Re: Bombing to Win (fwd)
Wed, 19 Jun 1996 08:28:26 -0400

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Date: Tue, 18 Jun 1996 22:51:02 -0400
From: Dennis Randall <>
Subject: Re: Bombing to Win

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Sender: Dennis Randall <>
Subject: Re: Bombing to Win

drieux H. wrote: >=20 > ] Many thanks to drieux for this tactful clarification re my Tom Wolfe co= mment: >=20 > ] >So the notion of any writer, such as Tom Wolfe, providing > ] >a 'relevant criterion' for Target Selection, seems, alas > ] >as reasonable as any that was done by the DOD/WhiteHouse > ] >crowd during the time. And thus I hope everyone understands > ] >that in the Wolfe illustration, the target of the Poking > ] >is as much the Target Selection Committee, as what is actually > ] >being overtly said. [etc.]

I worked briefly while on duty in Vietnam in the Out Country Air Operations= center charged with the=20 interdiction of the Ho Chi Min Trail.

Air power inflicted heavy damage on the enemy, but never heavy enough to st= op the North=92s re-supply efforts.

Military statistics should always be suspect. At one point our intelligence= section estimated we were=20 destroying 245% of material shipped on the Trail. General Jones quipped, "T= hey shure got one hell of a=20 recycling program going."

We tried everything. EVERYTHING. Electronic sensors, carpet bombing, cluste= r bombs, mines, 1,000 lb. High=20 explosive mixed with delayed action bombs to kill clean-up crews. Everythin= g.

It wasn=92t for lack of trying. But, the enemy had math on his side. Sendin= g a wing of F-4s at a price tag of=20 several million dollars each against a bamboo bridge costing a few hundred = man hours of labor, protected by=20 scores of AA batteries costing a few thousand dollars each just didn=92t ad= d up.

It was like sitting down to play poker, where every one of your chips cost = $100,000 and the other player could=20 buy as many chips as he wanted for 10 cents each.

High tech weapons against low tech targets will not bring victory. Bottom l= ine, IMHO, the other side had=20 greater will and more staying power than we had.

Peace, Dennis N. Randall - Sgt. USAF (Many years past)