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?

Let’s blow the fog away and see what General McChrystal really said

Summary:  the McChrystal's Assesment consists of layers of absurdity, piled high.  Future generations will study it as a prime example of early 21st century madness, when such a thing was taken seriously. Essentials of the McChrystal's Initial Commander's Assessment of the Af-Pak War, released 30 August 2009. Amnesia is the essential requirement The key strategic element … Continue reading Let’s blow the fog away and see what General McChrystal really said

How many troops would it take to win in Afghanistan?

Summary:   How many troops must we send to win in Afghanistan.  It's a key question that receives too little attention in public sources, other than guessing.   What have our generals told DoD planners?  Are we being guided into a larger war according to a well-considered plan?  Or are we sliding thoughtlessly into a larger war, as we … Continue reading How many troops would it take to win in Afghanistan?

The trinity of modern warfare at work in Afghanistan

Clausewitz spoke of a trinity of the people, the government, and the military.  The rise to dominance of fourth generation warfare has made this conceptually useless, providing only a perspective from which to see how the world has changed.  During the past 60 years a new trinity of modern war has emerged for armies fighting in foreign lands.  Chet Richards … Continue reading The trinity of modern warfare at work in Afghanistan

Only our amnesia makes reading the newspapers bearable

Summary: A sad aspect of our War on Terror (AKA the long mad war) is how it repeats lessons not learned from the Vietnam War.  Here's an example from today's news. Tom Engelhardt's TomDispatch always goes to the top of my reading pile.  Tom publishes long, complex articles which compare to the average blog post like the … Continue reading Only our amnesia makes reading the newspapers bearable