Infantry: January 20, 2003

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: Interesting new information on peacekeeping or civil affairs operations on the Vietnam Page at (http://www.urbanoperations.com/vietnam.htm). Of particular interest is the potential for elements of the U.S. Marine Corps' Vietnam Combined Action Program (CAP) to aid in solving some of our current urban operations shortfalls. As difficult as it may be, we can kick in the doors and win the 'street fight' - it may be ugly, but our urban warriors are most capable. Winning the peace during consolidation and transition is the hard part. We can ill-afford to return to urban battlefields time and time again. A CAP-like program offers alternatives to a cycle of retaking already won ground and enables reaching out to the streets - winning 'hearts and minds'. The bottom line on CAP is that it was a combined effort - units formed around Marine squads that included local law enforcement and militia. Not separate entities, but an integrated unit that forged a sense of cohesiveness in attaining common goals. The Marines lived and operated in their assigned area of operations, they essentially became part of the community. Major aspects of this program included:

- 'Unified' combat operations if necessary
- Military training for the Vietnamese soldiers
- Civil affairs to include medical aid
- Security operations enabling a 'sense of normalcy' to the locals
- Denial of safe havens, logistics, and information/intelligence to the enemy
- Combination of U.S. firepower, communications and other 'high tech' capabilities with 'local knowledge'
- Demonstration that U.S. forces are here to stay until no longer 'needed' - not 'part time' - vested interest in setting things right 
- 'Relationship' between the populace and U.S. forces and by extension - U.S. national goals
- Lessening of enemy's 'home-field advantage' 
-- Dave Dilegge

 


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