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Decades later, the Vietnam War remains a divisive memory for American society. Partisans on all sides still debate why the war was fought

Decades later, the Vietnam War remains a divisive memory for American society. Partisans on all sides still debate why the war was fought. George C. Herring argues in his book LBJ and Vietnam: A Different Kind of War, that President Lyndon Johnson horribly mishandled the management of the Vietnam War.

Decades later, the Vietnam War remains a divisive memory for American society. Partisans on all sides still debate why the war was fought, how it could have been better fought, and whether it could have been won at all. In this major study, a noted expert on the war brings a needed objectivity to these debates by examining dispassionately how and why President Lyndon Johnson and his administration conducted the war as they did.

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LBJ and Vietnam: A Different Kind of War. LBJ and Vietnam: A Different Kind of War. By George C. Herring. Though the baleful influence of "limited war theories" is a leitmotif of the book, the author never takes up the question of whether or how the United States might have won the war. He argues that such counterfactual speculations are of dubious value, citing the judgment of another historian that the great interpretive problems "rage over questions about which the historian is least able to determine the truth. That is true; it is true also that these tend to be the most important questions, which obliges the historian to take them up.

Herring, George . LBJ and Vietnam: A Different Kind of War, University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas, 1994. Hersh, Seymour . The Target Is Destroyed : What Really Happened to Flight 007 and What America Knew About It, Random House, New York, 1986

Herring, George . The Target Is Destroyed : What Really Happened to Flight 007 and What America Knew About It, Random House, New York, 1986. Hooper, Edwin . Vice Admiral, USN (Re., Mobility, Support, Endurance: A Story of Naval Operational Logistics in the Vietnam War, 1965–1968, Naval History Division, Department of the Navy, Washington, .

George C. Herring, LBJ and Vietnam: A Different Kind of War. John Lewis Gaddis, We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History. David Kaiser, American Tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Origins of the Vietnam War. Arnold Isaacs, Vietnam Shadows. Melvyn Leffler and David Painter (ed., Origins of the Cold War: An International History. Ronald Spector, After Tet: The Bloodiest Year in Vietnam. William Duiker, The Communist Road to Power in Vietnam. William Duiker, Ho Chi Minh. Neil Jamieson, Understanding Vietnam. Bao Ninh, The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam. Herring, LBJ and Vietnam: A Different Kind of War (University of Texas Press, Austin, 1994). Michael H. Hunt, Lyndon Johnson?s War: America?s Cold War Crusade in Vietnam, 1945?1965 (Hill & Wang, New York, 1996). David Kaiser, American Tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Origins of the Vietnam War (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 2000). Robert S. McNamara, In Retrospect (Times Books, New York, 1995). David M. Barrett, Uncertain Warriors: Lyndon Johnson and his Vietnam Advisers University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, 1993).

Vietnam a Different Kind of War. Morgan Hoven. Fortnite Zone wars playing with Subs,Recruiting live? Team Sync 280 зрителей. На реальных событиях!

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Comments: (3)

Ffyan
A well-researched book about the complex commander in chief during the Vietnam War. It does a thorough job of describing how the politician, LBJ, grappled with running a far away war that just wouldn't go away and for which he never was able to devise a winning solution.
Cordabor
Excellent book with many new insights, even for people who have read a lot on the American war in Vietnam
Gunos
George C. Herring argues in his book LBJ and Vietnam: A Different Kind of War, that President Lyndon Johnson horribly mishandled the management of the Vietnam War. Herring contends that Johnson's direction of the war took a back seat to his desire to forward his domestic policies; that his chief advisors were often in conflict with each other for petty reasons, undercutting their effectiveness; that his unwillingness to be frank with his subordinates and the American people caused far more problems that it appeared to solve; and that fundamentally Johnson and his administration were fundamentally unprepared to wage a limited war.

Herring set the stage by offering the context of the Johnson administration's notion of limited war. He noted that the Civil War created an American precedent that war meant mobilizing the country's vast resources to completely destroy the enemy's military power. The American experience in World War I and World War II confirmed and expanded this attitude. With Vietnam, however, the notion of total war gave way to the notion of limited war. This new approach to warfare was born partly from the experience in Korea, and also from the reality of atomic weapons. “The objective would be not to destroy opponents but to persuade them to break off the conflict short of achieving their goals and without resorting to nuclear war” (4). This new form of warfare offered unique strategic disadvantages to the nation. Herring noted that the very idea was more suited to the abstractions of academia than the reality of military engagements. Further, proponents of limited war often argued why their view was correct, but seldom offered practical ways on how such a war would be fought.

Herring cast Johnson as a reluctant wartime president, a leader much more concerned with his domestic agenda that with foreign policy. “He did not want to risk what he later called 'the woman I really loved' (the Great Society) for 'that bitch of a war on the side of the world'” (130). Though Johnson proved a very hands-on leader when it came to the day-to-day management of the war, the president offered no strategic guidance or realistic military/political objectives to his civilian and military officers. While he was involved in picking bombing targets, and had models of battlefields built in the White House situation room, he never directed the war in the manner that Abraham Lincoln or Franklin Roosevelt had. He never clearly defined the mission for the military, and never created firm resource allocation limits for the war.

Another key factor in Johnson's failure as Commander-in-Chief rest with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Generals were largely politicized, and came from a system that by that time was not producing the kind of military advice the president required, nor did the JCS have any formal place in the chain of command. In 1965, the JCS presented a flawed, though perhaps workable strategy to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara which warned against a slow, gradual buildup of forces in the region with which the North Vietnamese and their allies could keep pace. McNamara dismissed the report out of hand, seeking instead to run the war his own way. “It was never even discussed with the civilian leadership, much less approved or disapproved” (41).

The Johnson administration was also ill-equipped to exploit peace initiatives. In part, Herring wrote, this was due to the fact that the circumstances surrounding Vietnam were entirely new. He mentions that John Adams dealings with France during the Quasi-War and Lincoln's exploration of peace with Confederate officials are the closest parallels to seeking peace in the Vietnam War, largely because of the roll of unofficial peace feelers and third party interventions. Because of this, and Johnson's prioritizing of other considerations, the administration lost out at a chance for peace when UN Secretary General U Thant approached Washington with an olive branch from the North Vietnamese and their Soviet sponsor. Indeed, in 1964 Johnson was too busy with his election campaign to meet with U Thant. Early the next year, when the secretary reached out again, Johnson rejected it after the U Thant spoke critically of the Johnson administration to the press. Whatever legitimate reasons Johnson may have had for not pursuing the proposals in a timely manner amounted to little when knowledge of the peace feelers became public knowledge. “Washington seemed to be the major obstacle to peaceful settlement of the war” (93).

For all this, Herring also wrote that Johnson's failures alone cannot fully explain the American failure in Vietnam, and that perhaps no strategic magic bullet could have salvaged the war. Still, Johnson's in ability to offer a clear strategic vision and hard, well-calculated decisions in both the military and political sphere contributed greatly to the American catastrophe in Vietnam.

Andrew J. Rotter, writing in The American Historical Review, offered that Herring's work “has much to commend it.” He particularly noted the sections dealing with Johnson's policies after the Tet Offensive. David M. Barrett's review proved more critical. In The American Political Science Review, he challenged the notions that Johnson provided no clear strategic vision for the war, and that Johnson's advisors rarely achieved a consensus.

Herring's overarching argument that Lyndon Johnson failed to lead during the Vietnam War is entirely convincing. Johnson, a disciple of Roosevelt's New Deal, gave the Great Society pride of place in his administration, while he should have devoted more time and resource to what was obviously amounting to the major foreign policy event of the era. Unlike John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, Johnson's predecessor and successor, Johnson never appreciated the primacy that foreign policy must take for a president of the United States in the Cold War era.

Herring is also correct that many of the problems of the Vietnam War were not directly a fault of Johnson's leadership, because the Vietnam War had no real precedent in American history. One can sympathize somewhat with the policy makers who had to find a way to fight a limited war, a flawed concept from the beginning. Certainly a way had to be found to project American power without touching off a global thermal nuclear war. Still, a president should be able to deal with new challenges and difficulties with determination and intelligence, and surround himself with men able to provide necessary advice and support. Certainly this was true of Lincoln, who met the challenge of the Civil War in such a fashion. As Herring admirably demonstrates, Johnson's management of the Vietnam War was a farce that would be laughable if it weren't so tragic.
Lbj and Vietnam: A Different Kind of War download epub
ISBN: 0585265011
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