Vietnam War Dictionary
Strategic Hamlet Program
The Strategic Hamlet Program was a pacification
effort established in 1962 to separate and protect the rural population of South Vietnam from the Viet Cong
. Having swept an area clear of insurgents, villagers were moved into a hamlet protected by a local militia and fortified by a ditch, bamboo spikes and barbed wire. Once security had been established, social and economic initiatives were supposed to be implemented to compensate the resettled villagers and win popular support for the Government of Vietnam. However, in practice these vital socio-economic aspects of the program were often lacking. The death of President Diem
and his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, in November 1963 effectively ended the program as a national strategy.