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Kennedy Administration Sees Long Struggle Ahead in South Vietnam


Jan. 9, 1962 - The Kennedy Administration believes there is a fairly good chance of saving South Vietnam from communism, but it foresees a long and bitter struggle lasting many years without dramatic victory or resolution. Reassessments of the military situation in South Vietnam and of the willingness of President Ngo Dinh Diem to seek wider support from his peasant people have also led officials in Washington to conclude that the country can be preserved without any large-scale involvement of U.S. combat troops. These judgments are qualified, however, by the assumption that Communist North Vietnam will not soon be able to mount a frontal attack on the southern part of the divided country. The Soviet-supported challenge to South Vietnam is posed mainly through pro-Communist guerrillas who raid the villages, sometimes in battalion strength.

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