I picked up this Prospect blogpost, via the magazine’s twitter feed, where it carried a headline that falls into the Kamm/Rentoul category of “Great Historical Questions To Which The Answer Is ‘No’.“:
“Is Afghanistan Obama’s Vietnam?”
The article itself doesn’t bother with the question mark, but is a classic of the “another Vietnam” genre, once so popular in commentary about allied intervention in Afghanistan (until it became comical to anyone who could read), and then popular in commentary about allied intervention in Iraq (until it became comical to anyone who could read).
Several of the usual clichés are in place: “bodybags”, “fierce” native fighters [imagine the cries of “RACISM!1!!” if someone tried that kind of thing in another context], “exit strategy”, “neocons”, and a collection of “far-away country between people of whom we know nothing” boilerplate minimizing the region’s strategic significance.
Thanks to its generic nature, I don’t have to write a fisking of the piece. I’ll just point you at one I made earlier and invite you to add Streithorst’s clumsy attempt at drawing a historical parallel to my old collection.
[It might also seem from the piece I link to that Streithorst doesn’t know how to spell “elusive”, but if we assume that he really did mean “illusive”, then it’s fair to say that “elusive” would have made more sense in the context in which he deploys it.]