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An alternative to the present strategy in Vietnam that views counterinsurgency as composed of three levels of applied countertactics to be simultaneously satisfied: police action; police protection from small squad and platoon-size guerrilla forces; and the containment, dispersal, and destruction of company and larger-size enemy units. What should dominate decisions about the employment of forces is their potential for providing protection to the population in the villages, hamlets, and urban areas. This village defense by combined U.S./Vietnamese units, along with small unit patrolling in the contested and enemy territory, must be part of a larger system that provides support through artillery, air, or ground forces.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Document series. The RAND Document (D), a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1970, was an internal working paper written as a step in a continuing study within RAND, which could be expanded, modified, or withdrawn at any time.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.