On the heels of remembering the 1968 massacre of civilians by American soldiers in Vietnam, I was prompted to read an Air War College Research Report from the 1980s called “Parallels in Conflict: American Revolution and Vietnam War”.
The TL;DR is Lt Col Robert Daly II arrives at a simple tautology.
…military commanders should advocate military force only when the political situation will support a decisive military campaign early in the conflict.
To me that reads like telling people only fight when you know you are going to immediately win, which isn’t at all what getting into a fight is about. I mean fighting for the sole purpose of early victory is such an easy decision as to be no decision at all.
Aren’t there cases where getting into conflict is based on a higher calling such as fighting for the right reasons and sticking it out through hard times? Did America believe it would have a decisive military campaign early in the Civil War, for example?
Let’s flip this analysis around and say that the British could have fought against the American Revolution expressly to prohibit expansion of slavery, as some settlers operated under a false pretense whites couldn’t survive without blacks doing all their work for them.
Oglethorpe realized, however, that many settlers were reluctant to work. Some settlers began to grumble that they would never make money unless they were allowed to employ enslaved Africans.
Slavery had been abolished 1735 in Georgia colony and then became a bitter fight. By 1775 England could have rolled into America in full force to end the practice and liberate blacks from the American settler white police states. Instead the British oversaw huge migration of blacks out of Georgia (e.g. into Jamaica) as the British evacuated, leaving behind backwards thinking American pro-slavery settlers.
Then by 1808 (American ban on import of slaves) Georgia switched to state sanctioned rape of black women, setting a stage for the 1812 war that again Britain could made authentic claims to liberating blacks from tyranny. Instead white men like Jackson used blacks in America to do their work for them against Brits, then stole their valor and stripped them of rights.
I see parallels to Vietnam here, but in a different way than probably intended by Daly. America in 1955 was establishing a repressive regime in South Vietnam under a blinkered anti-nationalist policy of Eisenhower (really Dulles and Dulles), which was violently deposed in 1963. That pulled America into a civil war. It would be like Britain backing a tyrannical regime in America to fight against France or Spain, but then getting pulled into America fighting with itself for control of the American government (e.g. the actual Civil War, not Revolution).