WASHINGTON -- As a crowd of high-school students offloaded from the tour bus for a visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial aka "The Wall," he yelled, "There are no good wars!" Hemmed in on the crowded sidewalk, I tried to ignore his rant and noted the bus had a Pennsylvania license.
Forty-three years ago this week, the fabled 101st Airborne Division launched Operation Apache Snow -- a major ground offensive against North Vietnamese army invaders in the treacherous A Shau Valley.
After the fall of Saigon on April 29, 1975, military and civilian strategists sought “lessons learned.” Many were tactical or technical, such as the operational effectiveness of precision-guided munitions and the continuing need for guns on jet fighters. At the strategic level, one pundit recommended that the United States never again fight in a former French colony located on the other side of the world with borders contiguous to enemy sources of supply governed by an ally of dubious political legitimacy.
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