Rob Blurton
Mutiny at the Outposts of Empire GI Resistance in the Vietnam Era

Thirty years ago, the most powerful military colossus ever assembled, its triumphant legions spread throughout the world, committed an expeditionary force of its best troops to the Asian mainland. “The American Army of 1965,” wrote an admiring historian, “was headstrong with confidence, sharply honed to a lethal fighting edge ... [and] eager to test its newly acquired wings of airmobility.” [1] In other words, it felt invincible. Battalions dispatched to Indochina were told that the local communist guerrilla-bandits were politically isolated and would quickly succumb to their superior might, but instead they found themselves locked in desperate battle with a determined adversary enjoying massive popular support. This expeditionary force gradually became a gigantic field army of over half a million men, and the lightning war turned into a meat-grinder.

...

Rob Blurton
Clampdown! Repression of Dissent in America during World War I

The confluence of circumstances that creates openings for profound social transformation in America are few. Research reveals a pattern of repressive behavior by power structures in the United States when these rare historical opportunities for change occur. Extreme personalities such as J. Edgar Hoover become convenient scapegoats for the excesses of American political policing. In fact, the “reaction” of an organization like the FBI is more of an institutional knee-jerk dutifully carried out by a structure’s current billet-holders, combined with the more-or-less significant influences of historical personages.

...

Rob Blurton
Mutiny at the Outposts of Empire How GI Resistance in the Vietnam Era Ended the War

The original full-length article is online in the Fifth Estate archive; see Issue 346, Summer 1995.

As America’s involvement in Vietnam deepened in 1965, political and social turbulence at home reached proportions unimaginable at the beginning. Within two years, the army started falling apart.

Low morale and outright rebellion eroded its combat effectiveness, and the malaise began spreading beyond Southeast Asia to brigades garrisoning more vital imperial frontiers, especially Central Europe. The conscripted sons of the men who fought World War II came to see not Asian communists but the United States military machine as the real enemy.

...