Jan 14, 2007

Petraeus On Why We Get Into Quagmires

Among Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus's qualifications for the post of senior U.S. military commander in Iraq is his work training Iraqi security forces, as well as his oversight of the Army and Marine Corps' updated counterinsurgency field manual. But another document may prove useful to Petraeus in Iraq. In 1987, he earned a PhD from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School with a 328-page thesis titled "The American Military and the Lessons of Vietnam: A Study of Military Influence and the Use of Force in the Post-Vietnam Era."

The military also took from Vietnam (and the concomitant activities in the Pentagon) a heightened awareness that civilian officials are responsive to influences other than the objective conditions on the battlefield. A consequence has been an increase in the traditional military distrust of civilian political leaders. ... While the military still accept emphatically the constitutional provision for civilian control of the armed forces, there remain from the Vietnam era nagging doubts about the abilities and motivations of politicians and those they appoint to key positions. Vietnam was a painful reminder for the military that they, not the transient occupants of high office, generally bear the heaviest burden during armed conflict.

2 comments:

David Wilson said...

you must have read Pynchon eh? remember Slothrop's all-a-round spell?

or, as a Scot might say, "Up the Meatball!" (meaning, "raise high the flag of Meatball")

in this case i would be tempted to extend it slightly (for alliterative effect) to, "Up the Meatball, y'all"

be well.

Meatball One said...

Measail, DW!

Swirls 'n Twirls 'n Girls. Oh how to deal with the entropy of it all and CNN. Maybe love. Maybe Gulf Island retreats.

BTW, it's "Up the Meatball and into a most dense salute"

Gaoisneach Meatball One