Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Why We Lost Vietnam, Revisited

VENUE:Reserve Officers Association

Why We Lost Vietnam, Revisited

About the Event

You can watch this event on the CSpan website.

Free and open to the public

Nearly four decades after the last American soldier left Vietnam, a debate still rages concerning the cause of the American defeat in that war. An influential narrative holds that the United States could never have won in Vietnam given the nature of the war and the commitment on the part of the Vietnamese communists. But over the past 20 years, a number of observers have called this narrative into question.

Some military writers have argued that the US defeat in Vietnam can be traced to a flawed national strategy, which they blame mostly on civilian policy makers. But more recently, influential analysts, both military and civilian, have indicted the military itself for the failure, blaming military leadership for adopting a defective operational strategy.

This FPRI/ROA workshop addresses the latter argument by assessing the issue of Army generalship in Vietnam. The four panelists are well equipped to undertake this assessment. Three are soldier-scholars, combat veterans with PhDs who have grappled with this topic for many years: Lewis Sorley, Gian Gentile, and Gregory Daddis. One is a seasoned national security journalist who has spent decades observing the US military during war and peace, Tom Ricks. While the discussion will not resolve the debate, it will certainly enable reasonable observers to refine their own views.  


Reserve Officers Association

One Constitution Avenue, NE
Washington. DC. US. 20002


Free and open to the public.

Reservations are required. RSVP:


For more information contact 215 732 3774, ext 303 or


Mackubin Thomas Owens

Mackubin Thomas Owens - Mackubin (Mac) T. Owens is a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Lewis Sorley

Lewis Sorley - Dr. Lewis Sorley is an award winning author and military historian. His most recent book, Westmoreland: The General Who Lost Vietnam, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in October 2011. A form...

COL Gian Gentile

COL Gian Gentile - COL Gian Gentile is an associate professor of history and director of the military history program at the United States Military Academy at West Point. An award-winning historian, he is the author of ...

Thomas E. Ricks

Thomas E. Ricks - Thomas E. Ricks is a Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Mr. Ricks also writes an online blog for called -The Best Defense, and is the author of the new b...

Gregory A. Daddis

Gregory A. Daddis - Gregory A. Daddis is Academy Professor of History at the United States Military Academy, West Point, and a Colonel in the US Army. A West Point graduate, he has served in numerous army command and sta...