The Strategic Superiority Of A People 's War

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Revolutionary war is perhaps the truest example of Clausewitz 's war as a continuation of politics, the endgame is always control of the political body. Like a river you flow, ever patiently, forwards. Winning the hearts and minds of the population is imperative. First their sympathy is won, then their cooperation follows naturally. Every one is needed, be it the men, the women, or the children. Mao Tse-tung defined the concept of 'People 's War ' after the Second World War. Mixed this the nationalist and communist ideology of the anti-colonialist and you have Vietnam in the late 1940s. It worked against the French, elsewhere it has worked against the British, and it would work against the United States of America. This paper will discuss the strategic superiority of a People 's War in Vietnam and some of the reasons why the United States lost. In an effort to achieve this the paper is separated into three main parts. The first section will discuss the doctrine of People 's War and how it is fought, the second part will attempt to detail the American strategy and why it was unsuccessful, finally the third part will look in more detail into how, rather if, the United States of America could have won the Vietnam war. People 's War Mao 's doctrine of People 's War can almost be said the be simple in its endgame. The goal is to overthrow and replace the existing government with your own, revolutionary government. This is achieved through a complex combination economic, social, military, psychological, and political control. By shaping the convictions of the population, the insurgency convinces them of the righteousness of their campaign. People 's war is a three step process. During the first step political infrastructure is bu... ... middle of paper ... ...as the U.S. Army 's almost total lack of counterinsurgency (COIN) training. In the 50s, counterinsurgency tactics were still limited to just a few hours of practice during basic training for infantrymen, and the focus of this training was mostly limited to preventing an enemy from harassing your line in the rear. Regardless of results though, the U.S. Army fought the war they had prepared for and succeeded in in the past. They employed conventional tactics based on manoeuvrability and firepower. A strategy which completely failed to take into account the parameters of the given conflict. Although the Army might have appeared blind to the kind of war their enemy was fighting, the U.S. Marines were not. By combining live-in forces in villages made up from locals with their own soldiers they tried to protect the infrastructure of the government while at the same time

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