Good article. Unfortunately since the end of WWII, the last "Declared War" we have not learned the very first lesson. No foreign adventures without that "Declaration". The Constitution requires it.
With that we would have to use the military for what it is intended to do - kill people and blow stuff up! Do it in the quickest time possible, with the least cost in lives and money. For the Constitution also states that the Declared Wars shall only be funded for two years.
We can't tell our people to head to the mall and that the government will take care of the war.
Since WWII we have expended not only billions of dollars but also wasted over 119,000 of our soldiers with close to 328,000 wounded.
So, "What are we doing? Is it ever going to mean anything?" Sadly "we" don't seem to know what we are doing and it will continue to be such a waste of our treasure!
But the folks will still go to the mall and reelect the politicians who refuse to follow the Constitution!
"America, where are you now?"
I believe we forgot the basic lessons of vietnam : In order for the USA to win a war; first the news media and the politicians must be defeated. Wars are not won by winning hearts and minds but by blowing minds into bits
The problem is that the military keeps wanting to fight insurgencies like conventional war, because that’s what we’re best at and is a lot easier.
Insurgencies can’t be crushed with sheer force, at least not anymore with public opinion. Westmoreland tried to do that, but short of invading North Vietnam and occupying it it wasn’t going to happen.
Lots of people like to say they “learned the lessons of Vietnam”, but keep doing the Westmoreland route, which makes it easy for weak politicians to cave in.
My brother came out of Vietnam — after two combat tours —saying that our soldiers weren’t allowed to win, tahnks to micromanagement from Wasington, and his biggest task was to keep his men alive.
Ping. I know you like to hear from the guys with actual time on point.
In Viet Nam we (I personally) conducted many missions with ARVNs (troops of the Republic of Viet Nam). They may have been seriously lacking in training and discipline, but we never worried about them shooting us.