[Epub] ➝ The Army and Vietnam ➞ Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr. – Thisbookse.co

The Army and Vietnam summary The Army and Vietnam, series The Army and Vietnam, book The Army and Vietnam, pdf The Army and Vietnam, The Army and Vietnam 8b5952c933 Many Senior Army Officials Still Claim That If They Had Been Given Enough Soldiers And Weapons, The United States Could Have Won The War In Vietnam In This Probing Analysis Of US Military Policy In Vietnam, Career Army Officer And Strategist Andrew F Krepinevich, Jr Argues That Precisely Because Of This Mindset The War Was Lost Before It Was FoughtThe Army Assumed That It Could Transplant To Indochina The Operational Methods That Had Been Successful In The European Battle Theaters Of World War II, An Approach That Proved Ill Suited To The Way The Vietnamese Communist Forces Fought Theirs Was A War Of Insurgency, And Counterinsurgency, Krepinevich Contends, Requires Light Infantry Formations, Firepower Restraint, And The Resolution Of Political And Social Problems Within The Nation To The Very End, Top Military Commanders Refused To Recognize ThisKrepinevich Documents The Deep Division Not Only Between The American Military And Civilian Leaders Over The Very Nature Of The War, But Also Within The US Army Itself Through Extensive Research In Declassified Material And Interviews With Officers And Men With Battlefield Experience, He Shows That Those Engaged In The Combat Understood Early On That They Were Involved In A Different Kind Of Conflict Their Reports And Urgings Were Discounted By The Generals, Who Pressed On With A Conventional War That Brought Devastation But Little SuccessA Thorough Analysis Of The US Army S Role In The Vietnam War, This Book Demonstrates With Chilling Persuasiveness The Ways In Which The Army Was Unprepared To Fight Lessons Applicable To Today S Wars In Afghanistan And Iraq


10 thoughts on “The Army and Vietnam

  1. says:

    Krepinevich has a cult following among professors and students at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College After reading his work I understand why It is rare that ones comes across a book that radically changes the way one looks at military history Thousands of books have been written on Vietnam and the movies Platoon and Apocalypse Now brought the war to millions of Americans Until I read this book, I thought I understood the causes and conduct of the war Krepinevich brilliantly analyzes how the U.S Army planned for and conducted the war How it tried to fight the war it wanted to fight, vice the war as it actually existed Army leadership brought their conventional mindset to the jungles of Vietnam The inability to adapt to change proved a greater threat to the U.S Army than the North Vietnamese Army The book rises above the personal narrative style that dominates most Vietnam books Instead, the book is based on solid military analysis Even telling was how the U.S Army failed to grasp the lessons of counter insurgency following Vietnam and quickly returned to the conventional mindset it preferred The writing is crisp and powerful The lessons of this book remain vital today as the U.S continues to struggle on how to best defeat America s latest enemies.


  2. says:

    Although repetitive in nature, Krepinevich manages to cite a breadth of knowledge that points out why the Army failed in Vietnam According to Krepinevich, the Army in particular was unprepared due to doctrine called the Army Concept The US Army Concept revolves around the use of firepower to quickly overcome enemy forces Further, the value of US lives is important which makes the use of technology and firepower important Because of this, the Army in Vietnam utilized tactics and strategies not conducive to counterinsurgency Krepinevich, points out the basic tenets of counterinsurgency Among these include winning the hearts and minds of the population and the systematic destruction of insurgent forces In Vietnam, the Army would neither win the support of the population or sufficiently deal with insurgent forces In terms of winning the support of the population, the Army would lose it in different ways, such as, defoliation methods, indiscriminate killings, and failed relocation programs In terms of defoliation, the Army would use chemicals to destroy foliage as to deny the Vietcong of access to supplies and cover However, the defoliation would mostly affect the population As for the insurgents, they would be able to find supplies from alternative sources When it came to indiscriminate killings, the main goal of the Army was to simply kill as much Vietcong as possible to force them into submission Further, artillery and aviation officers would be promoted on the basis of Viet Cong killed and ammunition expended Because of this, suspected Vietcong insurgents would be killed as to fulfill the quota needed by officers When it came to relocations, the Army would force villages to relocate to safe areas as to create fire free zones Programs such as these would displace villagers and result in refugees All of these efforts that led to the loss of support were all aimed to simply destroy as many Viet Cong forces as possible This is in accordance to the Army Concept of quickly winning the war and the utilization of superior firepower on the part of the US Krepinevich, while showcasing the flaws of the Army, also offered explanations as to why the Army failed to adopt classical counterinsurgency in any meaningful form According to Krepinevich, the Army s Concept of the use of superior firepower came from the Army s experiences in World War II and Korea In both of these wars, the utilization of firepower served as a benefit to the US Because of this, lessons drawn from both of these wars were used as a basis during the Vietnam War Another reason why the Army wasn t prepared for counterinsurgency was because, during this time period the Army was focused on conducting conventional warfare In Europe against the USSR Because of this, there was little incentive in the Army Hierarchy to adopt counterinsurgency tactics The Army believed that their conventional warfare tactics would be good enough to combat insurgents in Vietnam However, prior to the large US commitment to Vietnam, President Kennedy tried to push for studies in counterinsurgency within the military However, the military would barely comply since it didn t see the importance to studying counterinsurgency at the time From Krepinevich s writing, we can learn that we should be careful in drawing lessons from the past It could be seen that experiences in WWII and Korea greatly shaped the way the Army conducted warfare in Vietnam If the Army approached Vietnam with a fresh look, they possibly could have altered the way they conducted warfare initially Further, when it comes to counterinsurgency, the Army experience in Vietnam is a classical case on how to not fight an insurgency.


  3. says:

    Just re read in full for the first time in probably eight years Now that I m familiar with the documentary record concerning Vietnam and not just the Vietnam literature or the COIN as military reform oeuvre, which in many cases are the same thing , Krepinevich s tendentious book holds up very poorly indeed Greg Daddis s new work detailed review to come along with recent stuff by Birtle, Andrade, Cosmas, Carland, and others should put the final nail in this one I don t think it s unfair to say that The Army and Vietnam has been definitively falsified.


  4. says:

    Fantastic and deep analysis of the Vietnam war We underestimated many aspects, most important, the conventional threat While we effectively countered the communist conventional forces, they drew US troops away from what was most important the human geography An argument for population centric counter insurgency, this books presents that and many other thoughts Well worth the read.


  5. says:

    If like me you have some affection for the American army and for its soldiers, this is a depressing read It relates how the Army went into Vietnam organized, trained, and equipped for major combat in Europe, and tried to apply the same concept to a counterinsurgency The result was massive search and destroy operations that missed an elusive enemy and further alienated the population There was no recognition that counterinsurgency was a different kind of war requiring different methods The one part of the Army that was trained for irregular warfare, the Special Forces, were actually intended to help organize offensive partisan warfare behind Soviet lines They did some good work organizing local defense units early in the war, but the US military command regarded this as a low priority nuisance that diverted resources from the real war The top priority in a counterinsurgency is to protect the population and separate it from the insurgents This is a defensive effort that went against the training and ethos of the US Army So while the Army searched vainly in the jungles, the VC continued to infiltrate the populated regions They staged a major uprising in early 1968, the Tet offensive, expecting a popular uprising would join them No such thing happened, and the VC were almost wiped out, though after some heavy fighting After that the Army started some efforts at protecting the population, but too little, too late, and half heartedly Their main interest was still the big unit war Ironically, when the North Vietnamese did attack with tanks and regular units in 1972 and 1975, and the Army s favored skills could have been really useful, political support for the war had so far eroded that that was impossible.Most depressingly, Krepinevich writes in the mid 1980s that the Army had not taken the lesson to heart Instead, the favored explanation of the failure in Vietnam was that the big unit war had not been big enough It should have been expanded with invasions of the North, or of Laos, to cut the supply line of the southern insurgents However, up until Tet, the VC were supported mostly from sources within the South at least according to Krepinevich One wonders if the lesson has been learned now, after two insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.The book is professional and dispassionate The author is believable and shows no obvious animus against the US or the US Army My only critique is that the blow by blow accounts in some places become tedious and detract from the overall narrative.


  6. says:

    This was a fantastic analysis of the Army s failure to successfully prosecute the war in Vietnam It was easy to stay interested as the narrative moves at a good pace and the events themselves are fascinating This book outlines the failure of the JCS to appy the correct strategy to the ground war, in spite of lessons available from the French failure in Indochina and their experience in Algieria While the Johnson administration micromanaged the airwar, they gave Westland carte blanche to conduct the ground war in any way he saw fit Westland and MACV believed that overwhelming firepower and maneuver would defeat the VC and NVA Operations were conducted in the hinterland they should have been conducted near the coast and urban areas in order to deny the VC it s recruiting and resupply bases Programs such as CORDS and the USMC Combined Action Platoons received little than lip service and were never fully exploited Krepinevich also describes how the obsession with body counts, and their inflation, indirectly led to the collapse of part of the US Clausewitzian triangle, the populace, after Tet, even though it was a U.S victory The Army was focused on fighting a limited conventional conflict to support a weak and unpopular government when they should have been focused on conducting a counterinsurgency campaign Tet was a success because the NVA and VC began phase 3 operations which allowed the U.S to effectively use its military muscle The same is true of the success of the Easter bombings the NVA began a conventional attack which was defeated But the majority of the conflict was clearly a phase 2 insurgency and the U.S strategy was completely inappropriate.


  7. says:

    This book is now very dated As someone deeply familiar with the historical record on the Vietnam War through archival research, I can say that while this book captures one part of the American experience in Vietnam, it fails to be comprehensive Yes, the points and themes highlighted here were relevant to some units at some times, but the tendency to view Krepinevich s argument as being universally valid has led to an overly simplistic view of the Vietnam War This has had consequences for recent literature like Nagl and Kilcullen I wouldn t tell people that this book isn t worth reading at all, but I would take it with a large pinch of salt and read alongside Greg Daddis, Dale Andrade and Graham Cosmas.


  8. says:

    interesting perspective on what should have happened for a successful intervention in Vietnam, but I felt the author kept placing the blame on the Army time and time again yes, I realize that s the point of the book, but how many times can you drive the point home endless, i guess still, a very interesting and enlightening story about the experience.


  9. says:

    Population centric COIN is a panacea At least according to Krepinevich Certainly some useful insights and critiques of the US approach in Vietnam, but also somewhat one dimensional


  10. says:

    Accurate, thorough, and wholly depressing After reading this, one would presume that the United States could never make such critical and wasteful errors again Wrong.


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