The Spatial Dimension: Population-centric COIN at the Expense of Abandoning Territory Overdone to a Reductio ad Absurdum - A Vietnam Case
Mon, 05/06/2019 - 2:11pm
In the final, 1975 onslaught, ARVN with RF lacked the capacity to react to multiple diversionary assaults by enemy local forces and to deploy the necessary concentration of force on multiple fronts to halt PAVN advances toward the capital.[v] Overstretched ARVN, further weakened by US Congressional reduction, with a vengeance, of POL, ammunition and equipment re-supply to a trickle, was simply overwhelmed.
Needed: A Comprehensive History of the War on Terror
Sat, 04/20/2019 - 4:11pm
The study needs to start with a baseline of how to defeat terrorists and insurgents. It can’t accept at face value the hopes and aspirations of American policy makers and field commanders as they entered the War on Terror. It needs to measure their strategies and tactics against proven success.
A Vietnam War Misconception
Thu, 03/21/2019 - 12:58am
Flatly erroneous to the point of calumny is the currently widely held belief, even among the allegedly well-informed, that the VN conflict was lost because the US military insisted on pursuing an enemy-centric strategy, the centerpiece of which was pursuit of enemy main force units. In fact, this attrition-based strategy was responsible for the 1970-71 low point in enemy activity that some (Sorely, inter alia) have labelled the point at which the US and its allies won the war.
Vietnam War History: Orthodox Versus Revisionist
Sat, 03/09/2019 - 7:56am
The dispute between orthodox and revisionist historians of the Second Indochina War is not about debating points, but about permanent differences of basic value systems and perceptions of historical reality. The epistemological dispute between their opposing concepts of historical truth -- objective truth versus subjective "truthiness" -- may be endlessly analyzed, but probably never fully resolved.
Historically and Factually Accurate?
Fri, 02/08/2019 - 5:07am
With the exception of the very few, most Vietnam veterans are proud of their service (~91%) and most of these seem to be “revisionist” versus “orthodox,” as the distinction seems to be currently drawn. I’m surprised that primary sources (i.e., those who were in Vietnam) don’t seem to be as important as secondary ones are for historians today. Just a brief survey of what is now being taught in colleges about Vietnam, including (surprisingly) military ones, and you’ll find it is now a seldom offered course by itself and it seems consigned to being only a chapter in history books.
How Did We Really Lose the Vietnam War?
Thu, 02/07/2019 - 12:54am
In his State of the Union Address, President Trump sought to legitimate his negotiations with the Taliban over the future of Afghanistan with the argument that the Taliban were happy to negotiate with him. Of course, they are happy to do so. Through negotiations they will finally be in a position to take over Afghanistan - just as the North Vietnamese finally won the Vietnam War thanks to their private negotiations with Henry Kissinger – when there were no South Vietnamese present to prevent him from selling them out.
Saint Barbara as the Patron Saint of Grunts
Tue, 02/05/2019 - 3:20am
51 years ago – this past Sunday - around 0630, I was looking over the berm shown in the picture, wondering how I emerged alive. It was Tet 1968. A very thin 52d ARVN Ranger Battalion was defending the Xuan Loc airfield against constant assaults.
This essay provides the perspective of a Foreign Service Officer who was involved in Vietnam in several capacities, including Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support.
About the Author(s)
Preventing the Barbarization of Warfare: The USMC CAP Program in Vietnam
Fri, 02/02/2018 - 5:20pm
The problem can be summarized as follows: allied troops are better trained and equipped, while local forces enjoy a greater familiarity with the terrain, including above all the population.
Wed, 01/31/2018 - 4:57am
The Marines had the fastest rifles in the village of Binh Nghia. It wasn't long until the second fastest belonged to their comrades-in-arms, the Popular Forces.