Lilienthal, David E.
January 1969
Foreign Affairs;Jan1969, Vol. 47 Issue 2, p321
This article deals with the process of postwar planning in Vietnam in 1968. The task of postwar planning, of creating a design and a strategy for the transition from a wartime to a peacetime footing, and of making an objective assessment of the prospects of the economy of South Vietnam in the years ahead has been assigned to a Joint Development Group, an organization composed of a private U.S. company. This is not a detached planning exercise dealing only in the abstract with an uncertain future period; much of it is linked to development that is starting now. Experience indicates that economic development programs and action for South Vietnam are both feasible and necessary even during the war. While excellent non-bureaucratic working arrangements have provided ready access to the president and other top officials of the government of South Vietnam, many programs, such as refugee resettlement in the Central Highlands or the relocation of rural and town dwellers in the Delta in preparation for flood control and irrigation works, require the active support of local leaders and of private groups. The basic philosophy, and a central objective even more important than the process of planning, is to stimulate the Vietnamese to devise and carry out plans themselves.


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