Across the Border. The Successes And Failures Of Operation by Major Donald V. Phillips

By Major Donald V. Phillips

This learn examines the making plans, execution, and result of US army involvement within the 1970 Cambodian incursions. Named Operation Rockcrusher, the assaults designated North Vietnamese sanctuaries in formally impartial Cambodia. Strategic tips for the operation mirrored the Nixon administration's wish to continue with troop savings and fast "Vietnamize" the struggle in Southeast Asia. Efforts to set stipulations for a U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, together with a covert bombing crusade of Cambodia, failed. those elements, in addition to a deteriorating political scenario inside Cambodia, resulted in approval of the attacks. The thesis describes the operational and tactical pursuits that have been derived from the strategic scenario. Then, via discussing key parts of the crusade, the research examines how good the united states military complete those targets. Reviewed in the context of chosen battlefield working structures, the operation unearths a determined "mixed bag" of luck and...

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91} The target list went sealed to President Nixon's desk for final approval. The Joint Chiefs of Staff selected Menu targets on intelligence gathered by numerous sources including high-and low-level aerial reconnaissance and clandestine cross border reconnaissance patrols. ”{92} Menu consisted of six target areas: Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, Dinner, Dessert, and Supper (see table). From March 1969 to May 1970, these clandestine air strikes targeted the six base areas inside Cambodia. Judging by Sihanouk's tolerance of the strikes, collateral damage to Cambodian was acceptable.

In March 1969, the first US combat units came home. Still, large problems remained. ” A solution was offered in a series of initiatives enacted by the newly elected Nixon administration. {18} The President elaborated on his new doctrine in a speech on 3 November 1969. First, he reiterated treaty commitments to the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO). ”{19} The final point clearly foreshadowed the future of Vietnam policy, stating: “in cases involving other types of aggression, we shall furnish military and economic assistance when requested and as appropriate.

The invasions gave Cambodia's pro-US regime under General Lon Nol, racked with internal turmoil, support to expand a war it could not win. Despite massive infusions of Allied arms, troops, and airpower, the NVA and Khmer Rouge expanded their grip westward throughout Cambodia. In the US, despite troop withdrawals, many in the public perceived the incursions as expansion of the war effort. Large demonstrations at college campus including those leading to the Kent State shootings came in the direct wake of the incursions.

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