“…When our nation's leaders send our sons and daughters to fight, we must give them a clear mission to accomplish…”
— Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, at the ground-breaking ceremony Wednesday for an education center at the Vietnam Wall Memorial in Washington, speaking of the “meaningful lessons” he said the nation learned from that war.
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The US HAD a clear mission in Vietnam -- to extend the American Empire to southeast Asia. Unnfortunately the locals hade a different idea. 

"One day while I was in a bunker in Vietnam, a sniper round went over my head.  The person who fired that weapon was not a terrorist, a rebel, an extremist, or a so-called insurgent.  The Vietnamese individual who tried to kill me was a citizen of Vietnam, who did not want me in his country.  This truth escapes millions." --Mike Hastie, U.S. Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71


Uncle Leon the warmonger politician is channeling Colin Powell the warmongering general and his "Powell Doctrine"

* Is a vital U.S. interest at stake?    * Will we commit sufficient resources to win?    * Are the objectives clearly defined?    * Will we sustain the commitment?    * Is there reasonable expectation that the public and Congress will support the operation?    * Have we exhausted our other options?    * Do we have a clear exit strategy?

It's merely payback for Powell's support of Obama in the recent election.  Uncle Leon will be gone soon, and nobody will notice.