“The Rockefeller Report” on defense policy and strategy is issued promoting the concept of graduated deterrence and flexible response as rational alternatives to massive retaliation. It aims to move U.S. foreign policy away from over-reliance on nuclear weapons to other more flexible strategies including counter-insurgency, which would be elaborated in Vietnam. It also calls for a massive military buildup to counter a perceived (but mistaken) notion of Soviet military superiority. The principal authors of the report are Townsend Hoopes and Henry Kissinger.

January 1958 A plantation north of Sài Gòn comes under military attack by anti-Diệm forces. In May 1959, the DRVN People’s Army—composed of citizens—begins opening the Ho Chi Minh Trail through the Truong Son Mountains, for soldiers to trek north to south.

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