Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Vietnam vrs. Iraq

Iraq and Vietnam are similar in some ways:

1) In both cases, we (The U.S.) are fighting a guerrilla war with conventional forces.

2) The enemy has an opposite ideology.

3) In both wars, the enemy is obtaining material support from outside the country.

4) The population of the U.S. is tiring of the war. We are seen as losing the war. Vietnam took 7 years of major commitment before withdrawal. It remains to be seen how long it will take in Iraq.

5) An increase in violence was and is being seen as signs of losing the war.

6) Politically, the wars are disasters for the political party who engaged in fighting in the first place.

I am certain that I have missed many. Please feel free to comment.

Iraq and Vietnam are different in other ways:

1) Opposite overall situation. In Vietnam, the U.S. controlled the cities and villages. The VC and NVA controlled the countryside. In Iraq, the desert is ideal for our army. The fighting is in the cities.

2) The beginning of Vietnam was a gradual escalation. A major escalation was in 1965, but the U.S. had been involved for close to 10 years by then. Iraq was an invasion in 2003 that has gone on since.

3) Vietnam did not see repeated suicide attack. I will cover this subject in future posts.

4) War in Iraq much lower intensity conflict. Much more fighting in Vietnam. Losses in U.S. forces for 7 years in Vietnam were 58,000 dead and 304,000 wounded. Losses in 4 and ½ years in Iraq are 3,800 dead and 28,000. At this rate, it will take Iraq more than 40 years to equal Vietnam’s U.S. losses. (As with any stat, this must be taken with a grain of salt. However, it does give us an idea of how much fighting is taking place.)

I am certain that I have missed some here as well. The overall point is that NO two wars are the same. Significant differences ALWAYS exist.

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