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Correlate the understanding of the rules of engagement with the limited war ideology...

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yemawe52 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted March 28, 2013 at 10:35 PM via web

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Correlate the understanding of the rules of engagement with the limited war ideology and its assumptions as seen through the perspective and experiences of the individual soldiers in the field in Vietnam.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 28, 2013 at 11:01 PM (Answer #1)

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From the perspective of the individual, low-level soldier out in the field in Vietnam, the limited war ideology had little meaning.  Individual soldiers, particularly at the enlisted level, are typically more interested in doing the job right in front of them and in staying alive than they are in issues of grand strategy or world politics.  This makes a lot of sense.  To them, it is small consolation to know that there is a good geopolitical reason behind the fact that their friends are dying.

The limited war ideology caused the higher levels of the chain of command to institute rules of engagement that were rather limiting.  These rules made the job of the individual soldier rather harder.  They were forced to have to worry a lot about doing the right thing as they fought.  They also tended to feel as if they were not being allowed to fight as effectively as possible.  This would be problematic for individual soldiers.  The rules of engagement would make it harder for them to stay alive.  It would feel as if their lives were being put at risk to satisfy the geopolitical visions of people in the higher echelons of power.

Thus, the individual soldier would have experienced the rules of engagement dictated by the limited war ideology as a problematic set of policies that made their own lives harder and put their lives at risk.

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