GORDON M. GOLDSTEIN writes for Foreign Policy on the unofficial reflections going on in the Obama administration over how to proceed in Afghanistan... and the similarities to the escalation of the war in Vietnam in the mid 1960s.
"As the Obama administration rethinks its strategy in Afghanistan, officials are turning to Gordon M. Goldstein's Lessons in Disaster — an account of analogous moments of decision in the Vietnam War. And though most historical comparisons are approximations at best, the resemblance between those crucial Vietnam inflection points and today are uncanny: Casualties are rising, public opposition is growing, the host government's legitimacy and effectiveness is in doubt, and the U.S. commander in the field is calling for more troops to stave off defeat. Surely, if Obama has a Vietnam moment, it will come in Afghanistan."
Another great documentary on the escalation of the Vietnam war is Italian director Emile de Antonio, In The Year Of The Pig (1968). Even though it was nominated for an Academy award for best documentary, the film was greeted with hostility by many audiences, with bomb threats and vandalism directed at theaters that showed it.
There are all too many parallel's.
Interesting conversation with de Antonio here.
Maybe they should also check out.
In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan and Afghanistan: A Short History of Its People and Politics
Will we learn? If history has anything to say the answer is likely to be no.
I hope I'm wrong.