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The remarkable parallels between US in Vietnam and Russia in Afghanistan

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US strategy was to turn Afghanistan into Russia's Vietnam--especially after what Russia did to the US in terms of arming and supplying a foe which otherwise would never have been as formidable and likely would not have been able to mount the main force attacks which ultimately conquered South Vietnam after the VC had been carefully fed through the American wood chipper to remove resistance to NVN plans. 


There are some remarkable parallels, despite the enormous differences. A modern highly mechanized military vs an elusive low tech guerrilla force, except that this one, from what I can tell, had far greater popular support than the VC ever did. Controlling the cities, but not the countryside. Critical nature of air power, especially CAS and helicopters. Fire bases. High military value of Spec Ops troops. Lack of societal and cultural understanding, worse in Afghanistan because Communism and Islam were pretty much polar opposites. Undependable main ally. Logistics. Huge outlays. Casualties and aftermath as unravelers of domestic support and stability. PTSD. DRUGS. Crime. Men of prime reproductive age killed or maimed, (in a nation still demographically reeling from the GPW. Bellamy, in his brilliant Absolute War, presents a solid case that GPW population losses were so severe they ultimately doomed the SU. Afghanistan only made things worse). Enormous productive potential lost to the society. This is by no means a complete list.




John Kettler


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