Myth: The great majority of villagers were VC sympathizers, so no counterinsurgency programs ever succeeded

Fact: About 20% of the population of South Vietnam supported the communists. 80% did not.

  • The Viet Minh was not an indigenous South Vietnam organization. They were imported from North Vietnam.
  • Many were tricked into thinking that Ho was a nationalist and sought Vietnamese independence.
  • The Viet Minh moved into the South in the 1940's and recruited from local villagers, but the leadership was from the North.
  • Locals were recruited, but command and control came from North Vietnam, not from the indigenous southerners.
  • Much of the local support that existed was coerced with murder, torture and intimidation.

Confirming Evidence

The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 1, Chapter 5, "Origins of the Insurgency in South Vietnam, 1954-1960"

The Vietnam War: Seeds of Conflict 1945 - 1960

Deepening Involvement: 1945-1965