The War: A Scramble for Real Estate

At key points in South Viet Nam, allied forces last week were placed on alert in anticipation of a new enemy offensive. Captured documents, prisoner interrogations and exhortations broadcast by the clandestine Viet Cong radio pointed to an imminent push—perhaps to coincide with the eighth anniversary of the founding of the guerrillas' National Liberation Front on Dec. 20.

While rumors of a new Communist drive have bedeviled Saigon frequently since August, allied officers were not inclined to dismiss the current crop out of hand. Heavy action near the Cambodian border, a sharp upsurge of activity in...

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