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Even though the United States had arguably the most well trained troops at the time, the tactics used by the US army were ineffective against the Viet Cong. The army had the most advanced technology, while the North Vietnamese only received guns and ammunition from China. However the North Vietnamese had the upper hand when it came to tactics. They knew the terrain and used guerilla tactics, small scale actions against a much larger and more powerful enemy. America fought a hi-tech war, many helicopters and tanks, as well as air strike, supported American soldiers.[7] Because the North Vietnamese used guerilla tactics they were able to avoid many of the United States’ attempts at attacking. Their bases were in jungles, invisible to aircrafts, and when they went on missions they stayed very close to the Americans so their enemy wasn’t able to call in airstrike. Vietcong and North Vietnamese commanders and higher positions, had the luxury of living underground. Although tunnels were small and uncomfortable, they were away from the battlefield assessing options. The United States’ main strategy at finding North Vietnamese bases, was search and destroy. Search and destroy is a counter-guerilla strategy where a unit is assigned the mission of searching and destroying enemy or enemy base, hence the name search and destroy.[8] However many North Vietnamese spies and officials hid within villages, this frustrated units and soldiers burned whole villages in order to tell commanders that the mission was successful. These events of burning villages were named zippo-raids, and led to many debates inside the US on whether what the army was doing in Vietnam, was unethical. In addition to controversy, the struggle of finding proper tactics also brought discontent to the army, resulting in poor morale.


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