Robert D. Heinl Jr.
The Collapse of the Armed Forces Reprint

FE Note: The article reprinted here first appeared in the Armed Forces Journal, June 7, 1971, and is excerpted here from The Movement Against the War, Ramparts Press, 1972. Col. Heinl’s hawkish military columns were a regular feature in the Detroit News during the 1950s and ‘60s.

From original Introduction to article: When Colonel Robert Heinl published this article in the Armed Forces Journal in June 1971, it drew national attention. Hints of near-mutinous conditions among U.S. combat forces in Vietnam and in the fleet off its coast had occasionally surfaced in the press. There had also been some coverage of the week-long April encampment in Washington of a thousand Vietnam veterans, who had chanted pro-Viet Cong slogans outside the White House and hurled their hundreds of Purple Hearts and combat medals at the Capitol. But relatively few Americans were aware that by this time the anti-war movements at home and within the armed forces were often working in coordination, nor did many think of the U.S. military as close to “collapse.”