South Viet Nam: To Clear & to Hold

SOUTH VIET NAM

A term much advertised in Saigon and Washington nowadays is "clear and hold." It is the concept under which South Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Khanh proposes to roll back the Viet Cong by painstakingly securing small areas, then winning over the peasants through reforms. Last week TIME Correspondent Eric Pace visited one clear-and-hold project deep in the Mekong Delta, saw what the strategy can accomplish—and the huge obstacles to its success. His report:

Jouncing along the dusty, crushed-rock ribbon of road behind the wheel of a green Ford pickup truck, Hatcher M. James Jr., 41, an American AID officer in...

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