We Have No Institutional Memory


From “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn:

When Kennedy took office in early 1961 he continued the policies of Truman and Eisenhower in Southeast Asia.

I know that it is like ‘beating a dead horse’ to keep bringing this up but we are making the same mistake in Afghanistan five decades later.

Real lessons of Vietnam (feel free to apply these anywhere, anytime):

  1. You can’t defeat an indigenous population who won’t give up. If the locals feels you’re an illegitimate occupier they will sacrifice every man, woman and child to fight you. This was a lesson in Vietnam, Nigeria and Afghanistan for the Russians.
  2. Don’t get involved in a land war in Asia
  3. Only fight a battle you can win
  4. Don’t get involved in local politics
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