Refighting the Last War Afghanistan and the Vietnam Template
Johnson, Thomas H.
Mason, M. Chris
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It is an oft-cited maxim that in all the conflicts of the past century, the United States has refought its last war. A number of analysts and journalists have mentioned the war in Vietnam recently in connection with Afghanistan.1 Perhaps fearful of taking this analogy too far, most have backed away from it. They should not—the Vietnam War is less a metaphor for the conflict in Afghanistan than it is a template. For eight years, the United States has engaged in an almost exact political and military reenactment of the Vietnam War, and the lack of self-awareness of the repetition of events 50 years ago is deeply disturbing.
Military Review, November - December 2009
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