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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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The People’s Action Team

The People’s Action Team

(p.149) Chapter 8 The People’s Action Team
Vietnam Declassified

Thomas L. Ahern

University Press of Kentucky

The “Quang Ngai experiment,” as Peer De Silva first labeled it, resembled most of the station's other pacification programs in that it responded to an initiative by local Vietnamese authorities to assert a Government of Vietnam (GVN) presence where neither the military nor the regular bureaucracy had one. Ralph Johnson's original intention reflected the agency's ambivalence about resuming a major role in rural pacification in South Vietnam. Always eclectic in his approach, Johnson supplemented the “commando” teams, which De Silva later named the People's Action Teams (PAT), with payments to police informants and support for armed drama teams, propaganda broadcasts over provincial radio, and “black” teams posing as Viet Cong in order to identify communist cadres. Johnson proposed to use the security operations of the teams to cover the rebuilding of a “virtually non-existent” provincial administration.

Keywords:   Quang Ngai, Peer De Silva, pacification programs, Vietnam, Ralph Johnson, rural pacification, South Vietnam, commando teams, PAT

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