Rules of Engagement in the Vietnam War Term Paper by scribbler

Rules of Engagement in the Vietnam War
A discussion on the rules of engagement in war, specifically, in the Vietnam War.
# 152437 | 887 words | 2 sources | APA | 2013 | US

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The paper discusses how rules of engagement have been strictly followed in conventional warfare, but in the Vietnam War, American policymakers and military leaders were caught unprepared in a low intensity and unconventional warfare. The paper explains that when the Americans declared this war one of attrition, the soldiers were instructed to win and destroy the enemy at all cost, and atrocities were committed by American troops. The paper notes that since the Vietnam War, military and political leadership have learned from the numerous mistakes of their predecessors, and rules of engagement now in conducting warfare are modified based on the requirements of the type of war the country is involved in.

From the Paper:

"Rules of engagement often have been strictly followed during engagements in conventional warfare where massive armies on both sides pit head to head giants each other. This high intensity warfare is easier to manage considering the armies engaging have trained and studied the intricacies of the ROE. But when an event like the Vietnam War occurred American policymakers and military leaders were caught unprepared in a new kind of warfare that is low intensity and unconventional. "Unfortunately, U.S. foreign policy decision makers in the mid-1960s committed a supreme act of misjudgment by intervening directly in the Vietnam War. By refusing to recognize or admit that the Vietnam War was from its inception primarily a civil war, and not part of a larger, centrally-directed international conspiracy, policymakers assumed that North Vietnam was, like the United States, waging a limited war, and therefore that it would be prepared to settle for something less than total. (Record, 1998)" As history has proven, the limited war the United States administration thought at that time became a total victory for the North Vietnamese forces and saw the United States capitulating South Vietnam in the 1970s."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bator, F.M. (2007, may 2) No good choices: LBJ and the Vietnam/Great society connection. [Online] Retrieved May 21, 2010 from,
  • Record, J. (1998). "The wrong war: Why we lost in Vietnam." The New York Times. [Online] Retrieved May 21, 2010 from,

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Rules of Engagement in the Vietnam War (2013, February 12) Retrieved March 23, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Rules of Engagement in the Vietnam War" 12 February 2013. Web. 23 March. 2023. <>