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The Theory and Practice of Associative Power

CORDS in the Villages of Vietnam 1967–1972

Stephen B. Young

To succeed in achieving its national security objectives the United States needs to use Associative Power in place of both Hard Power and Soft Power. Associative Power is the use of joint ventures and alliances to optimize the forms of power brought to bear in conflicts responding with precision to a spectrum of enemy threats, situational challenges, and political opportunities. Associative Power was wisely and successfully used by the United States in the Vietnam War through the CORDS program of counter insurgency and village development to defeat the Viet Cong insurgency and permit the withdrawal of American combat forces. Associative power was not used by the United States—nor was the best counter insurgency practices of CORDS—in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. As a result of this omission, interim outcomes in Iraq and Afghanistan did not acceptably accomplish American objectives. « less more »
Hamilton Books
Pages: 414Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7618-6899-6 • Paperback • June 2017 • $44.99 • (£29.95)
978-0-7618-6900-9 • eBook • June 2017 • $41.99 • (£27.95) (coming soon)
Stephen Young served with the CORDS program in the Republic of Vietnam from 1967 to 1971 as a Deputy District Advisor in Vinh Long province and as Chief, Village Government Branch. Young's service with CORDS was recognized by President Richard Nixon, Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker, and CIA Director William Colby. A fluent speaker of Vietnamese he has written on human rights in traditional Vietnam, Vietnamese legal history, Vietnamese nationalism, and with his wife translated Duong Thu Huong's novel The Zenith into English. Young is a graduate with honors of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He is a former Assistant Dean of the Harvard Law School and Dean and Professor of Law at the Hamline University School of Law. He is Global Executive Director of the Caux Round Table and the author of Moral Capitalism and The Road to Moral Capitalism.
Forward: Associative Power and American National Security, John R. Allen
Introductory Thoughts: Associative Power and Strategic National Intelligence Capabilities, David Durenberger
Preface, Stephen B. Young
Chapter One: ASSOCIATIVE POWER: Holding the Center
Chapter Two: The Origins of CORDS
Chapter Three: Vietnamese Nationalism
Chapter Four: Getting the Right Context in Place
Chapter Five: CORDS Gets Its Opportunity
Chapter Six: CORDS Version 1.0
Chapter Seven: The South Vietnamese Nationalists Save Their Country: Phase 1—1969
Chapter Eight: The South Vietnamese Nationalists Save Their Country: Phase 2—1970/1971
Chapter Nine: CORDS Version 2.0—1971 Pacification and Development Plan
Chapter Ten: South Vietnam Holds Off an Onslaught
Chapter Eleven: A Vietnamese Village
Chapter Twelve: Iraq: An Episode of Amateur (and Feckless) Colonial Pretension
Chapter Thirteen: Afghanistan: A Kabul-Centric Quagmire
Chapter Fourteen: Securing the American Future through Associative Power
Afterword: A Personal Recollection