The Australian counterinsurgency campaign in the Vietnam war: the ambush battle

2014-01-02T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Amy L. Griffin Bob Hall Andrew T. Ross

From 1966 to 1971 Australia deployed the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) to the Vietnam War. Australia's involvement in the war took the form of a protracted counterinsurgency campaign. Counterinsurgency campaigns often consist of thousands of seemingly unrelated minor combat incidents. Military historians using traditional techniques can find it difficult to make sense from this plethora of contacts that, individually, may seem inconsequential. Using the statistical mapping techniques we demonstrate here can tease out a comprehensible story from these thousands of otherwise apparently unrelated combat events. We tested the extent to which the Vietnamese were able to exploit the advantages of the ambush against 1ATF. Military commanders can use our methods to better understand the ebb and flow of their campaigns and to structure their operations to achieve the desired form of contact.