Metrics in the Year of American Firepower

Gregory A. Daddis

in No Sure Victory

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199746873
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897179 | DOI:
Metrics in the Year of American Firepower

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This chapter, focusing on 1966, evaluates why MACV concentrated on military operations to entice the enemy to battle. It analyzes how field commanders attempted to measure their progress once committed to combat operations. There seemed a belief held by many officers in MACV that security preceded pacification and that their primary mission was to defeat North Vietnamese and Vietcong units in the field. This chapter explores the problems of using body counts as a metric of success in counterinsurgency. While army officers professed their commitment to the “other war” of pacification, they still felt a need to show results by killing the enemy.

Keywords: North Vietnamese Army; Vietcong; MACV; Vietnam combat; pacification

Chapter.  9390 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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