The Development of the Plain of Reeds

Some Politico-Military Implications

by Victor J. Croizat

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An examination of the implications and desirability of a development program for reclamation of the Plain of Reeds, part of the Mekong River delta extending over much of the Cambodian-South Vietnamese frontier zone. The complex problems involved in developing the Plain of Reeds are aggravated by the unfortunate relations that continue to exist between Cambodia and South Vietnam. Any major developmental effort in the Plain will require that the waters that periodically inundate the area be properly managed — and these waters come from Cambodia. Essentially, the problem is one of restoring the area to government control. This analysis concludes that the proposed development could be initiated by the Vietnamese, but that the undertaking should be carried on within the context of an eventual international effort which would include Cambodia. The mechanism for such an association already exists and needs only to be properly exploited.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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.