Sunday, August 8, 2010
The elite security and intelligence infrastructure of the Vietcong during the Vietnam War, the Ban-an-ninh had an estimated membership of 25,000 and was responsible for the enforcement of security measures within the Vietcong cadres. Feared because of its ruthless reputation, the Ban-an-ninh maintained a grip on discipline within the support groups upon which the provincial guerrillas depended for food and logistical supplies. Directed from Hanoi, the Ban-an-ninh succeeded in penetrating to the heart of the military and political establishment in Saigon and remains arguably the most effective intelligence apparatus of all time. Dependent on assassination, abduction, reprisals, and terror tactics, the organization was jeopardized only by its own defectors, who were amnestied to participate in the controversial PHOENIX program.