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From the Guy WHo Gave Us the Ford falcon

page: 1

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posted on May, 20 2006 @ 02:54 PM
Some lifer explained it to me this way: the average American fighting man, due to training, equipment, and supplies was worth three chucks. So when a soldier was killed it could be assumed that he took three of the enemy with him. That was probably more the alcohol talking than the actual McNamara strategy concerning the bodycount as measure of success. What I like the best is that there were these guys, "the best & brightest," who studied the conflict in Vietnam and came up with some truly whacky ideas, and then implemented them. The bodycount was McNamara's brainchild. He was the guy who came up with the Ford Falcon, the same model I drove for years. I don't blame him entirely for coming up with a concept that ultimately could only lead to profound demoralization for all concerned, because the Vietnam war came with a set of boundaries. Generally, it seems in war, that victory is measured in real estate. Ground. Territory armies deprive other armies of possessing. But we weren't allowed to go true north. Unlike Giaps' forces which, with their P-38's, were infiltrating the south. They were looking for ground. Ours was a "static defense." I heard that phrase in one of the best Nam films made, Go Tell the Spartans. And so to compensate for the lack of secured ground, we started counting bodies. But, I guess McNamara didn't figure that there would be so many...

posted on Jun, 4 2006 @ 04:22 PM
Interesting. I hadn't thought about this idea before. Yes, covering territory as success. (Territory could also be given as spoils of war.) So if no territory, then body counts, which didn't bode well for Vietnam conflict. Which brings us up to today and "success" in Iraq. If Iraq is a "War on Terror", there's no territory, and we can't talk about body counts (mission was "accomplished" already without much enemy bodies, and the Iraqi seem to be doing their own killing). We shouldn't define success as rebuilding what we tore up. So just how are we to know success--is this their pr problem, Bush etal can't come up with a definition for success that appeals to constituents? Installing a new government in a foreign country as a sign of success doesn't play well with Americans, as they struggle with their own government at home. I'm beginning to see the enormity of their dilemma, or maybe to the Commander-in-Chief there is no problem--what me worry? Ironic, the politicians who scoffed at how the opposition nuanced ideas now have to deal with a situation that cannot survive on glib responses. They surely bit off more than they could chew, and as happens our troops pay for this with lives and limbs.

posted on Jun, 10 2006 @ 02:14 PM
You may find this interesting, I know I did..... the documented reasoning for McNamara's BODY COUNT theory had to do with the sheer numbers of North Vietnamese the American soldier and their allies were faced with. McNamara knew it could NOT be judged the same as World War II but had to be more in line with the Korean War, which again was not a REAL ESTATE measuring stick.

The 3 to 1 ratio seems to be the norm...... but given the number of allied and American Troops that we had in Vietnam.... WE would have run out of SOLDIERS long before THEY DID...... thus the stupidity of the concept.

Just one opinion.


posted on Nov, 17 2007 @ 12:52 AM
I had a 61 Falcon. It was my most favorite car of all time, next to my 74 International Scout II.

posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 12:00 AM

Originally posted by KimWHoffman
...because the Vietnam war came with a set of boundaries...They were looking for ground. Ours was a "static defense."...And so to compensate for the lack of secured ground, we started counting bodies. But, I guess McNamara didn't figure that there would be so many...

Probably. But the thing is, there had already been two successful COIN ops in SEAsia. The first was by the British Commonwealth in then-Malaya against communist insurgents and the second was again by the BC in now-Malaysia against Indos infiltrating the border.

and top man


When the Aussies first started pre-departure training for SVN, they were using Malaya vets as instructors and the model villages were Malay in style.

It's a highly simplistic argument, I admit, but there are still "scholars of history" who can't work out why the Brits could get it right and the Yanks got it so wrong.

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 09:08 PM
Where McNamara and other US civilian and military leaders went wrong in Vietnam is that they failed to grasp that you have to win over the local population . Since the US lost the hearts and minds battle the enemy was able to keep sourcing more man power from the local population . US troops also lacked the speciality Jungle training that there Australian allies very much benefited from .

posted on Oct, 19 2008 @ 09:43 PM
This is probably way off topic but thought you might like to know that the Ford Falcon has been going strong in Australia for a good 50 years now

Current model:

[edit on 19-10-2008 by Chadwickus]

posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 01:36 AM
Yeah, yeah, I've always been the General's man. Give a 253 Monaro any day...

But on the topic of VN and winning or losing it,

check this link to the BBC out. You'd have to be an interesting general to think of this one...

In the Australian deployment the campaign (involving doctors, insecticide and rice, but not in that order!) was called Winning Hearts And Minds (no prizes for the acronym of that!).


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