World: Kabul Is Not Saigon

Helicopter gunships blaze away at elusive guerrillas. The army of a superpower tries to shore up an allied regime against an insurgency, but the puppet government and its military forces only grow weaker. The rebellion spreads. What was intended as a swift surgical operation begins to resemble a futile, possibly humiliating war without end.

Ever since six Soviet divisions barreled into Afghanistan—and especially since the eruption of indigenous protests against the invasion—Western analysts have been tantalized by possible parallels to the U.S. involvement in Viet Nam. Says Viet Nam War Chronicler David Halberstam: "The So viets to learning the big Viet Nam...

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