That strange eerie feeling.

November 11th, 2011  

Topic: That strange eerie feeling.

First off I am not one to watch a lot of television, but the other day I saw the same style overly generalized vague documentary about the Vietnam conflict. As it zoomed through 9 years of history in about a quick 30 mins.

But the thing that sparked in my mind is the photos, the stories, the patterens and nature of that conflict.

Pictures of Vietnam with American servicemen standing around chicken huts pulling out RPKs and improvised explosives, stashed there via the Viet Cong sparked to mind many of the images reported from Afghanistan...

It's amazes me, when you listen to the speeches from LBJ about the American will and the need to "reach out to freedom loving peoples everywhere" in 1965.

By 1965 for example, around 165,000 American troops were landing in Vietnam, which rings a interesting bell at how many American troops were in Iraq in 2005...

Whether over 40 years ago on a River Delta somewhere, or tens of thousands of feet above sea level in the Mountains of Central Asia.

The descriptions of the patterns of the goals given to military commanders in the field in trying to help "build" democracy, and the brutal reality is very very similar in many aspects in comparison between Vietnam and Afghanistan.

Images and reports of civlians being forced under threat of death to hide muntitions and shelter insurgent fighters apear in an almost identical fashion in both conflicts.

The timeline of the American involvment in Vietnam paints a very chilling picture to the future of the current war in Afghanistan.

The narration of research into the events, the moral standing at home, and the images almost always the same.

In 1965 policy makers were attempting with confidence that Vietnam could endure a situation like Korea, and a "democratic free" south Vietnam could exsist.

By 1970 billions were spent, American tax money was funding a conflict without any clear exit strategy, more American troops were dying and it became increasingly clear that no completly independent South Vietnamese defense establishment could be conducted without American troops being directly involved, and that via the policies set out by American politicians at the start of the ever lengething conflict, that American troops would have to remian almost indefeintly to prop up an fighting force to repell the threat of Northern Invasion of South Vietnam.

A situation that brings almost directly to mind the situation of the ANA today, my honest thoughts on the matter are, how long after the Coalition exiting Afhganistan, before the government and the ANA in particular either collaspe, or simply revert back to Taliban or other Extremist Rule?

The photos are very similar, the stories are similar, the insurgencey situation can even be called similar in many aspects, average civilians caught in a crossfire, even if they decide to help out American/ Coalition troops risk having their entire families killed.

That break down in the attempt to gather intelleigence and build a strong bond with local populations alone can be considered a failure in American Occupation policy, and no other expample of this in American history can illistrate this more than the Vietnam Conflict.

The reports and stories of new schools, availbe healthcare, and atempts to "help construct new infrasture for the local inhabitants" only to be abandoned years later with the American withdrawal, and the amazing part is how quickly the impact of such endeavours disappear in the face of things resorting to how they were before American Involvment.

It feels history in some aspects, without even mentioning the Soviet Campgain in Afghanistan, is running a very vicious circle for the future of the Coaltion invovlment, and the countdown until complete withdrawal in and from Afghanistan.

Just a spark of thought, not a report.

November 11th, 2011  
The History channel is showing VIET NAM IN HD over several nights and while watching it I was thinking the same as you.

The parallels are there - for sure.
November 11th, 2011  
I understand there are obivous differences, but there are indeed many similarities, that is what I was focusing on in this thread.

It does bring a chilling preception on the long term effects the war in Afghanistan can have on the state of the newly formed Afghan government, and how if at all it will hold up after the Coalition pulls out.

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