Les, can we go back and invoke some of the mood in the Defense Department in 1966. How attitudes are changing towards the Vietnam War. Who was changing attitudes, what stage were they changing?
The Defense Department and I would say Washington as a whole was in a kind of twilight zone beginning in 1966-67, about the Vietnam War. Ah, in that process of reconciling their private, unofficial views with the official and public views. The official and public views were still that we were very much in this war, uh, things were getting better, uh, there was some positive end in sight.
The private view was, for the most part in most places, ah, already pessimistic. There was already this sense of stalemate, not victory. In the Pentagon itself, there was this, ah, rolling split between the civilians on the one side, and the military on the other. Ah, the military was still sticking ah, to the ah, assessment, basic assessment that if they could get more they could do better. They weren't really promising uh, a specific point where there would be victory, but they said you give us more fire power we'll produce better results. Ah, you let us do more in pacification, we'll pacify more villages. And the civilians beginning to say even more won't do it, and more will only mean stalemate at a higher level, uh, not victory. So this was the basic, uh, uh, kind of schizophrenia was developing at that time.