New York Times- America's Roles in Vietnam and Afghanistan.
The war's in Afghanistan and Vietnam are two completley countries, in two different eras, influnenced by different geopolitics. Although the local populations in both, remained a strategic asset.
- Our interest was in stopping the expansion and the ideological threat from Communism.
- American administrations, Congress, and public were divided.
- A U.S. attempt to avert "spillover" effects of terrorism, radicalism, and criminality that driectly threaten Amercia.
- Has enjoyed bipartisian support in transfering the country from a state under Taliban control, and including achievments such as the institutionalization of democracy and human rights.
David Elliott (professor of government and international relations, emeritus, at Pomona College) on comparisons between our experiences in Afghanistan and Vietnam:
"First, advocates frequently point out that the efforts expended and the years involved in helping post-World War II Japan and Germany and, currently, South Korea have been worthwhile. Those are all homogeneous, developed, educated societies. They overlook the realities of a South Asia riven by tribalism and insurmountable religious differences. The failure of Iraq, attributed to our departure, is rooted in the same truth.
Second, government and military officials repeatedly try to sell the idea that securing Afghanistan is critical to protecting the United States from terrorism by precluding radical Islamists from training there. This thinking could not be more misguided. With the world overstocked with ungoverned spaces available for terrorist training, securing Afghanistan would do nothing to lessen this threat. This should have been obvious from the frequency of incidents in Europe and Asia without roots in Afghanistan.
Whatever the true motivations of those with vested interests for continuing the Afghanistan misadventure, one thing is obvious. They are willing to ignore the lessons of history and the realities of today."