September 23, 2009

The Vietnamization of Afghanistan

Tim Fernholz, The American Prospect

AP Photo

The Nixon administration, elected on a promise to end the Vietnam War via "peace with honor," described its strategy as "Vietnamization": building the capacity of the Vietnamese armed forces so that American troops could leave.

Today, we have different catchphrases but similar ideas. After requests for more troops and resources from on-the-ground commanders, Sen. Carl Levin, the influential chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced his opposition to sending more American soldiers to Afghanistan but has proposed a "surge of Afghanistan security forces." Which is to say, Afghanistan-ization.

We've seen this before. In 2003, the Bush administration flirted with similar strategies in Iraq but strongly resisted comparisons with the Vietnam War. The Republican...

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TAGGED: Richard Holbrooke, John Kerry, Vietnam, Barack Obama, Afghanistan


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