CAN WE WIN IN VIETNAM? by Frank E. et al. Armbruster


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Nine essays by Hudson Institute staff members, condensing many long debates. The book was completed at the time of the Tet offensive, to which there are consequently few references. . . and, of course, before the announced March 31st change in bombing strategy. (Interestingly, Herman Kahn here explains the military benefits of a halt north of Vinh with intensified bombing south of it, and asserts that the strategy would expedite either victory or early negotiations.) Six of the essays discuss background, political and military issues, prospects and alternative policies; three offer specific proposals for strategy, tactics and ""programs."" Kahn, Ambruster, and Gastil think victory (carefully defined) is possible; Pfaff and Stillman think not. None wants to escalate; all are critical of past policy; and their ""think-tank"" orientation does not prevent them from (rather gingerly) weighing moral implications. The papers by Pfaff, Gastil and Armbruster are much less impressive than Kahn's and Stillman's. But each response to the basic question--can a foreign army legitimize a weak government which is undergoing a revolutionary challenge?--repays close reading; the arguments, sub-arguments and counter-arguments add up to one of the most substantive books available on Vietnam policy alternatives. And the style is consistently clear and exoteric- Appendices and round table transcript.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1968
Publisher: Praeger