By Dr. Earl Tilford
Grove City, PA -(AmmoLand.com)- The Vietnam War provides lessons in how to lose. The United States never planned to defeat its opponents, the indigenous southern Viet Cong guerrillas and their northern supporters the Peoples’ Army of Vietnam.
Instead, from 1964 until 1969—during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration—we sought to compel our enemies to stop their aggression against the Saigon regime and negotiate an end to the conflict. To avoid “a wider war” and fearing Chinese or Soviet intervention, President Johnson limited the bombing of North Vietnam to a series of tactical half-measures. He failed to stem Hanoi’s source of weapons by not bombing railways and highways near the Chinese border and not mining Haiphong Harbor. Administration policy also forbade pursuing enemy forces into sanctuaries in Cambodia and Laos from which they attacked South Vietnam.
The U.S. strategy of “containment” rendered a stalemate.