Vietnam War vs Soviet Afghan War

Topics: Cold War, United States, Vietnam War Pages: 5 (1579 words) Published: November 25, 2013

Vietnam War vs. Soviet Afghan War

Vietnam War vs. Soviet-Afghan War

The Vietnam War was a long andcostly armed conflict between the communist regime of North Vietnam who joined forces with its southern allies, also know as the Viet Cong, and South Vietnam and their principle ally, know as the United States of America. The War began in the year 1954, after the accession to power of Ho Chi Minh and his communist Viet Minh party in North Vietnam. This continued against the backdrop of what’s know as an intense Cold War between to global superpowers: The United Sates and the Soviet Union. There was a growing hatred by the people in America towards the war, both before and after president Richard Nixon ended up ordering the withdrawal of U.S. forces in the 1973. After all the American soldiers were withdrawn from South Vietnam the communist forces took control of Saigon in 1975, which ended the Vietnam War, the South and North then merged and were known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. After World War II, both the United States and the Soviet Union were competing against each other for global power and domination. Afghanistan was one of the countries that searched for support from the Soviet Union after Pakistan accepted military ties with the United States in the year 1954. In return the Soviet Union used Afghanistan for their strategic location in order to counter the United States alliance with Pakistan and the other surrounding Persian Gulf States. It was in the year 1979 when the Soviets entered Afghanistan with their aim being to establish a key position in Asia. The Soviets wanted to use Afghanistan for trading possibilities and to have access to the Gulf oil. Afghanistan was a very vulnerable monarchy at the time that was led by King Zahir Shah, who was unable to merge the existing tribal society with a central government. Due to the incapability of merging the tribal society with a central government a revolt was eventually caused against the monarchy. The Soviets imposed rigorous military and social reforms in the country that began to make enemies within the different sectors of the population soon after their entry into Afghanistan. The Soviets initiated land reforms, which ended up troubling the tribal leaders. They also carried out economic measures that worsened the conditions for the poor, and they tried to restrict ethnic uprisings by mass arrests, torture, executions and bombardments. Over 1 million Afghans died during this devastating period. The suppression to all these events were led by Afghan freedom fighter, also known as Mujahedeen, who were supported by the United States. After all the fighting in Afghanistan between the Soviets and the Mujahedeen, Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev withdrew his forces from Afghanistan.

There are quite some similarities between these two wars. Both of the wars involved major powers that theoretically were fighting a much more inferior opponent, and in each case the major power lost due to the use of guerilla tactics by their opponents. Both nations’ real opponents supplied the opposing side in each war where the United States provided supplies to the Mujahadeen to fights against the Soviets and the Soviets provided supplies to the Viet Cong to fights against the United States. Each of these wars destabilized the government in the power nations own country, the Soviet government fell apart and Gorbachev would soon take power in the Soviet Union, and Vietnam destroyed the Johnson administration, which led to the election of Nixon. The major power countries went in assuming that the invaded country would be eager to change and adopt the governmental style and the economic philosophy of the major power country. Major power countries have a bad habit where they think that everyone else wants to be just like them, but in most cases this is not true. Both of these wars lasted over 10 years and both major power nations...

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"National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States." National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
Hauner, Milan L. JSTOR. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
"The Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
"Afghanistan, Vietnam, and the Superpowers." Afghanistan, Vietnam, and the Superpowers. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
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