STRATEGIC HAMLETS (TO COMBAT COMMUNIST INFLUENCE)

Created: 2/20/1962

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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| INFORMATION REPORT|

CENTRA! INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

TELEGRAM

STRATEGIC HAMLETS' PROGRAM WOULD BE MOREETHOD CF AFFORDING DEFENSE FOR THE POPULATION OF VIETNAM, IT WOULD

BASIC STRATEGY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF VIETNAM.

IN VIETNAM WAS TEE WEAKNESS OF ITS CADRES, WHO FAILED TO TURN THE GOVERNMENT'S REVOLUTIONARY PP CORAM INTO RSALITY.COMPLAINT WAS ONLY PARTIALLY TRUE, AS THE OTHER ASFBCT BAD BSE" THE INABILITY OF TBS CADRE TO OPERATE IN TBS CCKDITlOn CF INSECURITY IN THE COUNTRYSIDE. IT WAS NECESSARY PCS TBS GOVERNMENT TO SO ORGANIZE THE SITUATION THAT THE CADRE COULD BE PLACED TN THE AREA OF HIS WORK AND AFFORDED THE NECESSARY PROTECTION AND FACILITIES FOR THE WORK. THE STRATEGIC HAMLETS' PROGRAM WOULD PROVIDE BOTH OF THESE.

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.TELEGRAM:

P.. THE PROGRAMHBEE MALMUH1C3 UCULD KAXS IT PARTICULARLY APPROPRIATE FOR VIETNAM.

WAS FIRST OF ALL TRADITIONAL, RESTING UPON THE BASIC UNITSOCIETY. THUS IT CAPITALIZED UPON THE INGRAINED HABITS OF

SECOND ASPECT WAS THAT IT WOULD AFFORD THE MEANS TCLIFE.WASROBLEM OF RAISING THELIVING THAN CF CHANG LNG THE MODENSERTING SEW MODES OF LIFE INTO TTE ORDINARY PEASANT'S EXISTENCE,INEVITABLY BFING SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES IN HISRESULT OF THE INSERTION OF SMALL AUTOMOBILES, WASHING MACHINES, ETC.,LIFE OF THE EUROPEAN WORKING CLASS WHICH HE CLAIMED RAD DISRUPTEDOVER THIS CLASS. KSULT^jjJUJj^MOST B'JROPEANOPPOSEDA'V OOHHONTS7 PARTIES

WERE LESSHEIR APPROACH, AS THEY ADVOCATED MODERNIZATIONLIFE WITHOUT REALIZING THAT IT WOULD INEVITABLY REDUCE THEIR OfflOF STEPS APPROPRIATE FOR VIETNAMLINE SHOULD BE MADEONSCIOUS EFFORT DEVOTED TO INSERTING THESEOF LIFE INTO VIETNAM. AS AN EXAMV: FFECT OFWITH MICROMOTORS,MAKING THE PEASANT MOBILE ANT) CHANGING HI3LIFB. THEFFORD THEAND ECONOMIC BASK FORODERNIZATION PROGRAM.

THREE

THE THIRD ELfHEKTjaMHH WOULD BE CEMCCRATIZATICW. DEFINED IT AS THE APPLICATION OF LAV AND ORDER TO RURAL LIFE.

AT PRESENT THE PEASANTS WERE EXPOSED TO ILLEGALITY BY THE VIETNAMESE COMMUNISTS ATO BY GOVERNMENT OF VIETNAM (CVN)H MILITARY AND CIVIL. TOIC WAS INESULT OP TEE DISPERSION OF THE POPULATION ATO ITS INABILITY TOTS OWN GOVERNANCE. AS AN INDUCEMENT TOTRATEGICififlfl^

POPULATION SHOULD BE ASSURED THAT THE HAMLET WOULD BE GUARANTEED THE FULL APPLICATION OF LAW BY ITS OWN AUTHORITIES, THUS MOVING ITYSTEM OF nEMOCRATIZATION APPROPRIATE TO THE COMMUNITY. HOWEVER, IT WOULD HAVE LITTLE CH NOTHING TO DO WITH CHANGES OF THE GOVERNMENT IN SAIGON.

'ONE COULD CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT IN SAIGONIMES WITH NO EFFECT UPON THE REAL SITUATION IN THE COUNTRYSIDE, BUT THAT THE APPLICATION OF THE STRATEGIC HAMLETS' SYSTEM WOULD IE FINITELY AFFECT THE DEMCCRATIZATICfl OF THE COUNTRYSIDEAYOK9

THE POPULATION ITSELF. THE STRATEGIC HAMLET WOULD ALSO,UKiWA' ASIS FOR THE BUILDING OF INSTITUTIONS IN VIETNAM TO GIVE ADDITIONALOOPERATIVES, MEDICAL SERVICES, EDUCATION, WGMENS' MOVEMENTS, YOUTH MOVEMENTS, ETC.

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POINT TO THEM.

ITHAT THERE WAS MUCH DISCONTENT AMONG THE VARIOUS LEVELSSWEl! FROM THE GOVERNMENT'S APPROACH TO THELOCAL OFFICIAL WHOROBLEMEQUEST TO HIS NEXT HIGHERFOR ASSISTANCE AND WAS DISCONTENTED IF THE ASSISTANCE WASNEXT LEVEL REQUESTED THE CHIEF OP PROVINCE, WHO REQUESTEDAD THE SAME REACTION. THE MINISTER MADE THEFAND WAS DISCONTENTED AT INADEQUATE SUPPORT. THEORETICALLY,SHOULD HAKE REQUESTS OF THK AMERICANS AND RE DISCONTENTED WITHFOR LACK OF ADEQUATE SUPPORT,WAS

INFANTILE,HILDISH WAY OF DEPENDENCEUPERIOR TO SOLVE ONE'S PROBLEM?.WAS NECZ5SAFY TCATURITY IN THE VIETNAMESE PEOPIE SO THAT THEY WOULD TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR SOLVING THEIR OWN PROBLEMS, UTLLIZINC S'ICH ASSISTANCE AS WAS C'VEN THEM, BUI' NOT ATTEMPTING TO SHIFT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE SOLUTION CF THE PROBLEM. WJHflfilWJl HE STRATEGIC HAMLET WAS THE WAY TO INTRODUCE THE FROCESS OF BEGINNLNG MATURITY TP THE VIETNAMESE PEOPLE AND THE GOVERNMENT.OFFICIALS WERE MICH AMUSED AT THE DESCRIPTION OP THE DISCONTENT AND FOUND MUCH VALIDITY IN HIS STATEMENT OF HOW TO OVERCOME IT.t WAS NECESSARY TC KEEP REPEATING THE LESSON, AS OTHERWISE THE OLD HABITS OF DEFENDENOR UPON POWERS ABOVE WOULD RETURN AND THE WHOLE VICIOUS CYCLE OF DISCO'ITENT WOULD START AGAIN.

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strategic hamlets1

program ee conducted under the full control of thejBBIB|PBWHyTHEepetition of the errors made in the initiation of thenecessity of explaining to the population what

it was being asked to do and of following very strict rules, for instance, that the population be asked to assist only in its own locality and not ee required to work cn distantrovince chiefs were instructed not to launch off in all directions, creating strategic hamlets according to their own ideas, but to follow the program and pattern to be established BY the strategic hamlets' committee.

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Original document.

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