cerkalo
» » Abandoning Vietnam: How America Left and South Vietnam Lost Its War (Modern War Studies)

Abandoning Vietnam: How America Left and South Vietnam Lost Its War (Modern War Studies) download ebook

by James H. Willbanks

Abandoning Vietnam: How America Left and South Vietnam Lost Its War (Modern War Studies) download ebook
ISBN:
0700616233
ISBN13:
978-0700616237
Author:
James H. Willbanks
Publisher:
University Press of Kansas (July 21, 2004)
Language:
Pages:
390 pages
ePUB:
1673 kb
Fb2:
1649 kb
Other formats:
lit doc lrf azw
Category:
Humanities
Subcategory:
Rating:
4.8

James H. Willbanks is a professor in the Combat Studies Institute at the .

James H. Army's Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Series: Modern War Studies. James H. Wilbanks has written one of the finest military histories to date of the final two stages of the Vietnam War: the period from the Tet Offensive in 1968 to the American withdrawal in 1972, and the bitter end game, 1972-1975.

The Korean War and the Vietnam War: People, Politics, and Power (America at War). Welcome to The Oxford Picture Dictionary. The more than 3,700 words in this book will help you. 82 MB·1,071 Downloads·New!. PICTURE OXFORD DICTIONARY (ENGLISH-VIETNAM). Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War. 2,040 Pages·2011·57. 29 MB·5,030 Downloads. 31 MB·3,740 Downloads·New! The amazing talent pouring out of Vietnam in recent years has long deserved being featured in its.

Abandoning Vietnam book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking Abandoning Vietnam: How America Left and South Vietnam Lost Its War as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

Arguably the Vietnam War was lost at the Tet Offensive in February and March 1968. Willbanks, a professor in the Combat Studies Institute at the . 1973. As Willbanks demonstrates, no expenditure of firepower, blood or personal heroics can redeem flawed strategies and policies. Vietnamization was doomed at conception. Americanizing the war took the primary responsibility away from the South Vietnamese and placed it with the United States. Absent clearly defined war aims, the American people failed to bear the burden.

America ultimately abandoned South Vietnam, according to the author, in part because Laird's brand of. .Citation: Ginger R. Davis.

America ultimately abandoned South Vietnam, according to the author, in part because Laird's brand of Vietnamization was doomed from the outset. Such adjustments occurred too late and under extreme time pressures. Willbanks details how the realities on the ground in South Vietnam created an atmosphere fraught with uncertainties and a lack of confidence, both in Vietnamization and in the South Vietnamese military, especially ARVN.

In Abandoning Vietnam, Willbanks shows just how the Nixon administration's plan to win "peace . When North Vietnam launched a military offensive in March 1975, there was little expectation that South Vietnam would collapse 55 days later.

In Abandoning Vietnam, Willbanks shows just how the Nixon administration's plan to win "peace with honor" won neither. There are lessons here. Let us hope that whomever is charged with the unenviable task of extricating the . from Iraq will heed them. As the South’s forces quickly crumbled and the scale of the military disaster became increasingly apparent, the United States considered a number of options to provide emergency assistance to its ally.

ABANDONING VIETNAM Did America's departure from Vietnam produce the "peace with honor" promised by President Richard Nixon or was that simply an empty wish meant to distract war-weary .

ABANDONING VIETNAM Did America's departure from Vietnam produce the "peace with honor" promised by President Richard Nixon or was that simply an empty wish meant to distract war-weary Americans from a tragic "defeat with shame"? While James Willbanks doesn't offer any easy. Modern War Studies (Paperback). University Press of Kansas. Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H). 0 x . 0 Inches.

They fight well, and win every major battle decisively. More from New Books in History.

While James Willbanks doesn't offer any easy answers to that question, his book convincingly shows why America's strategy for exiting the Vietnam War failed miserably and left South Vietnam to a dismal fate

While James Willbanks doesn't offer any easy answers to that question, his book convincingly shows why America's strategy for exiting the Vietnam War failed miserably and left South Vietnam to a dismal fate. States enough time to get out without appearing to run away

James Willbanks’ (re. outstanding Abandoning Vietnam: How America Left and .

James Willbanks’ (re. outstanding Abandoning Vietnam: How America Left and South Vietnam Lost Its War (University of Kansas, 2004; reissue, 2008). Lt. Col. Willbanks is uniquely positioned to tell the tale. He is an excellent historian with a gift for plainspoken, even-handed analysis. But not only that: he was also there. Willbanks served as an adviser to the South Vietnamese forces during the era of Vietnamization in the early 1970s.

Did America's departure from Vietnam produce the "peace with honor" promised by President Richard Nixon or was that simply an empty wish meant to distract war-weary Americans from a tragic "defeat with shame"? While James Willbanks doesn't offer any easy answers to that question, his book convincingly shows why America's strategy for exiting the Vietnam War failed miserably and left South Vietnam to a dismal fate. That strategy, "Vietnamization," was designed to transfer full responsibility for the defense of South Vietnam to the South Vietnamese, but in a way that would buy the United States enough time to get out without appearing to run away. To achieve this goal, America poured millions of dollars into training and equipping the South Vietnamese military while attempting to pacify the countryside. Precisely how this strategy was implemented and why it failed so completely are the subjects of this eye-opening studyDrawing upon both archival research and his own military experiences in Vietnam, Willbanks focuses on military operations from 1969 through 1975. He begins by analyzing the events that led to a change in U.S. strategy in 1969 and the subsequent initiation of Vietnamization. He then critiques the implementation of that policy and the combat performance of the South Vietnamese army (ARVN), which finally collapsed in 1975. Willbanks contends that Vietnamization was a potentially viable plan that was begun years too late. Nevertheless some progress was made and the South Vietnamese, with the aid of U.S. advisers and American airpower, held off the North Vietnamese during their massive offensive in 1972. However, the Paris Peace Accords, which left NVA troops in the south, and the subsequent loss of U.S. military aid negated any gains produced through Vietnamization. These factors coupled with corruption throughout President Thieu's government and a glaring lack of senior military leadership within the South Vietnamese armed forces ultimately led to the demise of South Vietnam.A mere two years after the last American combat troops had departed, North Vietnamese tanks rolled into Saigon, overwhelming a poorly trained, disastrously led, and corrupt South Vietnamese military. But those two years had provided Nixon with the "decent interval" he desperately needed to proclaim that "peace with honor" had been achieved. Willbanks digs beneath that illusion to reveal the real story of South Vietnam's fall.
Reviews:
  • Goldendragon
While Willbanks' personal experience as an US Army advisor to the ARVN was strictly at the tactical level, his "Abandoning Vietnam" is a thorough examination of the political constraints and the strategic/operational decisions of the US and South Vietnamese governments from the election of Nixon to the fall of Saigon. Clearly written, this work is objective and thorough when examining the constraints imposed upon and the failings of US and South Vietnamese decision makers and Willbanks does a sound job of vividly (yet dispassionately) illustrating relative South Vietnamese successes in 1971/72 followed by a collapse in cohesion from the national government to the smallest tactical units in 1975.

Despite its strengths I would not recommend "Abandoning Vietnam" as a single definitive reference for this topic - apart from the lack of objective first-hand North Vietnamese perspectives (excusable given the limited likelihood of the author being able to access source documents, etc.), the author's discussion of military operations is largely focused on conventional, force-on-force brigade, division and corps engagements. While these were certainly pivotal and decisive, the lack of discussion of the relative post-68 roles and activities of the ARVN popular and regional forces (and accompanying political measures at the local level) and VC local and regional forces make it difficult for the reader to assess if the ARVN COIN campaign had actually been successful, or in fact relevant at all. Neither conclusion would seem to support the author's assertion that a key failure of "Vietnamization" was building an overly-complex US Army-style ARVN to fight conventional battles - perhaps the resources devoted to COIN were (belatedly) appropriate, and inadequate effort and resources were actually devoted to the conventional capability the ARVN actually needed? I would have also liked to read more about the conventional NVA forces of the period - where did their materiel come from after the Paris accords and why was NVA small unit leadership and cohesion generally superior to that of the ARVN, even in the face of appalling casualties?

Overall, however, this is a worthy addition to any professional library dealing with the Vietnam War and is both educational and thought-provoking for any reader with an interest in strategic decision-making - particularly in relation to armed force and investment in resources in potentially peripheral (and certainly unpopular) national objectives. I fear the broad observations and lessons of "Abandoning Vietnam" will continue to have relevance in other parts of the world today and into the future.
  • Shaktit
Jim Willbanks has masterfully researched and recounted America's embarrassing departure from Vietnam. He was there at the end and has returned many times to talk with friends and former enemies.
  • Zeueli
Good account of how the Vietnam War was lost!
  • heart of sky
A OK
  • Kahavor
While this book is better than most out there about the Vietnam War, it is still very incomplete because it only covers one side: the American's. The South Vietnamese side was not included.

Many of the reports written about certain Vietnamese commanders were based on personal biases. The Yes-sir type got good reviews and those dared to speak up or point out the weaknesses were consider "not cooperative". Those reports were based to write about Corps I and Corps II for example. When you rated someone as uncooperative, give an example. The book did not do that.

History should be fair and balanced. Yes, there are plenty of blames to go around but we need to put them where they are due.

This book could be much better.

Anhthu Lu
  • Punind
James H. Wilbanks has written one of the finest military histories to date of the final two stages of the Vietnam War: the period from the Tet Offensive in 1968 to the American withdrawal in 1972, and the bitter end game, 1972-1975. A retired U.S. Army officer and a professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Wilbanks focuses much of his attention on the Nixon Administration's strategy of strengthening the Armed Forces of South Vietnam (RVNAF) while at the same time withdrawing American forces from the war. Known as "Vietnamization," the goal of the program was to make the RVNAF capable of standing alone against its Communist opponents. Why Vietnamization failed just two years after the United States withdrew its forces from Vietnam on 29 March 1973 is the central question of the book.

Drawing on an impressive range of primary and secondary sources, Wilbanks charts the course of Vietnamization from its origin in 1969 until the fall of Saigon in 1972. In addition to providing superb summaries of the major military campaigns fought by the RVNAF during this period, Wilbanks also delves into some of the political-military elements of the story. We learn, for example, that General Creighton W. Abrams, the Commander of the U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, warned the Nixon Administration in a 2 September 1969 memo that Vietnamization "would not permit" the South Vietnamese to handle the combined threat of a North Vietnamese invasion and the insurgency in the South (28). The main reasons for his pessimistic outlook were "poor leadership, high desertion rates, and corruption in the upper ranks of the RVNAF" (28).

All the same, Nixon's Defense Secretary, Melvin Laird insisted on going forward with the strategy even though the "best that the United States could hope for was to build-up the South Vietnamese so that they could hold on for at least a decent interval after the American troops had been withdrawn" (28). Laird had to reject Abrams's assessment because accepting it would have meant admitting "that the United States could never gracefully exit Vietnam" and achieve Nixon's goal of "peace with honor" (28).

In the end, Wilbanks reveals that Vietnamization "achieved neither peace nor honor"(4). Beginning with the Operation Lam Som 719 debacle in 1971 and ending North Vietnam's invasion of South Vietnam in 1975, Abandoning Vietnam carefully analyzes the final battles of the RVNAF. It is not a pretty story, but there were some shining moments such as the 1972 Easter Offensive, when the RVNAF managed to hold on against a 14-division North Vietnamese attack. Wilbanks, who fought at the besieged city of An Loc during this campaign, attributed much of the success of the RVNAF in 1972 to the presence of American advisors on the ground combined with American air power and naval gunfire support. Three years later when these American elements were not available to "save South Vietnam" (160), Saigon fell in a mere 55 days.

As much as he criticizes Nixon's Vietnamization program, Wilbanks does not completely condemn the concept of America training a developing country's army to defend itself and its nation. Had Vietnamization been applied in 1965, or 1963 for that matter, rather than 1969, the RVNAF might have survived longer or perhaps even achieved a lasting stalemate similar to Korea. Instead, the Johnson Administration relegated the RVNAF to a secondary role 1965 and "Americanized" the war. By introducing large numbers of U.S. troops into Vietnam to bear the brunt of the heavy combat between 1965 and 1968, the Johnson Administration not only retarded the natural growth and development of the RVNAF, but indoctrinated it in a style of war inappropriate for the military of a lesser developed country: big unit operations that relied heavily on advanced technology and firepower. As retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Douglas Kinnard put it, "we erroneously tried to impose the American system on a people who didn't want it, couldn't handle it and may lose because they tried it" (287).

A far better approach, Wilbanks points out, would have been to train the RVNAF in small unit, counter-insurgency warfare. Not only would this approach have made the RVNAF more mobile and capable of dealing with the demands of guerilla warfare-the predominant form of warfare between 1963 and 1968-but it also would have made it less dependent on the United States for technology, ammunition, and advisors. Wilbanks argues that a counter-insurgency force with extensive battle experience, sound leadership, and a proven track record of operating independently of foreign advisors had a better chance of transforming itself into a modern, conventional army than one hamstrung by a history of dependency on American military assistance and know-how. Such a force also would have been more accustomed to fighting with maneuver and light arms as opposed to heavy firepower and high technology-useful competencies to posses when American military assistance began to dry up after 1973.

But in the final analysis, Wilbanks contends that the South Vietnamese "deserve a large part of the blame themselves" (287). To succeed, a military force must be led "by men of courage and skill, and have purposes worth fighting and dying for" (288). Without those critical ingredients, the best intentions in the world are meaningless.

This is sobering tale told by balanced, exacting scholar. The level of Wilbanks's research not only meets the bar of most current scholarly publications, but exceeds it in many areas, especially his use of U.S. Army documents. Wilbanks carefully builds each of his major arguments with the best available evidence, and is careful to employ historiography from all sides of the political spectrum in making his case. One will find, for instance, quotations from Marxist scholars and U.S. Army generals in the same paragraph, making nearly identical observations about the war. In short, Wilbanks's history of the period along with Jeffrey J. Clarke's Advice and Support: The Final Years, 1965-1973 will stand out as a seminal account of the period for many years to come.