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The Lessons of Vietnam, Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib

After we left Vietnam, the Khmer Rouge enacted a genocidal policy that would kill over 1/5 of all Cambodians. After repeated border clashes in 1978, Vietnam invaded Democratic Kampuchea (Cambodia) and ousted the Khmer Rouge in the Cambodian–Vietnamese War. In response China invaded Vietnam in In 1979. The two countries fought a brief border war, known as the Third Indochina War or the Sino-Vietnamese War.

Leaving Vietnam didn't bring peace, it brought death and instability to the region. The country remains one of the worst in the world, ranked 142nd out of 157 countries for economic freedom, 155 out of 167 for freedom, 111 out of 163 for corruption. 58,000 of our own military gave their lives in the defense of freedom - and we failed to honor their sacrifices by keeping Vietnam free and prosperous.

For 30 years, our military has studied Vietnam and the impact of politics on the military. We KNOW there are going to be administrations and political forces that will seek to undermine any military action. That said, what did our current military leaders learn from history? I don't think we've learned enough.

We should not be surprised at the actions of the Obama administration or the ACLU. We know their vision of the world. We know that they believe in peace in passivity rather than force. Our military leaders know that history provides us with proof that this ideology is wrong. But we can't change that right now.

What we can change is our tactics on the battle field. Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib must not happen ever again. Our military knows that politicians and political groups will exploit every possible angle on how the military operates.

As a military leader, my message would be simple to my troops... take no prisoners. As an American fighting soldier, my logic would be simple.... I don't want to face the same enemy again that my brothers and sisters died to take prisoner. I don't want that enemy to ever walk on American soil and put my family at risk. I will take no prisoners.

Our military is good at one thing - fighting the enemy efficiently and effectively. We've been at war now for many years, and the precision that our military has executed to destroy the enemy is unprecedented. Our military is the best in the world. They are amazing young men and women that I am so proud to have been a part of.

40 years later and we know our military still sucks at politics. Our military still sucks at being a police force. Our military still sucks at taking prisoners. Our military isn't supposed to have to fight combatants that lack a state, are armed, and don't wear a uniform. They aren't enemy combatants defending a homeland or ideology, they are mass murderers wishing to destroy the very gifts that God provided us - life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

They must not be locked up. They must not be allowed a defense. They must not be allowed to go free to kill again.

Let's stop using our military for what it's sucks at and, instead, optimize our training and orders to execute on what we're great at:

Take no prisoners!

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Comment by Jeffrey Lynn king on May 13, 2009 at 10:09am
Comment by John (Blue Eagle) Maddalena on May 4, 2009 at 7:43am
Well said Brother Doug, That would take care of all actions done in time of war. "TAKE NO PRISONERS". Very well said, since we are known as being WAR MONGERS anyway.

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