Accession Number:

AD0526856

Title:

Public Affairs Responsibilities in the Unified Command in Limited Warfare in Vietnam

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1972-03-16

Pagination or Media Count:

77.0

Abstract:

This case study provides an overview of the conduct of public affairs by the Unified Commander, CINCPAC, during the Vietnam War. The time frame covered is essentially from the initiation of the Tet 1968 Offensive to the current date. The study examines the US public affairs effort in competition with the censored information tactics of the enemy. The validity of invoking censorship in an undeclared limited war of insurgency is considered. The Tet 1968 Offensive and the Cambodian and Laos cross-border incursions are examined at length as cases in point. The fragmentation of the US public affairs effort among numerous agencies and at varying levels is defined as a major deficiency. The enemy integrated his military and political efforts and spoke with one voice while the US spoke with many. The effects of an uncensored press in historys first televised war are examined to determine their effect, which was monumental, on US public opinion and subsequently the loss of US public support for the Indochina War. The study concludes that there can be no separation between the military commanders obligation to perform the operational mission and his responsibility to report on that operation. Therefore, he must have the authority to establish a centrally controlled information program as an operational arm of the unified command.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE