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December 01, 2009

Obama's Speech: To Keep Afghanistan from Becoming Vietnam, I Hereby Propose the Strategy of "Vietnamization"

Among his "Big Ideas" is Vietnamization. Which Nixon did with Vietnam-- making the Vietnam War more dependent on the Vietnamese. Which makes sense, except for the minor fact 1, they weren't ready and knew they would lose, so 2, they had no reason to fight and awfully big reasons to ingratiate themselves to the soon-to-be-victors by selling information and such to the North.

Basically, when you tell your ally you're bugging out in a couple of years, and they know when you do bug out they lose, you have incentivized them to begin defecting to the enemy early.

It's not just that he's proposing Vietnamization -- it's that he's doing so with a hard-date for his "exit strategy." Which Nixon did too, for all intents and purposes, making it clear he didn't want to win the war, he just wanted a "decent interval" between America's exit and the North's victory.

Or has he? Allah says there's an escape clause in that. But of course there is. Set a hard date for evacuation and then put in an escape clause in it too, so maybe you will stay on longer if conditions demand it. Throw one clause to the left, then a different clause to the center/right. Vote present.

Anyway, use this thread to discuss his latest stupidity.

Also check out Byron York:

Democratic voters and candidates were playing a complex game. Nearly all of them hated the war in Iraq and wanted to pull Americans out of that country. But they were afraid to appear soft on national security, so they pronounced the smaller conflict in Afghanistan one they could support. Many of them didn’t, really, but for political expediency they supported candidates who said they did. Thus the party base signed on to a good war-bad war strategy.


Other top Democrats adopted the get-tough approach, at least when it came time to campaign. In September 2006, as she was leading the effort that would result in Democrats taking over the House and her becoming speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi said George W. Bush “took his eye off the ball” in Afghanistan. “We had a presence over there the past few years, but not to the extent that we needed to get the job done,” Pelosi said. The phrase “took his eye off the ball” became a Democratic mantra about the supposed neglect of Afghanistan — a situation that would be remedied by electing ready-to-fight Democrats.

But now, with Democrats in charge of the entire U.S. government and George Bush nowhere to be found, Pelosi and others in her party are suddenly very, very worried about U.S. escalation in Afghanistan. “There is serious unrest in our caucus,” the speaker said recently. There is so much unrest that Democrats who show little concern about the tripling of already-large budget deficits say they’re worried about the rising cost of the war.

It is in that atmosphere that Obama makes his West Point speech. He had to make certain promises to get elected. Unlike some of his supporters, he has to remember those promises now that he is in office. So he is sending more troops. But he still can’t tell the truth about so many Democratic pledges to support the war in Afghanistan: They didn’t mean it.

Oh, by the way: It took five months to move the surge troops into Iraq, and Iraq had seaports, an adjacent nation with seaports (Kuwait), and good roads. Experts say that air-lifting all these troops and tanks into Afghanistan with that country's infamously-awful roads is going to take an awful lot longer.

Dispute: Rodney and Arthur challenge my characterization of Vietnamization.

You mis-characterize the fall of Vietnam.

The South did not fall to the first invasion from the North after the vast majority of U. S. Forces were withdrawn. The South was able to beat that one off (with some air support and a lot of logistic support from the U. S.) in '73. The second invasion from the North (1975) succeeded, largely because we did not live up to our treaty obligations and did not provide air and logistical support.

Posted by: Rodney G. Graves

Yeah, what he said. Vietnamization WORKED. Right up to the point where Congress decided not to send any more ammo/supplies to the South Vietnamese.

The North invaded in '73 - got their ass handed to them. They tried again in '75 because they judged that the new Congress (after the bloodbath of the 1974 elections) didn't give a rat's ass about South Vietnam - and the North was right.

Posted by: Comrade Arthur

I can't dispute this -- I do not know. I am repeating the stuff I thought I learned in college, which may have been misremembered or wrong from the outset.

To be honest, I just mostly wanted to write that headline.

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posted by Ace at 08:00 PM

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