Michael D. Moberly February 5, 2016 ‘A business blog where attention span really matters’.
A proposition that influenced us to proceed further with the development of the ‘it’s time we were asked’ project stems from on-going frustrations we frequently discussed relative to defensive tactics (troop safety) applied in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters. An example of which has to do with the presumptive sophistication of anti-personnel devices developed-used by adversaries against military personnel (in Iraq and Afghanistan). No comparison – relevance were made to comparables or the primordial anti-personnel devices used against combat troops in the Vietnam War, i.e., the variety of ways sharpened bamboo stakes and wire could be fashioned into very serious and deadly anti-personnel devices.
We understand, for perception and political reasons, it remains ‘verboten’ for senior administration officials to publically compare-contrast the insurgency rooted war in Vietnam to its comparables in Iraq and Afghanistan in terms of counterinsurgency tactics and strategy and anti-personnel devices.
A quote widely attributed to Sir Winston Churchill summed up our frustrations rather well, i.e., “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” In this instance soldiers were, in many instances needlessly dying or being seriously and irreparably injured as a result of failing to learn from or ignoring the combat history of the Vietnam War.
Through our lens, there was an obvious absence of ‘lessons learned’ from the multitude of similar but needless misjudgments and misdiagnosis of tactics and strategy at the outset of the Vietnam War. In other words, we suspect, had any military personnel in any leadership capacity in 2003 asked any Vietnam War combat veteran three things to expect and prepare their combat troops defensively and offensively for, they would likely be…
- ’booby traps’ of all types used in the Vietnam War, but a term/phrase nonsensically ‘upgraded’ to IED’s or improvised explosive devices for application to the Iraq and Afghanistan war…distinctions without differences.
- it is going to be a very tough, long, frustrating, and ultimately dissatisfying endeavor insofar as winning hearts and minds.
- significant tactical – strategic distinctions between the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan or Vietnam is terrain!
It’s worth noting following the April, 1996 plane crash in Croatia that killed Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and 34 other American business leaders embarked on a trade mission, the government compiled a 7,700 page document titled ‘lessons learned’. In my judgment, one of the most significant takeaways from that document was the fact that numerous civilian and military pilots had first hand and recent knowledge of the dangers and challenges associated with negotiating a landing at that particular Croatian airport facility, but whose experience went unnoticed and un-asked.
Vietnam combat veterans interested in participating in and/or supporting the ‘it’s time we were asked’ project are encouraged to contact Mr. Moberly at [email protected]
Mr. Moberly is an intangible asset strategist and risk specialist and author of ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ published by Elsevier in 2014, [email protected] View Mr. Moberly’s videos on YouTube at ‘safeguarding intangible assets’ or his CNN and CNBC videos at his webpage https://kpstrat.com