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Old 04-21-2015   #221
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Default The USA Isnít the Only Country Still Trying to Figure Out the Vietnam War

Forty years ago this month the Vietnam War ended and the History News Network has a short article by a Vietnamese author (based in the USA) and in particular commends one book Huy Duc's The Winning Side (which does not appear to be in English):http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/159046

So he argues the South won and refers to:
Quote:
prominent Vietnamese from diverse backgrounds now feel that it was a costly mistake.
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Old 05-01-2015   #222
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Default A General forgets

Hat tip to WoTR for this pointer by Mark Stout (JHU):
Quote:
Forty years ago yesterday, the North Vietnamese Army captured Saigon and the Vietnam War was over. This week we look at the memoirs of a key North Vietnamese participant in those events, Lieutenant General Trần Văn Tr, the aggressive deputy commander of the forces that launched that final offensive. These memoirs, originally published in 1982, were translated from Vietnamese by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service and are available to us now in four parts thanks to the remarkable Vietnam Center and Archive at Texas Tech University.

(Nice passage at the end) ... in 1982 with the publication of his memoirs. General Tr spent three years under house arrest. His sin? Describing the Tet Offensive as a defeat that weakened the communist cause and set it back a matter of years. In short, the general forgot the primacy of politics in war.
Link:http://warontherocks.com/2015/05/war...ing-of-defeat/
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Old 06-08-2015   #223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matty groves View Post
Many novels provide excellent accounts of this war. You can't beat Webb's Fields of Fire or Roth's Sand in the Wind. The 13th Valley has already been mentioned. For the Montangards, try Jonathan Raban's The Barking Deer.

David Elliot's massive (and expensive) 2 volume treatment of the war in the Mekong is definitive. Ward Just's To What End is often overlooked. I think it is every bit as good as Dispatches. The air war is not often dealt with. I like Thud Ridge, but I'm not really familiar with the literature on this aspect of the war, so others may have better suggestions.

Finally, there were two sides in this war. The material on the US side is enormous; on the NVA side, virtually non existent. Of course, there are many reasons for this--lack of access to archives, regime control of everything,etc. but there is a huge gap to any attempt to understand this conflict.

Quote:
The Captain, a Communist sympathizer who's risen through the ranks of the South Vietnamese Army, has a confession:

I am a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces. Perhaps not surprisingly, I am also a man of two minds. I am not some misunderstood mutant from a comic book or a horror movie, although some have treated me as such. I am simply able to see any issue from both sides.


So begins Viet Thanh Nguyen's new novel, The Sympathizer.
http://www.npr.org/2015/04/11/398728...he-vietnam-war

Tangentially, see also http://www.theatlantic.com/internati...saigon/391769/
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Old 06-08-2015   #224
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In Vietnam almost two decades after Saigon's fall, the author, in a private talk with a former enemy general officer, came to understand an aspect of the war he never before had. In that talk, they shared personal insights about the war-discovering a common bond. It unlocked a door through which the author passed to start his own healing process. It began a journey where he would meet hundreds of North Vietnamese and Viet Cong veterans-listening to their personal stories of loss, sacrifice and hardship. It opened the author's eyes to how a technically inferior enemy, beaten down by superior US firepower, was able to get back up-driven by an "iron will" to emerge triumphant. "Bare Feet, Iron Will" takes the reader on a fascinating journey, providing stories-many never before told-as to how enemy ingenuity played a major role in the conflict, causing us not to see things that were there or to see things there that were not! It shares unique insights into the sacrifice and commitment that took place on the other side of Vietnam's battlefields.

Bare Feet, Iron Will ~ Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields James Zumwalt
http://www.amazon.com/Bare-Stories-O.../dp/B0044XV95Y

Quote:
Lieutenant Colonel James Zumwalt is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the 1989 intervention into Panama and Desert Storm. An author, speaker and business executive, he also currently heads a security consulting firm named after his father--Admiral Zumwalt & Consultants, Inc.

He writes extensively on foreign policy and defense issues, having written hundreds of articles for various newspapers, magazines and professional journals, including:

USA Today The Washington Post The New York Times The Washington Times The LA Times The Chicago Tribune The San Diego Union Parade magazine & others

His articles have covered issues of major importance, oftentimes providing readers with unique perspectives that have never appeared elsewhere. This has resulted, on several occasions, in his work being cited by members of Congress and entered into the US Congressional Record.

His thoughtful perspectives earned him an invitation to join the prestigious Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), of which the honorary co-chairmen are Senator Joe Lieberman, Senator Jon Kyl, former Secretary of State George P. Schultz and former CIA Director R. James Woolsey. The CPD is a non-partisan organization with one goal--to stiffen American resolve to confront the challenge presented by terrorism and the ideologies that drive it.

Colonel Zumwalt is featured as one of 56 US military professionals in LEADING THE WAY, a book by best-selling author Al Santoli, which documents the most critical moments of the interviewees' combat experiences from Vietnam to Somalia.

He has also been cited in numerous other books and publications for unique insights based on his research on the Vietnam war, North Korea (a country he has visited ten times and about which he is able to share some very telling observations) and Desert Storm.

Colonel Zumwalt received a presidential appointment to be the Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, in which capacity he served from 1991-1992.

Because of his expertise, he also was asked to participate in a very unique educational project conducted at a high school in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he voluntarily contributes time and resources to educating students on issues of international importance.
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Old 06-15-2015   #225
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Soviet veterans' website
http://www.nhat-nam.ru/vietnamwar/oldfoto.html
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Old 08-17-2015   #226
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Default Reconsidering USMC involvement in the Vietnam War

Another short article from Defence-in-Depth, by a USMC LtCol, which I expect will be of interest.

It opens with:
Quote:
In the 50 years since US Marines first landed at Da Nang on the morning of 8 March 1965, the history of their involvement in the Vietnam War has been one of the most misunderstood and sometimes contentious topics in modern military history. In most cases historians assert that the Marines had neither a clear understanding of the conflict nor the American military strategy to contain the spread of Communism in South Vietnam. By extension, the Marines’ involvement from 1965 to 1968 is often depicted as a series of unplanned and isolated events, demonstrating a divide between the Marines’ long-term vision and operational approach and the overall American military strategy in Vietnam. This interpretation, whilst enduring, has come to obscure the centrality of the Marines’ approach to implementing American strategy.
The landings at Da Nang, exemplify this problem.
Link:http://defenceindepth.co/2015/08/17/...e-vietnam-war/

The author's very short bio:
Quote:
LtCol Nevgloski, assigned as the operations officer of The Basic School School, Quantico, VA, is completing his doctoral thesis on the US Marine Corps planning for Vietnam in the Defence Studies Department, King’s College London.
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Old 08-17-2015   #227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Another short article from Defence-in-Depth, by a USMC LtCol, which I expect will be of interest.

It opens with:
Link:http://defenceindepth.co/2015/08/17/...e-vietnam-war/

The author's very short bio:
Good article, but I could be biased since a) I know the author (went to TBS with him) and b) I'm a Marine.
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Old 10-12-2015   #228
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Default Living and Breathing: Just Another Day in Vietnam

Living and Breathing: Just Another Day in Vietnam

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Old 11-03-2015   #229
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Default Spies, Advisors, and Grunts: Film Portrayals of Counterinsurgency in Vietnam

Spies, Advisors, and Grunts: Film Portrayals of Counterinsurgency in Vietnam

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Old 12-15-2015   #230
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Default Game Review: Fire in the Lake, the Vietnam War, 1964-75

Game Review: Fire in the Lake, the Vietnam War, 1964-75

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Old 01-26-2016   #231
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Default The Easter Offensive of 1972: A Failure to Use Intelligence

The Easter Offensive of 1972: A Failure to Use Intelligence

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Old 05-25-2016   #232
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Default Moving On In Vietnam, But Remembering Its Lessons

Moving On In Vietnam, But Remembering Its Lessons

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Old 07-09-2016   #233
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Default Some Sounds and Senses - Vietnam

Some Sounds and Senses - Vietnam

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Old 01-10-2017   #234
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Default 1967: The Era of Big Battles in Vietnam

1967: The Era of Big Battles in Vietnam

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Old 01-18-2017   #235
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This post was copied from another thread: Strategy begins with empathy: Netflix series "Colony" and lightly edited to sit here.(Ends).

The attached link is to an perspective on Vietnam that closely mirrors my own assessment of the nature of that conflict. For those who buy into the uniquely American perspective that "we defeated the insurgency in South Vietnam, and it was only after we left that the state of South Vietnam was defeated in traditional combat by the state of North Vietnam," this will require taking a more empathetic perspective.

I have heard General Keane state in person, but many other "experts" as well, and certainly the dominating theme in US written histories of the conflict is the "we won but they lost after we left" perspective. That is, IMO, not being able to see the strategic forest for the tactical trees.

A good read, regardless of personal perspective:

http://discover.wooster.edu/jgates/p...ar-in-vietnam/
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Old 01-18-2017   #236
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With the catalyst of Bob's Post and it's link I have merged eleven small threads into this main thread. Some had 9k views, but only one post.

When you search for Vietnam in thread titles there are just over thirty, but for the purposes of the history of the Vietnam War a small number, all closed appear very appropriate:

1) The Advisory or Advisor Challenge, with 102 posts and 90k views:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...hlight=vietnam
2) Vietnam collection (lessons plus), with 140 posts and 82k views:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...hlight=vietnam

Neither can be merged in, as the sequence of posts would be crazy.
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Old 01-24-2017   #237
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Default Vietnam í67: At Quang Nam, a Raid and a Reckoning

Vietnam í67: At Quang Nam, a Raid and a Reckoning

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Old 02-04-2017   #238
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Default A "sideshow" back in the foreground

A new book 'A Great Place to Have a War: America in Laos and the Birth of a Military CIA' by Joshua Kurlantzick and a WoTR article reviews the arguments. It starts with:
Quote:
If you work at it, you can make a case that Americans fought on the right side in Vietnam. There is an argument ó not conclusive, but defensible ó that with all its faults, the anti-Communist side offered South Vietnamís people a freer and more prosperous future than they would face if the Communists won. That didnít mean war was a wise choice or that its goal justified the death and destruction it caused. But Americans looking for some moral comfort could at least tell themselves that they were fighting for a better outcome for the Vietnamese. By contrast, it is harder to find anything morally defensible in American actions in Laos and Cambodia. U.S. operations in those countries, including among the heaviest bombing in military history, were conducted to support American objectives in Vietnam rather than for any achievable benefit for its smaller, weaker neighbors. That was also the reason for U.S. air support and military aid that kept weak, ineptly led local Laotian and Cambodian ground forces in the field long after it was clear they had no chance of winning against their stronger North Vietnamese enemies.
Link:https://warontherocks.com/2017/02/th...ormed-the-cia/

His Amazon bio:
Quote:
Joshua Kurlantzick is a senior fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has been a correspondent in Southeast Asia for The Economist, a columnist for Time, the foreign editor of the New Republic, a senior correspondent for the American Prospect, and a contributing writer for Mother Jones. He has written about Asia for publications ranging from Rolling Stone to The New York Times Magazine. He is the winner of the Luce Scholarship and was selected as a finalist for the Osborn Elliot prize, both for journalism in Asia. He is the author of four previous books on Asia. For more information on Kurlantzick, visit CFR.org.
Link to Amazon, with very mixed reviews:https://www.amazon.com/Great-Place-H...+to+have+a+war
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Old 02-04-2017   #239
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I have reviewed a number of the Vietnam-related threads in this area and merged eight of them into this the main thread.

Five others remain in this arena, I have added Vietnam to the title field so they can be readily identified. They remain separate as they are large and merging would destroy the posts in response. A larger number in various places refer to Vietnam.

Possibly the most significant is a "lessons learnt" thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=1041
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