Very detailed review of intelligence failure in Viet-Nam,
April 8, 2000
James J. Wirtz
Jim, a very respected member of the faculty at the Naval Postgraduate School, has provided us with a very well documented study of how the U.S. missed the Tet Offensive in Viet-Name. Among his findings: we knew fully two months in advance at the tactical collection level, with several additional collection successes and some modest analysis successes in the weeks preceding the offensive. We were distracted by Khe Sanh, the commanders did not want to hear it, “intelligence to please” was the standard within the Military Assistance Command Viet-Nam intelligence bureaucracy, and when we finally did grasp, one day before the attack, its true strategic nature, we failed to disseminate the warnings to the tactical commanders with sufficient effectiveness.