Though the Vietnam War was over by the time the millennial generation was born, the conflict plays an important role in informing how we view and understand our most recent wars. In an article for The Bridge, Will Station shares his thoughts on the Vietnam War, as well as the lessons learned both on and off the battlefield, and how they apply to today’s conflicts.
“The most important parallel between the thinking that led to Vietnam and the War on Terror is the flawed methodology of fighting an ideological battle as a ‘hot’ war,” Station writes. “Indeed, there are times when force is necessary, and we have applied it both proportionately and disproportionately at times during the War on Terror. But bullets do not kill ideas, and absent a superior ideology to complement necessary use of force, a ‘hot’ war against an idea is destined to be a losing prospect, a long and futile war of attrition.