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Casualties, Public Opinion, and Presidential Policy During the Vietnam War

Mark Lorell, Charles Kelley, Jr., with the assistance of Deborah Hensler
Format
Book
Published
Santa Monica, Calif. : Rand, [1985]
Language
English
Series
[Report] - Rand Corporation
R (Rand Corporation)
ISBN
0833006487 (pbk.), 9780833006486 (pbk.)
Summary
This report examines the relationship between U.S. casualties and public support for U.S. military intervention in Korea and Vietnam, and concludes that a strong inverse relationship existed between the two. It also assesses to what extent concern over adverse public reaction to U.S. casualties and the resulting decline in public support influenced presidential decisionmaking with respect to military intervention in Vietnam, overriding purely strategic or military considerations. The research approach consisted primarily of interviews with senior Johnson Administration officials. It concludes that (1) limited wars often cost more and last longer than anticipated,(2) public support inevitably declines with mounting casualties, no matter what interests are at stake, and (3) democracies can't continue fighting limited wars indefinitely with steadily declining public support. It recommends that minimizing U.S. casualties should be a central objective in the formulation of new strategies, force configurations, and weapon systems for limited war contingencies.
Description
xv, 92 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Notes
  • "A Project Air Force report prepared for the United States Air Force."
  • "Rand library collection"--Label on cover.
  • "March 1985."
  • "R-3060-AF."
  • Bibliography: p. 87-92.
Series Statement
[Report] - Rand Corporation ; R-3060-AF
R (Rand Corporation) R-3060-AF
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic
  • Staff View

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