South Viet Nam: Opening an Artery

South Viet Nam's sprawling Mekong Delta is a military planner's nightmare. May-to-October monsoon rains churn the paddyfields into oceans of viscous slop that bogs down troopers and tanks alike. But for all its unpleasant mud, the Delta is far too vital to be ignored. It is the home of one-third of South Viet Nam's 16.5 million people, produces fully one-half of the country's food. It is also infested with Viet Cong. As long as the U.S. has concentrated most of its military muscle in other areas, the V.C. have been able to use it as their main source of...

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