By William Buckhingham (1982)
This book is a model study of the process by which military policy was made in Southeast Asia. The author relates the intense controversy over the effects of the Agent Orange spraying program. He connects policy to operations, showing how pressure from scientists and disagreements within the government imposed limits on the program. He explores the technical difficulties in spraying herbicides; and he pays tribute to the Ranch Hand airmen who flew planes “low and slow” over enemy positions (altogether, Ranch Hand aircraft took over 7,000 hits). Since the 1975 renunciation of the use of herbicides, this military episode has remained unique in U.S. history. With maps and photographs; this is a facsimile reprint of a U.S. government publication.