Thursday, April 12, 2007

Surge or Escalation? It's all spin!

Yesterday's decision to extend the service of those serving in the military from 12 months to 15 months brings the answer to the question. Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, and General Pace say that this helps them be able to maintain the "surge" for a year. This is not a surge, it is an escalation!

The word "surge" means the following:
1) A sudden onrush: a surge of joy.
2) A period of intense effort that improves a competitor's standing, as in a race.

This so called "surge" is neither sudden nor does it provide an intense period. This surge is planned now for at least a year. Back in the days of the Vietnam War, this would be called an 'Escalation".

The word "escalation means the following:
1) The act of increasing or rising
2) Enlargement
3) Boost or buildup

President Lyndon Johnson had to deal with the issue of how to "escalate" the war because he knew that many of his supporters would have serious questions about escalation. Make no mistake of the parallels to Vietnam. The first true measure of the escalation was the increase in the fatalities and casualties, same as they are in Iraq today.

Here is a brief article of the situation Johnson faced and a link to the article and tapes released of the conversation between Johnson and Robert Kennedy over "escalating" the war. See the parallel to Iraq, the Iraqi army vs South Vietnam army and their ineffectiveness, and the morale.

"Tapes reveal how LBJ and RFK 'sold' escalation in Vietnam

February 21, 1997

ATLANTA (CNN) -- On the 9th of June, 1964, U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy called President Lyndon B. Johnson to talk about South Vietnam.

The United States already had about 16,000 military personnel in the small, Southeast Asian country, most of them described as "advisors."

But it was clear that it would take more than 16,000 Americans to stop the Viet Cong guerrillas, who were proving to be increasingly troublesome and destructive.
Adding to the concern was the ineffectiveness of the South Vietnamese Army. Troubled by poor leadership and low morale, the South Vietnamese showed little enthusiasm for taking on the Viet Cong.

It was evident that President Johnson would have to escalate U.S. involvement in Vietnam or risk losing the country altogether. More important, he would have to decide how to sell that escalation to Congress and the public."

For the complete transcript click here.

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Blogger RoseCovered Glasses said...

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

Politicians make no difference.

We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read how this happens please see:

Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

For more details see:

7:54 AM  

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