Accession Number : ADA180210


Title :   American National Will and the Vietnam War


Descriptive Note : Student essay


Corporate Author : ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA


Personal Author(s) : Prosch, Geoffrey G.


Full Text : http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA180210


Report Date : 23 MAR 1987


Pagination or Media Count : 25


Abstract : National will is the strategic link (Clausewitz calls it the center of gravity) in the success of any war. Growing disillusionment of the American people led to a loss of national will and, ultimately, to the defeat of the United States in Vietnam. Destruction of the enemy's will to continue to fight is not a new strategy. This essay describes some of the causes of America's inability to mobilize the national will in support of the war: everchanging aims, absence of a sound military strategy, lack of a declaration of war, failure to mobilize the reserves, unfair draft deferment policy, insufficient economic sacrifices, dishonesty and ineptitude of our national leaders, micromanagement by top leaders of tactical decisions, and a biased press. America lost the war not because of failure on the battlefield, but because we failed to sustain the national will of the people in support of our cause.


Descriptors :   *WARFARE , CENTER OF GRAVITY , UNITED STATES , DECISION MAKING , STRATEGY , LEADERSHIP , FAILURE , PERSONNEL , BIAS , VIETNAM.


Subject Categories : GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL SCIENCE
      MILITARY OPERATIONS, STRATEGY AND TACTICS


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE