Magazines: Chimeras in Viet Nam

Bothered by all the moral, legalistic and unrealistic arguments over Viet Nam, Military Historian S.L.A. Marshall offers some blunt battlefield advice in the current New Leader. "Long service with the military," admits retired Brigadier General Marshall, "colors my own view." It also "nourishes the suspicion that peace is so important that its safeguarding should not be entrusted exclusively to the judgment of civilians."

One judgment he questions in particular is the bland statement by Defense Secretary McNamara that U.S. forces cannot be protected in Viet Nam against enemy sneak attack. "It is a self-imposed jeopardy," Marshall writes. "In operations of...

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