January 1963: Vietnam

News reports, with links:

United Press International, January 16: Americans, who are now deeply involved in South Viet Nam, are accustomed to thinking in terms of short, decisive wars. But the Vietnamese peasant, who has watched continuous troop movements and heard sporadic gunfire around his bamboo hut for the past 20 years, knows that ending the struggle between the pro-Western government of South Viet Nam and the pro-Communist Viet Cong guerrillas is a matter of years, not months.

 Associated Press, January 21: Communist guerrillas in South Vietnam underestimated the strength of their American enemy a year ago and are desperately trying to make up for the mistake, according to a secret Vietcong document that has just come to light. ... The report says a settlement along the lines of the Laotian formula or Algerian victory over the French would be satisfactory to Vietcong aims. In general the tone is cautiously optimistic, but the document warns Vietcong leaders to be psychologically prepared for a long, difficult struggle. (New York Times story on the same day: @)

* Life magazine, January 25: The fighting in South Vietnam, where each hour deepens the U.S. commitment, is many things. It is the whirl of helicopter blades in the steaming air; it is the stench of cloying jungle mud, teeming with parasitic infestation; it is monotony punctuated by songs of insects; it is the closeness of an invisible enemy who strikes out of green ambush with the suddenness of crackling death. In this formless war the U.S. and the Vietnam army are gaining -- though the cost grows higher. 

* Associated Press, January 25: Gen. Earle G. Wheeler said Saturday that "it will take long, vigorous effort to turn the tide once and for all" in the war against the Communist Vietcong. The United States army chief of staff told a news conference there was "reason for us to look forward to winning," but that "it is not yet time to form a victory parade." 

* "A Short Guide to News Coverage in Viet Nam" (Associated Press, January 25): @ 

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