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MACV: The Joint Command in the Years of Withdrawal, 1968-1973 (eBook)

Title:
MACV: The Joint Command in the Years of Withdrawal, 1968-1973 (eBook)
Format:
USA Price: 
Stock:
Available from other retailers
GPO Stock Number:
999-000-55551-7

ISBN

9780160872860
Description

Second of two volumes that examine the Vietnam conflict from the perspective of the theater commander and his headquarters. Traces the story of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), from the Communist Tet Offensive of early 1968 through the disestablishment of MACV in March 1973. Deals with theater-level command relationships, strategy, and operations.

Table of Contents

Chapter Page
1. The Command and the War, January 1968 . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Command, Forces, and Allies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
The Enemy and the War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
A Shifting Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

2. Prelude to Tet: Warnings and Preparations . . . . . . . . . . 23
The Enemy Plans an Offensive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Warnings and Preparations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Command Problems in I Corps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Final Preliminaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
How Much of a Surprise? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

3. Tet and Its Aftermath . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Regaining Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
I Corps:  MACV Versus the Marines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Losing the Battle of Perceptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
Reinforcement Request and Policy Decision . . . . . . . . . . . 88
A War Lost in the Mind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103

4. General Abrams Takes Charge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
General Westmoreland Departs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Continuing the Fight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
Building Up the RVNAF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
The Paris Talks and the Bombing Halt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
“One War”: The Abrams Approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128

5. Redeployment and Vietnamization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141
Nixon Sets His Course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141
Redeployment Planning Begins: NSSM 36 . . . . . . . . . . . 145
Raising the Stakes in Vietnamization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
Redeployment Accelerates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
Implementing the Withdrawals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
A Rear Guard Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179

6. MACV Headquarters: The Drawdown . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
Command Relationships under Abrams . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181x i
Changes in MACV Headquarters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
MACV Intelligence: A Mature Capability . . . . . . . . . . . . 204
Reducing the Command Structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208

7. Seasons of Scandal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217
MACV and the Media: A Breakdown of Relations . . . . . 217
Scandals Proliferate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
The Impact of My Lai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224
Race, Drugs, and Discipline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232

8. South Vietnam: Waging the One War . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241
The Enemy Returns to Protracted War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241
A Change of Mission for MACV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244
Military Operations, 1969–1971 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254
Pacification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264
A Self-Defending South Vietnam? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270
An Appearance of Success . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278

9. Across the Borders: Cambodia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279
The Situation in Early 1969 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279
Menu and Pruning Knife .  .  ..  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 283
Into Cambodia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293
Aiding the Cambodians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304
Cambodia Balance Sheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309

10. Across the Borders: Laos and North Vietnam . . . . . . . 311
More Bombs over Laos, 1969–1970 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311
“Protective Reaction” over North Vietnam . . . . . . . . . . . 316
The 1971 Dry Season Offensive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320
Cross-Border Operations Continue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 340

11. The Easter Offensi e . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 345
A War in the Balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 345
Bracing for the Blow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347
Attack and Counterattack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 356
Redeployments and Reorganization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 371
The Blow Parried . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 377

12. The Final Phasedown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 381
Peace Nearly at Hand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 381
Preparing for a Cease-Fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 384
The Final Drawdown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 393
Epilogue: The Fall of a Nation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 401

13. Conclusion: MACV in Retrospect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 409
The Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 410
The Generals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 411
Command and Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 414
The South Vietnamese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 419
Final Judgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 422

Bibliographical Note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 429
Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 443
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 447

Table

Maps

Illustrations

Audience

Members of the military, including military historians and military strategists, policymakers and members of government would benefit from this publication and its accounts of the Vietnam War. In addition, Veterans, members of the general public, and historians and students interested in the Vietnam War would enjoy this publication.

Product Details

USA Price:
$9.99
Publisher:
U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Army, Army Center of Military History
Year/Pages:
2010, 486 pages
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