More Troops to Vietnam 2.0

The US is deploying another 560 troops to Iraq. They will be deployed wearing Birkenstocks so that there are “no boots on the ground.”

Just to give you an idea of the current US troop committment, it’s around 5500.

When the US Marines famously waddled  ashore at Da Nang in Vietnam – the first US troops deployed into that meat-grinder – it was 3500 men of the 1st of the 5th: a battalion.

3 years into the Vietnam War, the US had fewer boots on the ground in Indochina than currently in Iraq, where we are “not at war.” Thus The President can dodge the War Powers Resolution and Congress can pretend they have no decision-making ability.


  1. says

    John Morales@#1:
    Yep. Unfortunately.
    Worse, it seems that the powers in Washington are acting deliberately so they can fly under the radar screen of the news cycle. I wonder if the DoD announcing the additional troops was timed when there were more newsworthy things focusing people’s attention.
    Now I sound like a member of the “tinfoil hat brigade”

  2. John Morales says

    Marcus, hard to say, I hear the same thing here, but the evidence is ambiguous.

    That’s a digression from your post’s point, though.

    IMO, “Vietnam 2.0” is a bit hyperbolic, but yeah… “Mission Accomplished” was a bad joke (actually, more like “We Broke It!”), and it’s a real mess.

    Want cynicism? I reckon the armed forces love having somewhere they can deploy and test their weapons, troops, strategies and tactics — far, far away from home. And the military-industrial complex thrives.

  3. lanir says

    Marcus, everyone I’ve ever known who was actually into security* initially seems like they’re part of the tinfoil hat brigade. Then you notice that they aren’t saying exactly the same things as the tinfoil hats. And if you listen and check out some part of what they’re saying, you notice they’re right about something you can verify. In the end you get depressed because you realize you have a lot of things to add to the top of your to-do list. This is where the cycle can start over as you become someone else’s tinfoil hat brigade member.

    (* As opposed to just letting some bog standard black box poke at things and pretending that makes you a security expert when you can’t even parse the results without the help of the people who apparently screwed up the implementation to begin with.)

  4. says

    John Morales@#3:
    I reckon the armed forces love having somewhere they can deploy and test their weapons, troops, strategies and tactics

    I’m more cynical than you, apparently!! (But let’s not compete on that front!)
    I think a lot of it is the desire for “salad” and opportunity to cycle through a combat zone in search of general rank. The upper officers of the DoD want to be able to wear a Combat Infantry Badge and they’ll do anything they can to get it. It’s reminiscent of Peckinpah’s “Cross of Iron” to a scary degree.

    David Axe has some pointed remarks on this topic:

    I disagree with Axe that Eisenhower is a war hero. He was a bureaucrat, which is probably more important.