Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Jake, History tells us that there are many ways to win a war. Who won the Vietnam war? A military defeat of NATO would mean a loss of control over the Strait, that would be the ultimate spoil of war. Apart from that the political/religious implications would be huge.

But I doubt Iran can impose a military defeat on NATO, at least alone.


by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]protonmail[dot]ch) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 04:19:04 PM EST
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I don't know if anybody could be said to have won the war in Viet Nam. Hell, I don't even know who lost worse.

The whole point I'm trying to get across here is that in war it's a whole lot easier to make the other guy lose than it is to win. Negative sum games will do that to you.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 04:28:45 PM EST
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I don't even know who lost worse.

It was an existential threat to Hanoi, one which they survived. It was largely the byproduct of political football in the USA, plus defense of the sacred cold war "domino theory" beloved of Dean Rusk, Henry Kissenger, et al. The USA would have had to cauterize most of Vietnam and the Mekong River valley in order to prevail, and that would have assumed that China stayed out. Had it gone nuclear we might have had a test case for the nuclear winter hypothesis.

As the threat was greater to the Vietnamese - it was their country - they were prepared to pay a higher price. The problem for the US was that the collateral damage to the economy and society was too high to bear for much longer and yet we were hoist on the petard of our own "Peace with Honor" rhetoric. The wounds and divisions remain in the USA to this day, as they almost certainly do in Vietnam. Those wounds were the price for John Foster Dulles and other Eisenhower Era functionaries having tried to pick up 'the white man's burden' from the French.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 05:52:58 PM EST
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