Previously posted regarding lessons of history: "Shades of Vietnam...Which Lessons?"
According to Rory Stewart at The NY Times:
and its allies are in danger of repeating the mistakes of AMERICA in Iraq . Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and even some Republicans are insisting on withdrawing from Afghanistan and sending more troops and resources to southern Iraq . The Bush administration’s gloomy National Intelligence Estimate last week on the fight against Al Qaeda will only lead others to make such calls. Afghanistan
But they should think again. The intervention in
has gone far better than that in Afghanistan largely because the American-led coalition has limited its ambitions and kept a light footprint, leaving the Afghans to run their own affairs.” Iraq
This speaks to those that are calling for an increase in troops in
In a somewhat unwieldy aside, note that according to an article regarding the “quagmire analogy,” “President Bush was first asked whether he could avoid a quagmire in Afghanistan four days after the start of the war there,” and “the quagmire metaphor also hanged over early coverage of Operation Iraqi Freedom (search). Eight days into the war, The New York Times and The Washington Post compared Iraqi fighters to the resilient North Vietnamese.”
The analogy speaks more to the power of a metaphor than they do a real “quagmire.” If detractors had been heeded at those early dates what would the situation on the ground be now? We have no idea obviously, but I’m sure a number of “experts” would have something to say and more likely than not it would speak to the wisdom of not being in
I cite the “quagmire” analogy, as the inaccuracy of making that statement so early is as inaccurate as comparing
“Those who do not learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeats its mistakes,” is oft quoted as reason not to be in first
George Bernard Shaw has been quoted as saying: “If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience;” then how are we to apply any lessons? Certain lessons are easy for most to learn and apply, for instance; stick your finger in a light socket and the majority will avoid doing such a thing again. Unfortunately, neither
Certainly we would not want to enter into any scenario oblivious of lessons learned, but just because something worked in one place does not mean it will work exactly as it did elsewhere. The lessons learned in
Afghanistan was a nation under the regime of the Taliban, which was in power there for roughly five years and geographically it is different than Iraq are we to treat Mesopotamia as though it were no different? My simplistic approach to this question is really no different than the approach Stewart wants to apply in
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