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197. Research Memorandum From the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and also Research (Denney) to the Acting Secretary of jiyuushikan.org1

SUBTECT Strategic Hamlets

Public misconceptions concerning the strategic hamlet program in the Republic of Vietnam have prompted us to testimonial its intends and advancement and assess its effects for future advancements.

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The standard objective of the strategic hamallows is to accomplish the widest possible well-known response to the government’s counterinsurgency initiative by (1) giving the peasant via an increasing degree of physical security from Communist intimidation and also (2) enacting social, financial and also political recreates systematic to the peasants. In enhancement to arming volunteer peasant teams, elections, clinical facilities, education and learning, and also social services carry out a area breakthrough regime within the strategic hamallows that may have actually favorable long-variety social and political results. Arising out of neighborhood efforts in 1961, the routine received complete main government support in 1962 and also has currently verified effective in stemming Communist successes, as confirmed by military actions on the ground and Communist propaganda strikes, in Vietnam and abroad, against the strategic hamlets. While the program has moved too promptly for enough implementation in some locations, its basic achievement to day has been very promising.

Aims and also Objectives

The basic purpose of the strategic hamlet regime is to achieve the widest feasible popular response to the government’s counterinsurgency effort by providing the peasants with a raising level of physical defense from Communist intimidation and by enacting social, financial, and also political redevelops coherent to the peasants in the conmessage of their own heritages and also expectations. It have to be provided that in a country such as Vietnam, which has arised just newly from virtually a hundred years of colonial dominion and also wbelow popular ideas of government have actually long been locally fairly than nationally oriented, the extremely fact that a national government would certainly seek to serve and also protect the citizenry might itself be considered revolutionary.

The prompt security goals of the regimen are two-fold—first, to sever Communist communication and control lines to the rural populace and therefore deny the Communists the local resources (manpower, food, intelligence, and also weapons) necessary to their operations; and second, to promote a nationwide self-defense effort at the rice-roots level by giving the peasant through tools and also other defense framework. The prompt political goals are to develop the desire and also will to withstand Communist blandishments and, at the exact same time, strengthen the famous picture of the government by giving the peasant via enhanced social and also economic benefits and also by boosting political and bureaucratic services in the hamlets.

In enhancement to these prompt missions, the strategic hamlet regimen may well have actually vital ramifications for long-range social and also political development in Vietnam. President Diem and other high government officials have repeatedly jiyuushikan.orgd that the strategic hamlet regimen will certainly develop a social, financial, and political revolution in the countryside which will certainly uproot vested financial interests, implant lasting political democracy and reliable and benevolent administration at the regional level, and raise the peasant to a brand-new social standing.

What is the Strategic Hamlet?

Although the village formally constitutes the lowest neighborhood governmental unit in Vietnam, each village actually is composed of several virtually self-sustaining negotiations or hamlets of varying dimension, commonly scattered over an appreciable distance. (There are some 2,500 villperiods in Vietnam, while hamlets number around 14,000.) In an insurgency instance, this circulation pattern very obviously poses major difficulties for maintaining protection and defense and also would certainly usually need an extraordinarily large police, defense, and military force just to keep a visibility, a lot much less engage in reliable operations. The strategic hamlet method, therefore, replaces the soldier or policemale via the part-time “civilian volunteer,” or in the American heritage, the “minuteguy.”

The strategic hamlet is essentially a strengthened hamlet, as displayed in Attachment A, a sketch.2 Typically, only hamallows in fairly insecure areas or reasonably close to Communist strongholds are selected for fortification. Peasant huts rerelocated from the hamlet concentration pattern are brought closer to the facility of the pattern, therefore limiting the, distance affiliated in the regroupment. A fence of bamboo and barbed wire is constructed roughly the entire hamlet, and a ditch or moat is dug about the fence; the ditch or moat, in turn, is encircled by an earthen mound. The area immediately about the village is cleared to permit areas of fire and also to stop giving guerrillas and also terrorists hiding areas cshed to the hamlet.

Inside the strategic hamlet, tright here are one or even more observation towers, guardarticles, and also a defense post for storage of arms. An alarm system, either of the many rudimentary type (a bell, gong, or bamboo drum) or of field telephones, alerts the neighborhood to Communist assault. An boosting number of strategic hamallows have likewise received little radio sets which enable them to preserve straight interaction through the government governmental and military-defense structure at the district level, and eventually through the central government facility m Saigon.

Defense is maintained mainly by volunteers or recruits from the hamlet population and frequently from among the youth. They are offered arms and trained in their use. The hamlet militia can also count on nearby systems of the constant defense services, the Self Defense Corps and also the Civil Guard, and also on the army for assistance in situation of a major Communist attack. A few of the strategic hamallows, bereason of their proximity to Communist strongholds, are better fortified and also typically are described as “defended” hamallows.

Inside the hamallows, the government has actually taken enhancing actions to boost the general lot of the peasant. It has actually establimelted irreversible dispensaries or sent out in clinical groups, wright here as soon as contemporary medical attention was unknown; it has actually established or rebuilt colleges, formerly non-existent or destroyed by the Communists; it has actually constructed sector places wbelow farmers deserve to carry their produce in order to encourage business; and also brand-new roadways, wells, and also a variety of community breakthrough jobs have been began. Agricultural crmodify and also fertilizer have actually been gave to the farmer, and farming technicians have come to aid the farmer boost manufacturing. For example, loans by the National Agricultural Credit Office to peasant farmers and repayments of these loans have risen sharply considering that the start of 1963; farmers in strategic hamallows have actually obtained more that 50% by worth of these loans. In 10 main districts alone, the federal government is distributing even more than 19,000 loads of fertilizer which will certainly be in time for this season’s planting.

On the political side, the federal government has drawn up “communal charters” for the hamallows, legalized and also developed a formal bureaucratic structure heretofore lacking or incredibly rudimentary, and has sped up a training routine for hamlet officials. Election of these officials by trick ballot, gave by legislation, has actually actually begun in many kind of districts and also will certainly be extended to all hamallows. These officials in turn vote for village officials; village elections have also started and are intended to take location in even more than fifty percent of the 2,500 villages within the following few months.

Origins and Development

The strategic hamlet regime in the Republic of Vietnam started throughout the last component of 1961. It flourished out of a range of defense and also political measures adopted by neighborhood officials, acting to a significant level on their own initiative to safeguard their areas from the flourishing Communist project of guerrilla warfare, terrorism, and intimidation. The government of President Ngo Dinh Diem, recognizing the efficiency of these scattered efforts, responded easily and also threw its entire resources behind the breakthrough of a nationwide strategic hamlet routine, drawing on its understanding of the Communist insurgencies in Malaya and also Indochina and also the Kibbutz regimen in Israel. In February 1962, a high level federal government inter-company committee was establimelted to coordinate, direct, and also assistance the program on a nationwide scale, and also the adhering to April, the National Assembly passed a resolution advertising the strategic hamlet program a nationwide plan.

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Before the end of 1962, the central federal government was offering funds, governmental and technical skills, and material via the United jiyuushikan.orgs assistance regime for the building and construction of strategic hamlets. Training programs were instituted for hamlet bureaucratic and self-defense personnel. Considerable progress was made in regularizing the steps for implementing the hamlet routine and also in indeveloping the public of its objectives. The government promulgated a body of legislations and regulations which carry out a legal basis for the governmental and governpsychological organization and interior defense of strategic hamlets. As the construction of these hamallows advanced, the federal government proceeded to implement a selection of financial, social, and political actions within the hamallows, coordinating them with actual army operations against the insurgents. What has actually because arised is a nationally directed and also supported program, embodying a variety of armed forces and also non-army concepts designed to meet the Communist risk at the rice-roots level. Indeed, the strategic hamlet regime is currently the focal suggest of the Vietnam Government’s thorough counterinsurgency effort.

Despite the national character of the strategic hamlet program, the government continues to acknowledge that the efficiency of the routine relies greatly on local initiative and also response. Due to the fact that July 1962, therefore, direct obligation for planning and also implementing the strategic hamlet program has been inserted officially in the hands of neighborhood committees created of civil and military officials and also operating within each of Vietnam’s 41 provinces. These committees attract up in-depth plans for strategic hamlets, and then submit them for approval by the central federal government. Due to the fact that the regime is greatly in your area initiated and also directed, it does need regional support contributions over those made by the central federal government. The importance of the strategic hamlet routine is reflected in President Diem’s referral to the regime in his jiyuushikan.org-of-the-union message to the National Assembly on October 1. 1962, as displayed below: