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Risk: Everyone thinks they know what it means. But they don’t! And that’s why we nowadays wage wars of dwindling assets.

I was glad to see Michael Mazarr tackle the subject of risk the other day in “War on the Rocks.” Among other interesting things, he notes that paying attention to risk is a good way to assess consequences of one’s actions.

Best Defense

Memories of Vietnam (III): Bombing our way out of being encircled by the VC

We ceded our right (East) flank on the river and drew closer toward the center. Our center lost the two main trench lines and we were forced back to the edge of the jungle basecamp clearing. This became increasingly difficult as it allowed the VC 51 caliber's to fire with great effect. The Rangers were forced to hug the ground and seek cover behind any low root or ground. No one could raise their head more than six inches without risking a hit. While the BDQ was forced closer together, the concentrated enemy fire made it increasingly difficult to effectively defend the position.

Best Defense

Memories of Vietnam (II): Surprised to be surrounded by a huge Viet Cong force

As we went on short final into the LZ, we could see less and less until on the ground, we could see nothing. The strikes had set the grass and dried brush on fire and I couldn't see 10 feet. Between the helicopters churning dust, the swirling diesel fumes and the burning grass and palms, we were completely isolated. SFC Swyers, Cpt Tot, his RTO's and myself, took a compass direction and headed off the LZ.

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    March 2015 Issue Cover