In This Review

None So Blind: A Personal Account of the Intelligence Failure in Vietnam
None So Blind: A Personal Account of the Intelligence Failure in Vietnam
By George W. Allen
Ivan R. Dee, 2001, 296 pp
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The Vietnam War looms over the American defense establishment to this day. This memoir by a leading intelligence analyst, who worked on Vietnam from 1949 through 1968, contributes to the vast literature on that conflict. Not surprisingly, it vindicates positions taken by the CIA and is scathing about many U.S. military leaders who appear here as dishonest, arrogant, and in some cases simply stupid. Citing former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's complaint that the U.S. government lacked adequate expertise on Indochina, Allen scornfully replies that plenty of specialists did exist. Indeed, their "knowledge and comprehension of the situation were readily available ... but they were rarely consulted, and their written assessments were consistently dismissed or ignored." If the recollections presented here are indeed accurate, Allen has the better part of the argument.