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This chapter considers the relationship between solidarity and revolution by exploring the internal and international politics of the African National Congress (ANC). In the 1960s, the ANC operated internationally but there was little consensus on how the party should wage its struggle against apartheid South Africa. Taking inspiration from Cuba, young Tricontinental radicals challenged the diplomatic strategy of ANC elders like Oliver Tambo and launched an unsuccessful invasion of nearby Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). Tambo responded by appropriating parts of this message and situating the ANC as part of an anti-capitalist revolt aimed at the United States. Tambo also opened the ANC to non-Africans who supported his leadership, which increased the influence of the South African Communist Party and fought off Cuban-inspired militancy by collapsing the distinctions between revolutionary action and international solidarity. Because the Vietnamese and Portuguese revolutions confirmed the inevitability of apartheid’s demise, the ANC prioritized international collaboration over guerrilla warfare as part of a strategy that positioned the party as the legitimate alternative to the apartheid state.
The Cold War and process of decolonization divided the world, with Vietnam emerging after 1954 as a center of global competition. Leaders of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) in Hanoi believed that success in their revolution could tip the worldwide balance of power in favor of the socialist bloc and national liberation movements. This conviction, combined with the need to conduct diplomacy from a position of military weakness, made those leaders accomplished practitioners of international politics as they balanced commitments to Marxism-Leninism, anti-imperialism, and anti-Americanism.
This chapter addresses how Hanoi navigated its membership and commitment to overlapping international movements at the height of the Cold War. It demonstrates that despite confronting the United States in Indochina, DRV leaders never thought strictly in terms of their own interests. Over the years they iterated and acted upon commitments to socialist internationalism, “world revolution,” and “Third Worldism” (tiermondisme). The Cold War and Sino-Soviet dispute created challenges for Hanoi, but the contemporaneous process of decolonization in the Third World also created opportunities.
This chapter investigates how military psychiatrists have analyzed the “waiting wife.” In 1968, an Air Force psychiatrist lamented that colleagues, faced with many “modern Penelopes who are unsuccessful in adapting to their husbands‘ absence,” had neglected this “important clinical problem.” This soon changed. Clinicians probed the “syndromes” they diagnosed in servicemen‘s wives during the latter years of the Vietnam War. Wives of POWs came under particular scrutiny, with researchers developing algorithms to forecast which POWs‘ marriages would survive. Media interest in POW spouses peaked with “Operation Homecoming” in 1973. When several returned prisoners‘ marriages collapsed soon thereafter, “Penelope” was again found wanting. This chapter links national anxieties about POWs‘ wives to broader figurations of female disloyalty. Dr. Emanuel Tanay‘s hypothesis of a “Dear John Syndrome” in Vietnam had already proposed in 1969 that women were sending more, and more vicious, Dear Johns to American men in southeast Asia than in any prior war. Veterans would soon amplify the charge that treachery on the home front, spousal and federal, had been unprecedentedly pervasive and injurious.
In the eyes of many US military commanders, the martial and the marital were, and ought to remain, worlds apart. Whether and whom enlisted men should marry preoccupied the armed forces in the twentieth century. This chapter explores the fitful progression of the services‘ marital policies and the various aspirations that underpinned them. These motives have included avoiding the cost of providing for dependents; preventing “gold-diggers” from entrapping servicemen; safeguarding operational efficiency by minimizing domestic distractions, and, conversely, boosting recruitment by incentivizing marriage and promoting “family-friendliness.” The armed forces have often presented their interventions as insulating naive young servicemen from bad marital choices. Whether servicewomen could marry, on the other hand, was (in commanders‘ eyes) less bound up with negative judgments about their partners‘ motives and emotional staying-power than with issues of procreation and maternity. In the twenty-first century, while the armed forces now accept more non-traditional partnerships and families, they continue to intervene in couples‘ lives through programs aimed at building spousal resilience.
This chapter examines military attitudes toward “emotional injuries” resulting from the end of romantic relationships. Evaluations of why some men “cracked” evolved substantially from World War I to the present. Often, however, psychiatrists attributed servicemen’s maladies to deficient female love: whether that of mothers or romantic partners. In Vietnam, psychiatrists construed romantic rejection as a “narcissistic injury”: a blow to the ego that led men to decompensate in various ways. Alcoholism, going AWOL, self-harm, and violence directed toward others were all associated with Dear John letters. The chapter considers how the military medical and legal establishments adjudicated unlawful acts perpetrated by servicemen whose intimate relationships had recently been severed by letter. It focuses on two court-martial cases: a Korean War POW who briefly rejected repatriation to the United States in 1953, citing a Dear John as his motive for defection, and a Marine Corps private court-martialled in 1969 for killing four Vietnamese peasants. In the latter case, military lawyers deemed the defendant to have been temporarily insane after his fiancée sent him a Dear John.
In chapter 4, I examine the debates of 1965–66 over Australia’s participation in the Vietnam War. In 1965–66, the UN Charter regulated the use of force by states but the success of international legal arguments in the public debates did not depend on the ability of the speaker to characterise an argument as a ‘legal’ one. Successful use of international legal language in the 1965–66 debates depended on the ability of the speaker to cast international law as something more than merely law – as either a standard of morality or a manifestation of an alliance. The legality or illegality of Australia’s actions was not enough, on its own, to provide a persuasive justification for war in 1965–66.
Public debates in the language of international law have occurred across the 20th and 21st centuries and have produced a popular form of international law that matters for international practice. This book analyses the people who used international law and how they used it in debates over Australia's participation in the 2003 Iraq War, the Vietnam War and the First World War. It examines texts such as newspapers, parliamentary debates, public protests and other expressions of public opinion. It argues that these interventions produced a form of international law that shares a vocabulary and grammar with the expert forms of that language and distinct competences in order to be persuasive. This longer history also illustrates a move from the use of international legal language as part of collective justifications to the use of international law as an autonomous justification for state action.
Australian higher command in the Korean War is not just a matter of esoteric interest. Rather, from the time of the First World War, higher command arrangements have been a crucial element during most of Australia’s military commitments. They have been both a means by which the Australian Government has exercised its sovereignty and an expression of the degree to which Australia has been able to have that sovereignty recognised. The command arrangements in the Korean War were to have ramifications that have continued through to the present. This chapter discusses those higher command arrangements and then focuses on Brigadier John Wilton’s command of the 28th British Commonwealth Brigade.
Chapter 7 examines veterans’ reflections on key war legacies in light of their return journeys. After the war, veterans grappled with complex and politically charged narratives about the war that shaped how they viewed their individual experiences. Those that returned to Việt Nam faced new stories and memories about the war that challenged these narratives. Rather than challenging their views, the experience of returning to Việt Nam often reinforced their existing values and beliefs, and many returnees drew from return experiences to support their existing views. This chapter situates returnees’ views in broader historiographical debates on four key issues: perceptions of defeat (or victory) in Vietnam, the anti-war movement, the association between “their” war and war crimes, and the justness of the war. The majority of veterans raised these key legacy issues in their interviews without prompting, indicating how polarizing and contentious the Vietnam War continues to be.
In Strategy and Command, David Horner provides an important insight into the strategic decisions and military commanders who shaped Australia's army history from the Boer War to the evolution of the command structure for the Australian Defence Force in the 2000s. He examines strategic decisions such as whether to go to war, the nature of the forces to be committed to the war, where the forces should be deployed and when to reduce the Australian commitment. The book also recounts decisions made by commanders at the highest level, which are passed on to those at the operational level, who are then required to produce their own plans to achieve the government's aims through military operations. Strategy and Command is a compilation of research and writing on military history by one of Australia's pre-eminent military historians. It is a crucial read for anyone interested in Australia's involvement in 20th-century wars.
A starting point for thinking about war and preparations for war is that today the average citizen in Western countries has absolutely no interest in fighting in a war him or herself. The best study of this phenomenon rightly notes that what might be called the “great refusal” of ordinary people to involve themselves in actual war making reflects what might be called the “great disillusionment” with war itself. However, this has not meant the end of war, or of preparations for war, but rather war's transformation from a “nationalized” to a “postnationalized” arrangement. For the United States, this has meant expansion into a new type of empire. As part of the symposium on Ned Dobos's Ethics, Security, and the War-Machine, this essay explores these developments and the challenges they pose.
For Mailer, the 1960s were not only notable for the volume of his published writing, but for the extent of his political engagement and participation. Though Mailer wrote and spoke about American politics until the end of his life, he was arguably most directly involved in political protest during the Vietnam War era. During this time, he spoke out frequently against the war, and in 1967 published the stylistically innovative Why Are We In Vietnam?, often read as an allegorical criticism of the national mindset that led to America’s involvement in the unwinnable war. Most notably, Mailer participated in the March on the Pentagon in October of 1967, which provided the foundation for his Pulitzer Prize winning work Armies of the Night (1968), a seminal work of New Journalism that to this day is considered one of the best pieces covering the event.
The period from 1930 to 1990 saw an extraordinary development in the use of Gothic and horror to tell narratives about war and combat, mainly for two main purposes: first, to reveal and accentuate the horrific damage caused to bodies by combat, usually in order to denounce and demystify war; and second, figuratively to depict the less visible ways in which combat and war violence affect soldiers and civilians on a psychological level, especially through fear and trauma. A third form of War Gothic involves the dehumanisation of enemies by portraying them as monsters. All three forms are concerned with the ways in which war robs humans of their humanity, though the first two are largely critical of war while the third is basically a form of militaristic jingoism. This chapter focuses on a selection of texts from the first Hollywood zombie film, White Zombie (1932), to Jacob’s Ladder (1990), focusing especially on the Second World War and its veterans, and the literature and cinema of the Vietnam War. It ends with a brief discussion of War Gothic in the film and video game representations of the First Gulf War.
The personal costs of war — military dead and injured—are the most salient measure of war costs and the primary instrument through which war affects domestic politics. We posit a framework for understanding war initiation, war policy, and war termination in democratic polities, and for understanding the role that citizens and their deaths through conflict play in those policy choices. We believe that war support derives from individuals’ calculations of a war’s value and cost. High-value conflicts are more likely to be supported than low-value conflicts. Conversely, low-cost conflicts are more likely to occur andto have durable support, while high-cost conflicts are likely to see rapid erosion of support when they are fought. We develop a comprehensive theoretical approach and examine these arguments with a variety of empirical methods in multiple wars, conducting analyses of tens of thousands of citizens across a wide variety of historical and hypothetical conditions. We also analyze the ways that military casualty information travels from distant battlefields to the homefront and address policy implications.
Casualties affect elections in two ways. First, wartime variables affected position formation, where higher state casualties increased the likelihood that challengers openly opposed the war. Second, casualties influence Senate elections directly. Incumbents are held responsible for the conduct of the war, and their vote share is adversely affected by higher casualty rates in their states. Although both incumbents and challengers face constraints, our findings suggest that incumbents face the greatest constraints while challenger behavior is endogenous to casualties. Candidates react strategically to the information provided to them by their state-level casualties, suggesting strategy is not reserved to the battlefield. Candidates behave strategically when formulating wartime positions, rightly perceiving that electorates respond to candidate position differences when voting. Analyses of elections during the Iraq and of Senator positions are taken during the Vietnam Wars. Even when national issues dominate headlines, advertisements, and campaigning, all politics remain local – especially wartime politics.
Looking at the Korean and Vietnam Wars, we evaluate the influence of casualties disaggregated by space/hometowns and time on mass opinion in both the Korean and Vietnam wars and on individual opinion in the Vietnam War. We find a powerful connection between US casualties and public support for a war consistent with our expectations about the importance of casualty trends, the geographic locations of casualty hometowns, and the interaction of these dynamics. Disaggregated casualties are better able to capture variation in mass public and individual wartime opinion than are logged cumulative national casualties – the standard wartime measure employed. We also find that the wartime information-opinion process operates more strongly in the ex ante identifiable early stages of a conflict, and less effectively later in a conflict when casualty expectations (and thus the value of new information) begin to harden. These results strongly support the general notion that casualty patterns act as an observable proxy for our RP/ETC process by capturing information that individuals draw on to generate ETC and formulate wartime positions, improving our ability to understand and predict wartime opinion.
Chapter 5 discusses the rise of US survivors’ cross-national memory, identity, and activism in the 1970s. Working with younger non-survivors, older survivors, women in particular, broke silence and helped create a collective identity. This identity-making began as a handful of US survivors gathered in 1965 to share their bomb memories. Several years later, they worked with major Asian American organizations including the Japanese American Citizens Leagues, politicians of color such as Thomas Noguchi, Mervyn Dymally, and Edward Roybal, and antinuclear activists such as Yuji Ichioka and Karl G. Yoneda. This expansion of activism was possible because of US survivors’ memory-sharing. Female survivors, by serving as public faces of US survivors, challenged gender boundaries; male survivors, who formerly told stories of their bravery, began to tell how powerless they had felt on the ground. These developments were broadly relevant to Asian America of the era, which witnessed the rising critique of Japanese American incarceration during World War II, the Vietnam War that Asian Americans deemed America’s aggression against Asia, and an imminent use of nuclear weaponry in the Pacific region.
Gartner and Segura consider the costs of war – both human and political – by examining the consequences of foreign combat, on domestic politics. The personal costs of war – the military war dead and injured – are the most salient measure of war costs generally and the primary instrument through which war affects domestic politics. The authors posit a general framework for understanding war initiation, war policy and war termination in democratic polities, and the role that citizens and their deaths through conflict play in those policy choices. Employing a variety of empirical methods, they examine multiple wars from the last 100 years, conducting analyses of tens of thousands of individuals across a wide variety of historical and hypothetical conditions, whilst also addressing policy implications. This study will be of interest to students and scholars in American foreign policy, international politics, public opinion, national security, American politics, communication studies, and military history.
This chapter reads and surveys Vietnamese American literature as a creative refugee endeavor that was carefully tailored to meet the material needs and pressures of refugee life during the period 1965-1996. This era was a challenging period during which, despite close to 100 English-language volumes written by Vietnamese/Vietnamese American authors, finding a readership interested in the stories that refugees wanted to tell required multiple strategies of textual emergence. These challenges produced a bifurcation of public and private narratives and created a split between simple pedagogical stories that responded to the pragmatic demand to explain oneself and more complex stories that attended to the needs of the burgeoning community and the migrant psyche. With the Vietnam War looming large over their creations and the ways that these literary works are read, this era of Vietnamese American literature could be characterized as a series of attempts to rewrite and remap racial and cultural expectations of refugees, while laying the groundwork for greater forms of self and communal expression.
The Vietnam War and the anti-war movement are oftentimes discussed as foundational in the formation of Asian American political consciousness and representation during the late 1960s and 1970s. However, Asian American literature of that time offers very little engagement with the war or the anti-war movement. This chapter offers an overview of representations of the Vietnam War in Asian American literature and examines the possible reasons for the sparse representations of the war. In doing so, this chapter turns to an archive of ephemera: radical Asian American periodicals that represented the Asian American movement, and the first Asian American readers and anthologies, Roots: An Asian American Reader (1971) and Counterpoint: Perspectives on Asian America (1976).