U.S. Strategy in Iraq

Jim Woolsey: The U.S. historically has reacted pretty quickly, at least in modern times, to changes in enemy tactics.  We didn’t fight well on land for the first year of World War II for ’42, much in neither North Africa or the islands like Tarhuna, but we got better fast because the military is very candid in their after actions reports and the things that have to be corrected.  Lincoln, it took him two years to get his strategy and his general right, and he almost lost the 1864 election to McClellan.  If Sherman hadn’t burned Atlanta, he probably would have.  So that was a close one.  But Vietnam, it took them over three years in one way or another to give up on search and destroy, and to move toward clear and hold strategy that made it possible for Abrams really to defeat the Viet Cong.  People forget that in ’73 the Viet Cong were essentially defeated.  There was a pretty decent peace treaty with the north.  That’s what led to the exchange of prisoners, all of that.  The Viet Cong didn’t defeat South Vietnam or the United States.  What won the Vietnam War for the North was a main force, armored invasion of the south in ’75.  And the U.S. was so war-weary by that point that Congress didn’t support even using air forces and air power to help hold them off, and they defeated the south Vietnamese.  But I guess what one would conclude from that is that if you can make all your changes in the first year of a war – these are very rough historical analogies – you can probably start winning.  You can probably keep the American people’s support.  Two years is right at the margin, but three years is a very long time of continuing to fight a losing strategy.  And that’s what Johnson did with Westmorland in the Vietnam War, and that’s what Bush has done with his generals in this war.  Three years is very, very hard to come back from.

Recorded on: 7/6/07

The U.S. historically has reacted quickly to changes in enemy tactics. This time, Jim Woolsey says it's taking a little too long.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

If you want to spot a narcissist, look at the eyebrows

Bushier eyebrows are associated with higher levels of narcissism, according to new research.

Big Think illustration / Actor Peter Gallagher attends the 24th and final 'A Night at Sardi's' to benefit the Alzheimer's Association at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 9, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
popular
  • Science has provided an excellent clue for identifying the narcissists among us.
  • Eyebrows are crucial to recognizing identities.
  • The study provides insight into how we process faces and our latent ability to detect toxic people.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less