Sunday, February 7, 2016
I was mildly surprised to see the name of this man as associated with the actions of the First Cavalry Division in Korea.
General Harold K. Johnson. Chief of Staff [CoS] of the United States Army during that most important phase of the Vietnam War.
Having survived a very long and cruel captivity as a prisoner of the Japanese during the Second World War [WW2] and also having been present at the Phase One and Phase Two of the Chinese Communist ground offensive in Korea  I would have had to think if there was any man that fully understood the danger and peril of the American army engaging in an Asian ground war it would be General Johnson.
That "danger and peril" being an adversary able to deploy into combat prodigious numbers of ground troops and using same in a profligate manner, almost totally heedless of losses.
IT DOES SEEM THAT GENERAL JOHNSON WAS CONCERNED ABOUT AMERICAN ACTION IN VIETNAM, THOSE POLICIES AND PRACTICES REGARDING THE WAR EFFORT QUESTIONABLE AND IN HINDSIGHT THE MAN PROVEN CORRECT.
Concerns such as:
1. A war of attrition would not work in Vietnam.
2. A general mobilization of American resources and manpower not occurring.
"Harold Keith 'Johnny' Johnson was Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1964 to 1968. Regarded as a premier tactician, Johnson became skeptical that the level of resources given to the Vietnam War, much of which went into 'find, fix, and destroy the big main force units' operations, could deliver victory."
". . . In his later years Johnson said it had been obvious that US national mobilization was required to win in Vietnam, and he regretted not resigning in protest at the government asking the army to fight a war without hope of ultimate victory."
Part and parcel of army basic training during that time of "Vietnam being required to memorize your chain of command. As it was at the time:
* President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
* Secretary of Defense Robert S. MacNamara.
* Secretary of the Army Stanley Resor.
* Chief of Staff Harold K. Johnson.
See, I can still do it. Even fifty years later. And am so much the better for it too!