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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:38 pm 
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jemhouston wrote:
The PTO we wanted revenge. If that meant killing Japanese, then we did by the truck load.

A perfectly reasonable response to fighting an enemy known for brutal treatment of POWs (when they bothered to take any, as opposed to simply killing captives on the spot). Also a perfectly rational response to fighting an enemy known for faking surrender in order to draw would-be captors in close for a last-gasp attack.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:01 pm 
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Philistine wrote:
A perfectly reasonable response to fighting an enemy known for brutal treatment of POWs (when they bothered to take any, as opposed to simply killing captives on the spot). Also a perfectly rational response to fighting an enemy known for faking surrender in order to draw would-be captors in close for a last-gasp attack.

This actually shows what is meant when saying Americans run wars like a business. Carefully calculate the costs of doing something, the investment required, the likely benefits to be achieved, what are the risks involved, and the relative position of the entity before and after the transaction is completed. When reading national strategy documents of the era, this comes out very strongly. Even the conduct of the war in the Pacific has that calculation at its root.

One can actually follow that further by suggesting that as legalism and lawyering has become an every-more dominant part of American life, the American attitude to war has changed from a business orientation to a legal one. The cost/benefit calculation has become one of courtroom calculation "what does the law actually say we can or cannot do."

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:52 pm 
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Philistine wrote:
jemhouston wrote:
The PTO we wanted revenge. If that meant killing Japanese, then we did by the truck load.

A perfectly reasonable response to fighting an enemy known for brutal treatment of POWs (when they bothered to take any, as opposed to simply killing captives on the spot). Also a perfectly rational response to fighting an enemy known for faking surrender in order to draw would-be captors in close for a last-gasp attack.


Which becomes self-perpetuating. Japanese officers tell their troops the Americans are savages who will kill them after they surrender, so take them with you instead. The troops believe it, and a few do the 'that's a grenade in the hand not holding the white flag' trick. The Americans, quite reasonably, are forced (first ad hoc, then coming down from the officers) to treat every surrendering Japanese solider as a fake. The Japanese officers then point at this and go 'see?!'...

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 Post subject: Re: Good discussion
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:11 pm 
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OSCSSW wrote:
Looks like I'm very over matched Re: Market Garden. No worries and no hard feelings. I never considered myself a deep Strategic thinker, that much of a historian or any kind of Sojer.

All I can say in my defense is the concept of "Wasting your own troops/sailors on low probability of success ops" as in LBJ and MacNamara continuing to feeding 18 year olds into the meat grinder is wasted on this Nam Vet.
Been there. Done that. Still P!ssed about it and always will be.

I've been reading McMaster's book lately and it seems to be the Vietnam strategy was all about avoiding gambling - they'd rather take a certain mild defeat than any possibility of victory.

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