Superpowers Defeated: Vietnam and Afghanistan Compared
Was Afghanistan the Soviet Vietnam? Was Vietnam the American Afghanistan? During the Cold War, military conflicts in Vietnam and Afghanistan validated the crucial importance of war in global power dynamics. After approximately a decade of intense effort, military intervention proved too costly in human and material terms to be politically sustainable for the USA and USSR. In the end, both superpowers were thwarted in obtaining their original war goals and withdrew in disgrace. As a result, the parallelism between the US experience in Vietnam and the Soviet experience in Afghanistan is now a widely accepted truism. But is it so?
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administration Afghan Afghan government aggression allies America's Longest American Amin arms Asia attack attempted bombing Brezhnev Brezhnev Doctrine British China Chinese Cited Cold colonial Comintern commitment Communist Party coup Daoud decision defeat democratic Despite Diem Diem's diplomatic domestic political domination economic Eisenhower elections France France's French Geneva Geneva Accords global Gorbachev Hanoi Ibid ideological imperial important increased independence India Indochina Invasion of Afghanistan involvement Johnson Kabul Karmal Kennedy Khrushchev Korea Laos leaders leadership major Mandate of Heaven military force military intervention Moscow Mujahideen nationalist negotiations Nixon North officers Pakistan PDPA political legitimacy President programme Pushtunistan rebellion reform regime region relations revolution Russian Saigon Second World social socialist South Vietnam Soviet Invasion Soviet troops Soviet Union strategic struggle superpowers Taraki territory Tet offensive traditional treaty United University Press victory Viet Cong Viet Minh Vietnam and Afghanistan Vietnamese Washington withdrawal