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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:24 PM
Original message
Afganistan compared to Vietnam. Please add more comparisons.
Afghanistan: 250,000 square miles
Vietnam: 123m622 square miles

Afghanistan: population density of 128 people per square mile
Vietnam: population density of 679 people per square mile

Afghanistan: U.S. troop strength will soon be 68,000
Vietnam: U.S. troop strength reached its maximum at 536,100 in 1968

Afghanistan: the Taliban is thought to be supported by possibly Iran and Pakistan
Vietnam: North Vietnam received support from China and the U.S.S.R.

Sooo, we all know how Vietnam turned out even though we had 7 times the number of troops as we do in Afghanistan, a country twice the size of Vietnam. But then Vietnam was getting support from some of the world's superpowers, so it would be tough for us there. Afghanistan on the other hand is getting help from some relatively minor world powers.

What is the likelihood of our success in Afghanistan considering our experience in Vietnam and the Soviet experience in Afghanistan?

How badly do the Afghanistan people want their own country if we give them all the weapons and logistical support they need to fight for themselves?

If we were there for 20 years and left would the next year the Taliban simply move in and take over?

No matter how we think of ourselves, do the Afghanistan people view us as invaders?
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. Vietnam vs Afghanistan
Vietnam: The weather out there today is hot and shitty with continued hot and shitty in the afternoon. Tomorrow a chance of continued crappy with a pissy weather front coming down from the north. Basically, it's hotter than a snake's ass in a wagon rut.

Afghanistan: At least it's a dry heat.


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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Except in the winter time when it is very cold. n/t
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. They didn't mention that in the documentary "Rambo III" n/t
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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. I had trouble watching that. I couldn't understand the narrator. nt
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. So we'll have to change the military jodies. - Adjust people! The Pentagon needs funding.
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 04:52 PM by ShortnFiery
For Vietnam - a parody of "Walking in a Winter Wonderland"

Later on, we'll go patrolling
Through the patties
We'll go strolling

A beautiful sight
A night fire fight

Ambush in a jungle wonderland

-------------------------------------------------

Alter just a few nifty words and you have ...

Later on, we'll go patrolling
Through the passes
We'll go strolling

A beautiful sight
A night fire fight
Ambush in a mountain wonderland

:yoiks: :(
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
4. I did "the Google" and came up with this article printed BEFORE we restarted "American Crusade II"
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 04:39 PM by ShortnFiery
http://www.antiwar.com/orig/weiner3.html

In Vietnam, the U.S. took over a war from another country (France), who could not defeat the Vietcong.
In Afghanistan, the U.S., so to speak, is taking over from the Russians, who could not defeat the Afghanis.

In Vietnam, the U.S. had very little understanding and knowledge of Vietnamese culture and history and language.
In Afghanistan, the U.S. has very little understanding of Afghani culture, history and language.

In Vietnam, the U.S. was constantly fighting an inhospitable geography the jungles, the muck, the highlands, the monsoons.
In Afghanistan, the U.S. is constantly fighting an inhospitable geography the high mountains, the snowy winters, the lack of infrastructure.

In Vietnam, the U.S. tried to win the hearts and minds of the native population, while it bombed their villages with napalm, Agent Orange, and cluster bombs.
In Afghanistan, the U.S. is trying to win the hearts and minds of the native population with its yellow-packeted food drops, while it continues to mistakenly bomb their villages and hospitals and food warehouses, sometimes with cluster bombs.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Apparently the U.S. does not learn well from history. Will Obama? n/t
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. Obama knows these facts. However, Wall Street and the Pentagon ...
OWNS our government, i.e., all three branches.

Our voting, save for a few brave free-thinking democratic representatives (none of which hold leadership positions), is all in support of a ONGOING bizarre demonstrations of Kabuki Theaters orchestrated by a cooperative and compliant M$M.

:(

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TxRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
5. Other than both being a war
I really don't see much of any similarities.

Mainly contrasts.

We cannot "win" Afghanistan. The best we can hope for is to strengthen their military and tribes enough to hold off the Taliban for at least a while after we leave.

Or stick around forever and feed bodies and cash in over a very long long time....
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Afghanistan is twice the size of Vietnam and we only have a fraction of the troops there
that we had in Vietnam. Unless the Afghanistan people really want their own country we cannot hold it for them forever.
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TxRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Neither of which are similarities
Hard to see anything similar other than a war we really cannot win militarily, their people must win for themselves.

Afghanistan was in a long and very bloody state of civil war before we came in and helped one side topple the other. They weren't able to keep their country stable before, they aren't likely to after we leave.
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Yes. Here's some more comparisons ... they are, IMO, numerous re: Military Science perspective.
http://www.antiwar.com/orig/weiner3.html

In Vietnam, the U.S. depended on its high-tech weaponry in fighting guerrillas who for years, decades, centuries, had found a way to disappear into jungles, caves, tunnels, and then drive the invaders from its soil.
In Afghanistan, the U.S is relying heavily on its high tech weaponry in fighting guerrillas who for years, decades, centuries have found a way to disappear into caves and tunnels, and then drive invaders (British, Soviets) from their soil.

In Vietnam, the U.S. (unsuccessfully) tried to prevent the truth of what was happening there from being reported by the American news media.
In Afghanistan, the U.S. military doles out the news it wants to have reported.

In Vietnam, the U.S. in the early stages sent "advisors" and other small contingents of troops, and used the local army in its fight against the bad guys, prior to sending in hundreds of thousands of drafted soldiers.
In Afghanistan, the U.S. wants the local opposition troops to do the major land fighting, but realizes it may have to send in hundreds of thousands of American troops (probably re-instituting the draft) to do the job.

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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. No, it's not a similarity. It's called a "comparison".
There was also war in Vietnam for years before we got involved also.
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. The Taliban is many of the NATIVES there ... we 100% supported them against the USSR!
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 04:58 PM by ShortnFiery
The average Afghanistan Citizen HATES THE USA's military tear assing around their lands. They can't wait for us to shag our asses out of THEIR country. They will take care of their own messes.

We are LESS SAFE, the longer we keep OCCUPYING sovereign Middle Eastern Nations.

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TxRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. The Taliban was all or mostly natives there to begin with.
It was direct response against the lawless warlords who took over after the war with Russia.

Primarily Pashtun in origin, it wrestled with control with the Tajik side from the north and fought civil war until we stepped in on the side of the northern Tajiks.

People often ascribe what afghans want, data is hard to find though.

Originally, after a couple of generations of non stop war, no end in sight, Afghans liked NATO ending it and looked forward to peace that many if not most had never known in their lifetime..

Now days, not so much... I don't blame them.

"Within every nation people's assumptions about the attitudes of the Afghan public are highly correlated with their attitudes about continuing the operation.

But how do the Afghan people feel? As WPO points out, the most recent polling in Afghanistan was conducted by ABC/BBC/ARD in January of this year. At that time a majority of 59 percent of Afghans supported the NATO forces' presence in the country. However, this approval was down from 67 percent in 2007, and majorities also expressed frustration with the way the mission was being conducted.

In the WPO poll, national assumptions about Afghan public attitudes are also reflected in national attitudes about the recent increase in U.S. troops in Afghanistan. On average, 54 percent disapprove of the increase and 34 percent are opposed. "

So we have been doing a bad job, approval has gone down, and if it continues we will only suffer until we cut our losses and leave.

Can Obama get this turned around and make Afghans happier and strong enough to hold up to minority militants so we can leave? I dunno, but it appears he is going to try.

It's really a no win situation for us, we lose either way. But one way the afghans might win.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
14. Nobody has "won" militarily in Afghanistan. All armies that've tried have been driven away.
Also, the Viet Cong had the advantage of operating in thick jungle canopy. Not even thermal imaging could penetrate the canopy. All IR will do is show you the temperature of all the leaves, vines, and branches that are in the way, not the forest floor below. An enemy soldier could literally be less than 100 yards away from you, and you would not even know it because the jungle is so thick. Often times, American units literally walked into the enemy.

Afghanistan is mountain country. Peaks regularly go over 20,000 in many parts of the countryside. The air is so thin up there that Soviet helicopter gunships needed mini-runways to get enough lift to fly off the ground. If you fly a helicopter with a ceiling of 25,000 feet, and you're dealing with some pissed off tribesman carrying a black market SA-7 sitting on a mountain that's 18,000 feet, you're within range of enemy fire. There are many valleys and caves, as well, many of them poorly mapped or even unknown, and they are occupied by unfriendly tribesmen fairly often.
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
17. Vietnam, a Democratic War, instituted by by a Democratic
President and supported by a Democratic Congress. Then handed off to a Republican President to end it. Afghanistan, a Republican war. Instituted by a Republican President and supported by a Republican Congress. Then handed off to a Democratic President.
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Winterblues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
18. In vietnam we were engaged against the third largest standing army in the world at the time
In Afghanistan we are not engaged against any army. We are fighting only civilians (goat herders).
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Don't underestimate people within a nation whose citizens know ONLY war and are tribal.
"We are fighting only civilians (goat herders)."

Yes, we'll win every battle but, like Vietnam, LOSE THE WAR.

Only civilian goat herders ... who hide within the population and are patient ... who demand very little other than subsistence.

THEY WIN by merely NOT LOSING. After all they're The Natives and are in this for the duration.

After NATO extracts all their troops and we've succumbed enough casualties where "the draft" seems imminent, we'll leave.

When will we ever learn? :(
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Winterblues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. I was only stating the obvious difference between the two places
In fact I believe it is much harder to try and fight a civilian population that has intimate knowledge and associations of and throughout the country. In Vietnam we were engaged against a well defined and "uniformed" enemy. IMO that is much easier on our servicemen. At least they know the enemy and could use conventional tactics.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:06 AM
Response to Original message
20. My point is that if the Afghans do not want the Taliban to be running their country
then it is ultimately up to them to stop the Taliban. The Taliban is not being supported by a world superpower such as North Vietnam was with China and the U.S.S.R.
We kept increasing truth strength in Vietnam, a country half the size of Afghanistan, to over half a million and could still not win that war. We will not succeed in Afghanistan by incrementally increasing troop strength as we try to succeed, meanwhile other countries are pulling out their own troops.

If the Afghanistan people are such fierce fighters and have held off world superpowers, then they should be capable of taking control of their own country from the Taliban if that is what they really want. We cannot do that for them. We can give them all the weapons and logistical support they need, but get our own troops out of there. We are looked upon as invaders and the more civilians we kill or who are killed because of our presence, then the more we fail.
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TxRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. They were fighting the Taliban when invaded.
People also need to remember the Taliban never ruled all of Afghanistan.

What they did rule they ruled with ruthless deadly force.

Some were happy that simply anyone was ruling and maybe an end to war.

We stepped in on the side of the north in this long standing civil war.

Most Afghans according to all polls were glad we toppled the Taliban, a slim majority still wants us there.

The Taliban that started out in Afghanistan is not the Taliban we are facing now.

If we simply look at this as a war, we will lose. If we use more troops to help the tribal leaders grow in strength and ability to keep Taliban out of their area, and help better their lives, we might help them win.

We however cannot win, only the afghans can, we lose either way but they cannot win without our help.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. Then we help them the way the U.S.S.R. and China help North Vietnam and let them win their own war.
It's their country and if they are the fighters which they have historically been known to be then they should be able to take care of the Taliban which is not receiving support from a world superpower.

If the Afghans want their country they need to win their own war with our support and backing, not with our troops.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
22. Vietnam drove a sitting Democratic President from office.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
24. "Falling dominoes", "A threat to western civilization", same BS new war.
Edited on Wed Sep-23-09 10:36 AM by Tierra_y_Libertad
Different bogeymen.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
25. What evidence do we have that most of them don't want the Taliban in charge?
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