began in earnest. According to the South Vietnamese government, infiltration began in 1959.
In that year, 300 Viet Cong fighters were infiltrated into South Vietnam. The figure jumped
to 2,700 in 1960 and averaged 7,000 a year through 1964. See Republic of Vietnam, The
Measure of Aggression, Saigon, August 1966, p. 8.
See Shaplen, p. 140. This was confirmed by conversations between the author with
personnel in MACV Political Order of Battle Section, Saigon, 1967. This included analysis
of material gathered by this section.
"Repression in the South: Law 10/59", as quoted in
Marvin E. Gettleman, Vietnam:
History, Documents, and Opinions on a Major World Crisis ( New York: Fawcett World
Library, 1965), pp. 256-60.
Philippe Devillers, "The Struggle for the Unification of Vietnam" China Quarterly,
no. 9 (January-March), 1962, p. 14.
U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, VC/NVA Effort in South Vietnam Since
1954, Special Report, Saigon, 1967, p. 33.
Fall, The Two Viet-Nams, p. 332. See also Lacoutre, pp. 64-65 and Robert Scigliano, South Vietnam: Nation Under Stress ( Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1964), pp. 178-81.
Robert Thompson, Defeating Communist lnsurgency: The Lessons of Mataya and
Vietnam ( New York: Praeger, 1966), pp. 121-140. This account discusses not only the
inception and implementation of the Strategic Hamlet Program but also the reasons for its
These problems still plagued Vietnam in 1967. in discussions with U.S. officers in
the revolutionary development field, the author discovered that the problems that had
developed in the Strategic Hamlet Program continued in the New Life Hamlets, albeit to a
lesser degree. The Strategic Hamlet Program was the pillar of the New Life Hamlet
Program--another attempt to secure the countryside by the South Vietnamese government.
"Let Us Develop the Fighting Spirit to Destroy the American-Diem Strategic Hamlets," a translation of a Viet Cong document, dated 1962, pp. 1-2.
Kahin and Lewis, pp. 143-44.
Buttinger, vol. 2, pp. 998-1001.
27. Ibid., p. 1001. For the reaction of the Kennedy administration, see Roger Hilsman, To Move a Nation ( New York: Delta Books, 1967), pp. 514-23. 28.
See, for example, John M. Gates, "Vietnam: The Debate Goes On", in
Lloyd J. Matthews
Dale E. Brown, eds., eAssessing the Vietnam War ( Washington, DC: Pergamon-
Brassey's, 1987), pp. 43-56.
U.S. Mission in Vietnam, A Study: Prospects for the Viet Cong, Saigon, December 1966, p. 3. Pike discusses this in great detail.
See, for example, Shaplen, pp. 170-72.
U.S. Department of State, Aggression from the North: The Record of North Vietnam's
Campaign to Conquer South Vietnam, publication 7839, Washington, DC, 1965. Hereafter
referred to as U.S. White Paper. During the period, infiltrators were Viet Cong officers,
soldiers, and technicians. Statistics for the strength of the Viet Cong, the political cadres,
and part-time guerrillas (irregulars) have always been a matter of debate. As late as 1967,
there was no completely accepted method of computing the strength of the adversary. The