Killing the 'Vietcong': The British Advisory Mission and the Strategic Hamlet Programme

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The British Advisory Mission to Vietnam (BRIAM) was established in September 1961. It was headed by Robert Thompson, who had gained experience in anti-guerrilla-warfare in Malaya. Contrary to the widely accepted view, Thompson did not conceive the Strategic Hamlet Programme that was announced in February 1962. While working for the adoption of methods used during the Malayan emergency, including strategic hamlets, Thompson was disappointed that its own strategy - the Delta Plan - got lost in the Strategic Hamlet Programme. Once Thompson had become resigned to the fact that he had to give advice within the framework of the Strategic Hamlet Programme, he began to believe in its ultimate success, and informed President John F. Kennedy in early 1963 that the defeat of the communist insurgents was imminent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135 - 162
Number of pages28
JournalThe Journal of Strategic Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002


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