In what turned out to be a very prescient report, Seymour Topping reported in the New York Times that the Vietnamese Communists, soon to be known as The Vietcong were bracing for a long war with America.
The Vietnamese Communists are telling their followers to steel themselves for a “protracted war.” This is their response to the United States military build-up in South Vietnam. In a reversal of ‘the propaganda line instituted early this year, political cadres of Vietcong have stopped talking about 1965 as the “year of decision,” “It may take 5, 10 or 20 years to defeat the Americans and if this generation does not succeed the next will,” the Vietcong rank and file are now told. This position, defined in repeated Vietcong radio broad-casts, has profound implications for United States policy. Among United States officials in Saigon there is tacit acceptance of the prospect of protracted war and interest in negotiations with the Communists has diminished. In the prevailing mood in Saigon, the preoccupation of the Johnson Administration in its public pronouncements with the possibility of negotiations seems somewhat unreal to most observers.