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I get tired of this
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, March 11, 2007

In another in a long line of "Iraq is like Vietnam" comparisons, The Guardian says the US Army is "lagging behind Iraq's insurgents tactically". That was apparently based on a statement by a "senior officer" who said the enemy they faced was "smart, agile and cunning".

It's also utter rubbish.

However, having laid out their premise that we lag behind the insurgents, the "myth" is then, predictably, trotted out once more:
In Vietnam, the US was eventually defeated by a well-armed, closely directed and highly militarised society that had tanks, armoured vehicles and sources of both military production and outside procurement.
A) We weren't 'defeated' by that society. In fact, "we" weren't even there. Claiming that to be so is a bit like saying a football team which scored after it's opposition had already left the field, won the game.

The "society" that eventually defeated the ARVN did so more than two years and one defeat (they got stuffed, badly, the first time they tried) after we'd left. They only succeeded when the Congress of the US refused to resupply the RVN's military or support them with US air power.

B) The insurgency, per se, was not a significant factor in the final loss of the RVN. It was the regular North Vietnamese Army which took the south.

C) They had "tanks, armoured vehicles and sources of both military production and outside procurement" because they were a proxy for China and the USSR for heaven sake, both of whom gave them what they needed to eventually defeat the RVN.
What is more devastating now is that the world's only superpower is in danger of being driven back by a few tens of thousands of lightly armed irregulars, who have developed tactics capable of destroying multimillion-dollar vehicles and aircraft.
Driven back where? If talking about Iraq, we're actually expanding our presence ala the surge. And it appears we're actually turning the tide in al Anbar. If talking about Afghanistan, we're participating in an offensive right now, for heaven sake!

Then this:
Other officers said coalition rules of engagement were being used against the forces fighting the insurgency. 'They know when we can and cannot shoot, and use that against us,' said one officer, reflecting the comments of US soldiers in the field.

But that's changing. In fact part of it has already changed. We've seen reports that US soldiers are now searching mosques, something the ROE wouldn't allow previously. So this is old news. And it is here that one begins to understand the intent of this article. It is a 'gloom and doom' article, written specifically to convey those feelings.
'Iraq and Afghanistan are sucking up resources at a faster rate than we planned for,' one three-star general said. 'America's warriors need the latest technology to defeat an enemy who is smart, agile and cunning - things we did not expect of the Soviets.'
If a 3-star said that, then he's an idiot. The Soviets were a conventional force with a particular penchant for centralized control. Insurgents and insurgencies are, by design and definition, decentralized and able to operate much more independently and in small groups. There is no comparision.

The defacto operational design of all insurgencies makes them more adaptable and flexible by default. And "the latest technology" is not the answer to defeating them as any officer worth his salt would know. Instead it is obviously an issue of tactics and strategy. It is also something to which we're right in the middle of adapting. Technology enhances both, but isn't a substitute for either. Even the most junior officer knows that.

After reading to about there I said 'screw it'. Paul Beaver and Peter Beaumont, the authors, simply put some crap together - which makes little if any sense to anyone who knows a bit about history or the military - with the intent of purposely painting a "bleak" picture. In fact, they even use the word in the article.

In reality it's a compilation of pure crap and is best characterized as "nonsense on a stick."

Other than that, I loved it.
 
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Comments
Iraq, Korea, Bosnia/Kosovo, and WWII are like the "War on Poverty" .. no exit strategy.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Typical bovine Scatology, "A tale told bu an Idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
Other than that, I loved it.
Should be good Erb bait.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
I fully expect Laura to wander into this and call everyone a bunch of grumpy old men and/or two year olds throwing a temper tantrum.
 
Written By: cjd
URL: http://
It’s crap.

In Vietnam the USA only briefly fought an enemy with "tanks, armoured vehicles" and spent most of the time "facing tens of thousands of lightly armed irregulars, who [] developed tactics capable of destroying multimillion-dollar vehicles and aircraft".

 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
call everyone a bunch of grumpy old men

I resemble that
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
As noted before, the media have their Iraq narratives set, and you’re not going to get it changed
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
As noted before, the media have their Iraq narratives set, and you’re not going to get it changed
The only way the narrative will change is if ratings start dropping. The media has changed over the last five decades from Edward R. Murrow’s “Harvest of Shame” to Martha Stewart’s “Harvest of Fame
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
The Guardian writers:
...the world’s only superpower is in danger of being driven back by a few tens of thousands of lightly armed irregulars...
In reality, the superpower’s military is in danger of being snatched back by a few hundred congressional proxies of those irregulars, with zero regard for consequences.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
unaha,

Uh, the insurgency was defeated during Tet. So says General Giap.

After Tet they ceased to be a major factor, again according to Giap.

The reason the US didn’t face tanks is that they were not in ’Nam when the tanks rolled.

And then there is the aftermath. Totolitarian government and 2 - 3 million murdered in SE Asia. I suppose if Iraq is no worse it will be touted as a success.

The Democrat exit strategy is mass murder. A new home (funded by oil) for jihadis and possibly a general Middle East War.

I think a "no exit" strategy is better than the alternative on offer.
 
Written By: M. Simon
URL: http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/
McQ,

You really hit the nail with the hammer on Al Anbar. Since replacing the last unit that left this area, 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division has been kicking butt and taking names.

Granted there are still some pockets around Ramadi but we are really making some major headway in this providence.

http://www.arcent.army.mil/news/archive/2007_news/march/mar09_04.asp

The "Anbar Awakening," which is how it’s being coined around here, has been picking up steam and gaining headway to help turn the tide for us in this corner of Iraq.

Anyhow, I hope all is going well for you all over there back home. Me, I got a few minutes so I’m going to call home and let them know I’m doing okay.

Spc. Ricardo Branch
Camp Ramadi, Iraq
 
Written By: Spc. Ricardo Branch
URL: http://
M.Simon,

Make that lightly armed sodiers, not irregulars.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://
The "Anbar Awakening," which is how it’s being coined around here, has been picking up steam and gaining headway to help turn the tide for us in this corner of Iraq.
Hang on Spc Branch, StarFleet-Admiral Erb may want to contradict you. He posts from Camp Downeastah in far northern Maine and his intel on Iraq is based on internet reading, making it superior to yours of course.

Meanwhile keep the faith, and God bless.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
"In reality, the superpower’s military is in danger of being snatched back by a few hundred congressional proxies of those irregulars, with zero regard for consequences."
Well, not real reality. But one hell of a lot closer than the reality being pushed by the LN.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Perception drives reality. The media keeps drip drip dripping bad news and slighting or withholding the good, and the perception becomes "we’re losing".

Drip drip drip some more, and congress will see to it that that perception becomes reality.

It really is quite devious. Whine and complain long enough and you get your way.
One of my chief complaints about the administration is their lack of a planned rebuttal to the non-stop drip of "moan-and-groan".
 
Written By: BillB
URL: http://squidly.com
Spc. Branch:

Thank you for your service, sir.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://

 
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