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8 Jun, 2010 00:33

War in Afghanistan longer than Vietnam

As of June 7, 2010, the War in Afghanistan has become America’s longest war, lasting 104 months, compared to the Vietnam War, which lasted 103 months.

Many have compared the War in Afghanistan with Vietnam, including writer David Swanson.

Swanson argues that the conflict in Afghanistan, however, does not seem to be working towards an end, as Vietnam eventually did.

The Vietnam war was ended by at least three forces; by a very coordinated aggressive resistance by the Vietnamese people, by massive resistance in the US military and by an insistent peace movement here in the United States,” said Swanson.

Also unlike Vietnam, the war in Afghanistan has relied on a volunteer army instead of a drafted one, and the death toll in Afghanistan is far below that of Vietnam. The financial cost, however, has been much higher in Afghanistan.

The war in Afghanistan has remained out of focus in the media because it has balanced its time with the war in Iraq, which is still an ongoing conflict. Both wars are likely to remain out of focus.

In the decades since the Vietnam era, we’ve expanded our presence around the world, so it’s become almost routine to have a major military presence in most countries around the world, and Iraq and Afghanistan are on their way to becoming just another two of those,” said Swanson.

Swanson said that demand from the peace movement and from within the military itself is what led to the end of the Vietnam War and the same must occur for both Iraq and Afghanistan.

US President Barack Obama said that July 2011 is when he plans to begin pulling troops out of Afghanistan.

I think it’s perfectly reasonable, except I think that it would be much more reasonable to begin the withdraw immediately,” said Swanson.

Swanson also noted that Obama has not given specifics on the draw-down plans.