NEO – Why America Loses Wars



by  Gordon Duff, VT Sr. Editor  … with New Eastern Outlook, Moscow

Gordon - a tall, but skinny target in Vietnam due to the starvation 10 day patrol rations
Gordon – a tall, but skinny target in Vietnam due to the starvation-level, 10-day patrol rations

[ Editor’s Note: Gordon has set the barn on fire one more time. VT readers are quite used to his retrospectives on the US military going back to Vietnam, a story and history where the official version is the Alice in Wonderland variety. Gordon is not very popular in certain military circles for his writing material like this, but those people never challenge any of it publicly.

For those who prefer to slough this topic off via the “why beat a dead horse to death” (the Vietnam War), the answer to that is: “It is not dead and it is not over.” The corruption disease still exists, even though it has morphed into a new modern form.

I will add my little vignette of a Marine Colonel here in Atlanta who set up a 501(c)3 to send little care packages, toiletry items to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, where the shipping alone was way over the cost of the tooth brushes and other personal items.

Then there was the not insignificant issue that the troops already had such items, so blowing donated money to send them totally superfluous items was a waste of donated funds.

But is was not to the corrupted make work, do it just for show attitude that Gordon describes below. The pitch was that it was a way of “saying thank you”, and “supporting the troops” — the hustle being that if you did not, then you were not supporting them, a slimy way to fund raise.

There were more smiles in the beginning, than at the end
There were more smiles in the beginning, than at the end

Unmentioned of course is how the US taxpayer was already supporting the troops via the $25 cost of having their laundry done by the contracting service, or that the breakfast cost was $25 per soldier every morning. The list of these astronomical logistical costs is beyond the pale, as is the hard cold fact that this was all paid for with national debt.

The attitude of many of these people is that the public exists to support the military industrial complex, and there is never “enough” that they can do. The public is constantly dunned to do more, and to never question anything, as such would be undermining the morale of the troops, and “hurting the military”.

These are the standard hustle tools of con men, and this subject gets you treated like a leper as soon as you bring it up, turning it around on the hustlers, that what they are doing is “hurting the troops”, by being mooches themselves.

At the end of this is why none of the major vet org leaderships have ever spoken out on the 911 hoax, false flag terror, or any number of totally exposed hoaxes, where the military might have been the perpetrator, or victim, or both.

One does not “serve their country” by sitting by and just watching this all happen, like it was a make-believe soap opera. It is as real as hell — including how somebody someday is going to have to pay for it all, and others have to be held accountable in order for the national torment to endJim W. Dean ]



– First published  … August 02, 2016

General Herman Nickerson
General Herman Nickerson

America’s military isn’t just bloated, it suffers from so many diseases they are countless. At the heart of the problem is a system based on a corrupt military culture.

Many things can be blamed, certainly the Christian fundamentalism that rules the military, the hatred of education, inherent racism, political ignorance, extremism and “toadyism” are prominent.

For those who know real combat and real war, watching American units today makes our heads hurt. After Vietnam, combat veterans fled military service while the Pentagon embraced what they believed to be the new very highly paid “professional military.” The failure of Vietnam was blamed on those who fought.

The military expunged all combat veterans at the end of the war, as it was explained to me by I Corps commander, General Herman Nickerson, who indicated he was willing to make an exception for me.

Today’s military is built out of those who served in Vietnam’s luxury real eschelon retreats, fine food, air conditioning, sexual deviance and cowardice, the building blocks of what Colonel David Hackworth called “the Perfumed Princes of the Pentagon.”


Back during the early days of World War II, generalized corruption and typical “military culture” forced US Army Chief of Staff General Marshall to clean out the army, firing thousands of officers and promoting an obscure Lt. Colonel named Eisenhower to overall command in Europe. Today there is no General Marshall though General Dempsey began the task before being forced out along with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, himself a Vietnam combat veteran.

War today is learned at school, taught to officers by other officers who read about war in books, saw it on television or who gained minutes or hours of combat experience during short lived staged theatrical “operations” or under the auspices of the phony War on Terror. Those who have done so have been proven useless, worthless, a danger to themselves and others, delusional in thought, fabricators of events, morally flexible war criminals who have been universally unrepentant. Am I being too harsh? I don’t think so.

War today is driven by glamour, mercenaries and profit. When it isn’t torture and drone assassination, it is special operations, where highly paid units following impossibly false intelligence generally either kill civilians or freedom fighters, now often as not, on behalf of terrorist operations of al Qaeda or ISIS.

Despite trillions spent and a bloated reserve of working weapons along with many, like the F35, that are useless “black hole” money-pits, America loses wars because it has no warrior spirit. By “losing wars” I am referring to Iraq 1, the “walk away” and the entirety of the fraudulent Bush-Blair phony war on terror.

The Forgotten Lesson of Vietnam

Guess who this is, and when
Guess who this is, and when?

I fought in Vietnam, a war America won for a while after years of devastating casualties. Here is a key difference between Vietnam, the real war with real people, rather than the media version 50 years later, and the current debacles:

Those who went to Vietnam, initially at least, faced a draft. Those who fought in Vietnam were highly educated, compared to those in the military today. The key word here is “fought.” You see, the military trains and retains those who need institutional protections to live, who seek structure, subservience to authority and typically can’t make it in the real world.

Today they run the Pentagon, the War Colleges and service academies.

Those who came into the military as two-year draftees or as reservists with two years active duty, and I was one of those, don’t qualify for training programs and are, no matter qualifications, invariably assigned to combat roles.

For a 4 year enlistee with sub-normal intelligence, there was an equal chance of being assigned jobs of truck driver, cook, radar technician or intelligence analyst. As American humorist Jim W. Dean so often says, “You just can’t make stuff like this up.”

Moreover, with Vietnam, only those in top physical condition, acclimatized for extreme physical stress in jungle conditions, could survive in Vietnam combat. The only place this could occur was in Vietnam with a line unit, as I learned myself. Top athletic condition meant nothing in the real world of daily combat with the Viet Cong or North Vietnamese Army, fighters that lived on a cup of rice a day who could go days without sleep.

The 200 pound 9000 calorie a day American “Playstation army” type would drop dead rather quickly. You see, the high level of military corruption in the US kept food, supplies and even ammunition from troops, making Marine units, the “tip of the spear” in Vietnam, live off the land like the Viet Cong.

Real Leaders

A non mortal wound could be a life saver
A non mortal wound could be a life saver

There was a reason that worked, though Marines lost more killed and wounded in Vietnam than in World War II with casualty levels between 300-400% of levels from that war.

Here was the trick, one learned from the Wehrmacht in World War II: Because of conditioning requirements, only low level enlisted ranks, the ones with the education and high IQs, spent enough time in the field to be able to survive the heat and lack of food and water.

When an officer or senior enlisted went into the field with line personnel, they would get sick quickly. Typical operations with ranking personnel stayed close to home bases with air conditioning and good food “for the few” or quickly turned back.

When reports were written of these failed missions, however, medals were given out by the bucket, to “the few,” wild stories of heroism and fictional confrontations with an enemy busy elsewhere.

The result was a lean military of self-sufficient troops who chose their own leaders, as the Germans did, operating in small units. These units were made of seasoned veterans and replacements, always a mix, where “on the job” training assured real world skills and not the saluting and “behind kissing” of America’s service academies.

Eventually, as tens of thousands died and selling the war became impossible, America began drafting the incredibly unqualified which led to incidents like My Lai and a series of racially driven military mutinies which were never reported and are erased from the history books.

Commanding these units were officers from ROTC units from rural community colleges. The numbers relieved of command for having total meltdowns is one of the biggest secrets of the war, that and the number killed by their own men.

One more point about Vietnam, and this one is important. With educated draftees prominent in combat units, the political “bent” of these organizations wasn’t just “liberal” but often not only socialist but highly sympathetic to the enemy. Educated soldiers knew America had violated the Geneva Accords, and any idiot could see the corruption and evil of the Saigon government. The Vietnamese people hated them.

Culture of Failure

Clearing operations
Clearing operations

Let’s move this on to today then. The military today is a trap. I was paid $200 a month in Vietnam as a Marine enlisted and later non-commissioned officer in a rifle squad that was part of a Special Landing Team, a “tip of the spear” unit. The pay was 20% of typical entry level civilian employment at the time.

Today, a non-commissioned officer serving in Afghanistan can be paid over $120,000 per year, 500% of the equivalent pay here in the US for the skill levels needed to protect narcotics production and delivery, which is the primary role America serves in Afghanistan, as pretty much everyone knows.

The military uses this high pay, considerably higher than civilian pay, to recruit and retain, but there is no kindness there. Those recruited and “trained” – and even overfed, and irradiated, who drink poised water – are experimented on with dangerous vaccines; yes there is a dark side too, as they are likely to spend years “deployed” in support of American foreign policy.

American policy is permanent war, permanent occupation in support of narcotics, human trafficking and terrorism, truth be told. Saying anything else is giving voice to lies too long exposed.

The trap is this, yes the pay is high and the chances of being killed in combat are low. The problem is this, nobody survives. Families that fall into the trap, addicted to military life and military pay, become unwilling slaves to paternalism and control and continual deployment. They exist – and by they, I mean military families – to support endless war and their own destruction. Few military families survive.

In the process, a style of what America calls “war” is embedded in the American soul, glamorous special operations for the media but never against an enemy that represents a legitimate threat against America.

The real threat is and has been what the military represents, de facto martial law for nearly two decades, total surveillance, controlled press, plunging standards of living, hopeless and idiot political theatre and a culture of unreality, even fantasy, replacing coherent thought.

Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”


Senior Editor , VT
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He is a disabled veteran and has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.

Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.

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  1. I recall my pay as an E3 as $96 per month. Iy was increased by $26 combat pay once I deployed to Nam. You are so correct about the IQ of draftees being higher back then, and their knowledge that something about the reason for war was shady. Also rarely seen an officer at out firebase. One of the few times we were visited a as I walked by a 2nd Lt without saluting he began to berate. I interrupted him with 1 sentence. Look around, do you know where you are? I carried on unmolested.

  2. Maybe the wars of America are not designed to be won. Rather war is a means to rotate arms, and munitions off the self. LIFO. Accounting 101.

  3. I haven’t read this article yet. However the first thought I have is this. America loses wars because, America does not have a valid or moral reason for any of the wars or conflicts it has engaged in over the last 70 years. One may win a battle or two, but not the war.

  4. I wanted to get away from home after graduating from High School. I enlisted for three years in the US Army. Six months later I was in Vietnam on a APC w/ the 11th ACR. Not all enlisted men were given gravy jobs. I am proof of that!

  5. How true, unlike the jingoistic crap we hear from the armchair commandos whose take on being in the field comes from Hollywood and, back in our days in Vietnam, from watching the phony coverage on TV for the entertainment value and morbid interest in death and destruction, no different than civilians back home. I’ve mentioned how when at times we were really short on ammo we were ordered to open up on up full auto into empty brush so it could be recorded as some starched-fatigued assholes’ participating in a firefight.

    Gordon hits a sensitive nerve, and we’ve gone around here at VT about “stolen valor,” where those of us still around find ourselves in what seems like a bad dream now and then as basecamp commandos who saw no more action than Sylvester Stalone have morphed into a Rambo persona to regale the gang at the country club and their grandchildren by talking the talk as if they’d walked point for recon most of their tour.

    It’s also galling to comment on some web site only to have someone who knew someone whose Uncle Joe drove a truck in Vietnam correct you and let you in on what it was really like being on a recon team in a firefight or being inserted into a hot LZ. It’s all farce at this point when a country of emasculated couch potatoes talks combat after reading or watching some voyeuristic bullshit like American Sniper and takes their cues on patriotism from the fairies on Fox News.

  6. America has no warrior spirit because all the wars it fights are based on lies. Warriors fight on the side of right and against wrong, they fight for truth and honesty. This is why the VC couldn’t be defeated.
    The glamour is sold to the public in the fake media and movies like American Sniper, everyone wants to be a hero, they’re just so deluded and uninformed they really are like sheep, it’s sickening. I believe most people don’t want to face the truth, t’s too difficult for them, it’s easier to live the facade than to admit they were wrong.
    Thank you for the article and your work. As it is with all true leaders your courage is contagious.

    • its more like satan is setting pentagram policies. lets just keep the drugs, slaves and natural resources under your hat!

      satan rules ameraka founded in blood lives in blood will end in blood.

      drink the blood of Jesus, your only hope. rebuke satan and his children publicly!

  7. It would be nice to know peace, not Pax Americana, after 100 years of continuous war. It´d be nice when civil society would match the big hearts and magnificent landscape. The resources exist. Thanks, Gordon.

  8. You mustn´t win a war, it is enough to leave a land in ruins and you must know whom to sacrify for your goals. The rest can be done by nature of destruction and time. And at the end you can clean up the mess to get your real goals going.

  9. Real Great article – It’s about time someone called it like it was in Nam and called out the bums of todays’ abortion of a Military. I didn’t have to hump everyday but I saw enough and was at enough villages not to remember all the names but I went from 180 lbs to 155 lbs by the time I went home. Ah- trying to explain what Gordon has just written to the American public is like trying to talk to a box of rocks. Like the other guy wrote – we were no heroes – but there were some really brave guys. Spacibo

  10. Gordon, you said:” Many things can be blamed, certainly the Christian fundamentalism that rules the military, the hatred of education, inherent racism, political ignorance, extremism and “toadyism” are prominent.”

    Fine. I’ve seen all that other than the Christian Fundemantalism but then again, I’m just a contractor. Still, most officers that I know or have met wear a mason’s ring. Any comment on that?

    • Sorry, I was not clear. I’m not equating the two, it’s just a facet I haven’t personally seen. I probably don’t know the people well enough to talk faith. I do agree about how destructive christian zionism is, everywhere it’s found.

      I do know about the masons in the military and was struck by the presence personally. You didn’t mention the masons in this article on “why America loses wars”. I was curious about the omission? Are they not pertinent to the problem you write about?

  11. Realist tragedy. I was watching the highlights of the Aspen security forum the other week, the so called creme of the national security, there are some real psycho lunatics there all paid for by Raytheon, Lockheed and the gang. Before anything changes in America the military needs deserters and defects in abundance.

  12. And so we have President Putin, this year I think, when an American politician brings up all the jobs related to the Military Industrial Complex:

    ‘You need war in able to create jobs’?


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