The enemy never forgets that its fight is first and foremost political rather than military. It has not forgotten the basic reason for fighting a war, which is to bring the enemy to a point where one can impose one's will upon him -- whether by brute force or psychological persuasion.
The insurgents in South Viet-Nam make an intelligent use of a mixture of both methods: Vietnamese village chiefs, youth leaders, school teachers, notables, and other administrative or social leaders of the population are killed or cowed; and American or South Vietnamese units are engaged when victory is almost certain, and always with maximum propaganda effect...
For years prior to the spreading of the South Vietnamese insurgency to its present proportions, I have lectured on the extreme likelihood that the road and rail lifelines along the Vietnamese seashore would become almost useless in case of a full-fledged guerilla war. That fear became full reality during the first half of 1962...All major roads are under attack, and even armored convoys are subject to daylight ambushes, often within less than thirty miles from Saigon. Night traffic, both road and rail, is at a standstill.
Americans still have to learn from the French that the latter lost during the Indochina war over 500 armored vehicles, 398 of which (almost two armored divisions!) were destroyed by enemy action between 1952 and 1954. The most important aspect of that part of the war was that eighty-four percent of those vehicles were lost through mines and booby-traps and only a handful through conventional antitank weapons. Present operations in South Viet-Nam confirm that the Viet-Minh have lost none of their fearsome ability to lay traps for motorized convoys.