Vo Nguyen Giap on why the US will lose (1966)

This extract comes from a 1966 propaganda booklet written by General Vo Nguyen Giap, titled Once Again We Will Win. Here, Giap explains why he considers the American military presence in Vietnam an “imperialist” and “neo-colonialist” action. It is for these reasons, Giap argues, that the United States is bound to lose:

“In the South of our country, like in many parts of the world, faced with the growth of the socialist camp and the national liberation movement, to cover up their aggressive nature the American imperialists have applied neo-colonialism with their customary policies and manoeuvres, hoping to enslave our people through their agents and by means of military and economic aid.

All along the period between 1954 and 1959, since they brought Ngo Dinh Diem to Saigon and staged the ‘Republic of Vietnam’ farce, the US imperialists have sought every means to carry out those neo-colonialist tricks. But right from the start, the South Vietnamese people exposed the true colours of the American imperialists and their stooges, waging an unflinching political struggle to demand the correct implementation of the 1954 Geneva Agreements on Vietnam, independence and freedom, and national reunification by peaceful means.

The US imperialists and their lackeys have mustered the puppet forces, used most cruel military measures to repress the people’s political struggle, and launched a unilateral war throughout four or five long years…

The US troops form the core, serving as the military mainstay of the puppet army and administration and also the principal mobile force, an occupying force in important strategic bases and, at the same time, a strategic and tactical reserve, taking a direct part in the combat in an attempt to wipe out our people’s revolutionary forces in the Southern theatre.

The puppet [South Vietnamese] army, which relies on the American troops to exist, consolidate and develop, constitutes both a mobile force on the battlefield and the main force to control and pacify the country. It is also a political prop of the American troops.

Clearly enough, in military strategy, the American imperialists have gone beyond the limits and scale of their ‘special warfare’. Of course, while stepping up their aggressive war according to their new strategy, their purpose is to continue achieving neo-colonialism in South Vietnam. Whatever number of American troops they may bring in, they have to actively consolidate the native reactionary force – the puppet army and administration – as the necessary political and military mainstay of their colonialist war of aggression…

The war that the US imperialists have started and are pursuing in Vietnam… is invariably aimed at occupying the South and turning it into a US new-type colony and military base. Therefore by its nature, this is an aggressive and unjust war… It cannot avoid the fundamental contradictions and the inevitable failure inherent to all aggressive wars and neo-colonialism in the present epoch, especially in the specific conditions of the South of our country.

The more obdurately the US imperialists carry on and intensify this war, the sharper those contradictions, the worse their situation and the more pitiful their ultimate defeat will be.”

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