February 25th, 2010
09:10 AM ET

Is Afghanistan today's South Vietnam?

After the fall of South Vietnam in 1975, U.S. Col. Harry Summers remarked to his North Vietnamese counterpart, "You know you never defeated us on the battlefield." After a moment, the North Vietnamese officer replied: "That may be so, but it is also irrelevant." Although that blunt exchange took place nearly 35 years ago, it's still worthy of close consideration in light of America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Full Story

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. luis

    Aaron do you know what you are talking about? First if we haven't had an attack in ten years is because our Marines and soldiers are preventing this attacks. You should grow some ball and join the military so that you can see what the war is really about. you really sound like some one who was to afraid to join the military and second yes in over ten years the death toll is below 10k however due to the advanced Medicine and our brave Navy Corpsman and Medics who risk their lives for their Marines and sailors we more wounded than dead. So next time you want to use your freedom of speech thank a service men and woman you owe it to them.

    March 2, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. aaron

    Im sorry,its just theres been 10 years of this war and im just tired of hearin how i should be forever grateful for these soldiers who put their life on the line for our safety and freedom.First of all we dont have any freedoms anymore.Second of all we take more casulties in every day american life ,the soldiers are probably safer than we are.What has there been less than 10,000 casulties in 10 years, im in more danger ridin with my wife to the grocery store than these guys,58000 casulties in vietnam a significant number 4000 on 9-11 .Loss of life is terrible and tragic.But look at the 250000 deaths in the haiti earthquake, just look at the deaths each year of natural causes heart attacks cancer look at the murders on our border in mexico,and look at all the casulties our soldiers have caused.Do we owe these soldiers anything are they doing anything to protect us from what life?Im just tired of it we could get hit by the terrorist tommorow or we could get hit by an earthquake they just had another one in chile whats the difference,We ought to just be enjoyin the time we got now in peace and end this war.All this war stuff is just b.s. we are running around killin more people adding to the carnage. Natural disasters and random acts of terrorism is enuff why do we need to add more destruction its like pourin gasoline on a fire to put it out.We ought to leave other countries alone and make peace with our enemies but we are going to have to make some concessions.We got to stop meddlin in other countries affairs.We live in america its simple dont let terrorist in america shut down the airports do whatever,We aint botherin anyone do good honest business with them.If we get a terror attack nuke half their country dont ask any questions .Then try again livin peaceful if they attack again nuke the other half and chalk it up as a natural disaster,And allies we dont need any this is america we just need to deal with america im sorry israel and great britain but yall have your own nukes you know what to do.All this war and preemptive b,s is ridiculous.There is a simple solution and we could all be livin in peace.

    February 27, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  3. Pinoy

    There are four strategic differences between Vietnam and Afghanistan.First,it doesn't have the logistical resources to press sustained offensive whereas Vietnam have the huge logistical backing of Soviet Union and some help from China.Second notthern part of Afghanistan are anti-taliban whereas in Vietnam has the sympathy of the majority of the population(by terrorism).Thirdly,Vietnam was a war of independence and reunification of north and south vietnam. And lastly,the vietnam war was highly unpopular in the USA whereas the Afghanistan was supported by majority of its citizen.With these differences,I beleive the outcome is different.The coalition will prevail.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. A. Smith, Oregon

    The comparisons with Vietnam are accurate and apt. The people in South Vietnam actively protected their fellow N. Vietnam fighters, stored their weapons and gave them aid and medical treatment. They didn't support a corrupt CIA installed leader nor the corrupt government that the US Military had forced upon them.

    The people in Afghanistan actively protect their freedom fighters known as the Taliban, store their weapons and give them aid and medical treatment. The reason the Taliban return every time the American soldiers leave a city or region is the Afghanistan people welcome them in. The Afghanistan people do not support a corrupt CIA installed President Karzi nor his hand picked corrupt Cabinet.

    The people in Afghanistan view the Afghanistan Police force as much more corrupt and terrible than the Taliban. The citizens repeatedly charge the Afghanistan Police force as ripe with corruption, extortion of citizens, stealing goods and supply's and demanding bribes for the most basic of services. Forcing these corrupt goons on the Afghanistan people is 'winning their hearts and minds'? OF course it's not, that is only a fable spun out of Pentagon war-room that resulted in a media buzz phrase for extending and continuing this failed war.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Marine Mom

    We are oroud of our son and his fellow Marine for the job there doing. god bless and safe return we love you all

    February 26, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Daniel

    We have no more business here in Afghanistan than we had in Vietnam.I wish that some of these warmongers would take their families with them and move to Afghanistan for a week just to learn how great this cursed war isn't!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nancy Ballard A Proud Marine Mom!!

    A. Smith, Oregon,
    Instead of signing your comments A. Smith, Oregon why don’t you sign them as A LOCAL IDIOT! The shoe fits. You don’t know anything about the people of Afghanistan, Marjah or the courage it takes to be involved in liberating those people. Maybe you could find the time to send some care packages to our troops or just find some way to support them.

    February 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Luis G. Anaya

    Why pull our troops out? The job in Afghanistan is not complete lets not repeat the same mistake we did in the back in the 80"s. We must train the Afghan Army to fight their own war even if it takes one-hundred years. As a Veteran of Afghanistan i know the cost of this war both in money as well as in American blood but if we pull out now the lives of the men and woman who have given their lives would be waisted. Its time for the Generals on the ground to grow some testicles and demand more troops and time.

    February 26, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. andy breaux

    How many times are liberals of various degrees and occupations going to beat that dead horse!? The purpose in Vietnam was the same as in Afghanistan – provide people with the opportunity to choose their own way. I served in 'nam, and later in Desert Storm. I would serve again but for age. We quit, in Vietnam. IF WE QUIT IN AFGHANISTAN, then the comparison will be accurate. The only reason for us to leave that destitute country would be if they asked us to leave. Then, unlike many others, we would leave!

    February 26, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. HM2

    A. Smith,

    And you have learned all this information on the residents of Marjah complaining from your couch in Oregon? Get a life and a bit of patriotitism.....Why don't you do something to help troop morale instead of flinging mud at the goverment. Better yet, have a st down with Mr. Obama and his advisors and lay out your "FOOL PROOF" battle plan.

    We are awaiting your news conference with a clear, and concise plan.....

    February 26, 2010 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. Dan Nelson Lafayette,IN

    We are just now beginning a new strategy and it looks like were doing a great job. As long as the government puts the people before themselves then Afghanistan would begin to become a state that the Muslims would be greatfull of and for all the troops that are fighting for their future.

    February 25, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Paul

    Let us hope that we can step back and de-politicize this effort. I'm tired of both sides of our political spectrum trying to use Afghanistan as a platform upon which to preach. Remember that young men and women are putting their lives at risk every second to achieve what we yet don't yet know.

    February 25, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. A. Smith, Oregon

    Yes, there is no clear defining victory in Afghanistan. The Leader is corrupt and seen by the Afghanistan people as ripe with corruption and his hand picked cabinet is filled with graft. Winning the hearts and minds by forcing a corrupt leader and police force upon the Afghanistan people is certainly going to fail.

    The Marjah people by and large fear the Afghanistan police more than the Taliban. The Marjah people readily complain of the extortion, need for bribes and gross corruption of the Karzi Afghanistan police force. Does that sound like success or victory?

    Keep President Obama to his pledge to pull troops out of Afghanistan in July 2011.

    Mission accomplished, pull the American troops out of Afghanistan now.

    February 25, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tom

    COL. Summers was right, we were not defeated, our government just turned tail and ran.

    February 25, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. george blake

    i am so proud of the young men n women serving our nation.as a vet we always wondered were the things from back home true.well this is for real,u can post my e-mail to any soldier or soldiers,they are my heroes.im so fukkin proud of them for what they do everyday.bringin some freedom to a place such as afghanistan.showing people that american soldiers are not just a miliatary machine but real guys with a heart,and the feelings to try n make something right.god bless all of them.pray for their safety n for their loved ones who must miss them so much.and for those who have fallen on the battlefield may you never be forgotten,may your spirit live on for eternity.

    February 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |