The conflict in Afghanistan has proven more difficult to fight recently, even with an increase of American troops. Which has been a cause for conflict among some. For others, they are left wondering whether or not we learned from history, or if we are permitting it to repeat itself.
It is well known that President Barack Obama was in total opposition of the troop surge in Iraq, as well as opposing the republican lead war. Most would agree that it was a war fought along political party lines. Most democrats were against the war in Iraq while republicans were supportive. There is no secret that party officials oppose the other side when it comes to war, unless they are the one leading the effort.
In Vietnam, America was lead to war by a democratic president with opposition coming from the republican party. By the time things began taking a turn for the worst, a republican had taken office and the streets were filled with protesters. They protested everything from the amount of troops that were dying to that it was an unnecessary war.
Either way you look at it, the arguments made a point. There was a large amount of casualties, and it did seem that it was an unnecessary war. Unnecessary in the fact that there seemed to be no true plan. The war wasn’t fought with a clear idea as to what the outcome would be. For many, this rings so true today with the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
With things taking course in Afghanistan, it seems that the Vietnam effect is in true form. It also seems that some history seems to be repeating itself along party lines. A war started by a republican administration, and taken over by a democratic administration has proven to be a challenge. In the start, it was obvious there was opposition with entering Afghanistan. However, things changed once the Obama Administration took charge. With a heavy focus on a draw-down of troop levels in Iraq, there was no sign that there would be an increase of troops in Afghanistan. Since the current administration took over, troop levels have doubled in size and there has been an influx of casualties.
The Vietnam effect doesn’t stop there. As in the past, the administration has no real objective. There has been no real objective other than to get the elusive Osama bin Laden. Is the objective to place a centralized government into operation? If so, then the effort is useless. History has shown that the Afghan people reject this proposal. They have never had a centralized government like what is practiced in America, and it appears as though they never will.
In the ’80’s, Russia made a serious attempt to change the way Afghanistan runs itself. As then, things are proving to be more difficult than expected. However, Mikhail Gorbachev, then Russian leader, was accepting to the fact that they would ultimately not win the engagement. Something the Obama administration seems unwilling to accept, defeat.
Gorbachev, and his administration, saw the course and withdrew his troops from a decade of fighting. American troops have been in the region for almost the same time, however they will soon see an infusion of more troops. As in Vietnam, when things seemed against America, efforts were increased. Only to later be withdrawn in haste.
Vietnam was a heavy burden on America that caused a huge political divide. The conflict in Afghanistan seems to be taking the same course. Facing a political divide, and a huge deficit, the war is taking a turn for the worse. Public opinion is not as divided, but the majority is now against the effort. Deficits amount on an already bankrupt nation. Troop levels are on the rise, as well as casualties.
The Obama administration is not willing to accept defeat, at any level. Things could only get worse before they get better. With the majority of the people against the war, and unfavorable poll numbers toward President Obama, many are left questioning what the administration will do next.