In This Review

Assessing The Vietnam War
Assessing The Vietnam War
Edited by Lloyd J. Mathews and Dale E. Brown
Pergamon-Brassey's, 1987, 254 pp

This collection of articles from Parameters, the journal of the U.S. Army War College, is a handy summary of the military's reappraisal of its role in Vietnam. It includes a pithy summary of Harry G. Summers' On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War (noted in Foreign Affairs, Winter 1982/83). His critique is broad: the United States mistook the war for a revolution and so focused on the Viet Cong instead of the real enemy, North Vietnamese regular forces. Summers' article makes intriguing reading together with Hung Nyugen's discussion of Hanoi's war plan, which argues that an enclave strategy would have played to Hanoi's Achilles' heel-the necessary links among locals, guerrillas and main force units-and also with Norman B. Hannah's The Key To Failure (noted in Foreign Affairs, Spring 1988).