Inducements and Deterrents to Defection

An Analysis of the Motives of 125 Defectors

by Leon Goure


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An analysis of RAND interviews with 125 Viet Cong defectors to determine their attitudes and motives and to suggest more effective communication with potential defectors. Defection was found to be a complex process, usually preceded by careful consideration and planning. Delays were created by the VC system of surveillance and control, and fear of treatment and reprisals by the GVN. Motives for defection, in order of frequency of mention, were: personal hardships, fear of being killed, economic hardships of the family, criticism and punishment, homesickness and resentment over denial of home leave, a feeling of having gained nothing from service with the VC, dissatisfaction with VC policies and aims, loss of faith in VC victory, removal of the family to a GVN-controlled area, arrest or execution of a family member by the VC, forcible recruitment into the VC, and dissatisfaction with VC taxes.

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