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Body Count; Vietnam

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Tiffini Holton

on 19 April 2011

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Transcript of Body Count; Vietnam

Body Count Vietnam Made by Tiffini Holton 1. Vietnam government estimates killed in Vietnam war, 1960-1975;
• Combatants (all sides); 2,000,000 est.
• Vietnam civilians; 2,000,000 est.
2. There were 10 million Americans under arms during the war. Of the 2.7 million who served in the war 300,000 were wounded in action, 75,000 were disabled. 3. Of the casualties listed on the wall approximatley 1,300 remain missing in action still. 4. The average age was 19 of the american combatants. 5.The Body Count began early in the Vietnam War 1965 - but it became senseless, because they count all killed people (also civilians after bomings). At the end of the 60ies the US Army stoped it and said, this is an inefficient way of calculating. 6. At the beginning they wanted to count just all these killed vietcongs after the battle - but the GIs counted every killed person - South and North Vietnamese. 7.During the Vietnam war, the body count was served up every day on the evening news. While Americans ate dinner, they watched a graphic visual scorecard: how many Americans had died that day, how many South Vietnamese, and how many Communists. At the time, it seemed the height of dehumanized violence. 8. Body counts required soldiers to take responsibility of what they did, they had to count each person that they killed and they are obligated to each and every one. 9.When the President "hired" Robert McNamara as the Secretary of Defense, the civilian management wonder boy turned Secretary of Defense, tried to turn the military into a business. One way to do this was using data ti measure success. One of the measurements he introduced was enemy dead versus resources expended. Eventually this morphed into the "body count" race amongst units and commanders. A commander's "worth" and success was determined by the body count his unit produced whether the bodies were a result of legitimate combat or not. 10.Vietnam proved how embarrassing they could be. As the U.S. public turned against that war, the body count became a symbol of everything that was inhumane and irrational about that war. 11. body count was the wrong metric by which to measure the conduct and progress of the war. It was security for the South Vietnamese people that would, and did, determine the war's outcome. It was used as a shorthand substitute for political consumption due to mistaken judgements and pressures from civilian officials in the Pentagon, White House, and Congress. The US military no longer will release enemy casualty figures. 12. "Body count" was a serious misdirection of military policy, and its emphasis obscured the goal of the fighting. When in a battle, the victor is who stands on the field at the end. How many of the enemy are left to fight another day is tomorrow's problem, and counting their dead tells you nothing much about the resolve and fighting capacities of your enemy. 13. “Body Count” is a term reeking of the Vietnam War, referring, as it does, to the practise of counting the dead bodies of enemy combatants and using this as an indicator of success (or failure, I guess) of the military campaign. 14. Bringing back body counts back shouldn't happen. 15. Vietnam war was the first to do body counts because of When the President "hired" Robert McNamara as the Secretary of Defense, the civilian management wonder boy turned Secretary of Defense, tried to turn the military into a business.
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