Will Afghanistan Be to Barack Obama What Vietnam Was to Lyndon Johnson?

Posted on April 30, 2009. Filed under: Senior Study Discussion Groups | Tags: , , , , , |

• Both presidents were elected by substantial margins largely on the strength of their domestic agendas
• At their swearing-ins, both presidents inherited on-going conflicts
• Both made early decisions to send additional troops into the conflicts
• Both conflicts were/are guerrilla-type wars involving cultures alien to the west
• Vietnam and Afghanistan had/have long histories of defeating invaders of their lands
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Questions:
1. What should be Obama’s policy in Afghanistan?
2. Following Johnson, Nixon said, “I’m not going to be the first American president to lose a war.” Could that kind of thinking play a part in Obama’s policy?
3. How could Obama pull out of Afghanistan without damaging America’s “leadership” role?
4. Do you think that Islamic fanaticism can be overcome? How?

References
1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3DkeJ4bMDQ
2. http://www.afghanland.com/history/alexander.html
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyndon_B._Johnson
4. http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/vietnam/index.html
5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thAS28SWKKU
6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_in_Afghanistan
7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Anglo-Afghan_War

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