the 
1965-66 period. 


In 1966, there were about a million refugees generated, but I cannot 
say that they are all attributable to that, by any means. 


The Chairman. You said previously, I believe, that the extended 
family system looked to the family for taking care of people in this 
unfortunate circumstance. They had never looked to the government 
before. Is that right ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. That is, by and large, true, as I understand it. That 
is, as you undoubtedly know, a common part of the societal structure 
in Asia — the extended or joint family structure, in which they each 
take care of themselves basically. During the war large numbers of 
people have been killed or displaced, and many people have fled from 
one area to another; in this process there has been a dismembering 
effect on the family unity to the point where that which remains of 
the extended family structure is no longer capable of doing that which 
it did traditionally. One other manifestation of it is that sometimes 
a family gets so dismembered that a man may be in the service, the wife 
has had to become the breadwinner, and she has had on frequent oc- 
casions to put their children in orphanages. 

You frequently find orphans in Vietnam who are, in fact, literally 
not orphans. One or possibly both parents may be alive. But this is 
a manifestation of this breakdown of the family structure. 


The Chairman. There was a time in this country not too long ago 
in which this was more or less the custom ; wasn't it ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. Not to my knowledge. 

The Chairman. We have not always had social security and Gov- 
ernment intei'vention ; have we ? 

]Mr. Hitchcock. "Wliat, sir ? 

The Chairman. We have not always had social security and gov- 
ernment intervention in America ; have we ? 

]Mr. Hitchcock. No. 

The Chairman. This is rather recent development in this country ; is 
it not? 

Mr. Hitchcock. It certainly is. 

Tlie Chairman. When do you think it started in this country? 

Mr. Hitchc OCK. Well, it began in a rather meaningful way, I think, 
in the early thirties — 19o2. 

The Chairman. Subsequent to World War I ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. Subsequent to World War I. 

'I'he Chairman. Do you think that there is any association at all 
between war and tlie development of these things ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. Well, war obviously creates basic social dislocations. 

The Chairman. It certainly does. 

Mr. Hitchcock. And problems which society feels it has to deal with, 
I jH-esume consciously, in the circumstances which are created. 

The Chairman. It is rather ironic that war seems to be the principal 
enemy of what we used to think of as the self-reliant free enterprise 
system : isn't it ? 

]Mr. Hitchcock. Yes. 


The Chaikjman. There is no greater force that leads to socialization 
of a country than war ; is there ? Wouldn't you agree ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. Yes, and also, unfortunately or fortunately a great 
deal of technological advance is usually stimulated by wars. 

The Chairman. "Wliat do you mean by that ? To what do you have 
reference ? 

Mr. Hitchcock- I mean, in World II many of the advanced tech- 
niques which have now widespread ability and application — radar may 
be a case in point — were a consequence of the kind of money that was 
made available. 

The CHAiRMAiSr. Do you think those are very significant counterbal- 
ances to the misfortunes which are brought about ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. Xo : I would not argue that for a second. 

The Chairmax. I thought you were suggesting that. 

Mr. Hitchcock. No. 

The Chairmax. Just think; we could even point to going to the 
moon. We have had two wars, and we can now go to the moon. Doesn't 
that malve you feel good ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. I do not know quite how I feel about that sir. 

The Chairmax. You are very wise not to say anything. 

My greatest misfortune is that I have a tendency to say what I think 
about these things. One should not do tliat in Washington. 

criteria for classificatiox'^ Of refugees as resettled 

In your figures about the refugees in March of 1969, you state there 
were 1,450,000 still on the Government's refu|2;ee rolls and it had been 
reduced to 270,000 in December. A Mr. David Holi'man, writing in 
the Washington Post, which is a rather well-known local journal of 
which you probably have heard 

Mr. HiTcifcocK. Yes, I know the article. 

The Chairman (continuing) . Says : 

American advisers report from the countryside, however, that tens of thousands 
of refugees are being erased from the rolls and reclassified as resettled citizens 
without being productively resettled. 

This raises tlie question : Has there been any change in the last year 
in the policy of who was considered to be a refugee and what consti- 
tutes resettlement? 

Mr. Hitchcock. I welcome ^Ir. Hoffman's article, but there was a 
failure in the article to point out that the rehabilitation of refugees 
has been a two-part process. Some of the difficulty of achieving it I 
liave already described for the I Corps area. Part of the process, and 
an essential part of the process, is to pay the people the allowances 
which they have been promised. These are allowances which are essen- 
tial for rehabilitation ; the second part is to upgrade, to improve situa- 
tions in whicli they find themselves, whether it be a camp or whether 
it be their former home, to which they have returned. 

Now there has been a lot of confusion about this. I think it is 
important to make it clear that in 1969 the Government of Vietnam 
decided that it would give first priority attention to maldng the 
payments to refugees, payments which were long delayed in many 
'Cases, and that to the extent they had resources, they would simul- 


taneoiisly do this upgrading of the sites on which the refugees were 

They did do that with some measure of success in II, III and IV 
Corps areas. 

In I Corps — and in I Corps I am talking only of the southern three 
Provinces of I Corps — they did not have the same measure of success 
for the i-easons I stated. 

In the northern two Provinces of I Corps, the one next to the DMZ, 
Quang Tri, and the next one down, Thua Thien, it was impressively 
done, with a couple of exceptions in each case. 

The Chaikman. Do I take it that the answer to the question is that 
you have not changed the criteria by which you determine whether 
a ]3erson is resettled or not ? 

Mr, Hitchcock. No, we have not, sir. 


Senator Symington. How many people are considered refugees in 
South Vietnam now ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. This is a rather complicated question, sir, but on 
the active case rolls at the moment are 270,000 who have yet not re- 
ceived their benefits. Their allowances for resettlement have not been 
received. This does not mean that those who have received all their 
allowances have been satisfactorily resettled, as we were discussing 
just before you arrived 

Senator Symington. How many of these are there ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. This gets into the highly estimative field, but I 
would guess about 520,000 have received their allowances and are not 
satisfactorilv resettled. 

Senator Symington. You would add 270,000 to those ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. No, I would include those 270,000. 

Senator Symington. So, 520,000. 

;Mr. Hitchcock. These are in camps which still need attention. Many 
of the people in those camps have already received their allowances. 


Senator Syiviington. Wliat do you mean by allowances exactly ? 
Mr. Hitchcock. It is a resettlement allowance given. 
Senator Symington. How much ? 
Mr. Hitchcock. It amounts to about $180 a family. 
Senator Symington. Wlio pays for it ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. It is paid by the Government of Vietnam with 
money provided by the United States. 

ISeriator Syimington. Wliat do they do with that money when they 

get it? 

Mr. Hitchcock. Well, this is a kind of grubstake that eases the 
building of their homes, the development of some means of livelihood, 
whether it be farming or fishing or trade, and provides a cushion of 
6 or more months. 

Senator Symington. Six or more months ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. Yes. 

Senator Symington. Where do they go with it ? 


xMr. HiTCTK^ocK. AYell, most of these people are in camps which are 
beiiio- resettled. We call them resettlement sites. 
Senator Symingtox. Is that where they are gomg to live 

permanently? • T»r • • • • 

Mr. Hitchcock. Possibly not permanently, sir. My opinion, sir, is 
that there are a great number of people being resettled now because 
there is no alternative. They say, "We want to return home when the 
war ends." They want to return to the homes that they left, but we do 
not resettle people if the chances of their returning home are imminent. 


Senator Symington. You have 520,000 now ? _ 

Mr. Hitchcock. In camps which still need assistance. 

Senator Symington. How many were here, say, last year ? . 

Mr. Hitchcock. Well, we had at that time 1,450,000 people in March 

on the active case rolls, of which 

Senator Symington. Does that mean that 900,000-plus have gone 

Mr Hitchcock. No. I sort of hesitate to get involved in the problem 
of numbers, because they sometimes do not add up to the total. During 
the year 1969 about 600,000 people have returned home. Now, they 
are people who came from out-of-camp situations, from m-camp situa- 
tions from camps previouslv resettled completely, and camps that were 
in the process of being resettled. So, it is not a deductive figure. Never- 
theless around 600.000 went home. 

Senator Symington. Are they back where they came from { 

Mr HncHCOCK. By and large, they did when security was extended. 

Senator Symington. How many did you add to the number ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. Add to the number ? 

Senator Symington. Yes. 

Mr. Hitchcock. For what ? • ^ ^i 

Senator Symington. How many people came mto the camps ^ 
600,000 went out^how many came in ? . ^^ . • . i 

Mr Hitchcock. 114,000 new refugees came m. This compares with 
about 300,000 the previous year, 400,000 the year before that, and 
upward of a million the year before that. 

cost of refugee program 

Senator Symington. How much did your program cost the United 
States, all told, last year? 

Islx. Hitchcock. The total last year was S.O.lo* million. The pro- 
gram for fiscal vear 1970 is anticipated at S59.2 million. 
^ Senator Symington. What was it in 1968 ? 

:Mr. Hitchcock. $65.8 million. 

Senator Symington. In 1967? . ,.,.,- 

Mr. Hitchcock. $70 million; 1969 was the year m which the impact 
of a lot of the special 1969 Tet assistance fell. 

Senator Symington. They have pretty heavy inflation over there ; 

haven't thev ? 

:Mr Hitchcock. Thev have substantial inflation. , 

Senator Symington.' Then, if $180 was right 2 years ago, why is it 

still right today ? 

44-706—70 16 


Air. Hitchcock. The basic reason is that tlie Vietnamese are increas- 
ing their capability of doing this tj'pe of vrork. We have reduced quite, 
a bit the amount of doHars. The piaster input has increased, but the| 
net has definitely decreased, and I would anticipate 

Senator Symington. When you say "increased capacity of doing 
this work," what do you mean by that ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. The problem of handling this kind of displaced 
people, people who have lost homes, whose homes have been destroyed. 

Senator Symington. What amount has the Vietnamese Government 
put in ? 

Air. Hitchcock. The Vietnamese Government provides personnel; 
it pays for some war damage claims and other miscellaneous Vietnam- 
ese services. Their contribution to this program is small. 

Senator Symington. How much would you say per person? 

Mr. Hitchcock. Per person, I do not know, sir, but their total has 
run about $4 million, its equivalent or a little more, each of the last 
3 years. 

Senator Symington. Then, you divide that into the number of 
refugees. You could ; couldn't you ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. Yes ; but that is such a fluctuating number that it 
is hard to do the mathematics. 

Senator Symington. You could get a rough amount. 

Air. Hitchcock. The amount that each family receives in allowances, 
whether they are resettling in a new location o"r returning home is the 
equivalent of about $180, which is paid in piasters or in aluminum 


Senator Symington. How many places have you where you put 
these refugees? 

Air. Hitchcock. At the moment, we have 646 refugee sites. There 
were 841 at the beginning of 1969. 

Senator Symington. How many of those are in the I Corps, for 
example ? 

Air. Hitchcock. I do not have that figure offhand. 

Senator Symington. Will you supply that for the record? 

Air. Hitchcock. I can certainly get it. 

(The information referred to follows :) 

There are 162 sites in I Corps. 

Senator Symington. The II, III Corj>s, and then in the delta. 

Air. Hitchcock. There are practically no formal sites in the delta, 
although for administ]-ati\e con\'enience' we have counted some clusters 
of people as a site. They are included in this number of 646. 

Senatoi- Symington. What is the average size of a refugee camp ? 

Air. Hitchcock. It varies tremendously. In I Corps the average size 
is 1,902 ; II Corps 986 ; III Corps 776 ; and in IV Corps the average is 
very close to zero because most are out of camp. There is one very large 
site m the northern part of I Corps of 20,000 which is considerably the 

Senator Symington. 20,000. 

Air. Hitchcock. 20,000 

Senator Symington. Acres ? 


Mr. HrmicorK. 20,000 people. It is right near the DMZ. 

Senator Symixgtox. I meant in size, in area. 

Mr. Hitchcock. I cannot tell you, sir. 

It is on a sand spit. It is not a irood location, and we have had major 

Senator Symixgtox. It must be a pi-etty sizable spit if you have 
20,000 there. 

Mr. Hitchcock. True, but it is sand, nonetheless. We have had a diffi- 
cult time making land available in I Corps, but we recently have had 
land opened up by extension of security in the immediate area. 


Senator Symixgtox. Has any analysis been made of the break- 
down between the number of refugees who left their homes because 
of harassment from the VC and those who left because of allied 
military operations? 

]\Ir. Hitchcock. Attempts, but none of them succeeded. It is very 
difficult to determine the reason why an individual or a collection 
of refugees leave their homes. I did say in my statement, sir, that 
in general it appears that the majority of refugees have left home to 
escape the crossfire of war. 

Senator Symixgtox. I had better go vote. We will be right back. 

(Short recess.) 


The Chairman, INIr. Hitchcock, how much of the aid furnished by 
the I mited States and destined for the refugee programs is lost in the 
pipeline to the refugees. 

Mr. Hitchcock. I do not know, sir. I have been very conscious of 
the possibility of diversions. There have been occasions when it has 
been alleged that not all got to the refugees. Those cases are all investi- 
gated and in one instant case I can recall since I have been there, a 
service chief was jailed; a service chief is the social welfare ministry 
representative in the province. 

There probably are greater chances for misrepresentation (not di- 
version) in the assessment of damage to villages and hamlets that are 

I have noticed that the number of occasions when the percent of 
houses destroyed is given as 20 to 50 percent is relatively small com- 
)>ared to the times when it is given as 50 to 100 jiercent. There are 
different amounts of allowances paid for these differing amounts of 
damage. But I have seen no evidence and have heard of no evidence 
of alleged widespread or significant corruption in the program. 

The Chairman. You have not ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. I have not. 

The CiiAiRMAX'. No more than is normal ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. No more than you might say normal. 

The Chairmax^. We hear stories. I have not heard any, as a matter 
of fact, of any significance about refugees. jNIost of them have been 
with regard simply to the regular aid program, the import program 
of commodities. There has been a lot of that in the past. I do not 
recall having heard too much about corruption in the refugee program 


itself. Can you add anything? Do you have anything different from 
that, Mr. Colby? 

Mr. Colby. I think the only thing we were concerned about a year 
or so ago was the tendency for some of the refugees to resell the ma- 
terial instead of using it. I do not really call this corruption in that 
sense, but it is use of it for another purpose. In other words, they 
receive certain commodities and instead of using them, they sell them. 
We did take the step, for instance, in the refugee program this past 
year of terminating the issuance of cement to refugees because we 
found that there was a certain leakage and resale of it. Instead the 
refugees receive a certain sum of money which is given to them to 
use as they wish to help rebuild their houses. 

Mr. Hitchcock. I think the basic reason for doing away with cement 
distribution was a desire to utilize the private sector for the distribu- 
tion of that commodity. 


The Chairman. In the staff report. Mr. Hitchcock, there occurs 
this statement. I want vour comment on it if it is true. It savs: 

Incidentally, we were told that while it had once been considered desirable 
to genei'ate refugees — because they would presumably become sympathetic to 
the government or would at least be under government control — it was no 
longer regarded as advantageous and the military were being told not to do so 

Mr. Hitchcock. That is true, sir. 

The Chatrmax. Is that a true statement ? 

Ml-. HiTciK ocK. Yos. I sj)ecifically addressed that in my statement. 
This has not been the case for the last several years. The basic policy 
of pacification in general is to bring security to the people rather than 
bring the people out of insecure areas to secure areas. 

The Chairmax. '\Yliat was the experience with those whom you 
deliberately made refugees and then helped resettle? Were they grate- 
ful and did they turn out to be sympathetic to and supporters of the 
Government ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. I cannot reliably answer that question, sir. 

Mr. Colby. I think our assessment, Mr. Chairman, was that it was 
not a very successful technique, which is the reason the Government 
turned against it with our full support. 

The Chairman. Without knowing anything, just as a political 
observer, it does not appeal to me. 

iVIr. Colby. It does not sound very practical. 

The Chairmax. Without knowincr anvthing about what vour ex- 
perience was, it does not appear a very likely program. I am not at 
all of the feeling that people are likely to be that grateful. 

Mr. Hitchcock, in your statement you indicate procedures which 
have been instituted to minimize the effect of military operations in 
generating refugees. Then you aclmowledge this does not always work, 
which we have discussed several times in these hearings. We have 
called attention to questionable practices and the answer has been. 
"Maybe that used to happen, but the order has now been changed." 

I wonder what things are going on now that we do not know about, 
but which later will be corrected. 



In this particular case, let me ask you about an incident reported by 
the Washington Post in another article by Mr. David Hoffman on 
December 24. He writes as follows : 

For example: Navy landing craft and his troop-carryinsi- helkopteris dis- 
charged many thousands of soldiers on Quangngai's Batangan Peninsula in 
early January. p]lements of the 2d ARVN division, the Americal Division and 
the Marine 26th Regimental Landing Team cordoned off the whole peninsula, 
transplanted 11,000 peasants and razed their Vietcong-infested hamlets. The 
operation, code-named Russell Beach, was one of the largest hard cordons of the 


A giant helicopter airlift was organized to tnan-sport the peasants, en masse, 
to a "combined holding and interrogation center" some ~>0 miles from their home- 
sites. The refugees lived there, in a tent colony, for almost 3 months while Russell 
Beach spent itself. 

Advisory Team 17 at Quangngai was given approximately 20 days notice that 
an openation contemplated by the military could be expected to generate 5,000 
refugees, no more. It was Team 17's responsibility, along with Colonel Khien, to 
care for the disi>laced persons — when and if they materialized. 

"That one oi>eration cost the Province 6 monthis work," said a Team 17 adviser 
recently. "We thought Russell Beach was a gigantic mi.stake, and few of us have 
changed our minds since it ended." But the advice of advisers is not always 

This raises several question including the effectiveness of the coor- 
dination between the CORDS and the operational military elements. 

Do you have any comment to make on that ? 

]Mr. Hitchcock. Well, I have some familiarity with that from the 
point of ^dew of the refugees generated. Most of the basic facts there 
are true. Over 11,000 people were removed in advance of the military 
sweeps through the Batangan Peninsula area. They were not held, I 
believe, as long as 3 months. I believe it was closer to 2 months. 

They were screened, and they were returned. The- were returned 
to places which were not in all cases the precise home that they had 
left. This is an area which had been for many, manv years a Viotcong 
stronghold. WlictluM- oi- not tlie military operation was wortli the 
effoT't put forth, I cannot judge. I have heard it contended that it 
was in militaiy terms. 

These people wore returned to five different places on the peninsula. 
Tliey were assisted as refugees. They were assisted also while they 
were in the reception center. Conditions in the reception center were 
overcrowded, but they did not lack in the way of food or sanitation. 

It was not obviously a desirable kind of thing if you can avoid it, 
l)ut the alternati\e might have been a lot of deaths of these people in 
the military opeiation that was undertaken. 

So I would not care to balance all this out in terms of pros and 

Most of the people who were returned to the five locations on the 
peninsula subsequently have dispersed throughout the peninsula to 
the immediate home areas that they originally left. 

The CiTAiRMAX. It is a very difficult and heart-rendering kind of 
operation concei-ning these people. 

I do not know that I have any other questions. Do you have any- 
thing further you would like to say before we move on to the next 



Mr. Colby. On that question you raised, Mr. Chairman, as to whether 
there are other things that we will find out later that we would just as 
soon that we were not doing now, I think the answer is yes, that there 
will be a number of things. Things like this are under study. 

We are, I think, improving some of our techniques by studying 
them, reviewing them, and determining whether the net value was 
really worth the energy and effort involved. This applies to a variety 
of programs. 

The Chairman. Of course, I do not think anyone in this committee 
or anywhere else has any doubt but that given the war, we have to do 
the best we can with it. Other than these questions which have been 
given to me, I have personally heard of nothing seriously wrong with 
your program. 

jNIr. Hitchcock. It is not perfect, sir. 

The Chairman. I do not feel good about having to have it, but 

Mr. Hitchcock. It is not perfect, but it is improving, 

priority or refugee program 

The Chairman. Do you think that relative to the other activities 
it has as high a priority as it ought to have ? I mean is it treated fairly 
within the distribution of funds ? 

Mr. Hitchcock. It does not suffer for lack of priority. 

The Chairman. Lack of funds. 

Mr. HiTCHCorK. I think Ambassador Colby's attitude, for example, 
is quite apparent. He lias been a strong supporter of it. 

The Chairman. Then thank you very much, JMr. Hitchcock. 

Mr. Hitchcock. Thank you. It has been a pleasure. 

The Chairman. I believe, ]Mr. Colby, you are now going to tell us 
about the Chieu Hoi program; is that correct? Do you have a state- 
ment ? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir, I have a small statement. 

Mr. Chairman, in previous parts of this testimony, we have discus- 
sed programs by which tlie Vietnamese people are increasing their par- 
ticipation in a national effort to build as well as protect their country. 
Some Vietnamese, even South Vietnamese, have been in the hostile 
camp. I would like to describe now the program of the A^ietnamese 
Government which seeks to inchide them as well in this national effort. 


Since '1963, the Government of Vietnam has waged a battle to win 
the allegiance of those who actively oppose it. In this battle, the Viet- 
namese Gover-mnent has appealed to the enemy to retui-n to the na- 
tional cause and assisted those who returned to establish useful and 
meaningful lives in Vietnamese society. This program is called Chieu 
Hoi, or, in English, Open Arms. To the Vietnamese, it means "a call 
to return home.""' 

When the returnees join the Government side, the Government 
reinstates their citizenship and rights, and makes every effort to fully 
reintegrate them into the political, social and economic life of the 


Nation. They are not treated as prisoners of war, enemies of the 
people, or otherwise castigated for their past activities that may well 
have inclnded acts of terror and violence. 

The response to this appeal, especially during the past year has 
been impressive. Since 1968, over 142,000 Vietnamese supporting the 
Vietcong have come over to the Government of Vietnam. Almost a 
third of these, 47,000, rallied during the past year. In addition, some 
NVA, far fewer than Vietcong, to a total over the years of less than 
1,000, have rallied. The appeal to return home is not the same of 
course for the NVA soldier in the South. 

A variety of methods are used to encourage the Vietcong to rally. 
The Vietnamese Ministry of Chieu Hoi, the 5linistry of Information, 
the Joint U.S. Public Affairs Office, and MACV, cooperate in produc- 
ing radio broadcasts, making tapes of appeals by former Vietcong 
which are broadcast from aircraft or ground stations, and disseminat- 
ing printed material. The most effective operations, however, are con- 
ducted by the armed propaganda teams, which are made up exclu- 
sively of returnees. The primary purpose of the team is to conduct 
fact-to-face operations in less secure areas to encourage VC and 
their sujjporters to return to the government side. On January 1, 1970, 
the Ministry of Chieu Hoi authorized an increase from 75 to 90 such 
teams. The current strength of these armed propaganda teams of 74 
men each is 5,200 men. 


Once encouraged to return by the APT, armed propaganda team, or 
otlier means, the returnee begins his journey back to normal life. The 
first step is taken at a Chieu Hoi reception center. 

Keception activities encompass all activities required to receive, 
process, care for, and release returnees. These activities are managed 
by the Chieu Hoi cadre. The manner in which the retuniee is received 
and treated is critical for if ill-treated he will probably become incor- 
rigible and never support the Govermnent. Kece]:)tion centers are 
located in 74 districts, all Provinces, and four autonomous cities. In 
addition, for higher ranking returnees, there are four regional centers 
and one national center. Upon arrival, the returnee is welcomed by the 
Chieu Hoi chief and then interviewed to obtain biographical data and 
establish a basis for classification. The returnee is interrogated by the 
nation police. Province S-2 and S-5, and, when available, a member 
of the Phung Hoang Committee, to develop information of immediate 
tactical value or personnel data on known V(T. The infoimation 
brought in by returnees results in many successful operations against 
the enemy, the capture of important documents, a decrease in mine and 
booby trap casualties due to operations guided by Hoi Chanh and the 
location and capture of rice and weapons caches. 

The returnee, whether rice bearei- or high-ranking officer, has knowl- 
edge about the enemy, his movements, strengths, locations, and tactics. 
In most cases, the returnee readily volunteers this information. Also, 
during the interrogation process, many bogus returnees, ARVN 
deserters, and enemy infiltration agents are detected. 

The returnee is required to remain in the Chieu Hoi center for a 60- 
day period to fulfill the program, although he is not physically 


restrained or gnai-ded to prevent liis leavinjr. During that time 
he is supported by the Government with a small amount of money 
(about 50$VN or U.S. 40 cents) per day for food for himself, his wife, 
and any dependents over 15 years of age. Dependents under 15 years 
of age receive 25$VN (T^.S. 20 cents) per dav for food. He also receives 
two sets of clothes or a 1,500$VX (U.S. $lo) clothing allowance. Each 
returnee is given oOO^VX (T'.S. $2.50 per month for si)ending money 
for liimself and 150$VN (U.S. $1.25) for each of his dependents. In 
addition, when the returnee is resettled he receives a 1,200$VN (U.S. 
$10) resettlement allowance to get him a small start. 

During his stay in the center, the returnee receives at least 72 hours 
of political training. The topics include : democratic processes of 
government ; rights and duties of a citizen in a democracy ; success of 
the (tVN as contrasted to the failures of the Viet Cong; policies and 
programs for combating the enemy ; and inconsistencies in Communist 

Training opportunities are offered in 17 skill areas. The most popu- 
lar are mechanics, tailoring, masonry, carpentry, driving, and barber- 
ing. From the beginning of the vocational training program in 1964 
luitil December 1969, 11,112 returnees have completed some form of 
vocational training. Of these 5,359 returnees, or about half of the over- 
all total, were trained in 1969. This is not a large percentage of the 
total, but this training is voluntary, the program has had its problems 
and most returnees ])refer to return to their home villages as soon as 
the required 2-month stay at the center is over. 

Currently, two regional centers and 35 provincial centers offer some 
form of vocational training. By July 1970, all regional and provincial 
centers will offer vocational training. In addition, courses are spon- 
sored by U.S. Navy Seabees, USAID/General Support Office, and the 
Ministries of Labor and Agriculture. 


The four objectives of resettlement are : 

A. To fulfill GVN promises to the ralliers. 

B. To provide the means for the ralliers to reintegrate themselves 
into the normal flow of Vietnamese society and life. 

C. To enable the ralliers to become economically self-sufficient. 

D. To develop the ralliers' capability for contributing to societv. 
If the security situation ])ermits, the returnee usually elects to 

return to his former place of residence. If not, he may establish his 
residence in an urban area or build a new home in a Chieu Hoi hamlet. 
Chieu Hoi hamlets are normally exclusively for ralliers. They are a 
last i-esort method of resettling ralliers. Currently, there are 28 opera- 
tional hamlets providing homes for 4,000 families, with an additional 
12 hamlets nearing completion. Each family receives a small plot of 
land, suitable for some gard(Miing, from the Government. The Gov- 
ernment also i^rovides building materials for a home and a rice allow- 
ance for 6 months. 


Approximately 50 percent of all ralliers desire to return to farming 
upon leaving the center and do so. All ablebodied male ralliers, how- 


ever, are eligible for the draft 6 months after thev leave the center.. 
Many voluntarily join paramilitary? units like the APT (Armed Prop- 
aganda Team). Reg'ional and popular forces also attract some return- 
ees. One of the most successful utilizations of ralliers is the Kit Carson 
scout program. Founded in October 1966, the KCS are Hoi Chanh, 
ralliers, employed by U.S. and other free world military units to pro- 
vide geographical expertise and tactical knowledge of the enemy's 
method of operation. ITtilization of the scouts has been credited with 
saving numerous American and allied forces lives. Since the inception 
of the program, 230 scouts have been killed and 716 wounded. 

Curi-ently, there are 2,245 scouts. They receive a salary ranging from 
5,000$VN to 10,000$VN per month, paid from the military assistance 
for pacification fund (ATK). In addition, the scouts receive the same 
medical attention as i)ersonnel in the unit to which assigned. 

In total, about 25 ])ercent of all returnees have joined some type of 
force actively fighting against their old associates. 


Another very positive indicator of the effect this program is having 
on the enemy is the fact that the XVA and VC have taken specific ac- 
tion to counteract the pi'ogram. Central Office of South Vietnam Pes- 
olution No. 9, issued last fall, dii'ectly addresses the problem, and units 
have been oi-dered to carry out intensive indocti-ination against the 
program. Special schools have been set up to train cadres to infiltrate 
the Chieu Hoi centers to foment discord. Chieu Hoi hamlets and pro- 
vincial rece[)tion centers are prioiity tai-gets for enemy attacks. Pi^l- 
liers are very high on the enemy selecti\-e assassination list. All this 
shows that the enemy has \erv deep concern about the deleterious effect 
the r'hieu Hoi progi-am is having on their ranks. 

As I said at the outset, the benefits of this progi-am ai-e measurable. 
And, Avhile there was opposition to this program in the past — mainly 
fi-om GVX officials and high-ranking military — at the present, this 
opposition has dwindled to almost zero due, among other things, to 
President Thieu's strong direction to Government officials to utilize 
the i-eturnees actively. Since most VC have family roots in GVX-held 
teri'itoiT, their reintegration into society has not b(HMi difficMilt. 

It is ti"ue that a substantial proportion of the retui-nees are low-level 
guerrillas, lessei- infi-astructure members, and part-time workers or 
porters for the enemy. Nevertheless, these ralliei-s represent serious 
mani^ower losses to the enemy, and, without them, it is more difficult 
for the enemy to carry out his operations. Furthei-, ralliei-s have proved 
an invaluable source of intelligence to GVX and Free World Forces. 
In addition to providing information on enemy strengths, dispositions, 
and ])ersonalities, ralliers have guided many successful operations 
against the enemy insulting in the capture of documents, decrease in 
mine and booby trap casualties, and location and capture of caches. In 
1969, 190 operations resulting in discovery of weapons and food caches 
were led by ralliers. During the year, 8.82S Aveapons were captured in 
this fashion. It is also true that the rate of returnees has decreased in 
the past several weeks. This is a drop from the exceptional figures dur- 
ing late 1969. AVe ascribe this drop to the annual pre-Tet dip, to 
increased precautions against the program by the enemy and to the 
fact that expansion of pacification into new areas, which produces 


many returnees from those happy to rejoin the Government side and 
remain home, has gone so far that there is less of this sort of 
population to absorb. 

Future returnees may thus be fewer, but the program of oifering 
reconciliation even to the members of the hard-core enemy will con- 
tinue, and I might add in the number last week ; the number that came 
in last week was 622, Mr. Chairman, which is a reversion to the some- 
what higher figures that we had during December and some of the 
earlier periods. It is not the high thousands-a-week le^'el that we used 
to have, that we were liaving duiing the fall, but it is very substantially 
over the low of 200-odd that it dipped to just before Tet. 

Beyond the manpower and intelligence gains accruing to the Gov- 
ernment corresponding to debits on the VC side of the ledger, the polit- 
ical benefits are really the most significant. The act of rallying is an act 
of political commitment to the GVN and away from the Communists. 
Apart from the initial act, the commitment is strengthened by good 
treatment and indoctrination at the Chieu Hoi Center. Further, the 
political posture taken by the Government in welcoming all to the 
national effort is a unifying force acting not only on those in the enemy 
camp, l>ut those already in the GVN fold. 

The Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Ambassador. 


A journalist named Harvey ]Meyerson has written a book about 
Vietnam entitled "Vinh Long," which is due to be released later this 
month. Mr. Meyerson's book tells a story of what happened in Vinh 
Long Province in 1967 and 1968. He makes several observations about 
the Chieu Hoi program in this book. He writes that most defectors 
who rally under the program had been in the Vietcong for less than 11 
months so that the Chieu Hoi program "had scarcely touched the Viet- 
cong hard core" but was affecting only "fresh recruits'"; that many 
who rallied were doing so in order to get new clothes, a daily food 
allowance, a welcome package and other benefits ; and that still others 
had been brought in by others under "the third party inducement 

Would you comment on his observations, or do you happen to know 
Mr. Meyerson? 

Mr. Colby. I do not offhand, Mv. Chairman. I think his comments 
are roughly similar to the ones I made here. I think that the great 
mass of the ralliers are low-level people, not any great contribution. 

There have been, of course, some very notable exceptions, some very 
important ralliers who have given us very important intelligence, but 
that is a fairly small percentage of the total number. The main effect 
of the program over the past year has been to bite into the enemy's 
total manpower base, not to get at its key people. 


The Chairman. What does he mean by the third party inducement 
program ? 

Mr. Colby. There was a program that began at the time of the ac- 
celerated pacification pi-ogram, Mr. Chairman, in which various sums 


were OiTeied to tliii'd parties wlio would induce named or ranking Hoi 
Chanh (ralliers) to come in. In other words, if a lieutenant was in- 
duced by someone else to come in, this person received a reward, in a 

This program, we believe, had something to do with increasing the 
number of people coming in. We also began to have increasing doubts 
as to the validity of the inducement and whether there was not some 
an-angement in many cases so that the man who was coming in anyway 
was ci-edited to some fi'iend: and as a result the i)rogi-am was termi- 
nated at the end of li)()9. 

The Chairman. Ir was terminated ( 

Mr. Colby. It has been terminated ; yes, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. This article that I have by Mr. Beech was printed 
last year. It indicated just what yon said you suspected. I would expect 
that that would be a very difficult program to administer. 

Mr. Colby. I think it had a certain stimulating effect, but then some 
fellows inevitably figure out how to exploit it. 

The CiiAiioiAx. It is sort of haid to get a program where they can- 
not do that. That is true here too. 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

The Chairman. You have seen in the paper recently that in our own 
poverty program there seem to be some difliculties of a similar nature. 
It is very difficult indeed and especially in a foreign country where 
there are circumstances that are very unsettled. 


Maybe this question is iri-elevant to your i)roblem. You were talking 
about the allowances and also Mi'S. Hitclicock was talking about the 
allow^ances to refugees. Some time ago I saw an article in which some 
statistician had calculated how much it cost us — I believe it was the 
ammunition, just the wai', the military aspect — to kill a VC. 

Do you remember seeing such a figure ? 

Mr.' Colby. I do not recall it, but it is generally an astronomical 
figure, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. It was something like $200,000 to $300,000; was it 

Mr. Colby. It generally — I do not know what the figure is, but I am 
sure it is very high. 

The Chairiman. When you were talking there about gi\'ing them 
$1.25 a month or something, I thought perhaps we could strike a bar- 
gain and give them half as nuich as it cost to kill them and they would 
all quit. 

Mr. Colby. Well, I think ]Mr. Chairman, this is even cheaper. This 
particular pi-ogram in 1970 cost in the neighborhood of $1-1 million. If 
you divide it roughly by the 40,000-odd people who came in, we come 
to a per returnee cost of $368, which is really pretty cheap. Now all of 
them are not the greatest accomplishment in terms of being high level 
Vietcong, but, on the other hand, that is a considerably smaller cost 
than the cost of killing them. 

The Chairman. I take it you did not mention tlie third party pro- 
grsim in youi- statement simply because it had been abandoned. 

^Ir. Colby. That is right, yes, sir. 


The Chairman. I do not know that there is any use in puisning: that 
subject since it has been abandoned. There were several aiticles with 
which I assume you are familiar. 


Could you give any impression about the Vietcong who do come in 
in this Chieu Hoi program ^ Do they give the impression they are really 
committed or ever were committed to communism as an ideology? 

Mr. Colby. Again, I think this relates, Mr. Chairman, to their level. 
The great mass of them, the larger number were not. These were in 
great part people who were living in their local village, and in their 
local village they participated in the local guerrilla group, perhaps 
because it was the only guerrilla group around to participate in. "Wlien 
the Government appeared in the area and established itself and tlie 
Government programs began to work in the area, they were quite con- 
tent to shift over and join the Government side. They were not deeply 

Now there are Vietcong who are deeply committed individuals, there 
is no question about that^ — the higher level ones. Some of these have 
gone through the intellectual agonies of a real defection before they 
have come over. 

The Chairman. This question is always arising. I remember in the 
early days in De Gasperi's regime in Italy, we were greatly disturbed 
about the large Communist vote. Wlien I was there we discussed it 
and it usually came down that in the opinion of many of our own 
people, as well as the Italians, they really were not Communists. Thoy 
were against the Government. They did not like what the estab- 
lishment represented and the only really eifective organized opposi- 
tion was the Communist Party. I think subsequent events to a great 
extent have su]:)ported that thesis. 

Mr. C^oLBY. ^ remember a story about a ]5easant, Mr. Chairman. I 
believe in Thaiiand one time who was asked why he joined the Com- 
munist Party, and his reply in all ingenuousness was that this was the 
first thne anyone had ever asked him to join anything. [Laughter.] 

The Chairman. I think that is probably true. It is very likely to be 


I do not want to raise it again with you, but this does raise the ques- 
tion of whether these ideologically motivated wars in which we become 
engaged are justifiable in our national interests. 

The other criteria we at one time used to try to apply was that it was 
a real threat to the security of our country regardless of what their 
ideology may be or is alleged to be. To my way of thinking, it has been 
a great tragedy that we departed from that principle, but that is 
another matter. 


Wliat is this military assistance for pacification fund to which you 
referred as AIK in your statement ? 


Mr, Colby. Yes, sir, right. This is one of those counterpart funds, 
Mr. Chairman. It was generated by counterpart, and it is a fund made 
available by the arrangements between ourselves and the Vietnamese 
(iovemment for our direct dispensing. There has to be agreement on 
how most counterpart is to be spent and it is spent in joint programs. 
But this particular fund is a sum of money which is tinned over to our 
province and district teams. They may spend it without consultation 
with the Government in that area. 

AVe frankly used this very heavily right after the Tet period espe- 
cially to get tilings moving very fast. It was more flexible and it was 
a fund which could be utilized \ery rapidly. 

In calendar 11)70 we are cutting this back A-ery substantially because 
we have found that these other [)rograms that have been developed 
which are in the Vietnamesa structure, like the village self-develoi>- 
nient progiam, and the province self -development program, can have 
the necessary flexibility and, therefore, you do not need an American 
liniidled fund of that natui-e so much. 

The source of the fund is still American dolhii-s, Mr. Chaiiinan, but 
it is an efl'ort to de\ clop the Vietnamese channels to handle these things 
jatlier than handling them through American funds. 

The CiiAii{:srAX. How much does it consist of in 1970 or 19C9? 

Mr, McMaxaway. 19()9 it was 1.5 billion piasters or about- 

Mr. CoLr.Y. IS> lullion piasters for 1969. In 1970 it will be reduced to 
one-half billion piasters. 

The CiiAiKMAN. Do you lune difliculty with those ciphers like I do? 

yiv. Coi.i'.v, I do, ^Ir. Chairman, I am not a mathematician. 

The CiiAiKMAX. So do I. I tend to get lost with these figures in calcu- 
llation. That is the great advantage the military has over the civilians. 
Tlieii- cipheis are so numerous that no one understands what they come 
out with and the othei" pi'ogi-ams people understand them. 

If you get it down to half a billion, people will know what you are 
s[)ending and you will have problems. 


"What is the function, size, and pay of an armed propaganda team? 

^Ir. Colby. The armed propaganda team has 74 men in it. A team 
of 74 former Vietcong who are recruited to work for you. They are 
paid between 5,000 and 10,000 piasters a month. They are armed 
usually, with M-2 carbines. They are uniformed, and they operate 
generally in smaller elements than 74. They generally operate in pla- 
toon size or e\en in squad size. Their fimction is to go aromid into 
the countryside and indicate to the people that they used to be Viet- 
cong and that the government has received them and taken them in 
and that the Chieu Hoi program does exist as a way of Vietcong cur- 
rently on the other side to rally. They contact people like the families 
of known Vietcong. They have, for instance, invited and provided 
the transportation to take such families for a look at the local Chieu 
Hoi center, to see what it is, and then return them to their homes after 
that one-half day visit just so the next time they see their relative 
they can attest to the fact that this program really is what it is. Some 
of them are also used as guards on the Chieu Hoi hamlets or even the 
Chieu Hoi centers to help protect them against possible Vietcong 


As I indicated, tlie fellow in the Cliieu Hoi reception center is free 
to leave if he wishes. 


The Chairmax. Do these teams liave American advisers I 

Mr. Colby. They ha\e American advisers, sir, Australian advisers 
and some Filipino advisers. Eacli team miglit not necessarily have an 
adviser, but there will probably be an advisei' in the Province to advise 
the total proo;ram, the reception of new Hoi Chanh and the use of the 
armed propaganda teams. 

The Chairman. I thought the Filipinos had been withdrawn. 

Mr. Colby. These are contract people, individuals who are hired by 
us. They are paid by the Americans but are not Americans. 

The Chairman. AVhy do you hire Filipinos? 

Mr. Colby. The Filipinos had a very interesting history of a pro- 
gram of inviting the Huks to rally, and they had the same kind of a 
pi'ogram of resettling them and inviting them to rejoin the government 

A number of these people who were woi'king in the Philippines under 
President Magsaysay did come over and help set this program up and 
helped on the advisory aspects of it. 

The Chairman. Is General Lansdale out there ? 

Mr. Colby. He is not in Vietnam now. He is here in the United 

The Chairman. Did he have anything to do with setting up this 
program because he worked in the Philii)pines before: did he not? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. I think he had something to do with setting it up 
in the Philippines ; I could not say for sure. I think it was set up before 
he returned to Vietnam this time. 

The Chairman. These teams have either American or, as you say, 
contract advisers ? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. 

The Chairman. The teams report to them, I take it ? 

Mr. Colby. No, they rejDort to the Chieu Hoi chief. 

The Chairman. Chieu Hoi chief ? 

Mr. Colby. Yes. They are part of the Vietnamese Government, and 
their command structure is to the Chieu Hoi chief of that particular 

The adviser is an adviser to the Chieu Hoi chief. They do not com- 
mand these teams. 

chieu hoi interrogation procedtjres 

The Chairman. In your statement you discuss the interrogation 
procedure. Are these advisers present during the interrogation? 

Mr. Colby. Generally not, Mr. Chairman. The interrogation is done 
in the Chieu Hoi center by the national police, by the military intelli- 
gence or whoever, and it would be very rare that an American would 
be involved in the actual interrogation. 

Once in a while that probably happens . I believe for the very im- 
portant ones who come over, like some of the higher officers who have 


come over, the Americans have directly intei-rogated them. But the rule 
is tliat a man who comes over and says he is a Hoi Chanh must be 
reported to the Chieu Hoi service and center and must be physically 
brought there within 24 hours. He then, with his consent, may be re- 
turned to an interrogation center for further discussion and elucidation 
of what he knows, but he must first be brought into the Chieu Hoi 


The Chairman. Are those who come in under the Chieu Hoi pro- 
gram also counted as defectors under the Phoenix program ? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, yes. They are included in that total. Xot all of them, 
of course, because all of them do not meet the standards of the Phoenix 
program, the A, B category. 


The Chairman. You gave the figures; 1 will not repeat them. Can 
you indicate the percentage who are what you would call important 
officials or of that rank who might be called Communists in an ideo- 
logical sense ? 

Mr. Colby. I think the sum last year, the total mnnb-^r last year 
brought in were 47,000 of which 28,000 were military. Now, they would 
not be included in the category of important officials because they are 
not in the political apparatus; l^.AOO-odd aie called political. I think 
in our Phoenix figures that 5,000-odd rallied, something of that nature, 
and those 5,000 out of the 47,000 would be a figiu-e for the more im- 
portant ones, 

CHIEU hoi program QUOTAS 

The Chairman. Arc there quotas assigned under the Chieu Hoi 
program ? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, there have been goals set, I would call them goals 
rather than quotas — goals to get that many brought in ; 4,800 ralliers 
were included in the Phoenix total last year. 

The Chairman. They would be considered of some consequence 
rather than 

Mr. Colby. Yes, not enonnous consequence in that an A, B level 
could be a front leader at the village level. I mean that does not really 
make him a member of the central committee in Hanoi. 

The Chairman, Last year you said, I believe, 47,000 rallied ; is that 
correct ? 

Mr, Colby. Yes. 


The Chairman. How many deserters or defectors did the AKVX 
have last year ? Do you know that ? 

Mr. Colby. I do not know the answer, sir. I can get it for you. It 
may be a matter we should give you in executive session. I will have 
the figure for vou tomorrow. 


I would add that the ARVN deserter is carried as a deserter after 
15 days absence from his unit as distinct from our practice of calling 
him a deserter only after 30 days. 

It is our experience that a number of the people who are classified as 
deserters actually show up again or show up in another unit sometimes. 
There is a certain shifting among the different units. This should be 
reduced in the future by reason of a fingerprint system which is well 
on its way toward being implemented today, so that I think we will 
be able to find out when that recruit was a member of some other unit. 

The Chaikman. I am told that figure, as you say, is classified. It 
was very substantially greater than the number of Chieu Hoi. We will 
talk further about that tomorrow. 

]\Ir. Colby. I will have that figure for you tomorrow. 


The Chairman. I am not quite sure why these figures should be 
classified if the country is supposed to understand what we are doing 
and what goes on. The reason I object to this classification of things of 
this eharartei- is )io\v do they expect people to make a reasonably well- 
informed judgment if they do not know some of the critical questions? 

If you let the Chieu Hoi stand alone without any reference at all 
to what is happening on the other side, it creates an impression that 
the thing is collapsing. I mean it is just about to collapse and, of 
course, if you hang on another year it will be over. 

But if there are more desertions from the ARVN than there are 
desertions from the other side, that puts a little different light on the 
situation ; does it not ? 

Mr. Colby. Well, Mr. Chairman, these figures are not that com- 
parable, because the 'Chieu Hoi figures are people who were on the 
other side who joined the government side. 

Now, there are some who were on the other side and who just drift 
back into their homes and never go through the Chieu Hoi center. 
Secondly, it is our fairly firm opmion that very few of the deserters 
from the GVN forces actually go to the other side. 

Again, as I say, a number of these shift to other imits. Some of 
them drift oft' and go home and plant rice and that sort of thing, so 
it is not an exactly comparable figure. 

The Chairman. Let us assmne you are correct. I still do not see why 
they say this is a classified figure if there is an explanation. It creates 
then a false impression that it is perhaps more serious than it is. What 
I do not like is always classifying some aspect of it. I think it may 
well create an impression that the Government is hiding something 
that is bad. This contributes to a degree to this so-called credibility 
gap, that we do not believe what we are told. I have already gone over 
it. You know, we have been misled so much in the past. I thmk it is 
to your benefit not to classify these things, but to put it on the table and i 
then if there is an explanation, such as you have given, give it. 

It is much healthier and much more persuasive to say, "Yes," there 
were so many thousands of these deserters, but this is what happened 
to them. They did not go to the YC; they went home and did so and 
so — just what you said. 



It is iniich healthier than your saying, "Well, that figure is 

ol*is*^iriGcl ' 

Mr. Colby. Let me examine the question, Mr. Chairman, and if it is 
possible to declassify it tomorrow, we will hand it to you on an 
unclassified basis. 

The Chaikmax. It is very irritating you see. This keeps cropping up. 
It is the same as this terrible controversy we are having over the Lao- 
tian situation, with which you have nothing to do. But it is very irritat- 
ing in trying to operate a' democratic government, if it is still maybe 
called that, to be always confronted with this tendency to cover up 
some kind of a figure or some activity. I do not see anything wrong 
with your explanation of it and I am not rejecting it at all. If that is 
the fact, well, then, so what? Then it does not mean what it might 
otherwise mean if you merely make the explanation and say, ''Well, 

the figure is classified."' 

Mr. Colby. I do not want to indicate that desertion is not a problem. 
It is a problem : I agree with vou there. 

The CiiAiitMAX. It is a problem. There is a considerable problem 
within our own forces ; is there not ? 

Mr. Colby. I do not know, ^Mr. Chairman. 

The Ciiair:hax. You have read alK)ut it. I mean there is a consider- 
able problem about the ciuestion of the draft. This has been in the 
paper. This has been a pretty difficult war; has it not? Do you not 
agree to that ? 

Mr. Colby. It has indeed. 

The Chairman. Or have vou been too far away from us to know it^ 

Mr. Colby. It is a difficult war on both sides of the ocean, I believe. 

The Chairman. It sure is. 

There is a sort of closing note, putting together a few odds and ends. 


Are you familiar with an Army project called the population con- 
trol marking system, which was described in an October 1969 Army 
intelligence information bulletin as one which will "enable U.S. Forces 
to rapidly and invisibly mark mass elements of a given population with 
a permanent coated agent that cannot be reasonably reproduced or 
forged. In this manner it will be possible through a special read-out 
device to rapidly and accurately ascertain to what hamlet, city, or 
region an individual belonged, thus identifying him as a suspect should 
he be detected in other than his designated area" '? 

^h\ Colby. I am not familiar with that program, ^Mr. Chairman. 
I am familiar with the program of giving new identification cards to 
Vietnamese which will be backed up by fingerprints and photographs. 
These will be given to all Vietnamese. We are supporting that program. 
It is normal identification card type thing. 

The Chairman. You think this is not this program though ? 

Mr. Colby. That does not sound like it to me. But I do not know 
anything about that program, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. This I am told is an invisible tatooing program. 
You do not laiow anything about it ? 

Mr. Colby. I am afraid vou are bevond me, Mr. Chairman. We have 
lots of bright ideas out there, Mr. Chairman. 

44-706 — 70 17 


The Chairman. Maybe you as well as we can learn something out of 
this hearing. As a matter of fact, it has just been called to my atten- 
tion. I do not know about it either. We have lots of new developments 
going on in this country. 


This morning I think there was a description of corruption in South 
Vietnam written in 19G7 by a Vietnamese, and it was suggested the 
document was out of date. I have now been handed a more current 
observation, an up-to-date statement written less than a year ago, writ- 
ten in the spring of 1969, also by a Vietnamese. Mr. Tran Ngoc Chau. 

It relates to the success of eliminating corruption. There are a few 
excerpts that I thought I might read into the record and maybe you 
would care to comment on them as to the success. It says : 

The present countermeasures used in abolisliing corruption can only solve the 
problem partially. Due to the following reasons, we have not yet been able to 
determine the main reasons that cause and nourish corruption. A campaign is 
directed mainly for political propaganda and for the satisfaction of criticism by 
American opinion. The measures taken are somewhat partial because they are 
only aimed at low ranking, isolated and out of power local oflBcials. The above 
mentioned measures are so inefficient and erroneous that they can cause corrup- 
tion to be more severe, formation of factions to be stronger and honest officials 
to become agitated and to have a crime obsession and an inferiority complex thus 
making our regime internally as well as internationally more scattered and 

Do you have any comment to make on that ? 

Mr. Colby. Well, my difference wdth the earlier statement was 
mainly pointed at the question of the situation in the country side, the 
physical condition in the countryside, Mr. Chairman. Corruption is 
still a problem. It has been for many years in most of Asia and I 
presume will be with us for a while. 

There are still problems that have to be dealt with. There are some 
steps being taken on this. It is a matter of discussion from time to time. 

AVe take particular pains, of course, in our own programs and in the 
use of our own resources to minimize, to the degree possible, any 

I would suggest that you would be interested in a little story. One 
of our people in a district in Saigon had an idea which was adopted, 
and as a result in this office in Saigon today there are big painted 
signs on the walls describing the different forms, the different docu- 
ments that are available at that office, and next to each the name of 
each form or each license that you need. It tells the cost of the licenses 
and the number of days or how long it should take to be available. 

The purpose of publicizing this is to make it obvious that it is not 
necessary to give the extra money, the "tea" money, and so forth, to 
get the document through in any shorter time. It also fixes the sum 
for the license fee. 

Now, this is not everywhere in Vietnam, but it is the kind of sug- 
gestion that comes up from some of our people from time to time which 
a local official will adopt to try to bring some of the problems out into 
the open so that the normal control of the population's interest in 
eliminating this kind of nuisance can begin to bear on it. 



The Chairman. There is one passage in this book of ]Mr. Meyerson's 
which I thought was rather interesting. It bears upon this recurrent 
question of whether or not we are actually judging the situation prop- 
erly. This is in his appendix and I thought it would be interesting for 
the record. It is very short. , 

This gentleman, I majr say, spent quite a long tune, m two diiierent 
periods, altogether, I think, the equivalent of a year or a year and a 
half, studying this one small problem. He said : 

On fi visit to Saisron one day in May lOoT. jnst nfter the much heralded nation- 
wide village elections, I came upon a bundle of back issues of the French maga- 
zine "Indochina Sud Est Asiatique." They were published in 1953. Here are 

"The transport squadrons of the Army Air Force in Indochina have, since 
October 1952, flown 8 million kilometers. They have registered 25,261 sorties, 
carried 24,400 tons of Ciirgo and 143,000 passenger, and they have dropped 
75,000 paratroopers. 

"I was struck by the high morale of the Vietnamese soldiers, the intelligence 
of the officers who command them, and above all the new fact that the popula- 
tion is joining in the struggle against the terrorists." 

This was attributed to a statement of French President Paul Rey- 
naud in summing up his inspection trip in Saigon. 
On the next page it says : 

"Each year sees a refinement of military tactics in Indo-China. Since the fall 
of Nghia-Lo, isolated outposts have been downgraded. The tactic involves 
hedge-hopping air mobile units. 

"Vietnam has now successfully completed an extraordinary undertaking : In the 
midst of a violent civil war, the government has conducted village elections 
employing every guarantee of liberty and independence of choice that can be 
imagined for any modern State. . . . One need only recall the old Vietnamese 
saying. 'The authority of the King stops at the gates of the village,' to appreciate 
the full significance of these elections. . . . 

"Nevertheless, certain observers have tended to write off the elections as 
being . . . without political significance. This interpretation vastly under- 
estimates the importance of the event It should be emphasized that, in the 
weeks preceding the elections, the Viet Minh announced a two-pronged anti- 
election campaign : On the one band, terrorism and sabotage would be stepped 
up; on the other hand, voters would be pressured into abstaining. Yet, despite 
these threats, not only did 80.21 iiercent of eligible voters participate in the elec- 
tion, but, equally significant, 15,000 candidates presented themselves for the 
7,000 seats at stake." 

These reports going back for 20 years sound so familiar: do they 
not ? Sometimes at least it raises a slight question about our judgment ; 
does it not ? 

Mr. Colby. I think we tried to express our judgment with 
api^ropriate caution and awareness of difficulties ahead, Mr, Chairman. 

Tlie Chairman. I am sure you do. I am quite sure President Reynaud 
was not trying to deceive anyone. I liave no reason to doubt that. Tliey 
went through a very painful experience because of it. I hope I never 
suggested that I think any of you are trying to deceive this committee 
or in any way misrepresent it as you see it. The problem is how do we 
see it. That is true not only of that problem, but of a lot of them here at 
home. There is nothing peculiar about it; only it is extraordinarily 
difficult. I do think it is very difficult. 

Anything else today? 

I want to make this sliort announcement. 



JNIr. Colby. Mr. Chairman, I have a document here on the security 
aspects of pacification that I thought we might insert in the record. 

The Chaieman. It would be very helpful. 

Mr. Colby. It just summarizes some of the programs that aflect 
security. I think v^ e Imve discussed most of them in the course of the 
past few days. 

The CTTAiR:\iAi>r. I think it would be very helpful to do that. 

(The information referred to ai^pears on p. 716.) 


Mr. Colby. I would like, since this would be the closing part of the 
public session, I understand, Mr. Chairman, to express on behalf of the 
various officers and men who have come here from Saigon our appreci- 
ation for your courtesy and your patience, I might add, and also your 
concerned curiosity about what is happening there. 

Sergeant Wallace will go back to central Vietnam to rejoin his CAP 
platoon in the hamlet out there. Captain Geek will go down to the 
delta to resume life there in the village along the canals to try to help 
that village get established. Captain Murphy will go back to advising 
an RF operation in Long Aii Province where there is still a good fight 
going on. Major Arthur who spoke here is going back to his quarters 
in Binh Chanh District in which he lives in a double bed which has 
sandbags at the top underneath a sandbagged roof because the enemy 
rather frequently manages to mortar the place. Mr. ]\Iills will go back 
to his highlanders and try to work the relationship between the Viet- 
namese and the highlanders in order to create some cohesion there. Mr. 
Vann will return to his rather intense programs of visiting all of the 
areas of the delta, every last corner of it. Mr. IMclNIanaway and I will 
return to the somewhat less arduous physical surroundings of Saigon. 
I think we all have been very much educated and very much impressed 
by this example of interest on your part, jNIr. Chainnan, and on the 
]Dart of the other members of the committee in what we are trying to 
do out there. 

We think we are trying to do something useful. I am sure we are. 

On some occasions our perspective may be a little narrow, but I 
think that we are going to continue to try to do the best job we can 
for our Government, and I thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

CRiTicisar IS not of witnesses but of high-lemsl decisions 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, Mr. Ambassador. 

You promjit me to respond by saying that I hope that all of these 
gentlemen understand that this committee, and certainly the chairman 
of this committee, do not now nor ever have intended to criticize you 
gentlemen who are carrying out the orders of your Government in the 
best way you can, whether you are fighting on the front, whether you 
are exposed to the enemy, or whether you are directing from Saigon. 

This criticism has been misrepresented inevitably by people who dif- 
fer with us as a criticism directed at the people carrying on the war. 
Of course, that is utterly without foundation. 


The criticism that I and others on this committee have is confined to 
the decisions beintr made at the highest level, goinor back to 19Gi-Go, 
We are not talking about what any of the people m the held have done 
but to be precise^ about the decisions made by the President, taken 
ui)on the advice of his Cabinet and advisers. Tliere is a difterence ot 
opinion as to where the interests of the United States lie. It is a polit- 
ical question, and I have nothing but admiration for you m your 
position and all the gentlemen you have mentioned. It is even more 
difficult in my opinion, to carry on a conflict such as this about wlucli 
certainly there is greater doubt and greater criticism than any m our 

history, I believe. . . ^ • i j; ^,„, 

Of course the Ci\^l War was unique, but m any other outside ot oui 
own Civil War, where we really did fall to fighting among ourselves, 
there was nothing like this. To my knowledge there was nothing like 
this in World War I, World War II, the Korean war, nor any other 


There was something like this long after the event m the Philippine 
war There was quite a fuss raised, but due to lack of communications 
at that time no one knew anything about it until after it was long oxer. 

Unfortunately this one has gone on. You give me the occasion to 
sav I have not now nor have I ever intended to criticize what you gen- 
tlemen are doing or soldiers are doing in the field. You are doing what 
you conceive is vour duty and your order. I have never suggested in 
any way that any man has anv choice about this matter. 

i have had many people, st^udents and others, because of my well- 
known opposition to the war itself, ask my advice about the draft nnd 
so on. I have alwavs and always shall advise tliem, "This is your Gov- 
ernment and you inust follow the laws of your Government." 


I have tried to follow the laws of the Government. I figure it is my 
duty, as it is other Senators' duties if they disagree with a policy, not 
to meekly fall in line but to express that disagreeinent. That is the 
only wav a democratic country can properly function and there is a 
tendency always in wartime to' stifle any criticism or opposition. Gen- 
erally, that is no probU^m or not a serious one, but in this case it has 
been! It is a very unfortunnte pait and a very unhappy role to play to 
disagree with your Government's policy at any time, but esi)ecially 
when it involves the lives of so many ]^eople and the costs. 

I can well understand how you gentlemen in the fiekh having a job 
to do, are very impatient of those who back here in Washino:t()ii do 
rritirize the operation overall, even thou.q-h the critirism is not directed 
at you, because vou are bound to feel that you are doing something of 
importance to the country. Given the assumption that the decision was 
coi-rect. vou most certainly are. The question of whether or no<- we 
should be there, whether or not it is consistent with the vital national 
interest and securitv of the country, is anothpr question. It is a legiti- 
mate question to ask not only the' past Administration, but also this 

It was a very important question. I think, in tlie last Administration's 
decision not to run. At least we thought it was. I think that is generally 
accepted. The country, I think, thought there would be a very signifi- 


cant change, and there may be. That is the question we are all interested 

in today. 

The President, as you know, published a statement yesterday on 
general overall policy. It is so long that due to these hearings I have 
not had a chance to read it yet. I hope to read it over the weekend. 


I want to thank you and all of you for your cooperation in coming 
here and giving us your advice. I hope you will not go away think- 
ing I am suspicious or have reservations about your frankness and 
candor when I call attention to the fact that in the past statements 
about this war have not proved to have been true. 

There again I did not suggest that tlieso other witnesses were telling 
the committee anything that they did not believe at the time. I am 
suggesting these are very difficult things to judge. In our fallibility 
in the pasr wo liave not been correct in our judgment of how things were 
going and we must take every precaution possible not to fall again 
into this same trap. That is about the sum and substance of it. 

I certainly do not wish to impugn anybody's honesty and integrity 
in their testimony. 

iMr. Colby. I had no suggestion of that in my statement. 

senate's belief in value of open DISCUSSION 

The Chairman. We raised these questions for examination. There 
is still in the Sennte, especially among some Members, perhaps a 
naivete that there is some value in open discussion by a number of 
people. Tliere is still the idea thnt among a hundred men, if thev are 
first made aware of the facts and then have an opportunity to discuss 
them, the ultimate decision may be a little wiser than that taken by 
one man or two or three men in secret session, if I may call it that. 

This is part and parcel of this argument about what should be made 
public. I mean what should we be allowed to know and and to discuss, 
such as the controversy over Laos. All it is really is the feeling among 
a great many Members of the Senate that there is still value in open 
discussion of public matters of the greatest importance. 

That does not mean we arrogate to ourselves any superior wisdom. 
We assume we are all average, but the discussion develops the truth, 
we will say, or more nearly the truth. 

I appreciate your statement. Ambassador Colby. 

announcement of next hearing 

Tomorrow we will hear testimony in executive session in room S-116 
in the Capitol from Capt. Armand Murphy, Regional Forces and 
Popular Forces Adviser in Long An Province; Capt. Richard T. 
Geek, Commander, Mobile Advisory Team, Kien Giang Province, and 
U.S. Marino Cor]3s Sgt. Richnrd Wallace. He is Combined Action 
Platoon Team Leader in Quang Nam Province. 

I might point out that according to the staff the Department of 
Defense was prepared to have these witnesses testify in public session, 
but in this instance, much to my surprise, they were overruled by the 


State Department. This is a salutary sign of a new relationship 
between the Departments of State and Defense in any case. But it is a 
disturbing indicator of the Department of State's unwillingness to 
open up all aspects of our involvement in Vietnam to public discussion. 

We will also discuss the case of Mr. Tran Ngoc Chau further. The 
staff of this committee has looked into this case in some depth. The 
case of Mr. Chau seems to raise a number of important questions con- 
cerning the operations of U.S. agencies in Vietnam, the relationship 
of the American mission to the Thieu regime, and the prospect of 
representative government in South Vietnam. We will be very 
interested in the comments of you gentlemen tomorrow. 

I also will end by apologizing for keeping you so late and for being 
unable to make these hearings a little shorter, but that is a very difficult 
thing to do. 

Thank you very much, gentlemen. 

Mr. Colby. Thank you very much. 

( Whereupon, at 5 : 05 p.m., the committee recessed, to reconvene 
Friday, February 20, 1970, at 10 a.m.) 

United States 3Iilitaiy Advisory Program in Vietnam 


United States Senate, 
Committee on Foreign Relations, 

Washington, D.C. 

The committee met, pursuant to recess, at 10 a.m., iu room S-116, 
the Ca])ito], the Honorable J. W. Fulbrio:h( (chau-man) presidino;. 

Present: Senators Fulbri<2:ht, Gore, Church, Symington, Pell, 
Aiken, Case, Cooper, and Javits. 

Also i)resent: William E. Colbv, Deputy to General Abrams; 
John Vann, Deputy for CORDS, IV Corps; Hawthorne Mills. Prov- 
ince Senior Adviser, Tuycn Due; Maj. James F. Arthur, District 
Senior Adviser, Binh Cluinh District, Gia Dinh Province; and 
Clayton E. McManaway, assistant. 

The Chairman. The committee will come to order. 

opening statement 

The committee is meeting this morning in executive session at the 
insistence of the State Department to hear testimony from Captain 
Armand Muri)hy, Adviser to Regional and Popular Forces in Long 
An Province, Capt. Richard T. Geek, Mobile Advisory Team Com- 
nuinder in Kien Gian Province, and Sgt. Richard D. Wallace, Com- 
bined Action Platoon sergeant in Quang Nam Province. The com- 
mittee will be interested in learning more about these assistance 
programs, the capacities of the Vietnamese forces involved, and the 
prospects for the Vietnamese to assume these responsibilities. 

Following their teslimon}^ we will examine with Ambassador 
Colby additional details of the Phoenix program, the case of Tran 
Ngoc Chan and other matters. 

Befor(> Cajjtain Murjihy, Cai^tain Geek, and Sergeant Wallace read 
their prepared statements, 1 would like to ask each of them one 
question. Do you have any objections to discussing in public session 
what you are doing in Vietnam? 

Captain Murphy. No, sir. 

Captain Geck. No, sir. 

Sergeant Wallace. No, sir. 

The Chairman. You did not suggest that this be in executive 
session ? 

Cai)tain Murphy. No, sir; Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. Who wishes to begin? 




Captain Murphy. I will begin, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Proceed, please, sii*. 

Captain Murphy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I am Army Capt. Armand Jordan Murphy from Florida. I have 
served in the Republic of Vietnam for the last 24 consecutive months, 
serving with the 9th U.S. Infantry Division and the last 12 months 
with the Military Assistance Command Vietnam. During the last 
7 months I have held the position of senior Regional and Popular 
Forces adviser for Long An Province. 


Long An Province lies to the south and west of Saigon at a distance 
of approximately 10 miles at its closest boundary. It is the southern- 
most province in III Corps tactical zone but possesses no international 
borders. The Province has seven districts, 81 ^^llages, and 387 hamlets. 
The primary occupation of the 365,000 inhabitants is rice farming. 
By the latest statistics, over 85 percent of the population is under 
Government of Vietnam security. Militarily, Long An has 52 Regional 
Force companies and 163 Popular Force platoons. There are two regi- 
ments of the Army of the Rejjublic of Vietnam forces totaling five 
battalions operating in the Province. The Third Brigade of the 9th 
U.S. Infantry Division mth four infantry battalions operates almost 
exclusively in Long An. Vietnamese forces in both combat and combat 
support functions total approximately 16,000 personnel. U.S. forces 
total in excess of 5,500 personnel. Two Regional Force companies 
and 50 Popular Force platoons are to be added in 1970. 


As the senior Regional and Popular Forces adviser, my primary 
function is that of principal U.S. adviser to Maj. Nguyen Van Thanh, 
commander of Pro\dnce Regional and Popular Foices. My duties 
consist of rendering advice and assistance to Major Thanh on all 
facets of Regional and Popular Force functions. My acti\aties include 
assisting in the planning, preparation, and execution of tactical opera- 
tions, accompanying on inspections of Regional and Popular Force 
units, and advising on administrative and logistical support functions. 


The Regional and Popular Forces play a key role in the pacifica- 
tion effort in my Province through provision of territorial security. 
Currently in Long An, pacification expansion is being supported by 
14 Regional Force companies, four independent Regional Force 
platoons, and eight Popular Force platoons. Other missions under- 
taken by Long An Regional and Popular Forces include security 
for villages and bridges throughout the Province. 

The proficiency of Regional and Popular Forces in Long An Prov- 
ince has improved measurably. This improvement is largely attrib- 
utable to the efforts of the 20 mobile advisory teams operating in the 


Province. These teams, consisting of two officers and three noncom- 
missioned officers, live and operate with Regional and Popular Force 
units and have the mission to upgrade the overall operational effec- 
tiveness of the units they advise. 

The Chairman. Ai-e those Americans? 

Captain Murphy. That is correct, Mr. Chau-man; they are 

The Chairman. Go ahead. 

Captain Murphy. Another contributing factor to the improvement 
in territorial security force proficiency has been the equipment 
conversion program. Equipping these forces with modern weapons, 
vehicles, and communications equipment has not only given our allies 
sujDerior firepower, communications, and transportation capabilities 
over the enemy, but has also resulted in a psychological effect on 
the individual soldier making him more self-confident and aggressive. 
Presence and availability of support from helicopter gunships, tactical 
air fighters, and medical evacuation aircraft have also greatly en- 
hanced the combat capabilities of Regional and Popular Forces. 

The Chairman. Thank you. Captain Murphy. 


You were referring to making them aggressive. Were j^ou referring 
to the Vietnamese? 

Captain Murphy. That is right, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Are they not naturally very aggressive? 

Captain Murphy. It varies, sir, with the individual. 

The Chairman. Do you have to inspire them with aggression? 

Captain Muprhy. It varies with the individual, and I would say 
with the leadership. 

The Chairman. Do you think by the time we com[)lete our job they 
will be aggressive enough to hold their own in this modern world? 

Captain Murphy. I think, Mr. Chairman, that we have seen 
considerable improvement in the aggressiveness of the units through 
U.S. assistance, and I would hope that through our continued efforts 
in this direction that we will eventually achieve a very high degree of 
aggressiveness and combat capability on the part of the individual 
Vietnamese soldier. 

background of captain murphy 

The Chairman. Are you a Regular Army captain? 
Captain Murphy. No, Mr. Chairman. I am Army Reserve. 
The Chairman. You did not attend the Academy? 
Captain Murphy. No, Mr. Chairman, I did not. 
The Chairman. Where are you from in Florida? 
Captain Murphy. I call St. Petersburg my hometown, on the west 
coast of the peninsula. 

The Chairman. Is that where they have this oil slick? 

Captain Murphy. I do not know about that. 

The Chairman. Have you been reading about the oil slick? 

Captain Murphy. No, I have not, Mr. Chainnan. 

The Chairman. It is near Tampa, I believe. 

Captain Murphy. Tampa is just north of St. Petersburg. 


The Chairman. They have a magnificent oil sUck, killing all the 
wildlife and ruining all the beaches. I was recently down there for a 
couple of days, not at Tampa but at Fort Lauderdale. It is nice 
weather down there. 

Captain Murphy. Yes, it is, Mr. Chairman. I am anxious to get 

The Chairman. How old are you? 

Captain Murphy. I am 27, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. What were you doing before you were ordered to 

Captain Murphy. I attended the Infantry Officer Candidate School. 

The Chairman. What were you doing before that? Had you gone to 
college or had you finished school? 

Captain Murphy. Yes, sir, I attended school at Georgia Institute 
of Technology in Atlanta. 

The Chairman. What did you study? 

Captain Murphy. I studied mechanical engineering. 

The Chairman. Are you going to be an engineer? 

Captain Murphy. Yes, I am, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Do you do anything in the engineering field in 

Captain Murphy. No, Mr. Chairman. I am involved almost en- 
tirely in military affairs. 

The Chairman. Pacification is kind of a mixture. It is not only 
military but political too. Is it not social? 

Captain Murphy. Yes, it is, ^Ir. Chairman. It definitely has a 
political aspect. 

The Chairman. Do you have many reasons to call upon your train- 
ing as an engineer in your present position? 

Captain Murphy No, I do not 


The Chairman. You do not, but you are becoming a politician. 
What exactly do you do when you advise these people? You are the 
senior regional adviser; is that right? 

Captain Murphy. Senior Regional and Popular Forces adviser. 

The Chairman. Whom do you advise directly? 

Captain Murphy. I am principal U.S. adviser to Maj. Nguj^en 
Van Thanh. Major Thanh is the deputy province chief for security 
in Long An. 

The Chairman. What do you tell him? Give us a picture. About 
what do you advise him? 

Captain Murphy. Well, let me, if I may — ■ — 

The Chairman. Do you speak Vietnamese? 

Captain Murphy. Yes, I do. 

The Chairman. Does he speak English? 

Captain Murphy. He speaks excellent English. We carry out all 
our conversations in English. 

The Chairman. About wliat do you ail vise him? 

Ca})tain Murphy. Let me cite, if I may, a typical day. 

The Chairman. That is what I would like. 



Captain Murphy. In the morning at approximately 8 o'clock we 
have a joint United States and Vietnamese briefing, which is conducted 
in English because the province officials are all fluent in English. 

The Chairman. Who attends that meeting? 

Captain Murphy. It is attended by the province chief, Col. Le 
Van Tu; my counterpart, Maj. Tan An, anrl the Vietnamese staff; 
Col. Alfred Sanderson, the province senior adviser, myself, and the 
members of the U.S. staft". 

After this briefing, Maj. Tan An and I discuss our activities 

The Chairman. Who does the briefing? 

Captain Murphy. The briefing is given by both United States and 

The Chairman. Are you one of those who does the briefing? 

Captain Murphy. No, I do not brief. 

The Chairman. Wlio does it? 

Captain ]\1urphy. The S-2 intelligence officers will brief on the 
enemy situation. 

The Chairman. Are they the DOD intelUgence of CIA? Whose in- 
telligence officers are they? 

Captain Murphy. Well, the Vietnamese intelligence officer. 

The Chairman. The}^ brief you about what? Describe it as best 
you can. 

Cai)tain Murphy. They will go briefly into the events of the 

The Chairman. What happened the day before? 

Captain Murphy. Yes. 

The Chairman. The significance of the night before? 

Captain Murphy. The significant incidents. They will brief us on 
intelligence reports which we may have received. 

The Chairman. They are bringing you up to date on developments; 
is that right? 

Captain Murphy. That is correct, more or less, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. How many are at this briefing? 

Captain Murphy. About eight. 

The Chairman. Eight. 

Captain Murphy. Eight Vietnamese personnel and about the same 
number of Americans. 

The Chairman. In effect you gather around the table and they 
tell you what haj)pened as far as they know. Then what happens? 

Cai)tain Murphy. Then the U.S. counterpart will brief immediately 
after the Vietnamese. He will go into detail on any reports which we may 
have received through our advisory channels, from our advisers in the 
districts or on down to the mobile advisory team. 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Captain Murphy. Following that, the Vietnamese operations 
officers, what we refer to as S-3 officers, will brief on operations for the 

The Chairman. Y"ou mean what they are going to do in the coming 
day, not on what has happened. 

Captain Murphy. On this particular day of the briefing. 

The Chairman. Is it plans for the day? 

Captain Murphy. That is correct, Mr. Chairman. 


The Chairman. Go ahead. 

Captain Murphy. Then artillery personnel will give briefings on 
significant radar sightings and rounds of artillery expended during the 
preceding night. 

That is about the extent of the briefing. 

The Chairman. How long does that take? 

Captain Murphy. It usually runs about 25 or 30 minutes in the 


The Chairman. What is a typical rejjort? How many artillery 
rounds, would you say are normal? Is it 100, 200, or a thousand? 

Captain Murphy. We have both Vietnamese and U.S. artillery 
located within a province. 

The Chairman. In an average niglit do they expend many artillery 

Captain Murphy. Generally the United States and Vietnamese will 
fire a total of about 300 rounds of artillery. 

The Chairman. During a night? 

Captain Murphy. Yes. 

The Chairman. At what do they fire? 

Captain Murphy. Primarily, Mr. Chairman, on radar sightings. 
We have an antipersonnel or personnel detecting radar which is 
designed to pick up movements of personnel. 

The Chairman. Can that radar tell whether it is a Vietnamese or an 
American or a North Vietnamese or a South Vietnamese? 

Captain Murphy. No, it cannot, Mr. Chairman. There is in all 
areas in Vietnam a curfew of which the local inhabitants are aware. 
They are informed through their government channel, and it can be 
assumed that after a set time i 

The Chairman. It picks up anything that moves. 

Captain Murphy. Yes, it does, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Then the artillery shoots at it. 

Captain Murphy. Yes, it does, after the target is cleared. 

The Chairman. What does that mean? 


Captain Murphy. The target must be approved by Vietnamese 
Government officials. I think I should point out here that U.S. artillery 
is very restricted in the areas into which it can fire, both by us and 
by Vietnamese restrictions which are imposed upon it. For example, 
the U.S. artillery units have what they call a population overlay, 
Mr. Chamnan. This is an overlay which has been drawn up through 
both visual reconnaissance of the areas and through coordination 
with Government of Vietnam officials. It shows where the population 
is centered, and these targets can under no circumstances be engaged 
by U.S. artillery. Some of these areas can be engaged by Vietnamese 
artillery because they do not have the visual reconnaissance factor 
or their overlays do not include the A'isual reconnaissance. 

The Chairman. Why not? If there is a justification for one, why 
is there not for the other? 

Captain Murphy. I think the U.S. artillery units are extremely 
aware of it. 

The Chairman. What? 


Captain Murphy. Of the possibility of injuring ci\'ilians; innocent 

The Chairman. The South Vietnamese do not care; is that it? 

Captain Murphy. I would not say they do not care. 

The Chairman. What does it mean then? Why do they make the 
distinction, if they do? 

Captain Murphy. Frankly I do not know why the Vietnamese 
can fire in the areas that the United States cannot. 


The Chairman. If you advise them not to fire over there, do they 
follow your advice? 

Captain Murphy. I do not advise on artillery engagements gen- 

The Chairman. You do not. Who does advise on artillery? 

Captain Murphy. We have an artillery ad\nsory detachment which 
advises the Vietnamese artillery which is from the 25th ARVN 
Division. It is not Regional or Popular Force artillery, so I do not 
get involved with the artillery. 

The Chairman. Do Americans advise on this? 

Captain Murphy. The}^ have acU-isers, yes. 

The CvHAirman. Americans. You do not happen to advise them? 

Captain Murphy. No, I do not. Not on artillery matters, no. 


The Chairman. Do the Americans, you say, normally expend 
about 300 rounds a nio-ht? 

Captain Murphy. That is combined. To give you a breakdown, 
Mr. Chairman, I would say the United States probably will fire about 
two rounds for every one Vietnamese round. 

The Chairman. It is about 200 to about 100? 

Captain Murphy. Yes. 

The Chairman. What size artillery is this? 

Captain Murphy. These are 105mm and 155mm. 

The Chairman. ^^Hiat range do they have? 

Captain Murphy. 105 can engage targets at about — let me consult 
with an artillery ex])ert. 

The Chairman. You can advise with him if you like. 

Captain Murphy. About 11 kilometers. 

The Chairman. Ai-e you the artillery expert? 

Captain Murphy. He is an artillery officer. 

The Chairman. You are the one who advises them? 

Captain Murphy. That just happened to be his basic branch, Mr. 
Chairman. He is an artillery officer. I am an infantry officer. 



The Chairman. We will come to him in a minute. This is greatly 
interesting on how it operates. The Americans are restricted in certain 
areas out of a delicate feeling for the ci\dlians I take it. 

Captain Murphy. I think they are extremely aware of the possibility 
of injuring civilians. 


The Chairman. The ARVN is not. Is that a proper distinction? 

Captain Murphy. I would not say they are not concerned for the 
population. Certainly they have their restrictions, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. I am not trying to put words in your mouth. I am 
only trying to get you to say it the way you see it. What is the differ- 
ence, if any? 

Mr. Vann. My. Chairman, may I help out on this? 

The Chairman. I would like these young men who are not quite 
as sophisticated as you are to answer, Mr. Vann. We will come back 
to you later. 

Mr. Vann. I am at the level that prepares the rules of engagement 
under which they operate, and I do know the answer to your question. 

The Chairman. I understand. You will have your opportunity, 
but at the moment I am very interested in Captain Murphy's observa- 

Senator Cooper. May I intervene at this point? 

The Chairman. Most certainly you can. 

Senator Cooper. Is the difference based at least in part upon the 
fact that we do not command the Vietnam artillery? Do we? 

Captain Murphy. No, Senator, we do not command Vietnamese 

Senator Cooper. You command your own troops, but you cannot 
command theirs. You might advise them, but you cannot command 

Captain Murphy. That is right. Senator. 

The Chairman. I did not mean to lead the witness at all. I was 
only trying to get him to say whatever he believes to be the facts. I 
do not have any viewpoint. 

Senator Cooper. It is a proper inquiry. 

The Chairman. I am not trying to lead the witness. Whatever the 
situation is, I would like him to describe it. It is not often we get a 
witness of your particular qualifications. Captain Murphy. Most of 
our witnesses are diplomats and people highly trained in the art of 
evasion. [Laughter.] I like the way you answer questions. Obviously^ 
you have not been trained. 

This is no laughing matter. It is a fact. Any of you who have been 
around know that. What is the principal achievement of a professional 
ambassador? I would c^ualify that. That does not apply to a CIA 
ambassador. [Laughter.] Of course it is. It is to avoid saying what 
their government does not want them to say. 

Captain Murphy, I am serious about it. I am very interested in 
seeing how^ this operates because we have a principal responsibility 
for it. We have plenty of advisers in your area. You have given the 
number there as 5,500 Americans; is that right? 

Captain Murphy. That is approximately correct, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. How many of those are advisers? How many are 
active, we will say, troops? 

Captain Murphy. We have about 250. 

The Chairman. Advisers? 

Captain Murphy. Advisers. 

The Chairman. You do not happen yourself to advise the Viet- 
namese on their program for the use of artillery, but some American 
does; does he not? 

Captain Murphy Yes, the artillery advisory elements. 


The Chairman. Do you know who that is? 

Captam Murphy. The advisory element that advises the 25th 
ARVN Division is involved in the advice of ARVN artillery units. 

The Chairman. Your idea is that even though we advise them not 
to be indiscriminate in their use of artillery, they do not have to take 
that advice. Is that the distinction you make? 

Captain Murphy. They certainly do not have to take the advice. 

The Chairman. As a practice, in your experience, do your counter- 
parts take your advice? 

Captain Murphy. Generally, Mr. Chairman, yes, they do. If my 
counterpart chooses not to take my advice, he has always afforded me 
the courtesy of an explanation as to why. 

captain murphy's counterpart 

The Chairman. How old is your counterpart? 

Captain Murphy. He is 37 years old, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Is he a professional soldier? 

Captain Murphy. Yes, he has been in the Army for 17 years and 
he holds the rank of major. 

The Chairman. Infantry? 

Captain Murphy. He has served in the infantry. 

The Chairman. He outranks you? 

Captain Murphy. Yes, he does. 

The Chairman. Do you have to salute him every time you come in 
his presence? 

Captahi Murphy. I afl'ord him the courtesy of a salute in the 

The Chairman. In the morning, once a day? 

Chptain Murphy. Yes. 

Tae Chairman. Are yom- relations good? 

Chptain Murphy. Quite good, Mr. Chairman. 

Toe Chairman. Has he been implicated in any form of corruption 
to your knowledge? 

Captain Murphy. Mr. Chairman, I can truthfully say that I have 
never known my counterpart to be involved in any type of corrup- 
tion or graft. 

The Chairman. Did he fight with the French before he fought with 
the ARVN? 

Captain Murphy. No, he did not. 

The Chairman. He was not a member of the French forces? 

Captain Murphy. No, he was not. 

The Chairman. The French have been out 17 years. He did not 
fight at all then until after the Geneva accords? 

Captain Murphy. Yes, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. What did he do before that? 

Captain Murphy. He was in the north. He came south in 1954. 

The Chairman. Is he Catholic? 

Captain Murphy. No, he is not. He is a Buddhist. 

The Chairman. You mean he lived around Hanoi. He lived in 
North Vietnam, and he came south? 

Captain Murphy. Yes. 

44-706—70 18 



The Chairman. You say 20 mobile advisory teams operate in the 
Province. These are all Americans? 

Captain Murphy. They are American advisory. 

The Chairman. Consisting of two officers and three noncommis- 
sioned officers? 

Captain Murphy. That is right. 

The Chairman. They go about advising whom? 

Captain Murphy. They advise the Regional and Popular Force 

The Chairman. About what? 

Captain Murphy. They render tactical, administrative, and logisti- 
cal advice. I believe, Mr. Chairman, that Captain Geek is in a better 
position to testify on this since he is the leader of one of these mobile 

The Chairman. Have you anything further? I was trying to 
develop your own statement as best I could to get a feeling about 
what you do. 

Is Captain Geek with one of the 20 mobile advisory teams? 

Captain Murphy. He is a team leader of one such team, yes, Mr. 


The Chairman. Is there anything further of significance that you 
should tell us? You have been there 24 months, you say? 

Captain Murphy. That is correct. 

The Chairman. Did you ask for an extended stay? 

Captain ^Iurphy. Yes, I did. 

The Chairman. Do you enjoy this work? 

Captain Murphy. I find it most rewarding. 

The Chairman. You do? Wliy? What do you feel you are 

Captain Murphy. Sir, I think I can best answer that question by 
relating the situation as it was when I arrived in Long An Province 
in January of 1968. At that time there were many areas which were 
under strong enemy influence and control. As a member of the 9th 
U.S. Army Infantry Division I operated in these areas. Many of these 
areas in which we engaged company and battalion size enemy forces 
are today prosperous centers of government support. I think a very 
good indicator of the progress that we have made is the open road 
network which now extends throughout the province. 


The Chairman. Are the people in your area reasonably happy and 
contented with their lot? 

Captain Murphy. On every occasion that my counterpart and I 
have visited these new areas which have come under Government of 
Vietnam security through pacification expansion, the people have been 
extremely receptive to the GVN, to the Regional and Popular Force 
units which now occupy those areas. 

The Chairman. Have you become very friendly with many of the 

Captain Murphy. Well 


The Chairman. Are the ordinary people easy to know? 
Captain Murphy. Yes. They are quite willing to talk to you. 
The Chairman. Are they? Are they friendly to you? 
Captain Murphy. Yes, they are, particularly in the new areas. 
The Chairman. In the new areas. Do you have anything further to 


Captain ]\Iurphy. I have nothing else. 

The Chairman. Do you have anything else? We have the three 

Senator Cooper. I have some questions. 


You have been in the area 7 months? 

Captain Murphy. I have been in the area for 24 months, Senator. 
I have been in my current capacity for 7 months. 

Senator Cooper. But you have been in this area more than the 7 
months you have been adviser there. How long have you been in this 

Captain Murphy. In the province for 24 months, Senator. 

Senator Cooper. Twenty-four months. Has there been much fight- 
ing in this Province during that time? 

Captain Murphy. There has been considerable contact with the 
enemy, yes, Senator. 

Senator Cooper. Is this continuous contact? Has it been one of 
tho major areas of fighting? 

Captain Murphy. Let me relate back to my statement and then 
elaborate on it if I may. I think I can best answer your question in this 
manner. When I first Arrived in Long An Pro\'ince, I served with the 
9th Infantry Division. At that tirne contact Avith the enemy was 
frequent, and generally the size of the enemy unit engaged was a com- 
pany size unit or better. 

Today contact with, the enemy is far less frequent, and generally 
the size of the unit engaged is normally not larger than a squad. 


Senator Cooper. What is the strength of an ARVN battalion? 
You say there are five battalions? 

Captain Murphy. An Army of the Republic of Vietnam bat- 
talion has approximately 500 to 600 men. 

Senator Cooper. What is the strength of a U.S. battalion, say of 
the four operating there? 

Captain Murphy. A U.S. battahon would have approximately 
the same strength, about 500 soldiers. 


Senator Cooper. I see. What is the range and what kind of weapons 
other than small arms, are the Vietcong or North Vietnamese 
equipped with? Do they have any artillery? 

Captain Murphy. The enemy, Senator? 

Senator Cooper. Yes. 

Captain Murphy. Mortar is about the heaviest artillery they have, 
mortars and rockets. 



Senator Cooper. "VMiat is the range? " 

Captain Murphy. Of long-range rockets? 
Senator Cooper. What is the range of a mortar? 
Captain Murphy. A mortar can accurately engage the target up to 
about 6 kilometers. 

Senator Cooper. Six what? 
Captain Murphy. Kilometers. 


Senator Cooper. Have there been many mortar or rocket attacks 
by the enemy upon U.S. forces or ARVN forces? 

Captain Murphy. Yes, indirect mortar and rocket attacks make up 
the majority of the enemy-initiated actions. 

Senator Cooper. Do they fire upon villages? 

Captain Murphy. They do mortar villages, particularly the villages 
which are undergoing pacification. 

Senator Cooper. What is your headquarters, what town? 

Captain Murphy. W^e are located in Tan An. 

Senator Cooper. Have there been any mortar attacks on your 

Captain Murphy. Not for over a year, Senator, and we attribute 
this largely to the fact that through the pacification expansion we have 
been able to provide security throughout the periphery of the province 


Senator Cooper. How many of the 387 hamlets are there that have 
Regional or Popular Forces? Please give a rough percentage. 

Captain Murphy. I would say well over 300. 

Senator Cooper. How many? 

Captain Murphy. W>11 over 300 are under GVN security. 

Mr. Colby. You have said the size of your forces is 52 companies, 
163 PF platoons. They are present in a certain number of those 

Captain Murphy. Yes. 



Senator Cooper. You have given quite a comprehensive list of 
weapons, vehicles, equipment that has been supplied to the Viet- 
namese. Have the South Vietnamese been completely equipped now 
or is there more equipment which is intended for them? 

Captain Murphy. The M-16 rifle conversion program, which is 
probably the most important and receives more emphasis than any 
others, has been completed for all the forces which now operate in 
Long An Province. 

Senator Cooper. You say vehicles, communications equipment. Has 
that been completed? 

Captain Murphy. We have completed approximately 60 to 75 per- 
cent of the conversion in these two categories. 

Senator Cooper. Do you have any idea what the cost of this equip- 
ment — what is the cost of this ecpupment that has been furnished? 

Captain Murphy. No, Senator, I do not have. 



Senator Cooper. You say: 

Presence and availability of support from helicopter gunships, tactical air 
fighters, and medical evacuation aircraft have also greatly enhanced the combat 
capabilities of Regional and Popular Forces. 

Is that support American support? 

Captain Murphy. Yes 

Senator Cooper. The hehcopter gunships 

Captain Murphy. The hehcopter assault battahons, the troop 
carrying, and the hehcopter gunships are flown exchisively by Amer- 
ican pilots. The Vietnamese do have their own medical evacuation 

Senator Cooper. The support of gunships, fighters, tactical air 
fighters, medical evacuation support: is this in support of the Ameri- 
can forces? 

Captain Murphy. They do also support the U.S. Forces. 

Senator Cooper. What I am asking is do the Vietnamese operate 
any helicopter gunships, air fighters? 

Captain Murphy. No, not in Long An Province. They do have 
tactical aircraft. 


Mr. Colby. E.xcuse me. I think the .Senator asked do the Vietnamese 
operate any one of these three things that are mentioncil here; the 
gunships, no. 

Captain Murphy. No. 

Mr. Colby. Tactical air fighters? 

Captain Murphy. Tactical air fighters, yes. The Vietnamese Air 
Force does have both forward air controllers and tactical aircraft 

Mr. C^oLBY. And nuHJical evacuation? 

CajHain Murphy. No, medical evacuation is supported by the 
United States. 


Senator Cooper. The reason 1 ask you this is this: Suppose this 
su|)i)ort were withdrawn, say a year from now, what would be the 
combat ca})abilities — what would 3'ou estimate the combat capabili- 
ties for Regional and Popular Forces to be? 

Ca[)tain Murphy. I think, Senator, that it certainly would have an 
effect on their ca])ability in a negative manner, but I think they could 
continue in an effective manner. 

Senator Cooper. You have been there 24 months and I know you 
have had great e.Kperience there. Do you believe that if American 
forces are withdrawn, that South Vietnam forces would be able to 
match, be a match or could they defend themselves against the 
North Vietnamese and the Vietcong? Do you believe they could sus- 
tain the combat capability without the presence of American forces? 

Captain Murphy. Senator, 1 can only answer within the scope of 
my perspective. In Long An Province, yes, they could. This is evi- 
denced by the fact that recently the U.S. unit there, the 3d Brigade 


of the 9th Infantry Division, has, in fact, had difficulty finding suit- 
able areas in which to operate. 

Senator Cooper. The 9th Infantry Division? 

Captain Murphy. That is right. 

Senator Cooper. Because of what? 

Captain Murphy. Because of the pacification expansion, and the 
expanded area in which Regional and Popular Forces now are oper- 


Senator Cooper. I notice at one point this province is only 10 miles 
from Saigon; is that correct? 

Captain Murphy. That is correct, Senator. 

Senator Cooper. It seems to me the people there must have some 
knowledge of the government in Saigon. Wliat do they say about it? 
Do they support it or are they against the government there in Saigon 
or do they have any attitude at all? 

Captain Murphy. It is interesting to see the change in attitude in 
the areas under pacification from the time when the territorial security 
forces are first deployed to these areas as opposed to the attitude 
after they have been there for a while, and after the various agencies 
of the GVN have performed specific tasks in conveying to the people 
the position of the GVN. They become very much progovernment. 

Senator Cooper. You hear that? Do people say that to you? 

Captain Murphy. Yes, they do. Yes, they do. In many cases it is 
the first time that any government has displayed a desire to help the 
people at that level. 

Senator Cooper. I am through. 

The Chairman. Senator Symington? 

Senator Symington. Captain, I am interested in your testimony. 


Wlien did you enter the Army? 

Captain Murphy. 1966, Senator. 

Senator Symington. Where did you enlist? 

Captain Murphy. In Texas. 

Senator Symington. What is your training, your background? 

Captain Murphy. I took the normal basic training. I then attended I 
the Infantry Officer Candidate School, Fort Benning, Ga., and re-j 
ceived my commission in the infantry. I was sent to Vietnam in Janu- 
ary of 1968. 

Senator Symington. Did you have any ROTC training before] 

Captain Murphy. Yes, sir, I did. I had 2 years of ROTC. 

Senator Symington. I see. How old are you now? 

Captain AIurphy. Twenty-seven. 

Senator Symington. When you got out of Benning where did you go?] 

Captain Murphy. I served a short time at Fort Benning. Then I 
went to Vietnam in January 1968 and served 1 year with the 9th j 
Infantry Division. During the last 5 months I commanded the U.S. 
portion of what was then known as the combined reconnaissance and! 
intelligence platoon. This was a platoon consisting of 20 American and j 
20 Vietnamese from the regional force province intelligence platoon. 
We accompanied them on many combined operations. This is when Ij 
first became involved with the Regional Forces. 



Senator Symington. I have been out there a good deal myself — 
believe I have made six trips, went all over the country. In the fall of 
1965, things in the delta were quite quiet. I went to Vung Tau, and 
then on down to Can Tho. We had no guards. We just walked around, 
and there did not seem to be any problem. I went back again in 1966, 
twice in 1967. I went down and watched that riverine operation south 
of where you were. You are pretty close to Saigon; are you not, just a 
few miles? 

Captain Murphy. I am located about 25 miles from Saigon. 

Senator Symington. What is the reason for the collapse in the delta? 
The delta was the peaceful part of the situation in 1965 and 1966, 
1967. Did it coUapse all of a sudden? What is the story? 

Captain Murphy. Senator, I can only answer your question as 
far as I have knowledge on it. 

Senator Symington. Of course. 

Captain Murphy. Because I was confined in Long An Province. 

1 do not think we have seen a collapse there. 

Senator Symington. Now things are much better than last year 
but they were pretty good when 1 was there in 1967. 

I am just wondering what was the problem in betAveen times. 
We did not have any troops to speak of at all in the delta when 
I was there. The South Vietnamese seemed to be handling it pretty 


Captain Murphy. As far as the entire delta is concerned, I am 
sure Mr. Vann will be in a better position to speak than I would be. 

Senator Symington. The problems, as I remember them, were 
mainlv near the DMZ and Danang, Chu Lai, and uj) in there, and a 
great deal of fighting west of Plciku. But I thought the delta 

The Chairman. He is not in the delta. 

Senator Symington. Yes, he is. 

Captain Murphy. Mr. Chairman, the portion generally referred 
to as the delta is the area to the south of Saigon. 

Senator Symington. Tliat is right. 

The Chairman. I thought Mr. Vann was responsible for the delta. 

Captain Murphy. He is, further down in the delta. 

Senator Symington. Mekong Delta. 

Captain Murphy. That is right. 

Mr. Colby. Long An is kind of a delta. But it is not part of the 
Mekong Delta. 

Senator Symington. The only point is I have been in the delta 
a lot and it seems peaceful down there. 

The Chairman. What delta are we talking about so that I can 
follow that? 

Senator Symington. You are farther down. 

The Chairman. Will somebody show it? 

Mr. Mills. Here is Saigon and here is Long An. The Province 
stretches to the south of Saigon, but the so-called delta provinces 
that Mr. Vann is responsible for begin with the south. 

The Chairman. South of Long An was what I understood. 

Mr. Vann. That is correct. Long An and parts of Hau Nghia are 
geographically in what is called the delta. 


Senator Symington. The onl}' point I am trying to make is this 
witness I did not think purported to be as competent to speak for the 
delta as Mr. Vann is; is that correct? 

Mr. Vann. He is speaking of Long An, sir, which is his competence. 
Long An is geographical!}^ part of the delta. 

The Chairman. Okay, proceed. 


Senator Symington. Captain Geek, what is your background? 

Captain Geck. I came in the Army in 1967 also. I went through OCS. 

Senator Symington. How old are 3'ou? 

Captain Geck. Twenty- three. 

Senator Symington. Twenty-three? 

Captain Geck. Yes, sir. 

Senator Symington. What college did 3'ou go to? 

Captain Geck. I do not have a college degree. I attended Seton 
Hall Uniyersity in Ne\y Jerse}'. 

Senator Symington. And did you enlist as a priyate? 

Captain Geck. Yes, sir, I did. 

The Chairman. I wonder if the Senator would mind. We are 
trying to take these men in order. I announced that when we finished 
with Cai)tain Murphy we would go down the line. Each one will tell 
his own experiences and we haye not come to either of them. What I 
was suggesting in the beginning was if anyone wishes to ask Captain 
Murplty anything. Then we will take them in order. 

Senator Symington. I understand. 

The Chairman. Is there anything further from Captain Murphj'? 

Senator Case. We will come back to that. 

The Chairman. There are one or two small questions. I did not 
wish to cut you off. 

Senator Symington. I was late because of another hearing. 

The Chairman. He already explained he went to school. I think 
you will find the record is quite good on that. I do not wish to cut 
anyone off, but to proceed in as orderly a manner as we can. 

Do you not wish to ask him anything? 

Senator Case. No, not at the moment. 

enemy killed attributable to U.S. SUPPORTING FIRE 

The Chairman. I haye one or two questions because of your 
intimate knowledge on the local basis. You did not quite complete 
your statement to Senator Cooper, I belieye. Can you estimate 
what percentage of the enemy killed in engagements with Regional 
and Popular Forces are actually killed by helicojiter gunships and 
aircraft and artillery fire as opposed to the ARVN? Do you haye any 
way of estimating that? 

Captain Murphy. Yes, I do, \h\ Chairman. 

I conducted a study on this last year, and it was determined at that 
time that 35 percent of enemy killed in action could be attributed to 
U.S. su})])orting fire. That includes helicopter gunships, artillery, 
and tactical air strikes. 

The Chairman. That is about one-third. 



The CORDS handbook, entitled 'The Vietnamese Village," states 
that, and I quote, "Studies indicate that RF and PF are often margin- 
al men drawn from the poorest elemients of village society." 

Would you agi'ee with that statement? 

Captain Murphy. That they are only marginal men, Air. 

The Chairman. This is from the CORDS handbook. Does that 
reflect your views about it too from your experience? 

Captain Murphy. I think that 

The Chairman. I will repeat it. "Studies indicate that RF and 
PF are often marginal men drawn from the poorest elements of 
village society." 

Captain Murphy. They are drawn from village society, certainly. 
I am not sure I understand marginal. In what respect? Do they refer 
to proficiency as soldiers? 

The Chairman. That is what I think. 

Senator Symington. What is RF and PF? 

Captain Murphy. Regional Forces and Popular Forces. 

The Chairman. That is what I take it to mean. They are not 
extremely capable or efficient operators. 

Cai)tain Murphy. Well, here, Mr. Chairman, I think w^e have to 
determine what we are comparing them to before we can say they are 


The Chairman. I only asked you to make your own observations 
about that statement. 

Captain Murphy. I can honestly say, Mr. Chairman, that I have 
seen, and I have accompanied Regional Force companies on tactical 
operations which are as good or better than U.S. companies which 
I have also observed. 

The Chairman. Is that right? 

Captain Murphy. That is correct, Mr. Chairman. 


The Chairman. What do you think motivated the average RF 
and PF member to join the force ami for what does he think he is 

Captain Murphy. The Regional and Popular Forces have a great 
appeal to the 3^oung man of draft age because they enable him to 
live in his home communit3^ The Regional Forces operate exclusively 
within the pro^ance in which they enlist. The Popular Forces remain 
within the district in which they are recruited. 

The Chairman. Vv'hat does he conA'ey to you that he is fighting for? 

Captain Murphy. Well, there is no doubt he is defending his own 
home, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. All right. 

caliber OF regional FORCES IN OTHER AREAS 

Do you think that the Regional Forces you advise are representa- 
tive of Regional Forces in other parts of Vietnam? 


Captain Murphy. I am really not prepared to answer that because 
riiave not observed Regional Forces in other parts of the country. 

The Chairman. Have you never talked with any of your colleagues 
from other parts of Vietnam? 

Captain Murphy. Yes. They encounter the same problems we 
encounter. Yes, Mr. Chairman. But I just do not know about RF 
and PF proficiency. 

The Chairman. I mean do they report to you the high caliber of 
people, as you have described your own counterpart? Do you see 
any reason to say that your particular province is better or worse or 
different from other provinces in Vietnam? That was the question. 

Captain Murphy. Nc, I do not see any reason not to say that. 

The Chairman. I am prompted to ask this because of the com- 
ments a soldier also instructing Regional Forces made in a letter to 
his professor, which I have here in my hand. The soldier, who has a 
comparable responsibility to yours, \\Tote to his professor, and I 
quote part of it, "We're out in the field South of Hue." Of course 
this is the northern part and less prosperous, I take it, than your 

Captain Murphy. Yes. 

The Chairman. He says: 

We're out in the field South of Hue giving on the job training to Regional 
Force Vietnamese. They are stubborn and lazy and unpredictable and we dislike 
having them in combined operations. I suspect they have even less incentive 
than we do, and all we care about is getting out of this place and going home. 
So you can imagine. 

You can also imagine the language problems involved for no one speaks Viet- 
namese and vice versa. It creates some very hairy situations, for instance how do 
you explain the firing procedure of the M72 LAW — 

Which is a light antitank weapon, I am told — 

which has a number of safeties and deployment procedures plus an even more 
elaborate mis-fire procedure? What you do is hand the thing, fuU.v armed, to the 
smiling little man who keeps nodding his head in supreme confidence, and then you 
run. He is then a qualified ARVN soldier. Bang — he staggers toward you, stunned 
by the tremendous blast, still smiling and still nodding. I can imagine the stories 
he'll tell when he gets back to his village. 

The sad part about the whole thing is that we are told not to give any criticism 
of the RF's to the brass when it comes out for inspections. Just the opposite 
happens. We give glowing reports of progress; the brass smiles, gets back on the 
choppers and flies away. 

The sooner the brass thinks the Vietnamese can fight for himself, the sooner 
we'll get out of the fighting. As far as I'm concerned, I think it's a dirty damn 
trick, to give a man the superficial training we do, and worst of all give him 
confidence based on that training and then send him out to find the enemy is a 
cruel joke; that man is dead. 

Adding to the irony is the fact that the U.S. gives the RF's nothing but brand 
new weapons and equipment; believe it or not we are jealous of their goods! Again 
however there is a rotten motive, the government wants to avoid any blame for 
the failure of these forces because of lousy equipment. It will all cost a lot of 
people their lives. 


That prompts one to raise a question as to whether all of them are as 
well disciplined and as well ordered as is your particular responsibility. 

Wovdd you have any comment on that letter? 

Captain Murphy. May I ask again, Mr. Chairman, who wrote that 


The Chairman. The letter is from a professor at the college in 
Sacramento, Calif. This is his old student. I will read the professor's 
letter. He says: 

I am enclosing copies of two letters from one of my former students who is 
now an infantryman in Vietnam. He is a graduate of Sacramento State College 
where I am a professor of art and have been a member of the faculty since 1950. 

I think you will be particularly interested in the second letter with its com- 
ments about the Vietnamization of the war from the point of view of one very 
perceptive American G.I. If it can help you in your long-range efforts to bring 
about a just and reasonable settlement of this tragic war, I hope you will make 
use of it. Despite his stated willingness to allow publication, I have removed his 
name, organization, and station. 

Obviously he was fearful of retaliation from the authorities if the 
name were known, which was a very sensible precaution. 

Captain Murphy. I take it, Mr. Chairman, that the individual who 
wrote the letter was not an ad\aser, but rather was in a U.S. unit since 
he refers to combined operations. 

The Chairman. He says he is the soldier instructing regional 
forces. This is a Thermofax of the actual letter that the boy A\Tote. 

We are out in the field south of Hue giving on the job training to Regional 
Force Vietnamese. 

Captain Murphy. Mr. Chairman, this training that he was giving 
them was not part of the basic training included in any of the formal 
training which is given to the Regional Force soldier. The Regional 
Force soklier undergoes a basic training course which is comparable to 
our own basic traiiung course. Then the entire Regional Force unit to 
which he is assigned is periodically recycled to a training center for 
specific training on new weapons or developments. Teaching a soldier 
to fire a weai)on without an interju'eter is not part of the Government 
of Vietnam's training i)rogram. This particular weapon that he de- 
scribes, the M-72, is a weai)on which is currently being funneled into 
the Vietnamese suppl}^ system. Going along with it will be courses 
taught to Vietnamese by Vietnamese in their own language on proper 
firing techniques. 

The Chairman. Americans do not instruct the Vietnamese? 

Captain Murphy. We do give some instruction through interpret- 
ers; yes, Mr. Cliahman. Our mobile advisory teams do give instruction. 

The Chairman. One last question. 



Mr. Robert Shaplen, who has Amtten a great many articles and I 
think a book on Vietnam, has spent a great deal of time there. He 
writes in the New Yorker on January si of this year as follows: 

An Army private with five children makes 7,000 piasters a month, but he cannot 
possibly get along on less than twice that amount. Officers and civil servants are 
similarly situated, and the obvious result is moonlighting, or corruption, or both. 

Is that correct about what an Army private makes in the ARVN? 
Do you know? 

Chaptain Murphy. In Vietnamese currency? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Captain Murphy. That is approximately correct. 

The Chairman. What comment would you make on that statement? 


Captain Murphy. I would say that the pay grades are based upon 
the economic situation of the area in which they hve. They have high 
cost of hving areas and low cost of living areas. I can speak for Long 
An, and certainl}^ with the various allowances that they receive they 
can exist on their income. 

The Chairman. You can. Then would you say this was inaccurate? 
They do not have to moonlight? 

Captain Murphy. I would say it does not pertain to Long An 

The Chairman. It does not. In other words, they do not have to 
moonlight or to obtain 

Captain Murphy. They are not in jiosition to moonlight, Mr. Chair- 
man. These people have commitments which require their services 
both day and night. 

The Chairman. And they do not 

Senator Case. Regional and Popular Forces, I want to know what 
he is talking about. 

The Chairman. An Army private is the way he describes it. 

Senator Case. That is different; that is the ARVN. 

Captain Murphy. He may be referring to the Army of the Republic 
of Vietnrmi. 

The Chairman. He says that officers and civil service are similarly 

Senator Javits. Air. Chairman, would the Chair jneld at that i)oint? 
I was very imjiressed with the feeling of both the President and Vice 
President in Vietnam about this particular matter of which they are 
extremely conscious and make a very big point. They simply have to 
raise the salaries because they are having terrible morale trouble. It is 
a matter of information. 

The Chairman. Then your experience would confirm Mr. Shaplen's 

Senator Javits. I am going at a somewhat higher level than that, Mr. 
Chairman. The President of the country himself is very, very deeply 
involved and concerned in actions to improve this situation. Perhaps 
Ambassador Colby would comment. 

Mr. Colby. Mr. Chairman, there has been considerable inflation, 
as you know, an increase in prices over the past few months. 

The Chairman. Do you mean there or here? About which are you 

Mr. Colby. There. 

The Chairman. Is it more there than here? 

Mr. Colby. I believe it is more there than here, but I am really not 
all that qualified. 

Senator Javits. I can tell you it is more there than here. 

Mr. Colby. The Government has set up a commissaiy system for 
the miliatry personnel to tr}'' to save them some money. And they are 
currently discussing the possibility of some kind of direct support 
through provision of rice and other staple foods. The President, Vice 
President and Prime Minister are very much interested in this matter. 

The Chairman. I think we had better move to Captain Geek. 

Senator Javits. Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question or two of 
Captain Murphy? 

The Chairman. Yes. 



Senator Javits. Captain, I have just been in Vietnam and I am 
no expert at all, but I did want to ask you a couple of questions. 
Mind you please feel very free to tell me I am wrong about this 
because I am only testing out a very superficial impression with a 
man who has been there and lived with the problem. It would be 
helpful if I am right or just as helpful if I am wrong. We ought to 
know so I am gi^'ing a hypothesis rather than a conclusion. I had the 
distinct impression that our ad^dsers, like you, were much more 
enthusiastic about the ideological cause than the Vietnamese of the 
same rank, station, and parallel responsibility. For example, you 
spe k of a major in your statement. Talking with him and talking 
with you or your prototype was like day and night. Our fellows were 
enthusiastic, excited, missionary in their zeal, and these fellows were 
still rather cynical and rather pragmatic about the corruption and the 
problems and the murder with which they lived. Do 5^0 u have any 
reaction to that? 

Captain Murphy. I think one of the greatest forms of assistance 
we can give them is through our attitude toward problems which 
confront them and their Government. Certainly when we express 
zeal, enthusiasm, and confidence in them and their government, I 
think we do them a great ser\'ice. We must realize they have been 
up against these problems for quite some time, and I know it is only 
human nature perhaps to let these problems run you down. So when 
we are enthusiastic, I think this is good. 

Senator Javits. Do you feel that there is corruption at that level 
of any appreciable character? 

Captain Murphy. I have not seen any corruption. I don't have 
any firsthand knowledge of any corruption, Senator. I, of course, 
have heard rumors, but I don't have any firsthand knowledge on 

Senator Javits. Do j^ou think at that level there is any playing 
ball, as a little bit of insurance, with the Vietcong and the Communists? 

Captain IMurphy. Certainly not that I have an}^ knowledge of. 

Senator Javits. In othcn- words, on the Asian theory that you 
never lose all your options. You understand precisely what I mean 
by that? 

Captain Murphy. Yes, I do. Again, I have no knowledge of it. 

Senator Javits. You have not seen it. 

comparative quality of vc and rf and pf 

Have 3^ou had any operational contact with the Vietcong? 

Captain Murphy. I am not sure I understand your question. 

Senator Javits. Have 3'ou been in any operations which brought 
you face to face with the Vietcong? 

Captain Murphy. Right; yes, I have, Senator. 

Senator Javits. Do you think they are superior in any way to 
the Vietnamese troops whom you are advising. If so, tell us in what 

Captain Murphy. As I stated earlier, Senator, I think the degree 
of proficiency of the units vary. But by and large I think the Regional 
Forces and the Popular Forces are superior to the enemy forces. 


Senator Javits. They are. Are they superior m firepower and num- 
ber and morale? Give us a little qualitative analysis on that. 

Captain jMuephy. Well, again, the degree of morale, the degree of 
agressiveness varies from unit to unit and depends upon a great many 
factors. We have some units which are less proficient probably than 
comparable enemy units within the province. 

Senator Javits. But on the whole? 

Captain Murphy. By and large I feel that we have superior forces. 


Senator Javits. To what extent does this rely upon the American 
input, to vdt, logistical support? Give it to us separately, if you can, 
as au' support, artillery support, advisory support. There are four 
quantities there — logistical, air, artillery, advice. 

Captain Murphy. How does each of these affect it? Is that your 
question, Senator? 

Senator Javits. Eight. You are an adviser. You say j^ou have supe- 
rior forces over the Vietcong and whatever North Vietnamese there 
are around. Now give us the input of these four aspects of American 
support and as they affect j^our qualitative judgment that the troop 
strength you are advising is better than the enemy. 

Captain Murphy. The logistical support is entirely Vietnamese, 
Senator. Vfe advise on techniques, but the system itself is run by 

Senator Javits. The supplies are ours. 

Captain Murphy. The materials are funneled into the system at a 
high level. 

Senator Javits. That is what I am asking. 

Captain Murphy. But the distribution is by the Vietnamese. 

Senator Javits. I understand, but how important is the actual 

Captain Murphy. It is quite important. 

Senator Javits. Indispensable, isn't it? 

Senator Case. They haven't anything else. 

Captain Murphy. Nothing that compares with the weapons of 
the enemy. 

Senator Javits. OK. The enemy's weapons would be very much 
superior to theirs, Avere it not for our input. 

Captain Murphy. Yes, I would say that. 

Senator Javits. Second, how vital is air support to the superiority 
of the Regional and Popular Forces? 

Captain Murphy. It is definitel3'' a contributing factor. Senator. 

Senator Javits. Is that as indispensable as the supph'? 

Captam Murphy. I would have to say no, I don't believe so. 

Senator Javits. What about artillery support? 

Captam Murphy. U.S. artillery support is not that important 
because the Vietnamese have access to artillery in Long An Province. 

Senator Javits. And ability to use it? 

Captain Murphy. And they can utilize it effectively. 

Senator Javits. What about adviser backing? How mdispensable 
is that? 

Captain Murphy. This would be related directly to the proficiency 
of the individual unit. What we aim to do is concentrate our field 
advisory effort on the units which are less effective than some other 


units. This is the criteria we use for deployment of our mobile advisory 
teams. I think at this point the field advisor}^ effort is indispensable, 
but not as indispensable as it was a year ago and not as indispensable 
as it was 2 years ago. Next year it will be less indispensable. 


Senator Javits. The popular idea in the United States is that for 
some reason or other the Vietcong are more inspired, are better soldiers, 
are more patriotic believers in their cause than the South Vietnamese in 
theirs. To what extent do you think this has any real validity? 

Captain Murphy, Senator, 4 or 5 years ago, this might have been a 
valid conviction. Certainly the degree of motivation of an indi\adual 
soldier greatly influences his performance in the field. This is one of 
the factors which now influence the degree of proficiency of the indi- 
vidual soldier. 

Going into an area which 2 months ago was under enemy control, 
providing securit}^ which has enabled the Government of Vietnam to 
perform its other functions, workmg with the people; building a road, 
being there providing security and seeing this progress has had a 
tremendous effect on the morale and the motivation of the individual 

Senator Javits. So you think that motivation on the part of the 
South Vietnamese themselves is becoming liigher? 

Captain Murphy. Yes, it is. It definitel}' is. 


Senator Javits. My last question, Mr. Chairman, is this: Again I 
would like to give you a hypothesis. I was there in 1965, and I was 
there again the other week and saw Ambassador Colby. I was not in 
your Corps; I was in the IV Corps area when I was there a few weeks 
ago. In 1966 I spent most of the time in I Corp up around Hue, but I 
would hke to give you this hypothesis. In 1966 I had the impression 
that the South Vietnamese were anxious to get rid of their government 
because the}^ felt their government was just another way of keeping 
them at war, where they had been for 20 years, that it was just that 
they hated it and they wanted peace at any price with anj-one. 
They couldn't have cared less whether it was Communitsts or Zoro- 
astrians, just so there was an end to the war. 

This is my hypothesis and I want you to say I am ^^Tong or right 
even from 3'our little frame. I had the impression they had the same 
feelmg with the Vietcong, "Go away and let us alone. You are the 
fellows who are now^ keeping tliis whole place m turmoil and killing us." 

Captain Murphy. Certamly, I don't think the Vietnamese 
people, like people anywhere, enjoy the rigors of war. I think that they 
are now^ for the first time identifying themselves mth one side, and 
that side is the Government of Vietnam. 

Senator Javits. Thank you, ]Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Do you want to ask any questions? 


Senator Case. I would like to put in terms of numbers some of these 
figures in your statement, if you will. You are advising in a Province, 


It has roughly what, 15 by 35 miles, somethmg like that in its dimen- 
sions roughly. You know in a rough way. 

Mr. Colby. It is bigger than that. Speaking in kilometers from north 
to south and east to west roughly. How many grid squares? 

Captain Murphy. From north to south I would say 20 miles, and 
from east to west probably twice that. 

Senator Case. I was roughly right then, and 365,000 people. 

Captain Murphy. That is correct. Senator. 

Senator Case. You have 52 Regional Force companies. How many 

Captain Murphy. That represents approximately 7,000. 

Senator Case. And 163 Popular Force platoons. How many are 

Captain ^SIurphy. About 5,500 personnel. 

Senator Case. Now two regiments of the ARVN, five battalions. 

Captain Murphy. Each battalion having about 600 personnel, 500 
to 600 personnel. 

Senator Case. Roughl}^ 3,000 people. 

Captain Murphy. That would be another 3,000. 

Senator Case. Then you say our 3d Brigade of the 9th Infantry, 
four infantry battalions almost exclusively oi)erating there. How 
much is that? About 5,500? 

Captain Murphy. The United States is there with the 9th Division 
of about 5,500 of which about 200 or 250, Senator, are the advisory 

Senator Case. So you have over 20,000 troops in this area. 

Captain Murphy. Yes, Senator. 

Senator Case. In your province. 

Captain Murphy. Yes, we do. 

Senator Case. And that is fairly static and has been that way for 
some time. 

Captain Murphy. Since the end of 1967, we have more than 
doubled our Regional and Popular Force strength. At the end of 1967 
we had 21 Regional and 74 Popular Force platoons as compared with 
the figure I gave in my statement. 

Senator Case. This is not an active military operation so far as 
large-scale military operations. This is more or less a permanent 
garrison of, I take it 

Captain Murphy. All these forces operate within the province, 


Senator Case. When you say "operate" this isn't large-scale military 
operation ; is it? 

Captain Murphy. Well, we frequently have operations in excess 
of two companies. Three and four company-size operations are a 
daily operation now. 

Senator Case. Now these are conducted largely by the ARVN, 
I take it. 

Captain Murphy. Under the command and control of the province 

Senator Case. Is it American operation? 

Captain Murphy. No, I am speaking of Vietnamese operations. 

Senator Case. What does our 3d Brigade do? 


Captain Murphy. They generally engage in company-size operations 
for the most part, sometimes even smaller. 

Mr. Colby. If I may, Senator, I believe it was an area of fau"ly 
active operations up until fah^y recently. I think the Captain made 
that point a while ago. There was some rather major fighting tliat 
went on there. 

Captain Murphy. On a typical day, Senator, we have each of our 
seven districts conducting one and possibly two company-size opera- 
tions. U.S. forces operate generally in the unpopulated ai-eas in 
company size, utilizing, I would say, about 75 percent of theh opera- 
tional forces. In addition, one province-controlled operation may take 
place within the province center. It is generally of thi'ee to four 
company size. 

Mr. Vann. Senator Case, if I can interject here. Long An Province 
has for a period of 8 years been ])robabiy the most hotly contested 
province in all of Vietnam. In 1962 through 1965, it hadf more Viet- 
cong incidents and contacts by a multiple of 3 than any other 
province in Vietnam. Only in the last year has the level of activity there 
diminished substantially. 

Senator Case. Has the level of American activity changed? 

Captain Murphy. It has diminished; yes, it has,*^ Senator. 

Senator Case. Would you describe tliis, just in a very quick way. 
I don't mean to go over it again. 

Captain Murphy. During my experience with the 9th Division 
operating in Long An, my company averaged generally two contacts 
with tlie enemy per week. On most occasions the size of the force 
engaged would be a company or larger. This is not the situation which 
exists now. The situation now is that the U.S. forces, as I said earlier, 
are having difficulty finding suitable areas in which to operate. This 
has occurred because of the pacification expansion, because of the 
fact th(>re are Vietnamese forces already in these areas and operating 
within these forces. 
P Senator Case. Have American forces been reduced then? 

Captain Murphy. The U.S. forces have not been reduced, Senator. 
In fact with the dei)arture of the division headcjuarters from Dong 
Tarn, which is just south of Long An, some of the support forces 
formerly in Dong Tam moved uj) to the Tan An area; the brigade 
headquarters are colocated with an advisory team in Tan An. 

results if U.S. support were eliminated 

Senator Case. Just one other question. Suppose American support 
was completely eliminated now, what would happen? 

Captain Murphy. All combat support? 

Senator Case. All combat support. All the four categories that 
Senator Javits spoke of before 

Captain Murphy. It would slow down the progress and. Senator 

Senator Case. Is that an euphemism? What would happen actu- 
ally? Who would run the show? 

► Mr. Colby. The Senator also included the weapons? 
Senator Case. Talking about weapons, the weapons, I don't mean 
to say 

The Chairman. You mean take away their weapons and ammuni- 
tion and give them bows and arrows? 

44-706 — 70 19 


Senator Case. I don't mean that. Let's take it 

Mr. Colby. Support is the word of art. 


Senator Case. Let's take the air, no air. 

Captain Murphy. The Vietnamese could contend with the current 
level of enemy activity. 

Senator Case. Look, you kids get educated early in the language. 
The current level of anj^ activity — what would happen in your judg- 
ment? We are not antagonistic; we are trying to get answers. You 
have been given a terrible job to do, all of you, the Ambassador, the 
Colonel, and everybody, and we are sympathetic as the devil. But 
we want to get the facts. We don't want to be getting a lot of stuff 
that we get from the Admiral in Hawaii and from other people which 
is just a bunch of baloney. We want to know in plain language what 
would happen in your judgment if we pulled out all air support. You 
can talk to us, we are Americans, just the same as you would talk to 
your commanding officers and to the people in the military, to Colonel 
Vann or anybody else. He is going to talk to us this way soon. That is 
why we are having an executive session. 

Captain Murphy. Senator, I hesitate because I am not sure that I 
know what would happen. Certainly the enemy would capitalize on 
this and they would take advantage of the fact we didn't have air 
support. I i^resume you are asking me if they could hold the fort. 

Senator Case. Sure. Would they collapse? 

Captain Murphy. No, I don't think they would collapse. 

Senator Case. Well, they would have in 1965; wouldn't they? 

Captain Murphy. I think they would have; yes, Senator. 


Senator Case. How often is the air support called in and for what 

Captain Murphy. We only use tactical air support 

Mr. Colby. I think the Senator means to include helicopters. 

Senator Case. Sure, helicopters, ambulance, or whatever you call 
them, you know supply, troops. 

Captain Murphy. Whenever we engage an enemy which we think 
are of squad size or larger we employ this supporting fire on just about 
every contact. 

Mr. Colby. How often do you have a contact, every day? 

Captain Murphy. No, I would say four times a week: significant 
contacts, outside of ambush being sprung. 

captain murphy's counterpart 

Senator Case. You have a counterpart in the Vietnamese force? 
Captain Murphy. Yes, Senator. 
Senator Case. What is his grade? 

Captain Murphy. He is an ARVN major. He is the deputy province 

The Chairman. Senator, we really did cover every word of this. 
Senator Case. But they didn't cover it for me. 
The Chairman. Okay. 


Senator Case. I am sorry. I mean the chairman didn't mean to 
interrupt you. 

The Chairman. No, go right ahead. 

Captain Murphy. He is an ARVN major. He has been in the Army 
for 17 years. He is 37 years old. He is the deputy province chief and 
RE/PF commander. 

Senator Case. He is a well trained, well educated man. 

Captain Murphy. He is well experienced. 

Senator Case. He is a well educated man. 

Captain Murphy. He has the equivalent of 2 years of college by 
our standards. 

Senator Case. What was his background in civilian life? 

Captain Murphy. He came south in 1954, and as I said he holds 
an equivalent of 2 years of college. He has been in the Army since he 
was 20 years old. 

Senator Case. Did he come from a well-to-do family? 

Captain Murphy. No, he didn't. He came south with just the clothes 
on his back and not much more. 

Senator Case. I mean before that. How did he get to be a soldier, 
down there? 

Ca])tain Murphy. I get the impression from talking to him that he 
did came from a well-to-do family. 

vSenator Case. He did; yes. 

Captain Murphy. Yes. Certainly if he has the education that 
lie has 

eligibility for education and admission to officer corps 

Senator Case. The reason I ask, of course, is that it has been our 
understanding that only people of the upper classes and a rather small 
grouj) are eligible for, one, education and, two, admission to the officer 
classes, is that correct still? 

Cai)tain Murphy. Of course, there are educational requirements, 
and they are dependent on attaining the education to achieve his 
requirements. He has to be able to afford it and to be able to afford 

Senator Case. And in general whether j^urposely intended or de 
facto, as a word that has been used in considerable length around 
these premises lately, very few people are still eligible for the educa- 
tion that admits them to the officer corp, is that true? 

Captain Murphy. Yes, Senator, with the exception of the infantry 
field commander's commission which is available to anyone who 
exhibits leadership in the field. The educational requirement is waived 
for this type of commission. The individual who receives it can reach 
the grade of captain as a field commander. 


Senator Case. Is this guy corruptible? 

Captain Murphy. I don't beheve he is, Senator. I have never seen 
any evidence of it. 

Senator Case. Has he a family down there? 

Captain Murphy. Ho has a wife and seven children. They live in 
Bien Hoa, which is to the north. 


Senator Case. Yoii mean another province? 

Captain Murphy. Yes. 

•Sciuitor Case. I was up there myself. 

Go ahead, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. How much does he make? Go ahead and finish it. 

Senator Case. I think an impressionistic picture of this kind is the 
most we can get. 

Tlie Chairman. I agree with you. I think it is very important. All I 
was suggesting ^^■as that we had asked him most of those questions in 
■the beginning before you came in. 

Senator Case. These many other questions somehow don't 

The Chairman. What is his pay? 

Captain Murphy. He makes the Vietnamese equivalent of approxi- 
mately $150 a month. 

The Chairman. Do you wish to ask any questions? 

Senator Pell. No questions. 

The Chairman. Captain Geek, will you give your statement, please. 


Captain Geck. Yes, Mr. Chairman. 

I am C^apt. Richard Geck of New Jersey. 

Senator Case. May I ask what town do you come from? 

Captain Geck. Right now, Toms River. 

Senator Case. You have always lived in that area? 

Captain Geck. No, su", I lived in Newark, N.J. 

The Chairman. I was afraid we wouldn't get to the New Jersey 

Senator Case. There was never any doubt if we had to sit here all 

The Chairman. I never knew he was from New Jersey. 

Senator Case. When he raised the Seton Hall flag I knew he was a 
New Jersey boy. 

The Chairman. Go ahead. 

Captain Geck. I am currently the commander of a mobile advisory 
team in Kien Giang Province. I would like to take a few minutes to 
describe, in brief, the type of work being done by the mobile advisory 
team in Vietnam and to give you a general idea of how the work is 
progressing in my area. 


My experience comes from the delta region of Vietnam, specifically, 
Kien Giang Province, located 140 miles southwest of Saigon on the 
Gulf of Thailand. I will refer specifically to one village; the village of 
Soc Son. Soc Son is centered in the main stream of enemy infiltration 
into the delta, and from time-to-time large enemy units inhabit two 
large mountins to the west. During the month of July 1969, Soc Son 
was the scene of heavy fighting between the government forces and 
infiltrating NVA units. 


From Julv 1969 until November 1969, I commanded a five-man 
mobile advisoiy team located in Soc Son village. The team consisted 


of two officers of the combat arms and tlii'ee noncommissioned 
officers, who speciafized in fight weapons, heav}' weapons, and medical 
training, respectively. Our primary mission in Soc Son was to assist 
the village chief in the upgrading of the level of securitv within his 
vifiage with, the emphasis on impro\'ing the performance of his existing 
forces, and the formulation and training of a strong Popular Self 
Defense Force group in each hamlet. In addition, we accepted the 
secondary mission of rendering assistance where possible in the field 
of village administration. 

Soc Son, a village of 11,000 people, was notoriously ifi run. The 
village chief, who had fived in Rach Gia City, about 8 miles away, 
since Tet of 1968, for fear of assassination, was ineffective and little 
was expected from his staff. The VC assassinated two of the four 
hamlet chiefs in the vifiage center in late June 1968, and the terrorists 
had \drtually a free hand within the vfilage. 

My team began with the work of training the Popular Force 
platoons in the village. We also began to work^with the vifiage staff 
in forming a People's Self Defense Force and set about the task of 
initiating coordination between the various elements on hand. Through 
constant observation of the Popular Forces, we were able to see where- 
in their weaknesses lay and suggest methods of improvement. We 
accompanied the Poi)uhir Forces on their operations, rendering advice 
where needed, and providing liaison with supporting units. In short 
order, through an increased level of confidence, the results of the PF 
operations began to imjjrove. Night operations became quite eft'ective 
and seriously hanijjered enemy movement in our area. At the same 
tune, elements of our team were busy with the vifiage People's Self- 
Defense Force leaders, providing them with written material to better 
explain their jobs, organizing a training program and assisting in the 
dissenunation of information on the People's Self Defense Forces. As 
the Popular Self Defense Forces developed, the village was able to 
release the PF ])latoons from their roles of static defense and allow 
them to operate offensively in the outer reaches of the vfilage, targeting 
both VC military units and the infrastructure. A method of coordinating 
the operations of these various forces was needed. With the guidance 
of the advisers a village security plan was begun. This plan on com- 
pletion provided each unit leader involved in the security of Soc Son 
with specific requirements as to bis mission and responsibfiities as 
well as the methods and requirement for coordination of operations 
between units. The resultant increase in security was staggering. Inci- 
dents of VC terrorism virtually came to a halt. The VC infrastructure 
was forced into exile and rendered ineffective. The village chief re- 
turned to the village. The Government of Vietnam gained a free hand 
to operate within the village and was able to turn its attention to 
improved adininistration and economic development in the area. As 
the people gained confidence in the Government, more information 
became available on enemy activities and VC operations were even 
further hampered. 

Many of the things accomplished were made much easier through 
the help of the American adviser. The vfilage chief, whfie in fact a 
good administrator, did not have the background to effectively 
coordinates the operations of the units within his vfilage. Many of the 
staff members were new in their positions and did not know what 


could or could not be done. The unit commanders, in many cases, 
had become too set in their methods. The alternative solutions to 
problems as offered by the advisers helped them to vastly imi:)rove 
their operations. 

Presently Soc Son continues to grow. Many of the programs begun 
during and after the tenure of the advisory team have become exami^les 
used throughout the Province. The security plan developed in Soc 
Son is now used corpswide as a planning guide to village security. 

In November our team moved to another village within Kien 
Giang Province and met with similar problems to those encountered 
upon our arrival in Soc Son. Progress in the new location is quite 
encouraging and many of the improvements witnessed in Soc Son are 
being seen in the new area. 

The Chairman. In view of what has gone on before, I wonder if 
it ^^"ould not be better if we let tlie sergeant make his statement and 
then you can ask questions of either one of them because time is 
running out. Is that agreeable to you? 

Senator Symington., All right. 

The Chairman. Sergeant, make your statement now and then the 
members can ask questions of all three witnesses. 


Sergeant Wallace. Air. Chairman and gentlemen, my name is 
Sgt. Richard D. WalUice, U.S. Marine Corps, from Torrance, Calif. 
I am assigned as the squad leader of the U.S. Marine element of 
combined action platoon 2-1-5 in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. 


A combined action platoon, or "CAP" as we call it, is a unit 
composed of U.S. Marines teamed up with Vietnamese Popular Forces 
soldiers. The Popular Forces, or "PF" as we call them, are a form of 
local militia who have the responsibility of i^roviding security to their 
own ^•illage. By working closely together with the PF, the Marines 
help them to provide this security. 


In my CAP at the jiresent time, there are 13 marines, one U.S. 
Navy corpsman, and 25 PF soldiers. Being residents of the local 
village, the PF have excellent knowledge of the area and, of course, 
they also know the people. The marines are strangers from a different 
culture, but by working with the PF every day and sharing their 
dangers and hardshij)s. the marines and PF develoji close ties. Aided 
by close ties with the PF, the marines are able to understand and to 
be understood by the people in the hamlets. In fact, most of the 
marines come to feel as if they are part of t!ie ^illage community 

My CAP area is located in Hoa Luong Village, located about 5 miles 
southwest of the Danang airfield, in the area shown in yellow on this 
ma]). This village has four hamlets named La Chau, Goc Kha, Duyen 


Son, and Huong Son. The principal occupation of the people in this 
area is farming. 


My CAP was established in its present area in July 1967. Before 
that time, the VC guerrillas had a free hand in the area, and they 
were able to depend on the people for food, other supi^lies, shelter, 
and information about the movements of U.S. and ARVN forces. The 
reasons for our staying in this area for this length of time is due to 
the close proximity of large NVA units just west of Danang. The 
average stay of a CAP is 1 year. 

At the present time, the VC are no longer safe in my CAP area. 
They no longer receive moral or material sujiport from the people. 
Nearly all of the hard core VC supporters have been driven out or 
ca])tured, and the people are supporting their legitimate Government 
with a minimum of fear that the VC will get back at them. 

When I took over the Marine squad in the CAP in July 1969, the 
hamlet of Huong Son was being rei)eatedly terrorized by VC guerrillas. 
Since that time we have concentrated our operations in and around 
that hamlet, and have reduced the terrorist activities. With the help 
of the Vietnamese rural development cadre in the village, we have 
been able to rebuild this hamlet and bring it to a normal life, and we 
are now in the process of building a school for the children there. 

As I said earher, the CAP's mission is to protect the people. We 
accomplish this by |)atroling the area during the day and setting up 
two or more ambushes in different i)laces around the luimlets at 
night. Because the ambushes are never in the same ])lace from night 
to night, the VC never know where we will be, so they do not feel 
safe anywhere in our CAP area. Besides that, because they can't 
predict our j)ositions, they are not able to catch us by surprise with 
a larger force. 

A CAP marine does not live inside of a fort. He lives among the 
people, with the PF, often staying in I heir homes. With no fixed 
position to defend, the CAP has a closer relationship with the jx^ople 
and can devote full time to the people's security. 


While helping to provide security, the Marines are assigned the 
further task of training the PF so as to make them a more effective 
fighting unit. We teach them how to nuike better use of their wea])ons 
and we help them to develop better tactics with which to fight the VC. 
Eventually, the PF will be strong enough to take care of the area 
without Marines assistance. 


At this ]X)int, I would like to briefly describe the daily routine of 
my CAP. Just before tla^'break each day, we will secure from our night 
ambush ])ositions and return to our ilaytime position. Our daytime 
position will normally consist of two houses farily close together, with 
half of the Marine squad in each one. Some members of the CAP 
will be detailed as sentries around the day position to guard against 


surprise attack. The PF leader will normally leave six to 10 PF to 
stay with the Marines during the day. The remainder of the PF's will 
return to their homes to spend the day working. 

At some time during the day, the CAP will run a patrol through the 
CAP area. A typical daytime patrol will consist of five marines and 
five PF. Also at some time during the day the Navy corpsman along 
with his Vietnamese assistants and a security element will go to 
Goc Kha hamlet, where we have set up a sim])le dispensary in order 
to offer daily medical attention to the ])eople in the area. 

The Marines in the CAP eat three meals a day. Two meals will 
consist of canned military "C" rations and the third meal, usually in 
the evening, will consist of hot prepared food delivered by truck to our 
position. Any other supplies we need will be delivered at the same 
time. At about 6 p.m., the PF leader and I will get together and com- 
plete our plans for the night's patrols and ambushes. After that, we 
each brief our men. Sometime after dark, the CAP splits up into two 
or more patrols, each of which goes out to set up ambushes under the 
cover of darkness. These ambushes remain in position all night, alert 
for the approach of the enemy. 

This concludes my opening statement. I would be pleased to answer 
your questions. 

witnesses' age, experience and language facility 

The Chairman. Sergeant Wallace, how old are you? 

Sergeant Wallace. Twenty-two years old, sir. 

The Chairman. How long have you been in Vietnam? 

Sergeant Wallace. 1 have been there 8 months, sir. 

The Chairman. Do you speak Vietnamese? 

Sergeant Wallace. ISFo, sir; I don't. 

The Chairman. Captain Geek, how old are you? 

Captain Geck. 23, sir. 

The Chairman. Do you speak Vietnamese? 

Captain Geck. Yes, I do. 

The Chairman. How long have you been in Vietnam? 

Captain Geck. 18 months, sir. 


The Chairman. Did you write your statement. Captain Geck? 

Captain Geck. Yes, sir; I did. 

The Chairman. Has it been cleared by anyone else? 

Captain Geck. Sir, my statement was checked for punctuation, 
spelling, for things like that, but it was not checked for its content. 

The Chairman. Was your statement checked? 

Sergeant Wallace. It went through my CAP director, and the 
content of the statement was checked for punctuation. 

The Chairman. Your statements were checked only for punctu- 

Sergeant Wallace. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Senator Symington? 

Senator Symington. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. 



When did you join the Army? 

Captain Geck. Sir, I came into the Army in March of 1967. 

Senator Symington. 1967. 

Captain Geck. Yes, sir. 

Senator Symington. What was your schooling before you came in? 

Captain Geck. Prior to coming into the Army, sir, I attended 
Seton Hall Prep, and then Seton Hall University for 2 years. 

Senator Symington. Where did you enlist? 

Captain Geck. I enlisted in Newark, N.J. 

Senator Symington. Did you have an}' ROTC before? 

Captain Geck. No, sir, I did not. I was omitted from the program. 
Seton Hall has a ROTC program; I did not participate. 

Senator Symington. You enlisted as a private? 

Captain Geck. Yes, sir, I did. 

Senator Symington. When were you promoted to corporal? 

Captain Geck. Sir, I went through the basic training program at 
Camp Polk, La. Then I went to Camp Wolters, Tex., to the Army's 
flight training program. After that I was relieved from that course of 
instruction and went to the Arnn^'s artillery OCS at Fort Sill, Okla., 
so I was never promoted through the ranks. I went to OCS. 

Senator Symington. You went right from a private. You were 
commissioned when? 

Captain Geck. June of 1967. 

Senator Symington. When did you go to Vietnam? 

Captain Geck. Sir, I went to Vietnam in March of 1968. 

Senator Symington. Nine months after vou were commissioned 

Captain Geck. Yes, sir. 

Senator Symington. Were you commissioned a first or second 

Captain Geck. Second lieutenant, sir, in the Army Reserve. 

Senator Symington. When were you promoted to first lieutenant? 

Captain Geck. A year thereafter, sir, and then a year thereafter 
to captain. 

Senator Symington. And you told the Chairman that you spoke 

Captain Geck. Yes, sir. I can handle about 70 percent of my 
business in Vietnamese. 

Senator Symington. Did you study that before you went to 

Captain Geck. Yes, sir. I volunteered for Vietnam in March, went 
to Fort Bragg, to the military assistant's training adviser's course, 
and then on to the Defense Language Institute where I was trained 
33^' months in Vietnamese. 

Senator Symington. Where is that school? 

Captain Geck. That is Fort Bliss, El Paso, Tex. 

Senator Symington. You took Vietnamese there? 

Captain Geck. Yes, sir. 

Senator Symington. When did you go into the Pro\dnce you are 

m now? 

Captain Geck. I worked in two Provinces, Chau Due, which we 
spoke about earlier and Kien Giang. I arrived in Chau Due in August 


of 1968. Approximately 2 months later I went to Kien Giang, and 
I have been there ever since. 

Senator Symington. When you arrived there was your Vietnamese 
pretty good? 

Captain Geck. No, sir, it was fair. I could at that time conduct 
only about 40 percent of m3^ business. It has progressed since that time. 


Senator Symington. Since you have been there you think conditions 
have improved; is that correct? 

Captain Geck. Yes, sir, I do. 

Senator Symington. What was the situation when you arrived? 

Captain Geck. When I first arrived in Kien Giang Pro\dnce the 
Army was able to operate in fairly large units in most of the area. 
The conditions \^ithin the villages were fairly poor. The village govern- 
ments were not organized. 

Right now all of the villages in Kien Giang have elected govern- 
ments. Most of the hamlets have elected governments. The people now 
are participating in the government. I think this is quite an imi)rove- 

The Regional and Popular Forces have never had any outside as- 
sistance from the U.S. forces in our area except for air power. We 
have only had assistance from the regular Army of Vietnam forces. 


Senator Symington. Wliat is your relationship with the Riverine? 

Captain Geck. Sir, I have no relationship with the Riverine. 
We have used the Riverine elements to insert units from time to time, 
but I have no relationship with them. 

U.S. TROOPS in delta 

Senator Symington. When you first came there what U.S. troops 
were in the delta? 

Captain Geck. Sir, I am not sure of any besides the 9th U.S. 
Infantry Division, but we had no contact with them at all. 

Senator Symington. Mr. Ambassador, I do not beheve there 
were any American troops in the delta in 1965 in any quantity. 

Mr. Colby. No, sir. 

Senator Symington. When did we send troops into the delta in 

Mr. Colby. We never sent troops to that part of the delta, Senator. 
The troops were sent to the upper delta only, I believe in early 1967. 

Mr. Vann. They arrived in July of 1966 in Long An Pro^dnce 
and in September 1966 in Dinh Tuong and Kien Hoa and Go Cong 
Provinces. U.S. trooi)s have never been stationed in the other 13 
provinces of the delta, only in three provinces. 

Mr. Colby. You do have the river forces, the Navy forces though. 
Some of those are in Kien Giang, so in a sense there are U.S. forces. 

Senator Symington. When you say they arrived, who arrived? 

Mr. Vann. The U.S. 9th Infantry^ Division was assigned to Dinh 
Tuong, Kien Hoa, and Go Cong in September 1967. 


Senator Symington. That was the first time a division of U.S. 
troops went into the delta? 

Mr. Vann. In any part of the delta? 

Senator Symington. In anv part of the delta. 

Mr. Vann. No, sii-. In July of 1967 a brigade of the U.S. 25th 
Division went into Long An, which is geogra])hically the northern 
part of the delta. 

Senator Symington. Just below Saigon? 

Mr. Vann. Just below Saigon. 

Senator Symington. Let us talk about the delta. The first troops 
that went into the delta, as we consider the delta, 50 miles or what- 
ever the distance would be, south of Saigon was when the 9th In- 
fantrv Division went in in Julv 1967? 

Mr. Vann. The U.S. 25th' Division's 23d Brigade in July 1967. 

effect of introduction of U.S. TROOPS ON CONDITIONS IN DELTA 

Senator Symington. Well, the thrust of my question is if we put 
troops into the delta for the first time as late as Juh^ 1967, and then 
increased the number of those troops in September 1967, that would 
automatically improve conditions, would it not? 

Mr. Vann. If I might say, and in that connection, in connection 
with your earlier comments about 1965 

Seiuitor Symington. First answer the (pieslion. 

Mr. Vann. It would not autonuitically improve conditions, sir. It 
would (lei)end ui)on how nniny enemy may have been introduced at 
the same time. 

Senator Symington. All right. Now take it from there. 


Mr. Vann. May I now address your earlier (piestions about 1965. 
Sir, in 1965 General Westmoreland sent me to survey the delta and the 
reports that the delta was being |)acified. 

Senator Symington. Were you in uniform at that time? 

Mr. Vann. No, sir, I was a civilian. 

The reason General Westmoreland sent me to do that w^as 

Senator Symington. What w as your position at that time? 

Mr. Vann. I was the provincial adviser for USAID for Hau Nghia 
Province, which is the very northernmost part of the delta. However, 
1 had been the senior militarv adviser for the Mekong Delta in 1962 
and 1963. 

Senator Symington. At that time were you in uniform? 

Mr. Vann. I was in uniform as a lieutenant colonel. 

Senator Symington. Of the Army? 

Mr. Vann. Yes, sir. 

Senator Symington. Thank you. 

'Slv. Vann. General W^'stmoreland wanted me to assess the change 
in the situation in the area in which I had been the senior military 
adviser between 1963 and 1965. He asked me also to go beyond that 
area farther south into the delta. I had not p^e^'iously been the 
adviser there, but I did have responsibility for the area when I operated 
as a staff adviser at the corps advisory level. 


Senator Symington. When you were in the military did you have 
any relationship with the pacification program? 

Mr. Vann. At that time, sir, we did not have a pacification program 
as it is now known. We did have the strategic hamlet program in 1962 
and 1963. 


Senator Symington. Did you have any relationship yourself with 
the school at Vung Tau? 

Mr. Vann. I had relationship with the school at Vung Tau from 1965 
through the middle of 1966. 

Senator Symington. What was your relationship at that time? 

Mr. Vann. I was the USAID adviser on the RD cadre program to 
the RD cadre director. 

Senator Symington. What was your relationship at that time with 
the Central Intelligence Agency? 

Mr. Vann. I have never had any relationship other than one of 
cooperation as a representative of either the U.S. Army or of the 
Agency for International Development. 

Senator Symington. At that time wasn't the CIA running the Vung 
Tau operation? 

Mr. Vann. They were the agency with operational responsibility. 

Senator Symington. What is the difference between running it and 
being the agency with operational responsibility? 

Mr. Vann. At that time, sir, it was being officially run by the 
Government of Vietnam, financed by the Central Intelligence Agency, 
and advised by the Central Intelligence Agency. 

Senator Symington. And your relationships with the agency were 
always of the best? 

Mr. Vann. We have had differences of opinion, sir, but I have never 
had a relationship of alienation with them. 

I would like to address your 

Senator Symington. I want to follow this a little bit, colonel, because 
I am remembering a few things as you talk. 

Mr. Vann. All right, sir. 

Senator Symington. In 1965 you had a relationship at Vung Tau and 
there was some disagreement about how the i)lace should be run; was 
there not? 

Mr. Vann. There were differences of opinion among Vietnamese as to 
how it should be run, and there were some differences of opinion among 

Senator Symington. Would you describe those a bit? 

Mr. Vann. The princii)al 

Senator Symington. Your own position I understood was different 
from some of the thinking of the American authorities. 

Mr. Vann. I would be happy to, sir. I would like to answer your 
previous question first. 

Senator Symington. We will get back to that. 

Mr. Vann. All right, sir. 

Senator Symington. If we can. 

Mr. Vann. I would say the principal difference, first of all, con- 
cerned the size of the teams that should be employed. 

A second difference concerned the manner of advising on the RD 
cadre program. I would say a third difference concerned how overt or 
how covert the U.S. role in the RD cadre program, should be. 


Senior Symington. Who did you differ with on these questions? 

Mr. Vann. Some Vietnamese ofl&cials, sir, and some U.S. officials. 

Senator Symington. What U.S. officials did you differ with on that? 

Mr. Vann. I would say in one degree or another I differed with the 
MACV representative and the USIS representative. 

Senator Symington. That is what I heard when I was out there, 

Now, we will get back to the other question. 

Mr. Vann. Thank you, su\ 

Senator Symington. Right. 


Mr. Vann. I went to the delta in a series of trips, going each weekend 
to 10 different provinces over a period of about tliree and a half 
months to do this assessment for General Westmoreland. 

On July 3, of 1965 I briefed General Westmoreland on ni}- findings. 
I essentially told General Westmoreland that the situation in the 
delta had deteriorated considerably since 1963, that the Vietcong 
were firmly in control of the countryside in the delta, that contrary 
to tlu; opinion of many advisers in the delta, the reduction of incidents 
was not because of pacification being successful but because the Viet- 
cong had gained such control there was no need to have incidents. 
I told him that the VC had, in my judgment, made a decision to use 
the d(^lta as a recruiting and food base, and that they had come to 
some form of an accommodation wherein thsy were leaving the pro- 
vincial and district cai)itals and the road network alone so as not to 
get people excited and not to interfere with their operations in the 

I also indicated that at that })eriod of time up to 50 percent of the 
Regional Forces and Popular Forces had reached some form of accom- 
modation with the enemy, a form of accommodation that went the 

Senator Symington. Up to what period of time? 

Mr. Vann. This was in July of 1965, sir. This was an accommodation 
that ran the gamut from a simjih^ "I will let j'ou live, you let me live" 
arrangement which would result in local cease-fires to an arrangement 
wherein some imits were serving for the government in the daytime 
and operating as Vietcong at night. The latter wovdd certainly 
represent i\w minoritv, the formc^r the majority of the accommoda- 
tions. I concluded by saying if the delta is pacified it is unfortunately 
pacified by the wrong side. 

General Westmoreland listened to my arguments. He subsequently 
had me return to Saigon from my field post to brief his new deputy, 
General Throckmorton. He subsequently had me come in and brief 
General Rosson, the Chief of Staff when he was assigned. 

Api)roximately a year later, when General Westmoreland decided 
to request troops to go into the delta, he advanced as the reasons for 
it some of the conclusions that I had given to him in 1965, such as 
that it had become a food and recruiting base for the Vietcong. 

It has always been my contention 

Senator Symington. Excuse me. It was known that it was a food 
base for everybody; was it not? I can remember a general in the 
Army telling me that the tax of the South Vietnamese on rice coming 


out of the delta into Saigon was greater than the tax that the Viet- 
cong hiid down for rice coming into Saigon. So I think we have 
known for some time, certainly in 1965, that it was a food base. 

Mr. Vann. It is a food base for the entire country without question 

Senator Symington. Right. 


Did you recommend that the CIA operation responsibihty be 
returned to the Ai-my? 

Mr. Vann. Responsibihty in what area, sir? 

Senator Symington. In operating Vung Tau. 

Mr. Vann. Sh, it had never been with the Army, and I did never 
recommend that it be returned to the Aimy. 

I did at one point in time, suggest that it might be more acceptable 
to the Vietnamese Government to have either the MiUtary Assistance 
Command or the Agency for International Development have the 
principal responsibility and the financial responsibihty for the program 
because of a tendency of Vietnamese to, in this case wi-ongfully, 
assume the motives of the CIA in running the progi-am. It was my 
observation at that time, sir, that 

Senator Symington. You could not be talking about the villagers 
because they did not know what CIA meant. 

Mr. Vann. I was talking about the hierarchy, the district and 
Province chiefs. 

I would further like to qualify, sh, that the program as run by the 
CIA was totally overt, and that there were no subterranean or hidden 
motives behind it. But the basis for the recommendation was the 
fact that the Vietnamese are naturally suspicious and that they 
would have a tendency to ascribe hidden motives to the RD cadre 
program being financed by the CIA. 


Senator Symington. Did you know Major Mai? 

Mr. Vann. I know him quite well, sir. 

Senator Symington. What did you think of him? 

Mr. Vann. I thought he was an extremely capable officer and one 
who was highly dedicated to his work. 

Senator Symington. Do you know why he was removed? 

Mr. Vann. Yes, I do know why he was removed, sir. 

Senator Symington. Why? 

Mr. Vann. There was some indication, sir, that Major Mai had 
started his own internal political organization within the cadre program 
and had established cells of the Duy Dan sect of the Tan Dai Viets 
political party, and had them reporting to him. The objectives of that 
party were contrary to the objectives of the Government of Vietnam. 

Senator Symington. Do you agree with that? Did you know 
enough about it to think that was justified criticism? 

Mr. Vann. Well 

Senator Symington. Did you know enough about it to think that 
was justified criticism of him? 

Mr. Vann. Of Major Mai, sir? 

Senator Symington. Yes. 



Mr. Vann. I did, sir. That does not moan I do not greatly admii'e 
and respect Major Mai. 

Senator Symington. What were the objectives of Major Mai that 
were different from General Ky or General Thieu? 

Mr. Vann. I don't know whether these were Major Mai's personal 
objectives, but the objectives ascribed to his party were a third force 
concept which was both antigovernment and anti-Vietcong. 

Senator Symington. This is really quite fascinating. I was very 
impressed with Major Mai and so were all the people who went out 
there. The next time I went back he was completely obliterated from 
the scene and I heard that that was done because the Government did 
not approve of the fact that he was more interested in the people than 
he was in the way that the Government was being handled, including 
the corruption. I tried to see him but could not; I finally talked to him 
on the phone. I think he was an interpreter with the Korean Ai'iny in 

Mr. Vann. It was my understanding he went to such an assign- 
ment, sir. I considered Major Mai to be a dedicated nationalist, a 
man who was against corruption, a man who was for a people's 
])r()gram, a man who had been very effective as head of the institute. 
I recommended strongly at that time that ho be brought to the United 
States — he was extremely fluent in English — and lecture at our service 
schools and explain the nature of the war. 

Now, I do agree that the Government of Vietnam at that time could 
not afford to have as the commandant a man who was believed by 
them, with some foundation, to be essentially advocating their over- 

The Chairman. Would the Senator yield? 

Is there any connection between this and the Tran Ngoc Chau case? 
It sounds a little like the Chau case. 

Senator Symington. That is right, Mr. Chairman. I siiddenh' 
realized what we \ven\ getting into down there. Some people in 19(35 
described Major Mai as being the most outstanding young person in 
Vietnam, that he was not a Communist in any wnj, but he did not 
approve of the way that the Government of South Vietnam was 
liandling U.S. money, especially as they were personally profiting 
lu^avily from it. 

major mai's removal 

Senator Case. Would the Senator pursue this? What has happened 
to the major now? Is he still alive and working? What is he doing? 

wSenator Symington. Those are very good questions. I am interested 
in Colonel Vann's recommendation that he come back here and tell 
about the cause in this country. 

Senator Case. This was 4 years ago. What has happened since? 

Senator Symington. I would be interested in it. 

The Chairman. Also does it relate to the Chau case? 

I understand the Americans had great difficulty in preventing 
President Ky from imprisoning him. Do you know anything about 

Mr. Vann. I don't know that, sir. I was not involved in it. 

Senator Symington. What did you hear about it? 

Mr. Vann. Sir, I knew he was removed because the Government of 
Vietnam believed that the political party, that it had evidence he was 
a member of, was anti-GVN. 


Senator Symington. But it was in no way a pro-Communist 
Party, was it? 

Mr. Vann. Absolutely not. I make no suggestion that it was pro- 

Senator Symington. That is the point I wanted to bring out, 
Mr. Chairman. 

Thank you, Mr. Vann. 

Mr. Vann. I will say, sir, just in cooperation 

The Chairman. Go ahead and say what happened to him. 

Mr. Vann. Sir, I don't really know. I am aware he is alive, and I 
am aware he does have an official Government job and the rank of 
major in the Government of Vietnam service. That is the limit of 
my knowledge. I have not seen A^Eajor Mai since he left Vung Tan in 

Senator Symington. Do you believe in the government of Thieu 
and Ky today as it has been conducted? 

Mr. Vann. [Deleted.] I feel that, in view of the difficulties that 
they face, they quite possibly are doing about as much as we can ex- 
pect any group of Vietnamese to do under the circumstances. 

Senator Symington. Well, the thrust of my question is you recom- 
mended that Major Mai come over here and lecture to the American 
people, you must have had great confidence in him, and agreed with 
his thinking, at least to some extent, about the need for reform of the 
present Vietnam Government. 

Air. Vann. Sir, I felt that the man was exceptionally well qualified, 
particularly with regard to the village and hamlet govermnent. I 
did not necessarily endorse everything he did. Certainly I could not 
in good conscience endorse at that level an action designed to over- 
throw the Government of Vietnam when I was working for a govern- 
ment wdiose official i)olicy was to support the Government of Vietnam. 

Senator Symington. Did you have any proof that he was trying 
to overthrow the Government? 

Air. Vann. It was the announced purpose of the ]3arty, sir, to 
radically change the hierarchy that existed in Saigon. 

The Chairman. By force or by an election? Is it any different from 
the Democrats' attitude toward the Republicans? 

Senator Symington. That is what I was thinking about. 

Air. Vann. Sir, there were members of the party who suggested 
that the way to change it was by assassinating 52 top leaders in the 
Government. That would be force. 

major mai's replacement: major be 

Let me say, sir, that the man who came to succeed him at Vung 
Tan at that time, Alajor Be, who was the Deputy Province Chief 
at Binh Dinh, was equally outs])okon against corruption, equally 
outspoken against abuses of government and, in my judgment, is 
equally qualified as the officer to be in charge of training RD cadre 

Senator Symington. He belonged to the right party. 

Mr. Vann. No, sir, he did not. 

Senator Symington. What is the difference? 

Air. Vann. Colonel Be has come in for almost as much criticism 
from Government leaders as did Alajor Alai. 


Senator Symington. Are they both members of the same party? 

Mr. Vann. I don't know what party Major Be, or Colonel Be, may 
be a member of. 

Senator Symington. How can you assert he was not a member of 
Major Mai's party? 

Mr. Vann. I have no evidence that he was so; I do not know. 

Senator Symington. I see. 

Mr. Vann. However, there are many political parties who have the 
same general lines. 


Mr. Colby. Senator, I might add on this, since I was partly in- 
volved at the time, as you know, that one of the factors which caused 
us not to really raise very much objection to the replacement of Major 
Mai officially was that we were supporting a very large cadre opera- 
tion, and that if this became the personal political tool of one particular 
party the CIA would be directly in the position of doing what Colonel 
Vann says that many people suspected the CIA was doing, and v. Inch 
we do not wish to do. 


Senator Symington. I understand that. But Major Mai is just one 

General Walt inlroduccd mo to a village chief and said he was one 
of the finest village chiefs around there. He was assassinated. 

He then told me General Thi was a brave a man as he ever knew. 
He was kicked out. It is indeed difficult to understand what is going 
on out there. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 


The Chairman. I want to pursue this, Colonel Vann. How does 
Chau fit into this transition between Mai and Colonel Be? He has 
been in the news recently. We started to ])ursue this the other day 
and you said you would rather do it now. Can you fit it in now with- 
out my having to stumble around and ask a number of questions? 
Just tell us. 

Mr. Vann. In December of 1965, then Lt. Col. Tran Ngoc Chau, 
Province chief of Kien Hoa Province, was appointed by the Govern- 
ment of Vietnam and the Minister of Revolutionary Development to 
be the director of the RD cadre directorate with offices in Saigon and 
resi)onsibility for the RD cadre program throughout Vietnam. 

A part of Colonel Chau's responsibility was the supervision of the 
RD Cadre Training Center at Vung Tau, which had as its assigned 
commandant at that time Captain Mai, later Major Mai. Colonel 
Chau continued in this capacity until September or October of 1966. 

During part of his tenure. Captain ]\Iai, now Major Mai, was 
relieved of his responsibilities as the commandant. I believe this 
occurred in July of 1966. 

44-706—70 20 


He was replaced initially by a Colonel Thinli, and then Colonel Chau 
himself left his jjost in Saigon and went to the Vung Tan Training- 
Center to directly supervise it. 

He left there when Major Be was assigned as the commandant. 
Major Be was assigned as the commandant, based upon the ai)proval 
of Gen. Nguyen Due Thang, who was the Minister for Revolutionary 

Major Be operated under the supervision of Col. Tran Ngoc Chau. 

In about September or October of 1966, Colonel Chau went into a 
hos])ital with a reported illness. Essentially he was removed from the 
RD catlre program at his own request. 

He subsequently continued working in the Ministry of RD and 
became an inspector of revolutionary development operations in I 
Corps until the summer of 1967. He had attempted to resign his com- 
mission in the army so as to be free to run for the constituent assembly 
in mid- 1966. He was denied permission to resign. 

However, at a later date, when they were having the elections for 
the assembly, the election laws provided that active duty army 
officers could run for the position of deputy. 

Colonel Chau ran for the position of de})uty from Kien Ho a Prov- 
ince, was elected as a dei)uty in the national assembly, and was subse- 
quently elected by the national assembly to be its ^Secretary General. 

The Chairman. What does Secretary General mean? 

Mr. Vann. Secretary General, sir, I would ascribe as about the 
third ranking position in the assembly operating under the president 
of the assembly as his kind of chief of staff. 

That is the situation. Col. Tran Ngoc Chau, as you know, is still a 
member of the assembly and is currently embroiled in a dispute 
brought about by the Government's charges that he was dealing with 
his brother, a known Communist, without having reported this 
incident to the Government. 


The Chairman. You have evaluated Major Mai. What about 
Chau? The way you and the Senator from Missoini described Mai 
fitted what I have been told about Chau. He is also a nationalist, a 
great patriot, but he does not approve of the present Government and 
he is regarded by the present Government as a rival. Is that true or 

Mr. Vann. I don't know how the present Government regards 
Colonel Chau, sii-, but with my regards to how I evaluate Colonel 
Chau, I think it is one of the continuing surprises and paradoxes of 
this conflict there and of that Vietnamese society that Colonel Chau 
who in my judgment is a nationalist, an honest man, against corrup- 
tion, for the people, a man with a great deal of charisma, one whose 
motives I have always found to be of the highest order and Major 
Mai were bitter enemies. Colonel Chau had a great deal to do with 
getting Major Mai removed as the commandant because they hap- 
pened to have different political ideologies, despite the fact that they 
were both for the same basic things. 

I considered all three men. Major Be, now Colonel Be, the present 
commandant; Major Mai; and Colonel Tran Ngoc Chau to be people 
who were i)otentially going to do great things for their country from 


the standpoint of giving better government, giving government that 
is more responsive to the neetls of the peasants. I considered them 
people who were famihar with the village and hamlet structure, the 
needs of the population. Two of these gentlemen fought with the 
Viet Minh against the French. 

The Chairman. Which two? 

Mr. Vann. Colonel Be and Colonel Chau. I don't believe Major 
Mai had because I believe he was too young to have done so. I feel 
had he been older, he would have. 

The Chairman. However, Thieu and K3- both fought with the 
French against the Viet Minh; didn't they? 

Mr. Vann. Sir, I am not totally familiar with that. I know General 
Ky did fly with the French Air Force. He was trained by them. 

Senator Symington. Mr. Colby would know. 

Mr. Colby. He was, yes. He fought mth the French. 

The Chairman. Go ahead, this is very interesting. 

Mr. Vann. That was my answer to your question, sir. 

The Chairman. I am not trying to ]Kit words in your mouth. I 
am only clarifying it. You think that although Chau was, I take it 
you say, a political enemy of Mai, they both were high class, superior 
men interested in their country. 

Mr. Vann. All of my contact with them, sir, would indicate that 
to me. 

TRAN NGOC CHAU'S relationship with CIA 

The Chairman. I read to you the other day about these allega- 
tions. There is notliing secret about it. This story is in the paper. I am 
trying to clarify Chan's relationshij) with the CIA. 

Did he ever re])ort to the CIA \\hen he was there? 

Mr. Vann. To my knowledge, sir, he has never been employed by 
th(> CIA and never reported to the CIA. 

Mr. Colby. Since he was in charge of a ]irogram that was being 
linanced by the CIA, he certainly reported to them in that sense. 

The Chairman. He reported to the CIA. Were you then in the 
CIA before you were ambassador? 

Mr. Colby. I was, sir. 

The Chairman. So you know this of 3'our own knowledge. 

Maybe you ought to comment about this aspect. I should have 
asked you about it. Go ahead. 

Mr. Colby. The way this program ran, Mr. Chairman, was that 
the CIA financed the Government of Vietnam program. The program 
was part of the Ministry of Revolutionary Development, and Colonel 
Chau was the responsible officer in that ministry for that program. So 
that the financing of the program was conchicted to some extent under 
his own overall supervision. In that respect he kept the CIA people 
informed of what they were doing with the program. 

This does not mean, however, in proi)er CIA parlance, that he was 
an agent. He was not i)aid at all by the CIA. He was paid by the 
Government of Vietnam. 


The Chairman. I believe that is consistent with what he has said, 
but I believe that one of the stories, at least, was that he had reported 


voluntarily his meetings with his brother or other activities of this 
kind. This wasn't any secret. Can you say whether he did or not? 
Did you know he had a brother who was a Communist? 

Mr. Colby. Frankly, Senator, it has been 2 years since I have 
been associated with it, and one's memory gets a little fuzzy. I would 
prefer to look at the records which I do not have access to [deleted] 
before I gave you a direct answer. 

I do seem to remember that there was a story that he had a brother 
in the North, and that there was some possibility of a contact. I am 
a little fuzzy on the details. 

The Chairman. Colonel Vann, have you any knowledge of this? 

Mr. Vann. Well 

The Chairman. Why don't you sit over here. There is plenty of 
room. There is a chair right there. I don't know whether I ask questions 
of exactly the right one every time. 

Do you know anything about this? Did he report? In your view was 
he frank and open with the Americans? 1 am not saying he was an 
agent, but to your knowledge did he report? 

Mr. Vann. Sir, he was a man who was very fluent in the English 
language, and had U.S. advisers since 1961. He was a man who 
was known to many Americans, admired by many Americans, and he, 
in turn, appeared to be an admirer of Americans and things that 
we were doing and programs that we were suggesting. 

He was a province chief in Kien Hoa Province in 1962 and 1963, 
while I was the senior adviser to the zone commander, a zone that 
included seven Pro\nnces of which Kien Hoa was one. 

He and I became very close friends during this period of 1962 and 
1963. I was in contact with him on a fairly continuing basis up until 
July of 1969. 

Because we were close friends, he often confided to me many things 
that I knew he probably would not confide to other people. 

In the latter part of 1965, then Lt. Col. Tran Ngoc Chau, iii his role 
as Province chief, while I was visiting him in his Province in Kien Hoa, 
after giving me a very long and mysterious buildup, walked me out 
into his provincial palace garden at about midnight and confided to me 
that a very important person from Hanoi had recently visited him in 
his Province. He said this was a person who was a nationalist and \yho 
was interested in seeing if there was some way of getting nationalists 
in the north and nationalists in the south together. Colonel Chau 
sought my advice as to what he should do. 

I asked him as to what his relationships were with his adviser, who 
was from the Central Intelligence Agenc}^ assigned to the Province. He 
said he had very good relationships. 

I suggested to him that that w^ould be a much more appropriate 
channel through which to report and to get advice than through me, 
because I was not involved at that time in things dealing with the 
Government of Vietnam. I was at that time assigned as an adviser to 
the U.S. 1st Infantry Division. 

We had then tried the experiment of putting someone who had been 
in Vietnam with each incoming U.S. unit to help them get oriented 
and acclimated to the Vietnamese and to the Vietnamese officials. 

We dropped the subject, and I did not report it to any of my higher 
headquarters, and one of the reasons I did not was that dunng that 
particular period of time I had a great many confidences given to me 


by Vietnamese, which, had I reported would have resulted in their 
heads being chopped off careerwise because things were extremely un- 
settled in Vietnam. There were a series of changing governments. 
There was a game of musical chairs going on, and the future was 
pretty indefinite. 

Also, the enemy was at almost the high point of his control in the 
countrj'side, and that did have many Vietnamese officials standing 
with one foot in both camps. 


During a subsequent period in the summer of 1966, when Chau and 
I were working closely together, Chau again raised the subject with 
me. He told me he had had another visit from that same person, and 
then after a great deal of cautions and explaining how dangerous it 
would be to him, he confided to me that it was his brother. He then 
gave me the background on his brother. He gave me a picture of what 
I assume now to be Tran Ngoc Hien, but a picture which had several 
inconsistencies compared to what I now know about Tran Ngoc Hien. 

At that time, Colonel Chau — he was still in the army — asked me if I 
would report this conversation to ni}^ higher authority, and to find 
out if my higher authority would like to meet with his brother, Tran 
Ngoc Hien. He did not identif}^ his brother by name. 

He told me at the time that his brother was coming in and out of 
the country on a Jai)an('s(' passport and that if a meeting was to be 
arranged it would require 3 weeks' notice because he had to contact 
liis brother by an advertisement in a Saigon newsjjaj^er. 

T renorted"^ this to mv hi«:her authoritv, and went throusrh that 
channel to the then Dej)uty Ambassador. 

The Deputy Ambassador listened to the story, plus the background 
on Tran Ngoc Chau, informed me that they were continualh^ getting 
requests for meetings of this sort from various peo])le. [Deleted.] The 
bona fides of this man realh' ha<l not been established, and he would 
let me know later what, if anything, would be done. 

He subsequently called me in and said that neither the Ambassador 
nor he would agree to a meeting with Chan's brother but that if it 
was particularly desired, if Chan's brother particularh^ desired and 
thought he had something that was worthwhile that I would be 
authorized to represent the Ambassador at a meeting. 

I gave this information to Colonel Chau, and he then said he 
would contact his brother. He subsequently told me approximately a 
month later that he had contacted his brother and that his brother 
was not interested in meeting with me because I was not of sufficient 
importance. That essentially terminated my role in the matter 
iiu'olving his brother. 


The Chairman. Why do you think that presently the Thieu 
government goes to such lengths to remove the immunity of Chau? 

Mr. Vann. I really do not know, sir, because you must understantl 
that my contacts with Chau have been very limited since this thing 
became a hot issue last Julv. 


The Chairman. You have not seen him smce that time? 

Mr. Vann. I have seen him, but not for the purposes of 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Mr. Vann. He has attempted to see me and has made it a point, 
since he knows places where I g-o to, and I have had to excuse myself 
as quickly as possible after arriving. 


The Chairman. Has the Ambassador or any one of your superiors 
ordered you not to see him and to discuss things? 

Mr. Vann. Ambassador Bunker, sir, and Ambassador Colby have 
told me since July that it is advisable not to become involved in this 
matter since it is a matter between the Government of Vietnam and 
one of its officials; [deletedl. 

Mr. Colby. Any contacts on the subject would be made by Am- 
bassador Bunker, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Vann. That is correct. 

IS CHAU a communist? 

The Chairman. Do you personally have any doubt in your mind 
about Chan's being a Communist or not being a Communist? 

Mr. Vann. Sir, I have to have some reservation because Ambas- 
sador Bunker has informed me that there are things about the case 
of which I am not aware. I do not know what these things are. 

However, since I do not have access to the dossier, either of the 
Government of Vietnam or of such files as the political section of the 
Embassy may have — it is cpiite obvious that I don't have the total 

Nothing in my personal relationships with Colonel Chau and my 
knowledge of him since 1962 would lead me to doubt that he is other 
than a dedicated nationalist anti-Communist person. 

The Chairman. That is all I can speak to. 

Mr. Vann. Right, Senator. 

discrepancies in information supplied by CHAU 

Senator Case. You said you were concerned about the discrepancies 
between what he had told you about his brother and what the facts 
about his brother were. Was this a distrubing thing to you? 

Mr. Vann. It has become. It is my knowledge, sir, that Colonel 
Chau has lied to me on several matters that involved this case, for 
what purpose I don't know. There are several matters in which he 
deliberately lied. 

Senator Case. Were these significant? Were these deliberate? 

Mr. Vann. The information he gave me is different from informa- 
tion I now know to be true. It does not concern whether he is a Com- 
munist. It concerns details about his brother and details about 
statements that he has ascribed to other Vietnamese officials that they 
have subsequently told me that they did not say. 

Senator Case. Have you any feeling that this was an intentional 
deception and, if so, what the intent was or what its purpose was? 


Mr. Vann. I feel that a portion of this may well have been to 
protect the identity and location of his brother. 
Senator Case. I see. 


The Chairman. Has Mr. Chan indirectly or directly sought your 
assistance at any point in connection with charges brought by Presi- 
dent Thieu? 

Mr. Vann. He has sought my assistance on a continuing basis, su'. 

The Chairman. What cUd he ask you to do? 

Mr. Vann. He has, first of all, asked me if there was some way that 
I could arrange for him to go to the United States. That has been an 
approach over the period of the last year. 

He has, second, asked if I could get the U.S. Government to 
intervene with President Thieu in his behalf and inform them of the 
fact that we were aware of his brother's presence. 

He has asked me to go to the Prime Minister, Prime Minster Khiem, 
in his behalf. He has also asked for advice as to Avhat he should do. 
I have on a continuing basis advised him that he should use the same 
rules that he is asking the Government to use in his opposition to the 
Government. I have told him that at this period of time I consider 
his outspoken opposition — and this is ])articularly true in the first 
6 months of 1969 — was hurting the Government's efforts against the 

The Chairman. Against whom? 

Mr. Vann. Against the foe, against the enemy. I have told him 
that, even though I knew his motivations were good, now was the 
time for all Vietnamese to get toegther and ]Hit their shoulder to the 
wheel, and that if he really wanted to have a different government, he 
should work for the 1971 Vlections as opposed to suggesting anything 
that would either aid or abet the Communist cause at the moment, 
even though it may not have that purpose. 

U.S. position on asylum for chau 

The Chairman. Did our Government refuse or decline to grant him 

"Mr. Vann. Sir, I have not asked our Government to grant him 
asylum. But my superiors have told me that we will not seek to get 
him to the United States, which is what he had requested be done. 
We do not interpose an objection to his government letting him go. 

The Chairman. I see. 

Mr. Colby. I don't think it was a question of asylum, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Wliat was it? 

Mr. Colby. I think it was a question of would we actively help get 
him out of there. 

The Chairman. W^hat is our position? Would we allow him to come 
if he could come surreptitiously? 

Mr. Colby. Well, I think that is a question you really have to 
address to the Department and to Ambassador Bunker, Mr. Cliair- 
man. I am not qualified to answer it. 

The Chairman. You don't know? 


Mr. Vann. He has asked me whether we would do such a thing, sir, 
and I have said I did not believe we would, but that was my operating 

The Chairman. Did you ever ask Ambassador Bunker what he 
would recommend? 

Mr. Vann. I have discussed Tran Ngoc Chau with Ambassador 
Bunker on a number of occasions, sir. 

The Chairman. What is Ambassador Bunker's attitude? 

Mr. Vann. Ambassador Bunker's attitude, and his instructions to 
me, sir, were that 1 should tend to pacification in the delta and he 
would tend to the political situation in Vietnam. [Laughter.] 

The Chairman. That is a very clear answer. 

CIA chief's knowledge about tran ngoc chatj 

Mr. Colby, since you were so closely identified previously with the 
CIA, did the CIA Chief there know about these meetings of Chau 
with his brother? 

Mr. Colby. As I said, Mr. Chairman, my memory frankly is a little 
dim, and I am not that close to the situation today. I don't have 
access to the files. I really would have to defer that to the CIA. 

I do recall some consideration, should we say, to the fact that he 
had a brother. [Deleted.] 

The Chairman. Do you know whether the present CIA Chief 
believes Chau is a Communist or not? 

Mr. Colby. I do not know the answer to that, Mr. Chairman. I 
have never really 

The Chairman. This is what bothers me. I had not known about 
this Major Mai story. I was told that with the Senator from Missouri. 
Now you have Chau and, of course, this immediately suggests the 
treatment given Mr. Dzu, who is still in jail; isn't he? As far as I know 
his only crime was that he ran against Thieu and came out second. 

charges against MR. DZU 

Do you know of anything else wrong with Dzu? 

Mr. Vann. I don't know Mr. Dzu at all, but I know from the papers 
at that time that is not the reason that ostensibly he went to jail. 

The Chairman. What is the reason? 

Mr. Vann. As I understand, it dealt with some matter of fraud that 
was part of the charges, and 

The Chairman. What kind of fraud? 

Mr. Vann. Advocating against the laws of the Government of 

The Chairman. Which was to make peace. 

Mr. Vann. Well, advocating some arrangements with the coalition 
government which is against the law. 

The Chairman. That is right. The papers that I read indicated that 
he did advocate that they should seek to make a negotiated peace 
rather than a military victory. That is about what was reported in 
the press, which is not unlike what apparently was in the mind of Chau 
when he was, at least, conferring with j^ou with regard to the possi- 
bility of meeting with representatives of Hanoi. Is that not a correct 


Mr. Vann. Chau did have in his mind, sir, an eventual poHtical 
settlement of the war. 

The Chairman. Settlement of the war is what both of them had 
in mind; is that not coiTect? 

Mr. Vann. Sir, I cannot comment on JMr. Dzu because I have never 
dealt with him personally. 

The Chairman. Of course I have not either, but all the reports were 
that that was his crime. 

Mr. Vann. That is right, sir. 

gvn pressure to lift chau's immunity 

The Chairman. Do you have any knowledge of any irregular activi- 
ties or pressure brought to bear on the Vietnamese National Assembly 
by the Thieu regime in connection with lifting the immunity of Chau? 
Do you have any knowledge of that? 

Air. Vann. Sir, I have on a continuing basis talked to deputies in 
the assembly, particularly those from the delta. 

The Chairman. Yes. What do you know? 

Mr. Vann. The deputies have suggested to me that there is a good 
deal of pressure being brought by the Government, no specific person 
in the Government, but by the Government, on individual members 
of the assembly to support the Government's position. 

The Chairman. To sign a petition? 

Mr. Vann. I think, sir, in this country, it is called lobbying. 

The Chairman. Yes, that is one. Is it to sign the petition removing 

Mr. Vann. There has been some specific reported lobbying for this 
purpose; that is right. 

The Chairman. Do vou know anything about that, Ambassador 

Mr. Colby. No, Mr. Chairman, I do not. I don't deal with the depu- 
ties normally. 

The Chairman. You only deal with the diplomats and generals. 

Mr. Colby. No, sir. I deal mostly with province chiefs and govern- 
ment officials. 

The Chairman. I was kidding j^ou. 

Mr. Colby. I know it. 

The Chairman. Politics is a difficult game. 


Colonel Vann, I think this is very interesting. 

This, I must very frankly confess, bothers me a great deal. I do 
not know Mr. Dzu personalh', but his son came to see me personally, 
as he did a number of members of this committee, in a humanitarian 
venture. He said his father was quite ill, with a heart attack or some- 
thing, and he is in prison and he thinks he will be allowed to die there. 
His attitude is that the only real crime of his father was that he would 
like to settle this war with a political settlement. That is the wa}" he 
described it. 

The son is quite attractive. Isn't he here now or do you know? 

Mr. Vann. I don't know him, su\ 

The Chairman. He is a j^oung man and he came to see me, but I 
do not know. I have read all his reports. 


Senator, do you wish to interrogate? 
Mr. Vann. Sii', could I add one thing? 

The Chairman. I wish you would add anything that is significant. 
Mr. Vann. This is significant to the question earher this morning, 
but it does not concern the Chau case. 


In the discussion, sir, about the control of artillery and the fact that 
there ai-e different criteria for U.S. artillery firing from Vietnamese 
artillery firing, just to clear the record, I would like to explain that 
U.S. units are not permitted to fire artillery shells within a thousand 
yards of a Vietnamese population center unless there are U.S. units 
under active attack. 

Vietnamese units are allowed to fire at a closer distance because they 
can communicate directl}^ with outposts and Vietnamese commanders 
who are in the population center, and the population center may be 
under attack. That is the reason that Vietnamese can fire into areas 
that U.S. troops cannot. 

Secondly, if most of the firing described in Long An Province, an 
average of 300 rounds per day, is like that which I have observed on a 
continuing basis in Vietnam in some 27 other provinces, it is primarily 
firing of what they call an H and I, harassing and interdiction. This is 
fired on known commiuiication routes, usually in unpopulated areas, 
and in areas where it is felt that Vietcong units may be traversing as a 
way of both making it more dangerous to them and of inhibiting them 
not to come to those areas. 

That is all, sir. 


The Chairman. One last question I overlooked there on the Chau 

Did Chau have any trouble with the CIA over the RD cadre pro- 
gram; do you know? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, he did. 

The Chairman. What was it? 

Mr. Colby. It was a question of the degree of control. I think Mr. 
Vann ap]H"oved of that. 

The Chairman. With which official of the CIA did he have the 

Mr. Colby. I don't remember, Mr. Chairman. I think it was the 
station as a whole. 

The Chairman. Was it Mr. [deleted]. 

Mr. Colby. I don't remember. 

The Chairman. Do you know, Mr. Vann? 

Mr. Vann. Mr. Chan's relationships with Mr. [deleted] were quite 
close, sir, and there was no personal disagreement between the two 
of them. However, Colonel Chau had a basic disagreement as to t:he 
role of the CIA representative in each province from the standpoint 
of handling the funds and making decisions relative to supporting or 
nonsui)porting the progi'am. 

He felt these should be Vietnamese actions and Vietnamese 


I might also add that Colon '1 Chan had a difference of opinion 
with his own superior, General Thinh, over this same matter in that 
Colonel Chan was much more sensitive to the CIA involvement in the 
RD cadre program and its possible effects than was General Thinh. 

The Chairman. What do you mean by sensitive? 

Mr. Vann. Apprehensive as to possible repercussions from what 
he would consider to be their too overt role. 

The Chairman. I see. 

Mr. Colby. The CIA's position on that, Mr. Chairman, was that 
they needed that degree of control over the funds they were disbursing. 
They did not want to give the funds at a central level and let it be 
handled by the Vietnamese. 

The Chairman. The difference of opinion was over close supervision 
of expenditures? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir. 


The Chairman. The last question is a little different, but Colonel 
Vann, you have been there so long and had such a long experience and 
are so thoroughly acquainted with it, could you answer two general 
questions? Do you think we can take all of our troops out of Vietnam 
and, if so, when would you estimate this can be done? Or, will we have 
to keep 75,000 men, more or less there as we do in Korea? This is the 
thrust of the question. 

Coukl you comment on that? 

Mr. Vann. I can comment on it, sir, but I am undoubtedly going to 
get into trouble with both j'ou and ni}^ boss. 

The Chairman. You are not going to get into trouble. I prefaced 
this with "because of your long experience" and you shouldn't get into 
any trouble. I don't believe that you will with your boss. 

Senator Case. Mr. Chairman, I wouhl like to sa}' I share with you 
the fact that in asking these cpiestions, that we ask the colonel to be 
quite specific, quite detailed, and to break it down into various kinds 
of assistance. 

The Chairman. That 1;^ right. You won't get into any trouble, 
colonel. You have been there too long. Go ahead. 

Mr. Colby. He has been in trouble before. 

The Chairman. He is used to trouble. 

Senator Case. He is a Rutgers man, so he cannot be fazed. 

The Chairman. Tell us your prognosis of this situation. 

Mr. Vann. Sir, first of all, any prognosis is based upon a set of 
assumptions, any one of which may jirove to be false, and I have no 
more clairvoyance about how Hanoi is going to react or not react 
than anyone else. 

In my judgment, we are i)roceeding on a course of action that 
quite clearly will get the U.S. role in Vietnam greatly diminished and 
greatly reduce the cost both in lives and in money. 


Now, I did at one time in 1968 propose that a time table for the 
reduction, based upon mv judgment as to what the situation was, 

Senator Case. Is this you in 1968 or a^ou now? 



Mr. Vann. It was me in 1968, and I made certain assumptions 
which have thus far held correct, and my judgment continues to be 
at that level, that that is about as rapidly as we can do it without 
unnecessarily jeopardizing the continuation of the non-Communist 
government in Vietnam. 

Senator Case. [Deleted.] 

Mr. Vann. [Deleted.] 

Senator Case. Will you break that down. 

Mr. Vann. [Deleted.] 

The Chairman. At what point did you say under 100,000? 

Mr. Vann. [Deleted.] 

The Chairman. Only to 200,000 by then. 

Mr. Vann. [Deleted.] 

The Chairman. Would you say it would take 5 years to get it down 
below 100,000? 

Mr. Vann. [Deleted.] 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Mr. Vann. [Deleted.] 

The Chairman. Three years? 

Mr. Vann. [Deleted.] 

The Chairman. It is too far to foresee beyond that? 

Mr. Vann. [Deleted.] It is unpredictable as to whether Hanoi will 
scale up the fighting or scale down the fighting. 

Hanoi's activity during predicted u.s. reduction 

Senator Case. This is the thing that I think is kind of important. 
Those predictions of yours are based upon the assumption that Hanoi 
will be nice people. 

Mr. Vann. No, rather that they will continue as they now are. 

Senator Case. Well, what is that? 

Mr. Vann. Maintaining their current level of strength in South 

Senator Case. Suppose they decide to do more. One, will they be 
able to do more? 

Mr. Vann. I personally, sir, don't think that they can substantially 
increase their effort in South Vietnam. I see several reasons as to why 
they may want to scale it down and go back more toward a political 
guerilla-type effort, and to modify their expectations for perhaps a 
decade or even a decade and a half. 

Senator Case. You think that they will not do more because they 
Avill not find it feasible to do more? 

jMr. Vann. I think, sir, that they must be having a great number of 
internal problems. They are certainly having a great problem of morale 
among their troops at the moment, even at this level of action. They 
are having an extremely difficult logistical problem supporting this 
number of forces. 

Senator Case. This is a very important factor, it seems to me, and 
this is the kind of information we don't have much of. 

Mr. Vann. Sir, keep in mind it is a personal opinion. It is not factual 

Senator Case. You haven't pulled it out of the air? 

Air. Vann. No, sir. 

Senator Case. This is based upon your observations and upon what 
5''ou have heard. 


Mr. Colby. I think it is fair to say also based primarily upon Mr. 
Vann's position in the southern part of the country. 

Senator Case. Yes. 

Well, would you, Mr. Ambassador, express a view contrary to that? 

Mr. Colby. I would say, in addition to the factors that he comes up 
with; you do have the problem of the DMZ and the potential for 
action in that area. 

Senator Case. Yes. I think there is no doubt about that. 

Mr. Colby. There is a shorter geographical distance involved and 
they are engaged in a logistical effort there, and so forth. 

Senator Case. You do not exclude their abiUty to 

Mr. Vann. Sir, I have information, of course less information, 
about these corps areas, but I did try to take into consideration this 
type of thing, too, in amving at this overall judgment from whatever — 
the information that I have had available, and once a month I do get 
a briefing on the situation in the entire country and outside my area. 

Senator Case. Is your feeling based largely not on what Hanoi is 
about to do, but upon increasing strength among the South Viet- 

Mr. Vann. I believe there is every reason to expect that the 
Government's control will improve over a period of time. I see time as 
an element on our side and one that is hurting the enemy. 

difference in appraisals 

Senator Case. This was a different appraisal from the one you 
were giving in 1967. 

Mr. Vann. In 1967, sir, we had a very different situation. We had a 
tremendous problem in the pacification area because of the lack of 
the continuing close-in security for the population. 

Keep in mind that in 1967 we were winning a lot of battles. That 
meat-grinding action may very well have caused the enemy to try the 
change of tactics that the Tet offensive represented. 


Senator Case. Now, looking at your own prediction as to what you 
think is likely, what does this involve in 1970, 1971, 1972, in the loss 
of American lives? 

Mr. Vann. I believe, sir, that it should be an ever-diminishing rate. 

Senator Case. Well, would you give us some order of magnitude. 

Mr. Vann. Sir, I would really submit that you could get much 
better estimates from someone directly involved in the U.S. tactical 
military effort. 

Senator Case. I don't mind trying that, of course, but I would 
like to have your own. 

Mr. Vann. Well, sir, when we think of an ever-duninishing rate, 
one of the factors involved in casualties is that a great number of the 
casualties (less now than before — at one time it was over 50 percent 
of U.S. casualties) are from mines and boobytraps. 

Now, the fewer U.S. troops you have in Vietnam, the fewer mines 
and boobytraps they are going to stumble over. So there has been 
quite a correlation between the size of our force structure and the 
number of casualties. If we get down to half of the present force 


structure I would imagine the casualties would be half of what they 
are now. 

Senator Case. Are you suggesting, your belief is, that the most 
likely result is [tleleted]. 

The Chairman. Could I ask, Mr. Colb}', if you have any different 
view about this estimate? 

Mr. Colby. Well, I have great respect for John Vann's attitudes 
and views. I think that as the nature of the American particiijation 
changes from combat units to primarily su])iwrt structure, you will 
have the same kind of impact on American casualties. You ^\■il] 
have a very substantial reduction, more than proportionate. 

I think an example is the delta today without U.S. ground combat 
forces, although still with air combat forces — to refer to the Senator's 
statements the other day. Nonetheless, the fact is that you have very 
few American casualties at this time in the delta area each week and 
month. I think as you reduce the American participation in the 
ground combat work in the other parts of the country, you will get a 
very sharp decline in the total number of American casualties. 


As for the projection of Hanoi's attitude and what they are think- 
ing — if they are determined to carry on and achieve a Communist 
victory in South Vietnam at some appropriate time, they have a very 
difficult problem on their hands. They made kind of a truce on the 
assumption that the place would fall into their hands in 1954. They 
were badly deceived because the country picked itself up and put 
itself together and actually began to run, and I think 

The Chairman. Do you mean under Diem? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, in the first couple of years in the Diem period, 
there was a very distinct revival of that nation or formation of a nation 
if you will. It deteriorated later for other reasons. 

But they face the prospect of turning oft' the gas on this effort with 
the very dangerous potential for them that their forces in the south 
will disintegrate, that their own drive and sense of purpose will 
reduce, and that they would be sort of confessing to having failed. It 
is very dangerous politically to the heirs of Ho Chi Minh to come up 
and say that they failed in what their leader told them to do. 

I think they will continue to keep some pressure on, with whatever 
they are able to use. I think that the potential for winding up and 
giving kind of a special effort is always there. They do have divisions 
in the area north of the DMZ. Their supply lines are shorter up in that 
area. I think there is a chance that at some time they could make a 
decision that their situation in the south was deteriorating to such a 
degree that they had to do something dramatic and sharp to shake it 
up, the way they obviously felt in early 1968. 

Senator Case. Is there a possibility that, rather than being able 
to do this, they are reducing their response in response to ours and 
the evidence of this may be their increased activity in the plain of 

Mr. Colby. It is, of course, possible. Senator. I don't read their 

Senator Case. I know. 


Mr. Colby. I frankly do not think so. I frankly believe their 
directives to their forces, their speeches to their people, show a 
continued determination to keep the heat on in South Vietnam. 

The Lao situation is more or less as it has been all along, except 
that they have put some extra forces into it in the past 6 months or 

Senator Case. Indeed they have. 

Mr. Colby. But it is not anywhere near the magnitude of extra 
forces that they have in South Vietnam. 

Senator Case. Of course not. But it is a substantial increase which 
suggests they are not under pressure. That is all I am trying to get 

Mr. Colby. Well, it suggests they are able to put those forces 
which are in North Vietnam into an area very close to their own 
homeland as distinct from sending them all the way down to the 
South, which is a very large logistics problem. 

Senator Case. Mr. Chairman, I didn't mean to barge in in this 
way, but you and I are directly interested in the same approach. 

The Chairman. Could you come back at a quarter of three as you 
did yesterday? 

Mr. Colby. Yes, sir, at your disposal, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. I have two constituents I i)roinised to take to 

Senator Case. That would be a humanitarian thing to do anyway. 

The Chairman. We will come back then at a quarter of three. 
Thank you very much. 

(Whereupon, at 12:55 p.m., the committee recessed, to reconvene 
at 2:45 p.m., this same day.) 

afternoon session 

The Chairman. The committee will come to order. 
Sergeant Wallace, as I said, I didn't get to ask you any questions 
at all. 

language facility of cap team 

Do you speak Vietnamese? 


Sergeant W^allace. No, sir, I don't. I have two marines that sjjeak 
fairly'good Vietnamese, and also my counterparts speak excellent 
English. We have a big brother program in which we select children 
within the hamlets to work for the Marines. The majority of these 
kids who work for us speak fluent English, and also write English. 

The Chairman. Did you say two of those in your CAP team? Your 
CAP team consists of five? 

Sergeant Wallace. No, sir, there are 13 marines. 

The Chairman. Two of them speak Vietnamese? 

Sergeant Wallace. Yes, sir, not fluently but they get a point 

The Chairman. How do you communicate with the PF soldiers and 
with residents in the village in which you are stationed? 


Sero(>ant Wallace. Again, part of the PF's, a good percentage, 
speak English, and the marines who speak Vietnamese are with me. 

The Chairman. What percentage of your PF's speak EngHsh? 

Sergeant Wallace. I would say 25 percent. 

The Chairman. Where are they learning? 

Sergeant Wallace. School, sir, and from the marines and from the 

The Chairman. How do you ascertain that the marines are under- 
stood by the people in the hamlets? 

Sergeant Wallace. Well, sir, when we first arrived there, the hamlets 
were having c^uite a bit of trouble. We were primarily working within 
that area, operating in and around the hamlet there. The people are 
accepting the marines. They are more friendly with them. I am invited 
to all the hamlet meetings. 


The Chairman. What kind of hamlet meetings? 

Sergeant Wallace. This is just the hamlet meetings where they get 
the older people 

The Chairman. Are the}^ social meetings? 

Sergeant Wallace. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. What is the nature of the social meetings? 

Senator Wallace. I just discuss things which improve the A^illage 
or hamlet, and problems which have arisen and try to work these out. 

normal day of cap 

The Chairman. Describe in the way that your predecessor, 
Captain Murphy did, a normal day. Give us a feeling of what you do 
and what is said. 

Sergeant Wallace. Fine, sir. 

I start off in the evening, usually around 6 :30 or a half hour or an 
hour after dark. We run two patrols which go out and set up their 
ambushes. These ambushes stay out all night. They come back the 
next morning at approximately 6:30, depending upon what time of 
the year it is. 

Then we send out a security guard to guard the hamlet in the day- 
time. We work \vith the rural development cadre. We get supplies 
for them and help them to rebuild the hamlet. 

The people need wood, cement, tin, et cetera. The Marines during 
this time have opportunities to sleep. 

selection, background, and training of cap 

The Chairman. How is your 13-man CAP team chosen? 

Sergeant Wallace. Sir, they are selected from the United States. 
At one time the CAP were all from within South Vietnam, but the 
program has been expanded and they are accepting them from the 
States. They are sent over with orders for the CAP program. They are 
screened and the better ciualified Marines are taken for this program. 

Senator Aiken. Are they from rural areas? 

Sergeant Wallace. Pardon me, sir? 

Senator Aiken. Are the Marines from the rural areas largely? 

Sergeant Wallace. I don't know what you mean by rural area. 


Mr. Colby. American farm areas. They are not. 

Sergeant Wallace. They are not. 

The Chairman. Is there any special training the squad leaders 

Sergeant Wallace. No, sir. We go to a CAP school, which is located 
in Danang. The school lasts 2 weeks. They just talk about the people, 
how the people live, the customs, et cetera. 

The Chairman. Have the Marines under your command been 
given any special training? 

Sergeant Wallace. Yes, sir. They also attend this 2-week course. 

The Chairman. They do too? 

Sergeant Wallace. Yes, sir. All Marines going through the CAP 
program attended this school. 

The Chairman. Do you think the Marines today are trained as well 
as they were in the past? 

Sergeant Wallace. No, sir. Present day demands for Marines are 
quite large. They are rushed through most of the training. They don't 
have as much time to grasp all the infantry aspects which they need, 
and are not trained as well as I was when I went through training. 

The Chairman. You say this is because tliey are in too big a hurry? 

Sergeant Wallace. Yes, sir. The demand for Marines is such that 
they rush them through classes. 

great demand for marines 

The Chairman. Why is the demand so great? 

Sergeant Wallace. We need Marines. People are rotating and to 
jBll their positions they must get the replacements over to Vietnam. 

The Chairman. But we are reducing the numbers. Ai'en't we 
reducing the number of Marines along with the Ai-my? 

Sergeant Wallace. Yes, sir, correct. But when they rotate a man, 
they still have to send replacements for the remaining units. 

The Chairman. Where does the reduction come about if you replace 
them or is this a fiction? 

Sergeant Wallace. No, sir, it is not a fiction. They are reducing 
the Marines. 

The Chairman. If they are reducing, then you don't send a replace- 
ment every time you bring one home; do you? 

Sergeant Wallace. I guess that is correct, sir. 

The Chairman. I am trying to get it straight in my own mind. 
Why is there a greater demand for Marines now than there was when 
you were in training? 

Sergeant Wallace. The CAP program has enlarged quite a bit. 
It is expanding. 

The Chairman. The CAP program is expanding, not the Marines 

Sergeant Wallace. Yes, sir. In my area you will find we have two 
infantry units which I will show you on the map here. Charlie Com- 
pany from the l-26th, and also India Company from the 3-lst. They 
also have started using tlie CAP program. They are sending men down 
to work with the Popular Force soldiers. 

India Company has CAP units located just north of my area. The 
26th Marines have a CAP which is just south of my area. They operate 

44-706—70 21 


primarily in Huong Son area. The CAP program has been quite 

The Chairman. For what purpose? 

Sergeant Wallace. Providing security for the hamlets. 

The Chairman. I see. 


Would you say that the area you cover is typical of the province in 
teiTus of the security situation, lack of support for the Vietcong? 

Sergeant Wallace. Would you rephrase that, sir. 

The Chairman. Is the area that you cover typical of the province 
as a whole \\dth regard to the security of the people and the lack -of 
support for the Vietcong? 

Sergeant Wallace. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. It is typical? 

Sergeant Wallace. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. It is not unusual. 


We have often read in the papers that American soldiers, including 
marines, refer to the Vietnamese as Dinks, Gooks, or Slants. Is the 
terminology generally used? 

Sergeant Wallace. [Deleted.] 

The Chairman. Which is the more fashionable? 

Sergeant Wallace. [Deleted.] 

The Chairman. Could you give us any enlightenment as to why 
these terms are used by the marines? 

Sergeant Wallace. [Deleted.] 

The Chairman. Is this a word of affection? 

Sergeant Wallace. [Deleted.] 

The Chairman. Is it respect? What is it? 

Sergeant Wallace. [Deleted.] 

The Chairman. Your counterparts? 

Sergeant Wallace. [Deleted.] 

The Chairman. You are an adviser? 

Sergeant Wallace. No, sir; I am not an adviser. 

The Chairman. You are a leader of the CAP's? 

Sergeant Wallace. Yes, sir; a squad. 

The Chairman. Do you have any questions. Senator Aiken? 


Senator Aiken. Are the Marines always in uniform? 

Sergeant Wallace. Yes, sir. 

Senator Aiken. Do the Popular Forces have a uniform too? 

Sergeant Wallace. Yes, sir; they have. 

Senator Aiken. I don't want to ask any questions. Any I would 
ask have probably been asked twice abeady, so I will get it from the 



The Chairman. Do you think that most of the people in the ham- 
lets in which you have been stationed support the present Govern- 
ment of South Vietnam? 

Sergeant Wallace. Yes, sir, I do. 

kill ratios of cap's 

The Chairman. What is the kill ratio of the CAP platoons? 

Sergeant Wallace. Just a second, sir, I have the statistics. Sir, 
these are statistics from January 1 to November 30, 1969. Total enemy 
killed in this period of time was 4,735; the enemy killed by CAP's 
was 1,862. The ratio is 6.4 to 1. 

The Chairman. 6.4 enemy to 1? 

Sergeant Wallace. Friendly. 


The Chairman. Do you know the kill ratio of Popular Force pla- 
toons operating alone after CAP teams have left? 

Sergeant Wallace. Yes, sir, 3.5 to 1. 

The Chairman. Just about half. 

Sergeant Wallace. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Do you know whether that is general or is that 
only in vour area? 

Sergeant Wallace. This is for the entire CAP program, sir, the 
entire combined action force, 114 CAP's. 

kill ratio of psdf 

The Chairman. Is that the ratio of the People's Self-Defense 

Sergeant Wallace. No, sir. This does not include the PSDF. 

The Chairman. What is their kill ratio? 

Sergeant Wallace. I don't have that. 

The Chairman. Do you have that, Ambassador Colby? 

Mr. Colby. We have some very poor statistics on that, Senator, 
which I don't have very much reliance on. It comes out roughly one 
for one on People's Self-Defense. These vary. 

ownership and boundaries of farms 

Senator Aiken. I would like to ask one more question. You say this 
is a farming community. Do the people own the land on wliich they 
work or are they tenants working as tenant farmers? Are they work- 
ing for someone who owns a lot of land perhaps? 

Sergeant Wallace. Sir, I don't know. 

Senator Aiken. Is it their own? You might know. Is that situation 
bettor over there than it was? 

Mr. Colby. It varies from one part of the country to another, 
Senator. Up in central Vietnam they never have had a very large 
landlord problem. Most of the holdings there are faiidy small holdings. 
A number of them are rented out to other people in the villages. 

A family will rent out part of its land to someone else. 


Senator Aiken. The boundaries are well defined? 

Mr. Colby. Quite well defined, and they remain stable. Even when 
the village leaves because of the w^ar and comes back 3 years later, 
the families find their old locations. The village handles a great deal 
of that. 

Now, down in the delta area, where you did have larger holdings 
and absentee landlordism, there has been some modification over the 
past few years. 

Under the Diem regime they put in a partial land reform program, 
let us say, and accepted as that. It reduced the maximum holding down 
to 100 hectares, plus a little for religious purposes. That is 250 acres. 

This absorbed land which was formerly owned by the French or 
former bigger holdings. They spent quite a time trying to distribute 
this land, and by 1961-62 when the war began they had not done very 
much of it. This past year they had 147,000 hectares yet to distribute. 
They essentially had not distributed anything much over the past 
7 years. 

During this past year the Government set the goal of finishing up 
that whole 147,000. They did not make it. They did distribute about 
75,000. They mil clean it up in the early part of this year. 

Senator Aiken. That is quite an improvement. 

Mr. Colby. Yes. There was more distributed this year than the 
la-st 7 years. 

Senator Aiken. When a few people get control of the land it seems 
almost a pure formula for rebellion in the country. 

Mr. Colby. Well, the Government today has a further bill on land 
reform which has been in the National Assembly. 

Senator Aiken. I know. 

Mr. Colby. It is not yet up before the Senate. It is in Senate com- 
mittee at the moment. This would reduce the maximum holding down 
quite a bit further. There is some debate as to whether it will be eight 
or ten hectares, but it will be way down. The thrust of the Govern- 
ment's position on the bill is that you will arrive at a situation where 
you essentially cannot be a landlord. The only way to own land is to 
work it. That is the thrust of their policy. That has not yet passed the 
National Assembly. 

Senator Aiken. Ok. 

hamlet festival 

The Chairman. Captain Murphy, perhaps you are as good as any- 
one on this. Are you familiar with the hamlet festival? 


Captain Murphy. No, I am not, Mr. Chairman. 
The Chairman. Are you? 


Captain Geck. Mr. Chairman, are you referring to a situation in 
which we would bring in entertainment and bring the people to- 
gether where we conducted operations? 

The Chairman. This is described in a handbook for miUtary support, 
pacification, but it is 2 years old. 


Captain Geck. I believe that is what you are referring to, sir. I have 
been instructed in it, but I do not use it. 

The Chairman. Do you use it any more? Do either of you know? 

Captain Geck. No, sir. 

The Chairman. I don't know whether this calls — ■ 

Sergeant Wallace. Sir, we call it Psyops. Occasionally a team of 
Vietnamese will come in and show a movie. 

The Chairman. "The purpose of this annex is to set forth the 
task organization of the RVNAF teams of the hanilet festival force 
involved in a cordon and search operation; in addition, discussion of 
the physical layout of the hamlet festival is presented. Task organi- 
zation and functions of RVNAF teams. * * *, cultural team, agri- 
cultural team, youth services teach," and so on. 

Captain Murphy. Possibly, Mr. Chairman, this is a function of the 
regular forces of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. 

The Chairman. I wondered whether you participated in it. 

Captain Murphy. I am not familiar with it. 

The Chairman. Either of you? 

Cai)tain Geck. It was a technique taught to us when we ^yent 
through the advisory training program. We have used it in a modified 

The Chairman. It does not look as if it is a promising subject. 

Mr. Vann. Mr Chairman, may I make mention of the fact that 
I am very familiar with the program. It is a program largely involving 
U.S. tactical forces, working in conjunction with police or provincial 
forces, that Mere involved in taking an area that had been under 
Vietcong control or in which there might still be members of the 
Vietcong. They surround the area, seal it off, and then have the 
National Police of the Government of Vietman assemble the j^eople 
in the center of the town and interrogate, usually the males, and 
some of the female adults. 

To make this less onerous for the people, a county fair or hamlet 
festival was also established wherein food, drink, and medical aid was 
dispensed to the peo])le while they were assembled. They would also 
sometimes show movies or even get some local Vietnamese cultural 
drama teams to put on entertainment. It is a technique that was 
used extensively in 1967. 

It has largely been abandoned since that period of time. 

The Chairman. I suspected as much. 

sentencing and release under phoenix program 

I believe we come back to the Phoenix program. 

Ambassador Colby, I believe you said your statistical information 
about what happens to the Vietcong after their ai:)prehension is not 
very good. I notice an article by Mr. Terence Smith in the Xew 
York Times of August 19, 1969 which says: 

Officials in charge of the program acknowledge that fewer than 20 percent of 
the 25,233 suspected agents and sympathizers who had been arrested have 
received prison sentences of a year or more. 

Do you think that is correct? 

Mr. Colby. Well, Mr. Chairman, I stand by the fact that our 
information is not veiy good. We did run a survey here about 8 months 


ago in which we used what information we had available and could 
collect on what happened to people. The experience at that time did 
reveal that about 20 percent received a sentence of more than 6 
months. Most of them were much less. 

This was a one-time experiment, and I would not generalize it 
completely, but it was one of the factors used to discuss with the 
government the necessity for a tightening up of the regulations as to 
what kind of sentences were applied to what kinds of people. 

The Chairman. The same article quotes ]\Ir, John Mason, identified 
as the head of the American PhoenLx Advisers, and as saying, "Many 
of them just go out the back door of the jail. We know that." What 
does he mean by that? 

Mr. Colby. He means that a number of the people who are orig- 
mally arrested are released very c[uickly because government officials 
decide they do not have enough of a case to hold them. 


Mr. Chairman, if I might, I have prepared a statement on the 
Phoenix progi'am, if I might submit it for the record. 

The Chairman. Yes, indeed. 

Mr. Colby. It is just a general roundup of the progTam and it 
might help fill out the record. 

(The information referred to appears on p. 723.) 


The Chairman. Yesterday you mentioned a system of administrative 
detention of up to 2 years under the PhoenLx program. Would you 
describe what happens to the typical member of the VC infrastructure 
who is arrested. 

Mr. Colby. The man is arrested. As I think Major Arthur said, he 
would be picked up and brought into the district. He would be inter- 
rogated there for about 24 hours maximum. He would then be sent to 
the province. 

There he would be held in a detention center at the province level. 
He would be interrogated there by some more specialized teams of 
interrogators, people who would try to find out both his tactical knowl- 
edge and his knowledge of the enemy infrastructure. 

While under interrogation a case would be prepared describing his 
activity and his background, describing for what reason be should be 

This case would be reviewed by what is called the province security 
committee. The province security committee, as I mentioned, is made 
up of the province chief, the deputy province chief for administration, 
the chairman of the provincial council, an elected body, the local 
provincial judge. There is frequently only one judge in the province, 
and he would be a member — I think a better term for it in English 
is the local district attorney, frankly, because 

Senator Aiken. Is he appointed or elected? 

Mr. Colby. Under their system of law he is appointed. He is under 
the Ministry of Justice. He is a national government official. 

Senator Aiken. I see. 


Mr. Colby. The case would be reviewed by that body. Assuming 
the suspect fell within the categories and depending on what his job 
was in the VC, he would receive an appropriate sentence according 
to the subdivisions that I have outlined. Serious party members 
would have a minimum of a 2-year sentence. 

Leaders of the fronts, and that sort of thing, but not party members, 
would receive a 1- to 2-year sentence. A lesser follower, someone who 
had just helped at the machinery, would have a maximum of 1 year. 

Upon conviction, under the current legislation, he would be moved 
to a detention center or corrections center, as it is called, a prison, 
and held there until the expiration of his term. 

Xow I am speaking of the ideal, Mr. Chairman. I am speaking of 
the way the legislation says it should work. There are weaknesh,js in 
it that are being worked on. One of them, for instance, is that there is 
frequently a long detention period while the case is being prepared. 
Bureaucracy does not prepare it fast enough. 

The other thmg, as was mentioned, is that a number of the cases 
received less than the appropriate sentence for their job until re- 
cently when this had begun to tighten up a little bit. 

Some of the provinces have not moved the individuals from the 
province detention facilities to the national corrections centers even 
after tlie se;itence. Up until a few months ago the requirement was 
that the case be reviewed and confirmed by the Mmistry of Justice, 
which meant another 2 or 3 months' delay in the processing. That 
has been changed in the past few months, so that, once the case was 
approved by the province security committee, the men will be moved to 
the national corrections center and begin serving theii' ternis. The 
Ministry of Interior still does review the case but it re\iews it after 
he has been sent to the corrections center. 


The Chairman. Who makes up the province security committee? 
I dill not understand that. 

^h\ Colby. The province chief, the deputy province chief, his 
deputy for administration. The latter is a civilian. 

The Chairman. These are all Vietnamese? 

Mr. Colby. Oh, yes. No Americans are in this. A number of these 
officers actually have American advisers. The pro\ance chiefs have 
senior advisers, for instance, but no Americans sit on committee. 

rights of arrested PERSON 

The Chairman. Does the arrested person have a counsel and trial? 

Mr. Colby. Generally, no. 

The Chairman. May^he be tried by the committee while he is in 
jail and in absentia? 

Mr. Colby. I think what you mean is one thing that is currently 
under discussion, Mr. Chairman. Does he have a right to a hearing? 

The Chairman. And to be present at it? 

Mr. Colby. No, he does not have a right to a hearing under the 
present legislation. There is some consideration being given to modify- 
ing that. 



The Chairman. In 1968, out of a total of 15,776 VCI neutralized 
under the Phoenix program, 2,259 were killed, which is about 13 
percent of the total. 

Last year 6,187 were killed out of 19,534 neutraUzed, which is 
about 36 percent. 

•u i^^^u^^^ according to your statements for the record, the VCI 
killed about the same number of people. You said more than 6,000. 
TriV^^ -fi .. explanation of the great increase in the percentage of the 
VCI killed m 1969? 

Mr. Colby. If I may make one correction, Mr. Chairman. You 
will recall that 1968 terrorist figures do not include the month of 
i^ebruary, the month of the Tet attacks, so that it is an 11-month 

The Chairman. I see. 

Mr. Colby. Actually there were more people killed during 1968 
than 1969, I am quite sure. 

The explanation for the difference, Mr. Chairman, is, I beheve, 
that during 1969 increased attention has been given to the progi-am. 
Ihere has particularly been an increased discipline over the kinds of 
people that were credited to the program. 

During 1968 they did not have precise definitions of who was a 
yCi and, consequently, pretty much everyone who was arrested was 
included as a VCI in those figures. 

By 1969, these sharpened up a bit, and many people who were 
actually captured and arrested as VC could not be classified as VCI 
tor this program. 

Secondly, I think that the pressures on the program of concentrating 
on the infrastructure as a target have created a greater degree of 
activity and a greater degree of intensity of effort so that even though 
the figures m 1969 are liarder, I think vou are getting essentially a 
larger total than you had for the softer figures in 1968. 

Third, as I mentioned the other day,^I think that a substantial 
number of the killed were not ones that were particularly targeted 
but were ones which were identified as members of the infrastructure 
after hiwing been killed in some kind of an action. But since there was 
a certain desire to focus on the infrastructure as a target, these people 
were credited to the totals. 

Mr. Vann. Could I add two things to that, sir, from my experience 
m the Delta? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Mr. Vann. In 1969 many more members of the infrastructure are 
living m base areas than in 1968. 

In 1968, they were continuing to live in the hamlet. Because they 
now five m base areas, it means they five with the mihtary unit as 
opposed to hvmg among the civilian communities. That would account 
on the one hand for why there would be such a high percentage killed. 

Finally, and Ambassador Colby just touched "^on it, you are kind 
of comparing apples and oranges because in 1968 the figures are A, B, 
and C categories. In 1969, it was A, B, and C for the first 5 months 
and then A and B only for the last 7 months. 


If you were to take comparable figures for 1968 and 1969— A,B, 
and, C for the total year— the percentage of VCI killed goes down 

The Chairman. Would the numbers go down? 

Mr. Vann. Su-? 

The Chairman. The number. 

Mr. Vann. The number would go up. 

Mr. Colby. The number goes up very substantially. 

Mr. Vann. The numbers would go up, but the number killed goes 

down. . . 1 . X- 1 

The Chairman. The number 6,000 against 2,000 is substantial. 

Mr. Vann. Right, sir. 

The Chairman. Numbers, not percentage. 

Mr. Vann. Right, sir. But total numbers also go up considerably 

in 1969. 

effectiveness of phoenix program 

The Chairman. Do you consider this program a successful one, 

Mr. Vann? i ^ u ^ 

Mr. Vann. Sir, I consider it an essential program that has not 
become anywhere near as effective as we believe it can be. I also am 
Avell aware that, like any other program in Vietnam, it has its share 
of abuses, and by its very nature it is one which is extremely vulnerable 
to being misused. It requires a great deal of supervision. 

Senator Symington. Mr. Chairman, would you yield for one 
question here? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

why is phoenix program essential? 

Senator Symington. Why do you think it is essential? 
Mr. Vann. Are you referring to me, sir, or the Ambassador? 
Senator Symington. You said you thought it was essential. 
Mr. Vann. I think it is essential because in any organization ot the 
enemy the brains of that organization are what keep it going. In 
other words, you can kill on a continuing basis followers and yet the 
people who can organize things politically can get a recruiting drive 
goin^ and replace 'these followers. They can continue to send them 
out where they are in danger and can be, and will be, killed and have 
to be replaced. The followers go out to do the missions or the dirty 
work, if you will. They are the ones who are sent out to do executions 
of GVN officials. 

The best way of getting on top of that is to get the nerve center, 
the command post,' of the enemy, and this is essentially what the 
Phoenix or Phung Hoang program is designed to do. 

It has not yot enjoyed the success that we feel is possible. It has 
not done it prim aril vbocauso there has not been the same degree of 
awareness on the part of the Government of Vietnam, speaking on 
the whole, not as individuals, as there is on the part of the United 
States as to the importance of this. 

Please keep in mind their government is very militarily oriented. 
Even on the American side for years we had difficulty getting the 


G-2 elements at various tactical levels to recognize that it was some- 
times more important to capture one key organizer in an area than 
it was to kill 100 guerrillas because he was the man who could keep 
up the organization, keep it flourishing and replenish the losses as they 

I had a very high level U.S. American Army G-2 officer comment to 
me in 1967, ''Look, let us win this damned war by killing the enemy 
and then you ci^dlians can screw around with the infrastructure after 
the war is over." That reflected all too often the attitude on the part 
of some U.S. personnel. 

The attitude is much more prevalent on the part of the Vietnamese 
personnel because they are much more militarily oriented in their 
entire government structure than we are. This is why I consider it is 
an essential program, sir. 

Mr. Colby. I think I might add to that, Senator, that the necessity 
of the program comes from the nature of the war being fought. This is a 
war fought on different levels. Part of the war is a subversive war, a 
terrorist war being fought by a political apparatus, one which refused 
to consider operating under any kind of normal rule. 

They are the ones who began the process of subversion and de- 
veloping these networks, developing the attacks on the government 

If you are going to fight this kind of a war, you have to fight it on 
this level as well as on the regular level. You have to do a better job. 
The government of Vietnam, however, as Mr. Vann said, has not 
develoj^ed much expertise in this thing. 

We Americans have been learning the necessity of it. The Com- 
munist Party of Indo-China began in 1930 and they have been 
developing their techniques and standards ever since, so they have 
about a 40-year jump on us in terms of professionalism. This is a very 
professional covert operation that the enemy is running. A normal 
member of the VCI will have several aliases; he will have all the 
paraphernalia of covert operations, cutouts and all that sort of thing. 

So it is a subversive organization and it has to be met by good, 
sensible, hard police methods — intelligent ones too, not brutal ones;, 
don't get me wrong. 


The Chairman. This is directed at civilians rather than military; 
is that correct? I am not sure. 

Mr. Colby. Sir, the difference between a civilian and a military 
is very fuzzy in the nature of this war. 

Is the guerrilla a civilian or military? Is the political boss civilian 
or military? Is the fellow who is in the local force unit civilian or miU- 
tary? He probably does not have a uniform. He does have a weapon. 

The infrastructure fellow has a weapon. Maybe he has a bomb that 
he places someplace. Is he civilian or military? Those distinctions 
are some of the things that we have learned are not that compelling. 
We have learned it in our CORDS organization. We have learned 
that we have to put civilian Americans and military Americans 
together to make an American team to fight this kind of war. It does- 
not divide into civil and military. 


The Chairman. Does this account for the fact that you have 
incidents Hke Myhii in which you cannot tell the difference, so 3^ou 
resolve all doubts in favor of the fact that they are all VCI because 
you cannot tell the difference? 

Mr. Colby. No, sir. I think I have tried to indicate that we have 
devoted quite a lot of effort to identifying precisely who is a member 
of which part of the apparatus. 

The Chairman. This is w^hat confuses me. I thought you said it Avas 
difficult to tell the difference. I can see it would be very difficult. 

Mr. Colby. I am saying there is not a difference between ciAal and 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Mr. Colby. But the Phoenix program is auned at identifying by 
name — not by character but by name — the people who do these 
different jobs so they can be identified and indi\ddually picked up. 

Mr. Vann, Sir, there is no relationship at all between the incident 
which is alleged to have happened at Mylai and the type of program 
we arc now discussing, no relationship at all. 

The Chairman. I can see there is not in that sense, but there is 
the fact that you cannot tell very well the difference between a mili- 
tary man and a VCI, a soldier. These people don't wear their uniforms. 
They all wear pajamas; don't they? 

Mr. Vann. Let's look at it from the other side, sir. Ambassador 
Colby is just as legitimate a target to the other side as is General 

When I travel in the countryside, sir, I have, not on my person, but 
close to me in the back of my h(^licoi)ter and on luy person if I am 
going to spend a night in an outpost, a weapon to give myself close-in 
protection if someone tries to assassinate me or shoot me. That is the 
kind of a war it is. Everything is fair game for either side. 

Senator Symington. You say you have a weapon to protect you if 
someone is about to attack you? 

Mr. Vann. Yes, sir. 

Senator Symington. Where do you keep it? 

Mr. Vann. If I am flying in my helicopter or in my car I have it at 
mv feet or at my side, but out of sight because I don't like to have it 
visible. I will have four hand grenades in a briefcase and a pistol and 
100 rounds of ammunition in my briefcase. 

Senator Symington. Thank you. 

The Chairman. I agree this is a very peculiar war. Everythmg 
indicates that, but I am trying to understand. 

allegations of officers trained at fort holabird 

Are you familiar Avith the allegations made in the case in Baltimore 
involving a man named Reichmeyer? Are either of you familiar with 

Mr. Colby. Are those the two officers? 

The Chairman. They were being trained at Fort Holabird. 

Mr. Colby. Generally. 1 am not precisely familiar with it. 

The Chairman. Could you give an explanation of your point of 
view or your explanation of that incident if you are familiar with it? 


Mr, Colby. I am not familiar with it, Mr. Chairman. All I know is 
that those officers apparently had not been to Vietnam. They were 
talking about what they would be told to do when they got to 

The Chairman. That is correct. 

They were repeating what an instructor who had been to Vietnam 
told them would be expected of them when they arrived there ; is that 
not correct? That was the report. 

Mr. Colby. Right. My only comment is that that is not expected 
of them. In fact, quite the contrary, we have given very specific 
directives to our officers as to their behavior, and I believe I have 
submitted one of those for the record. 

(The information referred to appears on p. 61). 

The Chairman. Why did the Government drop the case and not 
go on through with it and allow them to attempt to prove their 

Mr. Colby. I don't know. 

The Chairman. This is the same sort of thing that the Senator 
from Missouri and I are concerned about in the executive hearings. 
In this case these two men offered to prove their allegations. The 
Government backed off from it and it was quashed. It reminds me a 
little of what is quashed in our hearings and it leaves these questions 
in our minds. 

I would much prefer for our own satisfaction if the Government had 
made the explanation you are making and had been able to sustain it. 
It would have cleared the air and been a lot better. These two men 
made what they called a proffer and the Government after that 
dropped it and didn't prosecute them. The men were allowed Avhatever 
it was they asked for. It was a conscientious objection or something. 
The men said they were very deeply offended by what they believed 
they were expected to do if they went to Vietnam, which is what has 
been explained. 

I grant it is just one case. 

Mr. Vann. Senator Fulbright, may I submit 

The Chairman. I would like you to. 

Mr. Vann. Although you have a policy, a program of instruction, 
and clearly delineated orders and principles that people are to follo\y, 
the Army, CORDS organization, and all of our other agencies in 
Vietnam are, after all, made up of human beings. Many people deviate 
from what they have been told to do because of their own personal 
experience or because of their personal convictions as to what may be 
right. I have on a continuing basis found subordinates of mine violating 
my established policies. Depending upon the nature of the violation, 
I either get it corrected or I discipline them. 

But, sir, those are not the published instructions. It is not the way 
these people operate. What these two young gentlemen were told, and 
by what instructor, is not within my knowledge, but I do submit it is 
quite possible it was someone acting outside of the scope of his estab- 
lished responsibility. 

The Chairman. I regret that the Government did not go ahead 
and clear the matter up at the time. 




What I said reminds me of a statement yesterday. I won't undertake 
exactly to state what you said, Colonel Vann, but you expressed a 
certain resentment, I think, at what you considered an implication of 
some questions relating to this program. 

It occurred to me afterward, when I considered how many acts of 
violence take place in this city or in New York City or any other city 
in America and the enormous increase in the amount of crime and 
violence here in this country, that you really should not be too sur- 
prised that people who hear about these things are not too skeptical 
about the allegations of crime or, we will say, acts of violence in 
Vietnam because we have them here at home. 

We are at present a very violent people. Everything indicates that. 

Mr. Vann. All I was submitting, sir, is when it happens here it is in 
violation of the law. 

The Chairman. That is right. 

Mr. Vann. When it happens there it is in violation of the law as we 
have established it. 


The Chairman. I think you are right in a sense. I mean I don't 
feel that you have deliberately ordered people, or the policy orders 
them, to do many of the things which are done. The conditions are 
such that it almost inevitably results in that because this is a very 
nasty war. Don't you think it is? 

Mr. Vann. I agree with you wholeheartedly- 

Mr. Colby. I don't think it almost inevitably results in that. 

Mr. Vann. I agree with you it is a n&stj war, sir. 

The Chairman. I think it arises out of the fact that we intervened 
in a civil war and the Americans were led to believe it was a holy war 
on a different basis. This has nothing to do with the waj- you gentle- 
men discharge your duties. There have been many, many misappre- 
hensions about what the war is about, but that is another matter, 
largely of a political nature. 

Mr. Colby. I did hope, Mr. Chairman, that in the course of these 
hearings we might lay to rest the belief that had gotten abroad and in 
the press that the Phoenix program was a program of assassination 
and murder and that sort of thing. I just don't think it is. It is not 

how does phoenix program get THE PEOPLE AT THE 


Senator Symington. If the Chair will yield, the testimony recently 
was that you go after the people at the top. How do you get them at 
the top. Suppose they resist; what do you do then? 

Mr. Colby. The purpose of the program. Senator, is to 

Senator Symington. I understand what the purpose is. 

Mr. Colby. To get ahold of the fellows. 


Senator Symington. You have been over the purpose. We both 
know — I have been in the Army myself, I have been a secretary in the 
Pentagon, and I think I know something about the estabUshment. 

Mr. Vann says he has a gun by his feet and hand grenades in his 
valise, and so forth and so on. 

Now, he emphasizes that it is not important to kill a blank number, 
w^liich is what we do every week. We put out how many of them that 
we kill, and I think that is a relatively unimportant piece of knowledge. 

With our industrial complex, if we cannot kill a lot