Did We Not Learn Anything From the Vietnam Experience?
What was the Key military lesson that was learned during the Vietnam War? The lesson was simple; when you deploy conventional military ground forces against a civilian insurgent or guerrilla force, it is hard to determine who the actual enemy is. During the '60's and '70's , the US military threw everything they had at the Viet Cong and still lost the war. The smiling citizens who walked amongst the troops during the day were often the same guerrilla fighters who shot and bombed US troops after the sun went down.
Flash forward to today, 2006. Iraq & Afghanistan. Was nothing learned from the disaster of Vietnam? Exactly who in the Canadian Armed Forces High Command believes that we are going to be effective in curtailing insurgent activities when we aren't even sure who it is that is planting roadside explosives or running at us with axes?
As we begin to slip deeper and deeper into the quicksand that is Afghanistan, I fear that we have learned nothing from the lessons of the past. While every Canadian supports and worries about our individual soldiers, who is it at the Department of National Defense who thinks that what we are doing is going to be effective?
Insanity is often described as repeating the same mistake over and over, expecting a different result.