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  #31  
Old 11-28-2020, 01:30 AM
DonaldBynoe DonaldBynoe is offline
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Originally Posted by Adm.Lee View Post
I remember, as a young teenager (13? 14?) finding my father's Army Officer's Guide (hardback book, ca 1963). One of its chapters was a listing of posts about over the counter phentermine alternatives, stateside and overseas, which had some divisional assignments. I took notes of that part, of course, since I'd only dealt with OBs in WW2 before that. In that pre-Internet era, that was big.

Obviously, nothing dealt with Vietnam at that date, and there was a lot on post etiquette and things. A peek into a different world.

Re: Vietnam-- Stanton's "Death of an American Army" was a very good read, too.
Vietnam is a very small country and it fought bravely against America and it won. One of my friends also served in Afghanistan, and he said that the American troops did not treat locals with respect.

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  #32  
Old 11-28-2020, 06:48 AM
Adm.Lee Adm.Lee is offline
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Do you think Vietnam could have been avoided?
I'm currently reading "Road to disaster: a new history of American's descent into Vietnam" by Brian VanDeMark. Two things I found noteworthy, just from the introduction.
1. VanDeMark is trying to meld history and psychology, showing when and how our minds can follow incorrect ideas and create bad decisions, given that we humans operate under incomplete information and time stress. It's certainly an interesting attempt to look at decision making.

2. VanDeMark has previously worked as assistant on the memoirs of Clark Clifford and Robert MacNamara, so he brings some of their insight directly into the book. I've never been a fan of MacNamara, but he was a smart man who did try hard. He was also very introspective, and spent a lot of time during and after the war to try and understand where things went wrong. It's unfortunate that he couldn't get to the right answer in time.

There are very illuminating chapters up front on the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis, useful to show how the Kennedy-Johnson decision-makers worked, and how the civilian heads began to mistrust the military side of the Pentagon. (I'll point out that the Joint Chiefs aren't doing so well in finding a better path, either. My reading so far is between Gulf of Tonkin and the arrival of the Marines.)
I should note this book is very focused on what happened in Washington, as the Cabinet and NSC members are the operators that are studied.
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  #33  
Old 11-28-2020, 06:54 AM
Adm.Lee Adm.Lee is offline
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Originally Posted by dragoon500ly View Post
Considering how much of the available manpower, equipment and aircraft were deployed to SE Asia, it would have been a great time for the Russians to "liberate" Western Europe.
One idea I've read suggests that (at least a faction of) the USSR's lost sub K-129 in the Pacific (early April, 1968*) was on a mission to launch an SLBM at Hawaii, but make it look like the Chinese had done it. That was when the USSR and PRC were fighting near Mongolia and the US was hip-deep in Vietnam. That sounds like a real T2k starting point to me.

* very hair-raising, as also about the same time as MLKing's assassination and LBJ's declining to run for re-election.
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  #34  
Old 05-20-2021, 03:55 PM
MichaelWiggins MichaelWiggins is offline
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Originally Posted by Adm.Lees View Post
I remember, as a young teenager (13? 14?) finding my father's Army Officer's Guide (hardback book, ca 1963). One of its chapters was a listing of posts, stateside and overseas, which had some divisional assignments. I took notes of that part, of course, since I'd only dealt with OBs in WW2 before that. In that pre-Internet era, that was big.

Obviously, nothing dealt with Vietnam at that date, and there was a lot on post etiquette and things. A peek into a different world.

Re: Vietnam-- Stanton's "Death of an American Army" was a very good read, too.
Here are how the numbers of active duty military personnel have fluctuated over the past 60 years.1

The numbers for all services spiked in 1968-69 as U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War reached its peak. All dropped dramatically as that war drew down. But even the peak of the Vietnam War pales in comparison to World War II. In 1945, there were over 12 million active duty military personnel.

The Army, Navy, and Air Force had significant cuts in the numbers of personnel with the end of the Cold War, while the Marine Corps numbers have stayed relatively flat.
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