08/26/21

2021 Afghanistan is not 1975 Vietnam

By: Yoram Ettinger | CCNS

  1. In 1975, the US disengagement from Vietnam fulfilled the goal of the Viet Cong, thus ending the US-Vietnam conflict.

In 2021, the US disengagement from Afghanistan advances – but does not fulfill – the goal of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and therefore does not end the conflict between the US and Islamic terrorism.

In 1975, the vision and strategic goal of the Viet Cong was limited to the territory of Vietnam, consistent with an eventual peaceful coexistence and cooperation with the resourceful US.

In 2021, the 14-century-old vision and strategic goal of Islamic terrorism is not limited to the territory of Afghanistan. It is driven by fanatic imperialism, striving to subordinate the “infidel” West – and especially “The Great US Satan” – which is perceived to be the key obstacle on the way to Islamic global domination. Islamic terrorism is determined to establish a global Islamic society, ruled by the Quran and Sharia (“divine law”), which is inconsistent with peaceful coexistence with the “infidel” US, irrespective of its involvement in Afghanistan. In fact, it requires a decisive war against the US, including terrorism on the US mainland.

In 1975, the US was involved in a Vietnam civil war, faced with the choice of fighting in the Vietnam trenches, or disengage and spare itself a war.

In 2021, the US is fighting against an intrinsic, anti-US Islamic terrorism, faced with the choice of confronting Islamic terrorists in their own trenches (which is costly), or disengaging and gradually shifting the war to the US trenches (which is dramatically costlier).

  1. In 2021, US policy-makers are reminded that the Taliban and all rogue regimes are not impressed by – and are not willing to adopt – the Western values of human rights, democracy, international law, and peaceful coexistence.

Moreover, rogue regimes are not impressed by US diplomacy, as they are by effective US counter-terrorism and posture of deterrence.

Islamic terrorists don’t seek popularity in the international community. They seek to intimidate the international community all the way to submission, peacefully or militarily.

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