Study War Once More: Teaching Vietnam at Air University
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL AIRPOWER RESEARCH INST
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This paper examines one military institution--Air University AU-- what it is teaching about the Vietnam War, how that teaching has evolved over the 10 years since the end of the war, and what this evolution may reveal about the extent to which military institutions have indeed absorbed or, more realistically, attempted to identify and apply to future conflicts the lessons of Vietnam. If what an institution teaches is a measurement of what it has learned, then this study shows the Air University has made significant progress in it ability to learn from that conflict. This paper has a secondary purpose. The quiet revival of interest in Vietnam on civilian campuses 10 years after the last American troops were withdrawn has sparked a not-so-quiet interest in the art of teaching the war and a growing number of opportunities such as participation on this panel to share teaching experiences. To date, however, the majority of contributions to this new field have come from civilian academic institutions little, if anything, has been written about how the militarys educational institutions are teaching, in retrospect, a lost war for which they have been partially blamed. This data gap becomes even more significant when one realizes, for example, that the officers attending the schools within Air University will soon be translating what they learn about Vietnam into strategies for future conflicts. This paper is a first look at the scope, methods, and content of the Air Forces approach to teaching the Vietnam War. This paper will add a military dimension to future research efforts on teaching Vietnam.
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics