Date of Award
Master of Arts in Digital Media
The primary focus of this thesis is the development, implementation, and results of a multi-billion dollar electronic anti-personnel barrier that once divided North and South Vietnam during America's involvement in the Vietnam War, a conflict that pitted the strongest nation on earth against one of the weakest.
United States participation in the Vietnam War lasted from 1959 to 1975 in one degree or another and conservatively cost the world more than two million lives, among them almost 57,000 Americans, two million Vietnamese, 1.5 million Cambodians, several hundred thousand Laotians, and a smaller number of Thais, Filipinos, Australians, New Zealanders, Chinese, and Russians.
The American military was ostensibly brought into the conflict to prevent the Communist takeover of nominally democratic South Vietnam by Communist North Vietnam. The effort failed.
The North Vietnamese victors, who call America's involvement in Vietnam the "American War," argue America's parsimonious withdrawal from Vietnam was the final days of a 2,000-year struggle to obtain independence from the generations of invaders who have occupied their land.
During the war the United States introduced literally hundreds of new weapons systems, perfected the concept of combined arms and the integrated battlefield, and solicited the best scientific minds in America to devise ways of defeating the North Vietnamese. Finally it deployed its most devastating weapons short of nuclear warheads, and still lost the war.
America 's defeat in Vietnam set the stage for dozens of wars for independence and wars for unification all lumped together as regional conflicts. Currently so-called "Third World" revolutionaries and separatists are taking up arms against both the mighty democracies and proxies and member states of the former Soviet Union using revolutionary models introduced by the North Vietnamese and its proxies to defeat America. And almost thirty-five years after the last shots were fired in Vietnam ideological and philosophical arguments still rage over the validity of America's involvement in that war.
The victor was a backward looking Communist dictatorship equally at home using weapons as primitive as sharpened sticks contaminated with human dung and as modern as the best anti-aircraft missile defenses the Soviet Union and Communist China could produce. Instead of fighting America's might on its terms, the army of North Vietnam tunneled into the ground and melted away only to reappear when it was to its advantage. Frustrated with such simple tactics and unable to cope with the lack of political will manifested by the powerful anti-war movement at home, America eventually lost will to fight. Once that occurred North Vietnamese prevailed over the mightiest military force ever assembled on earth.
The second purpose of this research paper is to demonstrate to the reader the writer's ability to implement currently available digital publishing concepts and
Helms, Nathaniel R., "Holding the Line in I Corps: The Unintended Consequences of McNamara's Electronic Fence" (2003). Theses. 764.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.