The Quiet War - Counterinsurgency Programs During the Vietnam War – French, American, and Vietnamese Experiences From 1952 to 1964
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CitationPage, Dominique. 2019. The Quiet War - Counterinsurgency Programs During the Vietnam War – French, American, and Vietnamese Experiences From 1952 to 1964. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractThe Vietnam War, or “Guerre d’Indochine” as the French called it, was at the intersection of two of 20th century’s great clashing forces, Decolonization and the Cold War. The Japanese, British, Chinese, French, and later the Americans came to this small stretch of land covered with jungle and rice paddies for different reasons: strategic access, raw materials, the glory of empire, and the global struggle against communism. What they had in common was that they were not invited. The Vietnamese people, who had a long history of fierce resistance against foreign domination, used the tactics of asymmetrical and irregular warfare against their more powerful enemies. A common theme among French and American soldiers was that they were fighting an invisible enemy. Ambushes would materialize at any time of day and night. They could make entire brigades disappear in the jungle after an attack. The Vietminh, and later the Vietcong, blended into the rural population and it was often impossible to separate friend from foe.
This thesis is an attempt to analyze how the French, the South Vietnamese government of Ngo Dinh Diem, and the Americans dealt with this form of warfare. With many of today’s armed conflicts being asymmetrical in nature, the lessons we can extract from these experiences might prove very valuable in future conflicts.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42004201