Dime victory Washington DC capital, leaders were shocked and delighted. U.S. military and financial assistance will continue in South Vietnam, while U.S. military and police advisers have assisted in training and equipping the Dime Army and security forces. However, there are fatal issues beneath the success of the Dime regime. Dime was an authorized administrator, he refused to hand over power, and he suspected anyone other than his family member. His brother and close associate, Ngo Dinh Nhu, controlled extensive exploitation, indulgence and exchange of influence through a secret network called Ken Lao, which included all government bureaus and military units, as well as schools and newspapers. Secret members. Businesses. In rural areas, ambitious programs of social and economic reform were allowed to end, with many local officials and police engaged in extortion, bribery and theft of government property. Many officials, such as Deem, were alienated from the northern peoples and Roman Catholics.

In 1955, the DM's unexpected attack on communist political organizers and campaigners in rural areas resulted in thousands of arrests and temporary disruption of communist infrastructure. By 1957, however, the Communists, now known as the Viet Cong (VC), had launched a program of terrorism and assassination of government officials and activists. Many non-communist Vietnamese, torn by corruption and threats from local authorities, soon rose to the level of the Viet Cong. Beginning in the spring of 1959, Viet Cong armed groups sometimes included units of the South Vietnamese Army in regular firefights. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, held in Hanoi at the time, supported the resolution calling for the use of the armed forces to overthrow the Dime government. Specially trained southerners in the north as rebels retreated south with weapons and equipment. A new war began.

Vietnam War. Operation Georgia. Bunkers and tunnels used by US Marines Viet Cong bombs. May 6, 1966

Despite their American training and weapons, the Republic of Vietnam, commonly known as the ARVN, was in many ways inadequate to withstand the Viet Cong uprising. Top officials appointed on the basis of their family ties and political credibility are often indifferent, incompetent, or corrupt — and sometimes three. The higher ranks of the military were also fully occupied by Vietnamese Kong agents who held positions ranging from drivers, clerks and radio operators to senior headquarters officers. With their massive American-style equipment, the ARVN is primarily a road-based powerhouse that is not well-configured to carry VC units in swamps or forests. U.S. military advisers who assist in military development and improvement generally have no knowledge of the Vietnamese language and in any case they have spent less than 12 months in the country.

In the late 1960s, the Communists in the South announced the formation of the National Liberation Front (NLF), which became the political wing of the Viet Cong and a broad-based organization for all who wanted an end.

 For the dim rule. The Front's regular army, commonly referred to by Americans as the "Main Force", is much smaller than the Dim Army, but only a part of the so-called People's Liberation Armed Forces (PLAF) of the Viet Cong. . There are rural guerrilla units at the PLAF base, where part-time fighters stay at home and work during the day during their normal occupations. Their job is to help their neighbors support the NLF, to protect their political system and to harass the government, police and security forces with  nets, attacks, kidnappings and murders. The guerrilla forces also acted as a recruitment agency and as a source of human resources for other areas within the PLAF. Above the guerrillas are local or regional armies, full-time soldiers stationed in platoon- or company-sized units operating within the province or territory. As guerrilla militia members gain experience, they can be upgraded to regional or major forces. These forces served well as full-time soldiers. Depending on remote forests, wetlands or mountainous areas, they can operate throughout the province (in the case of regional powers) or across the country (in the case of major powers). When needed, full-time forces can also reinforce a guerrilla unit or multiple units for a particular operation.

The American character grows

By the mid-1960s it was clear that the South Vietnamese military and security forces would not face a new threat. In the last half of 1959, there were an average of more than 100 raids and VCs per month. The following year 2,500 government officials and other real and imaginary enemies of Viet Kong were assassinated.

 It took some time to figure out the new situation in Saigon and Washington. It was only after four VC companies attacked the ARVN Regimental headquarters northeast of Saigon in January 1960 that Americans in Vietnam planned to increase American aid to Dime. He began exploring ways to persuade Dime to reform and reorganize his government - a futile search.

For the new administration of the US President. John F. Kennedy, who took over in 1961. With Kennedy, Vietnam represented both a challenge and an opportunity. Vietnam's armed struggle against Dime appears to be a prime example of a new Chinese and Soviet strategy to promote and help "national liberation wars" in the new Asian and African countries — in other words, communist-led rebels. Helping to destroy and overthrow the volatile new governments of developing countries. Kennedy and some of his close associates believed that Vietnam provided an opportunity to test the United States' ability to "resist" communist destruction and guerrilla warfare.

 Kennedy acknowledged without question the so-called domino theory, stating that the destinies of all Southeast Asian countries were intertwined and that communist victory in one would certainly lead to the fatal weakness of others. Was a successful attempt in Vietnam- in Kennedy's words, "the cornerstone of a free world in Southeast Asia" - inviting allies and rivals to face the challenge of communist expansion into the Third World.

Although he never doubted the importance of Vietnam, the new president, in his first year, faced even more serious problems — the Berlin Wall structure, the Laotian government and the Communist-led Pathe Lao. And the humiliating failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. 

Because of these other, widely known crises, some Kennedy advisers felt it was important to achieve some sort of success in Vietnam. Increasing membership in the NLF, continuing military setbacks for the ARVN and increasing infiltration rate from the North seemed to be an urgent need for success. U.S. intelligence estimates that nearly 4,000 communist cadres infiltrated from the north in 1960; By 1962 the total number had risen to 12,900. 

Many of these men were natives of South Vietnam, who were re-incorporated north after Geneva. More than half are Communist Party members. Tough and experienced leaders provided a framework for managing PLAF. 

To arm and mobilize their growing forces in the south, Hanoi leaders marched through the Vietnam coast and through a network of tracks known as the ** Chi Min Trail by crews on a steel-hulled motor junk across Laos. Sent powerful weapons and ammunition. Most of the weapons for PLAF soldiers actually came from the United States: large quantities of American rifles, carbines, machine guns and mortars were seized from the Saigon Armed Forces or sold by corrupt officials and officers from the Deem to Vietnam. .

Many South problems have been attributed to the ongoing incompetence, rigidity, and corruption of the Dime regime, but the South Vietnamese president has had few American critics in Saigon or Washington. Instead, the U.S. administration made great efforts to send a vice president. In May 1961, Lyndon B. Johnson went to Saigon to promote financial and military aid.

As the situation worsened, Kennedy sent two key advisers, economist Walt W. Rosto and former Army chief Maxwell Taylor, to Vietnam in late 1961 to assess the situation.

 Both concluded that the South Vietnamese government was losing the war with the Viet Cong and had neither the will nor the ability to reverse its own stance. He recommended an extensive program of military assistance, including helicopters and armed personnel carriers, and ambitious plans to have American advisers and technicians at all levels and at all levels of the Vietnamese government and military. 

He also recommended the deployment of a limited number of US troops, a move that also appealed to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Well aware of the domestic political consequences of "losing" another country at the hands of the Communists, Kennedy could not leave Vietnam, but he did not even want to go to war in Southeast Asia.

 Instead, the administration moved forward with energy and enthusiasm to complete the detailed program of assistance and guidance proposed in the Rosto-Taylor report. The new four-star General Position-Commander, US Military Assistance Command Vietnam (USMACV) was established in Saigon to guide military aid efforts. The number of US military personnel in Vietnam has grown from less than 800 in the 1950s to 9,000 by 1962.

Encouraged by their new American weapons and encouraged by their aggressive and loyal American advisers, the South Vietnamese army invaded Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Viet Kong has learned to counter the new range of ARVN American weapons. Helicopters have been proven to fire small arms, but armed personnel carriers can prevent or hit drivers or machine gunners from approaching them. The South Vietnamese military leadership was incompetent, factional and not properly trained in the 1950s for the survival of many military encounters with the Communists. In January 1963, a Viet Cong battalion, surrounded and overpowered by ARVN forces near the village of Upbek in the Mekong Delta, south of Saigon, successfully escaped its encirclement, destroying five helicopters and about 80 south. Vietnamese soldiers and three American advisers were killed. So far some aggressive American newsmen have begun to report serious shortcomings in U.S. advisory and aid programs in Vietnam (see Sidebar: The Vietnam War and the media), and some lower-level advisers seem to agree with them, but in Saigon. There is also a large and powerful bureaucracy that is deeply involved in making American programs look successful. USMACV Commander Paul Harkins and US Ambassador Frederick Knowling continued to assure that everything was fine, especially in Washington.

However, by the summer of 1963, doubts were growing about the government's ability to prosecute war. The Ngo family behavior that was always strange has now become strange. Dime's brother Nhu smokes ***** every day and is suspected of secretly communicating with US intelligence in the North. Nhu's wife, Madame Nhu, is world-renowned for having the immense influence she used to promote Roman Catholic social causes and to ridicule the Buddhist majority in the country. The NGO was embroiled in a deadly conflict with the Buddhist leadership in May 1963. Buddhist attacks and demonstrations in Saigon and Hue were persecuted by military and Nhu security forces and many were arrested. 

The following month, a Buddhist monk, Thich Kwang Duk, publicly poured gasoline on himself in protest of Deem's repression. Sensational photos of the event appeared on the front pages of major US newspapers the next morning.

By now many students and members of professional classes in South Vietnamese cities have joined Buddhism. In the wake of a series of brutal attacks by government forces on Buddhist pagodas in August, a group of South Vietnamese generals secretly attacked the US, the response did not dampen, but it was not until November that Dieme's relations with Washington further deteriorated, and the generals felt ready to move on. On November 1, ARVN units seized control of Saigon, disarmed Nu 's security forces and seized the presidential palace.

 The U.S. stance was officially neutral, but the U.S. embassy continued to liaise with disgruntled generals, while at the same time taking no action to help the NGO captured and killed by the military.


Kennedy died less than three weeks after Dime died. With regard to Vietnam, the late President left his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, with unplanned actions, half-hearted actions and a slowly growing involvement. Kennedy enjoyed the challenges of the Cold War; Johnson did not. A prominent politician and one of the most capable men to have served in the U.S. Senate, he had an ambitious domestic legislative agenda that he was determined to fight through Congress. The foreign policy crisis is at best distracting and at worst a threat to their domestic reforms.

 Yet Johnson, like Kennedy, is well aware of the high political costs of communism "losing" another country. He shared the view of many of his advisers, many of whom were captured from the Kennedy administration, that Vietnam was also an important test of American loyalty and its ability to maintain its commitments to its allies. 

As a result, Johnson was determined to do everything necessary to advance American commitment to South Vietnam. He replaced Harkins with General William, former superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy in Westmoreland, West Point, and increased the number of U.S. military personnel from 16,000 to 23,000 when Kennedy died in November 1963.