The official Sebastian Junger community
So am I to understand that, after all that was invested in the Korengal Valley position(s), Command decided to evacuate the position? Doesn't this remind anyone of Khe San? Or any number of hills that were fought over and left during the Viet Nam War?
While I can accept the argument that the Afghanistan military action is not entirely like the Viet Nam experience, it certainly has its parallels...the biggest one, to me, is how the higher command elements don't seem to get it...hearts and minds are not won through warfare...fear and subservience, yes. The bravery of the men described in Mr. Junger's book is indisputable, but...just the same as for the Grunts in Viet Nam...they must yearn for someone to tell them what it all is for...someone to truthfully explain what will be accomplished by all their sacrifice. They are all that is noble in these situations; those who commit our military to these adventures should be investigated by an open public forum so that we can see exactly who is gaining what from such things. All that went down in Viet Nam sure as hell did not do much good and, I am afraid, 20 years from now, we will look at this war as having accomplished not much, either. I hope people are reading Neil Sheehan's as well as Col. Hackworth's books. They may say cancer killed Hack, but I think he died of a broken heart.
And I think Mr. Sheehan would say that someone has polished up the lie.
The Afghan and Viet conflicts are very very (too) similar. Higher (career) command doesn't want to get it. Read (or reread) McNamara's "In Retrospect".
With talk now of a long term presence in Afghanistan via bases it appears the higher ups realize its not a smash n grab of the hearts and minds there.But as long as the borders are porous there will always be insurgents coming over the mountains to stir up trouble in Afghanistan.
Teleconferencing Generals do not appear to have accurate view of "theatre awareness" and need to listen more to the troops who dealing every day with operations on the ground.