By Kevin Black
I just read Bureaucracy Does Its Thing: institutional constraints on U.S. -GVN performance in Vietnam by Robert W. Komer. This is a great summary of how the US and its Ally, South Vietnam, undercut their efforts to stop the spread of communism during the Vietnam War. A ten page executive summary is available.
The message is simple, clear-cut: bureaucracies are slow to innovate as well as reluctant to reevaluate themselves. Mistakes in strategy development and decision-making are inevitable. Here are a few of my observations from the reading: