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Interesting article. The Hamlet Security rating was certainly not perfect, but I think it is the best data the US could have realistically gotten given the times. If you take it as a general guide, the data does accurately describe which side controlled a village. I believe that something like it should have been adopted in the early 1960s.

One thing that needs to be taken into account on the effectiveness of air strikes and artillery strikes on Vietnamese villages is what happened afterwards.

From subjective commentary at the time, if US/ARVN forces captured the village and pacified it with local forces 24/7, they got the support of the villagers in the long-term. This typically occurred after 1968.

If, however, the Allies shelled a village and then let the VC maintain control of the village afterwards, then the villagers blamed the US/ARVN. This was most common before 1968.

In general, I believe that the Vietnamese villagers wanted peace and stability in their village, and they did not care who gave it to them.

Not sure if you can parse the existing data to prove or falsify this theory with existing data, though.

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Madeline - I would be interested in your take on Mark Moyar's Triumph Regained: The Vietnam War, 1965-1968. Mark had access to fully declassified records from the US, Russia (then Soviet Union), the PRC, and Vietnam (formerly North Vietnam).

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