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Endurance and WarThe National Sources of Military Cohesion$
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Jasen J. Castillo

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804789103

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804789103.001.0001

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North Vietnam, 1965–73

North Vietnam, 1965–73

(p.164) 6 North Vietnam, 1965–73
Endurance and War

Jasen J. Castillo

Stanford University Press

Chapter six examines the cohesion of the North Vietnamese Army. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam fielded a messianic army capable of fighting with a high degree of cohesion. As cohesion theory would predict, the sources of NVA's staying power were a high degree of regime control and the military's organizational autonomy to train. This combination enabled most North Vietnamese units to fight with determination and flexibility on the battlefield while enduring a long war, even when victory seemed uncertain. The chapter does not recount the entire history of the North Vietnamese's struggle against the United States. Instead, to test the explanatory power of cohesion theory in this case, two representative engagements are examined to detail the NVA's battlefield performance.

Keywords:   cohesion theory, military cohesion, North Vietnam, Vietnam War, messianic military, Battle of Ia Drang, Tet Offensive, regime control

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