The Vietnam War versus the Iraq War
With a husband in the Army and currently on his third deployment to Iraq, I am often asked how I think this war is different from past wars. In order to answer this question properly, I found that I needed to do a little bit of research and acquaint myself with some war history. As I learned about previous wars that Americans have been involved in, I learned that only two wars have had a great deal of controversy. The Vietnam War and the Iraq War, while almost identical are vastly different in their own right. In this paper, I will discuss the similarities and differences between two of our most recent wars.
Even though there is a twenty eight year difference, there are many similarities between the wars in Vietnam and Iraq. Both Vietnam and Iraq are called wars, even though neither had a formal declaration of war. The “actions” claimed legitimacy per a Congressional vote authorizing the Presidents to send troops. The Vietnam War was packaged as a crucial front in the Cold War; and Iraq was packaged as a crucial front in the War on Terrorism.
Vietnam is seen as Texan President Lyndon Johnson’s war, although he saw it as carrying out military commitments made by his predecessors Eisenhower and Kennedy. Iraq is seen as Texan President George W. Bush’s war, although he saw himself fulfilling the stated goal (Iraq Regime Change) of his predecessors George H. W. Bush and Clinton. The excuse for major combat operations in Vietnam was a perceived attack on the Gulf of Tonkin. The excuse for major combat operations in Iraq was a perceived attack on the Persian Gulf. Elected on a promise to end the war in Vietnam, Nixon expanded it into Laos and Cambodia. During the midterm election, Bush learned that the voters wanted to end the War in Iraq, but instead, he sent more troops. President Johnson left Vietnam unresolved for his successor, Nixon, who had no connection to his administration; President Bush left Iraq...
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