After news broke in 2009 that everyone in the Obama administration was reading Lessons in Disaster: The Path to War in Vietnam, avoiding another quagmire by recognizing that war was voluntary has been top priority. "Had JFK not been assassinated, the huge escalation of that war, that ballooning failure of American involvement in that doomed exercise, it wouldn't have happened," said Rachel Maddow.
MADDOW: Hundreds of thousands of American troops for years and years and years... LBJ didn't want a war in Vietnam. He campaigned against it and said it was a terrible idea. But once he was president... Nixon said he had a 'secret plan' to end the war. He didn't have a secret plan... It started in the 50s and it didn't end until the 70s, and even then it was lost...
When the Obama administration started in 2009, the new president and his new administration let it be known in ways large and small, including letting everyone know what they were reading. Letting everyone know they were cognizant of the lessons of the escalation in Vietnam. Dumping more and more live bodies on a losing fight. To compensate for the fundamental pointlessness for which those lives were being thrown...
In the Vietnam analogy, the new Obama administration aspired to not be LBJ. A the start of the administration they let it be known they were cognizant of these analogies. They might surge in Afghanistan, but it wouldn't become a quagmire. That was 2009. The Afghan war is still on...
Iraq troops escalation:
June 19, 2014: 300 troops
June 30, 2014: +200
MADDOW: The numbers are up and rising steadily. Proximity to ISIS is up, the number of reopened bases is up. And so far Congress has taken no action to debate on this new and escalating engagement. What was the name of that book they were reading? Lessons in disaster.