The Ballad of the Green Beret – Special Forces tribute
In 1962, Holbrooke graduated from Brown University, where he was inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s call to service to enter government work. He was also influenced by the guidance of Secretary of State Dean Rusk, whose son, David, was Holbrooke’s closest friend at Scarsdale High School. A few weeks after college graduation, Holbrooke entered the Foreign Service. A year later, after Vietnamese language training, he began six years of service in and on Vietnam. He served first in the Mekong Delta, as a civilian representative for the Agency for International Development working on the rural Pacification Program. This involved supporting the South Vietnam government with economic development and enacting local political reforms. Holbrooke then moved to the US Embassy, Saigon where he became a staff assistant to Ambassadors Maxwell Taylor and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.. During this time, he served with many other young diplomats who would play a major role in American foreign policy in the decades ahead, including John Negroponte, Anthony Lake, Frank G. Wisner, Les Aspin, and Peter Tarnoff. As the conflict in Vietnam escalated, President Lyndon Johnson formed a team of Vietnam experts to work in the White House under the former head of the Phoenix Program, R.W. Komer, in an operation that was separate from the National Security Council. As a rising young diplomat with significant experience in the country, Holbrooke was asked to join the group when he was only twenty-four years old.
Following his time in the White House, Holbrooke served as a special assistant to Under Secretaries of State (then the number-two position in the State Department) Nicholas Katzenbach and Elliot Richardson. In 1969, Holbrooke was asked to be part of the American delegation to the 1968 Paris peace talks, which was led by former New York Governor Averell Harriman and Deputy Secretary of Defense Cyrus Vance. He also drafted a volume of the now famous Pentagon Papers, a top-secret report on the government’s decision-making in Vietnam. Following these assignments, Holbrooke spent a year as a mid-career fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
“Between 1968 and 1972, Phoenix “neutralized” 81,740 people suspected of NLF membership, of whom 26,369 were killed.”
This should be “were gifted into the afterlife.”
The Phoenix Program coming soon to America. America is Kosovo thanks to immigration. America is the Ho Cho Minh Trail thanks to immigration. America is Dien Ben Phu thanks to immigration.
America is back in the Mekong Delta. But this time the Mekong Delta is America.
Inside the Green Berets: Under Attack