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No Sure VictoryMeasuring U.S. Army Effectiveness and Progress in the Vietnam War$
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Gregory A. Daddis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199746873

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746873.001.0001

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An “Unprecedented Victory:” The Problem of Defining Success

An “Unprecedented Victory:” The Problem of Defining Success

(p.63) 3 An “Unprecedented Victory:” The Problem of Defining Success
No Sure Victory

Gregory A. Daddis

Oxford University Press

Each chapter from this point forward addresses one year of the war in Vietnam. Chapter three explores the decisions for American buildup in 1965 which were based on faulty, or at least contradictory, metrics. The murky internal political situation in Saigon baffled outsiders yet there remained in 1965 an overriding belief, based on established metrics, that South Vietnam was nearing irreversible collapse. As the American buildup began in earnest, measuring the organizational effectiveness of the new airmobility (helicopter) concept became just as important as measuring effectiveness against the southern insurgency. Success in the November 1965 Ia Drang battle helped establish a key benchmark for MACV—the body count.

Keywords:   Saigon, airmobility, Ia Drang, body count, MACV

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