As many as two million people in over two hundred cities and towns participated in Moratorium activities. Participants ranged from at least 15 combat soldiers in Vietnam wearing black armbands, to 100,000 listening on the Boston Common to South Dakota senator George McGovern and setting a record for the largest political crowd in the city’s history, to 250,000 in New York who attended rallies in Bryant Park and on Wall Street. Many Broadway shows canceled their matinees that afternoon and Republican Mayor John Lindsay ordered flags to be flown at half-mast on municipal buildings. As many as 90 percent of high school students in New York failed to show up for class that Wednesday. Turnouts were impressive as well in Chicago, Washington, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, and Pittsburgh, where the city council endorsed the demonstration. Even more impressive were the dignified silent vigils and prayer meetings held in several hundred small towns where antiwar demonstrations had not been very popular.
Let no one say that a commander should become so wrapped up in the combat which he directs, that he does not think of making reports to the rear and that it is better thus. It will always be bad to let anyone forget that he is part of the team. Moreover, there is always at hand down to and including the battalion, a staff to prepare these reports to higher authority. Should one say that he is not qualified to comprehend the information? In general, he will be better qualified for this than an officer who might be sent to the advanced intelligence center. Each chief should instruct his subordinates in their role with reference to information and give them clear orders on the subject that they cannot fall to comprehend. Finally, there is the experience of the war. At a certain epoch, when ignorance of the importance of information in war was general, when communications were possible from front to rear only by telephone wires widely separated and burled a meter and a half in the ground, it is believable that an advanced intelligence center placed at the end of this wire was indispensable. But, in the actual war, all those who were instructing regimental intelligence officers in their role and giving intelligence agencies precise instructions as to what was required of them, were surprised at the results obtained without having recourse to the abnormal channel which the advanced intelligence center makes.
The coup against Ngo Dinh Diem in November 1963 happened in part because Kennedy administration officials feared that Diem might opt for an end to the war through an agreement with the enemy. Reports that the successor government led by Duong Van Minh might have similar intentions caused Washington to become disenchanted with it as well.
There remains only the 26th Battalion (Chasseurs) at Boudrezy. It was engaged toward 4:30 PM to permit our artillery to disengage and to stop the advance of the Germans coming to the attack from the Mare crest - Mercy-le-Haut debouching from the woods of Grand-Rimont. This counterattack was very vigorously led, as on a maneuver field, reports Colonel Etienne. It succeeded in reacting for a moment the southern border of the woods but could not remain there. The artillery nevertheless, profited fry this to disengage itself.
A third development was the signing of an international peace treaty ending the civil war in Laos in July 1962. The agreement was welcomed across the world as a step toward reducing Cold War tensions. Along with de Gaulle, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan helped to convince Kennedy that a negotiated solution in Laos was the most realistic option and would not hurt U.S. interests in the region. After conferring with Kennedy in March 1961, Macmillan wrote to de Gaulle: “I think that the President really accepts the necessity for a political solution if we can get one.” It took thirteen months of negotiations, but in the end, an agreement was signed by fourteen nations, including the belligerent parties in Laos and the governments of South Vietnam, North Vietnam, the United States, Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and China. Laos became a “neutral and independent” nation led by a coalition government under prime minister Souvanna Phouma, with power shared with the communist-led Pathet Lao. As the U.S. had been supporting anticommunist guerrillas in Laos since the late 1950s, approval of the treaty marked a significant change of policy.
South Vietnam suffered in more ways. Some 1,200,000 people were forcibly relocated through “pacification” programs and five million became refugees between 1964 to 1975. The urban population swelled from 15 percent in 1964 to 40 percent in 1968, to 65 percent in 1974, undermining the social fabric of the country. Normally a rice exporter, South Vietnam had to import 725,000 tons of rice in 1967. Hunger and starvation were side effects of the war. The U.S. also conducted its chemical war in the south, spraying nineteen million gallons of toxins on five million acres, with some parts of North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia sprayed as well. The debilitating effects of this chemical war still linger.
The method of possibilities is essentially French. It has been applied, not only by Napoleon, in whose case it was a pure emanation of the Cartesian method. The great Condé, when he said that a skillful captain might very well be beaten, but did not have the right to be surprised, did not show himself inclined toward the method practiced by Moltke and his pupils, for whom surprises did not cease to be surprises, because they were able to demonstrate their errors some times with Impunity on the battlefields of 1870 and 1914. We have seen finally certain documents in which Marshall Foch has made decisions and who has not read in present generations, whether before or after the war, the eloquent pages in which he pits the realities of reason against the imagination of sentiment? Between these two methods, the choice should not be doubtful, for those who give preference to facts over hypothesis, to certainty over probability, to reason over imagination.
Fred Wilcox, author of two in-depth studies on Agent Orange, Waiting for an Army to Die (1983) and Scorched Earth (2011), estimates that some three million Vietnamese, including 500,000 children, suffered from the effects of toxic chemicals in the aftermath of the war. Cam Nghia, in Quang Tri province, was transformed into a literal village of the damned. Film-maker Masako Sakata and her late husband, Vietnam veteran Greg Davis, found dioxin residues from Agent Orange to have caused terrible disabilities and deformities afflicting 158 children out of a population of 5,673 when they visited in 2003.
Public opinion shifted during the war. In the fall 1964 election, a majority of Americans voted for a presidential candidate who promised not to send “our boys” to Vietnam. Once combat troops were sent, however, the majority endorsed the war, in keeping with patriotic support for American troops abroad. A Gallup poll taken in June 1965 reported that 66% favored continued U.S. military involvement as opposed to 20% who favored withdrawal. Only one year later, support for the war had begun to wane. A Gallup poll taken in June 1966 reported 48% in favor of continued involvement and 35% in favor of withdrawal.
The phasing out of the American chemical war in Southeast Asia was the result of an expanding ecological awareness as well as specific studies of chemical agents. The insecticide DDT, which was widely used in American agriculture, was banned in 1972 after a ten-year movement that began with the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962. In a similar way, reports of birth defects and other deleterious effects of Agents Orange, Blue, and White in Vietnam led to scientific studies that correlated these effects with toxic ingredients, particularly 2,4,5-T. Scientific experiments produced malformations and stillbirths in mice.
It will be difficult for him to push the problem any further forward because the enemy is using the same time of delay in the course of which the possible enemy actions are subject to variations which might have the most important repercussions on the projects planned, rendering certain ones impossible of execution and making others easier to execute.
It is necessary therefore, to turn the available delays to profit by using them to assemble items of information permitting us to narrow down the possible lines of action of the enemy, and to follow their variations in their relation to our projects planned. As, in the preceding case, these items will correspond to hypotheses closely linked on the one hand with what we know already of the enemy, and on the other hand with projects planned. They will permit the commander to make an intelligent choice between the various plans, to think up others perhaps, and in any case to fix upon one at the moment when he has to make his decision, which seems to him to present the maximum chances of success. Here again, it will be normal to call the list on which these items appear, and the time by which they should be found out, The Plan of Particular Information. This corresponds, actually, to the execution of a particular limited mission.