The American War in Vietnam was mainly fought in the South. The U.S. bombed North Vietnam heavily but did not send in U.S. troops, as this would likely have triggered Chinese intervention and a wider war, as noted in a CIA estimate in July 1965. Moreover, writes the international relations scholar John W. Garver, “A Sino-American war fought on the Southeast Asian peninsula would probably have facilitated the growth of communist power in Thailand, Burma, the Philippines, and Malaysia. China would have spared no efforts to outflank the United States by supporting insurgencies elsewhere in Southeast Asia.”
Despite the added troops and firepower, the underlying political dynamics of the war remained the same. The Saigon government was detested by most of the people, and no amount of U.S. troops in the country could change that fact. A report by the CIA Office of National Estimates on March 2, 1965, warned of the “danger that U.S. troop commitment will lead more South Vietnamese to accept the Communist line that U.S. colonialism is replacing French,” and thus “turn increasing numbers of Vietnamese toward support of the Viet Cong effort to oust the U.S.”
With the introduction of U.S. combat troops, efforts to win the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people were eclipsed by intensified efforts to win the counterinsurgency war. Given the widespread animosity toward the GVN, if not outright support for the NLF, the American War quickly turned into a war against the rural population. The targets included not only the communist-led NLF but also any person or village that offered support to NLF cadre or failed to expel them from their villages. The idea that Americans could distinguish between communists and non-communists, and between civilians and guerrillas, in a foreign world of thatched huts, straw mats, and wooden plows was predictably illusory, with debilitating consequences. The war against the rural population entailed harsh relocation (“pacification”) programs, a clandestine assassination program against village leaders suspected of helping the NLF (Operation Phoenix), the burning of villages deemed pro-NLF, the bombing and strafing of whole regions decreed as free-fire zones, and the spraying of poisons such as Agent Orange on millions of acres of forests and cultivated fields.
You MUST be willing to engage in genocidal-like attacks in order to break the will of the enemy to fight. There is no other way, and this has been proven throughout history. You MUST be absolutely merciless right up to the point when the enemy realizes there is no way to break your will to destroy them. Only AFTER full and complete ideological surrender is there room for mercy and reconciliation. You CANNOT wage a humane war. That is the epitome of an oxymoron. It is foolish to even try. Either avoid war entirely, or pursue it with the absolute highest level of venom, hatred and violence. There is no middle ground.
The German military quickly learned of Hitler's plans for a new war.
Nothing less than this resolve will be required to win our current conflict with the Islamic world. While we don’t have to plan for wholesale extermination of 2 billion people, the recent videos showing Islamists training their grade school and junior age children to behead prisoners, and otherwise gleefully engage in executions show the folly of believing that we can spare women and children, and avoid attacking the civilization itself. The desire to view warfare as something we can antisceptically engage in is pure foolishness, and is why the West has failed to decisively win any wars since 1945.
And how did this murder of an unpopular man lead to war?
Public opinion shifted during the war. In the fall 1964 election, a majority of Americans voted for a presidential candidate who promised not to send “our boys” to Vietnam. Once combat troops were sent, however, the majority endorsed the war, in keeping with patriotic support for American troops abroad. A Gallup poll taken in June 1965 reported that 66% favored continued U.S. military involvement as opposed to 20% who favored withdrawal. Only one year later, support for the war had begun to wane. A Gallup poll taken in June 1966 reported 48% in favor of continued involvement and 35% in favor of withdrawal.
The Warburg’s were among the owners of the Federal Reserve.
South Vietnam suffered in more ways. Some 1,200,000 people were forcibly relocated through “pacification” programs and five million became refugees between 1964 to 1975. The urban population swelled from 15 percent in 1964 to 40 percent in 1968, to 65 percent in 1974, undermining the social fabric of the country. Normally a rice exporter, South Vietnam had to import 725,000 tons of rice in 1967. Hunger and starvation were side effects of the war. The U.S. also conducted its chemical war in the south, spraying nineteen million gallons of toxins on five million acres, with some parts of North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia sprayed as well. The debilitating effects of this chemical war still linger.