- Series: Praeger Security International
- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: Praeger (June 26, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0275932583
- ISBN-13: 978-0275932589
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,512,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Combined Action Platoons: The U.S. Marines' Other War in Vietnam
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About the Author
MICHAEL E. PETERSON was a by product of the converging and confusing forces of 1950s anti-communism and 1960s idealism, as he puts it. He enlisted in the Marines and served in Vietnam during 1968 with the First Marine Division. He extended his tour of duty twice to serve with the Combined Action Program.
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The CAP concept came into being as a result of what the author calls a bitter disagreement as to what ought to constitute the appropriate strategy for the conduct of the war. General Westmoreland favored the use of massive firepower and massive formations used on "search and destroy" operations. Marine Corps leadership disagreed believing that the main effort should be at the hamlet and village levels. The disagreement was settled with a compromise. The Marines would also conduct search and destroy missions along with counter-insurgency and pacification efforts.
The book traces the buildup of the CAP program, initially called CAC but changed after it became known that the word in Vietnamese which sounds like CAC means what one might guess it could mean.
An expansion of the program took place during the years 1966 until it reached its peak in 1969 with more than 100 units located in the five provinces of I Corps Region. By late 1969 deactivation of the CAP Units had begun. The stand down was completed in May of 1971.
This book describes many events, successes and failures, during the life of the Combined Action Program in Vietnam.
Those interested in the history of the Vietnam War should find this book very interesting.