While the factors at home were important, the general demonstrations and outcries led to no change in tactical operation in Southeast Asia. While it may have limited certain decisions, like LBJ’s decision to deny Westmoreland 200,000 + men, it was not the primary factor.
Where we lost the war was on the battlefield. In appointing General William Westmoreland to lead the American forces, the Army was appointing a general whose tactics weren’t suitable for the war. Westmoreland believed in the force of US Firepower and a war of attrition. The one problem was it wasn’t a war of set-piece battles and frontiers. It was against a guerilla force. The effect of the American Air power was minimal at best. It failed to cut the supply lines from North and South Vietnam. The Ho Chi Minh trail was rebuilt by peasants daily. Had Vietnam been industrial, the air bombardment may have worked, but it was agrarian. North Vietnam also had a great air defense system. The US pilots had to fly higher, therefore flying for longer wasting fuel, and led to them focusing on anti- aircraft rather than supply lines. On the ground, the search