Insurgency and “lessons” of Vietnam

9/22/2007 9:09 pm
Can “learning the lessons of Vietnam” help us control an insurgency? What exactly are these lessons that people speak about as if they were common knowledge and you could look them up in any dictionary or encyclopedia. Every theorist and ideology presents its own set of answers. For example, I think the lesson from Vietnam—or even from Algeria, Somalia, Afghanistan and Chechnya—is not how to win a military conflict against an insurgency, but to avoid the entanglement of military resources in these situations in the first place. This is not a problem that usually has a successful military outcome. These problems are better approached through negotiation, politics and even culture, economics and education—what Joseph Nye would call soft power.

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~ by severalfourmany on September 22, 2007.

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