Why would ‘boots on the ground’ even work?

Conservative and Republican leaders are calling on President Obama to put American “boots on the ground” to resist Putin in Ukraine and the Islamic State (ISIS) in the Middle East.

And the President reportedly plans to ask for authorization to use military force against ISIS.  Since he does not consider aerial bombing, drone strikes or Special Operations missions to be military force, it must be “boots on the ground” that he has in mind.

troops-on-the-groundMy question is:  Given the failure of “boots on the ground” in Iraq and Afghanistan and, before that, in Vietnam, why would you expect success this time?

Over the years, the American armed forces have taught insurgents in countries they occupy how to defeat us.  The Pentagon has not learned how to defeat insurgents.

The U.S. military has the power to attack virtually any nation except Russia or China and reduce it to chaos.  What is doesn’t have the power to do is to pacify the nation afterwards and make its people submit.

Or, as a friend of mine remarked during the Vietnam era, the United States had the power to kill all the North Vietnamese and kill all the South Vietnamese, but it didn’t have the power to make any Vietnamese do what the US wanted.

Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.  This insanity is the real Vietnam Syndrome.

LINKS

Boots on the Ground? Yes by Thomas Donnelly for The Weekly Standard.

John McCain: US Boots on the Ground Better Than ISIS on American Soil by Greg Richter for Newsmax.

Gov. Scott Walker Wouldn’t Rule Out U.S. Boots on the Ground in Syria by Jessica Puckett for ABC News’ The Note.

Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham at Odds Over ‘Boots on the Ground’ by David Knowles for Bloomberg Politics.   Interesting that Cruz resists being sucked into this.

Obama readying request to use force against Islamic State by Patricia Zengerle for Reuters.

It’s the lessons the U.S. didn’t learn from Vietnam that makes its loss there the real tragedy by Robert Freeman for Salon.  (Hat tip to Cannonfire).

Burying Vietnam, Launching Perpetual War by Christian Appy for TomDispatch.

∞∞∞

bootsgIf the American homeland were under attack, I believe Americans would be as ready to defend their country as they were in earlier generations.  But by constantly sending young Americans to fight against bogus threats, Washington weakens patriotism and makes it more difficult to recognize a real threat.

During World War One, Americans went overseas to fight supposedly to make the world safe for democracy.  Their justified disillusionment made it nearly for the next generation to recognize the real danger posed by Hitler’s Germany.  The USA doesn’t face any real threats to its existence now, but that won’t necessarily be the case for ever—especially since successive U.S. administrations seem intent on making enemies of all the world.

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One Response to “Why would ‘boots on the ground’ even work?”

  1. djgarcia94 Says:

    I agree on totally. The Axis was the last legitimate threat, but our constant wars may very well spawn another one.

    Like

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