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Sadec Province by Gordon Bare


VIETNAM WAS A THOUSAND DIFFERENT WARS over time and geography. This book is about one of them. Sadec province in the central Mekong Delta is a classic rural Asian rice growing area and was a small part of the American war in Vietnam with a limited U.S. military and civilian advisory presence. Gordon Bare served there as an Army Lieutenant in 1969 and 1970 engaged in both intelligence advisory programs and in economic development assistance and participated in the entire scope of military and reconstruction efforts. He traces the history of the province and relates his own experiences and those of other Americans who served there. The counterinsurgency and nation-building effort in Sadec and throughout Vietnam enjoyed considerable success and a real hope for substantial prosperity and a measure of responsive government existed when the United States drew down its involvement in the early 1970s. Bare writes that American abandonment of Vietnam after 1972 was replayed in Iraq in 2011 and may yet occur in Afghanistan to the great detriment of the peoples of these war torn lands.


Praise For Sadec Province

“My MACV Advisory Team 65 fellow team member and State Department colleague Gordon Bare’s memoir of Sadec is a veritable trip in a time machine back to the post-TET Offensive Mekong Delta of 1969. There, through his prodigious research and interviews, he has created a virtual reunion of scores of military (and a few civilians like me) participants in the struggle to counter and defeat the Viet Cong, each of whom has a vivid story to tell. The author relates lessons learned in Vietnam that were not always applied in subsequent struggles like Iraq and Afghanistan. Five decades later, his conclusions about America abandoning an ally with whom he and I formed bonds while serving in Sadec, will resonate with many who were part of MACV in all 44 provinces of South Vietnam.

– Ambassador Kenneth Quinn

“Brimming with up-close relevant detail, Sadec compellingly presents ground truth as personally experienced by a young U.S. Army officer in what was perhaps the most successful operation of the Vietnam War. Rich in sober, perceptive analysis and devoid of polemics, Bare’s account reveals America’s Vietnam endeavor was by no means foredoomed to ignominious failure.”

– Charles Pucie

Captain and aviator in the 214th Combat Aviation Battalion, the Greyhounds and Cougars, U.S. Army Vietnam.

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