THE WHITE HOUSE — The man who once wrote a book highly critical of policymakers who escalated an unwinnable war in Vietnam is urging escalation in an unwinnable war in Afghanistan, sources confirmed today.
Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, whose PhD thesis castigated the Joint Chiefs of Staff for their "dereliction of duty" during the Vietnam War, has laid out a plan to send thousands of additional troops to fight in Afghanistan.
McMaster, who rose through the ranks as an unconventional military thinker, dismissed comparisons to the Vietnam War, in which the US military tried to prop up the failing Diem regime amidst an insurgency sponsored by North Vietnam, and the war in Afghanistan, in which the US government is supporting the faltering government in Kabul against a Pakistan-sponsored insurgency.
"We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel," said McMaster, President Trump's national security adviser, citing nearly a decade's worth of futile efforts to shift the burden of fighting onto the Afghan National Security Forces, much as US forces tried to promote the "Vietnamization" of the war in the late 1960s.
McMaster's predecessor during the Vietnam War, Henry Kissinger, wrote in his diary that there was "no cheap and easy way to defeat guerilla movements," and that "we know nothing about nation-building." McMaster assured reporters this was not the case in the 16-year war in Afghanistan, which has cost nearly one trillion dollars and claimed over 3,500 coalition lives.
McMaster's PhD thesis, later published as a book, carefully examined the nature of the war in Vietnam, a nation surrounded by hostile neighbors that had never been successfully conquered, before considering sending more troops to Afghanistan, commonly referred to as the "graveyard of Empires."
McMaster had considered retiring from the Army prior to assuming the position as National Security Advisor. He decided to stay on and accept the offer, however, saying, "You either retire an unorthodox thinker who speaks truth to power or you stay in the Army long enough to become a general."