Tuesday, August 30, 2011

US Broadened Scope of Special Forces in 1964

The Newnan Times-Herald is running a series on the Vietnam War and how it affected Coweta County as we prepare for the visit of the Traveling Wall this October. This is another story in this series.

American Special Forces personnel were operating in Southeast Asia as early as the 1950s under the guidance of the CIA.

When President John F. Kennedy decided to increase America's presence in Vietnam, Special Forces "advisors" played a lead role in training the South Vietnamese military as the country worked to form an independent government.

In 1964, Pentagon officials decided to broaden the role of the Special Forces in Vietnam and created the Studies and Operations Group (SOG) to conduct covert operations in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

The SOG's official written mission was "To execute an intensified program of harassment, diversion, capture of prisoners, physical destruction, acquisition of intelligence, generation of propaganda, and diversion of resources against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam)."

Read more at http://www.times-herald.com/