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War Without Fronts

The American Experience in Vietnam

War Without Fronts by Thomas C. Thayer
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The publication of this long out-of-print book should facilitate the ongoing conversation on how the American war in Vietnam continues to serve as a comparison for more recent U.S. overseas military campaigns.

Thomas C. Thayer’s War Without Fronts, first appearing in 1985, offered an analysis of U.S. military operations in the Vietnam War. Thayer had worked as a systems analyst for the Office of the Secretary of Defense during the late 1960s and early 1970s, compiling data to better understand the war and hopefully find trends that might help improve U.S. civil and military operations. While Thayer publicized his findings through a series of reports and newsletters distributed within the defense community, not until the publication of War Without Fronts was this information available to the outside world. His work thus offers an insider’s view of American military strategy during the Vietnam War.

Thayer provides a window into the world of systems analysts trying to make sense of one of the United States’ most complex wars of the twentieth century. Within the charts and tables is a search for meaning, an attempt to explain why America lost its first overseas war. While Thayer believed the war in Vietnam unwinnable, at least as fought, his work offers a treasure trove of data for those seeking to gain a better understanding for the conduct of American soldiers in Vietnam and how military operations affected the Vietnamese people.
Naval Institute Press; Read online
Title: War Without Fronts
Author: Thomas C. Thayer; Gregory A. Daddis
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