Rand in Southeast Asia: A History of the Vietnam War Era

By Mai Elliott | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SEVEN
The Tet Offensive

Yogi Ianeiro was a RAND security guard in Santa Monica when Steve Hosmer recruited him in May 1967 to go to Saigon for two years. Ianeiro hesitated, but two colleagues told him that he should stop being a guard and go do something different. It was a decision he did not regret. According to Jim Digby, Ianeiro had been a bartender at a bar that he and some RAND security guards owned in Westwood, “so he was very affable and a very active person.”1 Ianeiro said that, in Saigon, he “helped a lot of people get things done.”2 Essentially, he was a “fixer,” and this role came naturally to him. He liked people, had a good sense of humor, maintained a positive attitude, and endeared himself to most people he worked with.

Digby said that Ianeiro fit right in as an office manager in Saigon. He quickly mastered the many challenges of dealing with the Vietnamese bureaucracy. Ianeiro’s work was varied and centered on taking care of details so that others could do their jobs. Ianeiro was RAND’s liaison with ARPA,3 through which he arranged Air America flights for team leaders and interviewers to various parts of the country. He got along well with the staff at Air Vietnam, the domestic airline, as well as people at the Vietnamese National Police Headquarters, where he obtained entry visas for RAND staff and visitors. He made friends with the guards at Tan Son Nhut Airport, which was well guarded for security reasons, and he could go in and out without difficulty to pick up and drop off people. Sometimes he would fly with the interview teams to different places, drive rented cars to interview facilities, sit around and wait, and—being his gregarious self—get to know people there.4 Another part of his job was to ship

1 Author interview with Jim Digby, 2002.

2 Author interview with Yogi Ianeiro, 2003.

3 Yogi’s popularity at ARPA was enhanced by his friendship with Bruce Arnold, the son of Hap Arnold, one of the founders of RAND. Eventually, ARPA gave Ianeiro a citation commending him for his work as RAND liaison, and Harry Rowen handed it to him.

4 Ianeiro remembered that, on one of the field trips, he visited a POW camp. He saw a young Vietnamese girl who was kept in a low, small, bamboo cage, with barbed wire. She had seduced a South Vietnamese soldier and was going to get him to bomb the camp. Ianeiro recalled vividly that every time she shifted, she would get cut by the barbed wire.

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Rand in Southeast Asia: A History of the Vietnam War Era
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Foreword iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents xiii
  • Photos xv
  • Maps xvii
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • Introduction - Rand- The Beginning 1
  • Chapter One - A Remote Corner of the World- The Beginning in Vietnam 7
  • Chapter Two - "What Makes the Viet Cong Tick?" 45
  • Chapter Three - Escalation and Airpower 91
  • Chapter Four - Controversy 149
  • Chapter Five - The Many Aspects of the War 205
  • Chapter Six - The Mekong Delta and the Central Highlands 249
  • Chapter Seven - The Tet Offensive 285
  • Chapter Eight - Pacification and Vietnamization 349
  • Chapter Nine - The Pentagon Papers 415
  • Chapter Ten - The End of the War 499
  • Chapter Eleven - Laos and Thailand- Sideshows 541
  • Epilogue - Diversification 615
  • Bibliography 627
  • Author Biography 653
  • Index 655
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