20 Years Occupying Afghanistan, Nothing Achieved

by Simon 34 Replies latest social current

  • Rivergang

    While guerrilla warfare certainly played a role in Vietnam, the Viet Minh / Viet Cong / NVA had more at their disposal that just small arms. Where it counted, Communist forces had firepower aplenty, with which in the year 1954 they blasted the French army into surrender at a place called Dien Bien Phu.

    Dien Bien Phu French Defeat in Vietnam. - YouTube

    Some 15 years later, American forces met a similar situation at an outpost called Khe Sanh.

    Battlefield Vietnam - Siege At Khe Sanh - YouTube

    During that best-forgotten war in South East Asia, the United States and its allies were not defeated by just the AK-47 alone. (In fact, amongst the Australian forces deployed there, most of the casualties were inflicted by landmines and booby traps).

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    The problem in Vietnam was McNamara and the doctrine of proportional retaliation. So he quite literally flew planes in that were ordered to hang still just to get shot down, they weren’t allowed to respond, because, hey they were shooting at them with WW2 era flak cannons, a rocket wouldn’t be proportional. Dozens of planes were lost and they weren’t allowed to retaliate.

    Same was the debacle over the AR15/M16 - it wouldn’t be fair to have burst fire, because the enemy didn’t have them, so soldiers were sent into the battlefield with semi-auto guns that were less capable than the same gun produced for civilians. Likewise it was decided that they should have slightly altered rounds to limit the production lines, because “gun control” was high on the Democrat agenda.

    It literally took acts of Congress to force the JFK and LBJ administrations to properly equip the military. And then when LBJ signed the order to stop bombing the Vietnamese and retreat, they literally had thousands of people flee in shaggy boats and the US military refused to pick them up or assist them. Thousands drowned, about 90% of the boats did not reach their destination, between being fired upon by the communist regime and the poor situation these people were in.

  • Rivergang

    Further to the post by Anony Mous, you have to wonder about the effectiveness of aerial bombardment. It would seem that it has seldom lived up to the expectations of the air commanders.

    Between the two world wars, there were those who thought that aerial bombardment was going to win wars all on its own, thus making all the world's navies and ground forces obsolete (e.g. Giulio Douhet's 1921 work The Command of the Air). In reality, though, carpet bombing of population centres (such as London in 1940) failed to collapse civilian morale - possibly even causing it to stiffen. Also, despite an intensive bombing campaign by the air forces of Britain and the USA, German production of armaments actually kept on increasing during the years 1942-1944.

    That aerial bombardment during the Vietnam War was largely ineffective was certainly not due to lack of quantity!

    Between 1964 and 1975, US and Allied air forces expended 7.5 million tons of high explosive ordinance on Indochina. This was more than twice the total amount (3.5 million tons) of bombs that the Allies dropped on the Axis countries (both in Europe and in Asia) in all of WWII. In Laos, this effort failed to cut the infamous "Ho Chi Minh Trail", and in Cambodia, it made what was already a difficult situation much worse. (In Vietnam, it would seem to have been very much a blunt instrument - most notable for inflicting horrendous casualties on civilians)

    Altogether, yet another case of unrealistic expectations being made of aerial bombardment.

  • Me.Wonderful

    Its not widely taught in the history books but the South Vietnamese army actually became a fairly capable fighting force near the end of the war. With US air power they actually fought the commies to a stalemate . The fall of South Vietnam was the United States removing all support for ARVN. A million man army with no pay checks and bullets. Even the North Vietnamese after the war ended said years later they didn't believe they would win.

    As for Afghanistan, all that is going to happen is in a few years when the Taliban are in control, CIA spooks will show up with back packs full of hundred dollar bills, talk to tribal leaders and taliban commanders and everyone will switch sides. Afghanistan is impossible to rule but easy to overthrow the government.

  • Rivergang
    Afghanistan is impossible to rule but easy to overthrow the government.

    That sums the whole situation up perfectly!

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