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Dai Doan Ket - National Reconciliation Program

Two actions that had good results were the Chieu Hoi or Open Arms Program and the Doan Ket or National Reconciliation Program. The Chieu Hoi Program was not very successful in influencing the hardcore Viet Cong at the higher levels of command, or the dedicated North Vietnamese soldier. Only 1% of the total ralliers were NVA military personnel. The highest-ranking Viet Cong to rally was LTC Le Xuan Chuyen. He had been Deputy Chief of the 5th Viet Cong Division and later became director of the National Chieu Hoi Center in Saigon. His story is a testament to the ultimate success of the Chieu Hoi Program in South Vietnam.

The second program, Doan Ket, offered more to the middle and upper ranks of the enemy hierarchy than the Chieu Hoi amnesty program. This program included provisions that returnees would be employed in accordance with their ability, presumably in positions at a level comparable to those they had in the enemy system. This added a bit to the motivation of senior persons who might be inclined to terminate their relationship with the enemy. This program also included a re-educational process before personnel were declared graduates and returned to full citizenship status.

It is one thing to entice a teenage farmhand of limited and recent military exposure to respond to the GVN's appeal; it is quite a different thing to convince a battle-hardened, well-disciplined, and thoroughly politicized officer or political cadre that the strife and struggling of a lifetime are no longer worth the effort. When those key elements in the National Liberation Front organizational structure begin defecting in considerable numbers, then and only then will the end be somewhere in sight. To hasten this process in Malaya, the British quite regularly offered high status and leadership jobs to CT cadre personnel. Also the reward or bounty offered for these individuals was extraordinarily high in comparison to that offered for the average guerrilla.



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