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This volume chronicles RAND's involvement in researching insurgency and counterinsurgency in Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand during the Vietnam War era, from the period preceding the dispatch of U.S. troops, to the most intensive combat years, to the Tet Offensive of 1968, to the end of the war in 1975. The author draws on interviews with RAND staff who were involved in research in the region, the hundreds of studies that RAND produced on these topics, and documentary sources outside RAND to provide a narrative that captures the tenor of the times, conveys the attitudes and thinking of those involved, and recounts their personal stories and experiences. Elliott assesses both the extent to which RAND's research influenced U.S. policies and decisionmakers during the war and the effect that the war had on RAND — culminating with the release of the Pentagon Papers, which became a national controversy in 1971.
Table of Contents
A Remote Corner of the World: The Beginning in Vietnam
“What Makes the Viet Cong Tick?”
Escalation and Airpower
The Many Aspects of the War
The Mekong Delta and the Central Highlands
The Tet Offensive
Pacification and Vietnamization
The Pentagon Papers
The End of the War
Laos and Thailand: Sideshows