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华盛顿邮报 从朝鲜战争和越南战争中吸取教训[收藏本帖]
[楼主] 作者:特种狙击手  发表时间:2007/01/24 20:29
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2007-01-24 从朝鲜战争和越南战争中吸取教训 来源:美国《华盛顿邮报》
美国人在翻箱倒柜找经验教训,希望帮助解决伊拉克问题。这里只有一个问题:二战以来我们打的两场不成功的战争教训并不相同。
在朝鲜和越南,总统们必须抢救局势恶化的战争,而且他们的决定挑起国会强烈的反对。但故事在这里开始不同。在朝鲜战争,国会要求杜鲁门作出更多取胜的努力。在越南战争,国会想阻止尼克松作更多努力。
布什显然决定他不会是那种面对挫折就少做些事情的战时领袖。他可能尝试从杜鲁门的错误中吸取教训——而且当中有很多可以吸取。毕竟,杜鲁门让麦克阿瑟将军推进朝鲜是因为他忍不住想推翻一个共产主义独裁政权。不幸的是,隔壁还有另一个大共产主义国家,而且当中国军队跨国边界,美国没有足够的兵力抵挡。
因此杜鲁门忘掉政权颠覆,决定美国的目标只是恢复战前的战线。随着政府变成失败主义者,事情变得一团糟。麦克阿瑟因为不停地唠叨胜利被杜鲁门解雇,回国向国会发表挑衅的演讲。众议院议长呼吁总统辞职。国务卿艾奇逊(Dean Acheson)忍受了八天盘问。
即便如此,杜鲁门坚持他的军事战略,不久以后,这场狂热退潮。然而伤害是巨大的。在进行停战谈判时,美军遭受的死伤和全力战斗时一样多。美国的决策者多年和战争的遗留问题搏斗。亚洲的共产主义看到世界最大的力量被牵制士气大振。艾奇逊表示,这场战争摧毁了杜鲁门政府。
可以理解,布什不想重蹈历史的覆辙。对于考虑可能的胜利的总统和将领们来说,决定反对加强努力是最难以想象的选择。它会导致政治风波,军队士气消沉以及战略混乱。
但如果这是朝鲜教给布什的教训,那越南呢?越南战争的多数教训现在太迟了。现在,他处于戏剧性的关头,负责这场战争的国防部长已经下台,如同1967年的麦克纳马拉(Robert McNamara);军事组织的老人已经宣布努力无用,如同1968年的艾奇逊等人;而且美国尝试把担子转给它艰难前行的盟友,如同1969年尼克松开始做的那样。
总统最需要思考的越南教训是,尽管“越南化”是一种有效的反叛乱战略,但在最后它无关紧要。1973年美国离开以后,南越的生存依靠经济援助、军事设备和偶尔的美国制空权。但“和平协议”一签署,政治支持就垮台了。国会宣布对美国制空权的使用不合法,而且援助急剧下降。
基辛格坚称水门事件妨碍美国帮助南越,但布什总统应该知道真相更令人沮丧。美国人只是不愿意再理这个地方。总统和国会之间的斗争变得如此痛苦,双方甚至在最基本的目标上无法达成协议。人们情愿让南越下台都不愿意帮助它,在今天看来似乎是令人震惊。但国会并不是唯一要对此负责的。总统做了很多事情破坏他自己的政策。
布什认为美国人不会长久支持不尝试取胜的政策,他可能是对的。但如果他要做得比杜鲁门好,他将不得不也要做得比尼克松好。他和国会在伊拉克问题上得辩论不会如越南辩论那样展开,这意味着还没有一个可行的军事计划。尼克松的计划也“可行”,但在四年的实施中,他失去了政治支持,在我们的军队撤走后无法让南越继续维持。
如果布什把重点完全放在短期改善伊拉克局势上,而没有让他的政策在美国在长期内持续,我们将不得不称之为失败。从一场战争吸取教训没有意义,除非你还可以从另一场战争吸取教训。(作者 Stephen Sestanovich)

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[楼主]  [2楼]  作者:特种狙击手  发表时间: 2007/01/24 21:06

原文:The Right Strategy Isn't Enough

The Right Strategy Isn't Enough

By Stephen Sestanovich
Wednesday, January 24, 2007; Page A23

Americans are rummaging through the past for lessons to help us in Iraq. There's just one problem: The two unsuccessful wars we've fought since World War II don't teach the same lesson.

In Korea and Vietnam, presidents had to salvage wars that had gone bad, and their decisions provoked fierce congressional opposition. But here the stories start to diverge. In Korea, Congress demanded that Harry Truman do more to win. In Vietnam, it wanted to keep Richard Nixon from doing too much.

George Bush has clearly decided he won't be the wartime leader who responds to setbacks by doing too little. He may be trying to learn from Truman's mistakes -- and there are plenty to learn from. Truman, after all, let Gen. Douglas MacArthur push far into North Korea because he couldn't resist the idea of toppling a communist dictatorship. Unfortunately, there was another large communist country next door, and when Chinese forces poured across the border, the United States didn't have enough troops to resist them.

So Truman, forgetting regime change, decided the United States would aim only to restore prewar battle lines. Gen. Omar Bradley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, described the new U.S. strategy as to "try to fight it out in general . . . without committing too great forces." With the administration looking defeatist, all hell broke loose. MacArthur, fired by Truman for incessant talk of victory, returned to give his defiant speech to Congress. The speaker of the House called on the president to resign. Secretary of State Dean Acheson endured eight solid days of senatorial grilling.

Even so, Truman stuck to his military strategy, and before long the furor subsided. Yet the damage was enormous. While a truce was negotiated, U.S. forces suffered as many casualties as they had when the fighting was at full tilt. American policymakers wrestled for years with the legacy of a war they hadn't tried to win. Communists across Asia were energized by seeing the world's greatest power held in check. The war, Acheson said, "destroyed the Truman administration."

Understandably, President Bush doesn't want to repeat this history. For a president and his generals who consider success possible, deciding against an intensified effort is the hardest imaginable choice. It tempts a political backlash, military demoralization and strategic confusion.

But if this is what Korea teaches Bush, what about Vietnam? It's too late for most of its lessons to help him. Right now, he is at the point in the drama where the defense secretary in charge of the war has been ousted, as Robert McNamara was in 1967; Establishment gray-beards have declared the effort hopeless, as Acheson and others did in 1968; and America is trying to shift the burden to its floundering ally, as Nixon began doing in 1969.

The Vietnam lesson the president needs to ponder most is that, although "Vietnamization" was an effective counterinsurgency strategy, in the end it didn't matter. After U.S. forces left in 1973, South Vietnam's survival depended on economic help, military equipment and occasional American airpower. But political support collapsed as soon as the "peace agreement" was signed. Congress outlawed any use of U.S. airpower, and assistance levels dropped sharply each year. When President Nguyen Van Thieu of South Vietnam visited the United States in 1973, hardly any of Nixon's own Cabinet even showed up to see him.

Henry Kissinger has long insisted that Watergate kept the United States from helping South Vietnam, but President Bush should know the more dispiriting truth. Americans simply wanted nothing further to do with the place. The struggle between the president and Congress had become so bitter, so corrosive -- such a grudge match -- that the two sides ceased to agree on even the most basic goals. Today it seems shocking that people preferred to let South Vietnam go down rather than help it. But Congress was not solely responsible for this result. The president had done much to undermine his own policy.

Bush may be right that Americans will not long support policies that don't involve trying to succeed. But if he wants to do better than Truman, he'll have to do better than Nixon, too. His debate with Congress on Iraq will unfold much as the Vietnam debate did, and that means it's not enough to have a military plan that could work. Richard Nixon's plan "worked," too, but in four years of implementing it, he lost the political support he needed to keep South Vietnam afloat once our troops were gone.

If this is how Bush succeeds, if he focuses entirely on what's needed to improve things in Iraq in the short term without making his policy more sustainable in America in the long term, we'll have to call it a failure. There's no point learning from the one war unless you learn from the other as well.



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