Accession Number:

ADA439949

Title:

The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia: Civic Action

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE HISTORICAL STUDIES OFFICE BOLLING AFB DC

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1998-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

281.0

Abstract:

Chapter I establishes a framework for the concept of civic action. Chapter II discusses the period corresponding to the Kennedy administration, when both government and military officials grappled with adjusting to a new kind of war, the origins of counterinsurgency strategy of which civic action was a part, and the efforts to apply this strategy in Vietnam. The nation-building period discussed in Chapter III covers the period from November 1963 to July 1965, a time of great instability in South Vietnam, and the myriad efforts by the USAF to establish unity. Although he had promised to continue the policies of President Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson began to lean away from political and other nonmilitary solutions to the crisis in Vietnam. This was reflected in the attitudes of the various services toward unconventional warfare and civic action. By 1966, while military solutions occupied center stage, some stability had been established in Vietnam. More attention was being paid to winning popular allegiance and USAFs Seventh Air Force formally organized its civic action activities. However, just as the program showed signs of success, the Tet offensive intervened. Thus, Chapter V demonstrates that instead of serving as advisers to the Vietnamese, the USAF civic action effort was compelled to revert to humanitarian services. Still, the program recuperated completely by July 1968. In Chapter VI, the South Vietnamese government embarked on an accelerated pacification program to extend its control throughout the country. Civic action constituted one part of this effort. Seventh Air Force sought to improve the training of civic action personnel, increase the number of civic action officers in country, and obtain more resources for the program. These refinements provided a better understanding of civic action and showed the benefits of increased South Vietnamese participation. By the end of 1968, pacification had become a major part of the allied strategy in Vietna7

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE