Why Iraq Is Not Vietnam

In a long, academic, but still intriguing piece for Foreign Affairs Stephen Biddle argues that policy discussion in the United States about the war in Iraq is mistaken in advocating that, “the United States must fight the Vietnam War again — but this time the right way.” Biddle points out that the war in Iraq is not a war of national liberation like Vietnam, and that training Iraqi troops to take on law enforcement responsibilities is probably the worst approach when such strong divisions still exist between groups within Iraqi society. Most interesting from my perspective, however, is how well Biddle illustrates that being able to predict the future is really about removing the blinders of the past to truly observe the present.