In 1962, a Post author predicted that U.S. efforts there were bound to fail.
It is difficult to see how Vietnam can buy the time it must have. Although the U.S. is bolstering this overdrawn military bank account with a massive dose of modern equipment and noncombatant manpower, many of the U.S. military men here fear that this has come too late. In the end, the South Vietnamese (ARVN) forces may be better equipped; it may get better tactical advice from the additional American advisers; it may find that American helicopters give it the mobility to double its kill rate; but the division will still be no more than 8,000 men covering a hopelessly vast battlefield.
When the Communists are ready to move on ARVN strongholds, other Viet Cong units will strike elsewhere to tie down the remainder of the army. In such a case, Vietnam’s only salvation will be American troops. From there, one can picture another Korea, or the start of World War III.
—“Last Chance for Vietnam” by Don Schanche, January 6, 1962
This article is featured in the January/February 2022 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.
Become a Saturday Evening Post member and enjoy unlimited access. Subscribe now