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McNamara Returns to Capital, Spokesman Says Viet Cong Being Hit "Harder than Ever"

Feb. 20, 1962 - Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara returned to the capital today and reported improvement in the South Vietnamese effort against Communist insurgents. He had presided at a meeting of U.S. military and civilian officials yesterday at the headquarters in Hawaii of Admiral Harry S. Felt, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific. The meeting was the third in a series of monthly talks on the hostilities in South Vietnam. A spokesman for Mr. McNamara said that the forces of South Vietnam, supported by the U.S., “are hitting the insurgent Communists harder” and “pursuing them harder.” A Pentagon spokesman said that the number of Communist assaults on South Vietnamese towns appeared to have dropped markedly in the last month. He said that with U.S. training, the South Vietnamese had perfected a technique of enveloping the insurgents. Helicopters drop men and supplies into a combat area, while the South Vietnamese simultaneously move in on the ground to surround the Communists.


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