All U.S. actions from 1954 onward are illegal:
- The U.S. attack to resume the 1889–1954 U.S. presence is aggression, which Nuremberg prohibits.
- The U.S. leads in breaking the Geneva Accords by pressuring France to abandon its duties to administer and to prevent any military alliance, hostilities, or aggressive policy.
Formation of the National Liberation Front of the South Region of Vietnam (NLF) to defeat the foreign invasion and its proxy Sài Gòn regime of Ngô Đình Diệm. Washington and the proxy government in Sài Gòn refer to these revolutionaries as the Viet Cong (VC).
January 17–December 31, 1960 An uprising by local people, under leadership of former resistance fighters, but without weapons or other assistance from the North Zone, spreads throughout Viet Nam’s southern half (South Zone). By the end of the year, it has seized control of governments in 1,100 out of 1,296 villages in the South Region, plus control of 4,440 of 4,700 hamlets in the Central Region (about 90 percent). Buttinger confirms that their success was not due to Russian involvement, but was due to popular support against the U.S.-backed violence.
March 1960 The uprising sent out a Declaration of Former Resistance Fighters. It went around the world, listing some U.S.-backed methods: Over 200,000 in prisons; Sadistic tortures; 10/59 law against unarmed people allows summary killings; Punitive “sweeps” kill, plunder, and burn; Carte blanche to assassinate former resistance fighters; Summary killings in the thousands; Direct action dispossessing tenants.
April 1960 Viet Nam–DRVN imposes universal military conscription and begins sending small numbers of cadres and soldiers on a months-long trek to its own South Region. Many had lived in the South, but had gone north in 1954 under Geneva provisions for separating the armies.
May 5, 1960 U.S. announces an increase in the number of MAAG (Military Assistance Advisory Group) advisors above the Geneva imposed ceiling of 342.
August 9, 1960 In Laos, Captain Kong Le leads the 2nd Lao Paratroop Battalion in a coup d’etat against the right wing government of Prince Somsanith and forms a neutralist government of Laos, open to both Royalists and the Pathet Lao (Lao Nation or Homeland) Communist party). The political movement of the Pathet Lao was called first the Lao People’s Party (1955–1972) and later the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (1972–present). Key Pathet Lao leaders include Prince Souphanouvong, Kaysone Phomvihane, Phoumi Vongvichit, Nouhak Phoumsavanh and Khamtay Siphandone.
August 15, 1960 General Phoumi Nosavan demounces Kong Le as a Communist and forms a counter-coup committee (Revolutionary Committee) nominally under Prince Boun Oum in Savannakhét.
August 16, 1960 Wishing to end the fighting in Laos, Kong Le hands over power to a neutralist government under Prime Minister Souvanna Phouma.
November 11–12, 1960 South Vietnamese paratroopers stage a failed coup d’état against President Ngô Đình Diệm.
December 4, 1960 The Soviet Union begins airlifting supplies to Kong Le’s neutralist forces in Vientiane. Thailand, which supplies food and fuel to the city, had previously imposed a blockade on the Laos capital.
December 9, 1960 Laos Prime Minister Souvanna Phouma hands power to the military and leaves Vientiane (Laos) for Cambodia.
December 13, 1960 Backed by the CIA, Phoumi Nosavan’s Royal Laotian Army begin their assault on the capital.
December 16, 1960 Phoumi’s royalist troops retake Vientiane. Kong Le retreats north towards the Plaine des Jarres (Plain of Jars).
December 20, 1960 National Liberation Front (NLF) forms in the South Region for the purpose of reunification, reform of government, and elimination of foreign controls. The NLF (to the U.S. and Sài Gòn government, the Viet Cong or VC) is a coalition of diverse groups, among them Vietnamese communists, Cao Dai, ethnic Cambodians, and intellectuals opposed to the GVN. In Sài Gòn former government officials and other professionals in opposition to the Diệm government are arrested.
December 31, 1960 U.S. military personnel in South Vietnam: Approximately 900.