An “Unprecedented Victory:” The Problem of Defining Success

Gregory A. Daddis

in No Sure Victory

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199746873
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897179 | DOI:
An “Unprecedented Victory:” The Problem of Defining Success

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Each chapter from this point forward addresses one year of the war in Vietnam. Chapter three explores the decisions for American buildup in 1965 which were based on faulty, or at least contradictory, metrics. The murky internal political situation in Saigon baffled outsiders yet there remained in 1965 an overriding belief, based on established metrics, that South Vietnam was nearing irreversible collapse. As the American buildup began in earnest, measuring the organizational effectiveness of the new airmobility (helicopter) concept became just as important as measuring effectiveness against the southern insurgency. Success in the November 1965 Ia Drang battle helped establish a key benchmark for MACV—the body count.

Keywords: Saigon; airmobility; Ia Drang; body count; MACV

Chapter.  10151 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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