The Future for Vietnam

The Future for Vietnam



at Forum:
Sunday July 14, 2019

Shadle Public Library Conference Room
Spokane, Washington
(video will be available soon)


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I want to thank the organizing committee for this opportunity to contribute to discussions regarding the future for Vietnam. As a student of the Vietnam War and the consequence of the loss of South Vietnam to communism, I could briefly frame the picture in a general way, given the time available for my presentation. Three prominent questions:


Question 1:
Why Vietnam will have no future under the current communist regime?


Despite the Vietnamese communists’ ability to wage war, many studies of the Vietnam War revealed that:

First, they are not made to build peace, but to create conflict and disunity, to their benefit as rulers.

Second, and above all, they are merely a well-organized gang of bandits, highly skilled in oppressing and exploiting Vietnamese people. They did these in the name of: freedom, equality, happiness, compassion, social justice, patriotism, people welfare, socialism, independence.

Third, their highest aim and skill was to grab power, to maintain control of that power, and protect it at all cost. For the protection of their power, Hanoi volunteered to submit to China and make Vietnam an autonomous province of China, similar to Mongolia, Turkestan, and Tibet.


To justify their act of treason, Vietnamese communist leadership promoted a slogan that said: the survival of the Party will guarantee the survival of each party member (Còn Đảng Còn Mình). This led the communist leadership to brutally suppress those Vietnamese patriots who had the guts to protest against Red Chinese violation of Vietnamese territory on land and at sea.


Hanoi’s open-border policy allows Chinese crossing the Northern border freely without passport or visa. This open border is an effective measure leading to active migration of Chinese to Vietnam, accompanied by free import of Chinese goods without taxes.


Two direct consequences: first, this is a dangerous policy of converting Vietnam into a sanctuary of Chinese migrants who would over-populate Vietnam in the near future; second, Chinese are allowed to populate strategic locations in Vietnam that would threaten national security of Vietnam.



Question 2:
Why the present Communist Regime will not last?

The prolonged domination by Communism of Vietnam left behind three consequences:


First, the communist party members become a minority group of totalitarian ruling class, controlling all national resources, making themselves exceedingly rich.

Second, the majority of the population are exceedingly poor, being robbed to their bare bone. They lost all their basic right of ownership, right of free speech, and right of association.

Third, a band of opportunistic agents serve the communist tyrany by enforcing the suppressive policy. These are the plain-cloth thugs, members of the secret police force who would beat down all civil protests which only ask for social and civil justice.   Consequently, the majority of the destitute and miserable citizens will be the source of potential uprising for the eventual destruction of the current order. Therefore, the current communist party will not last. The issue is When, not if.


Question 3:
Will the next “post-communist” regime have a chance to give A Future to Vietnam.

The chance is quite promising considering the following three telling points:


First, the Vietnamese people have learned the lesson of communist disaster and they no longer want to go back to the nightmare of socialism. They want to have free choice in building a political system that would respond to national need and the people’s wish.

Second, The Vietnamese people would then enjoy support of millions of Vietnamese expatriates who could bring home their resource, personal experience, technical expertise, especially their knowledge of political democracy, to develop Vietnam as a responsible member of the world community.

Third, as a responsible member of the international community, Vietnam would generate mutual trust from international partners leading to worldwide cooperation and investment allowing responsible developments, good and fair trades. The above potential future for post-communist Vietnam is not without challenges:


FIRST – Vietnamese must prove to be trustworthy, reliable, honest, the three essential qualities totally denied by Ho Chi Minh’s legacy of tyranny and irresponsible ruling. The remedy requires conscious efforts by the whole government and responsible citizens to educate and train new generations of young Vietnamese in modern time.

SECOND – The Vietnamese must be able to overcome 1.selfish individualism, 2. jealousy,  3.partisan disunity,and 4. regional and racial discriminatory spirit, the four vices encouraged by the communist rulers who wanted to divide and weaken the people for easy control.

THIRD –  The Vietnamese people must take the challenge of political responsibility, personal sacrifice, and a sense of honor in assuming the task of building a worthy society and a healthy nation. Vietnamese must not forget the greatest challenge is coming from Red China to our North and the coward Vietnamese Communists who are nurturing the dream of becoming slave to Beijing for the sake of protecting their status quo. A constant reminder is the need for coordinated efforts by all Vietnamese, overseas as well as at home, in the struggle for the fall of communism in Vietnam.


Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you very much for your attention.


Vũ Quý Kỳ
(1) Panelist for the Forum: The Future of Vietnam, July 14, 2019, Spokane, WA

3 other distinguished Panelists:
(2) Professor Eric Cunningham from Gonzaga University
(3) Retired Professor Ray Fadeley (Gonzaga University)
(4) Journalist William Jasper, Senior Editor of The New American magazine and



About the author

Vũ Quý Kỳ was born in 1934 in North Vietnam. He twice escaped Communism —1954 from North Vietnam and 1975 from South Vietnam. After high school in 1956, Kỳ earned a Colombo Plan scholarship for his engineering study in Australia Graduated from Adelaide University, South Australia in 1963, Ky worked in telecommunications. After the fall of South Vietnam, Ky eventually settled in Atlanta, Georgia USA with his wife and three sons. Professor Ky Quy Vu taught Physics (vật lý học) & Math (toán) in DeVry Technical Institute/University for 35 years and retired in 2014.
His is especially interested in the nature of warfare and political systems. During 1960s and 70s, Ky studied the communist political/military tactics and strategies in North and South Vietnam and wrote several analysis/research papers for the Tập San Cao Đẳng Quốc Phòng (Saigon National Defense College periodicals). His book, “A Shooting Star” just published, reflects his own experiences and his fellow countrymen, in the Vietnamese struggles during Vietnam War. This book offers an analysis of the strategies, tactics, and goals of the Vietnamese communists and nationalists during Vietnam War.


“A SHOOTING STAR” just published (Volume 1)
300-page Book on Vietnam War by Professor Ky Quy Vu

Go to Search Vu Ky
Publisher phone: (844) 212-0689




Part I: How South Vietnam Came About


Chapter 1–––– Historical Background: A Nation Awakening
Japan Entered Vietnam

Scouting the Countryside

Who Were the Viet Minh

Japanese Coup d’état in Indochina

Map 1

How the Japanese Got the Upper Hand

Pseudo-Independence for Viet Nam



Chapter 2–––Viet Minh Seizure of Power
Power Vacuum

Surprise Mini-Coup by the Catholics

Map 2

Who Was Ho Chi Minh

Brief Narrative: Lenin, Stalin, and Nguyen Ai Quoc

Strategic Mission in China and Vietnam

Nguyen Ai Quoc and Non – Communist Vietnamese
In China – A Brief History of Conflict

Ho’s Loyalty to International Communism

What Happened in Cochi-China

The Chinese Entry to North Vietnam – Chinese Vested Interests

Chess-board Intrigues and Ensuing Tragedies

March 6 Provisional Agreement

Ho’s Consolidation of Power – Systematic Massacre
of Nationalist Factions


Chapter 3–––––The War That Started in Fall
Strategic Defense for the Viet Minh – Military situation Tonkin

Map 3

Political Reality – Rewinding the Clock

Between the end of 1946 and 1949

A New Major Unknown – The Race Against Time

France’s Arrogance and Greed Versus Wisdom And Vision

Ho’s Secret Trip To China and Russia

The Border Military Campaign

Map 4

The Chinese Version of the Border Campaign

Giap’s Lack of Battle Vision

Weak Vietnamese Leadership

Summing up: a Decisive Change in the Equation

Viet Minh’s Fifth Columnists

De Lattre de Tassigny

Giap’s Suicidal Offensive

Map 5

Chapter 4––– China – Dien Bien Phu –
End of the First Indochina War

I. Strengthened Chinese Political Influence and Control

Thought Control

Political education

Self-criticism within the Frame Work of Political Education

Success and Failure of Brainwashing,
Indoctrination, and Self-Criticis

II. Mao’s Leadership at Work

New Military Situation (1952-1953)

The North West Campaign

Map 6

Upper Laos Campaign

III. Political Circumstance – Poor Military Judgement

Giap’s Winter – Spring Offensive 1953-1954

The Cost of Poor Judgement – French Problems in

Điện Biên Phủ

Giap’s Dilemma

Map 7

Giap’s New Tactic

Map 8

Navarre’s Defense Crumbling in Điện Biên Phủ

Map 9

IV. Geneva Agreement

The French Indochina War and the Cold War-Giap’s view

Chinese Influence on Hồ’s Team

Why and How Mao Gained the Upper Hand?

How Did this Submission to Mao Happen?

The Winner and the Loser?

Geneva Political Solution – What Happened to the

Common Vietnamese

The Other Choice


Part II. Why South Vietnam Had to Fight Back Hồ’s Invasion 89


Chapter 5 –––– The Land Reform

I. Land Reform Before Điện Biên Phủ

Agrarian Tax and the Germination of Class Warfare

“Political War” against the Reactionaries

Priming Confession in Kangaroo Courts

The War for Rent Reduction

Name of the Game

Game Plan

Rules of the Game

Deliberate Mobilization of the People

A Typical Victim

The Land Reform and the First Indochina War

II. Land Reform after Geneva

Resumption of Land Reform – The Real One

Issue Facing North Vietnam

Map 10

Mild Actions in Hanoi

Bloodletting Actions in the Countryside

Kicking up the Killing Ratio (Kích Tỷ Lệ)

The Chinese Background

The Kuomintang and Rural China

Classification of farmers

Torturing Techniques and Torturing Agents

Out of Control

Peasant’s Revolt

Khrushchev and the “De-throning” of Stalin

Rectification of Errors

Failures of Rectification Campaign – Or Just a Fake?

Some Characteristics of Hồ’s Unconventional Warfare

Playing on Human Weaknesses

Playing on Accomplices in Crime

Ignoring Legalistic Procedure and Administrative


Elimination of True Regime of Rule-of-Law

Lasting Scars

Stopgap Measures and the Powerdercake

Hundred Flowers Blooming – The Cultural Revolt

Official Termination of Land Reform

III. Collectivization of Agricultural Production

Work Exchange Cells

Low Level Cooperatives

Fundamental Principles of Low Level Cooperatives

Disillusioned and Defeated Poor Peasants

Reactions by the Peasants

How the Authority Handled the Situation

Using “đoàn viên” to work on their families

Issuing Cooperative Membership Cards

Zone Allocation

High Level Cooperatives

Shortcomings in the Cooperative Program

Substitute Food ration and Contractual Animal Husbandry

Economic Reality Versus Ideological Imperatives

Map 10a

Training of Collectivized working people in labor

Bernard Fall about Malnutrition


IV. Hồ’s Achievement Through Land Reform

Regimentation of Rural Population

Institutionalization of Power Structure in the Countryside

Consolidation of Political and Security Control

Unwanted Consequences

A Vandalized Culture

Break Down of Family Foundation

Atrocity Exceeding records in Colonial Time

Enforced Ignorance

Destruction of Individual Identity


Chapter 6 ––––North Vietnam’s Preparation for War


Concept and Strategy

Reform of Industry-Trade-Capitalist-Private Enterprise

General Reorganization of the People Army

Map 11

Table 3. Labor Camps for Troops

Self-Sufficiency amid Constant Military Drills

Worker’s Condition in Non-Farming Areas

Table 4. Salary scale at Tran Hung Dao Machinery Factory

Military Modernization – Strategic Industrial Complexes –

Defense Constructions

Weapons Equipping and War Strategy

Ideological Control of the Armed Forces

Logistics Preparation and Military Training

Table 5. Military Training Camps for Foot Soldiers

Strategic and Non – Strategic Industrial Complexes

Map 12

Table 6. Electric Power serving Industrial Complexes

Table 7. Other Electric Power stations

Map 13

Map 13 bis

Other Major Defense-Related Constructions

Map 14


Part III How South Vietnam Fought Back Against Hồ’s AggressionThe Alliance in Trial and Error


Chapter 7––––– The First Republic of Viet Nam

I. Social, Cultural, and Political Background

Cultural and Regional Players: the Cao Đài, Hòa Hảo and Bình Xuyên

Origin and Growth of Cao Đài as a Religion and

Political Power

Origin and Growth of Hòa Hảo as a Religious and

Political Power

Who Were the Bình Xuyên?

Reality of French Presence


Party Politics

Total Chaos – Impossible Job

How and Why Ngô Đình Diệm Again?

II. The Challenging Task of Restoring Power for the Central


Initial Challenge

Initial Conflicts – Different Voices on Official Radio


Background of Diem’s Problems – The Triangle of


The Paris Angle

The Hinh Issue

The French Issue – The Washington Conference

The Washington Angle

The Mansfield Mission

Washington – On Again, Off Again

A Changed Collins

The Saigon Angle – The Symptom and the Root Cause

The Gathering Storm – The Final Showdown

Bình Xuyên Early Military Action in Support of Political


III. Institutional Framework – The Republic

The Concept of Top Down Formula

IV. Strength and Weaknesses of the New Republic

The True Picture


Chapter 8––––– Nation Building Amid Threat of War

I. Broad Perspective

Initial Positive Signs

Refugee Resettlement – The Huge Payback

Table 8. Rice Production and Export

Table 9. Student Enrollment

From Ideology to Political Organization

Diem’s Power Base at the Infrastructure Level

II. Rude Realit

Military Realities – National Security and Defense

The War Scenario

Difference in How the Army Should be Organized

Political Realities – Short Term Success Versus Long

Term Problems

Major Weakness in Governance

Assets Versus Liabilities

III. Real Threats Coming

The Under-Current –
A Case Study of Potential Threat to Stability

Life-and-Death Issues and the Need to Fix the Problem

Time Sensity Opportunity

Unconventional Warfare

Communist Strategy of Terror

Table 10. Douglas Pike Compilation of Communist

Acts of Terrorism

Boycotting Forces

Concerted Uprising (Đồng Khởi)

IV. Balancing the Account

The Other Side of the Coin

The “Third Side” of the Coin

What Hanoi Had in Stock

A reluctant Writer

In Spite of Early Communist Insurgency


Chapter 9–––– The Rise of Unconventional Warfare

I. Strategic Perspective

The Grand Plan of Deception – The PRP, PRG, and

NLF – The Special War

Early Sign of Trouble in SVN – The Caravelle Event

 II. Geopolitical Consideration

Laotian Territory and the War in SVN

The Troika: Royalist, Communist, and Nationalist

Map 16

The 1962 Geneva Agreement – Kennedy,

Harriman’s Achievement

Why the Agreement?

Kennedy-Harriman’s Grave Mistakes

Failure of 1962 Geneva Agreement

Hanoi’s Huge Investment in Laos

Lower Laos and Hồ’s Conduit for Invasion of SVN

Infiltration System – The “Harriman’s Highway”

Map 17

Map 17 bis

Initial Effects

Hanoi’s Concept of Three Strategic Regions

Map 18

The Delta (rural Area) and Non-Conventional


Map 19

A critical note on the treatment of Định Tường Province

The Infrastructure and the Three Pillars System

Guerrilla, Local Force, and Main Force

The Mountainous Region and the Secret Stronghold

COSVN Base Area

New Leadership in COSVN

The Urban Area and its Startegic Value

III. Tactical Consideration

Hanoi’s Concept of “Three Prong Offensive” Mission

The Case of Nguyễn Thị Định

Civilian Proselytizing in Urban Areas

Hanoi’s Success and Failure in “Civilian


American Aid and Attaching Strings

Border Protection – Montagnards in Village Defense


IV. Antidote to People War

Strategic Hamlets – From Sound Concept to Defective


Systemic Picture – Military, Social, Political, and


Military Angle

Social Angle

Political Pilar

Economic Angle

Implementation of Concept

Assessment of Success and Failure

“Clear-and-hold” formula

Map 20

The Performance of Regular Armed Forces in

Unconventional Warfare

When Given a Chance

The First Battle of Ấp Bắc (January 2, 1963)