ACCUMULATING PERIPHERALS


The Vietnam Analogy, Pt. 9: Creating Them Faster Than Killing Them by mattsteinglass
May 17, 2007, 2:29 pm
Filed under: Iraq, United States, Vietnam, War

Some guy writes, in an op-ed in the Washington Post:

Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld once wondered aloud whether we were creating more terrorists than we were killing. In counterinsurgency doctrine, that is precisely the right question. Victory in this kind of war comes when the enemy loses legitimacy in the society from which it seeks recruits and thus loses its “recuperative power.”

The torture methods that Tenet defends have nurtured the recuperative power of the enemy. This war will be won or lost not on the battlefield but in the minds of potential supporters who have not yet thrown in their lot with the enemy. If we forfeit our values by signaling that they are negotiable in situations of grave or imminent danger, we drive those undecideds into the arms of the enemy. This way lies defeat, and we are well down the road to it.

But it’s not like this guy, Charles C. Krulak, has any special claim to know what he’s talking about. His only relevant experience is 2 tours of duty in Vietnam; serving as Commanding Officer of the Counter-Guerilla Warfare School on Okinawa; and ultimately following in the footsteps of his dad, Gen. Victor “Brute” Krulak, as Commandant of the United States Marine Corps (1995-9).

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