Archives For foreign policy

The War That Never Ends

November 12, 2017 — Leave a comment

In watching The Vietnam War, a viewer, hearing American officials pondering options, is tempted to burst out “stop, no, make the other choice.” But those making decisions did not know how the story would turn out. They had to act with the experiences they had lived through, not those we have accumulated since, based on imperfect knowledge and the typical set of “all bad” options.

 

But this comes only after 100 minutes of almost unceasing negatives on the war: from a Vietnam Veterans Against the War-heavy focus on the minority of veterans who bitterly opposed to it to Jane Fonda in Hanoi, John Kerry’s Senate testimony, drug-addicted U.S. soldiers, the Pentagon Papers, My Lai, and extensive footage of South Vietnamese army (ARVN) troops retreating in Laos and initially in the Easter Offensive (although ARVN soldiers won that battle). The plurality of Americans still supporting the war, which in that period included most veterans, got little airtime. A viewer could easily ask whether Burns and Novick were describing the same country that gave Nixon an overwhelming victory in 49 states in the 1972 election.

 

But beyond Vietnam-specific lessons, The Vietnam War lays out in a non-didactic, illustrative manner strategic truths of great import, including for us today. The four that matter most are about containment, incremental versus major war tactics, definitions of victory, and the criticality of determination in conflict.

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/11/10/war-never-ends/

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But this year, far from the headlines, Germany and two of its European allies, the Czech Republic and Romania, quietly took a radical step down a path toward something that looks like an EU army while avoiding the messy politics associated with it: They announced the integration of their armed forces.

 

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has repeatedly floated the idea of an EU army, only to be met with either ridicule or awkward silence. That remains the case even as the U.K., a perennial foe of the idea, is on its way out of the union. There’s little agreement among remaining member states over what exactly such a force would look like and which capabilities national armed forces would give up as a result. And so progress has been slow going.

Germany Is Quietly Building a European Army Under Its Command

WIN/Gallup International’s global survey shows three in five willing to fight for their country

For a Harvard educated man Obama showed in his USMA speech to be quite naive and defensive. I don’t hear anyone saying that they wish for war so putting foreign policy in the context of pro-war vs pro-alliance/diplomacy is redundant. The astute political observer should receive this news of a new Obama “foreign policy” in much the same manner he or she receives a weather forecast; if they don’t like it they should just wait a few minutes.

Israeli defence minister says John Kerry should ‘take Nobel prize and leave us be’ – reports – Telegraph