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originally posted by: TheRepublicOfCanada
Operation Rolling Thunder (1965 - 1968), conducted
by the USA as part of the war in Asia, was considered a "failure".
Why? And what can we hope to learn from it?
Operation Rolling Thunder was the codename for an American bombing campaign during the Vietnam War. U.S. military aircraft attacked targets throughout North Vietnam from March 1965 to October 1968. This massive bombardment was intended to put military pressure on North Vietnam’s communist leaders and reduce their capacity to wage war against the U.S.-supported government of South Vietnam. Operation Rolling Thunder marked the first sustained American assault on North Vietnamese territory and represented a major expansion of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
Although North Vietnam did not have much of an air force, its leaders managed to mount an effective defense against the bombing raids. With assistance from China and the Soviet Union, the North Vietnamese constructed a sophisticated air-defense system.
Using surface-to-air missiles and radar-controlled anti-aircraft artillery, the North Vietnamese shot down hundreds of American planes over the course of the bombing campaign. As a result, pilots and aircraft weapon systems operators accounted for the majority of the American prisoners of war who were captured and held by North Vietnam.
That was dumping all the stockpiled bombs and get the weapon industry going...making money. Losing/ winning the war was never really that important.
originally posted by: Lazarus Short
One reason for the failure of both Operation Rolling Thunder and the Vietnam War was the refusal of American leaders to bomb the US-owned oil refinery near Hanoi and the dredge keeping Haiphong harbour open. They were obvious targets from a military perspective, but as other posters have stated, and I agree with them, the war was to make money, not defeat "Godless Communism."
originally posted by: JustJohnny
a reply to: seaswine
But here is the thing..
The US was still causing mass casualties and that is unsustainable long term period..
The US could have easily won the war.. it just
Might take killing 80% of the population.
originally posted by: RadioRobert
The primary reason it failed to achieve much, however, was the restrictions placed on planners:
A no-target zone 30-mile radius around Hanoi
10-mile radius around Haiphong
Wide buffer zone along Chinese border
Even North Vietnamese air bases were off limits
SAM sites could not be targeted unless aircraft were fired upon first
Once target lists were made, the White House reviewed and debated all of them and hand-picked targets from the list. This essentially meant most strategic targets were off limits, and the Byzantine targeting approval process was too slow to effectively prosecute tactical targets.