Yuen Foong Khong's Analogies at War: Korea, Munich, Dien Bien Phu, and the PDF

By Yuen Foong Khong

From global struggle I to Operation wasteland typhoon, American policymakers have again and again invoked the "lessons of background" as they reflected taking their country to warfare. Do those ancient analogies really form coverage, or are they basically instruments of political justification? Yuen Foong Khong argues that leaders use analogies now not simply to justify guidelines but in addition to accomplish particular cognitive and information-processing initiatives necessary to political decision-making. Khong identifies what those projects are and exhibits how they are often used to provide an explanation for the U.S. determination to intrude in Vietnam. hoping on interviews with senior officers and on lately declassified files, the writer demonstrates with a precision no longer attained by means of past stories that the 3 most vital analogies of the Vietnam era--Korea, Munich, and Dien Bien Phu--can account for America's Vietnam offerings. a distinct contribution is the author's use of cognitive social psychology to help his argument approximately how people analogize and to provide an explanation for why policymakers frequently use analogies poorly.

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Additional info for Analogies at War: Korea, Munich, Dien Bien Phu, and the Vietnam Decisions of 1965

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29 See Ronald Steers critique of Allison in "Cooling It," New York Review of Books (October 19, 1972): 45. 30 Herring, America's Longest War, p. xii; GeIb and Betts, Irony of Vietnam, pp. 2, 25. 31 Gelb and Betts, Irony of Vietnam, p. 189; Kahin, Intervention, pp. 312-14. S. credibility, the United States rejected the nonintervention options in 1965 whereas it found the nonintervention options acceptable in 1954. I take up this issue in the next chapter. culation is able to explain why C' was chosen over D' or E'.

Johnson and his advisers were aware that these options had better chances of convincing North Vietnam to stop infiltrating men into South Vietnam. Wil19 See Gabriel Kolko, Anatomy of a War: Vietnam. the United States. and the Modern Historical Experience (Pantheon Books: New York, 1985); Waltz, Theory of International Politics. chaps. 8-9; Herring, America's Longest War, esp. p. X; and Gelb and Betts, Irony of Vietnam, for works that emphasize systemic imperatives. Cf. works cited in chap. 1, n.

The preceding discussion of why Vietnam is an appropriate case study, why it is interesting and important to explain the selection of America's Vietnam options, and how I plan to go about it clears the way for the empirical analysis of the Vietnam analogies and their impact on the decision-making of the 1960s. In part 2 of this work, I shall show how the Korean, Munich, and Dien Bien Phu analogies bounded and delimited the choice propensities of the decision-makers. Because each of these analogies influenced policymakers differently, they predisposed them toward different options.

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Analogies at War: Korea, Munich, Dien Bien Phu, and the Vietnam Decisions of 1965 by Yuen Foong Khong


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