Contrast: McNamara and Rumsfeld
Jo Fish over at Democratic Veteran
ran a post, Strange Donald Rumsfeld
, looking at the similarities of the wars handled by Robert McNamara and Donald Rumsfeld. I agree that there are multiple similarities, including the probable endings, but there are some differences.
During Vietnam equipment failed to work properly at first and there were a lot of minor annoyances, but fixes were found and implemented within a reasonable time frame. You pulled a one-year tour and didn't go back unless everyone else in your specialty at your rank had already gone or you volunteered. If you went on a temporary basis, you were out of there in less than 179 days. Except for a tiny number of specialties in which there were real critical shortages, when your active duty enlistment was up, you got to turn in your uniforms and go home with a benefit package that wasn't as good as World War II, but not terrible. If you stayed in you could retire with 50% of your base pay after 20 years, 75% if you stayed for 30.
The guys mired in the sand still don't have the right body or vehicle armor. No one knows how long a tour will be, or how many you'll have to pull. The temporary duty time limit is now 269 days. Thousands of people are being blocked from going home through "Stop-Loss" orders and people who have completed their active duty are being recalled from the Reserves. The benefits suck. If you stay in for 20 years you get 37.5% of base pay, 50% comes after 30 years.
The big difference between the two conflicts is how badly the troops are being treated in this one.
Apparently the people in charge of this mess don't see the need to treat volunteers as well as draftees were treated.
The kind of people who would do this probably blow up frogs or beat their dogs; they are real trash.