Lessons Of Vietnam

After I served my tours in Vietnam and returned to college I studied international relations and conflict management….while studying I came across a list of lessons that were learned from that war (some lessons are never learned)…..

After we left the country in shambles there were many analysts that took a good look at the war and how it was fought……by doing this these people hoped that a good hard look at our failings would prevent the US from making the same mistakes again (anybody that knows anything about the Vietnam War may begin their laughter now and avoid the rush)…….

In 1980 a group of several hundred analysts got together to prepare a report for the Pentagon to avoid any further missteps that are involved in fight a war.

The first thing that came out was….”Don’t Get Involved In Civil Wars”…..after WW2 Vietnam became a civil war and we chose sides.  (What would you call the Balkans in the 90’s, Syria, Libya and Yemen of today?)

Second, “Don’t Micromanage The Troops”….Vietnam was fought by the president and carried out by those around him.  (Keep in mind the Trump has said that he knows more than his generals)

Third, “Let The Military Run The Military”…..Congress has taken upon itself to dictate to the military….Congress calls the shots on recruitment, training and disciple.

Fourth, “Do not get into a war you do not intend on winning”…..sound familiar?  Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

Fifth, “Incrementalism does no work”…..Really?  You mean like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan?

Sixth, “Telling The Truth”…….in Vietnam the government would never admit just what were the goals intended…..oncve again, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, etc.

And finally number seven, “Ignoring History”……..just like a grasp of history would have kept the US out of Vietnam…then same can be said for Afghanistan and a small part Iraq….

After a special study was done to see what went wrong…..we flushed down the crapper and kept doing the same stupid crap war after war.

Lessons were not learned or better said…ignored.

So because of that we keep making the same mistakes over and over…..

In Kabul, Afghanistan, American Embassy personnel who want to meet with their counterparts at the nearby U.S. military base have to travel a mere 100 yards. But they don’t make a practice of walking or driving. They go by military helicopter, reports The New York Times. The space between is too dangerous to cross on the ground.

It’s the sort of bizarre fact that might have emerged in Ken Burns’ new PBS series on the Vietnam War, illustrating our inability to turn South Vietnam into a safe, stable place. But it’s not the past; it’s the present.

The Vietnam War was the greatest U.S. military catastrophe of the 20th century. A conflict begun under false pretenses, based on ignorance and hubris, it killed 58,000 Americans and as many as 3 million Vietnamese. It ended in utter failure. Never in our history have so many lives been wasted on such monumental futility.

Source: The Vietnam Syndrome: How We Lost It and Why We Need It Back – Reason.com

But wait!  The Pentagon has a new analytic tool that will improve the way we fight wars our future wars…..

An emerging analytics tool may assist military leaders in making better decisions on the battlefield by predicting the motives of adversaries.

Known as abductive reasoning, the concept takes advantage of advancements in machine learning, said Rick Pavlik, director of analytics and machine intelligence at Polaris Alpha, a defense and intelligence agency contractor.

“Abduction is all about having a set of observations or evidence and trying to come up with the … root cause or an explanation that would describe the observations that we’re seeing,” he said.

Humans have used abductive reasoning since the beginning of mankind, but there is now a large demand to automate it, Pavlik said. “There appears to be a lot of momentum.”

Source: New Analytics Tool Could Help Military Leaders

Seriously, who do they think they are kidding?

The Pentagon will spend the money for the study and then do what they always does….the same stupid shit they always do.


14 thoughts on “Lessons Of Vietnam

  1. Chuq, FDR had suggested allowing Ho Chi Minh to take over; however, Congress and Truman sided with allowing our allies–British, French and Dutch–to re-gain control of their former colonies. The OSS, serving in Southeast Asia, agreed, since they had seen first-hand, the wishes of the local people.

    In each of countries, the local populations hated the Japanese; however, they knew that they would leave after the War, while the former European Colonials would never leave!

  2. LBJ was bogged-down with his Great Society and re-election; so, he deferred unequivocally to Robert S. McNamara. Mac had the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs under his political spell, thus making the other Chiefs irrelevant.

    During the Cuban Missile Crisis, McNamara countermanded the Chief of Naval Operations, during the Blockade. When the CNO (top sailor) preferred to allow his commanders on the scene to make the appropriate decisions, according to Navy Regs, Mac told an aid that that’s the last that he wanted to see of the CNO, who undoubtedly retired shortly thereafter.

    1. Have you seen McMasters book? Cannot remember the title but it is suppose to be a well thought out treatise….”Dereliction of Duty” is the title…..it is also on my list for next month….chuq

      1. I recommend it on the Foreign Affairs tab on my blog. It provides a good analysis about the early build-up. Just to show how McNamara by-passed the Joint Chiefs, when former general Maxwell Taylor was appointed Ambassador to South Vietnam, MACV Commander William Westmoreland reported to him, rather than to the JCS or the Secretary of Defense.

        How asinine is that, having a major military commander report through the State Department, rather than to Defense?

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