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Secretary McNamara in Meetings on Vietnam

July 24, 1962 - Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara says the South Vietnamese are “beginning to hit the Viet Cong insurgents where it hurts most — in winning the people to the side of the Government.” Mr. McNamara ended a 12-hour secret session with top U.S. military and diplomatic leaders yesterday with the same reassurance he has voiced in the past. “Our military assistance to Vietnam is paying off,” he said. Mr. McNamara said the strategic hamlet program was providing protection against Communist terrorism and is also “giving the South Vietnamese the opportunity to learn basic democratic practices in electing their own village leaders by secret ballot.” However, Mr. McNamara noted that the war against the Communists could last for years.


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