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WHAT IS CORDS?

 

ICTZ

October 1969


CORDScvr

I. INTRODUCTION

For many years there has existed widespread agreement that the best way to satisfactorily end the war in Vietnam was to "win the hearts and minds of the people." However only since 1967 has there been a truly coordinated GVN-Allied effort toward gaining the full support of the Vietnamese people thereby depriving the enemy of his claim to popular backing. This year, the emphasis is on the people, rather than providing them material things. The programs designed to achieve this end are included in what is called "pacification".

Every American citizen employed in South Viet Nam in any capacity has, directly or indirectly, a role in this vast campaign to demonstrate that the GVN offers its citizens the best opportunity for a peaceful and prosperous life. However, since the pacification campaign and the role of the US in it is such a large and complex area, it is frequently misunderstood. This "press packet" is designed to partly fill that "information gap".

 

Carl R .Fritz

Acting Deputy for CORDS, III MAF

 

October 23, 1969

 

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II.  PACIFICATION AND CORDS

Pacification is a political, military, economic, and social process, its main elements including:

Establishing or reestablishing local government responsive to and involving the citizens ‘participation.

Providing credible, permanent security for normal life activities.

Eliminating the influence of the enemy’s "underground government".

Asserting or reasserting GVN political influence over the citizens' lives.

Initiating social and economic activities capable of expansion and self-sustenance. Included in this realm are the opening of roads and waterways and the maintenance of lines of communication.

Involvement of the people in the central government.

The 1969 GVN Pacification Campaign sets the tone of the program's ideal: Community Spirit. Development of such spirit on a national scale is ideally based on cooperation among the Vietnamese people and the GVN and among GVN agencies. That is to say, the theory behind pacification places special emphasis on the role of all the people as participants in the program. The program's political, military, economic, and social aspects aim at smashing the VC organization, restoring security in the country, and finally, establishing a stable and politically viable South Viet Nam.

The goal is to provide, through the pacification program, security, peace, and social justice for the Vietnamese people, leading ultimately to a greater degree of popular involvement with governmental programs than the Vietnamese people have experienced at any time in their past. Pacification theorists argue that as formerly hostile or apathetic villagers observe the gains achieved through these programs; as they realize that through the combined strength of the GVN armed forces, the police, their local self-·-defense forces, and their personal involvement, that they no longer fear the threat posed by the VC, then will they recognize that their best chance for a peaceful life lies with allegiance to the GVN.

For the US and other Allied forces, pacification provides assurances of a more cooperative citizenry. Villagers poorly defended against enemy retaliation have no incentive to cooperate. Villages organized for self-defense, with the VC infrastructure rooted out, will much more willingly help defeat the enemy, as the VC is deprived of local support through a successful pacification program, he will become the proverbial "fish out of water", losing most of his present popular support.

The effort at pacification in South Viet Nam is not new . The earliest efforts, in the mid -fifties, made limited and slow progress. Under various names, such as the Strategic Hamlet Program and the Rural Development Pro­gram, the GVN's program was intended to mold a modern, cohesive and

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independent  nation.

 These programs achieved only limited success until early 1967, when a major GVN effort was initiated to review and asses the pacification organization. The US Government reevaluated its advisory role and made sweeping changes. Working jointly, the GVN and US Governments agreed upon a series of concepts and began a combined venture to establish new joint plans and missions of the various military and civilian agencies.

US responsibility for a combined civil and military pacification advisory effort was assigned to MACV. The fundamental arrangement for unifying the pacification effort first involved appointing a Deputy (with ambassadorial rank) to COMUSMACV for Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support (DEF/CORDS), at the Saigon level. A major staff section was also established within MACV headed by an Assistant Chief of Staff for CORDS (MACCORDS).

Through employment of resources of the US Department of State, US Agency for International Development, US Information Agency, and MACV, the DEPCORDS MACV oversees the formation and execution of all policies and programs, civil and military, which support the GVN’s pacification effort. Policy guidance flows from the Ambassador, to COMUSMACV, to each of four regional DEPCORDS representatives, and on down to the lowest pacification advisory level.

The present head of CORDS is Ambassador William E. Colby, who is the Deputy for CORDS to COMUSCAV. The command structure in the I Corps Tactical Zone, which includes the provinces of Quang Tri, Thua Thien, Quang Nam, Quang Egai, and Quang Tin, is headed up by the Senior Advisor for all operations, military and civil, the Commanding General of the III Marine Amphibious Force. The CG, III MAF, has two deputies for military matters, and a deputy for CORDS, presently Mr. Alexander Firfer. Mr. Firfer is an USAID officer who previously served as Director AID missions in Bolivia and the Dominican Republic.

The advisory areas of CORDS include Territorial Forces (Regional and Popular Forces and People’s Self-Defense Forces), the Revolutionary Development Cadre Program the Chieu Hoi Amnesty Program, the National Police, refugees, information and psychological operations, education, health, agriculture, industry, engineering, logistics, public administration youth affairs, and community development.

In addition, CORDS serves as the overseer of programs conducted by the parent agencies of which it is composed. CORDS psychological operations personnel, for example, carry out or supervise some of the traditional United States Information Service informational and cultural activities. Certain USAID assistance programs in education, public health, and logistics are managed in the field of CORDS. This it is possible for CORDS to coordinate

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and blend all US field operations toward the single goal  of pacification .

It should be stressed again that CORDS is an advisory organization. Its personnel are not here to do the jobs that need doing, but to assist the Vietnamese in getting them done. That is the CORDS goal: to be strong advisors who actually strengthen the GVN in preparation for the day when US assistance is not longer available or required.

 

III.  CORDS AND THE SECURITY PROBLEM:

CORDS/Territorial Forces

One of the most important responsibilities of CORDS is to advise province and district officials on their integral security forces, the Regional Forces (RF), Popular Forces (PF), and People’s Self Defense Forces (PSDF).    The Regional Forces are province troops and are employed anywhere in the province. The Popular Forces are district troops and are normally under the control of village chiefs. The PSDF are militia type troops and only protect their own hamlet.

The Vietnamese Army and allied military forces are targeted against the main forces of the enemy. The RF/PF have the mission of providing territorial security for the pacification areas of each province and of providing local security for villages and hamlets.

Each province has approximately forty RF companies and 180 PF platoons. These forces are assigned to provinces or districts, and PF platoons are being placed under the operational control of village chiefs, as part of the process of strengthening governmental machinery at lower levels.

CORDS advisors at province level work with the Province Chief's military staff to help improve operations of RF/PF and to help coordinate their operations with those of ARVN and US forces operating within the province. Combined operations using all of these units are becoming more frequent and RF/PF units have given increasingly better accounts of themselves as their training has progressed and as they have received new and better equipment.

A newer role played by CORDS RF/PF advisors is to advise the People's Self Defense Forces Program. This is a program to organize, train, and arm the populace so it can help protect its own communities. As the people take over the role of "home guard", PSDF free other forces for movement farther out into the countryside.

There have been many innovations in training designed to meet the special requirements of RF /PF personnel. Special Mobile Advisory Teams (MATs), consisting of two officers and three enlisted men, advise Regional Force companies and group headquarters and Popular Force platoons on small unit operations. Emphasis is placed on night operations and ambushes, patrols, weapons and weapons employment, requests and adjustments of in­direct fire, field fortifications, barrier systems, emergency medical care, and other topics related to RF/PF missions. In I Corps, the Marines have developed the concept of the Combined Action Platoon (CAP). A squad of Marines operates full time with a Popular Force platoon during training and operations, giving the PF the opportunity to learn the finer points of small military actions by observing their Marine counterparts. The Marines and PF soldiers live and work together in the hamlets. The CAP program is not directed by CORDS, but it is closely coordinated at all levels and provides an additional channel of assistance to the FF Program.

 

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CORDS/Public Safety

 The Public Safety Division of CORDS provides assistance and advice to the GVN's National Police who, in an insurgency situation, assume several duties in addition to more traditional police functions. The National Police are primarily involved in normal law enforcement activities such as crime and accident investigation, but are also charged with control of the movement of people and commodities to prevent the exploitation of these resources by the enemy.

A special unit of the police system is the National Police Field Forces (NPFF). Members of this organization wear brown camouflaged Uniforms and are often mistaken for regular armed forces. The NPFF is a paramilitary organization which conducts operations against the VC infrastructure, and which participates with military forces in cordon and search operations.

The large number of Viet Cong and Viet Cong infrastructure suspects apprehended ty the forces of the GVN has created a special need for improved detention and correction programs. CORDS advisors therefore assist the GVN in its prison and detention facilities improvement program, which is designed to establish a penal system capable of providing sufficient and appropriate facilities for such prisoners. Emphasis in this detention system is placed on prisoner vocational training and rehabilitation to induce prisoners to rally to the side of the GVN. Related to this activity, the National Police and its US advisors are involved in a campaign to establish a central records file and to issue tamper-proof identification cards to all citizens fifteen years of age and over. This program is designed to identify and isolate the enemy, who has in the past encountered little difficulty forging and falsifying identity papers.

In another facet of this CORDS advisory effort, police communications experts are involved in the development of a village/hamlet radio network to serve in place of a telephone system, as telephone systems are considered far too vulnerable to sabotage.

CORDS/Phoenix

The attack on the enemy infrastructure is a most important program in the clearing; and security phases of pacification. The specific Vietnamese program in this effort provides a combined system of GVN/US intelligence gathering and collating agencies from the national level down through corps, provinces and district levels. The information gathered serves to identify hard-core communists and VC agents operating at all levels of the insurgency.  Once identified, they are targeted by action forces and killed, captured, or rallied with the objectives of eliminating VC influence and terrorism over the local population and denying important assistance to VC/NVA military forces.

The framework for attacking the VC infrastructure is called Phung Hoang by the Vietnamese and Phoenix by the US. This organization consists of coordinating committees down to the province level. The operational elements are the Provincial or District Intelligence and Operations Centers (PIOCC/DIOCC). These centers normally consist of

 

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representatives of GVN civilian agencies operating within the province and district responsible to the province and district chiefs. The primary goal of these centers is exploiting infrastructure intelligence, and evaluating and disseminating the information for planning quick operations. These centers also provide intelligence support for military operations. Phung Hoang operations are targeted on disrupting, harassing, capturing, and eliminating local VC infrastructure members. Phung Hoang also aims at inducing infrastructure members to defect, when possible. CORDS Phoenix advisors work closely with their Vietnamese counterparts on many aspects of Phung Hoang operations.

CORDS/Psychological Operations

It is crucial to the Government of Viet-Nam that its policies and programs be understood by the people if the Government is to gain and maintain support.

The organization charged with this important task is the Ministry of Information and its field personnel who operate the Vietnamese Information Service (VIS). The Ministry prepares radio and television programs and other media materials which have national application. VIS helps to distribute national materials and helps to adapt them or prepares other materials suited to local needs. Each province and district in South Viet Nam has a VIS office.

VIS, with US assistance, has provided television sets for a community viewing program, distributed radios for community listening, and trained hundreds of cadre to operate these units and to provide other informational services in villages and hamlets.

Because of the importance of the political side of the war, VIS has organized seminars and meetings where Government policies and programs are explained and where people have the opportunity to ask questions about them. This is an important aspect of face-to-face communication which VIS is now emphasizing, and is important for developing a dialogue between the people and officials of their government.

In addition to advising and assisting VIS, CORDS Psychological Operations Division personnel maintain coordination with GVN and US military psyops units involved in tactical psychological operations, such coordination being necessary to assure a single psyops thrust. As of September, 1969, over one thousand trained VIS cadre were operating in the villages of I Corps.

CORDS/Chieu Hoi Program

The philosophy of the Chieu Roi, or "open arms" Program is that anyone who has been an enemy of the GVN and who decides to give himself up voluntarily will be welcomed back to a normal life. The program has consistently been one of the GVN's most enthusiastically implemented, and since its inception over 118,000 VC and NVA have quit their ranks

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to  join those of the Republic of Viet Nam.

 Chieu Hoi centers have been established in each province to receive the thousands of returnees (hoi chanh), who undergo a period of processing and training before they are released. During that time, their families can live at the centers with them, and they are provided money and other assistance. Many are taught new skills in the Chieu Hoi centers, and others return to farming or to their previous professions.

Those hoi chanh who want to farm but have no land are given the opportunity to settle in hamlets populated exclusively by hoi chanh and their families. They are presented with small plots of land, money, and materials for construction of housing.

Although draft-exempt for 6 months following their return to the GVN many hoi chanh volunteer for service in organizations with needs for a specialized knowledge of the enemy. Included in this classification are the Armed Propaganda Teams, whose members go into contested areas to try to convince their former comrades to rally, and the Kit Carson Scouts, men whose expertise in VC tactics is invaluable to many US military units.

CORDS Chieu Hoi advisors at regional and provincial levels include several Filipinos, men who gained practical experience with a similar program while fighting the Huk guerrillas in their own country.

In I Corps for the past several months an increasing percentage of returnees have been from political elements, rather than military, which is a real loss to the Viet Cong infrastructure. It is significant to note that the highest percentages of hoi chanh are from recent VC recruits and draftees. Hardcore communists and those of higher rank generally do not defect, partly due to the fact that they enjoy a certain amount of prestige afforded them by their higher posts in the VC fighting force.

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IV. CORDS AND REFUGEES/PUBLIC WELFARE

 CORDS and Refugees

Refugees represent a significant percentage of the total population of Viet Nam and are a vital factor in the pacification program. By virtue of their numbers and their family and village connections in contested VC areas, refugees are an exploitable resource for the development phase of pacification.

The GVN refugee program is designed to return villagers to their original homes, reintegrate them into a normal life, and provide them with the skills and materials to participate in the self-help programs administered by the GVN and CORDS. Refugees usually leave their homes to avoid military operations or to escape Viet Cong pressure. Some of them take up residence temporarily with relatives in pacified areas until they can return to their native areas; others require temporary relief and assistance in resettlement. To provide for refugee reception, care, and resettlement or return to their homes, the refugee subprograms include a Relief Program, a Resettlement Program, and a Refugee Welfare Program.

The first of these subprograms, the Refugee Relief Program, provides temporary relief to all refugees seeking asylum. Included in this activity are all aspects of logistics, commodities, and services; such as, medical, sanitation, transportation, food, clothing, and temporary shelter. Relief grants are provided for refugees needing and desiring such funds.

The Resettlement Program provides for the creation of resettlement hamlets with all the necessary auxiliary facilities. Refugees who cannot immediately return to their native areas are resettled until such time as they can return. Refugees who settle in a new place or return to their original homes are given a resettlement subsidy.

In the field of Refugee Welfare, technical guidance is provided in self-help programs, handicrafts, cottage industries, and the formation of cooperatives. Youth education and vocational training, as well as political and psychological orientation of refugees, also help transform the refugee program into a useful asset to the pacification effort.

I Corps is faced with a considerable refugee problem, the NVA/VC main force and Allied activities in the five-province area having driven thousands from their homes. As is the pattern in all of Viet-Nam, such refugees in I Corps have flooded into urban areas, swelling certain sections dangerously and creating critical problems in regard to housing and support services. CORDS Refugee advisors devote large amounts of time to the solution of complex logistical and other support problems for the refugee centers, in addition to handling resettlement problems. Attempts are also being made to institute vocational and other practical training for the refugee population; for instance, in Quang Tin Province the

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Tam Ky Vocational School conducts a variety of training courses. The CORDS staff has received the cooperation of the Red Cross and Catholic Relief Services in many of its refugee-related activities.

CORDS/Public Health

The public health problems of Viet-Nam would demand attention even if no wartime casualties were to be treated. Sanitation is poor, diseases and epidemics are common, and there is a great lack of medical facilities available for the Vietnamese people. Naturally, the war has sharply aggravated these problems. Military needs have resulted in the conscription of many Vietnamese doctors, leaving all too few for South Viet Nam's population of 17 million. In addition, the VC have destroyed a significant number of district and village health stations, seriously affecting rural health activities.

The CORDS Health program, depending to a large extent upon military support, has been rapidly expanded in an effort to fill the gap between medical needs and the resources available.

CORDS is now supporting provincial medical teams to assist in the care of Vietnamese sick and war-wounded. A large number of the US personnel are military, but a significant proportion consists of volunteer nurses and doctors. The US is also giving attention to the problem of producing more Vietnamese medical personnel through assistance in the improvement and expansion of Vietnamese medical education facilities. In I Corps, the CORDS-supported nursing course in Da Nang recently graduated its first course of assistant nurses from the two-year program. CORDS is also assisting in the extensive rehabilitation of Regional hospital facilities.

In the field of public health, we are concentrating our advisory efforts on strengthening health services at the village and district levels in the fields of sanitation and communicable disease control. Many dispensaries have been constructed, thousands of village and hamlet health stations are now in operation, a program of refuse removal has been instituted in some areas, and many millions of people have been immunized against various diseases.      In the field of rural water programs, village and hamlet wells are dug and drilled, and malarial control is given attention.

In I Corps, there are five Military Public Health Assistance Program teams, consisting of Army and Navy doctors and corpsmen operating under the control of the CORDS Health officer. In addition, dedicated nurses, technical advisors, and a few volunteer physicians supplied by the AMA and US Armed Forces advise and work in Vietnamese hospitals and dispensaries. The Vietnamese Health Service and its CORDS advisors have been regionally responding with efficiency to local health emergencies, as in the case of the recent campaign in Thua Thien to combat a hemorrhagic fever epidemic.

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Generally the Vietnamese Health Service in I Corps has been demonstrating an increased capability for handling such situations, and the CORDS staff has been reducing involvement in the operational aspects of the health program, focusing now on demonstrations and training.

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V.  CORDS and Developmental Programs

The fundamental United States ‘objective in Viet-Nam is to support the South Vietnamese in their struggle to preserve their independence against Communist-supported subversion. The CORDS organizations develop mental programs involve two major areas of involvement:

--Assisting in the development of economic, political, and social institutions which will be responsive to the people’s needs and will serve as a basis for future, long -range development.

--Providing material and technical help to the government of South Viet-Nam in brining emergency services (teachers and schools, doctors and hospitals, agricultural extension workers with fertilizer and seed, food and housing to refugees) to the war-torn countryside.

Viet-Nam, like many other developing nations, is lacking not just in the basic material aspects of life, such as housing, schools, and sanitation, but has also had difficulty developing and implementing such concepts as social justice, economic opportunity, and political democracy. Most rural areas lack effective government, reflecting the legacy of a highly-centralized French colonial administration, a long history of appointive rather than elective government, and a tradition which emphasizes loyalty to the family group rather than wider social responsibility.

The Viet Cong have exploited the local     grievances that result from this situation and the suspicions, animosities and prejudices that are based on religious, regional, ethnic, and class differences that are problems in all developing countries. These problem areas are especially acute in Viet-Nam, which has been torn for over twenty years by various types of internal warfare.

The Viet Cong aim has been to destroy local leadership and to dominate the peasantry through teams which infiltrate the villages and   bring them under their political domination. Vietnamese in the infiltrated areas are forced to join the VC activities, the men and women facing VC conscription. Where they are not in a position to control, the VC resort to obstruction, terrorism, harassment. They particularly attempt to block reforms instituted by the GVN, and generally disrupt economic activity, using a variety of tactics ranging from counterfeiting to destruction of property. Thousands of Vietnamese teachers, health and extension workers, village chiefs, etc., have been kidnapped or killed by the VC.

To deal effectively with this type of subversion, while at the same time helping to bring about social, economic, and political change, required a US effort consisting of a number of different approaches. Provision of the basics of life is, of course, essential, but unless the program also contributes toward change and reform it cannot accomplish the major objective of helping the Vietnamese in improving their human condition. The CORDS program in Viet-Nam aims not only at the provision of

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these essentials of life, but at the achievement of a better life for the people of Viet-Nam through greater economic stability and greater social and political development. The most visible effects of our assistance and advisory effort are those which can most easily be reduced to statistics. Much more subtle and fundamental is the progress, however slow, being made toward achieving democratic change and reform.

Revolutionary Development and CORDS

CORDS is assisting the GVN in its efforts at extending its influence over larger percentages of the population through support of the Revolutionary Development Program. This activity is aimed at forming a channel of communication and mutual endeavor between the rural population and the GVN, and demonstrating by concrete acts the interest of the government in the welfare of the populace. Revolutionary Development begins with military security; that is to say, the focus is on routing the Viet Cong from specific, limited areas. Once security has been restored, the Revolutionary Development cadre, a specially trained corps of village workers, moves into the area with development programs. Thousands of Revolutionary Development workers are now engaged in this work, serving on 20-man teams throughout the province in programs designed to develop better living conditions and to prepare people for broader participation in political affairs. Revolutionary development involves the construction of local schools and clinics where none presently exist; the education of teachers, technical people, and health workers; assisting farmers with better seed, fertilizer, pesticides, etc.; building local leadership for effective government; and training local security forces in the villages. Also involved are care of refugees and civilian war wounded and repair of sabotage.

CORDS assists these activities by providing specialized training in technical and engineering fields, planning assistance, and commodities. The major thrust, however, comes, and must come, from the Vietnamese people themselves. By contributing their own local materials, skills, and labor to small, local projects of their own choosing, with advice and assistance from their own government and CORDS, the Vietnamese people are slowly learning to help themselves, and to become better citizens with a stake and future in the Saigon government. Of equal importance, the local governmental forms are giving more meaningful support and services to their people, thereby gaining more of their loyalty in competition with the Viet Cong.

CORDS and Education

Upon reaching independence in 1954, Viet-Nam's educational system was both antiquated and hopelessly inadequate. No vocational training schools existed for instruction in skills to meet urgent community needs, and the schools that did exist aimed at instruction in only general knowledge. As a result of these realities, only 40-50% of the population is literate, and a critical shortage of classrooms and teachers exists.

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To help backstop the GVN’s efforts in meeting these needs, USAID, through CORDS, has joined with the Vietnamese in large-scale effort to develop a modern educational system. The immediate aims is to raise the literacy level fo the Vietnamese people and to provide the trained leadership necessary for social and economic progress. The Hamlet School Project seeks to increase opportunities in elementary and secondary education for school children, an essential part of a broad program of community improvement designed to win the loyalty of the rural people and to develop a capability on the part of the Ministry of Education, the provinces, and the villages to administer an expanding program of general education. A system of rural trade schools is planned, designed to meet local community needs rather than follow a stereotyped national curriculum. The US is continuing to work with the GVN to develop a system of vocational-technical and agricultural institutes which will educate large numbers of skilled workers, technicians, teachers, agriculturalists, and engineers required for economic development.

CORDS and Rural Development

Increased agricultural production is fundamental to any developing country. In the case of Viet-Nam, the need for increased yields has become even more urgent because of the war, since land that was at one time fertile has been destroyed or confiscated, and farmers who once tilled the soil have left their farms to fight or, as a result of military action, have been forced to leave as refugees.

CORDS assists the GVN with a wide variety of agricultural programs to raise the living standards of the people, increase production, and strengthen the agricultural base of the economy. Projects include agricultural extension services, crop and livestock production, agricultural cooperatives and credit facilities, development of agricultural resources and land reform. A program of rural electrification, with CORDS support, is bringing electricity to rural communities.

US advisors also assist the Agricultural Extension Service, which operates in all provinces. Training courses, providing up-to-date information and skills on improved a agricultural practices, reach thousands of farmers. 4-T Clubs, modeled after the US's 4-H Clubs, involve thousands of young people. Similarly, the GVN and CORDS conduct demonstration programs in the use of fertilizers to increase crop production.

In Central Viet-Nam (which includes I Corps), the historical basis for life is agriculture, and the foundation of agriculture is rice. The

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cultural pattern is one of planting and harvesting, work in the fields, attachment to one’s own land, and an agrarian philosophy of life. The highlands and cities are beyond the ken of the average rural Vietnamese. Production has been mainly subsistence, so there has been little significant interchange between countryside and town and trade in the rural areas is concluded on a barter basis.

War, of course has changed this. Nearly half the available rice land is now out of production and hundreds of thousands of families have fled to the cities and refugee camps. Viet-Nam has become deficient in rice: depending on US imports for survival. Whether or not the old pattern will ever reestablish itself is questionable, as the new generation may be reluctant to return to the labor, long hours, poverty, and boredom of the countryside.

In simplest terms, the problem is to return people to the land and start producing rice once again. To help achieve this, the I Corps Refugee Service is engaged in a resettlement program, where security permits. CORDS agricultural advisors are introducing various improved forms of rice which have many times the yield of domestic varieties and approximately 6,100 hectares are now planted. Advisors are also trying to develop a commercial sector for the distribution of fertilizers and insecticides.

Concurrently, the GVN, through CORDS advice, is trying to overcome the isolation of the farmer from the city and increasing his production to include marketable products; such as vegetables, fruits, poultry, and swine. Public Works is improving the secondary road network to make city markets more accessible. The cash obtained from resultant increased sales will enable farmers to purchase equipment and consumer good to improve their own lives and upgrade productivity.  Meanwhile, the village and hamlet self-help programs are improving rural life in direct.  If immeasurable, ways by the construcrion of markets, mills, pig sties, fish ponds, dams, and irrigation works.

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VI. CORDS and Logistics

 The primary objective of furnishing logistics technical support is to develop with the GVN, the organizational and managerial capability necessary for building a viable logistics system capable of efficiently and economically managing the procurement, receipt, storage, distribution, and maintenance of commodities and equipment in support of pacification and development programs.

The secondary objective is  to keep commodities arriving in country and flowing to the end user in sufficient quantities to hold down inflationary trends.

CORDS  maintenance, supply and  transportation advisors are working closely with  the GVN to develop  and  increase  the  capabilities  of  the Central Logistics Agency  (CLA) , the Ministry of Revolutionary Development (MORD) , and the Director General of the Commercial Port Authority (DGPA)  so that these organizations can eventually assume complete responsibility to execute their respective functions.

To support  the  joint  USAID/ GVN  pacification and nation building programs in Region I alone, In CY 1968, the Central Logistics Agency moved 44, 740 tons of PL 480 Title II foodstuffs and 32,659 tons of cement, aluminum roofing and reinforcing steel through Da Nang to province warehouses. It was then moved to hamlet and village level by MORD personnel and equipment.

Commodity distribution through former Central Procurement and Supply Authority (GPSA) system was limited to USAID furnish PL 480 Title II foodstuffs and CI construction material until the establishment of the Central Logistics Agency operating under the Prime Minister’s Office. Under the new concept, CLA will be expanded to become a complete GVN logistics system providing commodity and maintenance support for all GVN ministries and their programs. It is also intended that the CLA will eventually take over the operation of the Province Maintenance Shops now being developed by MORD in each province and autonomous city to service and repair all GVN vehicles in the respective areas.

The Government of Viet-Nam takes delivery of all PL 480 Title II foodstuffs and CI cement, reinforcing steel and aluminum roofing either when it is loaded aboard ship in the US, when it is delivered to the GVN stevedore contractor in the hold of the vessel or at end of the ship’s tackle, or at first destination warehouses, depending on procurement and vessel chartering arrangements. From that moment until the commodity is issued to the end user at district or hamlet level, these commodities are the property of the GVN and as such the GVN must maintain accountability as prescribed in the Basic Supply Regulations for Revolutionary Development Program Commodities (BSR).

Commodities picked up by CLA and MORD Province RD Accountable Officers, which are the GVN agencies responsible for receipt, accounting, 

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warehousing and delivery to district and hamlet level, cannot be re­ leased except with properly prepared and executed USAlD/CORDS and GVN countersigned requisitioning documents. USAID furnished PL 80 Title II foodstuffs and CI construction material distributed through the GVN/CLA/MORD supply systems are issued to authorize recipients for use only on authorized projects.

In ICTZ, four of the six provinces and city maintenance shops are 90% to 98% complete. The Quang Nam Maintenance Shop is expected to be 95% complete by September 15, 1969. Construction of the City of Da Nang Shop has now been resumed with receipt of fibro cement roofing. Efforts are being made on national, regional, and province level to fill shortages in shop tools and equipment and to obtain an adequate supply of replacement parts. The GVN is endeavoring to hire both experienced mechanics and receptive mechanic trainees while Philco-Ford is under contract to USAID and the GVN to provide the Korean and Vietnamese training instructors to teach GVN employed maintenance personnel to operate a shop. Action is being taken to effect cross servicing agreements for servicing and repair of other ministry vehicles and equipment.

The CORDS Logistics staff includes port and transportation advisors who are working with Da Nang Commercial Port and CLA to provide the GVN with sufficient assistance in equipment, facilities and trained personnel to provide not only the logistics support necessary to prosecute the war, but to insure long-term benefits through enhancing the overall transportation system in Viet-Nam. This is being accomplished by constructing, modernizing, and rehabilitating port and in-transit warehouse facilities and increasing and improving the quality and capability of GVN managerial personnel so they can gradually assume complete responsibility for transportation management and operations. During the 1968 calendar year, 539,950 metric tons of import and export cargo were handled through the Commercial Port of Da Nang . CLA is now providing two to five day delivery service to province warehouses, and is transporting an ever increasing quantity of the total volume of PL 430 foodstuffs and CI construction material via commercial truck and junk thereby reducing the requirement for US Government furnished sea and air lift.

In summary, the CORDS role is primarily that of providing advice and assistance to the GVN common-user logistics system at region, province and district level in supply, maintenance, and transportation matters, and of monitoring, accountability an end-use of all USAID furnished commodities and equipment. CORDS operational involvement is being reduced as fast as the GVN can assume responsibility for managing and operating their supply, maintenance and transportation facilities and systems.

Published:Tue Mar 27 11:03:23 EDT 2018