Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

The Vietnam, Victory Option

Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

The Vietnam, Victory Option

Article excerpt

The Vietnam, Victory Option by Norborne Robinson III. Gram Press, P.O. Box 1825, Middleburg, Virginia 22117, 1996, 248 pages, $35.00.

The title of Norborne Robinson's book led me to believe it would provide a serious discussion of an alternate strategy to achieve the national objectives of the United States in Vietnam. I expected the author to propose this strategy and then support his rationale with research and sound documentation. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Instead, the book devotes most of its 248 pages to background information, focusing only partially on Southeast Asia. Although some of this information is pertinent to our involvement in Vietnam, much of it is not. My other major concern is the limited amount of scholarly documentation, which made it difficult to distinguish the author's opinion from fact. I might have accepted this approach had the author provided a detailed biography identifying his background and qualifications to draw these conclusions. This information, however, was too general to be helpful.

So what was the victory option? The proposed strategy called for airpower to destroy selected dikes on the Red River in North Vietnam. Breaching these dikes would devastate North Vietnam's rice production, which was highly dependent upon the dikes to control the river during flood stage and to provide water for rice cultivation. The strategic objective was destabilization of the Hanoi regime and its capacity to wage war. …

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