Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  52 / 104 Next Page
Basic version Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 52 / 104 Next Page
Page Background

52

JULY-AUGUST 2015

|

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

Stephen Randolph serves as the historian of the U.S. Department of

State. A 1974 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, he served

for 27 years on active duty in the Air Force, retiring as a colonel in 2001.

He flew F-4s and F-15s, with a tour in Operation Desert Storm; held

senior staff positions on the Joint Staff and the Air Staff; and then joined

the faculty at the National Defense University, serving for 15 years before

moving to the State Department in 2011. He earned a master’s degree

in the history of science fromThe Johns Hopkins University in 1975 and

a doctorate in history fromThe George Washington University in 2005.

He is the author of Powerful and Brutal Weapons: Nixon, Kissinger, and the Easter Offensive (Harvard University Press, 2007).

Efforts in 1975 to capture the lessons of

Vietnam as a guide to future policy died

in the National Security Council with the

seizure of the SS

Mayaguez

.

BY STEPHEN RANDOLPH

A

merica’s efforts to define the

“lessons of Vietnam” started

during the war, and have contin-

ued ever since, with no apparent

progress toward consensus. As the

terrible climax of the war arrived

in April and May 1975, it seemed a

natural moment to capture these

lessons as a guide to future policy.

Accordingly, Secretary of State and National Security Advisor

Henry Kissinger directed the National Security Council staff to

formulate the lessons from the war, with input from the Depart-

ment of State.

FEATURE

Uncovering

the Lessons

of Vietnam

PAPERBACKGROUND: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/TOMOGRAF