Masters of War by Robert Buzzanco
Military Dissent and Politics in the Vietnam Era

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Synopsis

Throughout the past decade, defenders of the U.S. role in Vietnam have argued that America's defeat was not the result of an illegitimate intervention or military shortcomings, but rather a failure of will because national leaders, principally Lyndon B. Johnson, forced the troops to "fight with one hand tied behind their backs." In this volume, Robert Buzzanco disproves this theory by demonstrating that political leaders, not the military brass, pressed for war; that American policymakers always understood the problems and peril of war in Indochina; and that civil-military acrimony and the political desire to defer responsibility for Vietnam helped lead the United States into the war. For the first time, these crucial issues of military dissent, interservice rivalries, and civil-military relations and politics have been tied together to provide a cogent and comprehensive analysis of the U.S. role in Vietnam.
 

About Robert Buzzanco

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Robert Buzzanco is Associate Professor of History at the University of Houston. He is the author of "Masters of War: Military Dissent and Politics in the Vietnam Era" (1996), which received the Stuart L. Bernath Prize for best book in diplomatic history in 1996. In 1998 he was named as outstanding young scholar in his field by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.
 
Published February 23, 1996 by Cambridge University Press. 404 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War. Non-fiction

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Buzzanco asserts that by the time it became clear that military victory in Vietnam was an impossible dream, positions had hardened on the civilian as well as military sides of the debate.

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Dissenters in the armed forces, however, were stifled by a command structure that shifted the burden of decision-making onto political authority by demanding levels of escalation that were politically impossible to implement.

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