While the terrain made fighting difficult, the US administration could have done more to overcome the challenge.
The individual rotation policy meant that platoon leaders were pulled off the battlefield after six months. As soon as commanders were beginning to become accustomed to the conditions, they found themselves removed from combat.
The policy stemmed from the prediction in Washington that Vietnam would be a short war, when, in reality, it turned into the nation’s longest.
The conditions would have been less of a problem had the leader’s in Washington applied basic military logic to their Vietnam strategy. The Individual Rotation policy made no sense, especially for those that lived through it.
Major Richard A. Gabriel and Lt. Col. Paul Savage accused the Individual Rotation policy as foreclosing “the possibility of developing a sense of unit integrity and responsibility” and ensuring “a continuing supply of low-quality, inexperienced officers”.