Afghanistan Is Starting to Look an Awful Lot Like Vietnam

The comparisons are growing stronger by the news cycle.

If I told you our country was fighting an insurgency in a small, Asian, war-torn nation that has a feeble government riddled with corruption and a dangerous border serving as a safe haven for terrorists, would you say we were fighting in Afghanistan or Vietnam?  And if I said we were fighting something of an invisible enemy under the guise of preserving U.S. security, all the while thinking we will prevail (however long it takes) based on nothing more than hubris and a false confidence in our military superiority, which war would you say this was?

The parallels between the wars in Afghanistan and Vietnam are staggering and growing stronger by the news cycle.  Take Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearing for secretary of state, in which John Kerry put his reservations to escalation in the cotext of Vietnam.  Or take the announcement earlier this week in the Washington Post that President-elect Obama will send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, a plan meant to buy the incoming administration time to figure out what the hell to do in the region. 

ZP Heller is the editorial director of Brave New Films. He has written for The American Prospect, AlterNet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post, covering everything from politics to pop culture.
Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Election 2018