The Viet Cong terrorized the people in the countryside for YEARS.
They were supplied via the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which Secretary of Defense Robert Strange McNamara denied even existed.
So, he sent in the SOG … Special Operations Group … and he wanted them to make home movies of the Ho Chi Minh trail.
Read “SOG” by John Plaster. Excellent book; it will leave you disgusted at the perfidy by our senior commanders.
But McNamara wanted the SOG guys to share with the local South Vietnamese IN ADVANCE and they had been compromised, so their top secret ops were compromised … blown from the very beginning.
American casualties were horrendous … since they were blown from the beginning, the NVA had units in place to hunt down the Americans.
What a mess!
When local commanders presented intelligence that they had collected, he denied it. And he turned down requests for attacks on targets. He set up so many bureaucratic roadblocks that local commanders could not even attack identified targets. And timeliness was essential; these were moving targets; they only stayed in one place for brief times. Targets were selected at weekly luncheons at the White House. Secretary of Defense McNamara, Secretary of State Dean Rusk and President Lyndon Johnson and they notified the Russians a week in advance so that no Russians were endangered. Johnson is extensively quoted as how he controlled every action by the American troops. He stated that he did not want any Americans shooting down any MiG fighters. Visit Amazon and read books on the subject. Look up author Peter E. Davies and his three books on the F-105 fighter in which he quotes President Johnson.
Look up other authors as well. I recommend the following:
Ed Rasimus … “When Thunder Rolled” and “Palace Cobra”.
Excellent author and book: "The Hunter Killers: The Extraordinary Story of the First Wild Weasels, the Band of Maverick Aviators Who Flew the Most Dangerous Missions of the Vietnam War"
by Dan Hampton . Dan Hampton was a Wild Weasel himself. You go and tempt the surface-to- air missile operators to shoot you; and when they do, you have ten seconds to do something.