The American Bear


Even as the conflict dragged on, year after year, the Pentagon’s war managers never gave up their conviction that American technological prowess would ensure victory. … The United States would not deploy its nuclear arsenal, but it would nonetheless assault Vietnam with the destructive power of hundreds of Hiroshimas. In other words, it would wage a war of overkill. … [O]n average, between 1965 and 1968, thirty-two tons of bombs per hour were dropped on the North. It turned out, however, that of the munitions unleashed by the United States in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War - which added up to the equivalent of 640 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs - the lion’s share was dropped not on the North but on South Vietnam, America’s own ally. There, around 19 million people would be subjected to the most lopsided air war ever fought. … The Vietnamese revolutionary forces never yielded to American firepower. But overkill did succeed in producing misery on an epic scale, especially for Vietnamese civilians. Nick Turse from his book Kill Anything that Moves