It’s a bit of a straw man headline.
US wars in the main combat phase are one thing — but occupation of a country with an insurgency will always turn into a war of attrition, and is best left to the locals.
I don't think so. I don't know who wrote it, McMaster or the NY Times, but war is man's most complex undertaking, IMHO. There's a reason that Sherman said "war is hell." If you don't make it so, you're unlikely to win.
US wars in the main combat phase are one thing but occupation of a country with an insurgency will always turn into a war of attrition, and is best left to the locals.
Despite technological and tactical superiority, people get maimed and killed for nothing without the twin strategies of attrition and long term occupation. Witness Germany, Japan and South Korea, as imperfect as South Korea remains. That's the only way to really win, at least in American history. That's why World War I, Vietnam and Iraq were utter wastes. It's why Afghanistan will likely be another waste.
I write this while attempting to be a serious student of history. I graduated basic training on my 18th birthday. I went to Vietnam twice as an Army infantryman when I could have gone to the City College of New York while it was still tuition free in 1969.
I saw the World Trade Center burning from the Bronx on September 11, 2001. As a general rule, we no longer have what it takes to do anything beyond punitive expeditions because the left will undermine it, unless it's Clinton in the Balkans, or Obama in Libya. Witness Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm tired of my fellow citizens getting killed and maimed for nothing!
P.S. We got a stalemate in Korea because of geography and superior firepower. Korea's DMZ was defensible because Korea was a peninsula. LBJ's failure to appreciate the nature of that stalemate led to our follies in Southeast Asia where the commies got havens for their ground forces in North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
P.P.S. I recently heard, I forgot where it was, maybe on a Charlie Rose show or C-Span, that the Chicoms would not commit ground forces to Southeast Asia because our artillery units chewed them up so badly in Korea. It's what could be expected when you put your troops in mass formations, but has any one else heard that?