The Year of the People

The Year of the People

The Year of the People

The Year of the People

Excerpt

It was in 1965 that the significant United States expansion of the war in Vietnam began. President Kennedy had increased the number of American military personnel from the approximately 900 men in Vietnam at the end of the Eisenhower administration to about 17,000. This increase was said to be purely quantitative, involving no change in military purpose or assignment. The rise in numbers was explained as necessary to provide protection for our military advisers who were already there to help the South Vietnamese in their effort to put down a revolution which was said to be directed from North Vietnam.

The fact is that an increase from 900 to 17,000 men, because of its magnitude, does assume a qualitative character. An advisory group of 800 or 900 men can be moved out of a country rather quickly, in four or five aircraft. When the number reaches 17,000 or 18,000, the movement takes on a massive character, and any removal under stress, whatever it may be called, comes very close to being an evacuation.

Throughout most of 1965, the reports of both the State De-

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