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A discussion of the attitudes and actions of the Lao Dong, the Vietnamese Communist Party, based on statements, Viet Cong prisoner interrogations, and observation of the action pattern in Vietnam. Although the North Vietnamese fight under adverse conditions, their morale is high. The soldiers are laconic, matter-of-fact, resilient; there are few defectors and no unit surrenders. Supported by the basic 3-man-cell system and by daily verbal group therapy sessions, soldiers feel little fear of death and no guilt. Emotionally close to cadre and countryside, they display great faith in leadership and initiative in battle. They strongly believe in their cause, viewing Americans as invaders who kill them and destroy their country. They enumerate 5 sets of theoretical contradictions that will force the Americans out. If U.S. ground forces are reduced, Hanoi will most likely keep the war open-ended. A big strike by the North Vietnamese seems unlikely, for it would only bring retribution against the North and renewed U.S. efforts.

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