Ken Burns' "Vietnam"

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September 12th, 2017 at 7:52:05 PM permalink
Wizard
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Given the mess we're still in with Iraq and Afghanistan, I don't see any way we could have truly won that war and got out. I used to say if he had bombed the north into submission, we could have won. However, I don't believe even this could have been a success now. Even if we dropped so many bombs we killed half the population of the North and let the South take control, there still would have been an insurgency hiding the jungle. We would be stuck there for years fighting it, as we are today with Iraq and Afghanistan.

I truly hope we have learned our lesson about "regime change" wars, but my opinion of the memory of the American voter and American politician is not very high.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
September 12th, 2017 at 8:23:06 PM permalink
Evenbob
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Quote: Wizard
Given the mess we're still in with Iraq and Afghanistan, I don't see any way we could have truly won that war and got out. .


There were some career officers that were
in the tail end of WWII and in Vietnam.
Some of them say we had no intention
of winning in Vietnam. It was a political
and industrial/complex war with the
intent of making a roaring economy, which
it did. These officers say there was never
a push to win like there was in the real
war in the 40's. It was a hang in there and
make the fat cats rich war.
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
September 12th, 2017 at 8:24:28 PM permalink
kenarman
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Quote: rxwine
The Domino theory didn't necessarily specify winning, but it was concerned with the spread of communism though successive countries falling. To my knowledge, no one ever planned an exit strategy.

There may have been the belief that eventually N. Vietnam would at least come to a stalemate and a truce even if it didn't surrender. Patience ran out on the American side for seemingly endless war.

But that's always possible in a democracy that the public will change its mind about the course it started on.


They were probably hoping for a permanent split as happened in Korea. Knowing what we know now it is probably just as well that the US moved on and cut the losses since any kind of split country would probably not have been stable.
"There is no sin but ignorance" Christopher Marlow
September 12th, 2017 at 8:59:59 PM permalink
Wizard
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Quote: kenarman
They were probably hoping for a permanent split as happened in Korea. Knowing what we know now it is probably just as well that the US moved on and cut the losses since any kind of split country would probably not have been stable.


Or we might be still be spending billions every year policing the border. Yes, ironic, that in retrospect the best possible outcome, other than never getting involved in the first place, was what happened.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
September 13th, 2017 at 5:24:27 AM permalink
AZDuffman
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Quote: Wizard

I truly hope we have learned our lesson about "regime change" wars, but my opinion of the memory of the American voter and American politician is not very high.


We learned the lesson in WWII. To change a regime you have to totally destroy it and then take a decade of occupation to put in place what you want, then another generation of staying around to keep everything in order, and in the end you have a client state.

If we were serious in Afghanistan we would be de-islamifying the place. Get missionaries to come in, like the old days. Win the hearts and minds of the yutes. This is no longer done, so you get what we have.

I still wish we were pulling out and suckering Iran to get in there.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
September 13th, 2017 at 6:58:00 AM permalink
Nareed
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Quote: Wizard
We would be stuck there for years fighting it, as we are today with Iraq and Afghanistan.


Pretty much.

You can win a counterinsurgency war, but it takes decades

Quote:
I truly hope we have learned our lesson about "regime change" wars, but my opinion of the memory of the American voter and American politician is not very high.


1) I recommend Barbara Tuchman's "The March of Folly." The last section is on Vietnam, from the close of WWII until the end. I'm about to finish my second reading of it.

2) America has this habit of starting wars and not making them a policy priority.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
September 13th, 2017 at 7:02:29 AM permalink
rxwine
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Quote: AZDuffman
We learned the lesson in WWII. To change a regime you have to totally destroy it and then take a decade of occupation to put in place what you want, then another generation of staying around to keep everything in order, and in the end you have a client state.


Considering regime change in Nazi Germany, that system hadn't been in place for a long time-- it was really ideal for change IMO. Plenty of people were alive who still valued and remembered a different life.
No one has ever proven I am not God.
September 13th, 2017 at 8:03:59 AM permalink
AZDuffman
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Quote: rxwine
Considering regime change in Nazi Germany, that system hadn't been in place for a long time-- it was really ideal for change IMO. Plenty of people were alive who still valued and remembered a different life.


True, but in reality Nazism was mostly just German Nationalism on steroids. That ran back to the Prussians.

I still say our leaders need to read "The Prince" if they want to get it right.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
September 13th, 2017 at 8:04:04 AM permalink
Wizard
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Quote: AZDuffman
We learned the lesson in WWII. To change a regime you have to totally destroy it and then take a decade of occupation to put in place what you want, then another generation of staying around to keep everything in order, and in the end you have a client state.


I think we have a rare agreement on something.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
September 13th, 2017 at 8:34:57 AM permalink
Nareed
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Quote: rxwine
Considering regime change in Nazi Germany, that system hadn't been in place for a long time-- it was really ideal for change IMO. Plenty of people were alive who still valued and remembered a different life.


Not only that, but the lies propping up the regime were exposed. Consider the "sub-human" slavs did a thorough job grinding the German "ubermensch" army into a very bloody pulp. This partly explains why there were no leftover Nazi guerrillas carrying on after the country surrendered. the other part is that everyone was utterly exhausted from years of non-stop total war.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
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