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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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Sea Swallows and Strategic Hamlets

Sea Swallows and Strategic Hamlets

(p.71) Chapter 4 Sea Swallows and Strategic Hamlets
Vietnam Declassified

Thomas L. Ahern

University Press of Kentucky

The Sea Swallows were all ethnic Chinese, and the ranks of the emigrants from China were soon increased when Father Nguyen Loc Hoa began recruiting Catholics from Cholon. The ethnic composition of the Sea Swallows offered an opportunity to engage the Nationalist government on Taiwan in counterinsurgency in Vietnam, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) promptly set out to exploit it. The resulting agreement brought a Chinese Special Forces team to Binh Hung in April 1962. This created a trilateral advisory arrangement at Binh Hung, with a Vietnamese Special Forces team joining the Nationalists and the CIA-directed U.S. Special Forces unit. With the rest of the U.S. Mission mobilized in support of the Strategic Hamlet effort, the station was free to devote the bulk of its resources to its other programs. Bill Colby continued to monitor Ngo Dinh Nhu's understanding of Strategic Hamlet progress and to distribute the reporting on it received from independent station sources.

Keywords:   Sea Swallows, Nguyen Loc Hoa, CIA, Chinese Special Forces, trilateral advisory arrangement, Binh Hung, Vietnamese Special Forces, Strategic Hamlet, Bill Colby, Ngo Dinh Nhu

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