Why South Vietnam Fell attributes the outcome of the Vietnam War to a wide range of factors, including generous foreign support for the Communist forces in Vietnam; inadequate U.S. support for the Republic of Vietnam (RVN); a deficient fundamental strategy of attempting to defend the borders that had been established for South Vietnam in 1954; the U.S. decision to encourage a military coup against RVN President Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963; gross irresponsibility by the U.S. media; and the inadequate training and poor leadership of the RVN armed forces.

Anthony James Joes, a political scientist and a specialist on insurgency and counterinsurgency, is intensely anti-Communist. He lays great stress on the brutal and dictatorial character of the Communists. He is exaggerating somewhat, but not much. Vietnamese Communism was in fact brutal and dictatorial.

Joes's exaggeration of the amount of Soviet-bloc and Chinese assistance to the Communists, and his underestimation of...

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