In 1971, a much younger John Kerry complained to Congress about the phony distinction between ground troops and helicopter crews in Vietnam, and an American people who “accepted a differentiation fed them by the administration.”
How fitting that Mr. Kerry, who recently returned from Baghdad, now serves as secretary of state for an administration feeding us the whopper that Marines fighting ISIS in Iraq are not combat troops.
Part of the answer seems to be fudging the troop numbers, officially U.S. troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan are capped at 3,870 and 9,800 respectively. But after a Marine in northern Iraq—Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin—was killed in an ISIS rocket attack, the Pentagon was forced to admit there are as many as 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, only then did Americans learn that men such as Staff Sgt. Cardin are not included in the official troop count because they were rotated in on a temporary basis, today, as secretary of state, Mr. Kerry travels about the world rationalizing an Iraq policy designed to keep President Obama from having to admit his mistake: that he has only made worse a war he claimed to have ended.
Conventional wisdom that Syria will turn out to be “Hezbollah’s mini-Vietnam”, which the Iranian backed Lebanese armed group would encounter its gradual collapse in the conflict, is proving to be misguided three years into its involvement.
While Hezbollah is losing manpower and assets in Syria, it is also expanding its foothold and leverage across the country and gaining military expertise, Hezbollah is now a juggernaut with offensive capabilities and territorial gains, whose sole objective is to gain presence and influence, operating with impunity as a non-state actor, without being burdened by the Vietnam playbook.