SUBJECT: roposal for Increasing Viet Cong Defections
1. The rate at which the Viet Cong have in January and February, of7ercent higher than tharjjrthe first two months Tet, the Vietnamese New Year celebration, falls in this period. In the past, large numbers of both government and enemy personnel have takenof the traditional Tet visits to their families as an opportunity to desort, go AWOL or .over-stay their leaves. But this year, tbe Marked upsurge in the Dumber of Viet Cong who nave formally rallied to tbe government through the Chiou Hoi system, reveals two major causal factors. The high defection rate is irect reflection of the erosion Inand the worsening conditions which the Viet Cong have experienced In the year that has elapsed since 'I"-. As Allied and GVN pressure increases and expands, this attitude of personal defeat and loss of will to continue will become more widespread in Communist military and political ranks of the enemy causing the Conmunlsts Internal problems. But Since people are the essence of this war, negative attitudes are insufficient for victory. There mustemonstrable crossing of theessation of active support for tbe enemy and at least anpolitical acceptance of the Saigon government.
2. Defectionersonal act, and this raises the second factor underlying the recent step-up In the Chleu Hoi rate. The Tet truce removed the most immediate, and probably most important, barrier to defection. It enabled Individual VC to leave their units openly, with the blessings of their commanders and without tho fear that Is prosent, at ony other time of the year, that such an act could moan death. During tbe past ten months captured documents and prisoner interrogations have shown that the prevention of desertion hasajor enemy
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pre-occupation. Inaptured document,rimer on how to spot incipientrevealed that the VC was willing, that early, to chance the psychological losses that the admission of the seriousness of the problem might cause, in an effort to stem this rising tide. Securitywill become Increasingly severe and willmany from straying whose decision, given the overall climate of defeat, might otherwise be to give up the fight. The major Impediment to an even greater disintegration of the Viet CongIn the months ahead will be the very real,fear of immediate VC reprisal. Thein the national administration of theoi program, the additionost of new defection inducements are actually less important than getting the Individual VC to lay down his gun and take the first step away from his unit. Advice on how and when to leave the VC,cllaveable guarantee of safe escort out of the zono of retribution would be the most incisive blow we could strike in theof the breakdown in morale,
alllers now beingthe Chleu Hoi machinery weekly, we havesuccessful case histories to cull tohow security restrictions can be And in that number we also have thetalentrogram that will enable us toengineer more defections. Experience
with the few armed Chleu Hoi teams that were created on the model of the People's Action Teams showed that, when properly re-motivated, they were highly effective, zealous workers in the GVN cause.
propose that under the Ministry ofand Chleu Hoi, teams of five to sixpolitical and military experience beand posted to populous districts wheremilitary actions are planned or whereDevelopment programs are beingutilization of tho teams would vary fromto province, but when assigned to combat units
sywar adjunct they would have access to prisoner interrogations to assess, on the spot, the status of the enemy units* morale and the potential for large-scale defections at squad and platoon level. Thoy
could inventory the Internal frictions* personnel and disciplinary problems which could be exacerbated later by tailored propaganda and determine as veil the identities of those others most likely to defect to whom personal appeals then could be made.
the entry of RD teams into nowChieu Hoi teams, preferably ones native to
that area, would make initial appeals to theto contact their VC relations and encourage them to desert the lost cause. During their stayamlet, these teams could actuallyonfidential counselling service on modes ofand escape. Citing their own experiences they could offer their assistance to any VC willing tohis the bridge to the nearest secure reception point. If the control andof such teams were properly coordinated with province and district officials (particularly with an expanded provincial constabularyhe
teams could provide the contact instrument through which secure defections were arranged.
single program or technique is going
to crack the Viet Cong organization, but in the pool of ex-VC who have already defected we have an unutilized resource which, if properly exploited, could produce dramatic results.Original document.