The Viet Nam Analogies Keep Coming
The United States's GWOT's distraction in Iraq is not going as well as it should have gone. We were promised a cakewalk. Well, it didn't turn out that way.
The problem was the US Army is still haunted by the Viet Nam War. After the Viet Nam War, the Army entered a fantasy world in which guerrilla warfare did not exist. It built its forces around infantry divisions and tank battalions. War planning consisted of fighting the Soviet Union. Of course this planning never considered the spetznaz, the Soviet SOF whose job it was to infiltrate the rear areas and cause all sorts of problems. The Army missed the biggest lesson learned from Viet Nam, that guerrilla warfare was the future of warfare. However, General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff of the Army, was working to reverse that mindset. He started the Stryker Brigade and saw the need to move past the Cold War. When aWol was elected president and Rumsfeld became SecDef, all this transformation went out the window. According to the neoconmen, the military shouldn't engage in peacekeeping or nation building. That's for sissies, real men kill people and break things. However, the majority of the Army had a selective amnesia about Viet Nam and it paid the price in the occupation of Iraq. Soldiers became desperate, engaging in tactics like destroying the homes of suspected insurgents leaving their families homeless. Because we know that worked so well stopping suicide bombers in Israel.
So did the Iraqis welcome us with flowers, umm no. Have the Iraqis grown to like us? Uuhh no. 65% of Iraqis approve of attacks on coalition forces. So what's the next step in winning hearts and minds? Bring back the body counts. See we're killing more of them than they are of us. We're winning!
Bonus question: Name the one person in common in the NY Times article and the Frontline report. In order to get this one, you will have to watch the video of Frontline. Leave your answer in the comments. I will give the correct answer tomorrow night. And read this for a really trippy flashback.