11 June 2017

Satire that Isn't

The noted satire military blog Duffelblog has an article on H.R. McMaster, the current US National Security advisor, whose PhD thesis argued that the Joint Chiefs of Staff engaged in dereliction of duty for not recognizing that the Vietnam war was fundamentally unwinnable is now saying that  there is a light at the end of the tunnel in Afghanistan.

Of course, everything is different this time:
The man who once wrote a book highly critical of policymakers who escalated an unwinnable war in Vietnam is urging escalation in an unwinnable war in Afghanistan, sources confirmed today.

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, whose PhD thesis castigated the Joint Chiefs of Staff for their “dereliction of duty” during the Vietnam War, has laid out a plan to send thousands of additional troops to fight in Afghanistan.

McMaster, who rose through the ranks as an unconventional military thinker, dismissed comparisons to the Vietnam War, in which the US military tried to prop up the failing Diem regime amidst an insurgency sponsored by North Vietnam, and the war in Afghanistan, in which the US government is supporting the faltering government in Kabul against a Pakistan-sponsored insurgency.

“We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” said McMaster, President Trump’s national security adviser, citing nearly a decade’s worth of futile efforts to shift the burden of fighting onto the Afghan National Security Forces, much as US forces tried to promote the “Vietnamization” of the war in the late 1960s.
If there is anything to fault in this it is that this is not satire, this is as straight out analysis, except perhaps for  the ending quote:
You either retire an unorthodox thinker who speaks truth to power or you stay in the Army long enough to become a general.
I do think that this is where our military has ended up after 70 years of "Up or Out", which means that unconventional thinkers are quietly cashiered.


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