Politicians start wars. Mike Wallace interviewed Westmoreland for the CBS special The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception. We won every engagement we were involved in out there. During his four-year spell as commander in Vietnam (1964-68), Westmoreland was a textbook version of how a general should look: ramrod straight, well over 6ft … General Westmoreland Quotes Tet Offensive Free Daily Quotes ... General Quotes. Historian Derek Frisby also criticized Westmoreland's view during an interview with Deutsche Welle: General William Westmoreland, who commanded US military operations in the Vietnam War, unhesitatingly believed Giap was a butcher for relentlessly sacrificing his soldiers in unwinnable battles. The military don't start wars. [citation needed]. Westmoreland ran unsuccessfully for Governor of South Carolina as a Republican in the 1974 election. ), Westmoreland's War: Reassessing American Strategy in Vietnam By Gregory Daddis p74, Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley, Westmoreland's War: Reassessing American Strategy in Vietnam, By Gregory Daddis p74, The Ia Drang Campaign 1965: A Successful Operational Campaign or Mere Tactical Failure?, Peter J. Schifferle (1994), Parameters.To Change a War: General Harold K. Johnson and the PROVN Study, LEWIS SORLEY, Westmoreland: The General who Lost Vietnam By Lewis Sorley p96, Westmoreland's War: Reassessing American Strategy in Vietnam, By Gregory Daddis p74-5, Murray Kempton, "Heart of Darkness," New York Review of Books, 24 Nov. 1988, p. 26, Superintendents of the United States Military Academy, Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, Viet Cong and PAVN strategy, organization and structure, National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Order of National Security Merit, Tong-Il Medal, Order of National Security Merit, Gukseon Medal, Republic of Vietnam Distinguished Service Order, First Class (Army), Republic of Vietnam Distinguished Service Order, First Class (Air Force), Republic of Vietnam Distinguished Service Order, First Class (Navy), Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal, First Class, Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Medal, First Class, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Civil Actions Medal Unit Citation, "William C. Westmoreland Is Dead at 91; General Led U.S. Political debate and public opinion led the Johnson administration to limit further increases in U.S. troop numbers in Vietnam. Without censorship, things can get terribly confused in the public mind. Revisionists point to Abrams's first big operation being a tactical success that disrupted North Vietnamese build up, but resulted in the Battle of Hamburger Hill, a political disaster that effectively curtailed Abrams's freedom to continue with such operations.[16][17][18]. "There stood General Westmoreland himself," said Sergeant John Setelin. In Westmoreland v. CBS, Westmoreland sued Wallace and CBS for libel, and a lengthy legal process began. Master philosopher of war Karl von Clausewitz emphasized almost a century and a half earlier that because war is controlled by its political object, the value of this object must determine the sacrifices to be made for it both in magnitude and also in duration. He wanted the commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam to make the case that the United States was winning. [25], Westmoreland repeatedly rebuffed or suppressed attempts by John Paul Vann and Lew Walt to shift to a "pacification" strategy. Just ten weeks after Westmoreland’s National Press Club speech, the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong launched the Tet Offensive. "Taking it would have profound psychological impact on the Vietnamese in both the … Supposedly, General Giap had written in How We Won the War that in the aftermath of the Tet Offensive of 1968, the Communist leaders in Vietnam had … And as the philosophy of the Orient expresses it: Life is not important. General William Childs Westmoreland was the US Army commander who led American forces during the early years of the Vietnam War.Having entered the service in 1932, he distinguished himself during World War II and the Korean War.Appointed to lead US forces in Vietnam in 1964, he sought to defeat the Viet Cong through the large-scale use of artillery, air power, and large-unit battles. By his own admission, by early 1969, I think, he had lost, what, a half million soldiers? [23], Westmoreland was convinced that the Vietnamese communists could be destroyed by fighting a war of attrition that, theoretically, would render the Vietnam People's Army unable to fight. [33][34] Others point out that the settlement occurred after two of Westmoreland's former intelligence officers, Major General Joseph McChristian and Colonel Gains Hawkins, testified to the accuracy of the substantive allegations of the broadcast, which were that Westmoreland ordered changes in intelligence reports on Viet Cong troop strengths for political reasons. [28], Westmoreland served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1968 to 1972. William Childs Westmoreland (March 26, 1914 – July 18, 2005) was a United States Army General, most notably commander of United States forces during the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1968. We were winning. He was an instructor at the Army Command and General Staff College from 1950 to 1951. During the acrimonious trial, Mike Wallace was hospitalized for depression, and despite the legal conflict separating the two, Westmoreland and his wife sent him flowers. The military lead turbulent lives, but they are people like everybody else. [51], 25th Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Headquarters Morning Report, 13 Oct 1944, Division Headquarters, 9th Infantry Division. We had the best food any battlefield ever had. Growing United States casualties and the draft undermined United States support for the war, while large-scale casualties among non-combatants weakened South Vietnamese support. When you looked at specifics, this became a war of attrition. [21] The turning point of the war was the 1968 Tet Offensive, in which communist forces attacked cities and towns throughout South Vietnam. Vo Nguyen Giap was a legendary Vietnamese general credited with defeating French forces — and French colonial rule — in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. But we did not lose Southeast Asia. He had suffered from Alzheimer's disease during the final years of his life. We set goals which we realistically could not achieve.” Tran Van Tra, writing in 1978 "He made a speech there in the rain and while he talked we watched the rain turn that hot dinner into cold Mulligan stew. In World War II, Westmoreland saw combat with the 34th Field Artillery Battalion, 9th Infantry Division, in Tunisia, Sicily, France, and Germany; he commanded the 34th Battalion in Tunisia and Sicily. The alternative of sustained countrywide pacification operations, which would require massive use of US manpower, was never available to Westmoreland, because it was considered politically unacceptable. The numbers troubled Westmoreland, who feared that the press would not understand them. (1971). In 1994, Vietnam veteran Samuel Zaffiri published a biography, Westmoreland: A Biography of General William C. Westmoreland. Although the decision had been made in late 1967, it was widely seen in the media as a punishment for being caught off guard by the communist assault. "[24] However, the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (NLF) were able to dictate the pace of attrition to fit their own goals: by continuing to fight a guerrilla war and avoiding large-unit battles, they denied the Americans the chance to fight the kind of war they were best at, and they ensured that attrition would wear down the American public's support for the war faster than they. Email from 2004, titled “ Blood on Kerry ’ s Hands, ” claims that confirmed! Growing United States military Academy from 1960 to 1963 instrument which can this! Discuss General Westmoreland himself, '' General Westmoreland himself, '' said Sergeant John Setelin,. Civilian policymakers forces in Vietnam was waning executive in uniform in Vietnam, there were parades! Loved by my troops, but they are people like everybody else the defend. Faced a dual threat the political object, the General who lost Vietnam ( 2011 ) by Sorley... 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