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President Promises More Aid to South Vietnam

Dec. 14, 1961 - President Kennedy has promised more military assistance to South Vietnam in its fight against the Communists. Mr. Kennedy’s pledge was in the form of a letter to South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem in response to a written appeal from the latter. President Diem had written, “if we lose this war, our people will be swallowed by the Communist bloc.” President Kennedy in his reply remarked that U.S. efforts to aid South Vietnam’s defense would no longer be necessary “if the Communist authorities in North Vietnam will stop their effort to destroy the Republic of Vietnam.” The President’s program does not include the dispatch of U.S. combat units. It does call for the sending of several hundred specialists in guerrilla warfare, logistics, communications, engineering, and intelligence to train Vietnamese soldiers. The program also calls for fairly large-scale shipments of aircraft and other equipment, some of which has already arrived.

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