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View Diary: Collapse of The Military--Vietnam's Lesson of What's To Come (75 comments)

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  •  Excellent diary, Paul (4.00)
    and I believe that the main difference between Viet Nam and Iraq is that contained in your penultimate paragraph:  "Even very high level officers today will not accept the blind loyalty ethos of yesteryear. They understand that they have multiple loyalties--to the men beneath them, whose lives are in their care, as well as to the constitution, and the rule of law--in additon to their loyalty to the chain of command."

    The ground forces of today are very different from those of the Viet Nam era - highly trained, specialized and committed, very valuable assets.  Their wastage in the current miasmic occupation is abhorrent to those in command, especially those of flag rank. Should the military decide that they can no longer support the "policies" of the C in C and his apologists, watch out.  

    "Never mind the trick, what the hell's the point?" Joseph Heller, Catch-22

    by wozzle on Thu Jan 27, 2005 at 09:42:01 AM PST

    •  Army Chief of Staff is un-retired SF (none)
      after a couple of active generals turned down the job. The SF and the Marines are probably mostly fascists. The AF and Navy are not being sufficiently stressed by Iraq. The field grade officers in the Army are mostly Bush supporters. There may be a bunch of generals that oppose Bush's Iraq policy because of the damage it is doing to the Army, but don't count on them to save the Republic- I don't think they have the support.

      Pipe dreams are not an exit strategy.

      by TrainWreck on Thu Jan 27, 2005 at 01:07:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wouldn't be quick to judge (none)
        According to military analyst William Arkin, the rank-and-file Marines are largely Democrats. He didn't go in to his rationale for making such a statement and I can't find the citation, but I generally respect his work.

        But your general point is valid--don't count on the military saving the republic. Indeed, I'm not sure we should even wish for it. This is still the USA not 1960s Turkey or 1990s Pakistan.

        •  Interesting (none)

          I also have a high opinion of Arkin- he tells it like it is, and you get the impression it had something to do with him leaving the Washington Post.

          If the rank and file are Democrats, then they might not fire on the citizens if they were ordered to by their officers who are probably more right wing than Army officers. It all comes down to the officers; they're the ones who give the orders.

          I know what you mean about wishing for the Army to save the Republic; if we ever got to that point things would be pretty messed up no matter what.

          Pipe dreams are not an exit strategy.

          by TrainWreck on Thu Jan 27, 2005 at 02:45:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Chief of Staff Schoomaker and Cambone's Deputy (none)
        Boykin were both involved in the Waco business.
      •  Tommy Franks (none)
        was one of those who turned down the chief of staff job, the rumor is because he didn't want to work with Rumsfeld.
      •  Gen. Hoar was a Deaniac! (none)
        Marine General Hoar (4-stars) was a big Deaniac.  He even went on the road to Iowa for him.

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