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  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: August 2012

10 - Hybrid War in Vietnam


The war in Vietnam was multilayered, like a Russian babushka doll. It was a civil war within South Vietnam between the communists and other parties. It was a civil war between North and South Vietnam. Throughout the war, fear of China intruded into every course of action American policy makers considered for pressuring North Vietnam. Against that backdrop of multi-tiered hybrid warfare, one can examine the more direct choices in Vietnam and their implications. Such examination can now draw on the perspectives of former opponents to illuminate what worked and what went wrong. For the Americans, a war of attrition in Vietnam against an indigenous insurgent foe was not one they were organized for and trained to fight. Hybrid warfare influences every level of authority differently, creating tensions in training and doctrine, in the allocation of human and material resources, and in strategic and political choices.

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