Was the Vietnam War Unwinnable? (1993)

W.J. Astore Eleven years after my freshman essay on the Vietnam War in 1982, I found myself at Oxford in a Strategic Studies Seminar.  For that seminar, I wrote the following paper on People’s War and Vietnam.  Based on deeper reading and more reflection than my freshman essay, I concluded that the Vietnam War had…

Lessons of the Vietnam War

W.J. Astore Nick Turse has a fine op-ed in the New York Times, “For America, Life Was Cheap in Vietnam.”  In it he argues that for Americans involved in the Vietnam War, life was very cheap indeed – Vietnamese lives, that is.  Turse has written a powerful book, “Kill Anything that Moves,” that documents the…

In Praise of Douglas Kinnard, A Truth-telling General of the Vietnam War

W.J. Astore The death on July 29 of retired Army general and professor Douglas Kinnard at the age of 91 reminded me of the vital quality of integrity and truth-telling, especially in life-and-death military settings.  A fast-rising general who became critical of America’s path in Indochina in the late 1960s, Kinnard retired from the military and…