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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Warfare by Other Means

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Warfare by Other Means Economics, demographics, cultural, technological, and other factors that have affected the course of history.

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  #31  
Old 05 Feb 17, 00:01
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Originally Posted by lirelou View Post
Wolfhnd, a good point, but why stop at WWI? It easily goes back to Bismarck and the Holy Roman Empire.



Perhaps. North Vietnam was collectivist before and under the Trinhs, but it was also strongly hierarchical. The "South" (Center in the first two centuries of the split, the Saigon and the Mekong/Bassac regions were acquired from the 1700s on) were more individualistic, as befitted a frontier region.

Social position in the North was dependent upon family connections and one's placement in the triennial exams, which allowed entry into government service. In the Nguyen state's early period, foreign trade was an important element of their economy, and throughout their reign new lands were always opening up adjacent to the Highlands, or in the river valleys in Cham and Khmer territories. Cultural interactions with their neighbors, and an economy that valaued trade, resulted in Vietnamese whose outlooks differed from that of their Northern cousins.

Once the Nguyen state weakened, its greatest threat was not the Trinhs in the North, but dissatisfied subjects in their own territories. Small wonder then that the Tay Son rebellion, which ended the Nguyen (War) Lord period, was centered in western Binh Dinh province, and sparked by a Vietnamese family that had intermarried with the Bahnar.
Could you expand on this post for those of us not as well versed in Vietnamese history especially the connection to the Bahnar?
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  #32  
Old 05 Feb 17, 15:22
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I wondering how a common Vietnamese peasant is to be exposed to, read about, comprehend, and organized upon the tenets of a militant, right wing, form of libertarianism so as to liberate themselves from primitive French Colonialism/Imperialism must less the later American form of neo-imperialism that was to bedevil them?

Since it appears wrong to have them be exposed to Marxism should it have been maybe Adam Smith and WEALTH OF NATIONS? Would that put fire in their bellies to fight against huge odds? I forgot it not about ideologies but about the power of the WILL and tribalism. What about the Thracians tribes who were so organized but how did they stand against the imperialism of the Roman Empire? What about the Gaul tribes so organized and how did they fare against the Romans? How can tribalism not be collectivism as they must function in a collective mindset???????
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  #33  
Old 06 Feb 17, 14:21
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Damn, I'm back in the '70s.
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  #34  
Old 06 Feb 17, 15:31
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Papa San and Mama San just wanted to live in peace, even if it was under the commies.

We fought in Nam to defeat the spread of communism and the domino effect. We didn't win in Nam and the spread of Communism wasn't effected one bit. 58,000 of my brothers lives wasted for some political BS.
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  #35  
Old 07 Feb 17, 13:31
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Originally Posted by lirelou View Post
No, the Khmers Rouges came late to the Party, and we spent a pittance. Our main interest in Cambodia was to find some leader capable of expelling the Vietnamese from the eastern reaches of the country. We were fighting a Vietnam War when we should have been fighting an Indochina War. That is, if we should have been fighting a war at all.

Only if they have a lot of help in the U.S., and are backed by major powers the U.S. does not want to go to war with, sharing a border with one of them.

You forgot to mention Nicaragua, Charlie Wilson's first war. OK, can you find any caring dictators on the other side? Robert Mugabe, Ho Chi Minh, Mao, the Kims of Korea? ANd, what are the attributes of a caring dictator? Maybe the Ayatollah? After all, he only wanted everyone to be as good a muslim as he was.
we spent millions $ on Cambodia...and got what? nothing/ a big loss /etc--we spent money and got nothing--actually lost hardware...this is worth it?

no way we could've won Nam...we would've had to have gone in like in Germany and Japan--that wasn't going to happen--even if we did::
....we bombed the crap out of both...destroyed most of Japan's cities...had troops far inside Germany's borders/etc and they still did not surrender---what makes you think NVN would be different? if fact, we would be invaders-- giving them more motivation
..even after the A bombs, Japan did not immediately surrender..there were a bunch that did not want to--why would NVN surrender?
..even without any1 helping NVN, we were not going to invade Nam, and take it over
..even if we did, we would've have big problems with guerrillas/etc
...they did not need any help from within the US....
....they didn't have to beat us to win!
..somewhat like Afghanistan, they would've just waited for us to leave to carry on
..NVN is nothing like fighting in Korea--most of Korea is surrounded by water--NVN forces could've infiltrated/escaped/etc into the surrounding countries if we went North
NVN could've--and did-- fight on their terms--when they want how they want
...and -critically--NVN had many years' experience being the underdog/fighting against a larger military power

Last edited by Moulin; 08 Feb 17 at 12:33..
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  #36  
Old 08 Feb 17, 15:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moulin View Post
thank you for your input
...also not only valuable resources--but also strategic locations such as Somalia-Ethiopia
Somalia also should be in the fiasco thread--and also--we see again-- the millions $ spent ! for what ???
we see the Cold War powers vying for the countries of the world and did not this cause problems/ more porblems/conflicts/wars/etc in these countries?
..
http://allafrica.com/stories/200201210455.html

omg! for the money spent in all these Cold War ''fiascos''/etc, did we get anything in return? we got a lot of people killed and world shame, yes?
what did we get in return?
thanks all replies...I know there are many aspects/etc to this
We got nothing beyond the naive expectation that American must always fight wars for other people.
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  #37  
Old 09 Feb 17, 23:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lirelou View Post
...We were fighting a Vietnam War when we should have been fighting an Indochina War. That is, if we should have been fighting a war at all....
That's a good point!

As L.B.J. was wont to say loud and often not long after March 1965: "We seek no wider war" and then some time later "We still seek no wider war."

[My italics and bold]

What can one say? The U.S. political and military leadership escalated the war within the territory of South Vietnam without widening it into greater Indochina and this was possibly not the best strategic move they could have made.

On the other hand, as Bob McNamara says in his book, there was no guarantee that expanding the war into the other countries of Indochina, viz. Laos and Cambodia, would have achieved the sought-after outcome for the U.S. and South Vietnam, that is winning the war.

I suppose we shall never know. Heigh-ho!
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  #38  
Old 10 Feb 17, 10:37
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Lirelou:
Quote:
Once the Nguyen state weakened, its greatest threat was not the Trinhs in the North, but dissatisfied subjects in their own territories. Small wonder then that the Tay Son rebellion, which ended the Nguyen (War) Lord period, was centered in western Binh Dinh province, and sparked by a Vietnamese family that had intermarried with the Bahnar.
Wolfhnd:
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Could you expand on this post for those of us not as well versed in Vietnamese history especially the connection to the Bahnar?
Li Tana, in her book “Nguyen Cochinchina: Southern Vietnam in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries”, published by Cornell University’s Southeast Asia Program (1998) stated:

"The Tay Son movement was a direct product both of Vietnamese southern expansion and of Vietnamese localization in Dang Trong. The Tay Son first arose in an area of mixed cultures and, judging from contemporary description of Nguyen Hue, may themselves have been ethnically mixed. (noting this from a manuscript in Hanoi’s Institute of History: “Nguyen Hue is tall, with curly hair and a pockmarked face. He is dark and thin, with…a full beard around his face”) (Li Tana p. 148)

“Certainly, Nhac was credited with a second wife, a Bahnar who was good at taming elephants. Significantly, in this part of Dang Trong alone, the usual Vietnamese marriage pattern was matrilocal, similar to that of Thailand, Burma, and Malaya. According to a note in the nineteenth-century official gazetteer: “it is most common that [in Quy Nhon] a son-in-law resides in the home of his wife’s parents.” The gazetteer noted that the custom existed only in this region, where Cham and uplander cultural influenced persisted most strongly . (Li Tana pp 148-149)

“In the Cham and uplander revolt during the reign of Le Uy Muc (1504-09), this area had been one of the most strongly contested, and the Quang Ngai Bahnar were most likely involved in the mid-eighteenth century resurgence of Da Vach raids on lowland settlements. It may be, too, that, as certain archaeological and anthropological evidence suggests, the Bahnar around An Khe had formed part of the nagara Campa (Cham) principality of Vijaya, whose defeat by Le Thanh Ton the Nguyen had later rendered total. It was surely no accident that the oldest Tay Son brother, Nguyen Nhac, proclaimed himself king in the ruins of Vijaya, a spiritually potent location situated on a small inland plain almost visible from Tay Son village, a mere twenty kilometers away in the hills. This act reflected the fusion of Vietnamese and local forces which had originally made the Nguyen so powerful and now made their opponents unbeatable.” (Li Tana, p. 149)
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  #39  
Old 10 Feb 17, 15:42
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We got nothing beyond the naive expectation that American must always fight wars for other people.
so many we cannot count them
..I have seen nothing as to why we needed to fight the Cold War
as a previous poster said, it helped deter other countries from going communist...??!! we lost....it showed how the US can be defeated and how we lied to and gave up on our ally

... !!! !!! can someone give scenarios on how the US would be/was negatively affected? positively affected ?
we have to win in Vietnam or just make a good show??!!?? we LOST ---

obviously the only way we were affected economically by losing Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, was it gave us inflation--billions$ ''blown up''/burned//destroyed/wasted/etc when that money could've been used for better uses
...

Last edited by Moulin; 10 Feb 17 at 16:14..
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  #40  
Old 10 Feb 17, 22:13
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..I have seen nothing as to why we needed to fight the Cold War
as a previous poster said, it helped deter other countries from going communist...??!! we lost....it showed how the US can be defeated and how we lied to and gave up on our ally
We lost Vietnam by pulling out, yes. And we pulled out because the US military of the time was no longer interested in prosecuting the war, and a large percentage of the voters, not necessarily a majority, opposed the war. So, being a democracy, we bailed out. On the plus side: South Korea and Taiwan grew to become economically powerful states, assumed the lion's share of their own defense, and transitioned to democracies. We did not go to war with China or the USSR, but bailed on Rhodesia, putting sanctions that effectively stripped all rights of the majority of its citizens, and plunged the country into darkness, all because we couldn't appreciate the difference between Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa, which would have gone the same way save for the miracle of Nelson Mandela, but may yet slip the way of Zimbabwe if the ANC follows its baser instincts.

On the negative side: We never drew the line between a war and a contingency campaign, perhaps because we failed to dilineate it from an economic perspective. Yes, we did draw up guidelines. Yes, the Congress was involved. But our diplomacy was either too timid, or too near-sighted to analyze the roots of the problem. So we set out to save artificial states whose boundaries had been set in pre-history (OK, a bit of sarcasm) by some long dead Englishmen instead of saying: Shiites here; Sunni's there, and Kurds you get a homeland."

Enough of a rant, or I'll be hear all night.
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  #41  
Old 11 Feb 17, 09:34
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Originally Posted by lirelou View Post
We lost Vietnam by pulling out, yes. And we pulled out because the US military of the time was no longer interested in prosecuting the war, and a large percentage of the voters, not necessarily a majority, opposed the war. So, being a democracy, we bailed out. On the plus side: South Korea and Taiwan grew to become economically powerful states, assumed the lion's share of their own defense, and transitioned to democracies. We did not go to war with China or the USSR, but bailed on Rhodesia, putting sanctions that effectively stripped all rights of the majority of its citizens, and plunged the country into darkness, all because we couldn't appreciate the difference between Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa, which would have gone the same way save for the miracle of Nelson Mandela, but may yet slip the way of Zimbabwe if the ANC follows its baser instincts.

On the negative side: We never drew the line between a war and a contingency campaign, perhaps because we failed to dilineate it from an economic perspective. Yes, we did draw up guidelines. Yes, the Congress was involved. But our diplomacy was either too timid, or too near-sighted to analyze the roots of the problem. So we set out to save artificial states whose boundaries had been set in pre-history (OK, a bit of sarcasm) by some long dead Englishmen instead of saying: Shiites here; Sunni's there, and Kurds you get a homeland."

Enough of a rant, or I'll be hear all night.
thanks for the specific reply--I think I get your 'overall' idea--however

--- aren't we in competition economically with Taiwan and SKorea? you're saying the positive is those 2 countries becoming economically powerful?
..did that/does that help the US economy--and was it worth 100,000 dead/plus?
..also, did it matter to the US if they can defend themselves--if in the first place they are/were not important to the US?

..to zero in--- did we get a significant plus in trading/GDP/stocks/economy/etc because we fought in Skorea? SVNam?
...as stated SVNam cost 178 billion$...
.......and---did not the US spend big $$ on building up SKorean forces
....instead of the US spending that $$$ on defense hardware, would it not have been better to spend that on healthcare/infrastructure/economics/minority programs/etc--which would have made America stronger?
..now we are in huge debt to China--so we've lost anyway??

....thanks for your replies....I know you need/could write much more, but time and space is short for all....
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  #42  
Old 12 Feb 17, 17:17
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Whether or not they are important to the US is a decision made by every incoming administration. There was little doubt that the Korean War was in our interest in the minds of early 1950s Americans. So yes, t was worth it. The decision to support Taiwan was likewise judged worth the effort, and it consisted of maintaining a naval presence rather than fighting a war. Luckily, China was satisfied with shelling Taiwan's Pescadores holdouts rather than attempting a cross-straights invasion.

Did we pay an important part while they were getting on their feet? I presume we did. And since they are still around, it apparently was worth it. Ditto for whatever we invested in Greece.

As for the "would it have been better..." Well, it would have been far better had we invested it in health care, etc. Hey, I would have far better teeth. But we didn't. Yet we did build an interstate highway system, upgrade the railroads, launch an unparalleled advance in civil aviation, vaccinated kids against polio, sent men to the moon, etc., etc., etc., so apparently whatever we spent was well within our economic capabilities.

What has crippled us is not so much what we overspent decades ago as much as the inevitable result of our success. Much of the infrastructure we put up in the 50s and 60's has been swamped by the population growth in the country at large, coupled with the demands of that population for inexpensive goods, which the Chinese seem to produce at a price Americans prefer to pay.
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Old 16 Feb 17, 07:53
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yes, a key point
Quote:
in the minds of early 1950s Americans.
we should've learned from Korea, Nam, etc and should use all those lessons on today's world, yes?
---which I think a lot of politicians do not...
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Old 16 Feb 17, 08:59
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What is the comparison that you find between Korea and Nam?
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Old 16 Feb 17, 11:57
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Moulin:
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we should've learned from Korea, Nam, etc and should use all those lessons on today's world, yes?
---which I think a lot of politicians do not...
I believe so. The bottom line is that there are limits even on a "Superpower's" power. In our case, mostly internal limits. During the Korean War, much of the public was unwilling to accept a military campaign for limited objectives. Being convinced that we won WWII virtually by ourselves, they expected a similar outcome. Some still do.

One major difference between Korea and Vietnam were two organizations that were essential to our campaigns in Korea. These were the KATUSAs and the workers of the Korean Service Corps. The KATUSAs were Korean soldiers embedded in US units down to the Platoon level in the Infantry. They fought as part and parcel of their US units. They made the Koreans far less 'foreign' to American soldiers. see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean...ed_States_Army

As for the Korean Service Corps, this was a para-military organization that served as an logistics multiplier. Their role ranged from unloading supplies at the docks to humping water, rations, munitions, medical supplies, and small items of equipment up to the front line troops. It was another valuable link between the Korean population and US troops. The French used PIMs (Prisonniers et Internes Militaires) in Indochina in much the same role. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Service_Corps

Halfpint John:
Quote:
What is the comparison that you find between Korea and Nam
Both took place in former Asian colonies with long histories pre-dating the arrival of colonial powers. Both were products of an artificial temporary division of the country by powers other than the countries themselves. Both those divisions saw the return of Communist and Nationalist governments to claim their respective sphere. All four governments claimed the entire pre-division national territory. All four governments claimed to be nationalist, and in fact were, but for the Communists within a vision of establishing Communist states. Both Korean and Vietnam went through insurgency phases directed from their north by the Communists, which in Korea's case was centered in the Taebaek mountains and adjacent southern provinces prior to 1950. And, when both northern powers failed to gain their objective via insurgency, both launched conventional campaigns to end their conflict. North Korea had the most advanced indigenous army in 1950. But it was stalled by US intervention and driven back. Vietnam, as everyone knows, received no such US intervention. During the guerrilla warfare phase prior to the North Korean invasion of the south, only one US military advisor (a member of KMAG) was killed in action. It was the success of the ROK Army in rolling up the communist guerrillas in the south that tipped him to using his conventional army. Also, both wars were launched by leaders who had been away from their homeland for decades (two in Il-sung's case), both of whom spoke Chinese from long residence in the China (Manchuria in Il-sung's case), and both of whom had contacts in the PLA (HCM as a temporary Major writing propaganda in support of the 8th Route Army, and Il-sung as a 200-300 man guerrilla "Division" commander in the East Asian Anti-Japanese United Army (AJUA, organized by the PLA at Stalin's order) up until March 1941 when he was forced to flee to the USSR, thereafter being appointed a Captain commanding a Red Army reconnaissance battalion in 88th Independent Light Infantry Bde.
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dit: Lirelou

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Last edited by lirelou; 16 Feb 17 at 12:18..
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