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Vietnam DeclassifiedThe CIA and Counterinsurgency$
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Thomas L Ahern

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125619

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125619.001.0001

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Introduction: To Build a Nation

Introduction: To Build a Nation

(p.xxiv) (p.1) Introduction: To Build a Nation
Vietnam Declassified

Thomas L. Ahern

University Press of Kentucky

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began to develop the first of the programs that eventually became the core of the United States-supported pacification campaign in South Vietnam. These initiatives arose almost exclusively in Saigon, where successive chiefs of station and their officers in the field took the lead in articulating responses to communist inroads on the peasantry. This book's account of the CIA pacification programs therefore adopts a field perspective, not only to describe the programs and their effect but also to illuminate agency assumptions about the nature of the insurgency and about the means best suited to counter it. The chronology of CIA involvement comprises six periods, each of which represents a qualitative change in the way in which the agency and the U.S. government approached rural pacification in South Vietnam.

Keywords:   CIA, South Vietnam, Saigon, insurgency, United States, rural pacification, peasantry, communists

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