The way Godel saw it, the French colonialists were trying to fight the Viet Minh guerrillas according to colonial rules of war. But the South Vietnamese, who were receiving weapons and training from the French forces, were actually fighting a different kind of war, based on different rules. Guerrilla warfare was irrational. It was asymmetrical. It was about cutting off the enemy’s head to send a message back home. When, in the spring of 1950, William Godel witnessed guerrilla warfare firsthand in Vietnam, it shifted his perspective on how the United States would need to fight future wars. Guerrilla warfare involved psychological warfare. To Godel, it was a necessary component for a win.
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