The reluctant warrior who doesn’t learn from history

Gary Anderson says If You Liked Vietnam, You’ll Love the War With the Islamic State.

President Obama is repeating three key strategic mistakes that President Johnson made in Vietnam. First, he has embarked on an open ended commitment; there was no measurable end state. … f the president’s aim is to destroy the military forces of the Islamic State, he is making the second mistake by thinking it can be done by airpower alone. … That brings us to President Johnson’s third great mistake; he allowed North Vietnam to become a sanctuary.

Young progressives of Barak Obama’s generation were taught by their professors that the Vietnam War was an evil undertaking few had the inclination to seriously study. Obama himself described it as one of the “dumb wars” when he was a candidate. There are no dumb wars; there are however, wars fought in a dumb manner. Our president appears to be embarking on one.

Vietnam was one of the first military wins that was given away by a government that got tired of the carry through and abandoned an ally by emptying its promises of continuing support. Iraq was another such episode. In both cases, the human cost has been tragic. Now its trying to fix one case by ignoring what history can tell us — again.

Comments are closed.