SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > The Small Wars Community of Interest > The Whole News

The Whole News Post and debate the news; good, bad and ugly. News ignored by the mainstream media especially welcomed here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-27-2006   #1
SWJED
Small Wars Journal
 
SWJED's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Largo, Florida
Posts: 3,984
Default Grunts And Generals

27 April New York Post commentary - Grunts And Generals by David Danelo.

Quote:
... A year prior to the war in Iraq, columnist Max Boot published "The Savage Wars of Peace," a chronicle of little-known conflicts in American history. Boot argues that Vietnam was a "small war" which, if the politicians and media had not weakened American public approval, could and should have been won.

Many military professionals transfered that view to the "small war" in Iraq: Just leave us alone, give us what we want and let us do our job. But Iraq isn't Vietnam.

Southeast Asia was a Maoist-style people's war, where Americans fought to maintain the territorial integrity of one country against both regular military forces and an irregular band of communist guerrillas. Mesopotamia is an ethnic insurgency, where Americans are engulfed in a multi-sided argument while a central government struggles to emerge amidst the panoply of militias, gangs and death squads.

In Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh drove the violence; in Iraq, everybody does. While "staying the course" might have worked in a previous counterinsurgency - we'll never know - the losses of the past provide inadequate justification for the present. Tactics of small wars are similar, but the strategic reasons to fight them are not.

Most of the senior "samurai" opposing either the conduct of the Iraq war or the entire enterprise are themselves Vietnam veterans. This list includes former Reagan Navy Secretary Jim Webb, who spoke out against the Iraq idea in 2002 and is now running for the U.S. Senate in Virginia as a Democrat. Their service gives them "street cred" among grunts - those who order them into battle should have earned the right to do so by enduring a commiserate experience - and enhances the potency of their dissent...

David J. Danelo, a former Marine captain, served in Iraq Feb.-Sept. 2004 as a staff officer, convoy commander and provisional intelligence officer with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. His book on young enlisted Marine leaders before, during and after their combat tours, "Blood Stripes: The Grunt'sView of the War in Iraq," is due out in May.
SWJED is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8. ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation