A People's Army for South Vietnam

A Vietnamese Solution

by Brian Michael Jenkins

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Abstract

A lack of men, money, and any firm guarantee that the U.S. Congress will continue, for very long, to provide funds to support South Vietnam's defense establishment at current levels makes it imperative for South Vietnam to reduce the economic and social burden of its defense, while maintaining adequate security. A program is suggested by which much of the Vietnamese defense burden could be shifted to a people's army composed of local militiamen and members of the People's Self-Defense Force, allowing reductions in the regular armed forces. Initially, this program would concentrate on expanding and increasing the effectiveness of the People's Self-Defense Force and territorial forces. The burden would be gradually transferred. By 1975 the potential savings would amount to $750 million a year. Equally important, 300,000 to 400,000 soldiers would have been released from full-time active duty.

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