Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/235701
Title: CONSTRUCTING A FAÇADE OF FEASIBILITY: RMK-BRJ IN THE VIETNAM WAR, 1965-1972
Authors: NICHOLAS LAM WEI XIANG
Keywords: Private Military Contractors
Vietnam War
Construction
Development
Logistics
Technowar
Modernization
Issue Date: 25-Oct-2022
Citation: NICHOLAS LAM WEI XIANG (2022-10-25). CONSTRUCTING A FAÇADE OF FEASIBILITY: RMK-BRJ IN THE VIETNAM WAR, 1965-1972. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In 1965, steady communist offensives and political instability in Saigon signalled an imminent South Vietnamese defeat in the Vietnam War. U.S. policymakers' ideological framings of the deteriorating situation prescribed a two-pronged solution. First, the U.S. would wage a capital-intensive and technologically advanced war against communist forces. Second, the U.S. would support the South Vietnamese government’s nation-building efforts through intensive infrastructural development. Initiating these efforts required a colossal construction effort to build the U.S. war machine overseas and to install the scaffolds of a nascent nation. This thesis tracks the role of RMK-BRJ, a consortium of private construction contractors, in South Vietnam throughout their contract from 1965 to 1972. While RMK BRJ has previously been evaluated as a force multiplier on the battlefield and a driver of South Vietnam’s infrastructural development, this thesis seeks to situate its impacts within U.S. policy goals. This thesis argues that RMK-BRJ's construction effort partially materialized the visions for South Vietnam enshrined in U.S. policy goals both intentionally and inadvertently. In the war effort, improved logistic arteries and support infrastructure enabled men, materiel, and modern war machines to be transported to and throughout South Vietnam to produce death at scale. In the nation-building effort, the widespread involvement of local labour in public works construction bestowed upon South Vietnam both the functions of a nation and, additionally, a base of South Vietnamese that perceived themselves as such. By creating symptoms of success in the war effort and the nation-building effort, RMK-BRJ was complicit in protracting fundamentally paradoxical policies. Throughout this process, RMK-BRJ introduced the unpredictable throes of private enterprise into the battlefield, both for better and for worse.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/235701
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

Show full item record
Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormatAccess SettingsVersion 
NICHOLAS LAM WEI XIANG.pdf10.78 MBAdobe PDF

RESTRICTED

NoneLog In

Page view(s)

28
checked on Jan 26, 2023

Download(s)

3
checked on Jan 26, 2023

Google ScholarTM

Check


Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.