The Headless Snake

The Headless Snake outlines the transition of the military with improvements in staffing and our place among nations of the world coexisting in peace.

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by Harry Wagner

If you cut the head off of the snake, the snake dies. That was the opening statement of a briefing I attended in Vietnam 1966.

In short, the American strategy for victory in Vietnam was to kill the leaders and anyone who happened to be in the path of the leaders, whether they were soldiers or civilians, government officials or innocent women and children.

Through my work with the Embassy, IFFV General Staff, Psychological Operations, and Phoenix, I developed a strategy that was counter to what the military was doing, but successful in situations involving civilian populations; Persuasion with Relevance as developed in Peace Team Forward.

The Headless Snake is my firsthand account of Vietnam 1966-1968, not through the eyes of a bureaucrat or soldier, but someone who made a difference then, and can transition our military to make a difference now. The US military is representing every American in each deployment outside of our country.

Are you satisfied with how the world sees you? I’m not, and I have a strategic plan that was tested successfully in Vietnam and is even more applicable today. The Headless Snake is a unique combination of Vietnam War history and practical theory for a country desperately in need for change.