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Obama's Viet Nam

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posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 02:19 PM
So, the parallels are being drawn already between Afghanistan and Viet Nam.

Newsweek Article

About a year ago, Charlie Rose, the nighttime talk-show host, was interviewing Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, the military adviser at the White House coordinating efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. "We have never been beaten tactically in a fire fight in Afghanistan," Lute said. To even casual students of the Vietnam War, his statement has an eerie echo. One of the iconic exchanges of Vietnam came, some years after the war, between Col. Harry Summers, a military historian, and a counterpart in the North Vietnamese Army. As Summers recalled it, he said, "You never defeated us in the field." To which the NVA officer replied: "That may be true. It is also irrelevant."

Here we go ...

Just like Viet Nam ended up being called Nixon's war - even though he didn't start it. So it will be for Obama in Afghanistan.

[edit on 2/1/2009 by centurion1211]

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 04:08 PM
This is one of the most absurd statements I've ever heard.

Obama has been president for less than two weeks and already these anti-American nincompoop journalists are trying to smear his name because of the war in Afghanistan.

In case these knuckleheads forgot we're fighting a war in order to make the world safe from terrorism by taking the war to the terrorists.

Never mind that Vietnam was an honorable endeavor on the part of America and never mind that we had that war won when we started pulling our troops out in 1969 and never mind that Saigon did not fall until two full years after the last US combat troops left in 1973.

Worms like Newsweek and the other leftist loons will never own up to the truth that it was in places like Korea, Vietnam, the Congo, Bolivia and Nicaragua that the free world pushed Communism under the global rug.

If whiny little journalists want to talk about Vietnam, let them remind the world of the millions of innocents who died in Southeast Asia after the Communists in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos took free reign in those countries.

[edit on 2009/2/1 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 04:16 PM
The U.S.S.R. suffered the same situation in Afghanistan as we did in Vietnam, and in a much shorter period of time. My biggest problem with the new administration is the talk of escalating our involvement in Afghanistan. As always, what will be,. will be

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 04:33 PM

Originally posted by centurion1211
Col. Harry Summers, a military historian, and a counterpart in the North Vietnamese Army. As Summers recalled it, he said, "You never defeated us in the field."

Tell that to the first members of the USA who tried to secure a safe LZ and the first "Broken Arrow" command was ordered by a An American Colonel since fighting in the Pacific in WW2.

How did they protect that General and a few dozen US Cav members around him?

Even though he had full Artillery, helicopter and Air Support.

How did the Colonel Keep his small few dozen personal protection soldiers left around him safe and therefore technically not loose, as he was there and a radio?

Napalmed a whole valley, including though covered up many many US soldiers to.

Technicality, 30 or 40 Infantry and Cav and a Colonel/radio left from a very secure early operational base.

One stray Bullet and that order could not have been made, that entire area would have fallen totally with no American survivors.

In November 1965, 450 U.S. soldiers were dropped into a small clearing in the Ia Drang Valley. They were surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers.

Three days later, a sister battalion engaged in a vicious fire-fight only two and half miles away.

Together, these actions at landing zones
X-Ray and Albany constituted one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War.

LZ Xray

And further the Cavalry after this incident left the area and never retook it:

In November 1965, the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division was sent into a Search and Destroy Mission to track down the PAVN Forces which attempted to attack the Special Forces Camp at Pleime earlier. They had searched for several days until tracking down some signs of these forces at the foot of the Chu Pong Massif.

From November 14th through November 18th, Ia Drang was the site of a series of the bloodiest battles. After the Ia Drang Battles, the US Army left the field leaving the PAVN to control the area. PAVN controlling the Chu Pong Mountain as well as the Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia border regions means the Dong Truong Son Roads (the eastern legs of Ho Chi Minh Trails) were still secured for the flows of war supplies from North to South Vietnam...


The whole incident is "Romanticised" in the film "We were Soldiers"

However in the film it ends showing the Cav taking the area, and the Viet/Cong leaving, as shown above this in fact did not happen, the Cav pulled out, though they held the LZ only for a few days afterwards.

Kind Regards,


posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 04:55 PM
reply to post by centurion1211

Well, we have to look at history here. Not even Alexander the Great was able to hold that region. Not him, not the soviets not anyone. For the last thousand years Afghanistan has been ungovernable, and military incursions by foreign powers have only netted economic break downs. The Soviet Union is the most recent example of this. I don't know that the same will happen here. But Afghanistan is not like Iraq and it is definitely not like Viet Nam. It is very tribal and not everyone plays by the same rules.

It is a huge country with very mixed cultures individually spattered across the country. It would be very difficult to hold a politically motivated cohesion in this region, though not impossible. While I see the need for 30,000 more troops into the region, troops alone won't win this effort. We need massive, multi-lateral diplomatic efforts in the area, and a study group on the various cultures speckling the region in order to find a common ground by which we can unite the country against the Taliban and Al Qaida. Security is paramount now, but it will not endure without a transfixed social cohesion effort. That is just a simple fact, and a hard learned lesson from Iraq.

[edit on 1-2-2009 by projectvxn]

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 05:08 PM
reply to post by projectvxn

I agree with you, this "war" can not be won. The best thing Obama can do is drive down expectations that this war can be won, change the way it is being described as a police action or something else and get the UN and NATO to take the lead. Afganistan is and has never been a functioning state. A few thousand troops are not going to make it one. Calling it a quagmire is correct. we should define success in very modest terms, achieve those and get the hell out of that hell hole

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 05:31 PM
reply to post by projectvxn

As the First Cav that fought at LZ X-ray were rotated out, they were replaced by another unit. That unit was ordered to LZ Albany.

The reason is that a major B-52 strike was scheduled on the Chu Pong Massif.

Like the legions of Varus, they traveled strung out without sufficient flankers, they too had their string chopped up into small bits.

In spite of heavy initial losses, they finally reorganized and fought the VC and NVA off, and again held the field.

Later they went back to find and recover a few who were missing. They found and recovered them.

There's a lot of misconceptions about the fighting that occurred in Viet Nam. It's not that we never went back, because that just isn't true.

Our generals wanted so badly to fight a big battle, and it just wasn't going to happen. Our generals didn't know what the hell they were doing, but the troops overall, did.

Some sorry units in Viet Nam, and that's again the fault of the commanders. The First Cav was a great outfit, led well, and fought well. On the other end of the spectrum was the Americal Division. Sorry, sorry leadership. Sorry, sorry results. Not the troops fault. Leadership.

Alexander did take Afghanistan. He was compelled in running down these tribal warriors, and when he caught up, he slaughtered men, women, children, goats, and burned their homes and crops. His solution was simple: get real light, get real fast, and depopulate the territory.

It worked.

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 09:06 PM
Alexander took but did not hold. Same with the soviets. Any one can take Kabul but historically that only brings the end for the invaders. Soviets tried the depopulation technique as well and they still went broke trying to HOLD Afghanistan.

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 12:56 AM
Alexander didn't live much longer. He held it as long as he lived. He conquered it, and while others administered it, including using bribes, Alexander moved on.

He had a world to conquer.

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 12:57 PM
Fair enough. The man was very ambitious. Even going as far as India. My point, however, is that Afghanistan is a unique challenge that will not be met by firepower alone. There are various unique cultures there that have yet to see the incentive in helping the Americans. I believe that is due to the fact that there are so few security forces there that now safety can be conceivably achieved, or implied by coalition forces. While I agree that America needs to send more troops, NATO and the UN could really stand to help more than they have.

By providing engineers, cultural guides and historians, all kinds of social scientists, we could certainly help foster a common ground which is more important than destroying the Taliban in many ways. If you can unite the people you don't have to spend all the time, money and resources continuing to fight. The people will fight for themselves.

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 03:05 PM
It would be great if the Afghanis could pull it together as much as they could, considering the tribal allegiances.

The turd in the bucket is the intolerant, extremist Taliban.

They will leave no one alone, as they have a religious motivation to dominate the area.

They have to be hunted down on a regular basis, and killed. You don't need 40,000 to 50,000 American troops to do that.

In the first place, all American troops should not be in any fortified, stationary positions.

All American troops should be continually on the move, and not one should spend two meals in the same position.

Mobility. No anticipated line of direction. Fewer, faster troops. With sufficient close air cover nearby.

Blocking positions in the mountain passes.

And full-out hunting offenses during winter.

Hell, you could even sell Taliban hunting licenses to big game hunters to generate some revenue.


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