Saturday, December 18, 2004

Chomsky: Draft not likely: "The military command, and the civilian leadership, learned an important lesson in Vietnam: you can’t expect a citizen’s army to fight a vicious, brutal colonial war. Their predecessors knew that. The British, French, etc., provided the officer corps, special forces, and professional military, but relied on the Foreign Legion, Ghurkas, Indian troops, and other mercenaries. That’s standard. The US made a serious tactical error in this regard in Vietnam—though it had plenty of mercenaries too: South Korean, Thai, and others. In Iraq, the US is using what amounts to a mercenary army of the disadvantaged, and the second largest military force is the “private” companies made up of ex-military officers, South African killers, etc.

"In Vietnam, the army collapsed from within: drugs, killing officers, etc. Citizens are not trained killers, and they are not sufficiently dissociated from the civilian culture at home to fight colonial wars properly. The top brass wanted the army out, before it fell apart. And the civilian leadership agreed."

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