Published on Sunday, October 30, 2016 by Common Dreams
The new plan had several interlocking parts. First, eliminate the draft. That gets a few million pesky demonstrators off the streets. Second, minimize the deaths of US soldiers by increasing the use of airpower and mercenaries. Third, restrict media access to America’s wars. Pictures of crying mothers and burned children don’t help sell a war. Fourth, replace mass bombing and search and destroy operations with “precision-guided bombing” and selective murder through the secret Phoenix Program.
Although these tactics didn’t have time to “win” the Viet Nam War, they were used and studied in what the Pentagon called our “low-intensity conflicts” in Central America, Angola, and Afghanistan in the 1980s. (They are not lowintensity for the people in the affected countries.) But as the last fifteen years have shown, our military is only winning the freedom to keep us in a constant state of war.
The tactics used in Viet Nam and refined in the 1980s are being used again today in Afghanistan. Afghan president Ashraf Ghani said that when we had 150,000 US and NATO troops in Afghanistan we also had about 400,000 contractors. Since contractors do many of the jobs that were done by soldiers they should be counted as soldiers. So at the height of President Obama’s surge in Afghanistan we had more soldiers there than the 535,000 we said we had at the height of the Viet Nam War.
Now that there are only 8,500 US soldiers (and about 40,000 contractors) in Afghanistan, the media, instead of asking questions, repeats whatever the Pentagon tells them. Using special operations and drones has given the military the freedom they have sought since Viet Nam—the freedom to wreak havoc quietly.
Read entire article in CommonDreams