PENTAGON OFFICIAL: Eerie Similarities Between Obama’s ISIS and Kennedy’s Vietnam


 

PENTAGON OFFICIAL: The Similarities Between Obama’s ISIS and Kennedy’s Vietnam Are Eerie

 
Joseph Miller

Contributor

The war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is not a continuation of Operation Iraqi Freedom, nor is it Gulf War III: This is President Barack Obama’s Vietnam.

Early on in the Iraq War, political pundits on the right and the left began to draw comparisons to the Vietnam War because at that point, it appeared as though Iraq was on a glide path to becoming an unwinnable quagmire. The surge of U.S. forces ordered by President George W. Bush, however, was able to turn the tide against the insurgency and al-Qaida, allowing the fledgling Iraqi government to gain a foothold and establish its legitimacy.

But almost eight years later, Iraq has finally become what those pundits described– another Vietnam. And the historical parallels are eerily similar.

IN 1960, after a decade of war, the nation elected a well-spoken, young, good-looking, Harvard-educated Democratic senator named John F. Kennedy to become the president of the United States. Kennedy became the nation’s first Catholic president, which was viewed as a major victory at the time, given historical prejudices. Kennedy’s Republican opponents attempted to label him as too young and lacking the executive experience necessary to govern the nation, especially since the United States was in the middle of the Cold War. But those charges fell on deaf ears as the young, charismatic senator was able to woo everyday Americans through his rhetorical skills.

THE DAY KENNEDY TOOK OFFICE IN 1961, he inherited a foreign-backed insurgency in Vietnam that was being fought along sectarian and ideological lines. Thousands of U.S. troops were serving as advisers to the U.S. allied government forces of South Vietnam, which were fighting communist insurgents from the north of the country. At that time, it did not appear that the U.S.-backed government was winning.

IN 2008, after a decade of warfare, the nation elected a well-spoken, young, good-looking, Harvard-educated Democratic senator named Barack Obama to become the president of the United States. Obama became the nation’s first black President, which was viewed as a major victory at the time, given historical prejudices. Obama’s Republican opponents attempted to label him as too young and lacking the executive experience necessary to govern the nation, especially since the United States was in the middle of the War on Terror. But those charges fell on deaf ears as the young, charismatic senator was able to woo everyday Americans through his rhetorical skills.

THE DAY OBAMA TOOK OFFICE IN 2009, he inherited a foreign-backed insurgency in Iraq that was being fought along sectarian and ideological lines. Thousands of U.S. troops were serving as advisers to the U.S. allied government forces of Iraq, which were fighting foreign-backed jihadist insurgents from the north and west of the country. At that time, it did appear that the United States backed government was winning, but U.S forces would be required to remain in Iraq to maintain the gains made by the previous administration. Obama decided not to pursue a security agreement with the government of Iraq to allow U.S. forces to remain in Iraq — over the objections of the U.S. military. Two of Obama’s secretaries of defense, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta — a Republican and a Democrat, respectively — charged that the decision not to pursue a security agreement was political on Obama’s part, as he wanted to withdraw from Iraq.

Five years later, Obama finds himself where Kennedy did in 1963.

IN 1963, Kennedy tasked his senior military commander for operations in Vietnam, Gen. Maxwell Taylor, and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, to conduct an assessment of the situation in Vietnam after insurgents made stunning gains against U.S. allied forces in the south. Kennedy worried that if left unchecked, communism could spread to neighboring countries and destabilize the region. McNamara, a former Ford president, was a man that Kennedy had come to respect and, thus, had the president’s ear.

THE PRESIDENT ALSO APPOINTED A SPECIAL ENVOY for Vietnam from the White House, Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs Walt Rostow. Rostow’s appointment to help coordinate the Vietnam effort was widely seen as an attempt to give the White House more direct control, insight and influence into military decision-making. After conducting their assessment, Gen. Taylor and Secretary McNamara concluded that the current U.S. strategy in Vietnam was not working. Accordingly, Taylor and McNamara made recommendations to Kennedy to triple the number of U.S. advisers in Vietnam, conduct a strategic bombing campaign against key targets in North Vietnam, and to secretly deploy thousands of U.S. forces to embed with the South Vietnamese army to fight against the North Vietnamese insurgents, and direct precision air strikes.

IN 2014, Obama tasked his senior military commander for operations Iraq and Syria, Gen. Lloyd Austin, and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, to conduct an assessment of the situation in Iraq and Syria after insurgents made stunning gains against U.S. allied forces in the south. Obama worried that if left unchecked, the ISIS could spread to neighboring countries and destabilize the region. Hagel, a former Chevron board member, was a man that Obama had come to respect and, thus, had the president’s ear.

THE PRESIDENT ALSO APPOINTED A SPECIAL ENVOY for Iraq from the White House, Gen. John Allen (ret.). Allen’s appointment to help coordinate the ISIS effort was widely seen as an attempt to give the White House more direct control, insight and influence into military decision-making. After conducting their assessment, Gen. Austin and Secretary Hagel concluded that the current U.S. strategy in Iraq and Syria was not working. Accordingly, Austin and Hagel made recommendations to Obama to triple the number of U.S. advisers in Iraq, conduct a strategic bombing campaign against key targets in Iraq and Syria, and to secretly deploy thousands of U.S. forces to embed with the Iraqi army and Syrian rebels to fight against ISIS insurgents, and direct precision air strikes.

WARY OF ENTERING THE UNITED STATES INTO ANOTHER LAND WAR IN ASIA, Kennedy rejected the recommendation to embed U.S. forces with the South Vietnamese army and instead opted to conduct a strategic bombing campaign and deploy non-combat advisers only. As a condition for increasing support to South Vietnam, Kennedy demanded concessions from South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, a Catholic, who was widely seen as enacting and enforcing discriminatory sectarian policies that were alienating the religious minority Buddhists and the ethnic minority Montagnard peoples. (The Montagnards would prove to be a great ally of the U.S. military and fought bravely alongside U.S. forces.)

WHEN DIEM FAILED TO MEET THOSE CONDITIONS, Kennedy tacitly supported Diem’s overthrow to ensure a new president would come to power who could unite the people of Vietnam. However, shortly after its implementation, it became apparent that the new strategy Kennedy chose to pursue was insufficient to achieve the goal of destroying communism in Vietnam.

WARY OF ENTERING THE UNITED STATES INTO ANOTHER LAND WAR IN ASIA, Obama rejected the recommendation to embed U.S. forces with Iraqi army and Syrian rebels and instead opted to conduct a strategic bombing campaign and deploy non-combat advisers only. As a condition for increasing support to Iraq, Obama demanded concessions from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, who was widely seen as enacting and enforcing discriminatory sectarian policies that were alienating the religious minority Sunnis and the ethnic minority Kurdish people. (The Kurds would prove to be a great ally of the U.S. military and fought bravely alongside U.S. forces.) (MILLER: The President Is Lying To America — About Us, And About ISIS)

WHEN MALIKI FAILED TO MEET THOSE CONDITIONS, Obama overtly supported Maliki’s overthrow to ensure a new prime minister would come to power who could unite the people of Iraq. However, shortly after its implementation, it became apparent that the new strategy Obama chose to pursue was insufficient to achieve the goal of destroying the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Which brings us to today.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/10/13/pentagon-official-the-similarities-between-obamas-isis-and-kennedys-vietnam-are-eerie/

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.




Comments

comments






Comments are Closed

%d bloggers like this: