The author, deputy to General William Westmoreland in Vietnam and Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1973, writes from firsthand experience. General Palmer notes some defects in the Army's operational performance in Vietnam, but his most severe criticism is of the wider strategy-too much faith in the effectiveness of air offensives, for example-and the lack of clarity in our political aims. He articulates admirably the by now conventional post-Vietnam wisdom that wars should not be entered into if they are not manifestly in the national interest and do not have adequate public support at home.
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