The Army and Vietnam

Andrew F. Krepinevich, Author Johns Hopkins University Press $35 (344p) ISBN 978-0-8018-2863-8
Krepinevich, a major with the Strategic Plans and Policy Division of the Army, raises serious questions about the military's ability to learn from its mistakes in Vietnam. The emphasis here is on the Army's stubborn insistence on pursuing a strategy of attrition, through large-unit operations and heavy firepower, and largely ignoring the political and social dimensions that form the foundation of successful counterinsurgency warfare. The result was a high-cost, low-payoff strategy which the Army stuck with until civilian leaders in the defense establishment openly challenged the policy after the Tet Offensive. Krepinevich praises the pacification programs of the Marines and suggests that their methods could have been profitably employed by the Army. More significantly, he suggests that the Vietnam experience has had little effect on the doctrine by which the Army is currently preparing for future low-intensity engagements. Illustrations. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1986
Release date: 05/01/1986
Paperback - 344 pages - 978-0-8018-3657-2
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