‘This Month’s Fairytale’: the Dilemmas of Pacification in Phuoc Tuy, 1966-1972

‘This Month’s Fairytale’: the Dilemmas of Pacification in Phuoc Tuy, 1966-1972
Tuesday, 9 February, 2016

Since the fall of Saigon in 1975, a significant number of historians and commentators have asked not ‘what if’ but lamented  ‘if only’, arguing that certain courses of action on the part of the United States and the Republic of Vietnam would have succeeded in preserving an independent South Vietnam. In Australia, some commentators have taken up this mantle, suggesting that a widespread adoption of Australian methods in jungle warfare and counterinsurgency could have saved South Vietnam.

In this podcast Dr Tom Richardson argues the reality was more complex, and that the experience of 1 Australian Task Force in conducting pacification in Phuoc Tuy shows there was no overlooked path to victory. Instead, pacification created a series of dilemmas for Australian, Vietnamese and American commanders and advisers in Phuoc Tuy that continued until the end of the war. 

Updated:  23 March 2016/Responsible Officer:  Su-Ann Tan/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team