policy.jpg (14302 bytes)

POLICY NUMBER 53                                                                                                                                                                                                      22 JANUARY 1968



PROBLEM: To define the tasks of PSYOP personnel in support of Pacification in the Republic of Viet Nam, and to set forth policy and operational guidance concerning Revolutionary Development. Guidance on Chieu Hoi, Public Safety and Refugee programs is contained in separate referenced documents.

DISCUSSION: Pacification can be described as the sum total of actions designed to win and keep the support of the rural population for the government of the Republic of Viet Nam.

In the official definition, pacification is "the military, political, economic and social process of establishing or re-establishing local government responsive to and involving the participation of the people."

This essentially psychological objective of winning the active support of the rural people who form the majority of Viet Nam's population and thereby deny the Viet Cong the bulk of its manpower base is currently pursued in three main directions:

1) by providing sufficient territorial security and internal security against the Viet Cong to permit the sustained accomplishment of economic, social and political reforms in rural Viet Nam.

2) by establishing an effective political structure at the local level capable of eliciting the cooperation and responding to the aspirations of the rural people; and

3) by stimulating self-sustaining economic activity in the countryside leading to greater agricultural production and capable of further growth.

In order to give proper recognition to the importance of pacification to the future of Viet Nam and pull together under a single direction the numerous US agencies involved in RD and its related functions, Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS) was organized in May 1967. By this action the civil and military tasks in support of pacification were placed under the Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Viet Nam (COMUSMACV), assisted by a civilian deputy of ambassadorial rank and an Assistant Chief of Staff, CORDS managing a major MACV staff section. At corps level and in provinces integrated teams of military and civilian specialists are headed respectively by the Deputy, CORDS ('GO the force commander/senior advisor) and the Province Senior Advisor. MACV Directive 10-12 of 28 May 1967 sets up the CORDS structure and amplifies these concepts.

The pacification program is being conducted by the GVN with US assistance behind the shield provided by US and RVNAF military operations against the enemy's main force. Partially protected by these major unit actions, RVNAF, RF/PF and the National Police provide sustained territorial (and internal) security against' the VC on a level adequate to permit the uninterrupted conduct of economic, social and political programs.

For pacification to be effective, there must be the provision of sustained, credible territorial security (and internal) security Territorial security is defined as the provision of security from VC local forces and guerilla units and VC/NVA main force units if any are in or threatening the area. Territorial security 1s the responsibility of the RVNAF. On the other hand, internal security is the protection within a village or hamlet from  pressure, terror or harassment by the local VC infrastructure. This is the responsibility of the National Police, and in the hamlets undergoing Revolutionary Development the responsibility for internal security is shared by the RD teams themselves. As a key part of their task to provide for internal security, the National Police Field Forces conduct resolute operations to apprehend members of the VC infrastructure. Finally, hamlet and village residents themselves participate in internal security and self-defense programs organized by the RD teams.

The essential first step toward pacification is to create a secure environment for actions designed to achieve economic, social and political improvements.

This is followed by Revolutionary Development, carried out by the 59 member RD groups currently in the priority provinces, by the Montagnard Truong Son teams in the highlands and by other similar teams. It is expected that more than 800 RD teams and about 120 Truong Son teams will be operating in the RVN by the end of 1968. Of:Officially defined as "the leading edge of pacification", RD is the formalized GVN program under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Revolutionary Development in specified hamlets, generally within RD campaign areas. It includes the local security for those hamlets and the political, economic and social activities at that level. RD seeks to extend the GVN presence, stimulate and assist in self-help programs, get representative government going at the hamlet level, initiate reforms responding to popular aspirations and win the willing support of the farming people themselves.

On moving into a hamlet, the RD group creates and trains a permanent self-defense force with assignments for every able-bodied man, woman and child in the event of an attack or an emergency. It conducts a population census and a series of private interviews with every adult member of the hamlet to identify grievances, seek needed improvements, and gather information on known Viet Cong in the area. The group provides material resources and training for the self-help projects that will increase production and improve the living conditions of the villagers. Local elections are organized or local appointments are made to displace the VC infrastructure with functioning self-government, and after the initial pacification process is completed - on average six months - some of the group's members may stay in the hamlet for an indefinite period of time to keep stimulating constructive action and serve as a link with the district and province authorities. This stimulation of self-sustaining economic and political activity is strengthened and continued through "nation-building" follow up programs that seek to link the hamlet permanently with national economic and social activities.

Besides these inter-related functions, pacification includes the Chieu Hoi/Dai Doan Ket, Public Safety and Refugee programs which are briefly described herein but addressed by separate PSYOP policies.

Chieu Hoi/Dai Doan Ket

The Chieu Hoi (Open Arms) rallier inducement program is designed to provide an acceptable alternative to fighting for the VC/NVA forces. It seeks at the same time to 1) reduce enemy strength;  2) impair the enemy's morale; 3) save allied lives; and 4) use returnees for PSYOP against the enemy to help the GVN achieve a more rapid victory. Since the program has been initiated around 73,000 Hoi Chanh (ralliers) have joined the GVN side. The US provides information and PSYOP support, assists the GVN in operation of the 52 Chieu Hoi reception centers and in efforts to re-integrate the ralliers speedily into productive national life. JUSPAO Guidance number 16, 9 July 1966, PSYOP Policy number 43, 17 August 1967 and number 44 of 20 September 1967 pertain.

The Dai Doan Ket (National Reconciliation) program might be defined as an upward extension of Chieu Hoi. It seeks to appeal to the higher military and civilian cadre among the VC/NVA forces and to play on their growing war-weariness and disillusionment. It offers qualified returnees responsible jobs commensurate with their talents, experience and demonstrated new loyalty. JUSPAO PSYOP Policies number 39, 43 and 44 provide pertinent guidance,

Public Safety Program.

The goal of the Pubic Safety program is to train and equip civil police force able to cope effectively 'With civil disturbance, common crime and low level insurgency. The US provides training and material assistance through the CORDS Public Safety Division. ll1 the PSYOP field, CORDS personnel in the provinces assist the GVN in building a positive police image of public service and in explaining the need ,for police control measures to protect the law-abiding population. Media Support is furnished by JUSPAO. An updated Public & Safety PSYOP Policy is under preparation. JUSPAO Guidance number 37 on PSYOP Aspects of the National Identity Registration Program remains valid but will apply only when the program which has been postponed is initiated.

Refugee Program

US assistance to the GVN refugee reception and resettlement program helps to provide adequate care for about three quarter million refugees in the Republic who have been displaced by military or terrorist action and to a lesser degree natural calamities, from their normal place of residence. Since 1964 an additional l.2 million people have been resettled or returned to their villages. Shelter, food and other commodities are made available to this group in temporary camps pending return to their homes or resettlement in new communities. PSYOP programs provide information and education programs for refugees designed to involve them in national life and make them useful citizens of the RVN and inform the general public of the Government's efforts on behalf of the refugees. JUSPAO Guidance number 32, 1 March 1967 pertains to PSYOP support for the refugee program.

The PSYOP function in direct support of pacification goals is carried out in the provinces:, at tactical unit level, at corps level and at headquarters by military and civilian PSYOP officers who apply their professional skills as communications specialists to the task of helping the GVN win and keep the loyalties of the rural population. In the provinces these officers go by the title of Assistant Provincial Advisors for Psychological Operations (APA/PSYOP) on the staff of the CORDS Province Senior Advisor. The:r are under the technical direction of the CORDS PSYOP Division (CORDS/POD).


PSYOP support to Pacification is one of the most important tasks of CORDS PSYOP personnel in rural Viet Nam. The general and operational guidance set forth below applies to the Revolutionary Development cadre and RD program support of pacification.

Policy and operational guidance for Chieu Hoi/Dai Doan Ket, Public Safety and Refugee programs is included in the separate PSYOP policies referred to above or currently under preparation.

Revolutionary Development:

APA!PSYOP should use all available mass media to bring RD successes in their areas in the first instance, to the attention of area residents and, where judged of national significance, to the attention of the general population. The general public has to be sold on the RD concept which is still either inadequately understood or passively resisted by large segments of official and public opinion. As a continuing responsibility, APA/PSYOP should bring positive RD actions to the attention of US and foreign media correspondents on coverage assignments within their area.

They must use all available media and work closely with the provincial, district and village cadre of the Vietnamese Information Service (VIS) in the accomplishment of their PSYOP support tasks.