By John Southard
After particularly winning army interventions in Iraq in 1992 and Yugoslavia in 1998, many American strategists believed that airpower and distant expertise have been the way forward for U.S. army motion. yet America's newest wars within the center East have bolstered the significance of counterinsurgency, with its crucial to "win hearts and minds" at the flooring in overseas lands. In either Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. army has studied and experimented with the mixed motion platoon (CAP) notion used from 1965 to 1971 by way of the Marine Corps in Vietnam.
Consisting of twelve Marines, a medic, and dozens of green neighborhood militiamen, the yank contingent of CAPs lived in South Vietnamese villages the place they supplied twenty-four-hour protection and day-by-day clinical aid for civilians, and fostered social interplay via civic motion initiatives, comparable to development colleges, places of work, and wells. Defend and Befriend is the 1st finished examine of the evolution of those platoons, emphasizing how and why the U.S. Marine Corps tried to beat the inherent army, social, and cultural stumbling blocks at the flooring in Vietnam. Basing his research on Marine documents and various interviews with CAP veterans, writer John Southard illustrates how hundreds of thousands of squaddies tasked with counterinsurgency tasks got here to understand the Vietnamese humans and their mission.
This specific learn counters triumphing stereotypes and offers a brand new standpoint at the American infantryman within the Vietnam warfare. Illuminating the terror felt via many american citizens as they served between teams of understandably suspicious civilians, Defend and Befriend deals vital insights into the long run improvement of counterinsurgency doctrine.
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