jdreyer wrote on Feb 11, 2015, 17:35:
Trainwreck wrote on Feb 11, 2015, 13:10:
Task wrote on Feb 11, 2015, 09:52:
Only US side? If I can't play as the Vietnamese who won their deserved victory, then its a no go.
Dude, if you had any idea what the communists who "deserved victory" were actually like, you'd know how completely fucked up that statement is. I'm not saying America should have got involved (we shouldn't have) or that we didn't blunder our way through a lot of it with high cost to life (we did), but the communist unification of the country in the 1970s was absolutely nothing to celebrate.
Better idea for a game: take America and its other non-Vietnamese allies and make them tangents to the story at best. Focus on Vietnamese protagonists from both sides and show how fucked up a civil war really can be.
The South Vietnamese government and military was rotten and corrupt. It was a military dictatorship. So there really was no good option for the people of Vietnam.
As an intellectual exercise, playing a strategic game of the Vietnam war sounds interesting. How could it have been done differently? Still, even if the North had been defeated (and I don't see how you do that without invading the North and triggering a Chinese counter-invasion) the result would have been a clusterfuck, just like we're seeing in Iraq currently.
The main problem with the US' Vietnam strategy was "search and destroy." You need to take and hold territory. You can't win by trying to kill enemy soldiers (then retreat) until there are no more when the North has basically an endless supply.
This is actually a problem that we haven't solved yet. Insurgency from both nationals and foreign entities is something that even after 40 years America hasn't learned how to deal with. We have a strategy we *think* will work but hasn't yet: Shore up the government and then GTFO and let them deal with it for the next 20 years or so. But we're spectacularly bad when it comes to creating a government out of whole cloth.
If you have a Roku, PBS has a Frontline episode on the clusterf*ck that is Iraq and how we basically screwed up as badly as you could imagine there. We almost literally grabbed the first Iraqi who didn't want to spit on us and said "hey how'd you like to lead the country?"
But yeah, we're terrible at counter-insurgency. Part of it I think is that we're a culture that doesn't understand that other cultures are so oppressed, or in such a crappy quality of life, that dying fighting is culturally preferable to rotting in misery. We think that inflicting an obscene amount of casualties will win wars, but as we saw in Vietnam that doesn't always work. We killed well over a million people in that war and it didn't achieve strategic victory.
I honestly don't know if there *is* a military solution to insurgency. The popular thought is that there only is within the scope of giving a government time to establish itself and develop infrastructure and a military. Which, you know, works on paper, but finding someone to lead a government, relatively fairly, who is friendly to us, and is liked by the people, and isn't corrupt, is something we really haven't learned how to do yet. If it can be done at all.
Edited because I looked up casualties for Vietnam.