Re: Venable on Boylan, 'Losing Binh Dinh: The Failure of Pacification and Vietnamization, 1969-1971'

One jousts with Edwin Moise only with the greatest care and deference. I wonder how it is that the government in North Vietnam ensured the loyalty of its population, and how it recruited supporters in the South? Did the communist regime employ tools of social control not readily available to the GVN? Was Ho Chi Minh's regime better able to extinguish potential sources of competing political power, particularly after the predictable one-way population transfer (north to south) of close to a million people, after the end of the French Indochina War?

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Re: Venable on Boylan, 'Losing Binh Dinh: The Failure of Pacification and Vietnamization, 1969-1971'

If we want to talk about counterinsurgency, then we have to examine the other part of Vietnamization. In which the government distributed hundreds of thousands of small arms to the Regional and Popular Forces (RF and PF), who by '72 were successfully defending the great majority of villages and killing nearly as many VC/NVA as the ARVN were. Were there no areas of VC-supporting villages, no native VC left at all? Certainly not the case, but the tide had turned fairly largely in the countryside.

Re: Venable on Boylan, 'Losing Binh Dinh: The Failure of Pacification and Vietnamization, 1969-1971'

So the repulse of the Easter Invasion by the huge conventional force equipped with 400 tanks, hundreds of Russian artillery, hundreds more AA guns, etc, didn't happen?

Since the book (and the review) is about how well Vietnamization worked as counterinsurgency, the Easter Invasion is not a direct counterexample.

Picking one province as an example and then using it to "prove" the war was unwinnable is a valid as picking any one of the terrible defeats of the Union Army in the Civil War as proof that the South could not be beaten

Re: Venable on Boylan, 'Losing Binh Dinh: The Failure of Pacification and Vietnamization, 1969-1971'

"it failed utterly at Vietnamizing the war"
So the repulse of the Easter Invasion by the huge conventional force equipped with 400 tanks, hundreds of Russian artillery, hundreds more AA guns, etc, didn't happen? When there were no longer any US ground forces involved? That was the signal success of Vietamization, and the pacification of so many other provinces, the arming by Saigon of the RF and PF who also battled the VC/NVA effectively in so may place, also tell us plainly what was working. As long as we provided the supplies and support, that is.

TOC New online content JCSAA 3 2017 - Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs

Content Alert: Open Access

Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs Vol 36, No 3 (2017)

Please visit: www.CurrentSoutheastAsianAffairs.org

The journal deals with issues such as urban poor and electoral politics in Jakarta, territorial disputes in Southeast Asia, political authority in Vietnam, and more.

 

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