Type of War Waged

The U.S. used several different war tactics while in Vietnam. JFK's first policy was called psychological operations, or PSYOP. The purpose of this was to cause unrest and demoralize the enemy, and also tried to convince the local population to support U.S. troops. There was also analysis done to the people to see what their feelings toward the war were, and use this to create anti-VC propaganda. Another technique that the U.S. troops used was the "search and destroy" tactic. While doing this, they would invade Japanese areas and capture the territory. There was much controversy about this because they killed many innocent people in the process, for fear that they posed danger. Johnson's idea for getting ahead and winning the war was one using air bombing. In these operations, airplanes dropped three times the tonnage used in all of WWI and WWII. By using this idea, the U.S. had complete control of the air in South Vietnam, and developed a strategy of surrounding the enemy with helicopters, bombers, and artillery. Finally in 1965, Johnson announced that the U.S. troops would engage in ground combat in Vietnam. The air bombing tactics hadn't prevented this as hoped, and by the end of that year, 180,000 U.S. troops were already in Vietnam. Vietnam, however, used a different type of fighting. They used guerilla tactics, which were raids hosted by few people against a larger and less mobile group. Since most of the Vietamanese were familiar with the vegetation, they were able to move quicker, and get away faster after they attacked.