The War Managers
Long considered a classic for its enlightening analysis of what went wrong in Vietnam, this frank assessment of the American involvement in the war comes straight from the U.S. Army generals responsible for its conduct in the field. First published in 1977 to great acclaim, the painful indictment of both the military and civilian policy makers serves as a useful guide on how to avoid similar disasters in today's conflicts. The author, an American general who was chief of staff of the most important field command in Vietnam before his retirement in 1970, sent an extensive questionnaire to 173 other generals in 1974, seeking their views on the war and guaranteeing anonymity. Nearly 70% responded, with many adding pages of comments about such sensitive subjects as leadership and integrity. General Kinnard then interviewed twenty of the respondents and supplemented their input with research of Army documents. What emerges from his analysis of the generals' responses is a uniquely fascinating and penetrating look at the war, focusing on such central issues as the competence of American and Vietnamese troops, the clarity of U.S. objectives, the influence of body counts, and much more.