Tuesday, June 14, 2005

War Plan Now & War Plan Then

War Plan Now:
From the BBC:

In an interview for the BBC's Newsnight programme, Mr Rumsfeld said Iraq had passed several milestones, like holding elections and appointing a government.

But he said Iraq's military forces were growing in numbers and he was confident the insurgency would be defeated. He said that efforts had shifted from counter-insurgency to helping the Iraqi security forces.

"The important thing ... is to recognise that this insurgency is going to be defeated not by the coalition - it's going to be defeated by the Iraqi people and by the Iraqi security forces, and that it's going to happen as the Iraq people begin to believe they've got a future in that country," he said.

War Plan Then:
From Richard Nixon's Address to the nation on November 3, 1969:

The Vietnamization plan was launched following Secretary Laird's visit to Vietnam in March. Under the plan, I ordered first a substantial increase in the training and equipment of South Vietnamese forces.

In July, on my visit to Vietnam, I changed General Abrams' orders so that they were consistent with the objectives of our new policies. Under the new orders, the primary mission of our troops is to enable the South Vietnamese forces to assume the full responsibility for the security of South Vietnam.

We have adopted a plan which we have worked out in cooperation with the South Vietnamese for the complete withdrawal of all U.S. combat ground forces, and their replacement by South Vietnamese forces on an orderly scheduled timetable. This withdrawal will be made from strength and not from weakness. As South Vietnamese forces become stronger, the rate of American withdrawal can become greater.

I have not and do not intend to announce the timetable for our program.


My fellow Americans, I am sure you can recognize from what I have said that we really only have two choices open to us if we want to end this war.

-I can order an immediate, precipitate withdrawal of all Americans from Vietnam without regard to the effects of that action.
-Or we can persist in our search for a just peace through a negotiated settlement if possible, or through continued implementation of our plan for Vietnamization if necessary - a plan in which we will withdraw all of our forces from Vietnam on a schedule in accordance with our program, as the South Vietnamese become strong enough to defend their own freedom.

Time in Iraq: 2 years
US soldiers killed: 1706
US wounded in Iraq: 12855
At Time of Nixon's speech:
Time in Vietnam: ~ 5 years
US soldiers Killed: ~34,000

The Outcome We Know:
March 1972: Last US combat soldiers leave Vietnam
58,000 are dead,
1,000 are missing in action.
Some 150,000 Americans were seriously wounded.
April 30, 1975: South Vietnam falls
(Vietnam stats from)

Outcome Yet to be Learned:

Time will tell an all too familiar story. At least Nixon went on TV and laid it out for the American people in 1969 ...something Bush has yet to do. (And giving Nixon any credit is difficult for this liberal)

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