Best Defense

Rotation policy: Iraq & Afghanistan were really the wars we fought 1 year at a time

“Many times the Vietnam was called a ten-year war fought one year at a time."

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Best Defense is in summer reruns. This item originally appeared on May 27, 2015.

My friend retired Command Sgt. Maj. Robert S. Rush, Ph.D., makes this observation:

“Many times the Vietnam was called a ten-year war fought one year at a time…. which actually wasn’t true though most service members rotated through one year at a time. Units remained and had members who had served different lengths of time, with those with longest service in country able to pass on lessons learned to those just arriving. Afghanistan and Iraq, unlike Vietnam truly were long wars fought one year at a time.”

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Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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