Standard Vietnam War narratives often argue that the U.S. Army lost the war because it failed to learn and adapt to the conditions of an unconventional conflict. Based on a reappraisal of learning processes rather than on the outcome of the war, this essay argues that as an organization, the U.S. Army did learn and adapt in Vietnam; however, that learning was not sufficient, in itself, to preserve a South Vietnam in the throes of a powerful nationalist upheaval. A reexamination of the Army's strategic approach, operational experiences, and organizational changes reveals that significant learning did occur during the Vietnam War despite the conflict's final result.
Daddis, Gregory A. “Eating Soup with a Spoon: The U.S. Army as a ‘Learning Organization’ in the Vietnam War,” Journal of Military History 77, no. 1 (January 2013): 229-254.
Society for Military History
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