The Year of Tet: Victory, Defeat, or Stalemate?
Chapter six identifies the problems of defining success at different levels of war in counterinsurgency operations during the crucial year of 1968. The army believed Tet to be both a tactical and operational success yet the American public saw it as a strategic failure. Why did this disconnect occur? The chapter also analyzes the frustration experienced by lower level officers who questioned why their tactical successes were not leading to strategic goals. In mid-1968, Creighton Abrams assumed command of MACV after replacing William Westmoreland. Chapter six concludes by assessing how Abrams’s “one war” philosophy affected the command’s framework for determining progress and effectiveness.
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