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Subject: Threat Analysis Variables and the Vietnam War
Braddock    3/17/2006 5:29:04 PM
Threat Analysis Variables and the Vietnam War by Terrance Jones ARNG/U.S. Navy Yet if there was a problem with the pragmatism of the period, it was that there were simply too many foreign policy problems, too many crises, each crowding the others, demanding to be taken care of in that instant. There was too little time to plan, to think; one could only confront the most immediate problems and get rid of them piecemeal but as quickly as possible, ore at least postpone any action. Long-range solutions, thoughtful changes, would have to wait, at least until the second term. And thus it was the irony of the Kennedy Administration that John Kennedy, rationalist, pledged above all to rationality, should continue the most irrational of all major American foreign policies, that policy toward China (the refusal to acknowledge them as a globally viable nation) and the rest of Asia. He was aware of the change in the Communist world, he was aware of the split between the Chinese and the Russians; it was, he realized, something very important. But he would deal with it later. ?The Best and the Brightest? Chapter Seven page 102 David Halberstam While Mr. Halberstam works diligently to detail a foreign policy that was doomed from the start due to inept decision making amongst America?s brightest minds at the cabinet and Pentagon level, his own prose works against him and clearly details a global environment that demanded clear, yet complex solutions to a rapidly increasing and diverse set of multi regional threat variances in strategic areas of vital interest to America. Example: ?Yet if there was a problem with the pragmatism of the period, it was that there were simply too many foreign policy problems, too many crises, each crowding the others, demanding to be taken care of in that instant.? Statements like these exude a concessionary mindset, as there is no such thing as too many threat analysis variables in world that is dramatically affected and manipulated by the constantly changing and ever evolving facultative variables of war. Contingencies are mandatory and diplomacy has been a foundational catalyst for threat reduction and neutralization over temporal, short and long term periods in all historical ages of war. Mr. Halberstam fails to understand that true to historical form of war and diplomacy, single theatre problems often contain a diverse matrix of threat variables that have the potential to predict future occurrences and trends and or detail the current enemy alliance based expansion ratios that pose severe threats to American initiatives abroad. During the Cold War/Vietnam War era, because of America?s superpower status, most threats to American initiatives abroad required an alliance of two proxy war facilitators and a proxy war subordinate in strategic points of intervention across the globe, as America would have a favorable chance of offsetting the strategic initiatives of Russia, the only other superpower in the world. Regardless of the seemingly frigid relationship between Russia and China, their actions towards Vietnam clearly prove that Russia and China remained cognizant of the fact that their individual goals demanded their concerted efforts in the aforementioned strategic points of intervention (Vietnam in this case). This assertion was proven when green berets launched the Son Tay raid and found Chinese and Russian military advisors 400 meters from the target area of the assault. *I could go further with this on this board, but why bother without someone validating the need for me to do so. Look forward to reading about this topic in my next book. This is too broad a topic for me to continuously submit abstracts to this forum. I am not as wealthy as Mr. Halberstam. I have to work for a living. Shek I have to get back to my other projects. I have kids to support. Post your response and I will get to it as soon as possible.
 
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shek    RE:Threat Analysis Variables and the Vietnam War   3/17/2006 10:46:50 PM
Braddock, Please tell me what strategic and vital interests the US had in Vietnam? The rest of Indochina? Natural resources? Lines of communication? Ports? Industry?
 
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Braddock    RE:Threat Analysis Variables and the Vietnam War   3/18/2006 3:39:36 PM
Shek If I have to show you the value of preventing Vietnam from facilitating an immediate exacerbation of Communism throughout Southeast Asia during the years of the Vietnam war, you are not prepared for this type of discussion. By the time we left Vietnam, we had successfully neutralized any probability for a widespread Communist expansion throughout Southeast Asia. There is no need to address the resources nor any of the other variables you brought up without a firmly established democratic form of government which would allow America to explore the possibilities of future trade and alliance treaties concerning these same variables. As was the case with Cuba, a Communist Vietnam would present the possibility of a China/Russian ally with Russian troops and weaponry of the conventional and nuclear type. This scenario was the primary fear with which the Pentagon was correct in its analysis concerning the threat of a Communist Vietnam. Remember, military viability precedes any and all inclinations to benefit from natural resources, industry and things of that nature, as military viability dictates the rate and theatre parameters of a nation's potential strategic partners concerning a nation's economic variables.
 
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Yimmy    RE:Threat Analysis Variables and the Vietnam War   3/18/2006 5:20:19 PM
"By the time we left Vietnam, we had successfully neutralized any probability for a widespread Communist expansion throughout Southeast Asia" That is an interesting way to look at the consequences of Americas involvement in Vietnam. How would you explain away the fact that Vietnam became a Communist country, and went on to invade Cambodia, largely with war supplies given to the NVA to fight the Americans by otherwise hostile China?
 
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Braddock    RE:Threat Analysis Variables and the Vietnam War   3/18/2006 5:57:38 PM
The lesser of two evils when considering the fact that they were incapable of becoming a catalyst for Communist expansion throughout Southeast Asia due to America's example and precedent concerning our willingness to offer our best efforts to prevent this at huge costs in human life. Southeast Asian nations were not jumping at the prospect of enduring a war scenario where 2 million people lose their lives. In regards to Vietnam falling to Communism, Vietnam is similar to Palestine. Their citizens were not willing to do what was necessary to preserve true democracy and win in the end. Even neutrality works for the enemy in matters of war, statehood and diplomacy.
 
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Yimmy    RE:Threat Analysis Variables and the Vietnam War   3/18/2006 6:59:18 PM
"they were incapable of becoming a catalyst for Communist expansion throughout Southeast Asia due to America's example and precedent concerning our willingness to offer our best efforts to prevent this at huge costs in human life." If that were true, surely a) America would not have left South Vietnam to lose the war, and b) America would have gone to Cambodias assistance when Communist Vietnam invaded?
 
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Braddock    RE:Threat Analysis Variables and the Vietnam War   3/18/2006 7:29:09 PM
"If that were true, surely a) America would not have left South Vietnam to lose the war, and b) America would have gone to Cambodias assistance when Communist Vietnam invaded?" I know of no case in history where an insurgency has been successfully defeated without significant reciprocity on the part of a given nation's military forces and civilian population. Ho Chi Minh had significant operational military compliance from South Vietnamese soldiers and civilians. We had only limited reciprocity from the South Vietnamese and I do not know of any cases of significant military support from the South Vietnamese civilian population that would rival the support given to Ho Chi Minh aside from the Mongtagnard tribes who aided our special operations soldiers.
 
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Braddock    RE:Threat Analysis Variables and the Vietnam War   3/18/2006 7:29:14 PM
"If that were true, surely a) America would not have left South Vietnam to lose the war, and b) America would have gone to Cambodias assistance when Communist Vietnam invaded?" I know of no case in history where an insurgency has been successfully defeated without significant reciprocity on the part of a given nation's military forces and civilian population. Ho Chi Minh had significant operational military compliance from South Vietnamese soldiers and civilians. We had only limited reciprocity from the South Vietnamese and I do not know of any cases of significant military support from the South Vietnamese civilian population that would rival the support given to Ho Chi Minh aside from the Mongtagnard tribes who aided our special operations soldiers.
 
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shek    RE:Threat Analysis Variables and the Vietnam War   3/18/2006 7:57:29 PM
Braddock, The ARVN suffered 5x the casualties that the US did - 223K x KIA and 1,169K x WIA. What ratio would meet your significant reciprocity formula? http://www.rjsmith.com/kia_tbl.html
 
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Braddock    RE:Threat Analysis Variables and the Vietnam War   3/18/2006 8:09:33 PM
Braddock, "The ARVN suffered 5x the casualties that the US did - 223K x KIA and 1,169K x WIA. What ratio would meet your significant reciprocity formula? " I did'nt question U.S. forces, however, do question the resolve of the South Vietnamese Army and the civilian population of South Vietnam. It's nothing personal, but there is no way that we could inflict such a high rate of casualties without ending the conflict. This points to the significant corruption that ran rampant throughout the South Vietnamese army in addition to the significant portion of the South Vietnamese civilian population willing to help Ho Chi Minh's forces.
 
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Braddock    RE:Threat Analysis Variables and the Vietnam War   3/18/2006 8:14:54 PM
Braddock, "The ARVN suffered 5x the casualties that the US did - 223K x KIA and 1,169K x WIA. What ratio would meet your significant reciprocity formula? " I did'nt question U.S. forces, however, do question the resolve of the South Vietnamese Army and the civilian population of South Vietnam. It's nothing personal, but there is no way that we could inflict such a high rate of casualties without ending the conflict. This points to the significant corruption that ran rampant throughout the South Vietnamese army in addition to the significant portion of the South Vietnamese civilian population willing to help Ho Chi Minh's forces. In regards to reciprocity, I was pointing out that Vietnam did not benefit from our intended strategy of tandem force continuity between our forces and the South Vietnamese army forces.
 
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