Afghanistan vs Vietnam

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by MrPVRd, Jul 12, 2009.

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  1. Sorry, yet another Afghanistan thread but this deserves a little discussion.

    Vietnam....500,000 US soldiers at the height of the deployment (1968-ish) in a country with a land area of 128,000 square miles.

    Afghanistan....50,000 UN/NATO soldiers at present, in a country with a land area of 250,000 square miles.

    So, there are ten times fewer troops for Afghanistan than Vietnam for a land area double the size - an equivalent disparity of twenty times fewer (even fewer considering Vietnam was two states).

    Most US military offensives in Vietnam were arguably or even clearly successful, as will be the case in Afghanistan...they still lost to an insurgency.

    Boots on the ground?? U do ze mathematischer, as they say in the fashion world...

    My ha' the job properly - with enough troops and enough adequate equipment - or don't do it at all.
  2. Afghanistan vs Vietnam.............score draw I reckon :twisted:
  3. oh damn i forgot to fill out my pools form..... :x
  4. If Pakistan was wiped off the face of the earth, Afghanistan would be over within a year.
  5. USA did not lose South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese (ARVN) lost South Vietnam

    Virtually all US Combat assets had left the country by 1972, save for a few air assets. The North invaded in 1975, and the American Govt did not want to return to a controversial and unpopular war because the voters and taxpayers were not keen on it anymore.

    Compared to AFG, Vietnam was an honourable and successful war. The US involvement didnt ultimately protect there Southern ally, but it contained communism in the region.

    Will US/UN policy contain islamic fundamentalist terrorism in the region? I doubt it. The US is not the superpower it once was. Even the Red Army with the 'gloves off' got tonked by the Mujahadeen.

    So the solution is a surge against an enemy who has shown spectacular resistance historically and whom most of its people know only war. A surge will merely displace them. The US/UN then leave on a high, medals all round and declare 'job jobbed'

    A year later the power vaccuum left behind is filled by the New Taliban, the same or possibly worse than the old Taliban.

    This seems to be US/NATO strategy as well as it's future. Do they think the Talibs don't see this? Just because they've never even seen a flush toilet it doesn't mean they do not have a sophisticated enough grasp of the politics of the west or the region to realise that if they play the long game they are likely to win. And they have been in that game since 1980!
  6. The two are incomparable. John Reid said so in January 2006 when he announced the Helmand deployment:

  7. well that said rag tag are capable of some dirty tricks...
  8. Has been is and will be the heart of the problem, and only Obama speaking on sky news links what is happening in Pakistan too Afghanistan as our government have no clue what so ever it would clearly seem.

    The tribalism that is rife in both areas are in many ways almost impossible to control or manage using ROE that do not reflect the barbarity of those we fight against, and as i have said before the puppet masters can up sticks and move as they desire while we can only react after the fact.

    I don't have a answer that is acceptable too a civilized people or country, and other than Pakistan going to rats and having their nukes lost to the free market i would say let them destroy themselves and live in the stone age.

    Withdrawing and allowing the forces to recharge and recover their effectiveness both physically and resource wise while may be seen as giving ground and discarding the memory of the fallen, is not a palatable choice for many.

    But i fear that fighting for ground that will be lost once troop numbers fall as they are redeployed to other AO's within that hole of a country and no aid regeneration from Dfid is seem by the peasants that live and scratch a living in those areas is is a perfect lesson of lions sent by donkeys, to win the unwin able. :x
  9. Personally I think that until Obama faces up to the Pakistan problem little real progress can be made in Afghanistan. Helmand has become a meat grinder.
  10. Something many American strategists said about North Vietnam. Afghanistan/South Vietnam both have/had quite porous borders.

    IIRC, the VC(NLF) was finished as a military force after Tet-68. After that NVA troops became the predominent enemy force on the battlefield.

    The question is how to isolate the Afghan Border without resulting in a scorched earth policy/free fire zone. Do we make the area a DMZ, ala North/South Korea? is it even possible? I dont think it is from what I've been told by friends who were there.
  11. Afghanistan vs Vietnam? Vietnam had the better soundtrack
  12. No matter how many insurgents we kill there will be more to take their place.

    If we pull out of Afghanistan will the security threat to the UK increase?

    Without serious support from NATO both in manpower and equipment we can't win. We can win the battles and take the ground but we cant hold the ground which makes fighting for the ground in the first place pointless.

    Whether or not Afghanistan can be compared to Vietnam I couldn't say.
  13. The VC and the NVA were finished as an effective Military force after Tet. The US withdrawal wouldnt have happened if that were not the case.

    The NVA had already lost many of its battle hardened NCOs and Officers, many of whom had learnt there trade from fighting the French, and in some cases even the Japanese.

    But re-equipped and re-armed, it was good enough to overwhelm the ARVN in 1975.
  14. well said !