Cover: Kahn on Winning in Vietnam

Kahn on Winning in Vietnam

A Review

Published 1968

by Daniel Ellsberg


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This review of Can We Win in Vietnam? by Frank Armbruster, Raymond Gastil, Herman Kahn, William Pfaff, and Edmund Stillman, praises the book's "adversarial format," in which the views of the writers are presented separately, in roundtable discussion, and are comparatively analyzed by Kahn. Armbruster, Gastil, and Kahn consider themselves in substantial agreement with the Administration, yet they propose radical changes in our Vietnam policy. That these measures underrate Viet Cong strengths and the political aspects of the struggle in general is not their worst fault. The assertions with which they are proposed (there is much "room for improvement" in Vietnam and the "possibilities" for improvement are "great") ignore the failures of the past 7 years and are inadequate for a policy discussion of today. What must be told the President is not that "we may yet win," but the odds (on adoption of policies, implementation, VC and GVN counters, effectiveness), the costs, the time required, and the risks. Only Stillman and Pfaff seriously address themselves to the "we" in the title question and give needed consideration to American limitations.

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