Last year I added another 15-item list of comparisons between the US experience in Vietnam, and that of the current war in Iraq. With yet another year behind us, here is Part IV of that comparison for Iraq, 2003—2007 and Vietnam, 1965—1969:
Phenomena of homeless veterans?
Attempt to pay for war without tax increases?
Military leaders complain of lack of martial spirit among domestic allies?
Diplomats refuse postings to country?
War has the effect of empowering a neighboring enemy?
Costs in constant dollars?
$510+ billion (so far)
$670 billion (total)
President demands that we "stay the course" despite lack of anticipated progress?
Fear of leaving?
Special term to dehumanize victims?
Area of greatest resistance?
Notable General warned against war?
Large number of refugees leaves the country?
President secretly visits troops?
Bombing campaign meant to demonstrate to the enemy that resistance is futile?
Shock and Awe
So, what is the difference between Iraq and Vietnam? Answer: Whatever the differences, the most similar war to Iraq in U.S. history, is, in fact, Vietnam!
Jim Cox [send him mail] is an Associate Professor of Economics and Political Science at the Clarkston Campus of Georgia Perimeter College and the author of The Concise Guide to Economics and Minimum Wage, Maximum Damage.