Iraq War and Similarities to the Vietnam War

The American-Vietnam conflict lasted for over a decade. It cost the lives of 58000 Americans and about five million Vietnamese. The war brought down an American president and was responsible for the disgrace and the subsequent resignation of another. The phrase-“Vietnam Syndrome” spawned, which governed American foreign policy in the following 50 years (Steel 153). It implied that the American public would not back a war resulting in major American casualties unless convinced it was crucial for the nation’s defense. However, following Bill Clinton’s departure from office, Bush and his administration sought to stage a dramatic demonstration of American power. The subsequent 9/11 terror attack set the stage for replacing Saddam Hussein’s regime with a compliant administration (Steel 154). The policy was backed by a frustrated and frightened American public. The events unfolding can be explained as an Iraqi war waiting to happen. It might not have taken place without the transformation agenda instigated by Bush administration. Similarly, ignorance of Vietnam’s culture and history and other forms of impunity on America’s part triggered the Vietnamese war and its subsequent syndrome. On the other hand, the Iraqi war was promoted as a turning point in America’s foreign policy. It supposedly tamed the forces of radicalism and was responsible for neutralizing the threat posed by Saddam’s military might. However, the wars in Iraq and Vietnam were similar in that America initiated it as a matter of choice and not necessity (Steel 155). Additionally, both wars involved cultures alien to American experience. Further, the wars came to be strongly condemned by the American public although it initially backed it. A Democratic Congress had tried to assert control over U.S policy in Vietnam by limiting military control and clamping on the funding of the war (Walsh 48). The same events transpired in the recent America-Iraqi conflict. There was a major confrontation between congress and the commander in chief. President Nixon and President Bush held the same stand on the wars and had given heavy funding for the wars (Walsh 49).

Order now

Related essays