The Better of the Vietnam War Books
Since 1976, there have a plethora of books about the Vietnam War. Some, written long ago, still remain the better ones providing insights that were fresh then and lost as time went by. Others, a much more recent and provide previously unknown information that shaped the course of the war and why things happened as they did. Oddly, only a handful have been written by North or South Vietnamese soldiers or leaders about the 20 year war. For the most part, these always spin the events in their favor with political dogma and such. There are two types of war books: those that focus on the political and to a lesser extent, the war; and those that focus of the military events of war with only a glance to the political aspects.
The newer books tend to point fingers at why the US lost the war and who caused it with supporting evidence always rooted in the political realm. How true. America lost that war because its military was not allowed to win on their terms. The same does apply to Afghanistan now-what have we got after 10 yrs of war? Not much.
Today, the US is not allowed to attack the enemy inside Pakistan. In Vietnam, the US was not allowed to attack very much into Laos or North Vietnam except by air, even then, it was not effective. In afghanistan, the US has created a western styled government full of corruption. Ditto in Vietnam. In Afghanistan, the US trained Afghan Army is basically ineffective. Ditto for the South Vietnamese (although, they are WAY more effective than the Afghans ever could). In both places, both armies collapse in battle.
The better books on Vietnam are:
- The Army and Vietnam (1986)
- The Village (1972)
- The CIA's Secret Campaign to Destroy the Viet Cong (1997)
- A Better War (1999)
- Why Vietnam Matters (2008)
- Westmorland: The General Who Lost Vietnam (2010)
- The Final Collapse: Last Battles of 1975 (1983)