In Afghanistan, memories of Vietnam ( Martin Bell in New Statesman)

It is one of the constants of war zones that the further you are from front lines, the more optimistic the military assessments become…Memories of the Vietnam War come floating back. The evening briefings in Saigon, the notorious "five o’clock follies", inhabited a similar parallel universe. It is one of the constants of war zones that the further you are from the front lines the more optimistic the military assessments become – until you get to the very top, where today’s generals seem so much cleverer and less gung-ho than yesterday’s. It is the politicians who worry me – the more so perhaps because for a while I was one of them. If only they were as smart as the generals, we might indeed be where we want to be… In Afghanistan, memories of Vietnam ( Martin Bell in New Statesman)

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