Phoenix and the Birds of Prey: Counterinsurgency and Counterterrorism in Vietnam

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U of Nebraska Press, Dec 1, 2007 - History - 448 pages
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For more than thirty years the mere mention of the Phoenix Program, the CIA's top-secret effort to destroy the Viet Cong by neutralizing its "civilian" leaders, has conjured up dark images of secret assassinations, kidnappings, and the torture of civilians by the South Vietnamese and their U.S. advisers. This study explodes many of the prevailing myths and perceptions of the program and the myriad efforts that until now have been mistakenly lumped together under the term Phoenix. Drawing on recently declassified documents and interviews with more than one hundred U.S., South Vietnamese, and North Vietnamese sources, Mark Moyar dissects the various attempts to eradicate the Viet Cong infrastructure and analyzes the effectiveness of each. With balance and full documentation, he addresses serious misconceptions about these efforts and provides the most accurate and complete picture available of the allies' decapitation of the Viet Cong shadow government.
 

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Contents

Before Phoenix
3
2 The Shadow Government and the Viet Cong
9
3 The Shadow Government and the People
18
Before Phoenix
35
5 The New Attack on the Shadow Government
47
Intelligence
57
6 Targets
59
7 Informants and Agents
64
18 Neutralization of NonCommunist Civilians
202
19 Assassinations
224
Damage Inflicted on the Shadow Government
233
20 Neutralization Statistics
235
21 Actual Viet Cong Cadre Losses
242
22 Additional Setbacks for the Shadow Government
255
23 The Shadow Government in Decline
271
Villager Attitudes
279

Interrogation Torture and Execution
86
9 Ralliers Documents and Photographs
108
10 Misinformation
114
Coordination
125
Phoenix Centers
127
12 Attempts to Make Phoenix and Phung Hoang Work
133
13 Other Intelligence and Operations Coordination
142
Operations
147
14 The Nature of Operations
149
15 The Birds of Prey
158
16 The South Vietnamese
175
17 The Americans
189
24 Abuse of the Population
281
25 Changing Attitudes
298
26 The Impact of the New Attitudes
319
Postlude
331
27 Theories of Revolutionary Warfare
333
28 Reflections
346
29 Lessons Learned
366
Glossary
399
Notes
405
Selected Bibliography
431
Index
439
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Mark Moyar is an associate professor at the U.S. Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia, and the author of Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954?1965. Harry G. Summers Jr. (1932?99) served in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War and was an instructor and distinguished fellow at the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College.

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