Petraeus's dissertation on Vietnam posted online
Blogger Brian Beutler quotes this section of the dissertation:
[M]any in the military believe that the United States armed forces can win small wars if allowed to do so. Those who hold this view tend to believe that Vietnam was less an illustration of the limitations of American military power than an example of what happens if that power is limited and not used to best advantage. This feeling springs from a conviction that the U.S. military in Vietnam were so hemmed in by restrictions that they could not accomplish their mission. The lesson for those of this persuasion, therefore, is that the military must be given a freer hand in future military operations. Even among the most fervent believers in this logic, however, there is a new recognition that the world is more intractable, and intervention with U.S. troops more problematic. Even those who remain confident that the U.S. could win a protracted small war, if allowed to do so, are acutely sensitive to what General Maxwell Taylor has described as thegreat diffiiculty in rallying this country behind a foreign issue involving the use of armed force, which does not provide an identified enemy posing a clear threat to our homeland or the vital interests of long time friends....
[W]e should beware of literal application of lessons extracted from Vietnam, or any other past event, to present or future problems without due regard for the specific circumstances that surround those problems. Study of Vietnam--and of other historical occurrences--should endeavor to gain perspective and understanding, rather than hard and fast lessons that might be applied too easily without proper reflection and sufficiently rigorous analysis.
comments powered by Disqus
- Study: Violent radicalism in UK isn't associated with poverty
- CONFIRMED: the Shrine of Jonah/Mosque of Yunus (Nineveh, Mosul, Iraq) has been destroyed
- Chinese President Xi Jinping: Nobody can change history
- Iraq’s Long-Lost Mythical Temple Has Been Found…and Is In Danger of Disappearing Again
- CBS features in-depth coverage of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights law
- Obama to award National Humanities Medals to 3 historians
- Historian Curt Gentry, known for Hoover biography and ‘Helter Skelter,’ dies at 83
- Harvard historian: strategy of climate science denial groups 'extremely successful'
- Curators at Victoria and Albert Museum are pushing the boundaries of collecting
- Ukrainian Leaders Are Using David Barton's Theocratic Pseudo-History To Build Their Nation