Rules of Engagement Essay

Pages: 3 (927 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Military


On the other hand, this also led to a basic lack of unity in terms of command, with very contradictory messages emerging in terms of ROE and how commanders in fact handled those in their charge and the enemy. The main problem was therefore that, not only was there a difference in interpretation regarding the rules of engagement among field soldiers, but that the same discrepancy also existed among the chain of command. The basic lack of unity resulted in a lack of success for the counterinsurgency.

Robert McNamara

As second in command to President Johnson, Robert McNamara held considerable power in the Vietnam War. Indeed, many of the ROE decisions made during the war could be laid at McNamara's feet. According to reports, however, he never appeared stressed in any way about the commands he handed down to those in charge of field soldiers (Close Air Support, 2014). Even after it became apparent that the Rules of Engagement were significantly deficient when it came to the war, McNamara did not pay attention to the difficulties experienced. As such, there was not only a basic lack of consistency among the commands given and the needs of those in the field; there was also a lack of mutual respect and communication regarding these issues.

President Lyndon Johnson

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Of course, President Lyndon Johnson was at the highest command when it came to Rules of Engagement for the Vietnam War. The President provided strict rules of engagement, which followed a significant paper trail before they could be engaged (Close Air Support, 2014). Since the President was largely removed from the practical situation in Vietnam, it appears that little thought went into the actual requirements of those engaged in the war effort. The limited ROE imposed by President Johnson is held by many to have created significant difficulties not only among those in the field, but also among the commanders who were to provide directives. Again, the basic lack of consistency related both to how individual commanders interpreted and carried them out, as well as how field personnel carried them out.


TOPIC: Essay on Rules of Engagement Assignment

In conclusion, it is clear that there was a basic lack of communication among those in the midst of battle and those giving the command to fight. The lack of consistency in the commands given and the discrepancy among such commands that the practical demands of each situation has resulted in significant difficulties during the Vietnam War. It is little wonder that the war has received the questionable honor of one of the worst American battle efforts in history. Countless soldiers came back from this effort either without their lives or without their sanity. Indeed, an important lesson presented itself.


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How to Cite "Rules of Engagement" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Rules of Engagement.  (2014, March 28).  Retrieved September 23, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Rules of Engagement."  28 March 2014.  Web.  23 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Rules of Engagement."  March 28, 2014.  Accessed September 23, 2021.