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Vietnam War - What Would You Have Done Differently?

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  • Vietnam War - What Would You Have Done Differently?

    Let's keep it realistic as possible. That means sticking to real history closely as possible. The divergent point is after Kennedy's assassination. Treat everything before that point as historical. That means you can't revisit the overthrow of Diem's regime or stop sending Army advisers to South Vietnam.

    However, you now have an opportunity to do things differently in LBJ's position. What would you have done differently to ensure the victory is ours?

    Oh, let's add few things to make it not easy for you to come up with a winnable scenario:

    1.) No nuking North Vietnam.
    2.) No invasion of North Vietnam.

    Anything else is all yours to imagine so. But please keep in your mind, the goal of this thread is to find realistic ways to win the conflict in Vietnam without withdrawing and abandoning the country to the communists. That'd be the easy way out.

    I'm not an expert on Vietnam War, so my ideas may not have real merit anyway. For instance, if I were LBJ, I'd stop micromanaging the war like demanding to approve the list of targets before bombing them, or mobilize the whole military -- actually treating it like a war instead of "conflict" as it might ease the burden of replacing manpower via draft, which lessens the chance of nation-wide protests on school campuses. Don't make it a tour, have troops stay there for the duration of conflict. Look for ways to decapitate North Vietnamese leadership, don't pause the bombing campaign when they want to negotiate for peace talks. Find a better way to enforce peace in countryside instead of pacification campaigns which seemed to antagonize South Vietnamese population over the loss of properties, livelihood, etc.

    These are just general ideas of how to improve the chance of winning Vietnam War.
    Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

    "Aim small, miss small."

  • #2
    Look for a partner willing to win the war and build the nation instead of their personal self-interest. If such a partner could not be found, then any and all success on the field of battle will eventually be worthless. I think that they simply accepted Diem (and subsequent coup leaders/regimes) because he/they appeared to be the simplest solution.
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    • #3
      Publicly hang jane. I will never forgive her.
      Credo quia absurdum.


      Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Herman Hum View Post
        Look for a partner willing to win the war and build the nation instead of their personal self-interest. If such a partner could not be found, then any and all success on the field of battle will eventually be worthless. I think that they simply accepted Diem (and subsequent coup leaders/regimes) because he/they appeared to be the simplest solution.
        There were five other countries participating in the war. They are Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, and one more I'm not sure on. But if we could get UK, Canada, Japan, or Germany more involved, that could free up US manpower but I don't think additional countries would have made a more substantial difference in the war.
        Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

        "Aim small, miss small."

        Comment


        • #5
          I think everyone in the U.S. old enough to remember the Vietnam war asks this question. The problem is there were two wars, the civil war in the South and the invasion from the North. They are not isolated or unrelated from each other but they require different strategies.

          The argument that Vietnam was a lost war is somewhat misleading. It was more a lost battle in the cold war. No one can say what would have happened if the U.S. had not made a stand but I don't think anyone can say that the U.S. did not show that it's population was willing to fight and do so effectively.

          In hindsight it seems the civil war could not be won which renders the whole debate less interesting. The question is if the U.S. should have known that getting involved would not lead to the desired outcome.
          We hunt the hunters

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Cheetah772 View Post
            Let's keep it realistic as possible. That means sticking to real history closely as possible. The divergent point is after Kennedy's assassination. Treat everything before that point as historical. That means you can't revisit the overthrow of Diem's regime or stop sending Army advisers to South Vietnam.

            However, you now have an opportunity to do things differently in LBJ's position. What would you have done differently to ensure the victory is ours?

            Oh, let's add few things to make it not easy for you to come up with a winnable scenario:

            1.) No nuking North Vietnam.
            2.) No invasion of North Vietnam.

            Anything else is all yours to imagine so. But please keep in your mind, the goal of this thread is to find realistic ways to win the conflict in Vietnam without withdrawing and abandoning the country to the communists. That'd be the easy way out.

            I'm not an expert on Vietnam War, so my ideas may not have real merit anyway. For instance, if I were LBJ, I'd stop micromanaging the war like demanding to approve the list of targets before bombing them, or mobilize the whole military -- actually treating it like a war instead of "conflict" as it might ease the burden of replacing manpower via draft, which lessens the chance of nation-wide protests on school campuses. Don't make it a tour, have troops stay there for the duration of conflict. Look for ways to decapitate North Vietnamese leadership, don't pause the bombing campaign when they want to negotiate for peace talks. Find a better way to enforce peace in countryside instead of pacification campaigns which seemed to antagonize South Vietnamese population over the loss of properties, livelihood, etc.

            These are just general ideas of how to improve the chance of winning Vietnam War.
            If I would have been LBJ, I wouldn't have started it, take from someone that participated in it.
            Trying hard to be the Man, that my Dog believes I am!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Cheetah772 View Post

              There were five other countries participating in the war. They are Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, and one more I'm not sure on. But if we could get UK, Canada, Japan, or Germany more involved, that could free up US manpower but I don't think additional countries would have made a more substantial difference in the war.
              I think you misunderstood what I meant by, "partner". I was suggesting a Vietnamese individual, party, or group and not additional external participation.

              I remember watching Ken Burns' Vietnam documentary and one statement struck me. I cannot even paraphrase it, but the individual said something to the effect of 'the North Vietnamese showed tenacity, determination, and resolve for their national cause of unification; all things dear to Americans. The only problem was their Communist ideology. Had they not been Communists, they would certainly have been the perfect partner for the USA and received its backing.'
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              • #8
                Stayed home.
                "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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                • #9
                  total censorship of the media

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                  • #10
                    First, limit journalists to written articles. Keep the cameras and particularly television cameras off the battlefield.

                    Expand operations into Cambodia and Laos to take and destroy the Ho Chi Mein trail and the ability of the North to supply their forces in the South.

                    Start aggressive patrolling of all suspected Viet Min areas in the south. Train and send small units to go toe to toe with the enemy everywhere in the south.

                    Make greater use of armor in country.

                    Mine the snot out of every N. Vietnamese harbor and move the USN closer in for a total blockade.

                    Give the USAF and USN full ability to bomb and attack any valid military target in the North using whatever aircraft and tactics they think will work. This means low level blasting SAM sites, attacking NVAF airfields and destroying their aircraft on the ground. Bomb factories, bridges, you-name-it.

                    In the press make it clear that the US intends to do to N. Vietnam what happened to N. Korea and that a permanent peace is possible with a divided country, same as Korea. If that's not the case... Then the bombing will continue.

                    At home, treat the more virulent part of the anti-war movement as traitors and criminals. Put them on trial and force them to try and prove their claims publicly. That means people like Jane Fonda and John Kerry go to trial and go to jail.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OttoHarkaman View Post
                      total censorship of the media
                      Is that really an option in a free,democratic society ?
                      "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                      Samuel Johnson.

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                      • #12
                        Keep the agreement for the US to provide Air support to South Vietnam in 75 when North Vietnam invaded with their conventional forces.
                        There would still be a South Vietnam today.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cheetah772 View Post
                          Let's keep it realistic as possible. That means sticking to real history closely as possible. The divergent point is after Kennedy's assassination. Treat everything before that point as historical. That means you can't revisit the overthrow of Diem's regime or stop sending Army advisers to South Vietnam.

                          However, you now have an opportunity to do things differently in LBJ's position. What would you have done differently to ensure the victory is ours?

                          Oh, let's add few things to make it not easy for you to come up with a winnable scenario:

                          1.) No nuking North Vietnam.
                          2.) No invasion of North Vietnam.

                          Anything else is all yours to imagine so. But please keep in your mind, the goal of this thread is to find realistic ways to win the conflict in Vietnam without withdrawing and abandoning the country to the communists. That'd be the easy way out.

                          I'm not an expert on Vietnam War, so my ideas may not have real merit anyway. For instance, if I were LBJ, I'd stop micromanaging the war like demanding to approve the list of targets before bombing them, or mobilize the whole military -- actually treating it like a war instead of "conflict" as it might ease the burden of replacing manpower via draft, which lessens the chance of nation-wide protests on school campuses. Don't make it a tour, have troops stay there for the duration of conflict. Look for ways to decapitate North Vietnamese leadership, don't pause the bombing campaign when they want to negotiate for peace talks. Find a better way to enforce peace in countryside instead of pacification campaigns which seemed to antagonize South Vietnamese population over the loss of properties, livelihood, etc.

                          These are just general ideas of how to improve the chance of winning Vietnam War.
                          Why do you restrict the possibility of invading NV?

                          Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Snowshoveler View Post
                            Keep the agreement for the US to provide Air support to South Vietnam in 75 when North Vietnam invaded with their conventional forces.
                            There would still be a South Vietnam today.
                            This. All the way up to the point of two years after all US combat troops had left...…..this could have allowed the south to fight on. Another point lost to time is the small arms ammunition that the south lacked...…...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cheetah772 View Post
                              the goal of this thread is to find realistic ways to win the conflict in Vietnam without withdrawing and abandoning the country to the communists. That'd be the easy way out.

                              First you'’ll need to name the individual who could have led an alternative government that could gain and hold a high degree of popular support, without interference from the United States. All other plans to follow would hinge on a solution to that problem.

                              Another right wing military junta was not the answer. After Ngo Dinh Diem was murdered what followed was four years of instability, and one military coup after another, before Nguyen Van Thieu emerged from the ashes. Because he was previously involved in the assassination of Diem, that destroyed his credibility as head of state. To rubber stamp Thieu was akin to saying that it would be OK for a U.S. presidential candidate to promote himself into office by endorsing a mob killing of the incumbent.

                              Unfortunately we backed Thieu and it followed a pattern of U.S. foreign policy; he was in a long line of scumbag dictators cultivated by the White House and CIA. Other examples: Jorge Ubico Castañeda, Carlos Castillo Armas, Park Chung-Hee, Muhammad Suharto, Joaquín Balaguer, Artur da Costa e Silva, Saddam Hussein, Leopoldo Galtieri, Manuel Noriega, Pervez Musharraf, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Meles Zenawi, Hosni Mubarak and Prayuth Chan-Ocha. Some of them were serial killers and mass murderers. The rest were considered thugs and criminals by polite society.

                              It was, and still is, a ridiculous charade to support these morally bankrupt characters just so the White House could issue a press release that said, "at least he isn'’t a communist".”

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