Master of Arts in Liberal Arts (MALA)



Document Type



This thesis closely examines the American and South Vietnamese pacification efforts in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. The perspectives of the United States military and civilian organizations that supported the war effort, the South Vietnamese government, and the Viet Cong insurgents are discussed in detail. This includes an analysis of military strategy, theory, and practice of the combatants in the Vietnam War in order to gain an understanding of the reasoning behind decision-making policies of military leaders on both sides of the war. A dissection of the Viet Cong insurgency, from the origins of insurgent political movements leading to the formation of the Viet Cong forces and the aggressive application of these beliefs throughout the war, provides an understanding of the motivations and goals of the foe that the Allies faced. The basic strategy of the North Vietnamese Army sheds light on the reasoning behind monumental decisions regarding the military treatment of South Vietnam. A detailed analysis of the relationship between The United States and the Government of South Vietnam provides the context surrounding the trials experienced by the Allies in the battlefield throughout the countryside of Vietnam. A presentation of basic military tactics and beliefs embraced by The United States military will focus on questions of how and why the war progressed in the manner it did between the two enemy forces. A discussion of the motivations of each side in the war will lead to a greater insight of why the Vietnam War occurred, and how the outcome affected U.S. military strategy.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Stanley E. Hilton



Included in

History Commons