CIA analysts were prepared to accept that in 1954-1958 Diem’s ‘intentions were good’ with regard to the Highlanders. But these intentions had been implemented halfheartedly at best. Diem’s government had actually 'accomplished little’ for the Highlanders. Government officials in the Central Highlands were, in general, very poorly prepared to work with the indigenous peoples. Educational programs favored Vietnamese settlers rather than the indigenous population, and while ethnic Vietnamese expanded their land-holdings, talk of giving Highlanders definite titles to good-quality land suitable for wet-rice agriculture remained just that–talk. Government influence over most Highlanders was extremely limited. Road building was hindered by a lack of funds, so much of the region remained physically inaccessible to government officials who were not prepared to trek long distances on foot. More important, few officials were trained or motivated to cross the cultural barrier and gain the trust of the Highlanders. The result was increasing hostility to Diem’s government. By the end of 1958: 'Four years after the Saigon government came to power it was… faced with growing unrest among the tribal groups and subversion of these groups by the Viet Cong. Since the government had found itself incapable of implementing a political civic action program it resorted to a military program and oppressive action to control the Highlanders which further aggravated the situation.’ Although the Communist Party already had dedicated cadres working among the Highland tribes, violence sometimes broke out between Highlanders and the government without Communist instigation and long before the Communist leadership thought the time was ripe for a serious armed struggle.
— Vietnam’s High Ground: Armed Struggle for the Central Highlands, 1954-1965 by JP Harris, page 37-38