Cover: The Unchangeable War

The Unchangeable War

by Brian Michael Jenkins

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Abstract

The Army's entire repertoire of warfare was designed for conventional war in Europe. In Vietnam, the Army simply performed its repertoire even though it was frequently irrelevant to the situation. This report explores these issues. Although changes were repeatedly proposed, few were made. The Army seemed to be prevented by its own doctrinal and organizational rigidity from understanding the nature of this war and from making the necessary modifications to apply its power more relevantly. Vietnamization is not a solution to our own problem of organizational rigidity. The danger exists that in transferring the war to the Vietnamese, we will transfer also our organization, our style of fighting, and our mistakes, by which we have achieved only limited success-thus rendering the Vietnamese incapable of doing anything different from what we have done.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

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