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Thread: Robert McNamara, ex-defense secretary, dies

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    Re: Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara Dies

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubub View Post
    You are more right than the others, but also flawed in your thinking. Saying outright that Vietnam was a victory will insinuate that you believe our ultimate objective was achieved... when it wasn't. But the war was not lost on the battlefield, it was lost at home. It was a political and moral defeat, not a military one... The American GI in Vietnam demonstrated some of the greatest feats of bravery and ingenuity in the history of Western warfare, defeating thousands of entrenched NVA troops in Hue. The marines inflicted thousands of casualities while sustaining some 150. That is one for the history books.
    This is what I'm talking about...

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    Re: Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara Dies

    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion89 View Post
    The main reason we lost the War was that Sect.McNamara wouldn't allow the bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong in 1965 if Rolling Thunder was allowed to attack these two Cities then the out come of the war would have been far different.
    Nixon bomed Hanoi and it didn't seem to win us the war. It was much more than that anyway... we needed to assault enemy sanctuaries across the border in force. Thailand, Laos, Cambodia... even North Vietnam if possible. Bombing would need to be directed at the North Vietnamese capital but also at North Vietnamese harbors... All this with a troop surge, a concerted anti-Viet Cong effort, and a campaign to win the hearts and minds of the South Vietnamese people. It would've taken a lot for total victory, but it was possible.
    Last edited by Tubub; 07-06-09 at 10:00 PM.
    “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
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    Re: Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara Dies

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubub View Post
    You are more right than the others, but also flawed in your thinking. Saying outright that Vietnam was a victory will insinuate that you believe our ultimate objective was achieved... when it wasn't. But the war was not lost on the battlefield, it was lost at home.
    That's what I meant by a more decisive victory and not politicizing the war. Wars are fought and won the the battlefield, not the political arena.

    As for the American military leadership, they were incompetent. Many blame politicians like McNamara... but Westy and the rest of MACV were also unshamingly not fit for the job. Westy was by no means a terrible general and to be scapegoated, and some could make the argument he was forced to fight the war like he did, but a good general would've found more effective methods of reaching the ultimate objective... not just stacking up body counts and giving the soldiers and the homefront absolutely not physical signs of victory.
    American military leadership wasn't incompetent. It was the civilian leadership that micromanaged the war that was incompetent

    As for the American military itself... evolved. It learned the techniques and methods of counter-insurgency, developed the proper tactics to defeat a guerilla enemy, and demonstrated unbelievably awesome firepower. They fought with hands tied behind their back... thats the truth.
    Agreed. Even with one hand tied behind his back, the American combat soldier kicked the living **** out of the enemy in every engagement.

    Vietnam was the ONLY American war where:

    No American unit surrendered en masse.

    Our kill ratio was over 10 to 1.

    No American general officers were killed, or captured.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara Dies

    Quote Originally Posted by Sturmrabe View Post
    The simple fact is the majority of the North's fighting forces were in those grass huts, and if you can't get to them you can't break their back,[or I should get their families], any comparisons between those wars are spurrious at best.
    That's a negative. It was the fighters in those grass huts that were rendered combat in-effective in 1968. The VC ceased to exist as a combat force after the Tet Offensive and the the Tet Offensive was a massive failure for the Communists.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara Dies

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    That's a negative. It was the fighters in those grass huts that were rendered combat in-effective in 1968. The VC ceased to exist as a combat force after the Tet Offensive and the the Tet Offensive was a massive failure for the Communists.
    If you want to talk about all the failures of the communists we could have a nice fireside chat all day long, I already said they lost like 90+% of the battles...

    But who unified Viet Nam?

    The winners...

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    Re: Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara Dies

    Quote Originally Posted by Sturmrabe View Post
    If you want to talk about all the failures of the communists we could have a nice fireside chat all day long, I already said they lost like 90+% of the battles...

    But who unified Viet Nam?

    The winners...
    BUT, the United States didn't lose the war. Why is it do hard for you to get a grip on that?
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara Dies

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    BUT, the United States didn't lose the war. Why is it do hard for you to get a grip on that?
    Our ultimate objective, a free and democratic South Vietnam was ultimately lost. Military victory is irrelevent if political victory doesn't follow.
    The Makeout Hobo is real, and does indeed travel around the country in his van and make out with ladies... If you meet the Makeout Hobo, it is customary to greet him with a shot of whiskey and a high five (if you are a dude) or passionate makeouts (if you are a lady).

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    Re: Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara Dies

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    That's what I meant by a more decisive victory and not politicizing the war. Wars are fought and won the the battlefield, not the political arena.
    But the government does have a role in ensuring that the military is doing its job humanely and effectively.

    Wars are always politicized... war itself is a further means of diplomacy.



    American military leadership wasn't incompetent. It was the civilian leadership that micromanaged the war that was incompetent
    No. LBJ and some of his key advisors that wanted to limit the war are not solely responsible. The incompetent military command were reponsible for overly agressive tactics, huge and ineffective operations, and aligning themselves with the civilian leadership henceforth forming a war of pure attrition. You can't just kill yourself out of a war... killing the enemy should be one element of your war plan, but not your sole element.
    [QUOTE]
    “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
    -TR

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    Re: McNamara dies

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    We defeated the enemy on the battlefield. While our political goal was botched, because of the violation of a leagal and binding treaty and no one bothered to enforce that treaty, as promised; we did achieve our objective on the battlefield and that was to force the enemy into submission. It went wrong when we didn't force them into submission, enough. This is what happens when wars are fought on the political front instead of the battle front.

    The South Vietnamese lost to The North, because we didn't give them the support we promised. US forces were never defeated by the Communists in Southeast Asia.
    So we lost.

    Think of it this way, if two teams are playing hockey, and one team dominates the game but accidentally scores three own-goals, while only scoring two goals for their own team, they lose.

    Dominating all game don't mean **** if the objective is lost.
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    Re: Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara Dies

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    BUT, the United States didn't lose the war. Why is it do hard for you to get a grip on that?
    Because they did lose the war.
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