Pacification: The American Struggle for Vietnam's Hearts and Minds

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Westview Press, 1998 - Political Science - 368 pages
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During the Vietnam War, the United States embarked on an unusual crusade on behalf of the government of South Vietnam. Known as the pacification program, it sought to help South Vietnam’s government take root and survive as an independent, legitimate entity by defeating communist insurgents and promoting economic development and political reforms. In this book, Richard Hunt provides the first comprehensive history of America’s “battle for hearts and minds,” the distinctive blending of military and political approaches that took aim at the essence of the struggle between North and South Vietnam.Hunt concentrates on the American role, setting pacification in the larger political context of nation building. He describes the search for the best combination of military and political action, incorporating analysis of the controversial Phoenix program, and illuminates the difficulties the Americans encountered with their sometimes reluctant ally. The author explains how hard it was to get the U.S. Army involved in pacification and shows the struggle to yoke divergent organizations (military, civilian, and intelligence agencies) to serve one common goal. The greatest challenge of all was to persuade a surrogate—the Saigon government—to carry out programs and to make reforms conceived of by American officials.The book concludes with a careful assessment of pacification’s successes and failures. Would the Saigon government have flourished if there had been more time to consolidate the gains of pacification? Or was the regime so fundamentally flawed that its demise was preordained by its internal contradictions? This pathbreaking book offers startling and provocative answers to these and other important questions about our Vietnam experience.

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Pacification: the American struggle for Vietnamʾs hearts and minds

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Vietnam war literature is heavily weighted toward traditional military history: campaign histories, battle studies, weapons analysis, officer's memoirs, soldier's narratives, and political and ... Read full review

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Wonder why this book has so few reviews? Because it's so ridiculously priced!


South Vietnam Under Diem
New Attempts at Pacification
Limited Progress Under General Thang
Liaison and Reporting
Unifying American Support of Pacification
The Early Days of CORDS MayDecember 1967
The Tet Offensive and Pacification
What Next?
The Impact of the APC
New Directions
One War or Business as Usual?
The BestLaid Plans
The Ambiguous Achievements of Pacification
The End of an Experiment
A Note on Sources
About the Book and Author

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Page xv - USA United States Army USAF United States Air Force USAID United States Agency for International Development USC United States Code...
Page 71 - ... associated with them in both governments, bear in mind we are going to give you an examination and the finals will be on just what you have done. In paragraph 5; how have you built democracy in the rural areas? How much of it have you built, when and where? Give us dates, times, numbers. In paragraph 2; larger outputs, more efficient production to improve credit, handicraft, light industry, rural electrification — are those just phrases, high-sounding words, or have you coonskins on the wall.
Page 89 - Komer, is charged with supervising the formulation and execution of all plans, policies and programs, military and civilian, which support the Government of Vietnam's Revolutionary Development (RD) program and related programs.
Page 71 - You men who are responsible for these departments, you ministers, and the staffs associated with them in both governments, bear in mind we are going to give you an examination and the finals will be on just what you have done.
Page 285 - Nam," in Lessons from an Unconventional War, ed. Richard A. Hunt and Richard H. Shultz, Jr. (New York: Pergamon, 1982), p. 150. 27. Spector, Advice and Support, p. 354. 28. Thomas Thayer, "How to Analyze a War without Fronts," Journal of Defense Research (Fall 1975), p.
Page 281 - ... you will be hearing from Mr. Nitze and General Allison when they accompany the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Former US Ambassador to the USSR, Llewelyn Thompson, also served on the US delegation until his death early this year. The delegation was supported by officials of the Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Department of State and the Arms Control Agency.
Page xiii - CG Civil Guard CIA Central Intelligence Agency CIDG Civilian Irregular Defense Group...
Page 332 - The United States Army and the Other War in Vietnam: A Study of the Complexity of Implementing Organizational Change

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About the author (1998)

Richard A. Hunt received his Ph.D. in history at the University of Pennsylvania. He works at the U.S. Army Center of Military History in Washington, D.C.

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