The Illustrated History of the Vietnam War, Andrew Wiest and Chris McNab

The Illustrated History of the Vietnam War, Andrew Wiest and Chris McNab

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The Illustrated History of the Vietnam War, Andrew Wiest & Chris McNab

The Illustrated History of the Vietnam War, Andrew Wiest & Chris McNab

This is a solid, well written and well illustrated history of the American involvement in the Vietnamese War. After a brief introduction looking at the earlier French experience, we quickly move onto the process that saw the US drawn into the conflict, and then into a history of the full-blow US involvement in South-East Asia. The text is supported by some excellent maps, and by a wide range of pictures.

The main weakness in this book is a general lack of coverage of the Vietnamese view of the war - both the North Vietnamese and South Vietnamese communists are seen more as the enemy, rather than as one side in a complex conflict. Their plans are reported, but not in much detail. There are also few, if any, pictures from the Communist side of the conflict, and it doesn't take much searching online to find plenty of suitable pictures.

Perhaps its main strength is the coverage of the wider conflict, outside Vietnam. This includes good sections on the fighting in Laos and Cambodia, and an examination of the US Home Front. The fighting across the Vietnamese border had a terrible impact on both countries involved, and the text traces the destructive impact of both side's intervention in their neighbour's affairs, and in particular the short-lived and often ill thought out American operations cross the borders. This gives the book more value than it would have had as yet another history of Vietnam, and helps explain the devastating impact of the conflict on an entire region.

1 - In the Footsteps of the French
2 - Taking a Stand Against Communism
3 - Rolling Thunder
4 - Search and Destroy
5 - From the Sea
6 - Holding the DMZ
7 - The Riverine War
8 - The Tet Offensive
9 - Strategy at a Crossroads
10 - Secret War
11 - The Home Front
12 - The South Fights Alone
13 - The South Falls
14 - The Legacy of Vietnam

Author: Andrew Wiest & Chris McNab
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Publisher: Amber
Year: 2015

Chris McNab, Andy Wiest

Published by Thunder Bay Pr, 2000

Used - Hardcover
Condition: GOOD

Hardcover. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, will have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included.

The Illustrated History of the Vietnam War

This is essentially a textbook on the Vietnam War with its organization and layout done in the style of a textbook. There&aposs nothing wrong with this, except that the format of the book is a bit smaller than an average textbook, making the sidebar text very difficult to read. It should have either been published at textbook or coffee table book size, or else been reformatted to fit the smaller size.

The content is good. Covering the roots of the conflict to the aftermath, with the focus being on th This is essentially a textbook on the Vietnam War with its organization and layout done in the style of a textbook. There's nothing wrong with this, except that the format of the book is a bit smaller than an average textbook, making the sidebar text very difficult to read. It should have either been published at textbook or coffee table book size, or else been reformatted to fit the smaller size.

The content is good. Covering the roots of the conflict to the aftermath, with the focus being on the years of US involvement. It attempts to be unbiased, but is written largely from the US and South Vietnamese point of view, and lets a few editorial comments slip through here and there. It would make for an excellent primer on the war.

First published in 2000, I imagine this will be one of the last books published on Vietnam that doesn't make comparisons to our more recent conflicts in the Middle East. . more

Vietnam Book Review: Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land

Although it ended more than 30 years ago, the Vietnam War is, as Andrew Wiest suggests, still very much with us. This is particularly true in light of the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and their inevitable comparisons to the war in Vietnam. Even without that added impetus, there are still enduring disagreements about the justification, planning, conduct and long-range impact of the war in Southeast Asia. Wiest, in this excellent anthology, sets out to “take fresh looks” that may challenge “the historical orthodoxy of the conflict.” To do this, he has compiled an impressive collection of 15 essays from a wide array of participants, journalists and historians. In his well-written introduction, Wiest emphasizes the Vietnamese aspects of the struggle, making it clear that this was not just an American war, but one that had its roots far back in Vietnamese history and one that, in the end, had a global impact. He asserts that the war was a “war of varying and mutable contexts, ” but charges that most American planners and decision makers could never get past the “context of superpower conflict,” which blinded them to the complexities of the situation and led to a singular military solution that was doomed to failure. In this collection, Wiest attempts to address those complexities through a wide range of perspectives, opinions and experiences.

The first essay, by Martin Windrow, addresses the “first” Indochina War, demonstrating the difficulties that the French incurred as they tried to reimpose colonial rule following the end of World War II. The second essay, by Bui Tin, a former North Vietnamese Army colonel who was present at the surrender of the South Vietnamese government, provides a look at the war from the other side. This view is contrasted by that of Lam Quang Thi, formerly a lieutenant general in the South Vietnamese army. The juxtaposition of these two perspectives from former enemies is powerful. In an equally meaningful way, Le Ly Hayslip addresses the civilian perspective and what it was like to be caught in the crossfire between the warring sides. Other contributions cover topics as varied as the Australian and New Zealand experience, the influence of the media on public opinion, the impact of the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the fighting in Laos and Cambodia. In subsequent essays, acclaimed journalists and historians address the conduct of the war, to include strategy and tactics, the combat experience on the ground, the river war in the Mekong Delta and the air war. In the closing essay, Arnold Isaacs addresses the “legacies of a lost war,” not only for the United States but also for the Vietnamese—those who fled their homeland and those who stayed for the struggle that ensued after the “liberation.” Isaacs also reflects on how the “echoes of Vietnam” have “reverberated in the debate on Iraq.”

The essays are extremely well written. Richly illustrated with color and black-and-white photographs and sufficient maps which very effectively complement the text, this book is highly recommended to veterans, historians and anyone else still grappling with the war and its meaning. Andrew Wiest wrote in his introduction that he wanted to demonstrate that the study of the Vietnam War remains a vibrant and important field in which all the answers have yet to be determined. He and his contributors have more than proved that with this excellent book, which is an outstanding contribution to the study of that divisive and complex war and its lasting legacies.

Originally published in the December 2007 issue of Vietnam Magazine. To subscribe, click here.

Special Forces At War, An Illustrated History, Southeast Asia 1957-1975

Publication date 1990-01-01 Usage Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International Topics Vietnam, War Almanac, War Encyclopedia, Warfare Encyclopedia, History of War, War History, War Encyclopedia, Vietnam War, American War, Vietnam History, United States in World War II, Pacific Wars, Wars in Pacific, Pacific Wars in World War II, World War II, Atlas, Second World War, World War, World War II, Second world war, History of Vietnam, War 1945, War 1939, World Atlas, World History, History of the World, War Encyclopedia, Warfare History, Warfare Encyclopedia, History of the World, World's History, History of Vietnam War, War, World Wars, Battles, Battle Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia of Battles, Battles of World War II, Photo Journal of World War, Photo Journal, Album, War Album, War of Vietnam, War Album of Second World War, War 1939, War 1945, Foreign Magazine, Foreign Magazine International, International Foreign Magazine, World Politics, World Economy, Global Politics, Air Craft, Vietnam Freedom, Air Crafts in War, Weapons, National Geographic, National Geographic Magazine, Science Magazine, History Magazine, Civil war of America, American Civil War, Civil war 1861, American History, Vietnam American war, History of United States, History of Photography, Cold War, World War, First World War, Second World War, Political History, Military History, History, World History, Special Forces, European History, Asia, Europe, USSR, Soviet Union, United States, United Kingdom, Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia of Cold War, World History, American Special Forces, Warfare, Warfare History, Illustrated History, Encyclopedia of war, War Encyclopedia, History of warfare, Warfare Encyclopedia, Illustrated History of Warfare, World War, Second World war, World War II, First World war, War Encyclopedia, Middle East War, Palestine, History of Palestine, Encyclopedia, Warfare, History of Warfare, Medieval Wars, Medieval History, Second World War, History of Medieval, History of Warfare, Encyclopedia of Battles, Battles of the World, World War, Second World War, First World War, History of world war, World war History, World Wars, second world war, Cartoons, Cartoon, Political Cartoons, Political Cartoons in second world war, 1945 war, war 1939, Hitler, Churchill, United Kingdom in World War II, United States in World War II, Pacific Wars, Wars in Pacific, Pacific Wars in World War II, World War II, Atlas, Second World War, World War, World War II, Second world war, War 1945, War 1939, World Atlas, World History, History of the World, Weapon, Weapons in War, World War II Weapons, Weapons in World War II, Tank, Tanks, Tanks in World War II, Navy in World War II, War Encyclopedia, Warfare History, Warfare Encyclopedia, History of the World, World's History, War, World Wars, Battles, Battle Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia of Battles, Battles of World War II, History of Second World War, 1945, Second World War, World War II, Hitler, Adolf Hitler, Germany in Second world war, France in World war II, England, 1939, First World war, Second world war, World wars, World war, History of World wars, Encyclopedia of world war, War Encyclopedia, Warfare Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Warfare, History of World war, war 1939, war 1945, Churchill, Hitler, World War II, Second World War, second world war, Cartoons, Cartoon, Political Cartoons, Political Cartoons in second world war, 1945 war, war 1939, Hitler, Churchill, United Kingdom in World War II Collection magazine_rack Language English

Первые главы книги изучают предпосылки будущего побоища. Авторы рассказывают о Первой Индокитайской войне, а также рассматривают проблемы, с которыми столкнулись подразделения французской армии, решившие поставить точку в антиколониальной борьбе вьетнамского народа. Одна из секций посвящена американскому ленд-лизу (США помогала французам военной техникой и оружием задолго до начала своей эпопеи). Chris Mc Nab подробно анализирует причины провала французов, а также пишет об уроках, которые вьетнамцы извлекли из своей победы.

Следующие главы книги посвящены развязыванию Второй вьетнамской войны. При этом особое внимание обращается на тот факт, что администрация Кеннеди не желала глубокого участия в конфликте и долгое время не посылала во Вьетнам регулярные части. Сменивший Кеннеди Джонсон не разобрался в ситуации и решил закончить войну одним яростным ударом. Однако бомбовая кампания Rolling Thunder затянулась на несколько месяцев, не уничтожила военный потенциал Вьетнама, и дала вьетконгу новый повод для продолжения боевых действий. Вместо того, чтобы затушить конфликт, Джонсон раздул пламя войны: перебросил в Индокитай регулярные американские части, а также продвинутое оружие, должное спасти Южный Вьетнам от неизбежного коллапса (в книге есть интересный материал, рассказывающий о суровых южно-корейских вояках, ставших камнем преткновения для многих вьетнамских подразделений).

Значительная часть книги посвящена операциям 1965-67 года, во время которых армия США пыталась сокрушить Вьетконг и выдавить партизан за пределы Южного Вьетнама. В этих главах авторы показывают стандартные тактические приемы вьетнамских партизан, а также дают представление о жизни американских солдат в тропических джунглях. Еще одна глава описывает речную войну на катерах и моторных лодках (читая эти страницы я постоянно прокручивал в голове сцены из Apocalypse Now). Занятно, что на реках Вьетнама действовало несколько сотен катеров различных типов. В том числе, у американцев были полноценные мониторы, экипированные тяжелым оружием.

Следующий блок книги воссоздает события печально известной операции «Тет», в результате которой американцы нанесли вьетнамцам серьезное военное поражение, но при этом сами стали жертвами информационной войны. В данной главе рассматривается тактика действий армии США в городах и крупных населенных пунктах. Дополнительная глава книги рассказывает о «Домашнем фронте», в рамках которого американское правительство было вынуждено разбираться с манифестациями на родной земле и давить молодежь, решившую сказать милитаристам свое решительное «Нет» (здесь же упоминается о самых известных политических убийствах, связанных с Вьетнамской войной»).

Второй крупный блок книги связан с финальными этапами конфликта и попытками США «вьетнамизировать» затянувшееся побоище. Здесь же рассказывается о воздушном наступлении на Вьетнам (операции Linebacker I &ndash II), а также об интервенции США в Лаос и Камбоджу (в этих странах очень быстро наступил военный ад по вьетнамскому образцу).

В главе, описывающей падение Сайгона, авторы подводят краткие итоги войны и прямым текстом говорят о причинах провала южновьетнамской армии (этими причинами были коррупция и нежелание воевать со своим народом).

Финальные главы книги бросают пристальный взгляд на военные преступления и уцелевших ветеранов Вьетнамской войны, а также содержат интересную статистику о потерях американских военнослужащих.

Книга иллюстрирована многочисленными фотографиями (некоторые из них я вижу впервые), в ней есть карты: как военные, так и политические, позволяющие взглянуть на динамику конфликта. Важно отметить, что The Illustrated History of the Vietnam War написана простым, понятным языком, а это значит, что прочитать ее смогут не только редкие грамотеи, но и простые любители военной истории, вооружившиеся терпением и словарем.

Vietnam War Veterans Photos Wanted for New Illustrated History

DK, the London-based book publisher that specializes in top-quality illustrated reference books, is putting together a book titled The Vietnam War: The Definitive Illustrated History. Published in association with Smithsonian Institution, the book will go on sale next April. The folks producing the book at DK are planning to honor men and women who served in the Vietnam War on the book’s inside covers by running their self-submitted photos.

If you’d like to submit a photo for consideration, go to to fill out a form and download your pic. If you have any questions, email [email protected] and feel free to mention you heard about the project on The VVA Veteran ‘s Arts of War on the web page.

Curtis Vreeland is currently working on a book called “Candy Goes to War,” which will look at how&hellip

Fay Torresyap, a photo researcher for French magazine GEO is working on an article about a hotel&hellip

In 1996, we reviewed the book The Faces Behind the Names , by Don Ward. That book, and&hellip

Adam Berenbak has begun a Kickstarter campaign to help his father, a Vietnam War veteran, publish a novel&hellip

Vietnam: The First Television War

The Vietnam War (1955–75) was a time of great controversy in the United States. Cold War tensions ran high as the country relentlessly fought against the alleged evils of communism.

At the same time, advances in video and audio recording enabled both easier and more news coverage. From 1950 to 1966, the percentage of Americans who owned a television skyrocketed from 9 percent to 93 percent as televisions became essential for everyday life.

With the proliferation of televisions, news networks strived to have the most exciting, dramatic, and attractive stories. They competed for the finest reporters, highest-rated equipment, and largest number of viewers. To succeed, they had to do something unprecedented: on-site coverage of the war in Vietnam. For the first time in American history, the news from the front lines was brought straight into the living room.

So why was Vietnam called the first “television war”?

During World War II, morale was high. Camera crews stayed in noncombat areas to show the happier, more upbeat side of war. The stories were broadcast as motion pictures shown in theaters. And the newscasters shared only good news and reported bad news with a cheery disposition.

Government censorship over the media influenced this outlook—if the press wanted access to stories about the war, they had to receive credentials from the military. This ensured that the news didn’t report anything that the military did not want disclosed to the public. Big stories like the A-bomb stayed out of the news until after the war ended. The main focus of the media was high morale and support for the war effort.

In contrast, the television news networks had a bleaker view of the war in Vietnam. After the Tet Offensive in 1968—which the public saw as a defeat—reports turned unfavorable toward the war effort. The censorship that was in effect during World War II was much more lax by the 1960s. Camera crews were on-site almost constantly in combat zones. Journalists wrote day-to-day coverage and recorded their stories in the field. This gave Americans a more realistic glimpse into the lives of their soldiers, and they didn’t like what they saw.

On April 1, 1968, the day after President Lyndon B. Johnson announced that he would not run for reelection, he stated:

As I sat in my office last evening, waiting to speak, I thought of the many times each week when television brings the war into the American home. No one can say exactly what effect those vivid scenes have on American opinion. Historians must only guess at the effect that television would have had during earlier conflicts on the future of this Nation: during the Korean war, for example, at that time when our forces were pushed back there to Pusan of World War II, the Battle of the Bulge, or when our men were slugging it out in Europe or when most of our Air Force was shot down that day in June 1942 off Australia.

Televising the Vietnam War helped to divide a nation that took pride in its ability to unify. The dramatization of stories in the news distorted the public’s perception of what was actually happening in the field. Since it was visible in their homes, Americans were able to connect and empathize with the soldiers more than ever before. This caused an outcry of public opinion against the war.

By seeing the war on television, the anti-war advocates argued that the war was unnecessary, and hundreds of thousands of “American boys” were not dying for a noble cause. In fact, they believed that the United States was involved in a war in which they shouldn’t be involved at all.

In contrast, the pro-war supporters regarded anti-war marches as disloyal to U.S. soldiers. They saw the perils of the battlefield and felt an obligation to support their troops regardless of whether they should be there or not. The disagreements between the pro-war and anti-war advocates caused a partition in the American population that still persists.

In addition, the strong public anti-war opinions expressed in the media influenced U.S. policy makers. Americans could see military abuses on television, such as the My Lai Massacre in 1968, which sparked riots in cities and university campuses across the nation. This outrage, fueled by television coverage, ultimately led to the decision to withdrawal of U.S. troops in 1973, and end of the U.S involvement in the war.

To learn more, visit the National Archives’ Vietnam War exhibit, “ Remembering Vietnam ,” in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery on display through January 6, 2019. And visit our Vietnam War website for researching related National Archives records.

The Illustrated History of the Vietnam War, Andrew Wiest and Chris McNab - History

Bowman, John S., ed. The Vietnam War: An Almanac . New York: World Almanac Publications, 1985.

Brune, Lester H. and Richard Dean Burns. America and the Indochina Wars, 1945-1990: A Bibliographical Guide . Claremont, Calif.: Regina Books, c1992.

Friedl, Vicki L. Women in the United States Military, 1901-1995: A Research Guide and Annotated Bibliography . Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1996.

Hillstrom, Kevin. Vietnam War: Almanac . Detroit: U.X.L., 2001.

Kelsey, Ann L., ed. Resources for Teaching the Vietnam War: An Annotated Guide . Pittsburgh: Center for Social Studies Education, c1996.

Kutler, Stanley I., ed. Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War . New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1996.

Leepson, Marc and Helen Hannaford. Webster's New World Dictionary of the Vietnam War . New York: Macmillan, c1999.

Moise, Edwin E. Historical Dictionary of the Vietnam War . Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2001.

Olson, James Stuart. Dictionary of the Vietnam War . New York: Greenwood Press, 1988.

Tucker, Spencer C., ed. Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History . Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, c1998.

Standard Histories and Other Printed Resources

Appy, Christian G.Patriots: the Vietnam War remembered from all sides, New York: Viking, 2003.

Appy, Christian G. Working-class war: American soldiers and Vietnam, Chapel Hill: Univeristy of North Carolina Press, 1993.

Baer, George W. One Hundred Years of Seapower: The U.S. Navy, 1890-1990 . Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1994.

Esper, George. The Eyewitness History of the Vietnam War, 1961-1975 . New York: Ballantine, 1983.

Fitzgerald, Frances. Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam . Boston: Little, Brown, 1972.

Gardner, Lloyd C. Pay Any Price: Lyndon Johnson and the Wars for Vietnam . Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1995.

Hellman, John. American Myth and the Legacy of Vietnam . New York: Columbia University Press, 1986.

Herring, George C. America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975 . New York: Wiley, 1979.

Holm, Jeanne. Women in the Military: An Unfinished Revolution . Rev ed. Novato, Calif.: Presidio Press, c1992.

Karnow, Stanley. Vietnam: A History . New York: Viking Press, 1983.

Larabee, Benjamin et al. America and the Sea: A Maritime History . Mystic, Conn.: Mystic Seaport Publications, 1998.

Lawson, Don. The United States in the Vietnam War . New York: Crowell, c1981.

Marolda, Edward J. By Sea, Air, and Land: An Illustrated History of the U.S. Navy and the War in Southeast Asia . Washington: Naval Historical Center, 1994.

Marshall, Kathryn. In the Combat Zone: An Oral History of American Women in Vietnam . New York: Penguin, 1988.

O'Nan, Stewart, ed. The Vietnam Reader: The Definitive Collection of American Fiction and Nonfiction on the War . New York: Anchor Books, c1998.

Palmer, Bruce. The 25-Year War: America's Military Role in Vietnam . Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1984.

Santoli, Al. Everything We Had: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Thirty-three American Soldiers Who Fought It . New York: Ballantine Books, 1981.

Wells, Tom. The War Within: America's Battle Over Vietnam . Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

Young, Marilyn Blatt. The Vietnam Wars, 1945-1990 . New York: Harper Collins, 1991.

The Vietnam War Essay

One should start by saying that the Vietnam War was the US longest and bloodiest war that was fought between 1957 and 1975. The allied “good guys” were the United States, South Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, new Zealand and the Philippines. The “bad guys” were represented by North Vietnam, and the National Liberation Front (NLF) Viet Cong. The Soviet Union and China would provide the military equipment to NLF. Speaking about the number of the US armed forces that fought in Vietnams from 1963 till 1973, I would like to note that it was about 2.6 million people, while overall over the same time period about 9 million people were in the military service of the USA. It should be added here that the US soldiers who served in the US army during the Vietnam war yet did not serve in Vietnam, are still called the Vietnam Era veterans (Karnow 35).

Speaking about the US war for independence from the Great Britain one needs to remember that one engaged in the asymmetric warfare to assure long-term victory over the British Troops. The Great Britain at the time of the US war for independence was one of the few strongest nations on earth and had enough resources to defeat any army let alone American insurgents in an open fight.

The tactics the US rebels employed were based on the hit-and-run concept. The US guerillas would attack the British haphazardly and immediately hide in the woods (O’Brien, 150). The US solders understood that they would never defeat the whole British Army in one coup, so they attacked it at the time it was not ready for a fight. The key to success was to keep the British Army always ready for a fight at the time when no one would attack them, and attack them when they strived to relax. After each attack, regardless of how successful it was, the US guerillas would run and hide, leaving the British Army in wonder and awe.

Ultimately, the economics did what US guerillas strived to achieve. Since Great Britain was a well developed and rich nation, it cost a fortune to maintain large troops abroad especially when they faced no real enemy. Still, reducing the number of troops in the USA meant that the British soldiers would be killed one by one by guerillas. Maintaining large troops in the country which did not bring the Great Britain much revenue proved prohibitively expensive, especially taking into account the wars in Europe, that again demanded British Troops. Once it proved to be cheaper to give up America to Americans than to maintain troops there, the British Crown agreed to grant America its independence.

Vietnamese soldiers attempted to use classic Maoist insurgency tactics as depicted below:

When the enemy advances, we withdraw. So Vietnamese avoided direct confrontations with the Americans at all costs hiding and mingling with the native population.

When the enemy rests, we harass. Whenever the US sets up a camp, one would typically have several Vietcong soldiers in the neighborhood with sniper rifles trying to shoot US officers or regular soldiers (Arregumn-Toft, 32).

When the enemy tires, we attack. Ultimately, when the US seems to not to be expecting the fight, they attack. Typically they use counterattacks, assuming that the US forces get tired.

When the enemy withdraws, we pursue. By the same token, whenever Americans flee the war scene, the Vietnamese would pursue them and shot bloody Americans GIs in the back.

The reason why the Vietnam communist and guerilla movements was based on rural areas is because these are the areas that could have been controlled the least by the government. While the major populated cities could be secured with the military to protect the infrastructure, it was not economically justifiable to send the military to secure the villages that produced nothing but some rice and cattle. Still, these villages oftentimes also produced the Vietcong guerilla fighters and served as harbors for insurgents. The guerillas had the following strengths and weaknesses:

Insurgents were brave and were not afraid to fight a well-prepared and well sponsored enemy with assault rifles and guerilla tactics. The government forces possessed all modern technology, yet did not truly make large advances into the North Vietnamese territory.

Insurgents were quick to strike and hide. The government was not quick enough to detect them and punish them. The only thing it could do was to bomb civilian settlements or organized military formations of insurgents (Bellany 80).

Insurgents were patient to spy on the enemy forces and then strike them when they would expect the strike the least. The government did not have a clear vision of who to kill, and what to do after killing the insurgents.

Insurgents used propaganda well to stir up masses against the Americans. The government did not use the propaganda properly to overcome the insurgents (Wiest, 287).

insurgents did not have enough military equipment to drastically challenge the US air forces until the end of the Vietnam war. They could have ended the war much sooner. The government was well prepared militarily, it could resist any attack from the insurgents at any time.

Insurgents were outnumbered by the US and government troops so were unable to make large scale massive attacks required for capturing cities. The government and Americans had enough troops to capture numerous cities, yet did not want to risk the lives of the soldiers in vain (Karnow, 90).

The objectives of the Vietnam communist insurgency were to destabilize the government and the US forces, stir up the population to oppose Americans and support the communists with arms as well as to kick Americans out of Vietnam by making them incur numerous casualties (McNab, 107).

The US government would initially try to adapt to this kind of asymmetric warfare by employing highly mobile troops of US rangers, special forces and marines, which were very effective in small groups. Still, the fact that the Viet Kong soldiers were adapted to the climate better and new the territory well they would overpower these US attempts to resist the insurgents (O’Brien, 145).

The next thing the US government decided to do was to bomb civilian houses, towns and villages. Americans would use napalm heavily to burn the jungle and civilians who were actually the Viet Kong insurgents. Such tactics were rather successful in terms of fighting the insurgents, yet also caused numerous civilian deaths. The US would stop destroying civilian settlements from Air after the Soviet Union would send mobile anti-aircraft missile launchers to Vietnam to effectively resist the US advances on air.

The modern day terrorists utilize exactly the same tactics as the Vietnamese insurgents and have to be fought in the very same manner, i.e. through mobile groups of rangers. Yet, as it had been in Vietnam, these insurgents are likely to drastically harm the US troops on the territories that they know well.

In conclusion, I would like to note that the communist insurgency in Vietnam was had proved that asymmetric warfare can be extremely important and effective against a more powerful and well-equipped enemy. Irregular, rapid, low-intensity strikes, the use of propaganda, and intimidation would bear fruit causing numerous casualties among Americans and South Vietnamese. Ultimately, the North Vietnamese achieved what they needed, kicked out Americans and captured South Vietnam. The modern day terrorists do not differ much in their tactics and strategies from the Vietnamese insurgents and are expected to cause much damage to the US troops on the territories they know well. It thus, proves that diplomatic rounds of negotiations despite certain disadvantages will prove to be most effective in communication with these insurgents.


Karnow, Stanley, Vietnam: A History, NY Random House, 2000.
Wiest, Andrew, The Vietnam War 1956-1975, Wiley and sons press, 2001.
McNab, Chris, The Illustrated History of the Vietnam War, Penguin books, 2001.
Frankum, Ronald, The Vietnam War for Dummies, Barrons books, 2002.
Young, Marilyn, Vietnam Wars 1945-1990, NY Random House, 1999.
O’Brien, Mike, Morality in asymmetric war and intervention operations: Royal United Services Institute for Defense Studies, RUSI Journal, vol. 89, 2001, pp. 143-149.
Bellany, Ian, Fighting asymmetric wars: An application of Lanchester’s square-law to modern warfare: Royal United Services Institute for Defense Studies: An article from: RUSI Journal, vol. 12-18. 2003, pp. 78-92.
Arregumn-Toft, Ivan, How the Weak Win Wars: A Theory of Asymmetric Conflict (Cambridge Studies in International Relations), Barrons books, 2000.

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