Nathaniel L. Moir
In his 1961 book about warfare in Southeast Asia, Street Without Joy, Bernard Fall, the Howard University professor and former French Resistance fighter, explained, “A dead Special Forces sergeant is not spontaneously replaced by his own social environment. A dead revolutionary usually is.” Fall’s point was that military capabilities and technologies are important but insufficient when complex politics and long-standing grievances motivate diverse populations to engage in conflict. Through dozens of articles and seven books, including The Two Viet-Nams: A Political and Military Analysis, published in 1963, and Hell in a Very Small Place: The Siege of Dien Bien Phu, published in 1966, Fall explained why France, the United States, and their allies in the Republic of Vietnam had such difficulty countering Vietnamese revolutionary warfare.
This Irregular Warfare Initiative article was originally posted through our partner organization, the Modern War Institute at West Point. Continue reading the full article here.
Image: Bernard Fall with US soldiers in Vietnam, (credit: US Army, via Wikimedia Commons)