Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1970



The reader of the foregoing will have found a definite theme in Army operations in fiscal year 1970, one that took its lead from national trends. Whether the subject is funds, personnel, strength, training, combat, casualties, construction, research, development, procurement, or production, the tendency was toward reduction. Curtailment, consolidation, withdrawal, retrenchment, adjustment, constraint—these are the watchwords that set the tone of Army operation in 1970 and charted the directions for the coming year.

The general downward turn in personnel and fund levels, with little change in functions, placed a premium on the management of resources, and a widespread effort was in progress during the year to streamline all facets of operation and make the most economical and effective use possible of money and manpower.

Several important developments in the Vietnam War are noted in the report. On the battlefield, the operations against enemy sanctuaries in Cambodia were patently significant, ousting the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese from previously secure areas and causing them to lose sizable stocks of supplies and operational initiatives planned for the Mekong Delta region. At the same time, the South Vietnamese forces that participated in the strikes acquired valuable operational experience.

Details of the Vietnamization program, under which the United States seeks to qualify the host country to assume the primary burden of its own defense, emerge through this report. It is a measure of the progress of allied battlefield operations and the Vietnamization program that 115,000 American troops, over half of them Army, were withdrawn during the year, while plans were projected for further substantial reductions in fiscal year 1971.

Several cases involving alleged battlefield misconduct drew national attention and a broad Army investigative effort during the year, inspiring a comprehensive review and a variety of actions relating to policies, procedures, and training in this general field.

The President's action in renouncing American use of lethal biological agents and weapons as well as chemical toxins and the first use of lethal chemical and incapacitating chemical agents was a milestone in military affairs and an active initiative for peace.

The broad lines of adjustment to a postwar posture are evident


in numerous actions outlined in various functional sections of the report. Extending from the battlefront back through the theater and the continental base and up to the departmental headquarters, these actions are designed to promote economy, avoid waste, insure maximum use of materiel through redistribution, make optimum use of personnel skills, preserve unit readiness, refine structure and organization, and in general maintain a force capable of carrying out the Army's role in national defense. These are, indeed, the principles and practices that guide the Army as it moves into a new fiscal year.


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Last updated 9 August 2004