December 1st, 2009
02:16 PM ET

Will Obama's war become his Vietnam?

In March, Afghanistan will become America's longest war, surpassing the one in Vietnam, which cost more than 58,000 American lives.  Comparisons to the war in Vietnam are often invoked. But experts say while there are similarities between the two conflicts, there are more differences.

Read the full story from's Ed Hornick

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Filed under: Decision: Afghanistan • Obama
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. AtlasEyes

    I love how the media and some Americans like to blame President Obama for crisis' he has inherited from the last administration..his (Obama) Vietnam? Wake up people. If this war is lost it would not be cause of his descions made but because there would be to many people or parties inputting their own. Ever since the media has been allowed to cover the war like they do now, starting from the Vietnam war, the average citizen is now exposed to the real horrors of war. Therefore making it difficult to make certain descions cause of public outcry. His war....more like a bag of burning dog pooh left on the WH front porch by Bush jr. on his way out....

    April 29, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ragu

    Taliban killed Americans in large numbers, by hosting, protecting and refusing to hand-over Osama and his goons. US should fight and finish these fanatics; This is not Vietnam; This is in defense of USA, UK and other nations who have lost their innocent citizens. Those sympathizers who want foreign troops out of Islamic lands, should hand-over killers of foreign citizens and prevent such killings in future;else foreigners will come and get them or kill them. USA should be also prepared for Nuclear weapon related incidents from Iran and Pakistan, in the midst of the Afgan war.

    December 2, 2009 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. desmondo30

    IT is a no win situation,throughout history ALL wars are in the name of god
    They talk about war crimes!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ALL WAR IS A CRIME!!!!!!!
    In the name of sense pull all the troops out
    In the Iraq war how many people were killed and injured for what?
    And here the same just isolate the place and the problem will go away

    December 2, 2009 at 3:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. Drew T.

    Obama's Vietnam? That's absolutely ridiculous and conveniently expedient. Obama didn't get us there. He didn't neglect it and American troops by getting distracted by Iraq. He inherited a woefully mishandled situation; and has showed the gumption to ignore the winds of politics in an attempt to get it right. Despite politically driven propaganda to the contrary, the surge in Iraq worked; the employment of thoughtful counterinsurgency tactics have taken root, and American and innocent Iraqi lives have been saved. Good for Obama for having a moral rather than political backbone. He's is a rare bird in American politics Considering all the lives already lost, this country has an obligation to try whatever it can to make this right...or at least better.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  5. Keith

    Yes, this escalation will be Obama's Vietnam. Who are we ultimately fighting in Afghanistan? We are fighting radical Islamic factions affiliated with the Mujahideen that we trained and equipped to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1990s. These radical factions evolved into Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Now we will reescalate, retrain, and reequip a new generation of enemies. We will watch these guerrilla fighters withdraw back into and regroup in Pakistan and Iraq, and possibly be reinforced by radical Islamic Chechens and other radical Islamic mercenaries funded by the opium drug trade. The mission statement for going into Afghanistan in 2001 was to find and destroy Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. President Obama would have possibly acquired my understanding by reiterating these goals.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Z. R

    Majority of foreign elements including the US military are extremely corrupt, not to mention the Afghan government itself. The corrupted are banking ($$) big time, the civilians pay the cost ... American citizen with their tax dollars and the Afghan citizens with their lives and future of their country.

    It is a fact .. corruption would only go away if you strike it at the root.

    USA should change all the personnel who are in charge of awarding contracts (building bridges, military installations, and ...) and ppl in charge of popy eradication.

    Afghainstan ... well they only get output corruption when they escape from poverty.
    (this is a fact too)

    December 1, 2009 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chudamani Ratnam

    The war in Afghanustan should be compared with the American War of Independence.. The American War of independence has often been said to be Britain's Viet Nam. The question to be pondered is whether George Washington knew something which todays U.S. generals never learn't.

    December 1, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Alex

    Did anyone ever even think that the US actually might be using these poppy fields themselves to fund our military or for some other reason why they are not destroying these fields? I'm pretty sure that our government and top military officials are smart enough to figure out that the Taliban and Al Qaeda fund their operations through the drug trade which comes from the poppy fields which by the way are not that hard to find. So yea its easy to say just destroy the poppy fields! But why are we not doing that?

    December 1, 2009 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rajesh

    Coming directly to point, US success in Afghanistan very much depends on how it deals with Pakistan. there is no doubt pakistan is a failed state, but US should realize few important things
    1. economic and developmental aid given to paksitan (kerry-lugar bill etc) has to be monitored stringently. Ruling Paki elites are corrupt and dance to the tunes of the army and its spy agency ISI, hence all the aid is directed towards its military buildup against India.

    2. Pakistan's spy agency is using US for its funds, hence hiding/supporting taliban and al qeda fugitives to keep the war in and ON state so that pakistan is always funded for years to come. its a geo-politic double game, i hope CIA is aware of this.

    3. seal of drug trade in afghanistan, which is also regulated by pakistan's ISI can choke the finances of taliban.

    4.get India into mainstream, india is much more stable economy and a democracy which has contributed a lot in current rebuilding of Afghanistan.

    5. even if taliban or al qeda is defeated, they will come back in another form with hidden support of ISI.

    December 1, 2009 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. David Johnson

    I agree that the war in Afghanistan should be about the Taliban and Al Qaeda. If we destroy the opium fields we will hurt them where it hurts, in their pockets.

    We should also return to our original mission of hunting down the leaders of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. We started out hunting Osama Bin Laden and his leaders before President Bush diverted us to Iraq.

    As for those who think this is becoming another Vietnam, they need to remember that we went to Afghanistan after Al Qaeda killed hundreds of innocent people by flying into the Twin Towers. To retreat from Afghanistan now would only give them cause to think they could send more terrorist's to our country and get away with it.

    December 1, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Paul

    Welcome to the "30-year war" and re-instatement of general draft soon. The approximately 250,000 U.S. troops in the geographical region spanning Iraq and Afghanistan will have less to do with the few hundred terrorists left in AfPak and more with the long-term strategy to gain a foothold in the region to manage the Pakistan and Iran nuclear issues. Since the volatility of the region spanning the Middle East and the Asia sub-continent is virtually permanent, so will be our presence. As General "Ike" warned us more than 50 years ago, this approach to solving our security issues is going to lead to tragic long-term results. If we want to have a strategic presence in the region, why not base our troops in friendly India like we do in Germany, etc.

    December 1, 2009 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mike Cannon

    The goal should not be nation building, or supporting a corupt government. It should be to distroy al Qaeda and the Taliban who support them.

    The way to do this is not to go out into the counrtyside and get involved in civil war, tribal conflict, and 500 year old grudges.

    The way to do this is to follow the money. The money comes from the drug trade. Drug money buys the bullets and explosives that are killing our troops. It funds all the evil activities of al Qaeda. Dry up the money and they are no longer a threat.

    The drug trade in Afganistan is based around the opium poppy. Huge fields of bright red flowers are not that hard to find. We have Gobal Hawks, Predators, U2s and spy satellites to find the tricky ones.

    We also have B52s. Napalm is cheap.

    Don't make this more complicated than it is. Follow the money. Cut off the money.

    Sucess is usually based on easy to understand objectives. Make the objective to distroy the drug trade that funds terrorism.

    Give our military this goal they'll get it done, and it won't require 90,000+ troops in country.

    December 1, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |