An essay written in April 1972 on General Giap and the North Vietnamese 1972 gamble for a telling victory. The offensive that began in April is not in the protracted-warfare style projected by Ho Chi Minh. It is an all-out effort that sacrifices all economic development at home and creates a drain on the North that cannot be indefinitely maintained. Not only has this made the nation dependent on its allies for the basic necessities of life; it has also forced the army to draft skilled workers, university students, and the sons of party leaders. If the gamble is won, Giap's prestige will be boundless, but if not, the nation may well be bankrupted, deprived of its elite, and rendered vulnerable to pressures from its backers.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.