50 years ago the Battle at Ia Drang began our war in Vietnam. What have we learned since then?

Summary: Fifty years ago today American troops fought their first major battle in Vietnam. The lessons both sides learned from the battle set the course of the war. History shows whose analysis proved more accurate. We have concluded the first phase of our post-9/11 wars, proving that we've forgotten the lessons of Vietnam. As the … Continue reading 50 years ago the Battle at Ia Drang began our war in Vietnam. What have we learned since then?

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Study body counts to learn about our wars: how we fight, why we lose

Summary: Our wars simple to those who see only bad guys to be killed, but appear as a mystery to many Americans. Unnecessarily, since our journalists tell us all we need to know. Unfortunately these few key facts are buried amidst a flood of trivia. This post gives a small but telling example by examining … Continue reading Study body counts to learn about our wars: how we fight, why we lose

The first rule of American war is not to believe what we’re told

Summary: Another war starts with its barrage of propaganda on America, raising the usual questions. Can we learn from experience? Will we demand accurate information and better analysis, laughing at those who have been so often wrong?  Today's post provides some context that might help you decide what's happening, or at least create useful doubts.  … Continue reading The first rule of American war is not to believe what we’re told

Stark evidence from our past about our inability to learn today

Summary: Nothing shows our FAILure to learn more than how we've repeat so many of our mistakes of Vietnam in Afghanistan. No hegemon, no matter how powerful, can survive a rapidly changing world, filled with rivals and foes, if it doesn't profit from its experience. Today is FAILure to learn day, with 3 lessons from … Continue reading Stark evidence from our past about our inability to learn today

Myths about the Vietnam War laid the foundation for our Forever War

Summary: Today we have a reading that provides insights about our mad wars, written by someone who fought in the Cold War and later fought to prevent more wars. He explains how our leaders steered us into supporting these wars, such as by creating the myths about Vietnam that laid the foundations for our forever … Continue reading Myths about the Vietnam War laid the foundation for our Forever War

Read these articles about our past to learn about today’s challanges

Summary:  One reason we have such difficulty charting  path to the future is that have lost so much of our past. It not only destabilizes us, but limits our ability to learn from our history. Here are three articles about our past that illuminate problems we face today. . (1)  "Why weren’t they grateful?", Pankaj Mishra reviews … Continue reading Read these articles about our past to learn about today’s challanges

The military takes us back to the future. To Vietnam, again and again.

Summary: Now that our most recent wars are ending, we have an opportunity to learn. Will we? Making clear insights more difficult, our war machines has already started preparing us for new wars: threat inflation plus cheap/easy solutions. After 9-11 we bought such stories about Iraq and Afghanistan, with no questioning or skepticism. Will we … Continue reading The military takes us back to the future. To Vietnam, again and again.