How Vietnam changed modern warfare
Alfred McCoy will present “The Legacy of the Vietnam Conflict” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16, at the Waupaca Area Public Library.
Sponsored by Winchester Academy, the program is free and open to the public.
Faced with discussing “what every thinking, intelligent American adult should know about the Vietnam War,” McCoy acknowledges that a 10-year conflict that left 5 million dead, including 58,000 Americans, has myriad lessons beyond what can be covered or summarized in one hour.
Therefore, in his view, Americans should rather try to understand what the legacy of Vietnam is for the conduct of warfare in the 21st century.
His program will be derived in part from his new book, “In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power.”
McCoy will discuss how the U.S. military confronted its failure to win the Vietnam War by deploying the full force of America’s advanced technology in ways that created the first electronic battlefield.
It proved a seminal precursor for the development of a new form of robotic warfare. This warfare would take full form during the Global War on Terror that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
McCoy earned his BA from Columbia College and his doctorate in Southeast Asian history from Yale University in 1977. He served on the faculty of the University of New South Wales for 11 years, and in 1989 he joined the staff of the University of Wisconsin-Madison,
In 2012, McCoy was honored as one of four alumni of Yale University to receive the Wilbur Cross Medal, recognizing him as “one of the world’s leading historians of Southeast Asia and an expert on Philippine political history, opium trafficking in the Golden Triangle, underworld crime syndicates, and international political surveillance.”
“The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia,” McCoy’s first book, sparked controversy when the CIA tried to ban its publication. But after three English editions and translation into foreign languages, this study is now regarded as the classic work on global drug trafficking.
His more recent work on covert operations, “A Question of Torture; CIA Interrogation,” from the Cold War to the War on Terror, explores the agency’s half-century history of psychological torture.
This program is free and open to the public. Cookies and coffee are served at 6 p.m. and the program begins promptly at 6:30 p.m.
Winchester Academy is funded through sponsors and tax-deductible donations. McCoy’s program is sponsored by T Dubs of Waupaca.
For more information about Winchester Academy, check winchesteracademywaupaca.org, follow on Facebook, or contact Executive Director Ann Buerger Linden at 715-258-2927 or [email protected]