A Critical Analysis of Vietnam War in Comparison with Afghan War

By Mazhar, Muhammad Saleem; Goraya, Naheed S. | South Asian Studies, July-December 2013 | Go to article overview

A Critical Analysis of Vietnam War in Comparison with Afghan War


Mazhar, Muhammad Saleem, Goraya, Naheed S., South Asian Studies


Abstract

Each conflict has components which mark for simple and uncomplicated evaluation to the previous ones. It has been American history that whenever it involved in any war, it had to come across much difficult and unpleasant situations. In the World War II, Vietnam was boondocks for American armed forces, and nothing much was important as far as an absolute struggle against Japan and American officials charged with the contours of the post-war world, was concerned. Still paradoxically, United States became involved in Vietnam even before the eruption of armed hostilities between the French and Vietminh. It is generally believed that the US has neither fought any war larger than Vietnam War nor has any of its war been criticized so far. And there is no weighing up of the sufferings. The toll in suffering, grief in resentful national commotion can never be put into a table. Today the US is again entangled in a war in Afghanistan which has entered in 13th year with no results and success in the offing. This paper is an attempt to analyze whether Vietnam War, fought 48 years ago, was indeed the first episode of today's Afghan War or not? The study will comprise of all the details of those times in order to bring out comparison between the two wars.

Key words: US, Vietnam, Afghanistan, China, World War

Historical context

Vietnam is situated in South East Asia where after a long period of hopelessness to the Chinese feudal empire, a period manifested by frequent uprisings, the Vietnamese people lastly won back their independence in the 10th century- following the revival of independence, the country steadily bowed towards the formation of a centralized monarchic state (Vietnam, 1973: 26). In the late 19th century, it became a French Colony and was occupied by Japan in IInd World Wars. Before the Second World War, the history of Vietnam can be divided in the following eras;

* Century of National Struggle- The years from 1847-1945 was the century of national struggle.

* Establishment of Colonial regime- The years 1897-1918 was the period when the establishment of the colonial regime took place.

* Era of Economic Transportation- The years 1919-1929- were the eras of economic transportation and the first landmarks of the national and democratic revolution.

* Re-Grouping of National and Democratic Forces- The years 1930-39 were the years of re-grouping of national and democratic forces.

* Rapid Change Across the Globe- From 1938 onward, the global situation changed very quickly, the fascist power in Europe and Asia, persuaded by submissiveness and even complicity of western governments, switched to offensive at a time when the IInd World War was about to break out. The Vietnamese popular masses, demonstrated a passionate political life and the Vietnamese people acquired a solidly-organized and skilled political party. These issues were to play a decisive role in the future course of events. The situation was therefore much more favorable than that of the Ist World War (Vietnam, 1973: 230).

Vietnam during World War II-August 1945 Revolution (1939- 45)

From 1941-45, Vietnam was subjected to a Franco-Japanese double yoke, the French and Japanese, shared their endeavors in order to take advantage of the country's capitals to the maximum for sustaining "Law and other" and hold back the revolutionary movement. This complicity, on the other hand, did not keep them from chasing each their own strategies to strengthen their personal positions until ultimate conflicts. The People were writhing under the Franco-Japanese double-yoke. The discontent grew among rich farmers and land lords. Subsequently Viet Minh Front1 was founded. It rapidly added fame among the laboring classes writhing under the Franco-Japanese double yoke. The year 1945 demonstrated a big defining moment because by the beginning of it, the defeat of Axis became noticeable; the Vichy government felt that the Japanese had suffered defeat after defeat in China as well as in the Pacific. …

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