I'm going to need a bit more verbosity to understand the message...
At any rate, it's more enjoyable than a badvogato post :)
The beginning of the story of 'King David' by the people of Mosul and by Vanity Fair contributing editor Mark Bowden.
He sprinted through graduate studies at Princeton and then through two years in the prestigious social-studies department at West Point. His doctoral thesis concerned Vietnam, work that led him, along with other young military thinkers, to question the army’s conventional view of that war, which tended to place the blame for failure on civilian leaders and the press. As the critics saw it, the failure had been one mainly of strategy: the military had gone about it all wrong. What had been needed was an approach that came under the broad heading “counter-insurgency.”
It was a way of thinking that challenged not just the army’s handling of Vietnam but also its prevailing strategy and doctrines in the decades that followed. The post–Vietnam War army had labored to bury the memory of defeat. It went back to preparing for what it did best—large conventional wars, sweeping tank battles on the plains of Central Europe. This emphasis would eventually breed “the Powell Doctrine,” which counseled against any use of force that was not overwhelming and rapidly decisive—the kind of war that was fought in the desert against Saddam Hussein, in 1990–91. As the world evolved, and as the Soviet Union collapsed, the might of the U.S. military grew comparably stronger and less vulnerable to challenge—and, as a result, more resistant to change.
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