A Study of Strategic Lessons Learned in Vietnam
Volume II
South Vietnam

TABLE OF CONTENTS


FOREWORD
iii
PREFACE
v
TABLE OF CONTENTS
xiii
LIST OF FIGURES
xix
LIST OF TABLES
xxi
LIST OF MAPS
xxiii
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
EX-1 to EX-12

1. CHANGING SOCIETY
Page
A. Introduction
1-1
B. Bases for Unity Inherent in Vietnamese Society at the Time of the French Withdrawal
1-8
C. Bases for Disunity Inherent in Vietnamese Society
1-12
D. American Impact on Vietnamese Society
1-25
E. Insights
1-33
F. Lesson
1-34

2. GOVERNMENT
A. Introduction
2-1
1. The Political Culture: A Historical Perspective
2-3
2. The French Legacy
2-4
B. The GVN: An Organizational Perspective
2-5
1. The Diem Regime
2-5
2. The Thieu-Ky Regime
2-8
C. The GVN: A Functional Perspective
2-13
1. Democratic Government - Contrasting Perceptions
2-14
2. Democratic Government: An Alien Import
2-16
3. Democratic Government and the War Effort
2-18
4. Democratic Government: A Splendored Irrelevance
2-20
5. GVN and the United States: An Exercise in Misperception
2-21
F. Insights and Lessons
2-27
1. Evolution of the GVN: Variation on a Common Theme
2-27
2. US-GVN Relations: A Conflict of Priorities and Perspectives
2-30

3. CLIMATE, GEOGRAPHY AND TRANSPORTATION
A. Introduction
3-1
B. Climate
3-2
C. Geography
3-4
1. General
3-4
2. Topography
3-6
3. Military Geographic Regions
3-6
4. Strategic Areas
3-8
D. Transportation
3-15
1. General
3-15
2. Railroads
3-16
3. Highways-Roads
3-16
4. Inland Waterways
3-20
5. Ports
3-22
6. Airfields
3-23
E. Analysis of Implications
3-25
1. Population Patterns
3-25
2. Geography
3-31
3. Topography
3-32
4. Climate and Weather
3-34
F. Summary Analysis and Insights
3-36
1. Influence of Population Centers
3-36
2. Climate and Weather
3-37
3. Geography
3-37
4. Topography and Transportation
3-38
5. The US Soldier in Vietnam
3-39
6. A Final Insight
3-39
G. Lesson
3-39

4. THE ECONOMY
A. Introduction
4-1
B. Profile "Snapshot" of the Economy in 1954
4-2
1. The French Legacy
4-2
2. Impact of the First Indochina War
4-4
3. US Plans and Support
4-5
C. The Diem Era (1955-1963)
4-6
1. Problems and Plans
4-6
2. The Enemy Reacts
4-8
3. Implications for the Economy and the War
4-9
D. Revolving Governments (1964-1967)
4-10
1. Political and Economic Chaos
4-10
2. The Impact of the "Big War" and US Presence
4-13
3. US Counteractions
4-15
4. Implications for the Economy and the Wars
4-20
E. Thieu and Ky (1967-1972)
4-21
1. More Stability
4-21
2. Tet 1968 and Mobilization
4-22
3. Pacification and Land Reform
4-24
4. Vietnamization and US Withdrawal
4-24
5. Land to the Tiller (LTTT)
4-25
6. More Corruption
4-26
7. Implications for the Economy and the War
4-27
F. The Slide Downhill (1973-1975)
4-27
1. Paris, Washington and Watergate
4-27
2. Foreign Aid: The US vs the USSR and the PRC
4-29
3. Inflation and Oil
4-29
4. Implications for the Economy and the War
4-29
G. Summary and Insights
4-31
H. Lessons
4-33

5. THE MILITARY
A. Introduction
5-1
B. Development of the Vietnamese Armed Forces
5-2
1. Army of Vietnam (ARVN)
5-2
2. The Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF)
5-12
3. The Vietnamese Navy (VNN)
5-13
4. The Vietnamese Marine Corps (VNMC)
5-14
5. Critical Issues
5-14
6. Implications for US Policies
5-16
7. Significant Insights
5-18
C. Leadership Qualities
5-20
1. Introduction
5-20
2. Historical Perspectives and Analysis
5-20
3. Critical Issues
5-33
4. Implications for Future US Policies
5-34
5. Significant Insights
5-36
D. Efficiency and Reliability
5-38
1. US View of RVNAF Efficiency and Reliability
5-38
2. Military Decision-Making/RVNAF Command and Control
5-42
3. Unit Organization and Equipment
5-45
4. Critical Issues
5-47
E. Summary Analysis and Insights
5-53
F. Lessons
5-56

6. MORALE AND WILL
A. Introduction
6-1
B. The Challenge of Building National Support
6-2
C. Factors That Affected South Vietnamese Morale and Will
6-3
1. National Liberation Front (NLF) (Viet Cong) Terror Tactics
6-3
2. Insufficient Local Security
6-8
3. Weak GVN/Local Leadership
6-10
4. Corrupt GVN/Local Officials
6-11
5. Morale and Will of the RVNAF
6-13
6. Other Factors
6-17
D. GVN/US Initiatives and Programs
6-19
1. Objectives
6-20
2. Early GVN/US Pacification Efforts
6-20
3. Pacification After the Honolulu Conference
6-23
E. Degree of Public Support for the War Effort
6-30
1. Diem's Years of Rebuilding: 1954 to 1961
6-30
2. Downfall of Diem's Regime and Increased US Involvement: 1962 to 1964
6-31
3. US Force Build-Up and Major Involvement: 1965 to 1968
6-32
4. Vietnamization and US Force Withdrawal:1969 to 1973 (Post-Tet Period)
6-33
5. The Final Collapse: 1973 to 1975
6-33
F. Insights
6-34
G. Lesson
6-35

7. CONSTRAINTS ON RVN POLICY
A. Introduction
7-1
B. In the Beginning: 1954-1960
7-2
1. The Geneva Accords
7-2
2. Social and Psychological
7-5
3. Political and Economic
7-7
4. The Enemy
7-10
5. Geo-Strategic Position
7-12
6. The Military
7-15
7. Allies and Aid
7-18
8. Implications of Constraints
7-19
9. The Period in Perspective
7-22
C. During the Mid Years (1961-1968)
7-24
1. Geneva Accords
7-24
2. Social and Psychological
7-24
3. Political and Economic
7-27
4. The Enemy: PLAF and NVA
7-29
5. Geo-Strategic Position
7-31
6. Military: RVNAF
7-32
7. Allies and Aid
7-33
8. Mobilization
7-37
9. Implications of Constraints
7-42
10. The Period in Perspective
7-43
D. Towards the End (1969-1975)
7-45
1. Geneva to Paris
7-45
2. Social and Psychological
7-45
3. Political and Economic
7-46
4. The Enemy: PAVN and PLAF
7-47
5. Geo-Strategic Position
7-48
6. Military: RVNAF
7-50
7. Allies and Aid
7-52
8. Implications of Constraints
7-54
9. The Period in Perspective
7-54
E. Summary of Insights
7-57
1. Negotiations
7-59
2. Social and Psychological
7-59
3. Political and Economic
7-60
4. The Enemy
7-61
5. Geo-Strategic Position
7-62
6. Military: RVNAF
7-62
7. Allies and Aid
7-63
F. Lessons
7-64
G. A Final Word on Constraints
7-65
BIBLIOGRAPHY
B-1 to B-17

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