IN THE NEWS
Since the late 1940s, we seem to be in a twenty-year cycle, repeating the following steps:
- The United States feels that an insurgency suddenly threatens its vital interests.
- American national security professionals rush to understand this type of conflict.
- The revolutionary and counterrevolutionary drama plays itself out, to the benefit or detriment of US interests.
- The US public and elites lose interest in this type of conflict.
- After a quiet period, we return to step #1.
Exhibit A: This article in Parameters, which could have been written after the "Fall of China," the NLF seized the initiative against the South Vietnamese goverment, the escalation of violence in El Salvador's civil war. It's a good article, and it's definitely worth framing these issues in light of Iraq and Afghanistan. Still, it feels like were repeating history.