Friday, June 13, 2014

Unclear On the Problem

As Iraq reels under the jihadi advance in northern Iraq, Leslie Gelb says we should do as little as possible to help Iraq:

Sure, I’m in favor of helping governments against these militant, crazy and dangerous jihadis. But first and foremost and lastly, it’s got to be their fight, not ours. As soon as the burden falls on the United States, our “best friends” do little or nothing and we lose. If they start fighting hard, and we’ll know it when we see it, there will be no mistaking it. Then the military and other aid we provide will mean something.

If I may be so bold, Iraq is in the crisis it is in now precisely because we did too little to help Iraq for the last 2-1/2 years.

And it is our fight, too. This is al Qaeda, you know.

And let me add that the South Vietnamese did indeed fight very hard when North Vietnam invaded.

The problem was too little American aid--South Vietnam did not have enough to fight the way we trained and organized them to fight; and a very bad strategic situation--the South Vietnamese needed to defend everywhere from north to south and not enough supplies to move the few reserves around and not enough air power to make up for the lack of mobile troops to resist the North Vietnamese who could mass troops knowing they had no need to defend North Vietnam itself from any serious ground threat.

I really have no use for Leslie Gelb.