By Major Donald V. Phillips

This research examines the making plans, execution, and result of US army involvement within the 1970 Cambodian incursions. Named Operation Rockcrusher, the assaults distinct North Vietnamese sanctuaries in formally impartial Cambodia. Strategic suggestions for the operation mirrored the Nixon administration's wish to continue with troop discounts and speedy "Vietnamize" the conflict in Southeast Asia. Efforts to set stipulations for a U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, together with a covert bombing crusade of Cambodia, failed. those elements, in addition to a deteriorating political state of affairs inside of Cambodia, ended in approval of the attacks. The thesis describes the operational and tactical pursuits that have been derived from the strategic scenario. Then, by means of discussing key parts of the crusade, the learn examines how good the USA military complete those goals. Reviewed in the context of chosen battlefield working platforms, the operation unearths a determined "mixed bag" of good fortune and...

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Throughout the war, the Communists maintained a nationalist front, fighting Japanese and Vichy French colonialists. Looking toward the future, Ho Chi Minh began preparing for the departure of the French and the eventual conquest of all of Vietnam. After a brief taste of independence in 1945, French occupation troops returned and cracked down on the new Vietnamese government. {49} The next eight years are known as the First Indochina War. Although the main Vietminh war effort concentrated in northern Vietnam, the Communists formed revolutionary cells and an immense logistical system throughout much of eastern Indochina including Cambodia.

Phase II would improve ARVN combat support and infrastructure systems including overhaul of recruitment and basic training. ”{21} Critics of Vietnamization accused the administration of constructing an unrealistically ambitious plan. Many believed the true purpose was merely to minimize the national humiliation of a US withdrawal. This position, while sometimes overstated, is echoed in a 1969 memorandum by Henry Kissinger to the President. Kissinger was specifically concerned about: —the pace of public opposition in the US to our continuing the fight in any form.

Examples of this “conflict management” existed in the Johnson administration at the highest levels. The following memorandum by Assistant John McNaughton for Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara outlined the US commitment to South Vietnam as of 1965: US AIMS: 70% — to avoid a humiliating US defeat (to our reputation as a guarantor). 20% — To keep South Vietnam (and the adjacent) territory from Chinese hands. 10% — To permit the people of South Vietnam to enjoy a better, freer way of life. ALSO — To emerge from crisis without unacceptable taint from methods used.

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