Aerial bombardment has been an important component of counterinsurgency practice since shortly after it became a viable military technology in the early twentieth century. Due to the nature of insurgency, bombing frequently occurs in and around settled areas, and consequently it tends to generate many civilian casualties. However, the effectiveness of bombing civilian areas as a military tactic remains disputed. Using data disaggregated to the level of the smallest population unit and measured at multiple points in time, this article examines the effect of aerial bombardment on the pattern of local control in the Vietnam War. A variety of estimation methods, including instrumental variables and genetic matching, show that bombing civilians systematically shifted control in favor of the Viet Cong insurgents.