Westmorelands War: Reassessing American Strategy in Vietnam

Paperback | September 15, 2015

byGregory Daddis

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General William C. Westmoreland has long been derided for his failed strategy of "attrition" in the Vietnam War. Historians have argued that Westmoreland's strategy placed a premium on high "body counts" through a "big unit war" that relied almost solely on search and destroy missions. Manybelieve the U.S. Army failed in Vietnam because of Westmoreland's misguided and narrow strategyIn a groundbreaking reassessment of American military strategy in Vietnam, Gregory Daddis overturns conventional wisdom and shows how Westmoreland did indeed develop a comprehensive campaign which included counterinsurgency, civic action, and the importance of gaining political support from theSouth Vietnamese population. Exploring the realities of a large, yet not wholly unconventional environment, Daddis reinterprets the complex political and military battlefields of Vietnam. Without searching for blame, he analyzes how American civil and military leaders developed strategy and howWestmoreland attempted to implement a sweeping strategic vision.Westmoreland's War is a landmark reinterpretation of one of America's most divisive wars, outlining the multiple, interconnected aspects of American military strategy in Vietnam - combat operations, pacification, nation building, and the training of the South Vietnamese armed forces. Daddis offers acritical reassessment of one of the defining moments in American history.

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General William C. Westmoreland has long been derided for his failed strategy of "attrition" in the Vietnam War. Historians have argued that Westmoreland's strategy placed a premium on high "body counts" through a "big unit war" that relied almost solely on search and destroy missions. Manybelieve the U.S. Army failed in Vietnam becau...

Gregory Daddis is Colonel and Professor of History at the United States Military Academy.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 8.9 × 6.1 × 0.51 inPublished:September 15, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190231467

ISBN - 13:9780190231460

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction: A Word on War and Strategy1. Conceiving Strategy for the Cold War Era2. From Advice to Support to War3. The Myth of Attrition in Vietnam4. On Bewildering Battlefields: Implementing Westmoreland's Strategy5. The Parallel War6. Training an Uncertain ArmyConclusion: When Strategy May Not Matter

Editorial Reviews

"Westmoreland's War asks a question that should not startle but does: is it possible to have a sound military strategy and still lose a war? This is the question Gregory Daddis poses in his splendid history of the Vietnam War as it was fought by General William Westmoreland. The standard storyof Westmoreland's failure turns out to be wrong in almost every particular, and Daddis' analysis of why and how it is wrong has major implications not only for our understanding of Vietnam, but also for how we can understand current U.S. military engagements. This is a book that must be read byanyone interested in the past, present, and future of America's wars." --Marilyn B. Young, New York University