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McNamara: "Long, Hard Struggle" in Vietnam

Feb. 19, 1962 - Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara said today that the South Vietnam war “seems to be stabilized,” but that guerrilla fighting could continue in the Southeast Asian nation for years. Mr. McNamara issued a written statement after talks with 22 military leaders and diplomats summoned to Hawaii from Washington and Vietnam. The Secretary called the Vietnam fighting “a long and hard struggle because it is not full-scale warfare but guerrilla warfare.” “We must be prepared to be patient in our approach and not expect overnight or clear-cut results for some period of time,” Mr. McNamara said. He added that the situation “seems to be stabilized insofar as Communist advances are concerned, but it may be some time before the South Vietnamese can totally expel the Viet Cong from their country.”

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