29 September 2006

The Wrong Lessons of Vietnam and the One No One Mentions

The former:
Mr. Moyar draws lessons from Vietnam that subtly but unmistakably apply to contemporary warfare: that national leaders make life-and-death decisions sometimes without understanding the complexities of a distant and unfamiliar theater of war; that a nation initially committed to going to war is sometimes reluctant to expend the resources, both human and financial, to finish it; and that our society has a proclivity to lose confidence and resolve should a conflict last too long. The lesson is clear: Iraq and other, related post-9/11 conflicts will require perseverance, resources and resolve.
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And why do we not persevere?

That's the lesson no one discusses.

The people are more likely to persevere if that war is a necessary one and we're succeeding and success is likely. At risk of over-simplification, Vietnam was strategically unnecessary and the American people were never persuaded of the necessity of it, such as it was, other than Now that we're here, we have to stay until victory -- the victory even the South Vietnamese couldn't be bothered to fight for.

There is no good reason for us to have gone into Iraq. Our Leaders can lie and lie but can never change that.

And how happy are the Iraqis?

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