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Washington Officials: Defeat of Viet Cong Could Take 10 Years

Feb. 16, 1962 - Washington officials predicted today the ultimate defeat of the Communist guerrillas in South Vietnam by the Government of President Ngo Dinh Diem. They conceded, however, that it may take years — without any spectacular victories — before the Government forces, with material help from the U.S., could wear down the guerrillas. They pointed out that it took over 10 years for the British finally to eliminate the Communist guerrilla movement in British Malaya. These views were expressed as Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and W. Averell Harriman, Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, prepared to leave for Honolulu for discussion with the U.S. Pacific Command on the situation in Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, it was reported in Saigon that the U.S. Army was extending the tours of duty of its helicopter pilots now in South Vietnam from six to eighteen months.

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