March 10, 2020

The Afghan peace deal and its eerie parallels with Vietnam

By Richard Fontaine

Last month marked a potential turning point in America’s 19-year war in Afghanistan. In signing a landmark peace agreement, the United States and the Taliban paved the way for an intra-Afghan political settlement and the withdrawal of American troops. Students of history will note that, in its terms and its broader strategic context, the Afghanistan peace agreement has eerie parallels with the Vietnam War’s endgame. Whether and how this time is different will say everything about the deal’s longevity and the prospects for a safe American exit from our longest war.

Vietnam was, of course, America’s longest war until Afghanistan took its place. Exhausted with the fight, President Nixon was determined to end the war, achieving the best possible peace deal on the way out. One senses a similar impulse with President Trump, who has routinely criticized “forever wars” like the one in Afghanistan and emphasized his desire to withdraw American forces.

Read the full article in the Austin-American Statesman.

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