No sure victory

Gregory A Daddis

Measuring US Army effectiveness and progress in the Vietnam War.

Conventional wisdom holds that the US Army in Vietnam, thrust into an unconventional war where occupying terrain was a meaningless measure of success, depended on body counts as its sole measure of military progress. In No Sure Victory, Army officer and historian Gregory Daddis looks far deeper into the army's techniques for measuring military success and presents a much more complicated and disturbing account of the American misadventure in Indochina.

Daddis shows how the US Army, which confronted an unfamiliar enemy and an even more unfamiliar form of warfare, adopted a massive, and eventually unmanageable, system of measurements and formulas to track the progress of military operations that ranged from pacification efforts to search-and-destroy missions.

Filled with incisive analysis and rich historical detail, No Sure Victory is a valuable case study in unconventional warfare and a cautionary tale that offers important perspectives on how to measure performance in current and future armed conflict. Given America's ongoing counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, it provides valuable historical perspective on how to measure and mismeasure military success.

Hard cover, 334 pages.