The Al Anbar offensive

If you depend on newspapers or television to understand the progress of the war, you might be surprised to learn that American forces are engaged in an offensive in western Iraq. Mac Owens explains in a column for the New York Post today: “Behind the casualties.” Mac led an infantry platoon in Vietnam in 1968–69; his concluding paragraphs bitingly address the inevitable Vietnam metaphors invoked by Senator Kennedy and what Mac refers to as “his ilk”:

I am not a fan of comparing the Iraq war to Vietnam, but I think there is one comparison that may work, at least at the operational level of war. After Gen. Creighton Abrams replaced Gen. William Westmoreland as commander of U.S. troops in Vietnam, he adopted a “spoiling” strategy, designed to disrupt the offensive timetables of the North Vietnamese Army and buy more time for Vietnamization


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