Military Advisers to Iraq: What Could Go Wrong?

by Joe Scarry

One word: Vietnam.

“U.S. Adviser Planning Operations with South Vietnamese Troops” 
From The U.S. Army in Vietnam: Background, Buildup, and Operations, 1950-1967

Isn’t “adviser” just another word for “pre-escalation”?

For the full 1963 Bobbie Lou Pendergrass letter to JFK and more, see: Military Advisers in Vietnam: 1963 – Lesson plan at

Related posts

For alert Americans, the announcement that “As part of the deal with Manila, the U.S. is promising to step up military assistance and training with the Philippine military . . . . “ is worrying. The first question to ask is this: how many “military advisers” is the U.S. putting in the Philippines, and what is it leading to?

(See “Military Advisers” – The Third Rail of US Engagement in SE Asia )

I don’t know how this strikes other people, but it seems to me like theSchool of the Americas (SOA) model has been transferred to Afghanistan. The SOA model is to use U.S. money and ideas to enable power holders in another country to persecute and kill ideological enemies, while denying that the U.S. is engaging in violence in that country, much less exposing U.S. combat troops to violence in that country, and making every effort to disavow the consequences of U.S. guidance of the violence (and crimes) being carried out in that country.

(See Is the SOA Coming to Afghanistan? )

There is a very dangerous tendency to justify military intervention in Africa as “humanitarian.” This is particular true in light of recent history, in which the international community failed to intervene successfully in violence like the genocide in Rwanda. We have a lot of confusion about the need to intervene, the definition of humanitarian, and the temptation to use power, force, violence.


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2 Responses to Military Advisers to Iraq: What Could Go Wrong?

  1. Paula danette Grimes says:

    I will be glad when some of these countries tell the president of the united states that we can fight our own battles so he can call the troops home because too many troops are getting killed

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