3Lawrence E. Grinter
Vietnam: The Cost of Ignoring the Political RequirementsUnited States policy failed, and South Vietnam and the United States failed to win the Second Indochina War for three fundamental reasons:
|—Under pressure from the North Vietnamese/Viet Cong totalitarian assault, South Vietnam failed to develop both a self-sustaining national defense and an effective, legitimate political system.|
|—Allied forces were unable to destroy enough communist forces inside South Vietnam or to bring enough pressure against the North Vietnamese heartland to force a basic change in Hanoi's policy.|
Thus, the irreducible political requirements of an allied victory in Vietnam were:
|—The United States failed to adequately sustain its support of South Vietnam in 1974 and 1975, while Moscow and Beijing were prepared to support Hanoi indefinitely.|
|—a multidimensional strategy in South Vietnam, based on both population protection and territorial security, which built a popular and enlarging political community linking Saigon to the people while also defending the country|
|—an allied decision to take the war out of South Vietnam either through a U.S. supported, South Vietnamese invasion of the sanctuaries and North Vietnam, and/or the equivalent of the Linebacker I and II bombing campaigns in 1966 or 1967|
|—United States congressional and executive support for South Vietnam for however long it took to help that country defend itself|
All three requirements of victory in Vietnam were fundamentally political. In each case—South Vietnam's defense and development, the need for an early strategic South Vietnamese/American attack on what became the major source of the aggression, North Vietnam, and the necessity for indefinite U.S. support of South Vietnam—the requirements presumed fundamental, long-term political
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Book title: The American War in Vietnam: Lessons, Legacies, and Implications for Future Conflicts.
Contributors: Lawrence E.Grinter - Editor, Peter M.Dunn - Editor.
Publisher: Greenwood Press.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1987.
Page number: 29.
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