Editorial

We havenít learned from Vietnam

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

President Trump gave a speech Monday evening that appeared to be a call for perpetual war in Afghanistan.

He came as close as Trump comes to apologizing, by reversing more than a decade of opposing the Afghanistan War, a war without a strategy for winning and without a long-term objective for what winning would look like.

Afghanistan has thwarted attempts to subdue it for millennia. It is more a collection of tribes rather than a nation. All attempts to establish a central government have resulted in a corrupt and ineffective regime.

In Vietnam, 50,000 American lives were lost and an even larger number of Vietnamese lives were lost, both allies and enemies, before we departed without fanfare. No one was surprised when the unsupported South Vietnam government collapsed.

Afghanistan has not been as bloody as our war in Vietnam, but our struggle in Afghanistan is equally futile and much longer than the Vietnam War.

The goal of our presidents during unwinnable wars has been to not admit defeat during their terms of office, and Presidents have been willing to sacrifice lives in order to achieve that goal.