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A Study of Strategic Lessons Learned in Vietnam. Volume 5. Planning the War

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Final rept.

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The chapters of Volume V develop a number of key insights and lessons relating to the planning for the US involvement in the Vietnam conflict. In addition to identifying the roots and origins of US planning and policy initiatives for Vietnam, this volume describes and assesses the efficacy of US contingency planning the US foreign policy objectives and strategies for Vietnam, national mobilization policy during this critical period, the planning and implementation of pacification and Vietnamization programs, the planning and implementation of US combat forces withdrawals, the objectives and strategies of US negotiations to end hostilities, and the impact of the USs follow-on efforts in support of South Vietnam. The insights are specific, focusing on such issues as the need for maintaining clarity and consistency in directives issued by the National Command Authority which state policy objectives and strategies, the need for a mechanism whereby US foreign policy can be thoroughly reassessed on a periodic basis, and need for US leaders and planners alike to be able to sample or test the national will to keep plans and policies in line with their desires and direction, all of which surfaced during the planning of the war. The lessons, on the other hand, are general in nature and concentrate on the broad issues and themes discussed in the volume.

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  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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