Report from West Point, part 4; The Vietnam War and the RAND Corporation

Yesterday we covered Vietnam and counter-insurgency, and  I have to say it was pretty darn fascinating.  Perhaps the highlight of a day full of highlights was Dr. Robert Brigham’s address to us–a dynamic, interactive, from-memory address on the Vietnamese side  of the Vietnam war (both North and South).  Most of you will know him from coauthoring Argument Without End: In Search of Answers to the Vietnam Tragedy with the late Robert McNamara.  I don’t have too much time, so I’ll save the details for later, but I thought I would pass along some information Dr. Brigham shared with us regarding RAND publications.  Apparently there were a lot of accurate studies done on the ground during the war, which somehow wound up not being used…at least that’s what I’ve gathered.  In any case, RAND has put up hundreds of articles as PDFs, and I think that is info about which more people should know!!

First, here’s Mai Elliot’s new book RAND in Southeast Asia: A History of the Vietnam War Era, which Dr. Brigham said was fascinating.  Next, here’s the page to “RAND Classics”–some interesting stuff here.  And finally, here’s the “Reports” page.  You can get to most of their other publications from here.  Pay attention to the “online reading” menu on the left, and the drop-down menus on the right.

Fascinating stuff, and, from what I gather, a good deal of it based on field research, not armchair stuff. Hopefully…

Okay, I’m off for the day.  Catch everyone later.

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