June 8th, 2010
01:25 PM ET

Can Afghanistan be compared to the Vietnam war?

Much has been made in recent media reports about the conflict in Afghanistan surpassing the length of the Vietnam War, becoming the United States’ longest war.   Some would dispute that, and few would suggest the two wars are comparable. 

Unlike the Vietnam War, the beginning of the ongoing war in Afghanistan can be dated very precisely to October 7, 2001, when U.S. and British forces launched an invasion to remove the Taliban from power and rout al Qaeda from its mountain sanctuaries along the border with Pakistan.

Operation Enduring Freedom was unprecedented in that it was the first time the United States mobilized its military might to respond to an act of terrorism.

That winter, I was one of a CNN team at Tora Bora – Osama bin Laden’s warren of caves in the White Mountains.  U.S. airpower, including B52s from the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia,  pummeled al Qaeda’s hideouts.  But there was very little U.S. presence on the ground in that remote corner of Nangahar province.

The work of corralling al Qaeda fighters was left to the poorly trained and unmotivated mujahedeen of the Northern Alliance. Many of al Qaeda’s hierarchy escaped. It was the first misstep of many in a country that has become a graveyard for invading forces since the days of Alexander the Great in 330 B.C.

 Today, 104 months later, about 1,000 U.S. servicemen and women have died in Afghanistan (the exact number depends on the criteria you use) along with very nearly 300 British military personnel and others from NATO countries that have contributed to the International Security Assistance Force.

Most of those deaths have occurred in southern Afghanistan, and more can be expected as coalition forces try to drive the Taliban out of Kandahar, which they still consider their spiritual home.   Most of those U.S. troops have died in the past two years; it is a casualty rate that has risen sharply compared to the years following the invasion.

But the Afghan War can’t really be compared to the conflict in Vietnam, which claimed some 58,000 American lives and involved more conventional warfare, including pitched battles for major cities, as well as guerrilla combat. The Tet offensive in 1968 involved some 80,000 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers in a series of coordinated attacks on cities in South Vietnam.

The Taliban would not be remotely capable of such an operation. The Afghan War is what military analysts call a “low intensity” conflict – a counter-insurgency campaign of small engagements and ambushes but few if any pitched battles.

Another critical difference is that the Vietnam War was part of a larger ideological battle fueled and financed by the superpowers – pitching communism against the free-market democracies in a giant game of dominoes that was played out on five continents. The Afghan War is part of a new paradigm: a clash of “value systems,” one based on culture and religion rather than political philosophy. The term the military uses is the “assymetrical war.”

However, there are similarities between the Vietnam and Afghan wars.  In both cases, the United States' enemy used terrain and time of year to its advantage, and has proved adaptable and resilient.  The U.S. public has gradually lost faith in the prosecution and purpose of both wars.  Few CNN polls since 2006 have shown a majority favoring the war in Afghanistan; the latest from the end of May has just 42 per cent in favor and 56 percent opposed.

Whether or not Afghanistan is now the longest war that America has fought is a contentious issue.  The Department of Defense officially lists deaths in Vietnam beginning November 1, 1955 as related to the war; that’s the date when the Military Assistance Advisory Group began in Vietnam. Others insist that 1964 represents the year when the United States rapidly escalated its military presence in Southeast Asia, and moved from a support role to front-line engagement.

The start of the Vietnam War is also dated from  the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964, something that diplomat Richard Holbrooke has rejected.

Holbrooke, the current U.S. envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, was a young diplomat in Saigon during the Vietnam era.  He notes that casualties began in 1961. On the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, there are 16 U.S. personnel listed as killed in that year.

Whatever the arguments about timelines, Holbrooke says he expects Afghanistan to be one of the longest wars in U.S.  history. And with the gift of hindsight, he says it’s more important than Vietnam.

“Vietnam was not directly related to our national security interest in the way Afghanistan is," he told National Public Radio. "We're there because of 9/11. And that's a simple matter of fact.” 

Both wars have cost the United States dearly,  both in the number of lives lost and in military spending. But they don’t compare with the era of “total war” – the conflicts that involved the entire population, when society as a whole was mobilized to support the “war effort.”

On 6th June 1944, D Day, the United States lost an estimated 2,499 men on the beaches of Normandy – more than twice the number of American troops so far killed in Afghanistan.

soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. Truth

    This is NOTHING like the Vietnam war. A) Vietnam was not a threat to America. We really had not business staying as long as we did B) The U.S. loss of life in Vietnam was FAR greater than the loss of life in the Middle East for both Gulf Wars combined even. More Americans died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks than have been killed in 9 years of war since.

    Completely different.

    June 11, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • punisher_54

      thats right... thank god we havent lost that many lives in this war than in vietnam...

      June 12, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. David

    How can you say that "we are in Afganistan because of 9/11 that's a simple matter of fact" when not one of the terrorists came from the country? Because Saudi Arabia has oil that's why. 100% of the terrorists from 9/11 were Saudi and funded by a Saudi National. The war in Afganistan will go on forever. The Russians couldn't do it and neither can the US. When you battle people who have nothing to lose well then, it becomes you that loses.

    June 11, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. J

    Get out !!

    June 11, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  4. msquared

    A military quagmire in Asia, with no clear objective, and no end in sight. No, I don't see any similarities at all.

    June 11, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. beasterdamas

    The United States is not burning down all of the villages and using Napalm in the same way we were in Vietnam. Special Operations and Counter Terrorist Teams are conducting more decisive direct action missions. Predator strikes are a far more surgical effective approach than the carpet bombing tactics used in Vietnam and we are not losing the same amount of planes and helicopters and pilots as we did in the past. The American Fighting Man is better trained and using far less drugs in the field than were being used in Vietnam...The Foreign Internal Defense Mission (FID) and Counter Insurgency Programs are far superior and working better than in the past and the people are voting in a democratic process...Our Medical teams are more capable than they were in Vietnam and the response time for Medical Evacuation and life saving is at a higher percentage. The IED/VBIED/Sucide Bomber/landmine placement tactics being employed by the Taliban are being recognized and countered from greater distances than and there is still a world wide coalition working in harmony countering Jihad and the abuses to woman and children and the people of Afghanistan by the Taliban....

    June 11, 2010 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kabuli

    please CNN also point out the millions of dead women, men and children, the little young girls amputated due to american bombing, the broken families, the lost homes, 1000 army men dead is nothing compared to waht these locals went to..even opimum production is on an all time high and american is not doing anything about

    millions died in this war...and hopefully the next generation will take revenge and kill millions in america

    June 11, 2010 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. Kabuli

    There is an amazing game going on in afghanistan right now

    America, China, RUssia, INdia, Pakistan, United Kingdom all tangled up in a game to see who in the long term , remains the dominant country in the region and uses afghanistan resources and controls it...

    it has nothing to do with 9/11..osama is dead, this is just a war of colonialism, ..to exert force and power over people who r simply different then u

    June 11, 2010 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. Snowboarderf17

    The simple fact is that the west's interference and double standards in the region over the centuries has come back and bitten us hard. Support for Saddam, against Iran, support of the Iranian shah, support of the Taliban against Russia, support of Karzai against the Taliban, support of Israel against everybody, support of Saudia Arabia who have a horrific human rights record and provided most of the 9/11 plotters, support of Egypt, again with an appalling human rights record. The list goes on. How could a people, and I mean Arabs / Muslims all over the world, not want to hit back and hit back hard? Their countries have been decimated too by corrupt leaders put in power or backed by the west, or sanctions led by the west. I for one wish oil was never discovered there, then the middle east would have some peace and the west would wake up to the appalling legacy it has scarred the area with.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dubber

    The article makes the point that you can't compare Afghanistan and Vietnam and then goes on to compare the casualties of D-Day to the casualties of the war in Afghanistan. I do not understand this reference, especially as you already maintained that total war of World War II was different than what is going on in Afghanistan.

    June 11, 2010 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  10. thehonestone

    It needs to be renamed Operation waste of time/money. If even half of what was spent over there was spent here there wouldn't be a depression going on.

    June 10, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jerry

    “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, 'A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!'”
    Robert Browning.

    June 10, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Robert Wooller

    Of course it can. I remember back in 2001, that long ago, when we went to war. For nearly nine years we have been there. Obama said he would bring the troops back home. And what are those troops going to be home to: unenployment. 9 years and it is still a poor country, is at the height of the drug trade.And is still a haven for terrorists; yesterday when 30 were killed.

    June 10, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Hampster

    HELL NO!!! American soliders must be extremly polite to the taliban and Al Qaida. Kind of ask the enemy to surrender with ,"Pretty, Pretty Please". Viet Nam if it wore pajamas kill it! What Afganistan could use is a few Capt. Medinas. Even after Capt. Medina's conviction , Nixon stepped in and basically nullified the conviction. In Afghanistan everytime an Afghan is shot it is claimed the Americans shot a civilian and next is an investigation. My solution! any Afgan with a weapon is fair game. No prisoners just a body count.Clearly define the Afghan/Pakistan border and soon as someone crosses outside a legal crossing LAST STEP Taken!

    June 10, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike hawk

      But the thing is that thing boundary will never be defined, since american puppets in afghanistan have people who support annexing pakistani areas (back to soviet days) and US would also have to foot soldiers there instead of the current ANA known as opium army.

      The afghans even shot at Pakistan using their border guards when a fence / mining area was done before US came back to "defuse situation" when Pakistan fired back.

      June 13, 2010 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. RD

    All war is based on the same premous but started and ended for different reasons. They simply are a break down in Diplomicy or the inappility to co-exsist. To impose our sence of believes and values should never be a definition of Victory. In Afganistan, we were sent in for the right reasons but we have aloud ourselves to become destracted from our original intention. How can you defeat an enemy who is willing to die and kills indiscriminately for their beliefs?

    Iraq, that was a mistake. We had a mislead premous and an exteremly flaud plan.

    This region has always been a region of unrest. You can not fight one with out the other. Fighting a war in this area without securing the boarders is a rescipe for disaster. As we have seen. Could've, would've, should've! LOL

    June 10, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  15. Cyrus Howell

    Not exactly. Vietnam was about oil. Every major oil company in the world was drilling in the Gulf of Siam.
    Washington did not want all of SE Asia falling to the communists. That was their " diplomacy ". Real politic.

    For the Pentagon Vietnam was about testing helicopter warfare.
    The major cause of the Vietnam melt down was the draft.
    If Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar were turned over to authorities Americans and their allies could just go home.

    June 10, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  16. LOVEFORALLHATREDFORNONE

    My final word on the whole matter, Afganisatan will continue to suffer you guys are there or not they are a bunch of tribes that will nrver be able to learn to live in peace. They will always be able to be bought for money that is there whole idea of living. If today the Devils there stopped paying them, these Afgans will turn on them.
    My thoughts are if you are there now for what ever reason that may be Finish and then get out.
    9/11 is not a good enough reason for being there please.

    June 10, 2010 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Cyrus Howell

      They have no homes and no wives. Where will they go?
      They will be in their mountains strong holds forever.
      Nadir Shah of Persia conquered them in 1700, but they are still there.
      Then Nadir and company looted Dehli in history's greatest bank robbery in 1737 and went back home on 1000 elephants laden with uncounted treasury. He needed Afghanistan for what?

      June 10, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Jerry

        Cyrus Howell: I think he needed somewhere for his elephants to take a cr@p

        June 10, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • davonskevort

        nuke em i say just nuke em... blow out the poppy fields target the food and water with nukes.

        June 15, 2010 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
  17. d

    We need to fight a war for conquest once in a while.

    June 10, 2010 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
  18. marco

    Many of your CV dudes and money holders are the decision makers
    We are just a tools to them batteries in away like the matrix no more then that you can't be more then that or else

    It makes me laugh when the drums of freespeach and freedom what a freedom pay check every month comes to your door money for free is that it do you think that's why u are here

    America don't want to win this war why in hell they want to win so they leave, no its golden chance to be next to russia where they wanted to be in the first place. For those who are dead in so called war on terror its sad really if they just knew, well I leave you to think and sit back look at the picture in many angles maybe just maybe you will see clearly for once

    June 10, 2010 at 5:35 am | Report abuse |
  19. NB

    what was taken by force will be returned by force

    June 10, 2010 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  20. Afghan Empire

    No, it cant be compared. Just U.S was defeated in Vetnam but in Afghanistan 46 nations will admire them by the bravery of defeat. u r making the empires and we r breaking the empires.
    but i request u to think the need of peace think of the ordinary Afghans who r the victims and those solderis who r the victims why war when u claim democracy.

    June 10, 2010 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  21. Bob

    Unemployed Jeff if i may add, Ghengis Khan's empire lost Afghanistan, merteriously soon after taking it over, he died, there fore Afghanistan broke off. Also Alexander the Great needed 3 years to defeat Afghanistan, compare that to the 6 months it took to defeat the Persian Empire(which includes Eygpt, and pretty much every Middle-Eastern country north of Arabia). 7 years later Alexander the Great is dead.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Bob

    Not to be rude, but how are u our biggest ally? I thought we invaded you once, and damn near took you guys over, if our general wasn't shot, and Benedict Arnold had no trouble with communication(great military man by the way, not matter what traitor stuff they teach u at school). I mean, its true that the Canadian-American border has the least amount border troops, but do you guys really forgive us? 🙂
    I mean, we forgive the British, but thats pretty much only because we need their troops.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Bob

    dazed1984 quick note, they say 58,000 American lives were lost, but do they say how many but do they tell you how many are wounded, missing arms, legs, faces, or even missing there minds when they come home?

    Face it, no matter how tragic the Afghan War is, its a Hawaii vacation compared to Vietnam. Americans, as i've seen, seem to think right now whatever is happening in their life is historically worse then ever and they are facing problems that nobody else has.

    Are we still in denial that this recension was nothing to the Great Depression? i'm pretty sure that 9.7% unemployment is way less than 20%

    June 9, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Mac Heart

    How to defeat your enemy; 1. Kill all males and destroy every building, landmark and population center. . 2. Kill all females over the age of 6. 3. When the remaining females are ready impregnate. ...Gengis Kahn

    June 9, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  25. stinkybooty

    companies like Raytheon, General Dynamics, General Electric, etc. The US is on the big decline and will be a third world country within five years anyway, IF IT SURVIVES THAT LONG!!! WE are now on our last leg, and it ain't the third one!

    June 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  26. stinkybooty

    US is the great purveyor of weapons. That is all we rely on to make money nowadays. Defense contractors are the biggest money makers in this dumb country. Both the Vietnam and the Afghanistan wars are dumb and really unfounded...only wars of profit for bigshi+ weapons contractors in this country.

    June 9, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  27. samruby

    I will like to share my experience, i met a lot of afghans , very proud, resilient people. I'm sure they will not rest until all the foreign troops leave their country, even if they have to fight for whole century. So its better for americans to save their ass's as soon as possible.

    June 9, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Jesse B

    As a Canadian and as America°s closest ally, I think it is a little crazy that America spends more money on their military then the rest of the world combined (about) when counties such as Brittain, France, Germany and China spend way less and yet can still help defend themselves very well. America can use the money spend on their military to proivde universal healthcare such as Canada (not saying we dont have our own healthcare problems) rather then having to get more other money to pay for it. Canada spends extremely less on military and your GDP is 10x less then America°s yet we (this is proven) are suffering less then anyother countrie in the G8 and havn°t had to bail out a single bank (none have gone out of buisness either). I think on a little different topic here, America could pull out of Adganistan and use the money saved to ramp up national sicurity (sorry if i make any spelling mistakes) to prevent events such as 911, this was you are keeping American°s safe and not costing the lives of American, Canadian, British, etc soldiers lives.

    June 9, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Antifool

      Sadly, Jesse, the US is run by a very small number of individuals who want nothing less than more power. Yes, this country spends WAAAAAAY too much on it's military. Seems to be the price for being a military super power. What's sad, though, is that our military isn't as strong as it once was. We now rely heavily on advanced technology through private research and development. Capitalism allows for the insane costs we pay. Then again, consider that the US government will pay $5 per meatball for a banquet. Or $20,000 for a hammer..... or $50,000 for a toilet seat that isn't even covered in precious metals. This is the waste of bureaucracy and the complete negligence of our "elected leaders" over where the money comes from and how much more we spend that make. All it takes is for China to decide they want us to make good on our debt, and we'll be flying the Chinese flag in the United States of China.

      June 9, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  29. VaHellbilly

    Yep, the most ignorant political decision of the 20th century, bar-none... Ramifications still felt and compared over half a century later to prove the point.

    June 9, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Antifool

    Wrong, folks. The longest running, and unsurpassed US WAR that has cost this country the most in lives and dollars is the.... National Drug Control Strategy. A.K.A. "The War on Drugs". Still raging with no end in sight.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Eugene

    Who really knows right from wrong, that really depends on which side lies the most to get people for the cause. When their/ our children are brought up in haterd for the other countries we will never be done with the wars.anywhere.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Mark H.

    We had a chance to prevent the Vietnam War after WWII by answering the call for help from Ho Chi Minh from the USA, that beacon of freedom. Instead we supported the colonial French forces and once again came down on the side of tyranny. We never learn.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  33. jona

    Oh PUHLEEASE Stop this nonsense. This is NOTHING LIKE Vietnam. We lost over 50k people in Nam. We mishandled it and screwed it all up. You people are total fools for writing this tripe.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Kimo

    America's longest war was the Barbary pirate wars of the early 1800s, a series of conflicts spanning 20 years

    June 9, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Sher

    Comparable to Vietnam war or not, the correct answer for both wars is that the United State will not win either war. If the US can't eliminated rats in New York then it can't win either war.

    June 9, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  36. dave

    Agreed.

    June 9, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Dude who was there

    I've actually been to Afghanistan. I worked directly with the Afghans nearly every day and I lost several friends there, both American Soldiers and Afghans. We are in Afghanistan because the Taliban government offered a safe haven for our enemies to plan, train and equip themselves for operations against us (USS Cole, World Trade Center, Pentagon, Flight 93 – 2,993 Americans killed). We are currently fighting our enemies there, with our trained and volunteer military, instead of having our enemies kill our civilians in New York, Dallas, Chicago, LA, Seattle, etc.

    To truly achieve "success" in Afghanistan, which would be defined as the presence of a stable and functioning Afghan government able to provide for it's own security, manage its own affairs and live up to its international obligations, will require much time, effort and resources from ourselves and our coalition partners. It will not be cheap (in blood or money) and will take over 10 more years of active international involvement (my own estimate).

    Feel free to engage in under/mis-informed conspiracy theories, calls for ass-kicking, "glass-sheeting", total withdrawal, whatever–one wrongful civilian death can create 3 insurgents. This is a fact of life–people become upset when you shoot their family members. The simple fact is that until we can increase security enough for Afghan kids to actually go to school and learn to read, nothing there will change and we will continue to be at risk. If we leave Afghanistan without succeeding we will be attacked at home again, from plans hatched in the same area, and my friends will have died for nothing.

    I say we stay and finish the job–I'll go back as many times as it takes.

    June 9, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • thank you.

      wonderfully put, and what the question should have raised is let us not repeat the non-supportative attacks on our military personel on the home front and support our men and woman risking theirs daily to help strength freedom and liberaties we take for granted here at home. God bless you and all those who chose to support and defend our country.

      June 9, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Norm

        You are absolutely right.....Until you got to the last paragraph: that is, if we leave without achieving our goals, the bad guys over there will be hatching plans to harm us, etc.
        I believe achieving that goal is impossible. After ten years of war, all we accomplished was to make the area around
        the presidential palace in Kabul safe enough for Karzai to get out in the garden and hold a press conference.
        Afghanistan, as you well know, is a big country. I wish our politicians and military see the light, so we can the get the hell out there now.

        June 9, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sher

      I was born in Vietnam & my dad was a soldier fought along side with the US. He deceased 10 yrs ago, but when he still alive he said if the US still there fight the Viet Cong they would still fight. He was talking about 15 yrs later. I'm not an expert on war, but I hope this Afghan war end some day.

      The question is, when will Tilaban come to fight, you see my point? They just running around recruiting Afghans children to joined them. Per my dad, this is happening in Vietnam too.

      June 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • jona

      Dude. Thanks.

      June 9, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  38. frank

    Did the mean longest Police action? as bad as fighting is , the USA never declared war but that doesn't make it any better. Maybe they should just call this what it is "Political Police Action" or "Political Conflict"

    June 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  39. thebigcicero

    It's "asymmetrical," not "ass-ymetrical."

    Another thing, stop blaming Bush. Obama has been in office long enough now that he takes responsibility for what is happening NOW. And what is happening NOW? No one knows! That's the problem. I'm all for waging war to rout out terrorists if that's what the goal is, but no one knows what the hell is happening over there. There doesn't appear to be any real goal or objective. It used to be to capture Bin Laden. then it was dismantle the Taliban. Now it appears to be eliminate opium fields and build schools while fighting rural bandits. WHAT ARE WE DOING THERE? If there is a good reason to be there, let's get to it and clean the place up. If not, then get out. OBAMA, WHAT'S YOUR GOAL, YOUR PLAN?

    June 9, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  40. Economizer

    Afghanistan cannot be accuratley compared to the Vietnam war, 50k some odd soldiers died in that war. While I am sure guerilla war fare is happening in Afghanistan as well, technology has slingshot us well past that era. The more important question here is simply, what are we doing there? Why were we at in nam? How many closed door meetings and special interests are at play here? Who is profiting off this war? Haliburton? Who profitted off Vietnam? Thats the comparison. These are smart people calling the shots, can we trust them?

    June 9, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  41. bailoutsos

    "Winter Soldier Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupation," published by Haymarket Books

    June 9, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  42. Abdullah

    Why do Americans keep insisting that they are in Afghanistan because of 9/11? Much of the planning and preparation for the attack was supposedly carried out in Germany, yet no thought of invading Germany yet?

    June 9, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Will

      America didn't invade Germany because Germany worked with America to hunt down the local Al-Qaeda cells there (it also helped that most of EUCOM's troops are stationed in Germany as a byproduct of the Cold War). Afghanistan was invaded because the main Al-Qaeda camps were there and the Taliban wasn't cooperating with America on hunting them down. They were the only nation to do so, so they were invaded.

      June 9, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  43. PG Steve

    As the Father of a US Marine, my feelings are mixed. I applauded our entry into Afghanistan. We had a pretty clear agenda. We wanted to find Bin Laden, disrupt and destoy Afghan based al Qaeda and overthrow a government (Taliban) that supported the ideals and active planning to kill Americans. Obviously it has turned out far more complex than we imagined. We cannot win this war supporting the current Afghan government, the two-timing Pakistanies and an Afghan population that is at best indifferent and more accurately openly hostile. War is scary. I have not slept well since early this year. The Marines are fighting in Helmond and risking their lives with nearly impossible ROE. The Rules of Engagement (ROE) are so worried about civilian casualties helping to recruit for the Taliban that our guys often can't return fire. It was frustrating in Marja and is even worse now. If we are going to keep our guys there then let's kick ass. If not,.......an entire region will cultivate the Killing of Americans unabated. My son will be home in the Fall...God willing!

    June 9, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • A D

      A little over two years ago, I was among the first of the Marines to go the same area. (I was in Bawka province, to the west of Helmand.) Not only do heavy-handed tactics (and I believe many of our tactics are already too heavy-handed) turn the population against us and give the militants more munitions (in the form of unexploded ordinance - OUR ordinance), but while ROE's can be frustrating at times, without them... what's the point? What makes us different from the Russians who attempted to slaughter all of Afghanistan, or the terrorists we invaded the country to fight in the first place? The key to success in Afghanistan is giving the population there a means of surviving that doesn't involve either fighting for the Taliban or growing opium poppies for them. Schools, roads, and clinics would go a lot farther than the tired old drumbeat of "more soldiers, more bombs."

      June 9, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  44. callmedocberg

    2 nukes will definitely change the mind of the taliban real quick!

    June 9, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  45. berucem

    I would like to add to Fred Evils comment by saying that never in the history of mankind has and ideology been defeated by warfare if that were the case there would not be Judaism or Christianity or Islam or Communism or Socialism or Democracy or the Drug culture, to think you can defeat and ideology by the use of force is to lose the war before you fired the first shot

    June 9, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  46. swilkers808

    That was the feeling BEFORE WE INVADED. This is war that winning means losing. Neither side is going to win this. GTFO of there please.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  47. B_POC

    With respect to everyones thoughts, i would have to say that throughout history there has been war. unfortunatly its enivitable and will always be around, there is always someone who is horrible and it sends us back into conflict. I maybe young, only 18 but i realize that. some conflicts maybe less violent, but its still conflict and people are risking their lives everyday in afghanistan, and they deserve the respect and admiration of all of us. That being said i still think it is a low conflict war. It is no comparison to the vietnam war, we lost a lot of good people then and although i admit we are losing good people, we arent losing them to the extreme we once did. I think it might get worse before it gets better, but for the safty of ourselves and the world let us protect what we believe for there will always be war.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  48. Norm

    Who was that man that warned President Truman, when he sent troops to Korea in the early 1950's, "Do not get bogged down in a unwinnable war in Asia"? . That warning has been completely ignored, and how! Korea is still a stalemate. North Korea has nuclear weapons, and we still have close to 50,000 troops there after 60+ years. Vietnam, you remember, was the first major defeat in U.S history. As for the Iraq war, which we started under a complete falsehood, cost us 4000+ killed, with an untold number of Iraqi casualties, both soldiers and civilians. And that war, which cost close to a trillion dollars, continues to this day draining our finances as it approaches 8 years (much longer than WW2). And so it goes. Military adventurism is a studpid and costly business. Afghanistan may not compare to WW2, Korea, or Nam in terms of casualties, but it has managed to bog down a large Army for almost ten years, with no end in sight. I hear peiple suggesting that if we improve the economic well being of the Afghans, maybe they will learn to love us! Nothing can be farther from the truth. Those people love freedom as much as anybody. They resent having a foreign invading army in their midst. Afghans have resisted, and successfully, foreign invaders since the time of Alexander the Great. What makes us think we can change the course of history and have an alien concept, like democracy, forced down their throats? Wake up, Obama, and heed that guy who warned against being bogged down in Asia, and get us out now before it's too late.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  49. Fred Evil

    Sorry, but the TRUE Longest War is a war waged on the American populace. The utter FAILURE that is America's "War on Drugs."
    No matter who 'wins' an American always loses.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • JIm

      Right, the drug war is a total failure. Let's just legalize and tax it (as we do for say, OIL) and the problem will be solved. The big drug producers will be put out of business -just like the OIL companies- and responsible consumption will prevail, just as it does with OIL. It is SO simple!

      June 9, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  50. Anderson Clayton

    It looks like the enemies of America (we are very proficient in breading them) concluded that they cannot defeat us militarily so they have gone for discrediting us, wear out public support, force us to spend billions of public money to sustain an increasingly unpopular invasion.
    We have to be honest, at least with ourselves: how can the strongest army of the planet suffer dearly on the hands of poorly trained extremists, armed mainly with rusted AK47s and riding Camels?
    I believe, at the end of the day, we will have to learn why the Soviets have been defeated by the Afghan people's REFUSAL to be dominated by foreigners!

    June 9, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  51. VaHellbilly

    G.W. Bush was so focused/frenzied/obsessed with Iraq (remember the plot to assassinate his Dad by Saddam uncovered by the Clinton administration?), he conveniently forgot about 9/11 and Afghanistan. Thank God for the two-term rule (like he would have had a chance at a third).

    Because of the vast waste of the following items squandered on Iraq: economic/military/medical/educational resources, money, food and more importantly human life, we are still in Afghanistan, plain and simple.

    If these resources had been focused into Afghanistan (only) from the start, things would be a lot different, esp. 8+ years on...

    June 9, 2010 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  52. John

    If you have not been to afghanistan. do you really have a right to say we shouldn't be here.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  53. berucem

    you cant compare the Vietnam war to the war in Afghanistan based on lose of life or technology used or military spending. you can however compare the two wars in the futility of it, can you walk away saying mission accomplished? the answer to that question is No

    June 9, 2010 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  54. K

    This "war" is unwinnable, for the simple reason that to "win" a war, you need to achieve certain objectives. What are the US objectives in Afghanistan? To destroy Al Qaeda? But Al Qaeda is not bound in Afghanistan, it's an international terrorist group. If bringing democracy in Afghanistan is the objective, the US are in fact losing the war. The so called elected president of Afghanistan, supported by the US I might add, is nothing more than a little warlord. Protecting the US? Is that the objective? Well then, the US have failed. Instead of the terrorists having to go all the way to the US to harm americans, now, the americans are at their place! Pretty convenient, don't you think? And as for those asking "What should the US have done in response to 9/11?", I have this to say: START IMPROVING YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE WORLD! People don't hate America because they hate freedom. People hate America for the double-standards, aggressive policies, invading around the world, starting wars, supporting dictators, arrogance and accidental killings of countless civilians around the world. Oh, and the torture, assassinations, kidnappings etc.

    June 9, 2010 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • JIm

      You forget, 9/11 occurred a few short months after the Clinton Administration, which was the pinnacle of enlightenment in the history of this world. We rolled with the punches in Kenya, Yeman, the WTC bombing, and Somalia, but after the 9/11 attacks, we had to do something.

      June 9, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      Amen! You took the words out of my mouth. Hypocrisy and double-standards are the foundations of our foreign policy.
      Listen to ex president Bush the Younger say that he has no regrets over ordering "Waterboarding", also know as
      Torture. When people read this what do you expect them to do? Love America more ? I think not.

      June 9, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  55. Joseph

    Afghanistan and Iraq are same philosophy created by Bush and Tony Blair and organization against Terrorism.
    But we see that there is over 1,000,000 people killed Iraq and still Afghanistan.Now we see Tony Blair and Bush and their goverment was big terrorist.They are war guilty and should be judged in the court. Somobodies asking why is nato there even though there is no oil.the answer is very simple they try to oder muslims world as they want but we saw They are more than terrorist and being priate by stealing their sources.

    June 9, 2010 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  56. Sean

    I can't believe America went into Afghanistan, no oil no nothing. The vanity of America to think they can rule the world with consumer goods yet not understand they are dying by a thousand cuts for they do not understand the human soul and raison d'etre spans more than one lifetime

    June 9, 2010 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
  57. atal

    This war cannot be won until Pakistan is forced to stop backing the Taliban!

    June 9, 2010 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  58. Bill

    As cold as it may sound, but WAR is an UGLY word and great caution should be taken before entering into WAR, but once WAR is Declared then we have to proceed to WIN quickly! Use politics in an attempt to avoid WAR, but once WAR is Declared Force is required. General Sherman, Civil War General, stated it the best, it's tough to accept, "War Is Ugly and Cruel and the Cruelest Wins".......the primary point is to "WIN".......in War it is a known fact innocent lives are lost, make sure US Soldiers lives are lost less, Win the the War quickly with force, less innocent lives will be lost, don't let politics guide Rules of Engagement......believe me if all the world new that if the US declares War extreme force will be used quickly and politics does not play a major part......knowing that is a great deterant! You must understand the "Rules" change when War is Declared and it must or the War will drag on and more innocent lives will be lost! Some countries want war with US becuase of the World Wide Public Attention due to Politics.

    June 9, 2010 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  59. Hubert39

    Longest war? But just think how much the military industtrial complex is making over the past 7 plus years. And this is why we will travel 8000 miles to create enemies, start wars etc.
    The USA is a CAPITALIST nation. Money is our God.
    These wars and Vietnam? The people in these wars were fighting for their county, families, flag, hertiage, resources, pride etc. Our troop in Vietnam and the wars now are fighting for a monthly pay check. Guess who usually wins?

    June 9, 2010 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
  60. Dinesh Joshi

    Friends there's a saying "Politicians start the Wars, and Not Army". Same has been the case since Adam and Eve or much before that Adam and Steve(Amoeba Days) 😉 who knows. But this time if US wins this war, please do not leave the group or afgans at their own mercy as Taliban would have been used in constructive ways post Soviet era to build bridges if given a proper direction(who knows) but it was not done by US. What should we think a person with AKs or Rocket Laucher do at the age of 16, if not shows his power which by ever means is mucle power.... Think about it....

    June 9, 2010 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
  61. zak

    I would like ro expain the best of my english langauge.

    Q why America is at war since it became a country
    Q why is it america trying so hard to become onley world police no other authority
    Q why america had the nuke and used it in first chance like Iran not allowed to have nuke in any way.
    Q why america like to control other people lives tell them what to do
    A what was taken by force will be returned by force
    A to become the onley power in the world you have to share eqauly
    A must every country have nuke so they can protect them selves from mad baboons in al oose

    A if u take something from someone using force expect the same way to be treated force is the Answer

    I should tell to obama i had so much hope on him though he would protect the poor and freedom of humman rights such as live and let live

    June 9, 2010 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      There is no way every country should be allowed to have a nuke. I'm sorry if that's not fair, but I don't feel comfortable if every whack job dictator has the ability to launch nukes whenever he feels like it. Imagine if Hitler had the bomb?

      June 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  62. From_India

    Islamic Militancy has its roots in 'Wahabi' school of thought which originated from Saudi Arabia and is getting preached from Madarasas funded by them all over the world. While US confronts Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya etc the real problem, the root cause are seen as friends just as they fetch oil and invest in US companies. America's moral preaching takes a serious blow when double standards are practiced, on one side all the dicatators (read who don't obey) are labelled as demons and plotted to be over thrown and establish democracy; Saudi Kingdom, Egypt's Hosni Mobarak, Pakistan's Generals and everyone who is least bothered about democracy but would give in to America's demands becomes instant favourite and they get looked over from rosy glasses. World is sick of the double talks now, if you believe in democracy, human rights stand up and follow one rule for all. CNN tries balancing out every reports from Israel-Palestine, Palestinian school bombed 50 kids dead would be accompanied by Hamas rocket hits Israeli fields detroying few plants making Israeli farmer depressed (yeah thats true story I read on CNN) so how do we expect people favouring US in alien lands. Innocent people play in the hands of extremist by seeing tapes of Israeli atrocities and American support for it. If we want to end this nonsense war we need to cure its root cause ie. Israel and Saudi Arabia!!

    June 9, 2010 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
    • dick delson

      Israel atrocities????? Israel only retaliates when fired upon. And Hamas has been firing missles into Israel for years. They are too stupid to think they can learn anything from Israel, like building an oasis in the middle of a desert while Hamas still lives in tents.

      June 12, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  63. falchion

    The answer, of course, is no, Vietnam and Afghanistan cannot be compared for one fundamental reason: there is no draft to obtain soldiers for the latter conflict. Without the draft to threaten them, the great majority of America's young men are indifferent to our latest military adventures, thus assuring that little debate on the issues involved takes place.
    True, the wars of attrition in Iraq and Afghanistan are unwinnable. If we really wanted to kill large numbers of Islamists, the most effedtive way to do so is to leave those countries and allow the natives to do it for us, just as they did in Vietnam.

    June 9, 2010 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  64. JJ in Chula Vista, CA

    The conflict in Afghanistan is not a declared war, but what's been taking place is very much the epitome of warfare. The reason why it's become the longest "war" in American history is because we lost focus, we became distracted with Iraq, we didn't accomplish our original goals in a timely basis, and there was no exit strategy from the get-go. In other words, we planned it to be a long war, because a certain president and his administration wanted to convince Americans that they were doing something substantial about the terrorism problem that resulted on September 11, 2001.

    June 9, 2010 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  65. Steven

    Remember folks, congress did not declare war.

    June 9, 2010 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  66. Wild Wild West

    It's pretty straight forward it's ideological war cant you see Russians came in afghanistan with communist agenda to enforce it on the people of afghanistan. Same way the americans came with western democracy agenda to enforce it on the people of afghanistan. Both super power are trying to put their own ideology no one is asking what afghanistan want. to be honest we should learn from the history they want what they beleive in and that is Islamic way of life and governance. So russians have communism and american have western style democracy with afghanistan have Islam. Further the West think tanks have their own beleif to stick with Bibilical prophecies to fullfill by establishing the ancient jewish empire to its existence from east to west. So what you think this war games are played for.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Mckinley

    I absolutely don't agree to Afghanisthan's war being compared to that of Vietnam. Foremost in Vietnam the US was fighting someone else's war even though in a certain sense the US was trying to stop the spread of communism when during the cold war it was seemingly a sureal threat to the ideology of the democratic and capitalistic west.
    In the present context the war in Afghanisthan is, let us face facts and let the truth be said, a realistic war and the war is fought because–1. terrorism is real,–2. It had reached the US doorstep and the only other time was the bombing of Pearl harbour and that too was a war fought with uniforms.
    If the US had still been more passive, the jihadis would have done halal to one and all as they had a base like Afghanistan, and more of failed states like Somalia, Yemen etc. would have joined rank and in no time would have been a threat to the world, mind you not only to the US.
    You gotta read the history of the world where ambitious and some fanatical Muslims have time and again tried to change the ideology, belief and freedom of other countries and people, just because they have interpreted the Koran the way these extremist have.
    The war we are fighting is not a conventional war, where soldiers are chivalrious, have a code, wear uniforms and are protected by the Geneva accord. These bas-ds know no honor other than their one-track belief and will die as they have no fear to die because the have no loving home to go back to.
    So I fear for not only the west but for the whole world as these these terrorist become ruthless and tougher and we become weaker because we try and see the world from our loving, tolerant and forgiving eyes and for them it is just a weakness to be taken advantage of.

    June 8, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Geo In TO

    The Russians were the last to try to divide and conquer Afghanistan, and they failed. History tells us that nobody's ever divided and conquered that part of the world ever. So, I really don't understand why we're there volunteering men and women to be thrown into a sacrificial volcano.

    June 8, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Fearlessdoc

    Just more government crap, I am just glad I am not over there looking for my leg or something.

    June 8, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      Ya 'cause then you would have actually done something for your cause. And God forbid that the majority of bloggers on this post have never even set foot in Afghanistan and rely solely on media to tell them what is actually going on.

      June 8, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      Nobody should be fighting this senseless war as it benefits only the right-wing politicians and the war profiteers here at home.

      June 9, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Big Luke

    While we fortunately havent experienced the loss of U.S military personnel that we did in Vietnam, the war is comparable because we find ourselves scratching our heads in how to end it. No matter what we do and how we do it, the Taliban will claim victory over us and will be in control of the entire country in a matter of weeks after we leave there. I want to see our people out of that prehistoric death trap but to think we could just move on out is foolishness.

    June 8, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  71. rizwan azra khan

    afghanistan is no veitnam, its warring tribes can in no way be compared to the simple veitnamies,this should be kept in mind,and nuking them down is also no solution they will rise from the ashes.

    June 8, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  72. rizwan azra khan

    afghanistan is a country with many different tribes with different religious values and followings, they have always been fighting amongst themselves since ages,each warring lord wants to establish his own domain and rules,only this time this war is spilling all over, there is the shia faction and sunni faction ,now to add more fuel to the fire there are the mercenaries desirous of establihing their own set of rules thereby fanning and sowing the seed of hatred against america,i do agree these drones attacks are only germinating more terrorist and are counter productive, for each innocent live gone germinates a new terrorist, its family member, cause its in their blood to avenge the death of their family members and this practice goes down from generation to generation,its difficult for any country to change their thinking, so please stop this madness go for a political solution.

    June 8, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Tim in PA

    A war's length depends on the point of view of the participants. American's think of the the war in Vietnam, and the war in Afghanistan in terms of first and last American casualties. Vietnamese may disagree as their casulaties began much earlier than the date of the first death on the wall on the mall. Likewise, in Afghanistan an Afghani can make a good case for the war beginning considerably earlier than 2001, especially if the Afghani belongs to the northern Alliance. then the war began in 1979. The comparative length of the wars is a meaningful issue only if there is universal agreement on the event's start date among all participants. As there never is such agreement, drop the question since it is merely a journalistic device to attract interest.

    By the by, there are no western or European powers that have ever conquered the area now known as Afghanistan. But Alexander was never defeated there, Islam swept the region, Genghis Khan passed through successfully and incoprorated the region into his empire, Tamerlane also was not stopped. it is the European powers and their descendants who have failed, others, less so.

    June 8, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Khalid

    The goverment in America knows that there is no chance of winning this war because the people are against them the same as they were against russians let's not consider the poeple of kabul where are the american dollars are spent and the people are made happy through them, the Americans are finding it hard in border areas where the people thinks that they are fighting a religious war, I would consider this war to be one of the worst one's in the history of America, This war is turning to be the same as russians fighting afghanistan there would be more American/Nato casualties the next year and even more the years following I think this war can be won if people of afghanistan are involved in it whereas rigth now afghans are not involved in the war the easiest way of winning the war would be if Americans Leave the country by inviting the taliban and the leader of hizb islami afghanistan and the current president to a table and leave them to make their shared goverment where the people find it a real Islamic goverment at the same time US Supporting them this way they would involve them in the goverment (taliban and the hizb islami) and they would be abloe to use them by then where they would be the members of the goverment the best example I would present here is one of the mujahideen's leader Sayaf who fought against russians but fortunate for America that the americans involved in their goverment in afghanistan as they had a deal with him in first years of invading afghanistan from talibans i think that could be the best time to have the same deal with taliban and hizb Islami of afghanistan...
    Once Tablibans are involved in the goverment and Hizb Islami is involved than they would be the part of the game and as the it's america governing afghanistan by president karzai it would be the same America governing afghanistan by Karzai, Hizb Islami, And Talibans...

    June 8, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  75. rizwan azra khan

    wars are never a means to an end.

    June 8, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Onesmallvoice

      But you can't tell that to the right-wing thugs in Washington!!!

      June 8, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • Anonymous

        Get off your high horse you ignorant tool! Please tell me one thing we invaded Afghanistan for that is of value. And don't even mention some make believe gas pipeline because I deal with development in Afghanistan, and that is not one of the projects anyone is doing.

        June 8, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • JIm

        Are you saying that President Obama is a right-wing thug? Since he has not brought the troops back and, in fact, expanded the troop numbers by 30,000, it is HIS war now.

        June 9, 2010 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  76. john

    this war can't be won. it is impossible to find all the bad people while at the same time trying to not kill the innocent people. if you are a soldier you are basically fighting ghosts and trying to not run over some road bomb. it will not be won, it will only end up with many many afganis dead and americans/nato dead. time to pull out and nuke the place or just let them fight for themselves...

    June 8, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  77. rizwan azra khan

    its easy to get emotional and continue to wage wars ,but lets remember wars are never a solution to any problems,one should study and get to the crux or the root of the problem and look into each and every aspect to resolve the problem amicably,true evil doers are to be eliminated before they spread their poisonous tentacles, but not at the cost of innocent lives,when finally we end the war amicably then when you look back at the casualities,we often wonder why we didnt think of it before ,can you look into the eyes of the widows,the mothers who lost their sons, what does one say to them.

    June 8, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Wild Wild West

    Well to begin with frist off all George Bush and his team is resposible for all whats happening in todays world "New World Order" their beleif in bibilical prophecies and their zionist lobbies plans for coming future. So all my friends it's time to wake up and notice all the things changing around the world. It's begining of end according to them. New World Order for 21st century similar like 18th and 19th century New world finders colonial rulers. so i hope every body gets clear message about new colonial power establishment.

    June 8, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Onesmallvoice

      This guy who calls himself Gary Johndro said it best.Part of George Bush's New World Order includes the "glorious" American Anglo-French Empire in the Middle East,which is to include Iraq,Iran,Afghanistan and Pakistan and this is the reason we're fighting these obnoxious wars now.

      June 8, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jerry

        You really fell for that? oh dear oh dear oh dear...Anabel you are losing what's left of your grip on reality.

        June 9, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  79. Kent

    -> Onesmallvoice....I have seen you post a few other times and I have to finally say something, you and all like you are so typical in your statement, You obviously have the interent and that gives you the ability to comment but for the love of god get your head out of your liberal A$$...."These right-wing politicians in Washington always do one thing quite well,that is,get this country into senseless and obnoxious wars" are you really that ignorant? you left wing hateful fool

    WW1 – Democrat
    WW2 – Democrat
    Korea- Democrat
    Vietnam- Democrat

    That sure doesn't look like a bunch or right wingers to me......but to be fair to you I am kidding when I attack your intelligence...you can't help it Rachael and Keith have obviously brainwashed you beyond the point or repair....Go watch John Stewart or something geez!!!!

    June 8, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Onesmallvoice

      That only proves that three out of four Democrats could be and were right-wing,too.Wilson,although not right-wing,was rather naive about the British who gravely misslead him.As for Roosevelt,we did have a very right-wing enemy to fight,being Nazi Germany while Truman and Johson were moderately right-wing.

      June 8, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mike

        Johnson a right-winger? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        June 8, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        Yeah... c'mon dude, a 3 year old knows that Johnson was one of the biggest "left-wing" Presidents in history... and I wouldn't exactly call FDR a "right-winger" either...

        June 8, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ben

        You need to study political history more. Wilson was a very progressive liberal democrat for that era, Roosevelt was very liberal, Truman may have been a little more moderate, but Johnson was definitely liberal. And fascism is not right wing; Fascism, socialism, and communism are all cousins. They all are big Gov controlling every aspect of people’s lives. They just go about it in slightly different ways, the Nazi party was a socialist party, how in the world do you get right wing out of that.

        June 9, 2010 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • mmm no history lessons

      just to make a point: Party system in this country drastically changed in each era. Wilson would be considered a Republican in this day and age. So would Johnson. Do a tiny bit of research, the Democratic Party was conserative party until Johnson's second term of office. The "Southern Democrates" or conserative democrats switch parties to Republician Party. Again, when you spill the democrates vs republicains please keep in mind historical references and not think that our system of gov't isn't an ever changing system...aka Wig party....Tea Party....ect.

      June 9, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
      • Ben

        No doubt parties change, I did say for that era. And while they may appear more moderate compared to the liberals today they were not conservatives. Their policies were not in keeping with conservative principles then or even today. And just for the record not many Republicans are conservative these days, although that may be changing. Wilson was and is considered to have been a leading progressive, hardly conservative.

        June 9, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
      • Jamie

        Under no measure would Johnson, the orchestrator of cash welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, and the rest of the Great Society programs, be "considered Republican." That claim is so absurd that it's amazing anyone could utter it.

        Oh, and it's "Whig," not "Wig." I know you love Glenn Beck but sometimes you have to actually read.

        June 12, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        For reasons Jamie already mentioned... plus the added reason that FDR wouldn't be "considered Republican" after creating social security, the "new deal" program, ect. Modern day Republicans/Conservatives/right wingers/whatever you want to call it are not for the expansion of government... which LBJ and FDR were all about. Thus, they were LIBERALS. Left wingers. Which goes back to the original point that onesmallvoice spews out b.s. because most wars of the 20th century were either started, escalated, and/or maintained by liberals.

        June 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Smith in Oregon

    The black hand of the CIA in the Gulf of Tonkin, Laos, Cambodia and the sudden expansion of Heroin flooding from there to America's citys during the Vietnam War are undeniable.

    The black hand of the CIA with the Karzai Clan and the enormous expansion of Heroin flooding from there to America's citys during the Afghanistan War are undeniable.

    Vietnam appeared to be a proxy war with North Korea.
    Afghanistan appears to be a proxy war between India and Pakistan.

    Since any disgruntled Afghan whose wife, children or family was either mistakenly bombed by the US Military, or executed on purpose by disgruntled US Military soldiers can and do become 'Taliban Fighters', ousting the Taliban entirely depends on American Forces leaving Afghanistan. There is no 'total removal of Taliban fighters' in Afghanistan, if that is the goal, it's a failed goal which will absolutely fail and has no glimmer of succeeding.

    The unstated goal entirely appears to be rewarding the weapons and defense contractors who would be unfunded and stripped of their expertise in a peaceful administration such as Bill Clinton's. Rather than focus on medical break-thru's on Cancer, AIDs and a host of new virus's, Americans are being forced to largely support the export of death.

    June 8, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      How true!

      Look at what we have become.

      June 8, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Bill Clinton pushed us into three conflicts, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Somalia. Though much smaller than Bush's, they are not "peaceful." You are more convincing when your facts are straight.

      June 8, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr Ratkartz

      The same Bill Clinton who waged war in the Balkins during his administration, where the US had neither interest nor responsibility?

      June 8, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • JIm

      Are you implying this is a black thing?

      June 9, 2010 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  81. Michael

    The objective of the Afghanistan War was to oust the Taliban which gave sanctuary to Osama bin Laden and of course to capture or kill bin Laden. Thus, the conclusion must be the war has been an utter failure and therfore given the cost: loss of lives and huge expense; not worth it

    June 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  82. mike

    I would hope that people remember a certain Republican president by the name of Dwight D. Eisenhower that tried to warn the good people of the United States about the risks of the Military Industrial Establishment.

    Our biggest product is WAR and weapons of war.. Don't you think that the controllers of our biggest product want to continue receiving their profits???? War is our biggest export 'product'. Hell, we buy everything else from overseas.

    June 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • JIm

      Actually, Democratic presidents have entered the US into most of the wars. Look up Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson.

      June 9, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
      • mike

        What is your point, relative to what I said?

        June 9, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • jim

        IT IS STILL AMERICA,A GREAT NATION! ARE YOU SPEAKING ENGLISH???

        June 11, 2010 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  83. Mike

    If preventing the Taliban from occupying and controlling Afghanistan is our mission I can assure you we will never be able to achieve it! If preventing the Taliban from imposing harm upon the US or anywhere else for that matter is our mission we can certainly achieve a lot more success but not by occupying their land. We need to get ourselves out of this delusional war and state of mind quickly. I have no desire to bring the American way of life to any other nations or people out there. That is for them to bring about, not us. My only desire is to anticipate and prevent harm to the US as best we can and when we fail from time to time, to bring harsh and effective retribution to the perpetrators swiftly. That's it and I don't give a rat's ass whether they want to live in the 12th century or not.

    June 8, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Ashwin

    What stops present day Russia from bleeding the US in Afghanistan to death...just the way the US pursued this strategy covertly in the 80's? Perhaps...the cold war aint over yet? and basically this war has no end as I can see it.

    June 8, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr Ratkartz

      Given the Afghan hatred of the Russians, it is unlikely that any significant Russian aid is reading Afghanistan. Or do you know something that we don't?

      June 8, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • menotyou

        its probably more pakistan than russia...

        June 9, 2010 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
      • Lennybaby

        The Afghans simply don't want to be under foreign domination just like the Vietnamese didn't.But the right-wing thugs in Washington just will not buy that since they're convinced that the Afghans can still be overcome by superior firepower.

        June 9, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  85. Onesmallvoice

    These right-wing politicians in Washington always do one thing quite well,that is,get this country into senseless and obnoxious wars.Actually we had no valid reason to enter WW1 except to see that France and England won.If they didn't,Wall Street stood to lose a great deal of money since many of the firms had money invested in London and Paris,but you won't read that in school history books.I guess that too many people are making money out of this war,too.

    June 8, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr Ratkartz

      And so the sinking of US shipping by the Germans had nothing to do with US entry into World War I ?

      June 8, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom

        Did the sinking of the Lusitania cause the US to enter WW I?

        June 8, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Onesmallvoice

        Actually to this day no one really knows who sunk the Lusitania back in 1915.Whether the Germans did it or was it the work of British intelligence in order to get the United States to enter the war remains an open question even now.It most probably will never be answered.

        June 8, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joe S.

        Strange, I thought the Zimmerman Telegram had something to do with it as well....

        June 8, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dr Ratkartz

        For most people there is little controversy regarding the sinking of the Lusitania, though conspiracies are easy to float, so to speak. Wikipedia: RMS Lusitania was was torpedoed by the SM U-20, a German U-boat on 7 May 1915 and sank in eighteen minutes, eight miles (15 km) off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland, killing 1,198 of the 1,959 people aboard. The captain of the U-boat freely admitted and reported the sinking. Check the sources, including the U-boat captain's diary and records, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walther_Schwieger

        June 8, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bob

        @CK – Actually the link to wikipedia he cited has no information other than who he was, and what he was (in)famous for doing. Here's the real link to his diary:

        http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/eyewitness/html.php?section=18

        Have fun.

        June 9, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      It's also a funny comment because we were under a Dem president, Woodrow Wilson, back then. People need their facts straight before they attack anyone, be they left or right.

      Why does there always have to be some sort of insidious reason for something? Some of the people here have such amazing theories, but with no proof. One thing we do know is we were attacked by a terrorist group harbored by a extreme hardline government in a devastated land where we thought we could win a decisive war. Don't you think that's a good reason in and of itself to begin war? Are there other reasons? Yeah, maybe. Give me a link to a primary source, and I'll read it.

      June 8, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ben

        Well put, actually Democrats led us into WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Regardless of the justification or necessity for getting involved in any of these wars don’t holler about evil warmongering Republicans getting us involved in wars.

        June 9, 2010 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • JIm

      You say that right-wing politicians always get us into wars; was Democrat Woodrow Wilson who declared war on Germany a right-winger? Was Frankin Roosevelt a right-wing politician? Harry S. Truman got us into the Korean War- another right winger? And guess which presidents got us into Vietnam- Kennedy and Johnson!
      Did you ever study history?

      June 9, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
      • jim

        JIM ARE YOU SPEAKING ENGLISH OR GERMAN NOW!!!!!!!!!

        June 10, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  86. mike

    We should be celebrating. We finally have a long term customer for what we sell. WAR!!

    Rather disgusting, ain't it...????

    June 8, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Onesmallvoice

      Well put,mike.

      June 8, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Howard

    This came from someone else on the net. "The Korean War never officially ended. The two sides (North Korea and the US, since the leader of South Korea, Lee Syngman, refused to sign the truce) agreed to a temporary truce. While the truce has lasted for over 50 years, the war still has not officially ended."

    June 8, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr Ratkartz

      That is correct – the Korean war was never officially ended, and shooting incidents continue to this day despite what is technically known as the armistice.

      June 8, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  88. rob brander

    let's see ,guys running around in 14th century wardrobes,wearing sandals and carrying an rpg,ak47 and a sack of i.e.d's[what a political term for boobytraps, which made alot of people crap their pants during vietnam] hit and run tactics,not knowing the bad guys from the good guys.blowing the dna out of civilians,wether its done by a b52 in vietnam or unmanned drones in afghanistan. yeh folks looks like alot of comparison here,oh i forgot there is one difference one country had alot more vegatation, but thats where it stops folks, because for 10 years you americans chased those little buggars wearing their sandals in vietnam, just the same as your chasing their mountain cousins in afghanistan

    June 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      That pretty much sums it up. There are radical muslims all over the world. We won't stop them by "winning" in Afghanistan. Keeping our borders locked down as much as possible is the only solution, and judging by what's happening on our southwestern border, I'd say we're doing a darn poor job.

      June 11, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
      • Val Medina

        You are saying that that our troops are running around with their heads cut off, not having a clue what they are doing, which is completely false. In Vietnam, we believed that the Viet Cong can be defeated in a conventional way. Today, we realize that we are fighting a unconventional enemy. I don't think it is accurate to say we don't have a clue what we are doing. And winning in Afghanistan will prevent the terrorist from having a save havan to conduct their attacks across the world.

        June 12, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  89. Howard

    If you check your figures, I think you will find that the Korean War is the longest. It is still going on today.

    June 8, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      This is a fact.

      June 8, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      That is a really interesting thought, and one that I considered when writing this. I guess it all depends on whether a war continues once a truce is called, or whether it is suspended. In the end, I thought that although it is strictly true to say the Korean war has not ended, nor is it "continuing" in an active sense. Semantics I know....

      June 8, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ajaydeep

        Yes, Tim the Korean War... but what about the War on Drugs... War on Terror... and ah, yes... the War of News... are you able to count and publish the people that have died on the opposite side of the USA in the past 60 years of war... also... the kill-count of the USA... I think it would be a real interesting article... but I also believe... that CNN a world news agency... is not interested in publishing such date of these War on Terror, etc... well long story short... publish that for me... or respond to me with the numbers... since you have a huge data base of resources, which should be a legitimate account... I would presume... and tell me if these wars make sense... or is just like anyone in the job market...

        June 9, 2010 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Our thirty years war on drugs has cost a trillion dollars so far and thousands of deaths, and if we look at the Talliban, and the other insurgents and realize that drug money is financeing them all. Therefore we should legalize the drugs, and put then in the pharmacies and controls of medical , then the drug cartels would dry up.

      June 9, 2010 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
      • Ajaydeep

        so what are we getting out of it? displacing families from their homes...causing rifts in power? ... population control? sigh... how about burning all the fields... i think we got enough resources... if we displace the farmers... its better then the kill count in 10 years... they can live with normal jobs... and industrial period like every other countriy

        June 9, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
      • JIm

        That is like saying the oil companies will be reformed if we remove all regulations and just tax them more that we are now.

        June 9, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
      • Joel Z. Williams

        I agree wholeheartedly, "Seeds of Power" illustrated the point that the Taliban receive most of their funding via drug smuggling. It's time we realize that we will never be able to offer the Afghan farmers a viable alternative to the lucrative opium poppy. They will continue to grow it because it grows fast, requires little care, and brings more than three times wheat, rice or any other grain. As long as drugs remain illegal, there will always be some poor person willing to take a chance to better their family's opportunities. Our only real chance at sustainable peace is if we somehow get those people to believe that planting opium instead of food crops is a bad idea.Legalizing drugs would accomplish that overnight!

        June 13, 2010 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      You are correct, it ended in a cease fire, so technically the war continues, and as we have recently witnessed, there are open hostilities; the torpedo sinking of the S. korean ship killing 45 sailors.

      June 9, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  90. ShareFacts

    No matter we like it OR not, If we want to end this conflict in Afghanistan, we have to get help from Pakistan, so they can force Afghan Taliban to get on with negotiations with USA.

    We have already tried alone for 9 years alone and its not working..

    We will have to accept the fact that Pakistan Army / ISI will never let India get into any role in Afghanistan..because they do not want to get encircled by india from both sides..

    As soon as we realize above, we can we out of this mess in Afghanistan..

    June 8, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • ME

      This article is talking about the longest war the US has been in, techinically the Korean war was between the North and the South. Yes we were involved but war was delcared between those 2 sides. We were just helping out and no war was delcared

      June 9, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Steve

    Reasoning is a big "reason" why the Vietnam and Afghanistan are different. Vietnam had virtually no good reason behind it, while (despite many of you forgetting) Afghanistan had great reason to go in... that being 9/11.

    June 8, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Really, so why didn't we attack Saudi territory, considering that is where the terrorists were from?

      June 9, 2010 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        Peter... if that was the case, we'd have to attack Egypt too. We weren't going to look at where the 9/11 terrorists were born and decide to attack those countries. We attacked where they had their bases (training centers) set up, and where the leadership circle of Al Quieda was at the time. Not to mention the fact that the Taliban were their primary supporters.

        June 10, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Val Medina

      I'm with you on that. We GOT to win Afghanistan. This is not to prevent the spread of communism, this is matter of safety. ist can not be allowed to hijack planes and crash them into buildings, good people like they did in 9/11

      June 9, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel-2

        Who says we have to win? The right-wing thugs in Washington,of course as long as they're promoting their political careers and the war profiteers continue to fill their coffers.

        June 9, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • JNuts

        who says you can win? There has been war in this area since the beginning of time. Americans go in there trying to spread democracy in an area that doesn't want it and can't handle it. The questions you Americans should be asking is what is your country getting in return for the lives that have been lost since the worst U.S. president in history decided to invade. Safety? Do you feel safe? Do you not think that even if the Taliban are driven from Afganistan that they won't come bad with vengence in their eyes? One of the biggest similarities of the two wars is that they are both huge failure.

        June 10, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
      • Jamie

        Define "win."

        As you answer, keep in mind that we:

        1. Could deny Al Qaeda training and operating capacity at the same rate that we are presently denying it simply by keeping up UAV patrols;
        2. Do NOT control the majority of the countryside and have no capacity to do so; and
        3. Are steadily losing the trust of the population which cannot fathom why a superpower can't beat barefoot riflemen.

        It makes for great right-wing flag-waving politics to throw around the word "victory," but for eight years, Republicans admantly refused to define that word lest it provide a measure against which to judge actual accomplishment.

        When everything is contracted out so that American corporations and Afghani warlords can stuff their pockets while the soldiers (like me) are shot at, wounded, and killed, it's far from clear precisely what value this operation has for America.

        June 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Rick McDaniel

    No. The only similarity, is that we still haven't made a real effort to just go in and win. So, we probably won't.

    June 8, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Dr Ratkartz

    Among the differences between the Vietnam and Afghanistan theater conflicts is that the latter is not being run by Lyndon Johnson, whose policies for Vietnam assured the US of costly defeat. Johnson's foolishness included running the Vietnam war "on the cheap." This is less evident in the Afghanistan theater, where we are seeing much faster technological advances and considerable investment in technological agility - all the while realizing that technology and investment alone do not win wars. Former President Johnson's other principal errors included the use of incompetent and inexperienced civilians in determining military targeting and safe havens for the enemy. In Afghanistan there are still some places we'd like to hose down, and can't due to political considerations, but by and large the military are being provided greater operational span of freedom to accomplish national objectives than we saw during the Vietnam conflict.

    June 8, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |