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"The US military in general has a tradition of scalding self-criticism that takes many forms. "


That may apply to Captains on down, but does it apply to, say, 3- and 4-star generals?

What you're seeing is that the RAND report, among other things, basically said that the high ranks of the Army didn't prepare for the war, and didn't adapt to what was going on until they were forced to. It's not something that the top brass want to hear, and frankly, they don't *have* to hear it. They can retire to cushy jobs in the military-industrial complex, and let the next cohort of officers deal with it. Who, in turn, will have all incentives to do the same thing.

They guys with the real incentives are the captains and majors, who will be dealing with this sh*t for the next several years, and possibly in a new war before they retire 10 years down the road. But they don't have the clout to do that, if the generals don't want to.

I'm sure that there's been an incredibly amount of informal AAR going on for the past few years amongst the Captains and Majors, which they've carefully kept the generals from hearing, lest some mid-level officers find their careers staked out on an anthill to die. But it won't be the generals doing it.

So far as I know, the Army's reaction to Vietnam was to (a) pledge no more guerrilla wars and (b) construct a history where the Army won, only to have victory snatched away.

Similar people, similar situations - similar actions.

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