Clear, Hold, and Destroy

Clear, Hold, and Destroy: Pacification in Phú Yên and the American War in Vietnam

Purchase at OU Press, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.


With a focus on the province level, and everything lower, Clear, Hold, and Destroy, traces the war before, during, and after American involvement. Before focusing on Phú Yên, I examine the numerous conversations about defining pacification. In practice, security proved paramount to pacification’s success. Therefore, I address the confluence of conventional warfare and pacification, dispelling the notion of the former jeopardizing the latter.

What people are saying…

“A must-read book on the allied pacification program in Vietnam. Steeped in prodigious research, this military is expertly narrated in both depth and breadth. Thompson excels in delineating the misplaced optimism and ultimate failures of pacification and in offering clear lessons for senior military leaders today.” – Gregory A. Daddis, author of Withdrawal: Reassessing America’s Final Years in Vietnam

“Clear, Hold, and Destroy is an outstanding and welcome addition to the literature on the Vietnam War. Thompson’s in-depth, province-level study of the allied pacification program provides crisp analysis and offers critical insights into America’s war in South Vietnam, from its assumptions and modus operandi to the reasons for its ultimate failure.” – Martin G. Clemis, author of The Control War: The Struggle for South Vietnam, 1968-1975

Book talks

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