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Government 50: Vietnam War 2

Government 50: Vietnam War 2

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Published by Alexander Taylor
These documents were used as a supplement originally at Yale University and then in the Topics of International Relations Course at Dartmouth College. The course was taught by Allan C. Stam.
These documents were used as a supplement originally at Yale University and then in the Topics of International Relations Course at Dartmouth College. The course was taught by Allan C. Stam.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Alexander Taylor on Sep 23, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/05/2012

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1
I.
 
What happened in Vietnam? Social effects of Vietnam WarA.
 
Combat fatigue vs. PTSD: not the same thing1.
 
What causes PTSD?
a)
 
trauma of killingb)
 
enabled by conditioningc)
 
amplified by society’s homecoming
2.
 
What are best indicators?
a)
 
intensity of initial traumab)
 
nature of social support network available to victimc)
 
very similar to psychological problems associated with rape
3.
 
How many?
a)
 
400k-1.5 million (lower stat disabled American Veterans,higher Harris assoc. independent consulting co.)b)
 
means 15-55% of the 2.8 million that served in Vietnamc)
 
not more crime prone, murder rates, robbery, etc. all thesame as other returning vets.d)
 
more prone to alcoholism, drug abuse, divorce, depression,suicide
4.
 
Why is Vietnam Different?
a)
 
answer lies in killing and in societies reaction to it.
II.
 
Killing and shooting on the battlefield.A.
 
80-85% of soldiers in WWII don’t shootB.
 
In Gettysburg, 25k guns collected, over half not shot and multipleloaded.
1.
 
small % of shooters actually shooting, other helping.2.
 
if all were shooting, kill rates would be much higher3.
 
deaths in most big engagements were 1-2 min per 100yds.
C.
 
Who shoots most? Snipers.
1.
 
in Vietnam, 50,000 rounds expended per VC dead.2.
 
for snipers # is 1.4 rounds.3.
 
Snipers, while distanced form target, suffer severe stress problems.
D.
 
In Korea shooting rate is up to 55%E.
 
In Vietnam the rate rises to 90-95%
 
2
F.
 
Why don’t people shoot?
1.
 
animal reaction to fearful situations2.
 
effects of shooting
G.
 
How do you get people to shoot more?1.
 
basic training chants
2.
 
Rape, Kill pillage and burn
3.
 
change target ranges from bulls-eyes to pop-ups
4.
 
switch to life-size portraits as targets
5.
 
enforce stress (sleep deprivation, etc.)
H.
 
Example of where differences in shooting rates shows up?
1.
 
Falklandsa)
 
British vs. Argentines2.
 
Panama3.
 
Afghanistan4.
 
Somalia5.
 
Gulf war6.
 
Kill ratios 50-100:1
III.
 
Normal ways that soldiers have been helped through this problem (shootingstress)
A.
 
Constant praise that the individual did the right thingB.
 
Presence of older roles models in unitsC.
 
Careful adherence to codes and conventions of warfare1.
 
Don’t shoot surrendering soldiersD.
 
Rear areas or safe areas where soldiers can unwindE.
 
Presence of close friends who have gone through training with soldiers1.
 
new soldiers hazed horribly2.
 
in WWII new units that had just come into Ardennes weresodomized and tortured so that they would have same experiencesof vetsF.
 
Group ‘cool-down’ on return voyageG.
 
Gains from victory balancing out costsH.
 
Parades and monumentsI.
 
Reunions
 
3
J.
 
Unconditional warm welcome by society, friends, family,1.
 
Constant assurance that the cause was just and righteous.2.
 
Proud display of medals
IV.
 
How was Vietnam differentA.
 
Young, average age 19. Much easier to condition young people inbasic training than older people.
1.
 
I was 23, refused to tell time using 24 hour clock.2.
 
Did literally thousands of pushups, additional running etc.3.
 
Often asked by classmates, why are you doing this?4.
 
My reply, so that I can retain my civility
B.
 
War against VC in south
1.
 
Many of people shot were very young and done so at close range invillages.2.
 
Had to confront families of people they shot3.
 
In past combatants and families separated4.
 
Had to confront children of people they shot, or had to shootchildren themselves.
5.
 
read quote on pg. 265. Nick Uhernik was never the sameperson again.C.
 
Rear lines
1.
 
In WWII, we would rotate troops out of the front in to safe rearareas2.
 
In Vietnam, due to the nature of the two wars being fought,terrorism by VC made no areas safe.
D.
 
Individual loneliness
1.
 
In prior wars, units were rotated in and out2.
 
Duration +6 monthsa)
 
spent war with your unit.3.
 
In Vietnam it was 12 months in country4.
 
Most replacements were individuala)
 
FNG (fucking new guy)b)
 
Cherriesc)
 
No one or unit to bond to5.
 
Each person arrived as an individual alone,

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