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What isn't funny about Vietnam

Read this.

Mark Steyn is always astute. Consider...

Then as now, the anti-war debate is conducted as if it's only about the place you're fighting in: Vietnam is a quagmire, Iraq is a quagmire, so get out of the quagmire. Wrong. The " Vietnam war" was about Vietnam if you had the misfortune to live in Saigon. But if you lived in Damascus and Moscow and Havana, the Vietnam war was about America: American credibility, American purpose, American will. For our enemies today, it still is.

h/t Neo-Neocon.


Jonathan said…
Right. It seems to be characteristic of the modern USA to get into a war having underestimated the cost of it, and then pull out because it turns out to be too expensive. Let's hope that future American governments will be able to calculate costs more accurately in advance.

Perhaps the USA could master the situation in Iraq by making an all-out effort. But I doubt that American voters or their elected politicians have the stomach for such an all-out effort.

Inevitably, some people think it's worth paying a high price to win in Iraq, and some don't. Is it or isn't it? I don't see how anyone can calculate an appropriate price tag. Everyone's guessing.
Synova said…
I think it's the nature of the beast (war) that calculating costs doesn't work.

The reason it doesn't work is that, as they say, the enemy gets a vote. It's why there are a variety of similar sayings such as, no battle plan survives contact with the enemy.

All it's possible to do is guess.

Any benefit from prevailing in Iraq can only be conjecture. The result of failure is conjecture as well.

We *could* look at History but, as Steyn points out, there are a lot of people who think that getting out of Vietnam worked *well*.
Ymarsakar said…
But I doubt that American voters or their elected politicians have the stomach for such an all-out effort.

If it results in non-passive resistance, then that isn't a problem.

Americans don't like limited wars. Nobody does, unless you are the one fighting a limited foe. Truman had low polls because he refused to decisively conclude Korea. Regardless of the fact of what he could do or had done in the past. Such is the difference between opinion in a republic or a democracy.

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