You have heard the comparison between the war in Afghanistan to that other war…Vietnam. A far off struggle, in a forbidding landscape, in which we depend on an ineffectual government to 'step up', all the while facing a foe that has proven effective at waiting out an enemy.
Last night President Obama took the comparison head on:
"There are those who suggest that Afghanistan is another Vietnam. They argue that it cannot be stabilized and we're better off cutting our losses and rapidly withdrawing. I believe this argument depends on a false reading of history.
Unlike Vietnam, we are joined by a broad coalition of 43 nations that recognizes the legitimacy of our action. Unlike Vietnam, we are not facing a broad-based popular insurgency. And most importantly, unlike Vietnam, the American people were viciously attacked from Afghanistan and remain a target for those same extremists who are plotting along its border.
To abandon this area now and to rely only on efforts against Al Qaida from a distance would significantly hamper our ability to keep the pressure on Al Qaida and create an unacceptable risk of additional attacks on our homeland and our allies."