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

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  •  Different Issues--Troop Substitution, etc. (4.00)
    It's certainly true that we're seeing an economic draft. There never really is or has been a truly volunteer military. But right now the mercenary nature is being highlighted not simply by these signing bonuses, but also by recruitment abroad and the use of contractors.

    However, in drawing parallels to Vietnam, one thing you need to remember is that new recruits were routinely inserted into existing field units fighting in the field, rather than training together as units, and then going into the field as units.

    It was not just that they were draftees with little education, etc. They were not properly integrated into fighting units in a manner conducive to learning the skills, discipline and temperament they needed.
    This time around, there is a whole different set of problems, centered around the fact that (1) the guard was never meant to be used this way, except in case of some true nation-threatening crisis, such as WWII and (2) the regular military is not big enough, or designed for being an army of occupation.

    The military seems just as incapable of recognizing or responding to these problems as it was to the problems of Vietnam. In Vietnam, however, the military really could have solved some of its problems itself. These problems cannot be solved by the military. They really are a problem of the civilian leadership, just like all the other problems with this war.

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