Yesterday was the 35th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. The French first, then the Americans poured much blood and treasure to keep control of the little country of Vietnam. War raged from 1945 to 1975 in one form or another.
I was in the military from the 1960s to the 2000s and remember the lectures about how to conduct a war.
“Knock the enemy over. Keep him off balance. Overwhelm him with devastating weapons and manpower. Push forward. Don’t give him an opportunity to reorganize. Allow him no rest.”
All lessons learned from the Germans. German Blitzkrieg.
But Germany hasn’t won a war since 1871. What happened?
No sooner would Germans take over a country the people would start resistance against the invaders. Terrible retribution would ensue. Whole towns of men, women, children slaughtered or sent to death camps. Still the resistance grew.
The German model of war failed when the United States used it in Vietnam. It totters on the brink in Iraq. The Pentagon calls for more troops in Afghanistan. NATO looks forward to four more years of war in Afghanistan. (Almost a quote from 1964 and Nixon’s remark that if we didn’t get tough we could look to four more years of war in Vietnam…)
The Taliban has 19,000 fighters in Afghanistan we are told. We’ll have 100,000 soldiers there soon. All the Taliban needs do is harass our troops. We must root out an enemy to engage them. They need a few primitive weapons, we spend billions. They wait while we kill the innocent (sometimes in error) and we oblige them to help their recruitment effort.
Who’s the fool of history?