Let’s get our Military History analogies strait

April 11, 2008

The usually bright Leon Hadar has this long and winding comparison of the ineffectual response of the “Iraqi government” to the return of the Sadrists to – get this – the Tet Offensive!

How many turning points in Iraq have silly people in Washington compared to Tet?  I have news for them: al-Sadr’s first show of force in April 2004 was the Tet Offensive, and we’ve been in nothing but the bloody drawing out ever since.

While we’re on the subject, I’d like to propose the best analogy to the surge and most of all the countersurge, one which gives me great pride as a New Yorker – the Battle of Brooklyn.  When Washington (the insurgents) entered New York (Baghdad), the British sought to take the city with overwhelming force.  Washington’s (the insurgents’) strategy?  Relocate to the Brooklyn Heights (outskirts of Baghdad), send a few units out on a series of suicide missions as the British (Americans) advance up from the south, buying just enough time for a long, drawn out fighting retreat from Manhattan (Baghdad), allowing the British (Americans) to take the city, giving them just the pyrrhic victory necessary so that they could be bled to death in their false confidence.

It may very well be the greatest irony in the history of the world – the earliest prophet of irregular warfare would be the father of the country whose empire would be most spectacularly destroyed by it.

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One Response to “Let’s get our Military History analogies strait”

  1. teageegeepea Says:

    Washington fought in the same manner the British did, which is not surprising as he had been a brigadier general in the British military. He engaged in regular warfare. There were “minutemen” who can be considered irregulars even if they used conventional tactics, but Washington was the commander of the Continental Army, a regular force. Wikipedia is pretty good on the place of guerrilla warfare in the revolution. As for Washinton’s originality in fighting retreats, he was beaten to the punch by Roman dictator Quintus Fabius Maximus, who was even more averse to pitched battles. Speaking of Roman military history, I think the completely idiotic nature of much of our meddling abroad might best be analogized to the Jugurthine war.


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