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Washington Officials See Mounting Danger in Vietnam

Feb. 11, 1962 - What President Kennedy has called the “increasing ferocity” of the war in South Vietnam and the increasing involvement of the U.S. in it are causing concern in Washington. Officials feel there is a mounting danger that more U.S. servicemen will be killed in what are now openly described as U.S. military operations against Communist rebels in South Vietnam. Last week, a U.S. helicopter piloted by an American was shot down while carrying South Vietnamese supplies and troops to a combat mission. No casualties were reported. Earlier, however, an American soldier was reported to have been killed in an ambush. The critical turn in U.S. policy in Vietnam came after Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor flew to Vietnam to assess the situation. After Gen. Taylor’s report, it was decided to help the Government of President Diem defeat the Communist Viet Cong. President Kennedy was assured by General Taylor that this could be done without committing sizable U.S. forces.

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