Pragmatically, Strategic-Hamlet program was the sharp tool to destroy the communism by “drained the water and caught the fish”. I distinguished three categories of hamlets: the “offensive hamlet” the “strategic hamlet” and the “developed-hamlet” These recalled to me when I was attended at US Air University at Montgomery, Alabama in 1967-1968. Where I was asked so many questions about the Vietnam War after I gave the lectures 45 minutes about them, even my instructor and allied officers asked them during coffee-break times. On the curriculum at Air-university, I also submit an essay 3,500 words about the Strategic Hamlet Project, giving a lot attention and thought to written details properly a careful examination of the facts. Obviously I was pleased having chances to explain my essay-topic. The People Forces are important and respected members of the hamlet by virtue of having been given the responsibility to bear arms provide protection against the enemy. It is necessary to protect the people against the enemy's political program as well as his military threats
I recalled that my instructor asked me emphasized question: “What I thought of the war?” The immensity of that war at that time was too much for me to press into an academic framework for submitted essay. I recall telling him that “I thought it made no sense to try to defend South Vietnam so long as the frontier areas of Cambodia and Laos were conceded to the enemy…I had no quarrel with resisting the spread of Communist government, but I could see no strategy being applied that had prospects of success!” Nevertheless, I remember telling the allied-officers that my patriotism was stronger than my unhappiness about poor disoriented leadership, the most arrogant-method of US advisors who had the reputation for rudeness and intellectual arrogance.
Operation Sun-Rise, on 2/23/1962, a convoy fourteen GMC trucks loading troops started in early morning, the skies were polished blue, soft winds bore silver-edged clouds, and the green woods gleamed bright flashed welcome to the men protected their fellows citizens, from the certain of suburban of Saigon heading to highland Binh-Duong province. The convoy stopped at the corner of the Communist sanctuary C-Zone. About 600 soldiers from 5th Division plus two Ranger-companies, plus one company of reconnaissance, two Regional Forces companies, and one team of psychological-welfare, all jumped down from the GMC trucks, they were crossing the plain heading to a rubber plantation. Abruptly overwhelmed by the ARVN forces, the Viet Cong had to flee to D-Zone to a secret sanctuary; so we didn’t have to encounter battle with them. Now this operation started to transform to second period.
Already the sun was hard and slicing through the morning haze, a humid, steady breeze coming in off the nearby Cap-Saint-Jacque Ocean. The psychological welfare tried to persuade the peoples scattered where-about to unite a hamlet by protection of Saigon government. From now on they were protected by ARVN troops and aiding supports foods and material for building their homes. The Saigon wish in the future they should take care themselves and defense their hamlets. GVN invest money to build the school, market, dispensary where medicines are prepared and given to people who are treated as clinic. This outcome thank to Psy-Teams came to every house to persuade them of the value of security and prosperity in family happiness while their husbands, sons will joint together. President Diem was overweening, he was showing excessive confidence, pride those regions were dominated by the Communist in the past with his outstanding success in his pacification-strategy-program. This is the “Ben-Tuong offensive hamlet”
Now they themselves organized the security force that we called “Defense-Force”. The hamlet administrative officials was elected for executed civil domestic affairs and Saigon troops were still on their side for protecting from the Viet Cong come bored back. They built a big aluminum roof house for hamlet administrative, beside the bulldozers demolished the plots for housing. At first, the peoples were hesitated to reunite a group in hamlet but later on 3,000 instead from 70 families. They help each others to build their homes and dig the trenches establish the bunkers. Unsurprisingly, three months later the Viet Cong came back attacked at night inflicted two infantrymen wounded. Fighter bombers were dispatched to strafing with flare-ship cover, and we sent a helicopter for medical evacuation.
In the middle of summer time, three more offensive-hamlets were grown up parallel with a rubber plantation. From Ben-Cat gathered along with them to organize in the neighborhood of approximately a sum the 5,000 of peoples. The South Vietnam government was satisfied with excellent rural revolutionary development pacification of Strategic Hamlet Program. People was protected by ARVN troops, having schools, market, professions, clinic, and somewhat plots for cultivation.
Diem’s Administrative has not only blood and gore battles or secret operations, but also weighing on the less known campaigns called "PSYOP" (Psychological Operations) As the result of the outcome of the war, all materials about the 1st Republic South Vietnam’s psyop was totally lost or destroyed, but a small article below on South Vietnam’ operation part will help you to have an idea about the untold political warfare that was the soul of South Vietnam's noble cause. Surprisingly, the psyop missions have a lot to do with the aircraft! A major part of the "Chiêu Hồi" (Open Arms) program, the leaflets urged the Viet Cong to surrender to Government forces, promising them good treatment and eventual repatriation to their families. We also had a campaign where we dropped leaflets with pictures of different weapons along with the price we would pay if they gave up and brought in a weapon. When a Viet Cong gave up and turned in a weapon, he got paid a reward, stayed in a camp for two weeks getting fed, and would sent to educational classes. At the end of the two weeks he was returned to the general population. It was a good program, but apparently no one was keeping records. Once they began keeping records it was discovered that some people had surrendered three and four times. The results of the Chiêu-Hồi (Open Arms) program were outstanding. While the Army was busy with a sometimes questionable body count, the psychological warfare convinced 34,000 Viet Cong to give themselves up to our forces in 1967.