Clear, Hold, and Destroy
Pacification in Phú Yên and the American War in Vietnam
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
In March 1970 a disastrous military engagement began in Phú Yên, revealing the enemy’s continued presence after more than three years of pacification. Clear, Hold, and Destroy provides a fresh perspective on the war across multiple levels, from those making and implementing policy to those affected by it. Most pointedly, Thompson contends that pacification, far from existing apart from conventional warfare, actually depended on conventional military forces for its application. His study reaches back into Phú Yên’s storied history with pacification before and during the French colonial period, then focuses on the province from the onset of the American war in 1965 to its conclusion in 1975.
A sharply focused, fine-grained analysis of one critical province during the Vietnam War, Thompson’s work demonstrates how pacification is better understood as the foundation of U.S. fighting in Vietnam.