Tuesday, May 04, 2004

The lessons of Vietnam

Why did we loose Vietnam? Was it the fierce resistance of the North Vietnamese? Was it the ineptitude of our draftee armed forces? Was it the fierce anti-war protests back home? In many ways it was all of these things. But more importantly, it was the contradictory and self-defeating handling of a military campaign by the political leadership during the war.
North Vietnam was a safe haven for logistics and recruitment for the Viet Cong and the NVA. Yet, the US never dealt with the threat. Now one could easily argue that we were constrained by greater Geo-political concerns. But I think the most important lesson of Viet Nam should have been that we never get into a war that we do not intend to win completely.

Unlike Gulf War I.

And, unfortunately, that may be happening in Iraq and more specifically Fallujah now. However, I certainly hope wretchard is correct on this one. Because the alternative is most certainly not pretty.


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