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No Sure Victory: Measuring U.S. Army Effectiveness and Progress in the Vietnam War
by Gregory A. Daddis (Goodreads Author)
Conventional wisdom holds that the US Army in Vietnam, thrust into an unconventional war where occupying terrain was a meaningless measure of success, depended on body counts as its sole measure of military progress. In No Sure Victory, Army officer and historian Gregory Daddis looks far deeper into the Army's techniques for measuring military success and presents a much ...more
Hardcover, 334 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published March 21st 2011)
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This book is too hedged in its conclusions to be of much use. Daddis gives us what is essentially a narrative history of the Vietnam War as a whole, viewed through the prism of the methods the US Army used to gauge its success throughout the war. However, while Daddis casts doubt on the usefulness of those methods, he does not give us a rigorous explanation of why the particular methods chosen failed, or any clear indication of what measures of success might have been more relevant.
Excellent. Deals with both the difficulties of assessing progress in a counterinsurgency campaign and the particular challenges the USG faced in achieving consensus on strategic objectives in Vietnam. Plenty of lessons for the present, but Daddis is too good a scholar to force them down the reader's throat. Very highly recommended.