EFFECTIVE OF PHOENIX/PHUNG HOANG PROGRAM
The Phoenix program was an essential element of Vietnam's defense against VCI subversion and terrorism. While some unjustifiable abuses occurred over the years, as they have in many countries, the Vietnamese and U.S. Governments worked to stop them, and to produce instead professional and intelligent operations which would meet the VCI attack with stern justice, with equal stress on both words. Considerable evidence had appeared from enemy documents and from former members of the enemy side that, despite some weaknesses, the program had reduced the power of the VCI and it prospects for conquest of the people of South Vietnam. Phung Hoang/Phoenix was an essential part of the GVN's defense as the VCI is to the Communist attack. U.S. support was fully warranted.
Members of the VCI were counted as neutralized in three ways: when rallying to the Government's side, when captured and receiving either a sentence by a court verdict, or when killed. Neutralization results during the past several years are as follows:
Aside from the direct losses of
personnel captured, rallied or killed, there is considerable
evidence that the VCI operated under considerable limitations as a
result of concern for exposure and capture under the Phoenix
program, that its organizational structure in a number of areas was
reduced to skeleton status instead of its previous full panoply of
committees and members, that it had difficulties maintaining contact
in many villages, et cetera.
Copyright © 2005 Harry G. Smith