Re: January 2022 New Year Handgrenade

The events did not occur quite the way Wyatt Reader remembers them. Westmoreland never made a request for as many as 500,000 additional men, and when he requested more troops, he did not go to Washington to make the requests; he sent requests from Saigon. He did not go to Washington for any purpose during the period between the Tet Offensive and LBJ's announcement that he would not run for re-election.

Re: January 2022 New Year Handgrenade

Ralph,
You will get no argument from me on that one. Market Time closed down the main sea route,
That left one way to get material south by land, although the route through Cambodia included transhipment of Soviet equipment after it entered Cambodia by sea. But Ho Chi Minh Trail (HCMT) was the key line of communication, and that Soviet equipment still needed to marry up with people that came down the HCMT.

Re: January 2022 New Year Handgrenade

I agree with John Kuehn that Westmoreland’s exaggerated public optimism in 1967 was a crucial mistake, though I am not sure why he blames McNamara for it. President Johnson was the one who told Westmoreland to come to Washington in November 1967 and make a lot of public statements about how well the war was going. And if somebody prompted Johnson to give that order, I am sure it was Walt Rostow, not McNamara.

Re: January 2022 New Year Handgrenade

Thanks for “throwing in” Joyce. I too am a firm Clausewitzian on these matters. As he would say “in war the result is never final” 1:1

The key to expansion of the war to attack locs & base areas in Cambodia & Laos was rapprochement with China. That did not take place until after Tet, nor to my knowledge was it viable —or even a course of action—earlier than 1970 (& even then the reaction to the modest ops in Cambodia) reflected how much the influence the US public had on constraining policy.

No rapprochement—no Linebacker I & II

Best, John

Re: January 2022 New Year Handgrenade

Happy New Year as I dive into the fragments of this jungle. I have always found Krepenivich and Summers worthy pieces for their ability to provoke thought about what kind of strategy could have been used to better effect. But I have also found them both wanting, and both pointing to a larger issue that I think is also implicit in the Andrade article, and that will put me firmly in a Clausewitzian camp in this sense.

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