Afghanistan as the Next Vietnam?

Americans should keep their fingers crossed that the conflict in Afghanistan will end up like…Vietnam? That’s what Joshua Kurlantzick—a fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council of Foreign Relations—argues in The Washington Post, writing that “rather than fear that Afghanistan will become another Vietnam, we should embrace the prospect.” Though the war with Vietnam was far from a high point in American foreign policy, Kurlantzick cites the U.S.’ currently flourishing “trading and strategic relationship” with the nation as something to strive for in Afghanistan in the future, along with outreach from veterans, such as John Kerry and John McCain, who served in the conflict. He also cites the 76 percent of Vietnamese who view the U.S.’ influence as positive, and the fact that Vietnam is now a useful ally against China, which was part of the reason the U.S. entered into the conflict. If the U.S. plays its post-war cards right, writes Kurlantzick, Afghanistan could eventually be a powerful ally against al Qaeda.