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Similarities and Differences During the Vietnam War

            There are many similarities and differences between the political mood surrounding the Vietnam.
             War, as well as the life styles, tactics and equipment used by the American riflemen in the years.
             1965 and 1969. Most of the American troops stationed in Vietnam in 1965 were member of the.
             Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV). These specialized advisors were charged with.
             the training of the South Vietnamese (ARVN) in the use of modern weapons and tactics in an.
             effort to stop communist aggression from the north.
             However, by late 1965 it was becoming clear that ARVN, now called the "ruff-puffs" by.
             Americans, was ineffective and corrupt. At one point in 1965, President Johnson promised Ho.
             Chi Minh "unconditional discussions." Meanwhile, the US sent more troops to Vietnam in which.
             American forces would only try to maintain those areas already under Saigon control. Johnson.
             hoped a sustained US military presence would make Ho Chi Minh more willing to negotiate.
             Opposed to this strategy, General Westmoreland called for more American troops and advocated.
             "taking the battle to the enemy." By June of 1965, around 75,000 American troops were in.
             In 1965 Westmoreland began to implement a search and destroy strategy in which.
             American troops would go into the field in search of Vietcong. Westmoreland was confident that.
             US technology would succeed in slowly wearing down the Vietcong through a war of attrition.
             US leaders believed that Vietnam's economy could not sustain a prolonged war effort against the.
             US. In October of 1965, Westmoreland found support for his beliefs in the tremendous battle in.
             (Doyle 147) .
             the Ia Drang Valley. One of the largest battles of the war, Ia Drang was a damaging loss for the.
             North Vietnamese. The battle simultaneously convinced Westmoreland that his strategy of.
             attrition through search and destroy would work and the Vietminh knew that they should return.
             to their strategy of guerilla warfare, choosing battles only on their own terms.

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