In my last post, I talked about the Spanish-American War.
I think the best parallel to the current Bush wars is not Vietnam, but the Spanish-American War, which was also fought with an all-volunteer military, and justified by an incident (Remember the Maine!) that the target of the war (Spain) may not have actually been responsible for. We then annexed Cuba, Puerto Rico and Guam and also removed Spanish despotic rule in the Philippines, which left us bogged down against an indigenous guerrilla insurgency there, a whole new war (the Philippine-American War) that, at its peak, involved a surge of 126,000 U.S. troops, led to atrocities on both sides and didn’t really completely end until we promised Philippine independence in 1913.
Of course, precise parallels are impossible; each situation is unique–but I still think looking at history is instructive.
Tuesday night at 9 ET / 8 Central, a special on the Spanish-American War is airing on the History Channel. I’ve set my DVR to record it. I hope ya’ll check it out.
The Spanish-American War: First Intervention