VIET NAM: Combat Profit

The bountiful stockpiles of PX goodies and military equipment have disappeared in South Viet Nam, along with U.S. troops. This has left corrupt South Vietnamese officers without their usual black-market revenues. But the continuing war offers other opportunities for the unscrupulous, as TIME Correspondent Barry Hillenbrand learned last week. His report from Saigon on the latest twists of turpitude:

Q. Why would a hundred Saigon soldiers, outnumbered 5 to 1 and facing two T-54 tanks, fight ferociously to hold the strategically unimportant town of Phuoc Tan?

A. Money. As one of the many hubs of illicit trade between Communist and government zones,...

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