The ''Phoenix Program'' was a clandestine Military Operation orchestrated by The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1965. The purpose behind Phoenix –he US Military was to infiltrate suspected Viet Cong and North Vietnamese operatives in South Vietnam and to capture them for intelligence gathering. In other words – torture. Using South Vietnamese Army Special Units as well as those of The US Military (Special Forces, etc), possible and potential Enemy targets were taken. Every method of information extraction was used, to a point of most being major violations of United Nations Regulations. However, the Program often gathered important information about large scale Unit operations and the location of heads of local Espionage Groups (Cells). It is estimated that over 20,000 Enemy Informants were killed between 1965 and 1972 (when Phoenix ended).
Phoenix also helped to train and fund local Militia in The South – along The Ho Chi Min Trail Supply line. These irregular Forces had few rules they had to follow. The overall mentality was to ''fight The Cong, Like a Cong''. Few knew of The Phoenix Program with most former Operatives denying serving, The Program which was budgeted in the millions of USDs, had thousands of support personnel and it's own airfields and support aircraft (even ships). When later Congressional Hearings began to question the cost of several unidentified Operations, Phoenix was found out and ended. No formal charges for torture or illicit practices were ever brought to bear on suspected Operatives of The Phoenix Program.