A Serving U.S. Officer: Iraq Is Another Vietnam

Lt. Col. Paul Yingling has hit out with a withering critique of the Iraq war in the Armed Forces Journal, taking aim at American military leaders for being woefully unprepared — and hence not preparing troops — for the challenges the war has posed. What’s more, Yingling thinks it’s bound to end in defeat for the U.S.


Lt Col Yingling, who is deputy commander of the 3rd Armoured Cavalry Regiment and has served two tours in Iraq, said the military leadership had entirely failed to grasp what would be needed for success in Iraq.

“For reasons that are not yet clear, America’s general officer corps underestimated the strength of the enemy, overestimated the capabilities of Iraq’s government and security forces, and failed to provide Congress with an accurate assessment of the security conditions in Iraq,” he wrote.

The generals had gone into Iraq in 2003 with too few soldiers and no coherent plan for post-war stabilisation, having spent a decade “preparing to fight the wrong war”, he said.

“The intellectual and moral failures common to America’s general officer corps in Vietnam and Iraq constitute a crisis in American generalship.”

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