Regime-change through American military action failed in Vietnam — and now it fails in Afghanistan

The corrupt Afghan government that the United States propped up will crumble as our remaining troops leave.

SHARE Regime-change through American military action failed in Vietnam — and now it fails in Afghanistan

U.S. soldiers on patrol in Afghanistan in 2010.


It took a long, long time for the United States to accept the fact that we had lost the Vietnam War. Now here we are, almost 20 years into the Afghan War, and we don’t really accept that we have lost this war and, indeed, that the Taliban has won.

The weak and corruption-riddled Afghan government that we have propped up for so long will crumble as our remaining troops leave.

Yet another attempt at regime change through military action has failed.

Mary F. Warren, Wheaton

Vietnam all over again

The news that the last U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan by Sept. 11 reminded me of what was said when our nation signed an agreement (to call it a “peace agreement” would be misleading) to end our military involvement Vietnam:

“We agreed to leave. They agreed not to stop us.”

In the absence of a U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, I expect that whatever positive changes were achieved there will dissolve faster than the positive changes achieves in South Vietnam. 

The sad irony is that if Vietnam or Afghanistan had the capability locally to become what we hoped they could be, our presence probably would have been unnecessary.

Curt Fredrikson, Mokena

Release video

A Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police officer shoots a citizen dead and within 24 hours a video of the incident is made public. It is televised for all to see. A Chicago cop shoots a citizen dead and, as is the habit, the city stalls for more than a month before making public a video of the incident, and only after making endless excuses for withholding the video. What should Chicagoans make of that disparity? 

Ted Z. Manuel, Hyde Park 

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