How the Vietnam War will shape Obama's second term

  • Article by: Fouad Ajami , Special to the Washington Post
  • Updated: January 19, 2013 - 7:32 PM

He has a domestic agenda to focus on, and he has two combat veterans from the Vietnam War to scale back American commitments abroad.

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probsolverJan. 19, 13 7:41 PM

Id welcome bringing our troops home, severely limiting financial aid to other countries, yet striking out brutally as needed against those who take action to try to destroy us.

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pumiceJan. 19, 13 7:53 PM

From the article: "The American people must be told of the long-term commitment, risk and cost of this undertaking. We should not be seduced by the expectations of dancing in the streets." To which part of the statement could you possibly object, Fouad Ajami? If the American people had known in 2002 that the undeclared wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would last longer than any war in our history; if the American people had known in 2002 that risks would spread from Iraq to Iran and from Afghanistan to Pakistan; if the American people had known in 2002 that Congress would max out our credit card rather than levy a tax to prosecute the long-term military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq--if the American people had known any of this, would we have been so easily led to war?

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dvsdan123Jan. 20, 13 9:13 AM

If you fight a war, fight to win. If you are not willing to do that, don't get involved. If a war is cast upon you, destroy the enemy with everything you have available. Limited warfare is unsustainable.

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goferfanzJan. 20, 1310:02 AM

Who knows what to expect? I think few of us expected Obama to follow the USSR's lead in first surging and then being quagmired in Afghanistan, only to learn OBL was in Pakistan. Ouch, that has been painful! Meanwhile, the Dems who so excoriated W will now always live with the fact that Obama had far more American soldiers KIA than W had--> in their respective first terms. Hundreds more. Meanwhile, our world standing hasnt been lower due to our unimpeded droning in many sovereign nations, drawing rebukes from China, Russia, the UN, etc. Ralph Nadar just called President Obama a bigger war criminal that W. One would hope the new people would reign in this President's war and diplomatic follies, but nothing is certain after the way our embassies burned this fall. Who saw that coming?

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longmemoryJan. 20, 13 2:16 PM

I'm a Vietnam vet. I'm a lifelong historian. Throughout history, being the dominant world power has always been a kiss of death. When you're number one there is nowhere to go but down.

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liora51Jan. 20, 13 4:39 PM

The men and women who fought in Vietnam. Get with the program.

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