Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Toward a Better Understanding of Attrition: The Korean and Vietnam Wars

Carter Malkasian
The Journal of Military History
Vol. 68, No. 3 (Jul., 2004), pp. 911-942
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3396732
Page Count: 32
  • More info
  • Cite this Item
Toward a Better Understanding of Attrition: The Korean and Vietnam Wars
Preview not available

Abstract

This article attempts to provide a historically accurate description of attrition as an operational strategy. The Korean and Vietnam Wars contain prominent and commonly recognized examples of attrition. These examples clash with the popular image of attrition as a futile and bloody slogging match in which a commander ruthlessly trades the lives of his men in order to weaken the enemy at a relatively favorable rate. In these conflicts, attrition was a basic process of warfare, characterized by a variety of methods. Although not necessarily optimal, it was a useful alternative to other operational strategies that were too costly or risky. Accordingly, the popular image of attrition-shared by many historians, political scientists, and military officers-may not reflect the actual history of attrition.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
911
    911
  • Thumbnail: Page 
912
    912
  • Thumbnail: Page 
913
    913
  • Thumbnail: Page 
914
    914
  • Thumbnail: Page 
915
    915
  • Thumbnail: Page 
916
    916
  • Thumbnail: Page 
917
    917
  • Thumbnail: Page 
918
    918
  • Thumbnail: Page 
919
    919
  • Thumbnail: Page 
920
    920
  • Thumbnail: Page 
921
    921
  • Thumbnail: Page 
922
    922
  • Thumbnail: Page 
923
    923
  • Thumbnail: Page 
924
    924
  • Thumbnail: Page 
925
    925
  • Thumbnail: Page 
926
    926
  • Thumbnail: Page 
927
    927
  • Thumbnail: Page 
928
    928
  • Thumbnail: Page 
929
    929
  • Thumbnail: Page 
930
    930
  • Thumbnail: Page 
931
    931
  • Thumbnail: Page 
932
    932
  • Thumbnail: Page 
933
    933
  • Thumbnail: Page 
934
    934
  • Thumbnail: Page 
935
    935
  • Thumbnail: Page 
936
    936
  • Thumbnail: Page 
937
    937
  • Thumbnail: Page 
938
    938
  • Thumbnail: Page 
939
    939
  • Thumbnail: Page 
940
    940
  • Thumbnail: Page 
941
    941
  • Thumbnail: Page 
942
    942