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How would we fight a war in Vietnam Today?

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posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 10:37 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Vietnam is the result when the politicians tie up the hands of the military. That combined with political correctness up the kazoo makes more a very bad ending.


You lost! You were beaten. They won. Accept it and deal with it. No excuses.

Your military had few restrictions placed on them - no nukes, no bombing hanoi (didn't stop them) and no bombing neutral countries (didn't stop them). You invested everything you had, drafted your sons and still lost. You could never win that war as your top people made the fundamental mistake of under-estimating the enemy - frequently.

Examples:

you developed the LGB to hit VC bridges - they rebuilt them 2 ft under water

you developed (after a year and x$m) a people sniffer which you dropped on the Trail - they defeated with buffalo dung within weeks

you bombed Hanoi having calculated that the cost of providing shelter for the populace would severely disrupt the NV economy - they ordered everyone to dig 3 x 1man shelters under the paving slabs - it took them less than a week to provide 300% shelter capacity

3-0 to the 'peasants'

With leaders so dumb and the CIA selling H to your own forces it's amazing you didn't lose sooner

Don't F@ckwith the Vietnamese - ask the Chinese, the French and the US!

I see nothing to suggest the US learnt anything from Vietnam so can't really see a different result for you.




posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 11:12 AM
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Unless you're willing to mass murder civilians and be tried for war crimes, you can never win a guerilla war against a country whose population is highly patriotic. As long as there are civilians willing to defend their country to the end, there will be a virtually undepletable source of new guerillas fighting the war.



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 11:14 AM
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as posted byCTID56092
I see nothing to suggest the US learnt anything from Vietnam so can't really see a different result for you.


Study military doctrine? Ever heard of the Powell Doctrine: a direct result of the war/conflict in Vietnam? I could and can a name a number of others military restructure doctrines that resulted from Vietnam.

For one to claim and assert that one cannot see that the US has learned anything from Vietnam is either talking under the influence or seemingly not wanting to see that indeed there were changes and lessons learned....and later applied.

Remember the 1st Gulf War? It directly followed and adhered to the Powell Doctrine, to the letter. If you are applying what is transpiring in Iraq today to Vietnam of the 50s, 60s, and early 70s, quite frankly, two different ballgames and are not comparable, no matter how hard many novice or amateur armchair generals try to play or decipher them. Westpoint23 is correct, and as a military historian, despite the ever-present insurgency and guerilla doctrine adopted by Ho Chi Minh/North Vietnam from Maoist Doctrine [the People's War], if the US had not been restricted to specifically and mainly South Vietnam and had been allowed the ability to take out/invade North Vietnam, despite aid from China and the then USSR, the results would have been quite different. The concern that deterred US from invading North Vietnam was the possibility that China would do as they did in North Korea. Years after the war, China revealed that it would not have intervened as it did in North Korea, but then again, hindsight is 20/20, huh?




seekerof

[edit on 16-6-2005 by Seekerof]



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 12:45 PM
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We'll America lost the war because the enemy was hidden... Reminds me a bit of Iraq... I don't know... Perhaps they shoul usemore special force teams... Cos' it's quite hardm to kill a enemy that you can't see...



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 03:54 PM
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Iraq would be very much like Vietnam had there been jungles and had the population been more loyal to their leader but of course it's open desert and nobody likes Hussein. 3000 (or was it 5000) Iraqi troops surrendered right at the beginning of GW2.



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 03:59 PM
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Originally posted by CTID56092
You lost! You were beaten. They won. Accept it and deal with it. No excuses.


Nobody won. The Americans withdrew, the North Vietnamese eventually took over South Vietnam. In that sense, North Vietnam won South Vietnam, not USA. The USA would have actually won if you just counted the casualties and dead by a huge number, but the North kept fighting while the Americans could not. That was why they withdrew.




Your military had few restrictions placed on them - no nukes, no bombing hanoi (didn't stop them) and no bombing neutral countries (didn't stop them). You invested everything you had, drafted your sons and still lost. You could never win that war as your top people made the fundamental mistake of under-estimating the enemy - frequently.


No nukes, yes. To prevent Chinese and Russians from helping and to keep global opinion up.

No bombing Hanoi - They only started bombing Hanoi in 1972. Pre 1972, there were close to no bombs dropped on Hanoi. There were a few "accidental bombings", but I'm questioning that. Also, no bombing neighbouring countries, 10 km away from their border, and no bombing 20km away from China's border. Most of the bombing were done on the trails the NVA and VC used to transport food and equipment.

Under-estimate the enemy? The NVA and VC were quite pathetic when you talk about actual fighting. North Viet deaths 1.1 million, American deaths 0.05 million. If you take Northern sources, the numbers will be greatly exaggerated. The North awarded medals on number of dead Americans/South Vietnamese, and therefore soldiers had a habit of lying about how many people they killed. To put that in perspective, that is 20 North Vietnamese to every American dead. And, the Americans never underestimated the Vietnamese people.

The one fact is, the North Vietnamese were not going to give up at any rate, while the Americans could not afford a war like this where there were going to be a "lot" of casualties. Even with 1.1 million dead, the NVA and VC were devoted to their cause, while the Americans questioned the reason to fight. The media caused a lot of trouble inside America itself. They led people to believe that the Americans were suffering a lot more than they were and all dead from Punji stakes and other booby traps, which were all very gruesome. The media only took pictures of American casulties and not Americans firing back, since they were interested on impact and not the fact.

[edit on 16/6/05 by W4rl0rD]



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 11:42 AM
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But it wan't a body count war - it was a war about territory. The US political - military machine invented body count as a measure of 'success' to answer media pressure for tangible reults.

It was flawed measure by which to judge a flawed effort!

Body count became the key to promotion & medals, US forces consistently exagerated body count after contacts (a foot, blood-trail and a bit of bloody cloth would be reported as a body count of 3). The reporting chain 'rounded up' the figures as they went higher - magically one wounded VC could become a body count of over 10. At the same time Charlie owned the night and moved with impunity.

With such a flawed measure of success you had no chance of winning - ever.

Fact - after 1,000 years of occupation the Vietnamese rose up and threw out the Chinese invaders. 1,000 years! Your military should have looked in a library before taking them on!



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 12:14 PM
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Originally posted by CTID56092
Fact - after 1,000 years of occupation the Vietnamese rose up and threw out the Chinese invaders. 1,000 years! Your military should have looked in a library before taking them on!


yeah yer right we saw Japan who has never lost a war for thousands of years and finally lost to America which is still a young country.



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by Seekerof

as posted byCTID56092
I see nothing to suggest the US learnt anything from Vietnam so can't really see a different result for you.


Study military doctrine? Ever heard of the Powell Doctrine: a direct result of the war/conflict in Vietnam? I could and can a name a number of others military restructure doctrines that resulted from Vietnam.

For one to claim and assert that one cannot see that the US has learned anything from Vietnam is either talking under the influence or seemingly not wanting to see that indeed there were changes and lessons learned....and later applied.

Remember the 1st Gulf War? It directly followed and adhered to the Powell Doctrine, to the letter. If you are applying what is transpiring in Iraq today to Vietnam of the 50s, 60s, and early 70s, quite frankly, two different ballgames and are not comparable, no matter how hard many novice or amateur armchair generals try to play or decipher them. Westpoint23 is correct, and as a military historian, despite the ever-present insurgency and guerilla doctrine adopted by Ho Chi Minh/North Vietnam from Maoist Doctrine [the People's War], if the US had not been restricted to specifically and mainly South Vietnam and had been allowed the ability to take out/invade North Vietnam, despite aid from China and the then USSR, the results would have been quite different. The concern that deterred US from invading North Vietnam was the possibility that China would do as they did in North Korea. Years after the war, China revealed that it would not have intervened as it did in North Korea, but then again, hindsight is 20/20, huh?




seekerof

[edit on 16-6-2005 by Seekerof]


As a military historian myself can't see the validity of your arguments:

You clearly unerestimated the Vietnamese as you do the Iraqis

Lesson learned in an infantry/air/artillery counter-insugency jungle op were key to the success of an armour/mechanised frontal assault on a high (ish) - tech opponent with significant armour assets in prepared positions? A 'police' action Vs blitzkrieg?

Some oblique conclusions drawn then?

I'm sure you learned 'something' but as we can see in Iraq / Afganistan you certainly seem to have learned little about counter-insurgency.

Would you prefer to be trained by the best CQB/FIBUA forces in the World with an oustanding record of neutralising terrorism or the brutal SS/IDF who've failed to resolve the Palestinian issue at all and are probably one of the major causes?' Oh I think we'll have the Isaelis please, with their track-record we're bound to win!

Well, we offered!

You're learning now but it's cost you a lot of blood to learn lessons that were obvious to many of your own troops & officers in '72/'75.

Your troops have been short-changed by the military / corporate / political machine - who have a vested interest in high-cost, high-tech, 'good TV' warfare. The real work of effective soldiering patrolling and gathering Int are fairly boring to watch but they save lives!



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 12:33 PM
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Originally posted by deltaboy

Originally posted by CTID56092
Fact - after 1,000 years of occupation the Vietnamese rose up and threw out the Chinese invaders. 1,000 years! Your military should have looked in a library before taking them on!


yeah yer right we saw Japan who has never lost a war for thousands of years and finally lost to America which is still a young country.


Vietnam & China - what the hell has Japan / US got do with it - apart from racial similarities? Please elaborate.



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 01:01 PM
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Originally posted by CTID56092
But it wan't a body count war - it was a war about territory. The US political - military machine invented body count as a measure of 'success' to answer media pressure for tangible reults.


The US did not use body counts to award medals. In fact, it was the Vietnamese who used body counts to award medals. For example, if you killed 5 Americans or South vietnamese, you would be decorated a 2nd class fighting hero. With that in mind, many Vietnamese declarations were overly exaggerated.

Ok, even with the US getting exaggerated numbers about the NVA/VC dead, they estimated 500,000 NVA/VC dead. General Giap, who was in charge of the NVA then, agreed with those numbers. That was when the war was coming to an end. Afterwards, both American and North Vietnamese agree that there were more than 1 million North Vietnamese dead. Many Southern Vietnamese villagers were killed just for the sake of NVA/VC soldiers getting medals, while the opposite was hardly true.



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 01:44 PM
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So they endured casualties at least 10 (possibly 20) times yours and still won!

They had 10 or 20 times your steel, resolve whatever. They endured unimaginable privations and still beat you.

I think you're making the NVA etc sound even better than I am.

US didn't judge success on bodycount? Have you ever studied the war? - the 'scores' were a key feature of the US daily TV news! Hence the shock of Tet, your data said you were winning when you clearly weren't.

Promotions and 'seniority' medals were awarded to 'successful' officers ie those producing the best bodycount - hence the endemic exageration.

Other, more effective, forces had better measures for calculation. Australian scores were only updated if you could place your foot on the body. They knew a blood trail does not equal a body.

It was still a flawed measure just more accurately reported. Aussies defined their success in terms of denying the enemy freedom to conduct operations - a correct measure - and were successful in their AO.

Correct assessment of the key issues and effective performance are not unrelated IMO

[edit on 17-6-2005 by CTID56092]



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 01:53 PM
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Just had to say that Warlord and Westpoint's replies to this thread are imho, right on the money...


Some excellent points raised for the new factors as well as the old factors that would still be in play for this theoretical happenstance...



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 11:20 PM
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So they endured casualties at least 10 (possibly 20) times yours and still won!


Technically, America didn't go to war with Vietnam. They didn't even declare war on Vietnam. And the NVA/VC didn't win, the Americans went there to protect South Vietnam from the communists, as part of their policy. In the end, a North Vietnamese T-54 crashed through the South Vietnamese presidential building and took control after the Americans were gone.



They had 10 or 20 times your steel, resolve whatever. They endured unimaginable privations and still beat you.


Kennedy once said, American boys shouldn't have to fight Asian boys' wars. America could not afford more casualties since they were on the other side of the world, while NVA/VC were directly fighting for their cause. And yes, I believe the NVA/VC were more ready to die.


US didn't judge success on bodycount? Have you ever studied the war? - the 'scores' were a key feature of the US daily TV news! Hence the shock of Tet, your data said you were winning when you clearly weren't.


The "scores"? The scores were more like... The Americans are taking X number of casualties *focuses on medic fixing up grunt*. There are X Americans dead etc etc. No wonder the American public were unhappy with the war.

For Tet, there was one problem, the generals said to attack with the date on the Lunar calender. There was a difference though, the VC in South Vietnam were using the new revised version, while the North used the old version. The attack were far from planned, and often, VC sapper units would capture a building only to know that their NVA reinforcements, who were supposed to come immediately, were still a day away. There was only 1 actual sucessful attack, on the city of Hue. After a few days of street fighting, the Americans managed to push the Vietnamese back.



It was still a flawed measure just more accurately reported. Aussies defined their success in terms of denying the enemy freedom to conduct operations - a correct measure - and were successful in their AO.

Correct assessment of the key issues and effective performance are not unrelated IMO


Agreed. However, in the end of the war, American reports were less than half of actual number of dead. This was because the NVA/VC had a habit of bringing the dead back, to prevent the Americans from having a proper body count, and to hide their huge losses.



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 11:37 PM
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the vietnam war was from 1946-1975.. the vietnamese casulties were from that whole era not from american intervention.

the real war between the vietnamese and south vietnamese were

Sout vietnam and america
Total dead: 287,232
Wounded: 1,496,037

NVA / viet cong
Total dead 200,000 to 300,000
Wounded: 600,000

civillian casulities

2-4million



the Vietnamese released their own numbers and hasn't been denied by the US



posted on Jun, 18 2005 @ 12:47 AM
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Originally posted by W4rl0rD


Technically, America didn't go to war with Vietnam. They didn't even declare war on Vietnam. And the NVA/VC didn't win, the Americans went there to protect South Vietnam from the communists, as part of their policy. In the end, a North Vietnamese T-54 crashed through the South Vietnamese presidential building and took control after the Americans were gone.
[

So they achieved their objectives, the US didn't - you lost.


Kennedy once said, American boys shouldn't have to fight Asian boys' wars. America could not afford more casualties since they were on the other side of the world, while NVA/VC were directly fighting for their cause. And yes, I believe the NVA/VC were more ready to die.


Kennedy? The guy who originally committed US forces to 'Nam? Just plain wrong mate!


The "scores"? The scores were more like... The Americans are taking X number of casualties *focuses on medic fixing up grunt*. There are X Americans dead etc etc. No wonder the American public were unhappy with the war.

For Tet, there was one problem, the generals said to attack with the date on the Lunar calender. There was a difference though, the VC in South Vietnam were using the new revised version, while the North used the old version. The attack were far from planned, and often, VC sapper units would capture a building only to know that their NVA reinforcements, who were supposed to come immediately, were still a day away. There was only 1 actual sucessful attack, on the city of Hue. After a few days of street fighting, the Americans managed to push the Vietnamese back.



You're right about casualties but rising body count conveyed an inpression it was going well. Tet finished that myth onve & for all. Dan Rather (or kronkite?) famously said 'What's going on? I thought we we're winning this war.' The beginning of the end.

Tet was a military failure for the NVA, Hue was a serious attempt to take you and they lost. The Saigon ops though (surely 'media' ops) succeeded. massive effect for minimum effort.


'However, in the end of the war, American reports were less than half of actual number of dead. This was because the NVA/VC had a habit of bringing the dead back, to prevent the Americans from having a proper body count, and to hide their huge losses.

Wrong. It was the other way round - body count figures exceeded NVA/VC dead

'In September, 1967, the NLF launched a series of attacks on American garrisons. General William Westmoreland, the commander of US troops in Vietnam, was delighted. Now at last the National Liberation Front was engaging in open combat. At the end of 1967, Westmoreland was able to report that the NLF had lost 90,000 men. He told President Lyndon B. Johnson that the NLF would be unable to replace such numbers and that the end of the war was in sight.

Every year on the last day of January, the Vietnamese paid tribute to dead ancestors. In 1968, unknown to the Americans, the NLF celebrated the Tet New Year festival two days early. For on the evening of 31st January, 1968, 70,000 members of the NLF launched a surprise attack on more than a hundred cities and towns in Vietnam. It was now clear that the purpose of the attacks on the US garrisons in September had been to draw out troops from the cities'

www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk...


[edit on 18-6-2005 by CTID56092]

[edit on 18-6-2005 by CTID56092]



posted on Jun, 18 2005 @ 12:48 AM
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Chinawhite civilians? C'mon please show me where you got your numbers. And the US did not get involved until the mid 60’s.



posted on Jun, 18 2005 @ 01:09 AM
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?? Chinawhite, I thought the numbers were actually around a million NV dead? Westy, the war started in the late 1940s, the Americans entered in the 1960s.

[edit on 18/6/05 by W4rl0rD]



posted on Jun, 18 2005 @ 01:19 AM
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Originally posted by CTID56092
So they achieved their objectives, the US didn't - you lost.
The main US objective was to show its allies that they would assist a democracy against a communist country waging war against them. The US also delayed the North by a decade, which was what they set out to do. The US also achieved their objectives.


Kennedy? The guy who originally committed US forces to 'Nam? Just plain wrong mate!


He originally said that, but decided to send them there a year after he said that.



Tet was a military failure for the NVA, Hue was a serious attempt to take you and they lost. The Saigon ops though (surely 'media' ops) succeeded. massive effect for minimum effort.


Tet was originally supposed to be a well planned attack. If General Giap had just used the standard date way of telling his troops when to attack, Tet might be a sucess. The main sucess of Tet was due to the media. If the media didn't exaggerate how the NVA/VC were winning, Tet would have been almost useless.


Wrong. It was the other way round - body count figures exceeded NVA/VC dead

Actually speaking, I do not know the exact number of NVA/VC dead in the Vietnam war. Various sources give various numbers, and these range from 300,000 to 1.5 million. On the other hand, I do know that the North exaggerated their numbers a lot. NVA/VC people were given medals based on their numbers, and often low ranking grunts would kill civillians or exaggerate to get medals.



posted on Jun, 18 2005 @ 01:24 AM
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Originally posted by W4rl0rD

Originally posted by CTID56092
So they achieved their objectives, the US didn't - you lost.
The main US objective was to show its allies that they would assist a democracy against a communist country waging war against them. The US also delayed the North by a decade, which was what they set out to do. The US also achieved their objectives.


This exchange is a great example of how perception of events can be a most subjective experience.




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