Military Technology Wins Wars Technology Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

S. system of communication was responsible for far too many problems, including the presidential conception of the value of the leader, Nhu Ding Diem. Key factors in this war were the misuse of technology in the south and intelligent use of simple technology by the north. The Battle of Diem Bin Phu was a classic miscalculation when the French thought that artillery could not be brought against them through the jungle. The North Vietnamese did just that, manually hauling big guns on jungle trails and over mountains, then followed with ammunition on bicycles. In addition they hid the guns in tunnels and set off charges in the jungle to confuse the French as to the sources of shelling.

After the French left, the U.S. set up Nhu Ding Diem as president of South Vietnam. Between him and his brother, they alienated more than half the population in short order with their repressive regime. Use of the guillotine to execute their enemies furthered popular hate until they were murdered. The use of napalm and Agent Orange by the U.S. devastated the South Vietnam populations and their land. Meanwhile, the North Vietnamese created a whole network of connected trails, residences and hospitals underground, and kept it hidden. It was called the Ho Chi Minh Trail and was used to efficiently transport troops and supplies the length of the country. The American "Strategic Hamlets" were easily infiltrated by Vietcong, since many were sympathetic to them. The attacks on Da Nang base precipitated the final mess with the possibly mistakes of radar operators on the U.S.S. Maddox, and the car bombing of the American Embassy and Brinks Hotel in Da Nang. Operation Rolling Thunder launched the all out war as the U.S. carpet bombed North Vietnam. This entire sequence of events was almost totally caused by improper use of inappropriate technology: chemical agents, air strikes on jungle and carpet bombing. The most effective technology, the underground tunnel systems and manual supply lines was employed by the North Vietnamese.

There is not space within the bounds of a short paper to really explore this topic. The technology of World War II alone would fill a large dissertation. However, these examples from World War II and the Vietnam War clearly show that the effective use of appropriate technology does win wars, while the reverse has the opposite effect. World War II had examples where the improper use of extremely good technology was disastrous, as in the invasion of Russia. It also shows over all that the strategic use of superior technology was ultimately the deciding factor. However, in the case of Vietnam, the wrong technology was used improperly and resulted in a mess from which the U.S. still bears the scars.

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