My latest post for SAFRN’s blog!


Yesterday, I came across this story by Malcolm Gladwell on BBC News about how the Vietnam War might have followed a dramatically different course if those in charge had, essentially, listened.

The core of the story was how two individuals interpreted interviews with the Vietcong, as part of an effort to assess their morale and likelihood of US victory over them.  Goure (somewhat the antagonist of the story) was convinced, from his readings of interview transcripts, that the Vietcong were on the cusp of surrendering, and he convincingly presented his “findings” to the U.S. military.  However, Kellen (the protagonist) was more circumspect:

Years later, he would say that his rethinking began with one memorable interview with a senior Vietcong captain. He was asked very early in the interview if he thought the Vietcong could win the war, and he said no.

 But pages later, he was asked if…

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