THE BOMBING HALT: Johnson's Gamble for Peace

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"They have lost more than 100,000 men killed this year," said a Pentagon expert. "Do you realize that is two field armies? They send those boys down south and they never come back. And they're doing no better in the war." One U.S. observer insisted that Hanoi can rely on only six of every ten men sent south to fight; the rest defect, including an even larger number of North Vietnamese civilian administrators, or melt into the jungle. The growing rate of defections, moreover, leads to better allied intelligence—a major factor in recent months in blunting Communist offensives.

Boys of 15 and 16 are being drafted by the North, including Catholics who had not been considered sufficiently reliable in the past because of the strong Catholic minority in the South. Many

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