The United States’ Prolonged Stay In Afghanistan Has Lead

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The United States’ prolonged stay in Afghanistan has lead some to label the war in Afghanistan a rerun of the war in Vietnam. While the two share some pertinent characteristics, the divergent characteristics of the wars far outweigh their similarities. That being said, some insights can be garnered from the war in Vietnam that are important to be considered in any conflict the U.S. should find itself in. An analysis of the U.S.’s entry, commitment, and exit in the Vietnam war indicate that a strong commitment to a clear and attainable exit strategy is imperative. Although often misconstrued, the purpose of intervention in Vietnam by the United States was not to threaten the existence of North Vietnam. The U.S.’s purpose in…show more content…
The Nixon Doctrine failed due to Nixon’s overall lack of commitment to “Vietnamization,” using the removal of U.S. troops and buttressing of the Republic of Vietnam’s military as a backup plan (Kimball, 60). After the failure of the attrition strategy and other strategies favored by Nixon, Vietnamization was used as means of removing U.S. troops and regaining public support while still preserving American honor. However, the late application of this policy, with Nixon agreeing to draft a strategy of troop withdrawal nearly a month after a suggestion from Melvin R. Laird, Nixon’s secretary of defense (Kimball, 65). Nixon’s lethargic response to Laird’s suggestion is indicative of his lackluster commitment to the Vietnamization strategy and his preference for other more militant plans of action. The United States’ role in Afghanistan began after the attack on September 11th. The U.S. entered Afghanistan with the clear purpose of retaliating for the attacks against the U.S. and preventing Al Qaeda from having a safe zone in Afghanistan. The degree and nature of US retaliation and further intervention in Afghanistan was governed by an adherence to ideologies developed in response to policies of the Clinton administration (Afghanistan, page 48). One such belief was the administration’s distaste for nation-building. Military operations in the former Yugoslavia and Haiti during the Clinton administration served to solidify the Bush administration’s position on the
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