Blog powered by Typepad

« I'm sorry to say but you Yankees have become very 'uppity'! | Main | The Sunday Rumble: 30.7.17 »

Saturday, 29 July 2017


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

If you want excitement, get some gents together in town and hold a protest, demonstration and riot. Near the port-a-johns if you must.

Between civilian control vs the generals, it depends on whether the goal is to win a war or just fight one.

Stand by. It is likely to get very interesting soon. The EU is gearing up for a trade war as Trump readies to violate WTO trade rules and tariff European steel. Meanwhile back at the negotiating table the US is leaning on Britain on various trade issues like agricultural products and the Yanks aren't liking what they hear. So have you ever heard of that childhood game monkey in the middle?

Man can you pick 'em! HR McMaster is and was a nut. The thesis in his book is the tired old stabbed in the back bullshit about how the Vietnam war could have won but for stabs in the back from Washington. Read the damned thing. In this respect McMaster is no different from MacArthur who advocated the conquest of North Korea whereas McMaster thought encroaching on a nuclear armed China from the south was just the thing. His criticism that the command authority failed to provide a plan to conquer both the Vietcong ( which they essentially did) or conquer the North Vietnam army leaves a question doesn't it? What was his plan if not to occupy that country in order to achieve victory? Read the damn books and stop relying on second hand crap.

Colin Powell self destructed my ass. His mistake was allowing some incompetent political hacks named Bush and Cheney to use Powell's reputation to sell their phoney war against nonexistent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

McMaster was correct as far as Vietnam goes. General Westmoreland relied on body count statistics everyone in the military, government and press knew were phony to keep the war going. His inspiration was "whiz kid" Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, previously of Ford Motor Company. Everything went downhill from there, ending with Nixon's "Vietnamization" and "peace with honor" that could more realistically be called "bugging out with humiliating defeat". The American people, often credited with wisdom by our politicians, quickly forgot all that and haven't learned a pinch of shit about psychopathic egoists. Most wouldn't recognize one if he wore a sandwich board with the words stenciled on.

Just to add a bit to Peter's comment, the EU is also upset about the new Russia sanctions because they'll probably affect EU energy businesses badly. It's gonna be a bumpy ride.

How so Bob? His book was taken from his doctoral research and there is nothing revolutionary in it as far as criticism of his command superiors was concerned. It is right out of the RAND analysis better known as the Pentagon Papers. That isn't his problem. He maintained that the Vietnam war was winnable and it wasn't or so the RAND analysis concluded. They tried everything including bombing a country back into the stone age that had never really left it. There was no way the Chinese or the Russians were going to let you win. All they had to do was to keep supplying materiel to China's neighbor all of which was beyond the reach of American power. And this in terrain that made Afghanistan look like a walk in the park. That was not a winnable war and it could only be escalated into a nuclear confrontation. In exactly the same way as McArthur proposed to do in Korea. That is McMaster's position and it is nonsense.

Lessons were learned and the key ones were how to fight an insurgency. The guy who wrote the book on that, literally, is Petraeus and not McMaster. Don't fell too bad about it though. The Russians were paid back in Afghanistan where they could not win either as long as the US supplied the Mujaheddin.

You need to fire your proof reader, Peter G.

I suspect the Vietnamese will be surprised that they were still in the stone age when the Americans started to bomb them! I might also add that describing the Iraqi WMD as non-existent is a good example of hind sight. Back to the basement and Mommy!


I should have made more clear I was in agreement with "The story McMaster tells is one of mistrust, calculated dishonesty and mutual manipulation ending in a mindless debacle." As a practical matter, his claim the war was winnable is nonsense. As Ho Chi Mihn told the leaders of the French Union, ten Vietnamese could be killed for every foreign invader and he would still win. They were fighting for their country while we were supposedly fighting against a monolithic communism that didn't exist. Or possibly to defend the old colonial order. Or maybe over natural resources. No one was sure.

Can't argue with that Bob. It's all true.

The comments to this entry are closed.