Army Absolves Media in Vietnam

From the Washington Post

A new Army study concludes that rising casualties in a conflict without a winning strategy caused the U.S. public to stop supporting the Vietnam War--not news coverage.

The U.S. Army Center of Military History also concluded that despite flaws in war reporting, "the press reports were still often more accurate than the public statements of the (Lyndon B. Johnson) Administration in portraying the situation in Vietnam."

William M. Hammond, who wrote the 413-page study, found that public support for both the Korean and Vietnam wars "dropped inexorably by 15 percentage points whenever total U.S. casualties increased by a factor of 10."

"Given the restrictions and limited goals Johnson had adopted" for prosecuting the Vietnam War, including "no extension of the ground war to North Vietnam, no invasion of Laos or Cambodia, no action that would induce Communist China to enter the war, the practical initiative rested with the enemy," Hammond wrote.

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