Iraq, Vietnam, and the Limits of American Power Epub

Iraq, Vietnam, and the Limits of American Power Epub

Iraq, Vietnam, and the Limits of American Power ❮Read❯ ➵ Iraq, Vietnam, and the Limits of American Power Author Robert K. Brigham – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Since the first days of the Irai invasion supporters of the war have cautioned the public not to view this conflict as another Vietnam They rightfully point to many important distinctions There is no Since the first days of the and the eBook ☆ Irai invasion supporters of the war have cautioned the public not to view this conflict as another Vietnam They rightfully point to many important distinctions There is Iraq, Vietnam, PDF/EPUB ² no unified resistance in Ira No political or religious leader has been able to galvanize opposition to US intervention the way that Ho Chi Minh did in Vietnam And it is not likely that Vietnam, and the ePUB ´ American troops will find their way to Ira However there are two similarities that may dwarf the thousands of differences First in Ira like Vietnam the original rationale for going to war has Vietnam, and the Limits of MOBI :Þ been discredited and public support has dwindled Second in both cases the new justification became building stable societies There are enormous pitfalls in America's nation building efforts in Ira as there were in Vietnam But it is the business we now find ourselves in and there is no easy retreat from it morally As American frustration increases some policy makers are making the deadly mistake of approaching problems in Ira as if we are facing them for the first time It is crucial that we apply the lessons of Vietnam wisely and selectively.


About the Author: Robert K. Brigham

Robert K Brigham Shirley Ecker Boskey and the eBook ☆ Professor of History and International Relations joined the Vassar faculty in He is a specialist on the history of US foreign policy particularly the Vietnam War Iraq, Vietnam, PDF/EPUB ² Along with several teaching awards he has also earned fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation the Mellon Foundation the National Endowment for Humanities the Smith Richardson Founda.



4 thoughts on “Iraq, Vietnam, and the Limits of American Power

  1. Dennis Littrell Dennis Littrell says:

    Clear detailed comparison and analysisThis is the kind of book that gets assigned in political science classes at our universities It is reasonable and reasoned Its author Robert K Brigham is a professor of history and international relations at Vassar College and an acknowledged expert on the Vietnam War Conseuently he is in a good position to compare and contrast that war with the current oneThe war in Ira differs from that in Vietnam in many important respects; nonetheless there are also similarities is perhaps a good summation of Brigham's thesis Clearly one difference is that in Vietnam we intervened to prop up a regime whereas in Ira we invaded in order to destroy a regime Another is that in Vietnam we had the plausible national security justification that we were stopping the spread of communism No such logic could be applied to Ira unless of course we accept the notion that maintaining our access to oil in the Middle East is a national security consideration and that further invading Ira would work toward that goalThe similarities include fighting a war against an enemy that has the support of a large segment if not a majority of the population an enemy that cannot be easily overcome with superior fire power or the use of traditional strategies of conventional warfare Another similarity is that both wars were justified by false reports in Vietnam the Gulf of Tonkin attacks and in Ira the weapons of mass destruction that weren't there and the phony connection between Saddam Hussein and Al aeda A third similarity is that initially both wars enjoyed wide public support and presidents Johnson and George W Bush were given free reign by Congress to pursue their objectives; but after many failures and impending defeat the public and Congress turned against the warsProfessor Brigham points to a number of other similarities and differences in a most compelling way He ends the book with the warning that failure in Ira may very well lead to an Ira Syndrome similar to the Vietnam Syndrome that reduced the ability of the United States to act effectively in other parts of the world for many years thereafter We can see that Brigham whose book was finished sometime between the spring of 2006 and the midterm elections in November was prescient here since it is painfully obvious that we cannot intervene militarily in Iran to stop their nuclear weapons program because of our failure in Ira and because we have so many of our military resources tied up there and in Afghanistan and elsewhereIt should be noted that Brigham does not entertain arguments about why Bush invaded Ira Instead he accepts the neoconservative view that we did it to foster democracy in the Middle East thereby theoretically increasing national security at home In this he is disingenuous since the real reasons for Bush's invasion of Ira are at best unclear and at worse shameful Nowhere does Brigham mention oil as a reason for the invasion Instead he writes Idealism and nobility of purpose then drove the United States to intervene in Vietnam and Ira p 138 But the truth is we intervened in Vietnam to oppose communist expansion and our initial goal ostensibly in Ira was to depose Saddam Hussein and install a regime friendly to American interests in the regionSometimes Brigham's expression makes it clear that he realizes that idealism and nobility have little to do with America's foreign policy such as this formulation Nowafter we have seen that there were no WMD or ties to Al aeda the war in Ira can be characterized instead as a nation building experiment to promote democracy p 163 Note well the can be characterized We know and Brigham reminds us that in the Bush Kerry debates George W made it clear that he didn't believe in nation building Did he change his mind or can nation building be used as a justification for an invasion for other reasons? My belief for what it's worth is that Bush invaded Ira primarily for personal reasons to go one up on his dad to help his Big Oil friends and to make sure that he unlike his father would have the advantage in 2004 of seeking reelection as a wartime president Often Brigham will make a point not by stating it directly but by attributing it to some segment of the population or the political spectrum For example he writes there is a growing feeling among many Americans that the Defense Department is not the place to invest resources for promoting democracy economic development and the rule of law But then he follows this up with what clearly IS his own expression Perhaps it is time to embrace the lessons of Vietnam and to understand that democracy cannot be imposed by outsiders p 166There are five chapters in the book organized in a way that mirrors our experience in the two wars first there is the pretext for war Chapter One America Goes to War; then there is the war itself Chapter Two The Military Half and Chapter Three The Problems of Nation Building; followed by dealing with the situation as things go sour Chapter Four Staying the Course; and finally the conseuences Chapter Five Challenges to America's PowerThis is a well thought out clearly expressed and very nicely edited and presented book directed at both the general reader and professionals For the most part Brigham does not take sides but limits himself to presenting the facts as he knows them coupled with an informed analysis Dennis Littrell author of “The World Is Not as We Think It Is”


  2. Paul Hart Paul Hart says:

    A rather straightforward and conventional look at the similarities between the Vietnam and Ira wars and their impact on the United States Not overly engaging though clear and well organized


  3. Anderson Anderson says:

    Incidentally a mind piece of anger throughout the relativity of the short war this book reads the foreign policy problem of communist thought as apart of the youthful identity of soldiers during the 1960's There is an unlikely tone set about america's involvement and a heavy focus on the relativity of the soldier's place in the war torn corner of the world near the Vietnam divide


  4. notabattlechick notabattlechick says:

    A pre Surge 2007 book that explicitly compares the American wars in Vietnam and Ira It seeks to explore in some historical depth the uestion of how validrelevantinsightful the multitude of comparisons between Ira and Vientam actually are both in terms of historical analogy and in terms of how it might inform a policy debate about the future of Ira Brigham's understanding of Vietnam is vastly superior to his comfort with Ira understandable given his training but even here the examination of Vietnam is rather cursory again likey a function of genre and audience than a lack of knowledge on Brigham's part There is nothing here that will surprise or even reuire a second thought by most scholars of military history and of the conflicts in Vietnam and Ira in particular It is most definitely NOT a book for specialists Lay readers and the general public may get mileage out of it Nonetheless it does lay out important potential areas for future research and comparisons and warns uite clearly against making too much of historical analogies It deals rather smartly with the critiue that they are nothing alike becaue the military tactics operations and even strategies are so different and it illuminates several fo the important congruencies in the two wars ideological fervor political support the difficulty of nation building the problem of long wars etc Would make a decent undergraduate text especially if supplemented by primary source documents or an introductory analysis to the comparisons so often heard in the public sphere


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4 thoughts on “Iraq, Vietnam, and the Limits of American Power

  1. Dennis Littrell Dennis Littrell says:

    Clear detailed comparison and analysisThis is the kind of book that gets assigned in political science classes at our universities It is reasonable and reasoned Its author Robert K Brigham is a professor of history and international relations at Vassar College and an acknowledged expert on the Vietnam War Conseuently he is in a good position to compare and contrast that war with the current oneThe war in Ira differs from that in Vietnam in many important respects; nonetheless there are also similarities is perhaps a good summation of Brigham's thesis Clearly one difference is that in Vietnam we intervened to prop up a regime whereas in Ira we invaded in order to destroy a regime Another is that in Vietnam we had the plausible national security justification that we were stopping the spread of communism No such logic could be applied to Ira unless of course we accept the notion that maintaining our access to oil in the Middle East is a national security consideration and that further invading Ira would work toward that goalThe similarities include fighting a war against an enemy that has the support of a large segment if not a majority of the population an enemy that cannot be easily overcome with superior fire power or the use of traditional strategies of conventional warfare Another similarity is that both wars were justified by false reports in Vietnam the Gulf of Tonkin attacks and in Ira the weapons of mass destruction that weren't there and the phony connection between Saddam Hussein and Al aeda A third similarity is that initially both wars enjoyed wide public support and presidents Johnson and George W Bush were given free reign by Congress to pursue their objectives; but after many failures and impending defeat the public and Congress turned against the warsProfessor Brigham points to a number of other similarities and differences in a most compelling way He ends the book with the warning that failure in Ira may very well lead to an Ira Syndrome similar to the Vietnam Syndrome that reduced the ability of the United States to act effectively in other parts of the world for many years thereafter We can see that Brigham whose book was finished sometime between the spring of 2006 and the midterm elections in November was prescient here since it is painfully obvious that we cannot intervene militarily in Iran to stop their nuclear weapons program because of our failure in Ira and because we have so many of our military resources tied up there and in Afghanistan and elsewhereIt should be noted that Brigham does not entertain arguments about why Bush invaded Ira Instead he accepts the neoconservative view that we did it to foster democracy in the Middle East thereby theoretically increasing national security at home In this he is disingenuous since the real reasons for Bush's invasion of Ira are at best unclear and at worse shameful Nowhere does Brigham mention oil as a reason for the invasion Instead he writes Idealism and nobility of purpose then drove the United States to intervene in Vietnam and Ira p 138 But the truth is we intervened in Vietnam to oppose communist expansion and our initial goal ostensibly in Ira was to depose Saddam Hussein and install a regime friendly to American interests in the regionSometimes Brigham's expression makes it clear that he realizes that idealism and nobility have little to do with America's foreign policy such as this formulation Nowafter we have seen that there were no WMD or ties to Al aeda the war in Ira can be characterized instead as a nation building experiment to promote democracy p 163 Note well the can be characterized We know and Brigham reminds us that in the Bush Kerry debates George W made it clear that he didn't believe in nation building Did he change his mind or can nation building be used as a justification for an invasion for other reasons? My belief for what it's worth is that Bush invaded Ira primarily for personal reasons to go one up on his dad to help his Big Oil friends and to make sure that he unlike his father would have the advantage in 2004 of seeking reelection as a wartime president Often Brigham will make a point not by stating it directly but by attributing it to some segment of the population or the political spectrum For example he writes there is a growing feeling among many Americans that the Defense Department is not the place to invest resources for promoting democracy economic development and the rule of law But then he follows this up with what clearly IS his own expression Perhaps it is time to embrace the lessons of Vietnam and to understand that democracy cannot be imposed by outsiders p 166There are five chapters in the book organized in a way that mirrors our experience in the two wars first there is the pretext for war Chapter One America Goes to War; then there is the war itself Chapter Two The Military Half and Chapter Three The Problems of Nation Building; followed by dealing with the situation as things go sour Chapter Four Staying the Course; and finally the conseuences Chapter Five Challenges to America's PowerThis is a well thought out clearly expressed and very nicely edited and presented book directed at both the general reader and professionals For the most part Brigham does not take sides but limits himself to presenting the facts as he knows them coupled with an informed analysis Dennis Littrell author of “The World Is Not as We Think It Is”

  2. Paul Hart Paul Hart says:

    A rather straightforward and conventional look at the similarities between the Vietnam and Ira wars and their impact on the United States Not overly engaging though clear and well organized

  3. Anderson Anderson says:

    Incidentally a mind piece of anger throughout the relativity of the short war this book reads the foreign policy problem of communist thought as apart of the youthful identity of soldiers during the 1960's There is an unlikely tone set about america's involvement and a heavy focus on the relativity of the soldier's place in the war torn corner of the world near the Vietnam divide

  4. notabattlechick notabattlechick says:

    A pre Surge 2007 book that explicitly compares the American wars in Vietnam and Ira It seeks to explore in some historical depth the uestion of how validrelevantinsightful the multitude of comparisons between Ira and Vientam actually are both in terms of historical analogy and in terms of how it might inform a policy debate about the future of Ira Brigham's understanding of Vietnam is vastly superior to his comfort with Ira understandable given his training but even here the examination of Vietnam is rather cursory again likey a function of genre and audience than a lack of knowledge on Brigham's part There is nothing here that will surprise or even reuire a second thought by most scholars of military history and of the conflicts in Vietnam and Ira in particular It is most definitely NOT a book for specialists Lay readers and the general public may get mileage out of it Nonetheless it does lay out important potential areas for future research and comparisons and warns uite clearly against making too much of historical analogies It deals rather smartly with the critiue that they are nothing alike becaue the military tactics operations and even strategies are so different and it illuminates several fo the important congruencies in the two wars ideological fervor political support the difficulty of nation building the problem of long wars etc Would make a decent undergraduate text especially if supplemented by primary source documents or an introductory analysis to the comparisons so often heard in the public sphere

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