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'Proportional' Response

Riff Wrote: Apr 09, 2013 6:03 PM
Have we learned nothing from our experience in Vietnam? The incremental escalation of attacks on the North was a dismal failure as a military strategy- it only gave the enemy time to adapt, improvise, and overcome. The Powell doctrine of overwhelming force should have taught our politicians once, for all that, once you are committed to military action, you make an all out effort to destroy the enemy. If you aren't serious enough for that, then stand down.
Huguenot Wrote: Apr 09, 2013 8:10 PM
You are exactly right. Vietnam was where we employed "proportional response" and where it failed. It's not as if we don't have experience to go by.

Author and F-105 pilot said that Hanoi was so important to the North Vietnamese psyche and identity that if we had bombed it, the war would have been over in two weeks. And to humanitarian objections, he pointed out that most civilians had been evacuated from Hanoi and it turned into an armed camp. On the other hand, we had no qualms about bombing civilians in Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya...

But to answer your question, I think the left did learn from our experience in Vietnam - how to avoid winning a war.
Huguenot Wrote: Apr 09, 2013 8:11 PM
Sorry, forgot to give the author and pilot's name, Tom Wilson.
dbaker909 Wrote: Apr 09, 2013 10:28 PM
Huguenot, I wouldn't characterize the Vietnam War Strategy as a "Proportional Response". That conflict was a model for the doctrine known as "Containment". We limited the range of our troops to engage the enemy, instead of letting them loose to pursue the Viet Cong wherever our intelligence sources could locate them. Like the Korean War, our enemy knew the boundaries, and would strike our troops virtually with impunity, then run back across the Neutral Zone, or other border where we could not engage them without starting an International Incident. Movies like "Air America" and "Top Gun" hinted at the folly of such a strategy.
dbaker909 Wrote: Apr 09, 2013 10:35 PM
Dennis112 Wrote: Apr 09, 2013 7:30 PM
When you need to kick some a**, KICK IT so it won't get back up.

We see it every time the politicians try for some goal other than victory.

To crush your enemies, and see them fall at your feet - to take their horses and belongings, and to hear the weeping of their women. That is the best life -- G Khan.
Since when has it been considered smart to tell your enemies what your plans are?

Yet there on the front page of the April 8th New York Times was a story about how unnamed "American officials" were planning a "proportional" response to any North Korean attack. This was spelled in an example: If the North Koreans "shell a South Korean island that had military installations" then the South Koreans would retaliate with "a barrage of artillery of similar intensity."

Whatever the merits or demerits of such a plan, what conceivable purpose can be served by telling the North Koreans in advance that they...

Related Tags: North Korea