posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 02:34 AM
'Nam was "my" War; I'm a combat vet, and this episode precedes my time in hell by only 4 months or so. I fully remember being briefed and reading
the IRs on NaDrang and LZ X-ray. I was in Nam 1 year, 9 months, and 11 days. My first duty station was in the Parrot's Beak near An Loc, and later I
would be transferred to I Corp to work with the Marine CACs.
More than any other thing, the most impactive memory I have of that time is that I was never really allowed to do my job--what I and we were all
trained to do. None of us were, and that is the real tragedy. This is the number one reason 'Nam turned out the way it did.
Lessons we learned relative to our involvement in Iraq? Of the thousands that could be applied on all the levels--one stands out--and it is: The
United States should never involve itself in, or go to, War without defining a clear Military Objective toward which war is prosecuted. This is
what a soldier needs to fight effectively, and what a Country needs to support his effort. In 'Nam, we had neither--we just followed orders, day to
day, place to place, and with no clear Idea what our overall Mission and Objective was. What we were told of that changed every week or so. We just
"did" and tried to survive as best we could.
What I have said above marks the major difference between WWII and every war and action we have fought since. Every soldier and airman and sailor in
WWII new what the Objective was and they knew what their Mission, their part of it, was and how it fit into the Big Picture.
In defining clear Military Objective, it is understood that there can be NO Political Objective---that always comes "after" and not before or during
a Military Action. Politicians are as ill fit to run a War as Generals are to be Law Makers. It is time we learned that. The greatest mistake we ever
made in America is to allow the use of Military Forces to further Political ends-- it's happened--is happening--and we need to bring it to a
Thanks, Dave -- for a great Podcast-- I want the rest of them.
[edit on 20-12-2006 by Ed Littlefox]