Indochina: Back to Guerrilla Warfare

When it is necessary, we must change in time outdated forms of warfare, taking new ones more appropriate.

—General Vo Nguyen Giap December 1969

When North Viet Nam's chief strategist made that statement in a Hanoi speech, U.S. intelligence had a pretty good idea about what Giap had in mind. The 1968 Tet offensive exploded U.S. generals' assurances that the war was all but over and proved that the enemy could still hit anywhere seemingly at will. On the other hand, the Tet attackers were unable to hold any South Vietnamese cities—a failure that...

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